At metalfest we, from folk-metal.nl had the chance to talk to Saltatio Mortis. While it’s been a while since the album ‘Sturm aufs Paradies’ was released, the band still had a lot to say! We spoke with the friendly and sincere vocalist Alea and hurdy-gurdyplayer Falk.
Feuerschwanz is a band that’s apparently really busy. Besides the many performances at various festivals this summer they even come out with a new album this summer. Time to meet with this band! A rather laborious conversation with the two front men, “Hauptman Feuerschwanz” and “Prinz R. Hodenherz III ‘, which was mainly due to language problems. A conversation about humor, the medieval times, and of course the new album!
Can you tell anything about Feuerschwanz for the people who don’t know you? Feuerschwanz is a band which makes music based on medieval times. We resemble knights, and most of the time we’re drunk. We drink mead; mead is our blood. And we have a lot of fun doing it!
In your biography you state that you’re already trying since the medieval age to break a curse. What is this curse you’re talking about? This curse is very complicated. It was a witch which cursed us to complete several difficult tasks. All these different quests are very long to explain, so it’s up to the reader to look it up in our biography. Up until recently these tasks haven’t been accomplished. These tasks vary from a 1000 girls who need to lose their virginity by us, 1000 kilo of radish needs to be eaten, and all the lyrics of Schandmaul needed to be farted, backwards! Very difficult.
Do you like it better in this age than in the medieval age? Yes, especially the toilets! And right now, we have our new coach (their tour bus) in which we can go to the gig, we can even sleep in it, and we don’t have to walk to our gigs anymore!
Your lyrics are all humorous, but do you all have the same kind of humor? Of course, everybody has his own sense of humor, but we developed our own style during our 800 years of touring. But we heard that the Dutch people doesn’t like the German humor. Feuerschwanz is the perfect example that Germans can be funny. Therefore we really want to play in Holland, to show you the evidence!
Do you think keeping up this kind of humor would be a problem in the future? Everyone writes the songs when they have inspiration. Sometimes you don’t write for over a week, or over a year. Furthermore, we work together, so we can help each other. The main point is that it requires much energy to write such humorous lyrics. We try to keep up for the next couple of years. For now, the vibe is really positive, so we will continue at least for the next few years.
Is there somebody who writes all the music? Or is it a group process? Mostly it is a group process. However, during the making of the new album ‘WallhalliGalli’, Hauptman Feuerschwanz and Hans, der Aufrechte, provided all the lyrics and the music. Inspiration comes mostly from strange events on tour. From these events, someone said it is a great idea to make a song from it, and the week thereafter, the song is finished. And then, together, we develop the song further during rehearsals.
What is your mains source of inspiration? Alcohol! Haha, no, the main source comes from playing gigs, and seeing the crowd moving and partying. When the spark jumps over, you think on how you can draw inspiration from that, and how you could possibly top that. Furthermore, we sing about partying. We want to converse that partying is great, and that it even is an important aspect of living. We want to say that you need to see life as one big party. People are always busy with working, and they need to have fun once in a while.
You already mentioned the next album ‘Walhalligalli’. What can we expect from this record?
This time, we were guided by the Northern Gods. And the way these gods party has inspired us. We traveled up there, and partying with Odin, Thor and Sleipnir was great fun! That’s also something you can hear on this next album. And this next album will be a bit heavier, more rock. We need hard music, hard beats to get the crowd moving, and this album will be a party of the highest quality!
What is the title based upon? Halli Galli is a western dance, some kind of squaredance. That’s where the name comes from. Furthermore, ‘Halli galli’ stands for party. The title, a mixture of ‘Walhalla’ and ‘Halli Galli’ is thus the party of the gods.
What it’s like for you to play on a metalfestival? We have a special status here. It’s great, to stand here between the other bands and to see that the people are enjoying us. If you could come on stage and see all these people having a great time, it’s awesome.
And what do you prefer? A metalfestival, or a typical medieval festival? We prefer festivals like Roskilde or Rock am Ring, haha! No, those are festivals with which we can play with the great bands. These festivals are our ultimate goal, all other performances are the way to get there.
You played a few times on the burgfolk festival. What was it like to grow in such a way that you’ve started out as a starting band, up until the headliner? It’s great! Though we think you can throw a good party in the afternoon, but we like it better to play during the evening. The organizer of the festival once sat with us to drink some, and he felt the ‘party-energy’ burning within us. Therefore he decided we must play in the evening.
In the past, you altered typical fairytales, think of Snowwhite and the Pied piper of Hamelin. Can we expect another ‘ruined’ fairytale on Walhalligalli? Actually yes! We wrote a song about an ancient Czech fairytale called ‘Rübezahl’ for this album. It’s about an old man living up in the mountains.
If you need to choose, would it be ‘Met’ or ‘Miezen’? Pffff.. That’s a difficult question.. I really can’t decide… Next question please!
Because of your stage-outfits, you look a bit like those typical Life Action Role Players (LARPers), are you LARPers yourself? We know it, and we know people that do it, though none of us play it. Therefore, I can’t tell you much about this phenomenon.
Do you have any last words? We want to tell you a final story, and it’s about the shirt ‘Met Not Stand’ (the lack of mead). It’s an emergency situation all over the world. We have a good intuition, because we drink the mead. We try to gather the activists on our side to fight the lack of mead. Within a few years, the mead will run out. Therefore we want to try to prevent this!
Furthermore, listen to Walhalligalli. Drink with us on better times and it would be a pleasure to play in the Netherlands!
Not so long ago, Vogelfrey released ‘Zwölf Schritte zum Strick’. About time to ask vocalist Jannik some questions via e-mail. Jannik was a man of many words, as can be read in the extensive interview below. An interview about the new album, outlaws and the great desire to play in Holland.
I’m only a simple Dutchman, otherwise I’d written this interview in Flemish for sure. How should I express a lot of Flemish comfort in this story? Folk-metal.nl had a very nice conversation with the Flemish band Lemuria, in which we discussed besides the ‘wietpas’ (weedpass) a lot of serious topics.
Myrkvar kept us waiting for four years until they released the follow-up of ‘Als een woeste horde’, but this year they released ‘As en Blood’ finally. We talked with Hrabnilaz (synths, vocals) and Herubern (bass, vocals). I wasn’t really excited about their album at First, but after they explained at lot, I’ve begun to listen to it in an other way.
To start with the new album. Why did you choose a concept-album? ‘A concept-album gives a lot more opportunities, it’s not a collection of individual songs. You can create a whole story and you can even use the artwork in the story. Besides that is more challenging composing the Music this way. You’re stuck with a theme/story and you’re Music has to fit to it.’
Isn’t that restricting your creativity? ‘The answer to that is no, for sure. There’s often to little time to put everything in an album. You can put spheres together in this way and music, to listen to music is a process. You’ll listen to an album as a whole because it has a structure. An easy beginning with a climax like a book or film. Single songs don’t affect me much.’
And why did you choose Ragnarok? ‘Basically Ragnarok is the most chewed topic, but also the most rude story you can find in mythology. We went on this route and have decided to translate it to music in a not to obvious way. When you listen to the album, it’s not like you think ‘Oh, its an album about Ragnarok.’’
How did you work your way around this? ‘Most ideas came from Faber. To his annoyance we often thinks it’s not very good. But in the end some things are very nice actually. You have to listen very well to the album to find out, what’s happening, we had to.’ ‘We don’t try to make music which is sounds nice right away, but it has to soak in a little. Perseverance is the only thing which works out then. It worked out in the past, if you stick to it long enough it will work out well. When it’s nothing in the end, it disappears.’
The lyrics are in Dutch. Is there a reason for that? ‘Yes, the lyrics are about Germanic mythology and our target are the Dutch listeners. Despite of the fact a lot of the bands write in English, to choose for English is more odd than it is to choose Dutch lyrics.’ ‘Besides this we think it’s a it ‘being popular’ to have English lyrics when you’re a Dutch band. Of course a lot of bands have plans to conquer foreign countries and when you get to that it’s a more obvious choice, but it isn’t a success-factor. Bands like Finntroll and Moonsorrow are popular in the Netherlands as well. We make music for our fans and you approach them in Dutch. If people outside the Netherlands like it, it’s a bonus.’
Don’t you have ‘foreign-plans’? ‘When it happens it happens. We make music we like and if others think alike it’s nice. If people outside the Netherlands know your music, appreciate it and want to hear it live, is cool. But it’s just as cool to play in a loaded pub on the corner of the street.’ ‘Suppose you’re invited to go to London, but there are only 5 people in the audience, what’s if good for? The nicest thing for us is a loaded venue, where the crowd is really at it, to have a bond with the audience. Where this will be is not important to us.
Let’s talk about the artwork and title. Both are really good ideas. Simple but catchy, how do you got to these? ‘The title was actually in the lyrics of the song which is entitled ‘Asenbloed’ now. We sat in the car on our way to Summerbreeze and the lyrics were written that day by Roel (drummer). He read is out loud, and mentioned Asenbloed and then we saw the dubble title and there was it!. (red.: in Dutch Asenbloed means blood of the Asen, but when you cut the word in tree As en Bloed it means Ash and Blood). The windshields of the car where instantly bulged of the enthusiasm in the car and the title of the album was born. We often disagree, but this was not such a moment. We were busy for half a year with this title, we couldn’t agree. At the same time it was obvious if the title of the album would be As en Bloed, the title of the track would be Asenbloed.’ ‘We tried to get the artwork in line with this. Dark colours and a grimm atmosphere. The artist has also made the artwork for Carach Angren and we liked that a lot. Our mutual favourite is Carach Angren. We told him it would be a concept-album about Ragnarok and we wanted a grimm artwork with fire, ash and red accents. It came out beautiful and fits very well to the theme of the album.’
As en Bloed is an album with a serious theme. Dark colors and a grimm atmosphere. The artist has also done the artworkd for Carach Angren and we liked that a lot. Our mutual favourite is Carach Angren. We told him it would be a concept-album about Ragnarok and we wanted a grimm artwork with fire, ash and red accents. The artwork came out beautiful and we think it fits very well to the theme of the album. ‘As en Bloed’ is an album with a serious theme. Did you leave jokes like ‘Trollen met de prei’ (red. Trolls with leek) behind you? ‘Haha look at us? We’ve chosen to use a very serious subject, but we’re still crazy. There will be a weird cover in the future, but we’re still working on it, so we can’t tell you about it.
Where is the name Myrkvar coming from? ‘It’s a very old Norwegian word, an ancient conjugation of the word obscuration. However it fits very well to this record, it’s in general a name which doesn’t fit very well. It’s also not a Dutch name, but we decided to keep it because it catchy. And the meaning of it, the darker side of mythology is fitting well to the band.’ ‘The origine of the name goes back to the origine of the band. It’s referring to the start of the band. We started off as a black metal band, but that line-up is completely gone, only the name is transferred to the new band. Everyone in the original line-up was replaces quickly, and with these changes the style of the music also changed. When the first real recordings were done, the name was fixed to the band.’
Germans and Norwegians were not such barbaric people actually. In common they were farmers and they went on trade-missions, but they weren’t as rough people as they are often written about. Is it a man-thing to sing this stories on stage and let the primal man loose? ‘Metalpeople are really ‘nice’ people actually. It’s a kind of escape of the everyday grind. You loose yourself in the Music and everyone does this in his own way. In this setting you are easely labelled ‘Vikingmetal’? But you’re really living it out in your music. And when this is looking rough, it’s looking rough and when it’s showing nice and small, that’s the fact. But with this music and theme’s it’s easily looking rough. But I doubt it if it’s really that rough.’
What is the nicest thing you experienced so far with Myrkvar? ‘We’re in the scene for a while (2006) and a lot of gigs have found a permanent place in our memory. Hörnerfest in Germany was very nice. The field was filled with jigging people, mostly Germans. It weren’t friend who came by to cheer for you, but random people which enjoying the music.’ ‘Besides this our gig at ‘De Affaire’ will always be stuck to our memory. This was during the ‘Nijmeegse vierdaagse’. There were only some 500 people or so, but there were also a lot op people walking by, but standing still to watch for moment. Playing on real Viking ground, they plundered and fought there. Which makes it very special to play there.’ ‘Often it are also memories of thing happening backstage and the journey back home. And the whole scene you’re entering. Chilling with other band en playing. If they’re big of just Dutch, it’s always fun.’
‘On stage it’s also very nice, you’re in the flow of the music. And when the audience goes along with it…, there’s nothing compared to that. Even when you’re ill, when you’re on stage you forget it all. Performing gives so much energy.’
What will 2012 bring? ‘We’re already working on a new album. The German mythology will be very important. Sometimes you create a melody and you visualize a atmosphere. You write some phrases which fit the rhythm and this way a song evolves. When you have a theme you can invent a story around it, of when somebody brings on a story we can build on with that. But mostly it starts with the music and the lyrics will follow later on.’
Are you besides in the music somehow involved in German mythology? ‘It started for me with the music. Then I dug in the matter and nowadays my bookshelf gets full with mythology-books. So yes, I’m involved with it all week. But I’m also busy with Myrkvar. You don’t sit down an make an album, weeks go by. Sometimes nothing happens and on some days you have a lot of inspiration and experience a lot. It’s a long process.’
What makes this CD better than the previous one? Often you hear bands say ‘they wanted to change a lot’.? ‘At the previous CD we wanted to change almost everything and now there are only a few thing.’ ‘As en Bloed is an album which have to be listened to form the beginning until the end. That’s a shame with mp3 players, which repeat it all after the end. When you should have a moment after the last song, to let it all settle. It should be pointed out, the CD has to be listened to as a whole. We have tried to create a tension. In the beginning it’s very intense for a moment followed by a quieter piece and it bursts out in the end. After this you have to take a little rest.’ ‘The last song is entitled ‘Uit de as herrezen’. Ragnarok meant the end of the world. But the end is also a new beginning and you can hear this in this track. A concept-album can also end with an less catchy track. You start easily and build up to ‘Donderslag’ and in the end you’re laid down on a pillow softly.’
How do you create this tension live? You can’t play everything and tell the whole story. ‘You absolutely look at the place of the songs in the setlist. I’m not sure if you need to tell the whole story live. On one hand you want to bring the CD like it is and tell the whole story. But when I’m in the audience myself and the band is playing their CD one on one, there’s no surprise and you can listen to it at home, as well. It’s the variation we think is important live. You want to entertain the audience. Gigs have to be solid as a rock.’
‘I’ve been thing about the questing ‘what makes this CD different’. The first album was a kind of try out. The big mistake, al lot of bands make is creating a melody which causes everybody to play the same thing. When you listen to the new record you’ll hear new things every time. Just the opposite, because we have never doubled. The album is filled with antics and when you keep listening it are definitively no straight lines we drew. It’s nog a ‘pleasing album’, it surely isn’t easy listening at once. Some melodies are but in general it needs time to soak in.’ ‘We want to give the listeners the advice to listen to it a couple of times and not to throw it in a corner after the first time. It’s a concept-album so listen it as a whole. At a concept-album you can’t listen to only three songs.’
Thormesis surprised us earlier this year with their CD ‘Von Leere und Tod’. However, there were a few things which stayed unclear concerning the band. That’s the reason why we contacted Travos, singer and guitarist from Thormesis, for an interview.
In 2001 Torbjorn Sandvik began, at the age of 16 with the onemanproject Glittertind. In 2010 this project was extended and became a full band with Olav Aabø (guitars/vocals), Bjørn Nordstoga (bass), Stefan Theofilakis (flutes/vocals), Geirmund Simonsen (accordion, samples, vocals), Geir Holm (drums) and Torbjorn (Vocals/guitar). Folk-metal.nl spoke with Torbjorn about Glittertind’s start, lessons of life and the new album.
Amorgen is an epic/death metal band risen from the ashes of Tales of Ale. In 2011, they released their first EP ‘Awake the Iron’ and today they played at Drakkarfest 2012. Folk-metal.nl had a great interview with the men about the bard Amorgen, and future plans and dreams of the band.
Last year you guys released your first album. What did it bring you so far?
We’ve had a lot of positive reactions about our first release! Even people that don’t really like growls and screams tell us that they enjoy the way it’s composed. That gives us the confirmation that we’re heading in the right direction. Beside that we’ve generated some income out of it which is always nice!
It’s been a while since we’ve heard something from Equilibrium. The album ‘Rekreatur’ dates back from 2010, but still they’re touring with paganfest. About time to catch up with the whole band, and see what they’re up to!