Rating: 7/10 Release: 2013 Label: Independent Woebegone is a band from my new hometown, Trondheim in Norway. Norway is known for its excellent metalbands so Woebegone needs to prove themselves. They consider their music to be SpaceFolk. Yet another subgenre in the folk-metal. Not really an idea what to expect …Continue reading →
Previous to the concert of the Mahones in ‘de Melkweg’, Amsterdam, I had an interview with these Canadians and with their support act: Circle J. I’m not an insider of the folk punk scene and the gentlemen of Circle J seemed not to be very talkative. But, when they were warmed up a bit they talked a lot.
While enjoying some blackened burgers and steaks the big Druantia interview-barbecue took place, I had a nice chat with Nick and Lotte of this Dutch band. It sounds a bit like a butcher judging his own sausages, but we were of the opinion we should do the first ever Druantia interview while Nick is a member of our team. Unfortunately we were beaten, and we couldn’t publish it as first.
So how has Holland been so far? I love Holland. It is the first place in Europe I came to and for the band it is the base since 1998. Every time we come to Europe we start here. We store all our equipment here, hire a bus here. Your bass player died here in Amsterdam. You don’t have any hard feelings? Well I wasn’t in the band at that time. I was in high school when that happened. Finney had a really hard time. But you can’t me angry at Amsterdam. Being here is sort of honoring him, keeping the memories. It’s awfull. We do charityshows every year for a library that was set up in his name.
There is a first time for everything. Last Friday I visited a folk punk concert for the first time in my life. The program of the evening consisted of the support acts The McGonagalls and Circle J and of course the headliner The Mahones. Before the show I had some …Continue reading →
Congratulations with the new album Circle, it is really one of the best, or maybe the best so far!
What was your inspiration for this album? And is there a reason that it sounds darker then the previous albums?
We got little bit bored of the same way of doing albums. We wanted to have change. Of course with a long career you have to keep yourself hungry to try new things and challenge yourself. We needed to get more inspiration especially for the recording process, try out different things and come up with something not so normal. Maybe The Beginning Of Times was too sterile for us? It sounds maybe too soft comparing what does it sounds live.. With Circle we needed to get new directions for the recording process and the lyrical concept. Try out different things and come up with something not so normal for us. Now we used 7th person as a producer. And that’s been a while when we did like this last time, I think it was back in 2001 at Am Universum when we last time used producer (Simon Efemey). Even thought we had a producer with Circle we still had pretty big impact on the songs and how they turn out. And we did not try to musically-wise try to change everything. The songs were made at the same way they’ve always done. Musically-wise we did not try to change everything. The songs were made at the same way we’ve always been doing. Someone brings the demo to the rehearsals and so on. We did have some sort of a feeling to make this album harder and darker than The Beginning Of Times, but I think it was more like an general intuition. Now when I listen it when its mixed and mastered its definitely heavier than previous, the keyboards are more in the background, lots of heavy guitars and ultra low bass. There is a variation all over in the music, performing and production. Overall we wanted something different, maybe more experimental. Less vocal mass and choirs. I wanted to have more real pianos and real hammonds so I recorded them with authentic instruments, even some church-organs in big church. We were looking for more aggressive sound thus everybody thought the sound in previous album The Beginning of Times could have been more edgier. Every album has its own theme. How do you come to a theme and how does it grow into an album?
So we thought now it was a time to make album with a producer outside the band. Also we discussed with each other that we could try something more modern now and our lyricist Pekka Kainulainen came with an concept which happen in the present time (or somewhere in the modern times). We read it through and actually it sounded much more interesting starting point than just another concept about an old story or classic Kalevala character once again.
We were really enthusiastic about the latest SuidAkrA album, we rated it 10/10. How has it been received in the rest of the world? The reactions are really awesome both by the press and the fans. We are happy after ten previous releases still to be able to create something new and fresh that capture our fans. But also to be honest I’ve never though about any expectations on any of our release. For me the most important thing was always that we as a band have the feeling of not repeating ourselves and always create something new. And do you consider this album as the best so far? I know that every band consider their latest albums as the best so far hahaha. But after writing so many albums before my aspiration on a new CD get higher and higher so wth this record I was really critical during the songwriting and I am very proud of what we’ve created. For me personally it’s the best well ballanced and freh album so far. Can you tell us a bit more about the background of the album? It’s not that easy to go into story details because it’s an extensive story. Basically, the lyrical concept is based on the welsh story called “The Dream Of Macsen Wledig”. This album tells the story of Macsen who joined the roman army, became a Celtic Emperor Of Rome and immortal and after being decapitated who was earsed from history.
On the latest album there was more collaboration with Tina. Is this a new course of SuidAkrA, or was it just for this album? We’ve worked with Tina for the first time in 2005 and this is our 4th collaboration. The difference on this album is that in the past I’ve written the songs for Tina and after the songwriting was finished I’ve sent her the material and decided what she has to sing. But not on this record… She was involved into the songwriting as well even before a single note was written. Tina even played the Piano in “The Mindsong” for example and we both wrote this song together. Over the past years, your sound has become more melodic. Is that a natural evolution? Yes I would say it’s a natural evolution which comes on every album with the concept story itself. I would say the lyrical concept decides in which direction the new material will go. The more epic the story is the more epic the songs sound like for example. With every album you surpass the previous one and you’ve already released 12 albums. Does you, Arkadius have this never ending source of inspiration? I guess so hahaha. Fortunately I never had problems with inspiration. I think one reason is that I always look for new musical inspirations and exotic intrsuments which I can add to our sound. Another reason are the great concepts stories which capture me. When I read it I have immediately visions and ideas in my mind. So let hope it will last forever 😉 How do you mix so many musical elements and styles together and still turn it into a beautiful whole? Because I never loose the essential thing during the song writing: The song itself. The atmosphere and character of each sigle song if the basic for me and no matter how many elemnts and influences I use they all have to be convenient to the song.
SuidAkrA is written with two capital A’s. Why is that? Puh good question… hahaha The new logo is based on the first one we’ve had until our “The Arcanum” album and on the older one it seems a bit like the logo had those three capital letters. That’s why Nils who created the new logo borrowed those idea into the new one…
Not long ago you signed at a new label and directly after that you participated in the Heidenfest 2013 tour. Will there be more SuidAkrA tours now than before? I hope so. We are also a band who loves to play live, so whenever we got the chance to hit the road we’re ready 😉 Of course we plan to promote “Eternal Defiance” live as well and I’m pretty sure there will be a lot of good oppurtunities in this and next year.
Next year, SuidAkrA exists for 20 years. How do you look back on those two decades? What were the highs and what were the lows? Oh there are so many stories that could have been told when I look back on the last two decades. I’ve experienced a lot have visit distant places meet great people but at the same time lost good friends… I would say the Suidakra journey contains everything a good story has to include.
How is it come that you are so popular in Asia? And how was the tour there? I’ve talked after the shows to the fans and my impression was that the uniqe SuidAkrA sound makes it so sepcial to the Asain fans. The mixture of the Death Metal with bagpipes and celtic influences is something they do now hear everyday. The tours were the best live experiences we’ve ever made. We’ve had much bigger audience than in Europe and the fans were so enthusiastic. I’m so thankful for the chance SuidAkrA have to be able to play in those countries. You have played almost everywhere. Do you see really big differences between the countries and the continents? What is your favourite place to play? Will that still be Germany, your home? Germany is still different just because of the fact that it’s our home country. It’s always cool to meet good friends here on tour. But in my opinion there is a big difference. Here in Germany are so many festivals in the summer that the fans can watch 100 of famous bands and it’s already nothing that special for them. It’s different in outher countires and the fans appreciate a good band that gives live on stage 100%. After all this tours I have 3 favourite places to play and it’s India, Brazil and USA! You have played in so many places , released already 12 albums and have a massive fanbase. Still you don’t get the appreciation you deserve. Your name is not as known as by example Finntroll. How is that possible? I have to admit that I don’t really care about questions like that! We as a band never compared ourselfs to other band’s music or sucsess. We grant everybody their sucsess and are so happy with the things we have withing our band. And that is: Passion, friendship music creativity, no buisness preassure and the best time of our lives. After all this success, what is the goal for SuidAkrA now? Is there something you haven’t done yet which you would really want to? Of course otherwise it wouldn’t make sence for me to keep on making music. There are so many places we haven’t played yet, like Australia, Japan etc. for example. And also on the musical level the end of the flagpole isn’t reached yet.
Is there anything you would like to say to the Dutch fans/readers? First of all thank you for this great interview and I also want to thank all our Dutch friends who support us! Check out the new release “Eternal Defiance” and we hope to see some of you on the Heidenfest tour this year! Let the metal do the talking \m/
Finally headlining their own tour again, I got the chance to talk with Mathias (Vreth) from Finntroll about lots of stuff. About Boney M, Grant and Forsyth, why humans are a plague to the planet and of course the new album Blodsvept.
This month I finally got the chance to see one of my favorite bands live and to have a nice talk with them. The result is a crazy interview where I sometimes lost the red thread in the stories. Most answers make sense but for some it’s better to take them with a grain of salt… Enjoy!
22-4-2013 Romeijn, Leeuwarden Netherlands Baldrs Draumar Baldrs Draumar had the honor of opening tonights show and they did a really good job! Besides songs from Forfedres Fortellingen and older songs from the demo’s, they played also two songs from the upcoming album Aldgillissoan. With Wolvetiid and Yn’e Meahall, the guys …Continue reading →