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il est toujours temps de promouvoir un groupe local. Le duo AZGAAL (black metal) a pondu son premier EP récemment et la curiosité a poussé VS à leur poser quelques questions.
C'est en ligne sur .
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il est toujours temps de promouvoir un groupe local. Le duo AZGAAL (black metal) a pondu son premier EP récemment et la curiosité a poussé VS à leur poser quelques questions.
C'est en ligne sur .
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"Infektion 1813" sortira en mai prochain chez Season of Mist.
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Peu de monde connait son pseudo et encore moins sa tronche. Et pourtant le guitariste Teloch traine ses guêtres dans la scène black norvégienne depuis tellement longtemps qu'il l'a même connue quand elle exhalait encore des gaz putrides de son cadavre tuméfié.
Et en parlant de putride, Wolf-Father fait pile poil partie de ces albums qu'on aime détester ou qu'on déteste adorer. Nidingr nous a encore balancé un bidule inclassable et bourré de testostérones qui méritait bien que VS aille déranger Teloch dans son repaire, pour tenter de le faire causer un peu. Mais alors juste un peu...
C'est en ligne sur .
Prince de Lu: There was a long period of time between "Sorrow Infinite..." and this new release. Were you too busy with all your musical projects? Or simply, did you need time to create songs?
Teloch (guitar/mastermind): Guilty on all of the above. Things just turned out the way they did, we lost our drummer at one point, I was out touring with Gorgoroth, then quit Gorgoroth, went out with 1349, was sacked from 1349 began in Gorgoroth again, then a littlebit with God Seed. We could have produced things sooner if we had a drummer I guess. Since we didnt do shows or anything anymore, there was no hurry for us releasing a new album or make new songs.
How Hellhammer has joined the band? Does Umoral still active?
Hellhammer is now the live drummer, but he also said he wanted to do the next studio album. But if he has joined the band I am not so sure about, we havent talked about it really. Our doors are open to him any day, he knows that.
Umoral is not very active at the moment, I have a album ready to record and Sweizz have the lyrics ready. But we havent really found the time for it yet. Hellhammer got his things going on and so do Sweizz and me. We will try to do something about it in 2011 :)
You told that one of your goals is to play live shows. How will you handle the busy schedule of Hellhammer? What are the plans for 2011?
We have played shows in the past with Nidingr, what I meant was get a new live line-up ready and play some shows. I am sure we can work around Hellhammers busy schedule, because we are not gonna do shitloads of gigs with Nidingr, just some chosen few. No gigs booked in France so far!
Your first release contains few "outer interventions"; I think about the piano melody of "Child of Silence" and that kind of things. This new release seems more "straight in the face", only the band playing rough with energy, like a dog attacking straight to the balls. Is that the feeling you want to spread?
Actually you are cock on, that was the whole intention behind the songs, make it more simple, but still agressive, and also make it more organic in a way.
To me, the voice of Cpt. Estrella is agressive like a punk dying of a throat cancer. I adore it. But many don't like that way of singing the blues. Why did that voice seduce you when you have recruited Estrella?
Back in the days, Estrella and me used to rehearse at the same rehearsal house. I was in this death/thrash metal band and his hardcore band (Kort Prosess) were rearshing in the room next to us.I have always liked his voice, but hated his personallity, but you cant have one without the other from that guy, so I had to make peace with myself and just get him in the band.
Your relationship with Blargh seems highly unstable. The members of Nidingr are real pals or only partners for a musical project?
Damn right, Blargh & Estrella are my brothers, we are all unstable souls. Fucked up retarded imbacills.
Norwegian guys like to walk in mountain, go to fish or to live a week-end in a "hytte" with no water, no electricity and snow everywhere outside. Don't you?
Yeah man, its nothing like it. But then again I also enjoy a fucking hotelroom with a bathtub just as much.
The sound of "Wolf-Father" is more powerful. For the second time, you chose a "clean" production, with sharpened guitars. Is that the way you want to hear metal? Sometimes in studio, bands ask for "the sound of guitar from that album, the sound of drumkit of this drummer". Are there releases which have influenced your choices of production?
There are never any ideas behind the sound of Nidingr, things turns out the way it does. Its not like we have any talent for getting the sound we want out of anything. I remember we wanted to have that nice sound that Autopsy had on their albums for our sorrow infinite and darkness album, that didnt turn out very successfull now did it? So there is no point for us trying to be professional and choose what kind of sound we want before or under the recordings of a album.
You told that the mixing of this release has created many chaotic situations. Finally, all this tension is the way Nidingr can do things, don't you think?
Maybe, but at the same time we are not alone in the metal indrustry to have it like that. There is not so much tension when the shit is getting made/recorded, maybe a little bit when its getting mixed.
Nidingr is very hard to define musically. You talk about "metal" and I do agree. Are there things you don't want to play? Can we expect any heavy metal part talking about dragons in your next release?
Actually there might already be some heavy metal riffing going on in the sorrow infinte and darkness album. There will be shitloads of dragons and dudes in shining armour on the next album. I think we will call it Dungeons and dragons, or how to fuck your ugly milf in a basement.
How have you learned to play guitar? Have you played riffs of metal bands alone in your bedroom or have you quickly searched for a band after knowing how to tune your instrument?
I was doing the Metallica school of guitars at home, staying home from school. But we started up somekind of «band» pretty early in my «guitar carrear» I guess, started straight of with speed metal and thrash. Good times.
You told that you did "the whole school of metal". Please, pick an option and add few words:
American thrash metal or German thrash metal? German for sure!
Swedish death metal or American death metal? Swedish!
English doom metal or Swedish melodic metal? England!
Scandinavian black metal or South american black metal? None!
Slavonic black metal or french black metal? I have no idea, have not heard much of either countries....
By the way, do you know french metal bands?
Not really! I never check out new bands, its fucking rare. Edith Piaff?
For "Wolf-Father", you told that you have created four songs and Blargh two. I guess you're working the songs separately and so one guy is proposing a whole song to the other guy? Have you something like a "veto" about the riffs of the songs? Are there thrown-away riffs?
Yeah, we havent been very good at working togheter in the past. We are hoping to change that soon. Of course riffs get thrown away, all the time. Sometimes my ears turns mongoloid and Blargh has to tell me that «that note doesnt fit anywhere» or whatever.
Have you really written the songs for the next two albums? Can we expect for your next release within five years?
No, what i said, was that we probably have songs made for 2 more albums. But I dont think we are going to use any of them. The plan now is to make songs together with Blargh, clean sheets etc etc. The next release should come faster this time, as soon as we get the band up and running live, we will start making songs for the new album :)
What about your other projects? Gorgoroth, Ov Hell, aso...
The things I got going on now is NunFuckRitual with Dan Lilker from Nuclear Assault, the album is recorded but we have to find a record label to release it. And I have done most of the guitars on the debut album from The Konsortium (Norway).
You're involved in many bands, at different levels. What has seduced you in these projects? Are you searching for something when you play guitar (energy, drugs, shemales, a ticket to paradise, or whatever)? What do you feel playing the guitar that you can't feel collecting stamps?
Not sure, normally its just a feeling I get about a band, that makes me want to be a part of it. Collector of bands, maybe thats me :)
How do you consider internet? A useful tool or a stupid place? Are you familiar with social networks?
I use Internet alot, maybe too damn much actually. I am on fucking myspace and facebook, last.fm, youtube, reverbnation. But I use it mostly as a promotion tool. I dont sit there for hours upon hours chatting to people about useless shit.
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C'est le cas de Diamond Eyed Princess qui a sorti en octobre dernier un ambitieux "Korlgueläal" qui n'a pas manqué de taper dans l'œil. C'est donc à moitié borgne que VS a questionné Darkhyrys, le leader de la formation sudiste.. C'est en ligne sur .
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Le temps passe et on n'a jamais le temps d'aborder tous les groupes qu'on voudrait, ces coups de cœur qui sortent dans la discrétion la plus totale.
Tiens, par exemple, ce petit groupe suédois qui s'appelle Watain, je parie que vous ne connaissez pas. Vous n'auriez même pas deviné qu'ils avaient sorti un album l'année dernière si on n'en parlait pas maintenant, c'est pour dire.
A propos de divination, VS est allé tirer les cartes et les vers du nez d'Erik Danielsson lors de leur dernier passage à Paris. Et c'est sur notre beau medium que vous est présentée cette partie de tarés.
Esprit, es-tu là?
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En mauvais citoyen du monde que vous êtes, je suis certain que vous n'avez jamais pensé au bilan carbone de vos achats d'albums. N'est-ce pas? Pff...
Pourtant, c'est tellement simple d'acheter local. D'enfiler ses bottes en caoutchouc pour se rendre chez un petit producteur du coin, comme la coopérative charentaise Pictonian Records. Et elle vous vendra des albums qui ne sont pas calibrés et qui ne sont pas tout fades. Des trucs goûtus comme The Sixth Extinction de Sael ou States of Liberating Departure de Annthennath.
Pour vous convaincre, VS a rencontré le cultivateur des deux formations, Raphaël Henry alias Iconoclast, qui nous a entretenus de sa manière de moissonner ses semences dans son Echoes Studio.
Crévindieu, quoi. Et ça se passe sur .
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En complément de l'interview parue dans Hard Rock Mag 30, retrouvez la seconde partie du long entretien avec Erik Danielsson de Watain en ligne sur .
| || Sur VS, on a adoré Kurbads, le dernier album des Lettons Skyforger. Tellement aimé qu'on l'a mis en sélection VS, parce qu'il le vaut bien. |
Et pour le coup, on est allé taquiner avec un bâton Peter le chanteur/guitariste du groupe pour qu'il réponde à nos questions. Et le bougre a plein de choses à dire à
Prince de Lu : Kurbads was elected album of the week on VS webzine. Listening to your latest release is like being crushed by a two-handed hammer from the ancient ages. Was it the objective? To crush the listener?
Peter (guitar/vocals) : He he, nope. I’m quite surprised that it became album of the week. We got many mixed reviews, while some gave it 8, 9 or even 10, others blame it to the ground as nothing new, too much thrash/heavy metal, mainstream, another Viking cliché band in a vein of Eluveitie, Fintroll etc. The main reason behind this album is story about Kurbads, a hero from our legends/fairytales. As always we tried to stick lyrics with music and made right atmosphere as best as we can. We wanted to tell this tale to our Latvian people, who still don’t knew it or forgot it and the rest of the world, to let people know something from Baltic/Latvian culture heritage. It seems to me that many people took it wrong, as a tale like Lord of the Rings. But Kurbads is something different. It comes from same root as Irish have Cuchulainn, British/English have Arthur and Knights of the Round Table and Germanic people have Niebelungs or Edda. Kurbads tale (and similar tales here) came to us through generations in a way told from mouth to mouth and only in 19th century it was recorded. It isn’t some fantasy story!
Can you tell us what happen between Thunderforge/Swordsong and Kurbads? We have seen you on stage in Paris in December 2007, but you have released a re-recorded demo only. Is Skyforger a lazy band still (like you said in 2006)?
There were various obstacles for such long silence and some part of it was laziness too. We ran out of fresh good ideas that we can honestly put in new album. Second guitarists changed twice and it took long time to teach them songs all over again. Then there was our personal life and real shortage of time to dedicate to band. We all work for living here, some have families and in the end there isn’t much of free time left for the band, unfortunately. All this mainly hit our song making, plus some depression because of not stable line up and big boom of folk/pagan metal, which gave us bitter taste for things – we even though about giving up or maybe start to play something different... At one moment I saw that my colleagues in band became apathetic and had no will to even come to rehearsals. Luckily we somehow put ourselves together and started to work again.
You have included new members in the tribe. More than only a guitarist, Martins is also responsible of the artwork of your new release. What has seduced you in his paintings? What do his paintings inspire you?
Martins joined the band when we were at the end of recording process of Kurbads. He liked story and whole idea and offered to make some paintings for cover. In years back he learned painting in some school, but left it unfinished. When I saw his sketches, I thought they can be good enough for such album about fairytale hero and Martins stared to work. To my view all his paintings fit greatly to our album and there is that atmosphere I wanted. Yes, I heard that a lot of people said that our cover looks bad, but people today are too addicted to that great mainstream cover paintings every band have, so they deny everything which are different. Martins have own way of painting and it fits here, just look closer to that picture and listen to songs! If you did not read the story, maybe that pictures looks stupid, some saw even Vikings there haha, but it is connected with album and have meaning! On the cover we can see last battle of Kurbads: he already killed ogre Black Rider, but Snake Witch managed to spit her venom into Kurbads open wound on his shoulder. To my view all painting is mystical with that dead tree and black cave behind it – it make something like symbol of Underworld and tree’s branch is like a upper ground and you can see forest and moon above on it. It’s like Kurbads is stepped with half step in the Realm of Dead already!
Did Martins join the band too late to record rhythm guitar on Kurbads?
Yes, he joined too late. I recorded almost everything by myself. There were only few parts I gave him to rerecord and some solos he did. He started to learn new songs, when album was already done. Unfortunately I’m not sure about how long he will last here. It seems like it is going to hit same wall again: guy joins the band, he is excited and ready for everything – new life, music, band etc but time goes and old routine is back. Right now he spends all his time with girlfriend and in the job. I don’t know if I want guitarist who shows up only in rehearsals and do nothing to improve or even practice at least 1 hour in a day on guitar. I very hope it will change, because he is great guy and good friend.
Kaspars plays traditional instruments, but is also your sound engineer. I guess this new member was important in the regain of activity of Skyforger.
Well, Kaspars is already in band for quite a few years and he built his studio along that way. Though it is his own business and we paid him for recording there. About times when he joined – for every time when something new happens in band, it gives us some new blood and goals to carry on. Daily routine is broken and people are active again.
The sound of Kurbads is powerful. Can you tell us about the long recording process? Why have you entrusted the mix of Kurbads to Gints Lundberg and his Phoenix recordings? Did you need "fresh ears" to mix this album?
We recorded album at Kaspars studio, called Lauska. Of course it can’t be compared to big professional studios, but is fine enough for us. Because it is our band’s member studio, we had a lot of time to work, without stress, not clock counting behind and the price for that all was relatively cheap enough for us to make it through. Unfortunately there was not that wide variety of equipment for us, so we were restricted with what we had. As always we started with drums – this time we tried to not use any triggers, recorded everything live, only used snare sample sound in final mix. I recorded almost all guitars, used my old Randall head, and doubled all rhythm guitars on Peavey 6050. Martins joined band at the end of recording session, so he just take part in few things. Zirgs recorded bass on Ampeg SVT-3PRO head and used ordinary Boss’ Metal Zone (we used clear and overdriven bass sounds together). Kaspars took care for all folk stuff - like bagpipes, pipes and kokle. And finally there were vocals – we tried to use some “role” style here, like I sung as a Kurbads, while Zirgs sung as Nine-Headed ogre and things like that. Kaspars doubled many vocal parts with more black metal style vocal.
As we had time, we rearranged or changed a lot of thing even in recording process. We recorded things, then listened at home and if we didn’t liked result or wanted it different, next time we rerecorded it in studio. We are really addicted to this way of working for all this years, so I doubt if we ever can make any record in big professional studio with limited time on hands. And in the end we mixed and mastered all in our sound engineer’s Gints studio. It is studio where we recorded all of our previous albums. Gints had better equipment for mixing and mastering. You may ask why we didn’t record everything at Gints? That’s because Gints was busy at that time with other projects and we wanted to try something new, in this case Kaspars new built studio.
Many people are bothered by your vocals on this album. To me, that kind of "hoarse" voice is the trademark of Baltic bands, like Obtest, Loits or Urt, among others. Do you agree this?
Hmm – I don’t know if it is really that way. I think I have my own style, which is more close to vocals from bands like Venom, Motorhead, Razor or Sodom for example. Maybe today they are considered as old school or even bad sounding vocals, but for me this rough, drunken, hoarse vocal is fit with metal for 100%.
Listening to your discography, your influences come clearly from the past. What are these bands Skyforger was forged from?
There is a lot of bands and music we listen to and had influenced much through all years. As we grew up with classic heavy and thrash metal, those styles and bands had big impact on us. There are a lot of bands to name and here is few examples: Bathory (of course!), Judas Priest, Saxon, Motorhead, ZZ Top, Helloween, Running Wild, Venom, Razor, Living Death, Cathedral, Emperor, Morbid Angel, Dio, Sodom, Manowar, Exodus, Solitude Aeturnus, Grave, Clannad and so on and on. We got influenced from all those bands and maybe that’s why we jump from style to style in our songs and albums – we mix all this together in one big cauldron of soup.
In a hand, you are clearly a pagan band, dealing with thematic and musical elements of the genre. But in the other hand, traditional instruments are used during half of the songs of Kurbads. How do you compose these old school hymns? Does the metal side lead the writing process?
Absolutely! We compose everything on guitars and only then Kaspars come in with his folk stuff. When we composing we keep that in mind and save place for him. But in beginning all those melodies is made on guitars. Me and bass player Zirgs, we are main composers for band. On of us two had riffs and we offer them to band and then, if guys like them, we start to work on song by adding other riffs and finding right rhythms and so on. When song is ready, we listen to it for a while and if we had feeling that something is still wrong here, we try to re-arrange or even throw that song away. We always try to follow that “inner feeling’’ we have!
In the booklet of Kurbads, your lyrics are translated into English. Is it important to spread your message to the world?
Sure it is very important to us! We want to share a piece from our Baltic heritage. This story is very old (I can find even things from Stone Age there) and its roots can be found in any other indo –European nation fairytales of old. But those things are vanishing and most nations already don’t know anything about them. The heritage, history and culture of Baltic nations (Latvians, Lithuanians and old Prussians) were completely ignored for ages in whole European history (and still it is). But ancient Baltic region and nations was big part there, even if we were part annihilated or overpowered by bigger nations, who tried to erase our culture. We survived and still are here and we have our own history and culture to be known and learn and Kurbads is but a small piece of it we wanted to discover to the rest of the world.
What are the values that our modern world has lost and that you are fighting for?
True friendship, selflessness, self-devotion, understanding and respect to Mother Nature – human is not a crown of all living beings, but just a part of Nature, he will survive, if he will understand that, but if not… Though those good olden times weren’t that romantic and bright. There was same shit there: mass murdering, greed, slavery and so on. But still people were closer to Nature and lived with it than we today. We are on a road to nowhere; we’re cutting a branch on which we sit.
In the Baltic countries, Skyforger is more than often quoted as a big influence by pagan bands. Is that something you can witness? Do you care these marks of respect?
I don’t know. Didn’t hear it that much. Possibly because in Latvia, there is no other pagan bands besides Skyforger, but what people talking behind our borders I don’t know. Possibly we could be biggest pagan/folk band in Baltic region, but we don’t care – it isn’t our aim at all. Though it’s not bad to be known and recognized, at least we did a lot for that. And if someone says that they are influenced by our music, it is just great, cant find anything bad in that. After all we are respected as a big band around here hehe.
Few years ago, the pagan scene was very small. Now, it is a major genre and the gigs are sold-out in European countries. Do you think pagan metal is only trendy for a period of time or a long success?
Yep, I already heard that it is on a way to downfall. It turned wrong way, it became too commercial and lost all his first and main ideas. It is not about folklore, historical and cultural heritage now, but about jolly melodies, Vikings, beer and polkas. Those bands, who started this style and had all great ideas and did it from heart and honestly, those bands are still small and unknown for masses, while other bands made their way up fast and turned it in what we have now. When popularity of pagan/folk metal will drop I bet those commercial bands will die out too or turn to other ways. And in the end this style will remain for those who are really interested into history and folklore. It simply can’t be popular for a long period, bands already start to repeat themselves, there isn’t that much to sing about Vikings, Odin and Thor and all those melodies start to sound same. It’s especially hard to find something new for those bands who just took folk song and play it on distorted guitars.
For your last release, you have inked a deal with Metal Blade. How has it happened? Are you satisfied with the label? Why have you stopped your collaboration with Folter?
We sent out promo CD with three new songs from upcoming album to all possible labels we liked to work with. Metal Blade was one who gave response to us and offered to work with them. Sure, we though and we agreed, because it open more doors than Folter, which is small label and you can’t find releases that easy. There were other labels, but we certainly chose MB as one of biggest and serious in music business. I think good reasons were that we was around for some time already, made some albums and played gigs enough to make our word known, helped us to get this sign. Still our co-operation is just started and I can honestly say that everything going well for us, there is no any pressure or something like that there. We have a guy, who works with our band and our manager is in constant contact with him. With help of MB now we can spread our name and music in much wider area than before, though we know that we aren’t the biggest band there and they have some more important bands with whom they work mainly than Skyforger. About Folter record – we are still in touch with them and guys help us a lot when we are around in Germany. It seems that Folter will release Kurbads on LP with agreement from Metal Blade. We went away, because we wanted to make a new step, but Folter is underground label, who want to stay that way. Actually it is almost one man – Jörg’s business. Lately we did a lot by ourselves until we decided to move on. We very hope that Jörg understood us and had no offence.
Will Metal Blade re-release your first albums, maybe with an enhanced sound?
I don’t know. We just started to work with them, so all talking was only about new album. I don’t know their plans, but I doubt that they want to re-release our old albums.
Can we hope to see you on stage in France soon?
We hope that too. But still there are neither invitations to play nor any plans. Need only to write us and ask. I don’t know, but it seems that not much is going on in France (comparing to Germany. We really want to go there and promote Kurbads a bit, so only time will tell…
Can we hope a new release before 2015?
He he! Sure. We already started to work on new songs – after all we have deal with MB for (don’t remember, but I think) 3 albums.
Skyforger can be found on internet, MySpace and even twitter. Is internet an important way to communicate with your fans? What do you think about internet: a powerful tool to use or the pandora box where everything is perverted?
More like powerful tool. It’s a part of 21st century and it’s stupid to ignore that. All new and progressive thoughts and technology, which is not damaging Nature is good enough. After all if you look in history, today’s people are more open minded and progressive, free thinking that it was ago. I very hope that it will proceed that way and in some day people will realize that they are children of one planet and brothers to each all, that they must keep together and support each other to survive and to continue to live here in healthy, normal society without preconception and oppression.
Thanks for your time and answers. You have the final words.
Thank you too for this opportunity and big hail to all our fans out there in France! We very hope that you will like Kurbads and take it as a new album, without expectations for Latvian Riflemen or Kauja pie Saules no.2. It is different again and lyrics and artwork plays great role here. Try and check it out!
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S'il vous reste encore quelques piécettes que tata Josette vous a refilées à Noël et que vous en savez pas comment les investir, il est peut-être temps de se pencher sur les oubliées des bacs : les rééditions.
La rédaction de VS vous a concocté un petit panorama des rééditions intéressantes sorties en 2009. Sans être exhaustif, ça peut donner quelques idées, pour découvrir nos recommandations, il suffit de cliquer ici.