You are relatively new band to the metal scene,what got you into playing extreme music?
Well it started as an idea the drummer had when he and I was drunk,listening to some old metal vinyl.Suddenly he bursted out:"We should start a metal band!!!" And I of course agreed.
And as the evening progressed (and we became even drunker),we suddenly had a lot of plans as how the band should sound like,and most importantly how it NOT should sound like.This meant of course not as how modern metal bands sound like,but rather the stuff that we liked from the 80s.
But some years went by and nothing happened.And every time we got drunk together, the subject came up.He would ask me:"Have you made any riffs yet?"And the answer would always be:"Errr no."
But then in late 2010(while making music for some other project) I came up with something that sounded VERY metal.and playing on this stuff,i suddenly realised "Hey this sounds GOOD!"And I came up with riffs for 3 songs.
We recorded those 3 songs for our first demo in VERY late 2010,and were kind of lukewarm to the results.(Mainly myself,cause i hated how the vocals sounded)But we played the demo to some people and EVERYBODY liked it.So we decided "Ok this kind of works,lets see if we can make something better."
In mid January 2011 we recorded the tracks for "Goat Funeral Night".
So the answer to your Question would be Extreme metal lps from the 80s,and beer !!!
The tracks on "Goat Funeral Night" is very inspired by old bands,but has a new twist to it,did it just turn out that way or are you inspired by older bands?
We are of course inspired by older bands,This seems to be the whole point of Gravlund.Celtic Frost/Hellhammer.Bathory,Mercyful Fate,Iron Maiden,Slayer ,Darkthrone,Burzum ,Mayhem bla bla the standard stuff.
The way we record is based on "gut feeling".I send the riffs to the drummer,2 weeks before we record,and then we record everything as quickly as possible.There seems to be no point in rehearsing the tracks,as this makes everything sound stale and boring. (First take is almost always best)
The "twist" you mention,is probably due to the fact that we really havent played metal before,and havent got a clue what we are doing!!!HA HA HA
Did you play in other bands before Gravlund?
-Yes me and the drummer have played in several bands before.Nothing well known.
But many of them with us both in the band.So me and him have played together for rs.
Actually, the last band we played in was a kind of a "psychedelic jam band thing",
with lots of improvistion.And we learned A LOT from that band.(Mainly to trust your "gut feeling")
But that was one of the(drunken) "ground rules":NO JAMMING IN GRAVLUND!!!! ( That's the spirit! Ed.)
How has the response been on the demo so far?
-Considering the fact ,that the only goal or ambition we had , making the demo,was to make some metal we could listen to while drinking beer,the response has been overwhelming.
We had NO idea people would like it this much.
One thing that is really cool,is that we get the "thumbs up " from bands that we ourselves are fan of
Peolple in Eastern Europe and South America like Gravlund,and this is mind boggling considering "Goat Funeral Night" is our SECOND rehearsal/recording!!!!
-Have you played live yet? Or have any plans considering that?
We have not played live yet.We have to get some extra band members to play live.
There are only 2 members in GRAVLUND,so for now there will not be any live performances.
Saying this,we have to note that there have already been a couple of really good offers,but we regrettfully had to decline.
But we are thinking about getting a couple of guys helping us play live,but we dont know when.
We also have to write some more songs to flesh out a set list.The songs are usually kind of short,and we need some more to play a full gig.(Or maybe we should start doing guitar solos?) (If you want the audience to fall asleep that might be a good idea. Ed)
What does your lyrics deal with? Do you have any favourite writers yourself?
The lyrics are not stories Per se,but rather random negative thoughts put together to create a "mood" or atmosphere.(Trying to be vague here,see???)
But i have to say that i usually brainstorm like a motherfucker when doing the vocals,
cause the vocals are always improvised.
Favorite writers?As in lyrics?
Fenriz comes to mind,Especially the lyrics for the "A Blaze in the Northern sky" album.I think it has lost none of its powers over the years.(You of course have to include the other two albums from the "Black trilogy")
I still remember the feeling i got when listening to "A Blaze.." for the first time.
It felt like you where participating in something ILLEGAL or something. (Indeed,he has written lots of great lyrics throughout the years. Ed)
How's the metal scene in Tromsø,any bands worth mentioning?
Oh i dont know.I thought until recently,that it was non existent.
But then i met some guys this summer, who told me the scene is getting a little better.They actually wanted us to play some gigs here,but i dont know.
If there is a metal scene here in Tromsø we are not part of it.
What i DO know,is that we are the ONLY ONES,doing this kind of stuff.
(There are actually a couple of other Black metal bands here,but I have never met them)
You are now signed after only one demo,that's not happening every day,did you just send demo's around or?
Well,we recorded the demo 21-23 January 2011,and mixed it on the 24th.
And then we uploaded the songs "Witches Tit"and "Mark of the Beast" on February 1st on youtube,and then posted links to these songs on the Scream Magazine forum.
And a lot of people(to our surprise)liked it.And after a week ,or so, we were contacted by UNBORN PRODUCTIONS who wanted to release the demo.
We were dumbstruck cause we did not anticipate this at all.
I mean,we knew the demo was good,but had no plans to release it.
We of course said "yes",and i guess this is the reason we are doing this intrview.
(I have to note Raymond ,that you were one of the first people that was interested in the band,even before we knew we would release anything.)
Have to say that working with UNBORN PRODUCTIONS was a breeze.
That guy works FAST.
Just like us HA HA
Forgot to mention that Gravlund have a"secret" member:NEMESIS MAXIMUS.He sometimes help us write lyrics.
We would like to Thank Unborn Productions and Joakim From Devil for making the cover/artwork look so cool.
Thanx for the interview
How did you come up with the name Viðr & what does it mean? To those who don't know..
-The name Viðr originally comes from my intense passion and sense of belonging to nature.
I have always felt most at home when i`m surrounded in nature.
And it gives me an intense feeling of strength,wisdom and honor.
The mysticism is something i wanted so i kept it simple and pure.
Also as i`m a Norwegian guy part of my heritage if you will (norse to icelandic) is the ð which derives from icelandic and stands for the english th. Even eth in old enlgish( middleage).
Viðr also deals with the fact that nature is the only force that is uncontrollable. Raw and honest. Hence the saying "force of nature". So f.e. folklore is a good way to use symbolism in that way.
Viðr means tree, wood or forest.
For how long have you been playing together as a band,since I know some of the members have other projects aswell...
-We have been playing together for approximately a year now (Impressive considering the outcome. Ed).
Yes that`s true. The other guys have at least one other project they are working on.
Is Vithr a "full-time" band whitch you lay all your effort in or do you see it as a side project?
-Yes! Vithr is definitely a full time band and all of my focus music and lyric wise goes into the band.
Also the rest of the guys have the same attitude that this is something to be done wholeheartedly and we are all very dedicated to our art.
By now you have some excellent demo tracks on myspace.. How has the responce been.. Any label showed interest?
-Thank you for that. Actually this is the beginning of our fullength which we will record in may 2011. Together with Bj¯rnar E. Nilsen at Conclave and Earshot studios. The respone has been great and we are very thankful for that. Any response is a good response. Yes we have a label that is interested,but i do not wish to disclose that information until the contract is signed. Any news on that note will be posted on our myspace.
5. What are the future plans for Vithr,can we expect any gigs?
We want to play live as much as we can in the future. With our first gig the 14 of april this year.
As mentioned before the fullength will be recorded may this year and is expected released 2012.
They have now played 3 gigs as far as I know,the latest one was with Taake at Hulen,Bergen. If you have the chance to see this band live don't miss it . (ed)
Duplicate records have now signed this promising act,so stay tuned! (ed)
Be sure to visit : http://www.myspace.com/vithr for latest updates!
As most people probably know by now you are soon re-releasing "Under the Sign of Hell" With a new line up except you.
This will be interesting to hear,but what I & probably the readers wonder is the reason for this? Since In my opinion it was a great album.
- It's not that much of a new line-up. As back then, me and Pest did the roles as guitarist/bassist and vocalist. And Asklund did the drums. All the hows and whys of it being re-recorded seems to me irrelevant for most people to know. I wanted to do it. That should be reason enough.
And while where on it,are you working on new material & will it be recorded/prduced in the same studio as "Quantos.. " With Tomas Aklund ?
- Yes, we are and yes it will. It will be recorded, edited and mixed in Monolith Studio and it will most probably be mastered by Mads Lindfors at Cutting Room.
As far as I've noticed you've toured alot lately,how has the response been & does the audience seem to appreciate your latest album? *cause it seems that your fans are somewhat divided in their taste of albums, some like the 3 first albums & others.. You know the story. Like with almost every well known band.
- The response has been good. As for who likes what when it comes to what we have released during the years, I find it fully understandable that different people choose different favourites. I never aim to please everyone and to the degree our expression changes over time - I never think much about such matters. I am concerned with being as satisfied as I can be on the date of release. As for beyond that point the bonds with the album should better have been broken.
When I first listened to "Quantos..." I somewhat got the feeling of beein drawn back to the "Antichrist" era. A great album by the way. Was this
something you wanted or did it just turn out that way & will continue in this direction?
- It turned out like this because it felt right. What the future will bring, the future will show.
How does the co-operation with Bøddel work out,did he quit Obituary to play as a full time member in or where there other reasons?
- you will have to ask him about these reasons.
During you're career in Gorgoroth,is there something you regret you didn't do?
-Yes, by all means. There are both things I regret I did not do and there are things I regret I did.
You've played on various records,such as Borknagar,Desecrator etc.. Are you active in any other bands now or do you fully concentrate on Gorgoroth?
- I was kind of tempted by the thought as little as a couple of months ago, as I saw an opportunity to join forces with another guy who once upon a time delivered a piece of work that made a mark upon the history of music as I know it. But I chose to keep my focus on Gorgoroth as I know there is more than enough work to get done with my band in order to get it to function on a somewhat satisfactory level.
You're running your own label "Forces Of Satan" witch is an an internet based label with digital releases,are there any chance that we'll be able to buy phsyical releases or do you see that market as dead?
- some physical releases, as you call it, are already released and can be ordered as we speak. Others have been licensed to Regain Records and Apocalyptic Empire.
This might be a stupid question ,but what do you look for when you sign bands,any special criteris?
- obviously there is. We do not do this as a charity project to help whoever out there getting signed. Above all: talent and willpower.
Ok,that's it for now.. Any last words to the readers?
Allright! Thanks for taking time to answer the questions. (The new recording of "Under The Sign Of Hell" is now available most places Ed.)
I just had to ask T.Nefas a few questions about the brilliant stuff he releases under the name Angst Skvadron.
He is also known form Urgehal & several other acts in case you didn't know..
I've always wondered how you came up with this idea.. With topics conserning drugs & aliens,it's kinda far out from what you could expect considering the
band members comes from totally different bands & now this wondeful mix of psychedlia could you explain that to to us?
I started this project some years ago, and it was supposed to be a solo project, which later turned into a full band. It was in a period in my life where I was totally fucked up on all kinds of drugs and I've always been a big fan of sci-fi movies and this resulted in a strange mix of songs and lyrics which later became Angst Skvadron.
My musical approach as far as Angst Skvadron and Urgehal and my other Black Metal bands are very different. Angst Skvadron is more my personal and paranoid self. Plus a I have the ability to express myself musically in a different and weird way compared to my black metal personality.
Are the theme based on personal experiences or is that a secret kept to you only?
Both, but mostly personal.
As far as I've noticed there have not been many gigs ecxept one local in the woods,is that on purpose,since you don't wanna go public? (refering to the
name of the band)
We haven't played much live, that's true, but we consider ourselves a live band, and it will come more live shows in the future, that being said, we have played some other gigs in Norway and a headliner festival gig in Germany last summer, which I guess is the highlight so far.
How does the "die hard" metal heads react to this band,do you think it's because the well know names or?
I expected alot of negativity from the hardcore scene, and you know theres alot of narrow minded people out there, with absolutely no tolerance of other genres than "pure fucking black metal" .That being said, I have never claimed that Angst Skvadron is black metal.
Then again, I have never cared what other people might think or say about my music, because I have total confidence in my/our material. And the fuckers out there should know that this is personal, and just as misanthrophic as any other black metal band out there. To my surprise I've actually got alot of positive feedback with this band, and I guess that's kind of nice... (Yeah,you don't want "Negativitetens Kvelertak" to catch up on you Ed.)
After releasing 2 albums & one 7" . What are the future plans of Angst Skvadron?.. Dig further into the unknown? Whitch is not a bad idea after all.
Personally I have to correct you a bit, it's actually one demo, two albums, one 7", one 10", and split 7".
First of all, focus on the new album, and booking more live shows. Plus making some new nerve-wrecking music videos. Besides from that, fill our heads with more medicine/drugs and alcohol.
Since alot of your lyrics concerns drugs and "unusual" themes for some people,what are you're opinions on drugs?
All my/our influences is a mixture of personal sci-fi/drugs/music - and other paranoid experiences mixed into one. It's up to the listener to solve the riddle and find his/her way out of the maze (of torment).
Never Stop The Madness.