Hello Patrick, this is Steffi from Metal Glory, a German Webzine. Thank you for taking time and I hope you enjoy answering the questions. Let’s start:
It was 1999, when a friend of mine gave me the "Valdr Galga" Promo. This year most of you were at the age of 20, like myself... Now, six years later there will be your sixth release called "Farsotstider". How does this feel? What does it mean to you?
It feels great that we’ve been able to stay together and being around for 10+ years now. We’ve put out 5 full-length albums (+ 1 demo compilation), and I think despite the quiet long absence between “Vansinnesvisor” and the new one, we must be counted as “productive” band when it comes to releases.
My first feelings about "Farsotstider" were a very irritating mixture between surprise and astonishment. Somehow this new stuff sounds much darker, slower, but with some old, characteristic elements, which stands for THYRFING. I mean these melodic parts (Synthesizer)… How would you describe your development?
I think our last album (“Vansinnesvisor”) was the biggest step we’ve taken as a band, as it showed a much darker and heavier direction, both when it comes to the lyrics and music. On this new one, I’ve heard a lot of comments that it’s a mixture of that album and the older stuff, i.e. it’s more melodic. I must say I agree this new one has more direct melodies than “Vansinnesvisor”, but still I’d say they have a lot in common when it comes to production and atmosphere.
What’s "Farsotstider" about? Is it a concept record? What do you want to say/ express with it (any “intentions”?)? Please tell us about the idea behind each song. What is it dealing with? Why are all songs now sung in Swedish?
Just as with our previous efforts, “Farsotstider” is not a concept album in the true sense of word, even though the lyrics go in hand with each other, when it comes to topics and use of words and language. The lyrics are dark observations written with metaphors, references and language tightly connected to the Scandinavian mythology and folklore. In a way, the lyrics reflects your current state of mind and thoughts, but they shouldn’t be analysed to deeply… I mean, foremost they’re an extension of the music, and should go in hand with the general atmosphere and feeling. We are no spoken word performers. On the later albums, I think more lyrics has a personal meaning to the ones who have written them than on the previous albums, but it’s nothing that I’ll try to explain.
Which THYRFING Album you prefer most? Maybe the first one "Thyrfing" because it was the first full-length Album? Or "Valdr Galga", because most of the songs were sung in English...Is there some story you associate with one of your releases? Maybe you can comment in short words these releases?
The first album, and it will of course always mean a lot to you. We were totally inexperienced when it comes to real studio recording, so we didn’t had that much input on the final result, except of writing the songs, of course. The material for this album was written between 1995-1997, so it really shows the early days of the band. Today I really like some details in the production, and of course it has a great nostalgic value for us.
This was the album that quite “made us a name” in the scene, got some big coverage in the metal press and also the one that opened the door for making gigs abroad. Musically this is really over the top, when it comes to usage of synthesizers and symphonic arrangements. Without a doubt our most melodic and “easy listened” album. Some of the songs are really good, but I don’t have that much for the production when I listen to it today… it simply lack all the balls needed.
In retrospective, I think this is the weakest Thyrfing album, still I know it’s many peoples favourite. Just as “Valdr Galga” the production is a little weak, and nothing is subtle or gently presented in the music… it’s just everything straight in your face, ha-ha. It has its moment, but it’s not an album I would listen to today.
Definitely a big step for the band. Song writing, production, arrangements, and performance… everything was on a new level. A great album, which I think has stood the test of time, and definitely an album, I still enjoy listening to today.
Generally, asking a musician what is his favourite album is meaningless, as 99 % will answer the last release. It simply shows where you are at the moment, and what you want to create for the time being. I can’t say that I’m ashamed of any album, but naturally your latest work is closest to your heart.
And why did you let your two first Demos be re-mastered (Solen Svartnar and Hednaland) on "Hednaland"?
At the time they were released, there was quite a big demand for the demo tapes. As we were not interested in making more copies of the tapes ourselves, we thought it might be a good idea that our record label made them available on CD.
One could say you are the pioneers creating this style called “Battle Metal”. What would you say about that? Do you think you created some new style in the Metal scene?
I don’t think we’ve created a specific style rather than our own. I think we are quiet an original band, and have our own style, but I don’t care much for labels such as “Viking”, “pagan”, “battle” or whatever…
In the last years there was a real flood of new Viking/Pagan Metal bands. What do you think about this new hype? Where does this Viking myths come from and why is this so up to date these times?
It goes in periods I guess. When we started up, there were quite some bands that used this theme, used native tongue lyrics etc. Then I think many bands disappeared or simply changed the concept during the new millennium. Maybe there’s a new interest for it right now, I don’t know. To be honest, I have to admit I don’t keep that much track of new bands, but of course I know the ones who’re still around from our days.
What are your goals? Where are you heading? Do you still have any dreams left you want to reach or how do you feel after 10 years in Metal business?
I wouldn’t say we have any specific goals for the band left to reach. Releasing good albums, play a few gigs… that’s pretty much what we want to do. I’m pretty content with the situation as it is right now.
Do you still feel being a part of the Swedish Metal scene? With which bands do you have more contact?
Of course we are a part of the scene, but in a different way than when we started out. Back then, trading demos, flyers etc. was an essential way of making your name heard. Today with the Internet, and a record label in your back you don’t have the same need to interact with bands, still as a music fan, I’m always open for hearing new and interesting music and bands.
And where do you see yourselves in 10 years?
Dunno, impossible to say. Maybe everybody in the band has families and has sold their instrument, maybe not? Time will tell. Thinking 10 years ahead is a thought that gives shivers…
Do you have to work besides the band or can you live by the music? What jobs do you have? What have you learned?
No, we all have jobs outside the bands. For myself, I work at a translation agency. Thomas is editor and co-owner of Sweden Rock Magazine, Henke is a graphic designer, Peter work as a constructor, Kimmy as a decontaminator, and Jocke is driving a wheel loader.
What do you think about the mixture of styles these days (e.g. Metal and Hardcore)? Is this a good development creating new interesting bands or are you fans of “sticking to the roots”?
I really bands who dare to experiment, mix styles and come up with own and interesting sounds. However, that is never a guarantee that the band is good, so it’s different from band to band I think. I also like some bands that always “stick to their thing”, but much of the new music I enjoy are crossover acts.
Thank you very much for taking time and best wishes for you and upcoming "Farsotstider"!
Thank you for the interview.