Hi there. Congratulations to your great comeback album “Norron”. Please describe the reactions to the CD so far.
Thanx a lot. The feedback has been pretty massive, to put it mildly. It’s a pretty big relief after all this time to see such great reviews. You never know how your work will be received, and even if it’s difficult to make everyone happy, the feedback has been almost overwhelming. Great to be back
With the last album "Blot" had you a great album. Einherjer was one of the constants in the Norway's Metal scene, nevertheless after “Blot” came the split up of the band. What was happens?
We just had enough of the whole thing, and felt that we needed to do something else for a while. “Blot” was a great album, and it’s only appropriate to go out with a bang. It’s definitely a worthy swansong for Einherjer.
When the idea came to reunion the band and what are the reasons?
After we dissolved Einherjer, we started a new band called “Battered”. This is a Thrash act, as we wanted to do something completely different. We were able to release one album, and we had a lot of fun on the road with that band. I guess we started to see things in perspective. We missed composing music for Einherjer, and all the reasons we had for quitting Einherjer became dim and not as significant I guess. Time heals all wounds.
If you look back on your career, what are the differences to the old and new Einherjer?
I think that’s a difficult question, because I think all our albums have their own identity. We’ve been operating with three different vocalists during our career, and that has a pretty big impact on the sound. I think we’ve also developed our compositions to be more and more complex and detailed, and concentrated on complete arrangements opposed to riff-based songs as we did earlier. The keyboard parts have also become a lot more planned in detail on late recordings, to give it a bit more symphonic aspect. I think that development has come gradually, even though our albums are pretty different from each other.
We come to the album "Norrøn" now. Tell us a little of the album creation process. There are little stories or curiosities to report?
We’ve had plenty of time to decide in which direction we wanted to go on “Norrøn”. In terms of all our other albums, we also wanted this one to stand out with an identity of it’s own. I guess you could say that “Norrøn” is rooted more in the old Einherjer stuff, at least in terms of simplicity. “Norrøn” contains both old and new material. Some stuff from the “Blot” era, some even older stuff, but the majority of the material is new. We recorded it in Frode’s own studio, “Studio Borealis”, so we had no time limits during the recording. Well, except for the fact that a lot of people were waiting for the album. That gave us time to try out many different approaches, and to experiment on the general sound. We wanted “Norrøn” to have a more natural, acoustic feel than our later work. The mix was done by Matt Hyde, and he also added a gritty texture to the sound.
What is the message of “Norrøn” and how would you describe your the music on this?
We’ve never had any particular message with our work, we only tell stories. And we try to make the stories come to life through the music. “Norrøn” definitely has the Einherjer aura, even though we’ve used different elements than on for example “Norwegian Native Art” and “Blot”. We’ve tone down the symphonic parts a bit, and focused more on vocal/choir arrangements and acoustic guitars.
My favorites songs are " Norrøn kraft“, “Naglfar” and “Balladen om Bifrost". Can you tell us something about this songs and their history?
We’ve wanted to make a big epic piece like “Norrøn Kraft” for a long time, and it seemed like a good idea to include it on the reunion album. It’s a song that contains both old and new stuff, and it’s a good way to show what Einherjer represents today. A perfect starter for the album. Unlike “Norrøn Kraft”, “Naglfar” picks up the pace a little, but it still has the same dark ominous feeling with a bit more rock‘n’roll feeling added to it. This was mainly composed by Aksel, but I’ve added some parts to it as well. “Balladen om Bifrost” is like the title says, a ballad. By Einherjer standards off course. It’s also a song very inspired by Bathory, and a tribute to Quorthon.
Which are YOUR favorite song from the album and why?
It’s difficult to pick favorites, even though “Balladen om Bifrost” makes my blood rush a little bit. It’s a very emotional and atmospheric piece.
Are there some lyrics that are special to you? Tell us something about them.
I don’t want to go into detail about the lyrics, as I haven’t written any lyrics on “Norrøn”. They deal with the same topics as before, the Norse myths and our pre-christian history. This time we decided to have them all in Norwegian, and in our own local dialect. In my opinion it increases the albums authenticity.
How and why did you choose the album cover? Is there a certain meaning behind it? Who designed this?
The album cover was painted by Renathe H. Bryn, and the layout was done by Marcelo Vasco. Even though I see a clear link to the world tree in the Norse myths, others might have a totally different view. People see what they wanna see, and I instantly saw Yggdrasil with flames looming in the background. The image itself is very strong, and we thought it was perfect for “Norrøn”
Where do you get your inspirations for songwriting and how is the process in your band for this?
Musically for me, I get inspiration from all types of music. 70’s and 80’s rock and metal, classical music a la Grieg, filmmusic, and epic music in general. The material we’re writing about is also a great inspiration. The Norse myths and our history. We’ve never been very much into jamming in Einherjer. We usually make ideas, and even complete sketches of songs, and we present them to each other. Then we take it from there by making adjustments until we’re all happy.
Any plans for further albums of Einherjer and how is it with appearances on stages in Europe and special in Germany?
We will make another album in time yes, but we haven’t started the discussions and the planning yet. Right now, all our focus is on “Norrøn”, and spreading the gospel. Concerning liveshows, we don’t have anything planned this year for Europe outside Norway. I know that we will do Ragnarok in Germany next year, and hopefully some more festivals in Germany and central Europe in general.
How important is it for you to play live on stage?
Well, it is very important in order to promote our new album, and Einherjer in general. As we get older, it is important to get our priorities straight. We don’t have time to tour as much as we’d like to, as we have our own personal obligations. We also do this for the experiences along the way, and we get to visit many interesting places.
Do you still watch other bands play? Have there been some shows lately that impressed you?
When we played Summerbreeze this summer, I got a little glimpse of swedish Graveyard. They convinced me, that’s for sure. They got a stage presence most bands lack in abundance. Awesome band, and a great show.
Please name some lately released CDs that you like to listen to at home.
A Dramatic turn of Events by Dream Theater is a fantastic new album, and the new Opeth is also great. And maybe not brand new, but Gap Var Ginnunga by Wardruna is immortal stuff. I’m listening to the new Taake right now, pretty cool stuff.
How is your opinion over the Viking Metal scene in Norway? What makes the difference between the scene in the past and the present?
I’m not very much in touch with that scene at all, so to me it looks exactly the same as before. If there’s any band in the genre I’d listen to, it has to be the good old ones like Helheim, Enslaved and Windir (not exactly Viking Metal, but closely related). Many new bands have emerged, but I’m not too familiar with them. It seems to me that this scene has grown more in other countries like Germany for example, than in Norway.
We'd like to know something about the underground in your hometown. Are you still in touch? And if so: Where do you hang out? Are there some yet unknown bands that you like?
My hometown is a pretty small place, only about 35000 people, so the scene there is pretty small concerning metal bands in general. Haugesund is pretty terrible when it comes to nightlife for metal people. There’s only two places that they sometimes play some rock and metal. The metal scene and the metal fans in the Haugesund area has increased in the later years, much thanx to the hardworking people in the Karmøygeddon festival. Many cool bands have been visiting our town lately.
Still three questions to go. What do you think of Metal web magazins?
I think webzines are a great thing, as long as there are the same editorial demands to them as to those in paper format. Internet is here to stay, and webzines are available to everyone. It’s a great promotional channel for bands, and it’s easy to reach across all borders. I haven’t had time to reflect on what’s good, and what’s not so good, as there’s so many of them.
Is there something that you have never been asked but always have been eager to say?
I like turtles!
We are looking forward seeing you in Germany. Best wishes to you all. Any last words?
Thanx a lot. We love Germany, and we’re looking forward seeing you guys on our upcoming shows. Cheers!
Thanks for your time to answer the questions. I wish you all the best for the future!
Einherjer into the net:
Dragons Of The North – 1996
Odin Owns Ye All – 1998
Norvegian Native Art – 1999
Blot – 2003
Norrøn – 2011
Frode Glesne – Vocals, Guitar
Aksel Herloe – Guitar, Bass
Gerhard Storesund – Drums Keyboard