Sweden’s black/viking metal act Thyrfing, are back with a new album in nearly 8 years. Then, Vanagandr was out this year’s late August via Despotz records, and just one thing to mention about this release: amazing!
About Vanagandr, and other interesting stuff, I had the pleasure to interview Thyrfing’s guitarist, Patrik Lindgren, who’ve answered this interview.
Going through the singles that are already released, all I can say is that Vanagandr will be one of this year’s favorite albums…! First, what is the concept behind Vanagandr and the lyrical theme?
The concept and lyrical themes are in most way the same as on our previous albums I would say… we have always taken a heavy influence and start in the Scandinavian mythology, history and age. One of the founding ideas of Thyrfing is that the concept should always give a timeless feeling – not something that change or “grow” along with its surrounding. However, I guess to some extent it does in the end, anything else would be impossible as everything is, at least in part, affected by the people creating it. But what I in some way always wanted to achieve is that the band, its concept and atmosphere is something that always will be bigger and stand above its members and happenings in recent times. With this being said, of course we always strive to progress things and do it even better each time, while still sticking to the basic idea. If that makes sense.
What a sound! It seems to me that you’ve changed the sound a little too, than the previous releases. It is more heavier, more extreme, new elements that make this album sound so great. Do you agree with this?
Yes, I fully agree. We managed to get a better punch and a bit more aggression into everybody’s performance, while at the same time getting a very clear sound where you can hopefully hear everything that is going on, we also picked up the tempos a bit in general. I think it was a collaborative effort with everybody being involved, the band, producer, mixer, a great result that we are most happy with.
There’s the song ”Jordafärd’’, with an animated video as well, song that is bit more mellow, ’’calmer’’, what can you tell me more about this song?
Yes, it is probably one of the most stand-out tracks on the album and a little different. It doesn’t have the same intensity and number of layers as most of the other songs, but are instead focusing on other things, such as mood, emotions and being more of a “journey”. We felt quite early on that it needed to be the final track of the album as its conveying a bit different vibe, and now serves as the grand finale and ending.
And not to mention ’’Döp Dem i Eld’’, amazing track. For the video, you worked with Patric Ullaeus, which without a doubt, his work is always amazing. How was this experience with him?
Yes, it was a pleasure I must say. It was our first music video we ever did, so we don’t really have much to compare with, but we felt that we needed someone who was on top the game, as otherwise the ideas we had, and the band’s concept could easily turn into a disaster. So, we were feeling confident working with such a talented and experienced person on this and agree that the result turned out amazing.
For the artwork, you worked again with Niklas Sundin, who did great work and darker this time. What’s the tie-in between the cover and the music?
Yeah, it should fit the atmosphere of the music and lyrics of course, so we were after something dark and dramatic, while at the same time it should also be concise and striking. So, there is a balance there to be found and we did a lot thinking and back and forth regarding the artwork. A lot of work and heart from everyone involved for sure! And it was great working with Niklas again after all these years, he is a very talented artist and a great working partner, really feels that we have a good co-operation going that we should cherish for the future.
To release Vanagandr, following 2013’s De ödeslösa, have passed about 8 years. Why took it so long to record and release new music?
Many reasons I guess. But first and foremost we are in a position where we don’t have to stress anything or release something at a certain point. I guess over the years we have kind of accepted this situation and have let things take their time. We certainly don’t want to put out something, like something mediocre, just for the sake of it. For the situation we are in, 8 years is what was needed this time, and even though I am not particularly happy about the gap and can understand if it is a long and maybe frustrating wait for some people, it’s how it needed to be this time. It seems the consensus is that old and newer fans have been waited patiently and preferred a really good album before something half-a**ed being released every 2 years, which might have been the case if we were forced to constantly put out albums. Now we had the “luxury” to really give 100% attention to all the details surrounding the release and nothing was left out or done half-heartedly or stressed.
For now, is nothing sure about touring, seems there are more bands postponing their tours/shows, but once things will get back on track, are you planning to tour?
We have never been a band doing longer tours, and I can’t see that being changed with album, pandemic or not. But when it comes to festival shows, shorter tours and playing live in general it is certainly something we love and hopefully things will get back on track soon. We have some plans for local shows initially during the spring. I hope they will happen as planned, and then over time of course getting back to travelling and doing international shows again.
In your opinion, how would you describe extreme metal today? Have you discovered recently new bands?
There is certainly a flood of new bands and albums coming every week, too many to keep track of, that is for sure. But I think over time and in the long run you get the discover the ones worth hearing. It is easy to say that things were better before and that no good music is being done today, but that is not true. I think the main problem is that we simply have too many options and distractions, and not just within music. With the high accessibility listening to music is something that we do simultaneously with something else, while doing other thing(s). I plead guilty to this myself… But there is definitely good music coming out all the time you just have to find it and the time to put focus and dedication into it. I think at our side of the fence there has been some really good bands in recent years such as Skogen, Wormwood and King Of Asgard from Sweden and Havukruunu from Finland. Not sure if these can be called “new” bands though as they all released a pile of albums, ha-ha. But I think they are bands who deserves a bit more attention than what they get.
Thank you Patrik for your time having this interview, it was my pleasure. Hope to see you soon on the road. Skål!
Thank you for the interview and interest! Yeah, for sure. Let’s hope for that and that the road onwards is a good one. Skål!
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