Interview with ANGSTSKRÍG

Interview with ANGSTSKRÍG

- in Written interviews

Hej! Your new album ‘Angstkrig’ was created during the pandemic and completed as the world reopened. How did the pandemic and subsequent re-opening of the world affect the making of this album, both musically and lyrically?
Hej Stanley. Hvordan går det?
That’s right. In the latter part of lockdown the songs were composed and the instrument tracks were pretty much recorded, when all of a sudden the Danish society opened up again. In an instant all the societal pressures, we had gladly forgotten, were back on, priorities shifted dramatically and threw us into a mental crisis, which made the lyric writing and vocal recording process a living hell. But instead of letting the stress and anxieties take over completely, we used this apparent negative as a positive and turned it into the lyrical theme of the record. It was a learning experience, that’s for sure.

What was the writing and recording process like for ‘Angstkrig’, and how does it differ from your previous album ‘Skyggespil’?
Apart from what I’ve mentioned above, the processes were quite similar. As we’re only the two of us, we record in layers – drums first, then bass, guitars, vocals etc. The drums and pianos and Jøden rap section were all created in an old beautiful studio in Copenhagen. The rest was tracked at our producer Frederik Brandt Jakobsen cozy home studio. The guests record their parts at their respective home studios and send it over for mixing. Hooray for the internet.

The album’s focus is on the modern world’s inhuman pressure on humans and the mental consequences of this pressure. Could you talk about how this theme developed and how it is expressed in the album’s lyrics and music?
We are very influenced by French thinker Bruno Latour, who sadly passed away recently. Latour is very interested in questions about modernity and modern thinking, so we’ve adapted some of his points and tried to use them in our context. Compared to ‘Skyggespil’ we’ve zoomed in on the mental crises as a result of a myriad of (inhumane) pressures in our modern societies. For instance, ‘Kaprede Sind’ (‘hijacked minds’ in English) is about our hackable minds. We’re told, we’re free, but every day we are face to face with algorithms and supercomputers that in a very subtle almost invisible way make our decisions. ‘Uro’ is a compositional panic attack. ‘Luk Dine Øjne’ is about meditation. ‘Vishedens Ulidelige Lethed’ is about religions’, ideologies’, cults’ etc. contrafactual thirst for certainty.

‘Angstkrig’ is described as having a unique Nordic tone that draws from Norwegian black, Swedish melody, Danish groove, and Icelandic melancholy. How did you incorporate these different influences into your music, and how do they manifest on the album?
It just happens. We have influences from many places, so we bring all of these together in own little melting pot. Give the album a listen, and you will hear the different influences at different times. However, black metal is always at the core.

The album features guest appearances by Mendel, Nils Courbaron, Carl Mörner Ringström. How did these collaborations come about, and how did they influence the album’s sound?
They are all friends and acquaintances of the band, which is the principle behind all appearances on our records. They are obviously very gifted players, so they bring the songs to new levels. It’s amazing.

What was the inspiration behind the album’s cover artwork, created by NM.AAR, and how does it relate to the album’s themes and music?
A scroll on Instagram. And there it was. To us this creature is a fitting depiction of anxiety.

ANGSTSKRÍG‘s vision is to create music that challenges both yourselves and the listener. How does this philosophy manifest on ‘Angstkrig’, and how do you hope your music can contribute to creating a basis for a better world?
We put out a lot of small obstacles, which hopefully slow people down a bit and makes them think. Thinking is key. Real critical thinking and not the anti-vaccine cult’s “do your own research” kind of thinking. Unbiased scientific thinking.

You describe the album as “genre-fusioning”. Can you talk about how you combine different genres and influences in your music, and how this approach adds to the album’s atmosphere and sound?
We are expressing our own circumstances, which are multifaceted, and therefore our creations have a lot of different scents and flavors. It has been an exciting journey for us, and hopefully it is for the listeners as well.

The album includes the song ‘Midt i en Angstkrig’, which features a heavy, well-delivered verbal performance from Danish rapper Jøden. Could you talk about the collaboration with Jøden and how his performance fits into the album’s themes and music?
He’s a friend. And we thought it would be fun to commit the ultimate sin of black metal. So when we had a song that could fit a rap sequence, we called him up, and he worked his magic. Brilliant.

What are your plans for touring and promoting the album, and how do you plan to bring the energy and atmosphere of ‘Angstkrig’ to your live shows?
We will tour wherever we can. And by making our live shows total experiences – a feast for the ears and eyes – the energy and atmosphere will show.

Tak, vi ses senere!

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