On Friday the 12th of January I had the pleasure of speaking with Christian, the guitarist and band leader of German viking metal band Thrudvangar. Their newest album, Walhall, released in late 2006, has been well received by fans and critics alike; their 1st album, 2004's Ahnenthron, has just been re-released with bonus video features. Despite a somewhat bad phone connection and sizable language barrier Christian and I had a great chat! Here are some highlights:
-Do you write most of the band's music or do you all write together?
The lyrics are written by our singer, Matze, and the music of our songs we make all together.
-In most of your songs, your music is about Asatru and the Viking religions. Do you believe in this religion or is it just stories and myth?
I believe it; we all believe. We think it's a better religion [than] Christ religions and we [write] that in our songs. We believe it.
I've been translating some of the lyrics from Walhall but haven't translated the lyrics to (previous album) Ahnenthron. Are they also about Asatru?
Yes, the album is also from the Nordic music. Ahnentron is a text about a king from Scandinavia, yes it's about a king of the clan. And it's about our forefathers.
-Oh wow. So what was it like recording the album Walhall?
We have our own little studio and we had enough time. We have no stress.
-No pressure from the label then?
No, no, there was no pressure.
-Oh good. How did you meet the other band members then?
We're all friends for a long time ago, since 20 years. Before, Thrudvangar was 4-man band and our old singer was also bass player and he leaves the band for 2 years [ago] and then came our new singer, 2nd guitarist and new bass player, also old friends; so that's no problem to get people into the band.
-You have a tour coming up with Nomans Land. What is your favourite part of touring and playing live?
It's the party! The party is the biggest on tour and to play shows, really the party afterwards. To talk with the fans, and so after the show we go not backstage we go before the stage and talk with the people, it's more fun.
-Do you usually only play with other Viking metal bands or do you play with different style bands?
We play with every style of metal. We have also played with black metal bands, we have played with death metal bands, there's no stress to play together with other metal bands.
-Do you guys listen to a lot of metal?
Yes, of course.
-What are some of your favourite styles and bands to listen to?
Favourite bands are like, Bathory of course, bands like Amon Amarth.
-What about non-metal? What styles do you enjoy?
I also like rock music, like Ramones, I like Ramones, not only metal. In our band we like all kinds of metal types like black metal, death metal, rock, grindcore. It's all in the band.
-When did you learn to play the guitar?
Ooh, I've been [playing] for 16 years, I was 14.
-Do you play other instruments?
No I don't. Our keyboard player, Andreas, he plays guitar; not in the band, for himself, at home.
-Do you have other bands that you play with?
No. Our second guitarist, Kanne, he was playing in another band, a death metal band, but now in time nobody is in other bands.
-So now that Walhall has been recorded and released are you already starting to write new music for another album?
Yes. We are now writing new songs; we have 5 new songs and we are bringing out this year a new CD.
-Can you tell me anything about the album or is it still pretty new and secretive?
Oh, it's no secret *laughs*. We haven't a title for this album at this time. Until we have finished all the songs and then we make up ideas for album title.
-Okay. Will the songs also be about the Asatru religion?
Yes, we wouldn't change the meaning.
-Is there anything else you want to tell the Metal Storm readers about Thrudvangar before we go?
I hope we can see you all on our concerts!
-Great! Well, thank you so much for calling!
Thank you also for this interview!