Interview with Patrik Lindgren, 2005 March 20th// questions by Twilightheart
Hello Patrik! Thank you for answering some questions for my little magazine! I heard, you have signed to Regain Records recently. How did you get that deal? Why did you decide for this label (and why were you not satisfied with Karmageddon anymore)? What can the new label do for you, what the old one couldn’t?
We were never signed to them. Our contract with Hammerheart (pre-Karmageddon Media) ended after the release of “Vansinnesvisor”. We contacted some other labels about releasing the next album, and Regain Records felt like the best option for us. In all ways, Regain feels like a much stronger label with a strong future. Also, it feels good to be on a label from your own country when it comes to practical issues and communication.
You are working on the new Thyrfing record at the moment. Please tell me about your way of working on it. Are you all meeting up to write and practise the new songs together, or how does it work? Who writes most of the lyrics and the music for the new album?
It really differs. Some of the songs have been made by single members. Written, arranged and recorded at home, and then introduced and rehearsed with the band. But some of the stuff is also improvised and put together by jamming at rehearsals, so there are really no specific formula how we develop the songs. For the new albums all musicians have contributed to the song writing and the lyrics this far is written by me, Thomas and Kimmy.
What can you already tell about the content of the new album? What will it be like and what can the fans expect? “Vansinnesvisor” had been much more rough (and less “Viking-like”) than your previous albums. Will the new album change style again into a more aggressive direction? Or will you go back to the Viking style again maybe?
I think that those who have followed us through the years pretty much know what to expect. It will be an album in the Thyrfing tradition, even though it’s hard to say anything about the sound and details before everything is recorded and mixed. It might be slightly more melodic than “Vansinnesvisor”, but maybe the melodies are a bit more “laid back” and less “happy” than on for example “Valdr Galga”. If it’s going to be more “Viking style” as you call it, is up to other people to decide. Everybody have their own preferences… To me “Vansinnesvisor” has the most organic and aggressive sound, and also a lot of folk influences – the ultimate Thyrfing album yet in my opinion.
A lot of great bands have released new and absolutely fantastic albums recently (Primordial, Moonsorrow …) and more will follow. Does it not set you under pressure somehow? If so, is the pressure rather positive or more negative for you?
No pressure whatsoever. We’re not here for competing with anyone, but to do our own thing in the best way we can. Of course it can be inspirational if other bands in the same genre releases great albums, so I would say it’s a positive thing then. Primordial, Moonsorrow and Thyrfing are all great bands with their own sound and identity, but we do not release an album with the intention to “top” anyone, except for ourselves.
I heard, you play at Sweden Rock festival this summer. Did Thomas organize that, because he works for that magazine? Is it the first time for you to play there? Will you already introduce some of the new songs there then?
It’s our first appearance at the festival and to be honest, I don’t know how much Thomas’ role in the Sweden Rock staff affected the booking. Who cares anyway? A lot of people seem to be happy about seeing us play and we don’t get a single buck for it so … I think there will be only 40 minutes on stage, but it’s possible that we will present some new material there, but nothing’s decided yet.
Are there more European festivals on the plan (besides “Bands battle”)? Maybe some more in Germany? Which are your favourite Metal festivals in general (to play at, or as a visitor) and why?
Nothing’s booked, and I doubt there will be anything more before the album release this autumn. However, in the autumn/winter there will hopefully be more appearances in both Scandinavia and Europe. It feels a little silly naming my “favourite” festival, as I’m not a steady festival guy – neither as a visitor nor as an artist. But I have to say Wacken Open Air and Sweden Rock Festival then… unexpected, huh?
Will you do the same show like in the past years (Väänänen in the bloody outfit, spitting blood into the crowd etc.), or will you come up with some really new ideas on stage?
We haven’t really talked about it yet, but a guess is that the “show” will be similar to before. We don’t really have a budget for anything spectacular as the situation is right now. ………….. ((Personal comment of me/ Twi. about this> that`s not a bad thing, it´s in a way nice if people follow their “traditions”, if they`re good ones like yours! ;-) …..))
How (by the way) did you guys get the idea to spit blood into the fan crowd at your gigs? Was it Väänänen's wish? Is it really so much fun to do so?
I’ve always felt it’s a good thing that the appearance and the things going on at stage go hand in hand with the music and being an extension of it. Our music comes from Blood, Fire and Death right? As we currently have no wish to die and can’t afford fire … what choice do we have?
Have there ever been any fans in the crowd being totally pissed off, after being hit by the blood? ;-)
That’s possible. But none has ever confronted us about it as far as I know. What I could see with my poor German, reading all those live reviews, most people assumed it was fake blood anyway, hah!
Are you missing the touring, or does being on the road for longer times rather bore (or annoy) you?
Of course I miss it, even though it can be really dull and painful at times. As most bands on our level, I guess I have a “love/hate” relationship with touring.
Now comes the question, that EVERY interview partner has to answer (traditions, you know) > what are your best and worst (or most funny, whatever) tour memories?
Let’s see what’s left in the box … from the recent touring I mostly have good memories. But the day off in Ludwigsburg during the last tour was nice. You know sun, beer, football … and no distorted guitars or headaches whatsoever. You really appreciate those days that offer some variation to the whole thing. As being such a lazy ass I’ll pick a bad memory from the same day then: being totally overrun by the Greeks (Septic Flesh) in football! It was a warning for what to come in the European Championship I guess…
Has any of you other bands or projects going on at the moment (beside Thyrfing)? I only heard of Kimmy`s “Hatework” and Jocke`s “Rutthna” (but this seems to be dead, as the website is down). Have some of the other members’ side projects going on as well? Which styles are those (maybe you have the website links)?
Rutthna will release its debut album on Black Lodge Records this spring. The website is located at www.rutthna.tk, even though it’s down at the moment (take a guess who’s doing it?). The label address however is www.blacklodge.se. Kimmy has quit Hatework but he’s now playing in a more old school Thrash band called Celestial Pain (which have been active in Tyresö for more than 10 years) and features ex-members of Unanimated, Terra Firma etc. No website available yet (take a guess who’ll probably do it?) Henke is right now mixing the debut album of his project “Thirteenth Exile”, which is some kind of industrial/metal stuff. No website address either, I’m afraid.
But I hope, Thyrfing has the main priority for all of you?
Yeah, at least I hope so ha-ha. We’ve never really needed to talk about such things, as it’s never been a problem. The Thyrfing schedule is not that hectic, and especially “one man bands” are very flexible with theirs.
If any much more famous band (let’s exaggerate and say “Metallica”) would like to have you as a guitarist > would you leave Thyrfing for them?
The fundament of your question depends on what band it is, but if it’s Metallica – hell, yes. Give me a million and I’ll play “Master of Puppets” ‘til the day I die!
Thomas Väänänen recently stated in the Thyrfing forum, he (and Thyrfing) would never do, what people or labels tell him to (referring to the music). But let’s just imagine, a gigantic German metal label like “Nuclear Blast” would offer you a contract. All you had to do would be changing your music to songs with lyrics completely in English language only, and dress like they say for the photo shootings. Therefore you would get a guarantee, that in 5 month you’ll earn so much money that you can live from the incomes of your music for some years. Are you sure, you wouldn’t sign?
I’m sure that Thomas statement was based on the current, realistic situation and the answer to your hypothetic example is obvious. It’s always easy to talk about integrity and musical passion, but if I got the chance to live the rest of my life not having to worry about work and economy I would take it. I can’t talk for the rest of the band, but I’m pretty sure they would accept it too. And after that we can tell them to go to hell and write Swedish lyrics 24/7 for the rest of our lives ha-ha!
How important is it for you to have songs in Swedish language on your records? What keeps you from making an album in only Swedish language (or only English) so far?
I think it fits well into the concept of the band, and it also gives the songs a special feeling. Especially more lately when you can actually hear what Thomas is roaring… The new album will most likely be entirely in Swedish.
Did any of you actually study music professionally? I didn’t find any information about this on your website.
No, we’re all self-taught. Thomas went to drum class in the early years, but I don’t know if I would label that as “professionally” … or what use he would have for it in Thyrfing.
How did you personally end up playing guitar? At what age did you start playing and what have been your influences?
I started out playing bass in a band called Pantheon (where Jocke played guitar and Thomas drums). After rehearsals we used to switch instruments, which would eventually lead to the birth of Thyrfing. So I picked up the guitar at the age of 16-17.
How many hours per week (or whatever) are you practising on the guitar to improve yourself?
I’m not practicing that much except for at rehearsals, or when I write songs. I’ve given up the thought – if there ever was a thought – long time ago of being a technically skilled guitar player. Writing riffs and songs is so much more fun than to struggle with technique, theory and that kind of sh*t.
How honest actually are Thyrfings ambitions with the musical carrier? Is it all just for fun until one of you leaves the band? Or are you planning in larger categories, hoping you can go on playing in a band (recording, touring etc.) for lots of years to come… even if times should become harder one day?
If you don’t enjoy it, you wouldn’t put so much time and unpaid work into it. Simple as that. The day it all feels meaningless and the good things and feelings make up for the work, I’ll quit the band.
In Germany there’s a trend to folk and “Viking” bands at the moment . Can you see the same trend over there in Sweden? If so, do you like that change? Or is it rather frightening you?
It would neither frighten me, nor matter to me whether it would become a trend or not. As I wrote above, I care nothing for this “Viking thing”, trends or shite like that. We had that talk going on in Sweden in the 90’s, but nowadays, people seem to care more about what bands put out, instead of what they talk about. Good music, is good music, period.
Okay, so far about my question for the moment! Maybe we can talk again, when the new album is released? Thanx again for taking out some of your time!
Anytime a pleasure.
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