My conversation with (tired) Andreas before the headline gig of Naglfar in the Frontline in Gent (Belgium). The rest of the band was also present, but with exception of Kristoffer, they didn't say anything. A few questions were asked by Wendy "Morrigan" Souvereijns.
1. OK, I've had some discussions with friends about what genre of music Naglfar plays. Some say it's a kind of melodic death metal, but other say it's more black metal. What do you call the music yourself?
-Death metal! We don't get offended if people call us black metal, it's up to the listeners, but personally we label ourselves as death metal.
2. I think that Dawn and Naglfar are some of the few good bands in the Gothenburg scene today, now that Dissection and At the Gates stopped, what is your opinion on the Gothenburg scene?
-My opinion on the Gothenburg scene? I have no opinion. There are some good bands but I'm not really into that style, so...
3. The music you play is very intense it has a lot of atmosphere in it. How do you create such an atmosphere?
-I don't know, we just come up with it. There is no specific answer for that. We just sit down in the rehearsal place and jam until we get something that sounds good enough to keep. I mean, we do a lot of riffs at home and then we arrange them together. There is no specific way of creating the riffs, we just sit down and play until it sounds good enough
4. Do you write the music seperatly at home and then come together?
-Yeah, usually we write the riffs seperatly and then we present them to the other members of the band and perhaps we alter them a little bit. In general the whole band has something to say about the riffs "no maybe we should play it like that instead…" and so.
5. And the lyrics?
-The lyrics are mostly written by Kristoffer here (who sat there smoking a giant joint). He comes up with them and presents them to us. If we like them, we keep them.
6. Can you give some short comments on your two albums? Vittra and Diabolical?
Andreas: -Well yeah… Vittra was the best we could do on that moment. I mean it's very boring to play know because Diabolical is much more faster and more extreme. But I'm proud of Vittra because, as I said, it was the best we could do at that time. But we find Diabolical better in every way. There are people who don't agree with me and say "Oh, you should have kept playing like on Vittra, but the newer material, that hasn't been recorded yet is even more extreme than Diabolical, it's getting faster.
Kristoffer: -If you have done an album, like we did Vittra, we've already done it, it wasn't a big challenge to go on and do another album in the same way. It was either to take the music slower or faster.
Andreas: -And we are all into extreme and fast music, so that was very natural. But we will still keep the melodies and stuff.
7. You already released two albums and some vinyl and there are people (including me) who think that Naglfar is one of the toppers in the genre, but yet you are not that popular. For example last time you played live in Belgium there were almost no people attending the show. Can you understand that?
-Well yeah, the people just do what they want… they want to stay home and listen to the albums. This trip is turning out really OK, we had about 100 paying customers every night. And the last time we met, we hadn't released Diabolical yet. The people didn't know the songs. I mean we got a lot more listeners with Diabolical.
8. Well do you consider Naglfar a live band or more a studio band?
Kristoffer: -We are definitely more a studio band
Andreas: -Personally I would call it a rehearsel band, because I don't like being in the studio and I don't like playing live because there are always some fuck-ups… but if it's a good gig and a good crowd, then it's fun. Otherwise it's just hard work. But it's satisfying when the crowd is appreciating the music. Then it's worth it. But studio's, I don't like them at all. After a couple of weeks, I feel like I could kill someone.
9. You said some while ago, that you already had some new material ready,
are ther already plans for a new album?
are ther already plans for a new album?
-Hopefully we will enter the studio for April for a new full-length album, but it depends… it could be earlier, we could decide to choose another studio.
10. Will it also be released on WAR?
-Yes, it will be released on WAR.
11. Wendy: Is it in the same style as Diabolical?
Andreas: It's faster I would say and there is more variation on the songs.
Kristoffer: -It more industrial in the way we play it. It's not that we choose to play with computers and stuff, but the drums and the guitar riffs are more in a industrial way...
Andreas: -At least on the newer material.
12. I heard from a friend that you once released a tape, called "Maiden Slaughter"
-It wasn't released actually… we were asked to do a cover on a Iron Maiden -song The Evil That Men Do and we got around 10000 Swedish krones or so to enter a studio and record one song and well you can do a lot more with 10000 krones. So we went at the Sunlight studio and at the same time we recorded a new song to try out the studio and also a Kreator cover. When we were going to send it to WAR-music, Jens just did a cover. Naglfar was in Iron Maiden letters and we called it Maiden Slaughter because we slaughtered that song pretty good, ha ha….
13. Are there plans for releasing it?
-It might appear on some Japanese version of a CD, or perhaps on the re-release of Vittra. It's going to be rereleased so it might turn up there as bonustracks. But we will see about that.
14. OK, let's go now to the cover-designs, Vittra is in my opinion one of the most beautiful covers of all time, the Diabolical cover is also very nice. Who has done these? And are there already ideas for the new album?
-The first cover Vittra is done by a guy called Kenneth, he has done some photo-shoots for bands like Dark Tranquillity and In Flames. It's just a friend of his who is standing in the woods, he just put some paint around it, and he did send it to us. We didn't have much time to look for another cover. WE looked at it, and said it was good, so we took it. The Diabolical cover, I actually found on artist on the internet called Ched Michael Ward. I was totally blown away by his art. So I got in contact with him. Actually the Diabolical-cover is a second version of an older piece that he has done.
15. I heard a few days ago that Diabolical was (just like Vittra) also released on vinyl (on a Pic-LP), is this a personal taste to release your stuff on vinyl or is it a decision of the record company?
-Well it's us, because we like vinyl!
16. OK, I did some research and I found out that Naglfar started out under another name: UNINTERRED. Why did you change the name? Was it musically or conceptually?
-Well we just changed the name because it sounded crappy, like shit, so we didn't want it! There is no big deal behind it. We did not change musically. We just thought that Naglfar sounded better. [Now all of the sudden attention is drawn away because they got tickets for free beer...] Oh where were I? I'm getting distracted here as soon as they (the other guys of Naglfar) went "Free beers YES" Anyway, at that time, when we were called Uninterred, Kristoffer here had a one-person project called Naglfar that was primitive black metal and so we thought Naglfar sounded better.
17. Wendy: Does it mean something?
-Yeah, actually it's the name of the ship that brings the dead to hell, It's being build of the fingernails of dead men and when it's finished (at the apocalyps) it will set sail according to Nordic Mythology.
18. There is also a German band called Nagelfar, isn't there a often a mix-up between the two bands?
-Naglfar is spelled in ancient Swedish, the original spelling, haha…
19. Some time ago there were rumours that you were going to record a mini-CD
-We were supposed to record a mini-CD, but since after the tour with Marduk, we came out of the rehearsal place and we didn't rehearse for 5 months or so and we just decided to skip that and go just full ahaid for a full-length because we don't want people to wait that long as between Vittra and Diabolical, it was a long time too. But that was also because we didn't have a drummer and so. We did almost quit at that time!
20. What kind of music do you listen to? Do you listen only to metal or also other genres?
-Personally I listen a bit to Devil Doll and Mortiis when I like to relax and also some heavy metal, old heavy metal. But mostly it's black and death metal.
21. OK, these were my questions, thanks for the interview
So this was the interview with Naglfar, in the beginning they didn't seem to be enthousiastic of doing yet another interview, but at the end their enthusiasm did grow and this made the interview a rather interesting conversation.
During the gig they had sound-problems and the throat of Jens was fucked up, but nevertheless this was one hell of a metal-night.
Thanks to Andreas, Kristoffer and Wendy for this interview.