Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Manegarm Interview

1. Can you give us a brief history of the band!
Manegarm started up in Norrtälje, a small town near Stockholm, in Sweden 1995. At that time we played some sort of raw, primitive black metal but since a couple of years our music has developed into Viking/Pagan metal (as people like to call it) of some sort. Manegarm contains of these following bastards: Erik Grawsiö-Vox & drums, Jonas Almqvist-Guitar, Markus Ande’-Guitar, Pierre Wilhelmsson-Bas, Jan Liljekvist-Violin, flute (since -08 we have Jacob Hallegren as our live drummer). Up ‘til this day we have released 5 full-length albums and one acoustic EP.

2. How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before!
The best brand of Viking Metal!! =)
The “Manegarm metal” can maybe be described as some sort of melodic death/black metal with a lot of folk music influences and we use a lot of violins, flutes and clean vocals in our music. The music is often quite varied; from fast/groovy/powerful metal riffs to soft/atmospheric/acoustic parts.

3. How many line up changes have you gone through over the years!
In the demo years, -96, -97, we changed vocalists two or three times and guitarist once and in -99, when we recorded our 2nd album, we fired our former singer. After that we haven’t had any line-up changes.

4. Are any of the members involved with other bands and if so who are they and what kind of music do they play!
Some of us had other projects going before but not anymore. The exception is Janne, our violinist…he is always involved in a bunch of different music projects of all sorts.

5. I have noticed over the years the music has gotten less primitive and more melodic and folkish is that going to continue on the next releases!
Your right about that, it’s less primitive nowadays. I think that we have improved and developed our music in many ways over the years; we have slowed down the pace a bit and the music is more melodic with more violins and other traditional instruments. First of all I think that we write much better songs these days and that is because we put lots of effort in making good arrangements. Back in the days we just wrote the songs and that was it….just lots of guitar riffs but no actual idea…Along the way you become a better and more serious musician and composer and Manegarm today is a result of that I think.Our next album will be a bit harder; more powerful, maybe a little bit rawer, and with less acoustic and soft parts. Some people may think that we have picked up some good, old energy from the old days…Our intention was to make a powerful and direct album that sticks to your head right away. But it sounds Manegarm, that‘s for sure. The traditional Manegarm ingredients with melodic and folkish stuff are there once again to embrace all you listeners.

6. Are there any plans for a u.S Tour, you have plenty fans out here would like to see you play!We’d love to do a U.S tour, it would be really, really great. Right now there are no plans for that unfortunately but we’ll see what the future holds…

7. What are some of the best shows that you have played and which crowds were the best or craziest!
We played the Heidenfest tour last year together with Primordial, Finntroll and others and there were some really goods shows then…Paris was totally crazy, probably the best crowd we ever played for and Budapest was also 10/10. Often good crowds and good gigs go hand in hand. When the crowd is that great you play at your best!!!

8. What are your main influenced music wise or non music wise!
Inspiration and feeling when making music comes out of my personal mood I think. Sometimes melodies and riffs just come by it self and sometimes it’s a little bit harder to come up with something that will work… I can also get ideas when listening to music of course, but I don’t just mean metal music. Actually I don’t listen much to black, death or Viking metal, I mostly listen to good, old heavy metal. I can get good ideas and inspiration from any kind of music and I think that is very important if you want to develop your music and as a musician and composer…

9. What are you listening to these days and what new bands would you recommend!
Right now I’m listening to Deep Purple’s Stormbringer. It’s a great album and with David Coverdale on vocals you can’t ask for more…The best singer ever!!I’m also starting to get my Running Wild cravings I’ve noticed lately. I get that sometimes and when I do it’s really time for some Black Hand Inn, Death or Glory or some other amazing Running Wild album. Always recommended!!!!!

10. How would you describe the lyrical content of the band!
The Norse mythology, our heritage and ancestors are subjects and themes that have interested and fascinated us from the start and that’s what our lyrics are about basically. The lyrics are based on true ancient stories as well as they can be fantasy stories.

11. What rules does the Norse Gods, Asataru and Paganism play in your music and lifestyle!
The Norse mythology, asatru is important for us and is a very big part of the Manegarm concept. I find these themes really interesting and fascinating. It has no bigger impact on my personal life though; I don’t practice our old customs so to speak... Pierre on the other hand does. He’s really into it and practices our old ancient customs on a regular basis. He’s sons name is Viking, which says it all doesn’t it! =)

12. Are there any plans for any future releses!
Hell yeah!! Our new album will hopefully be released somewhere in May this year. Prepare for the best Viking metal release in 2009!!!!!!!!!!!

13.What are some good books or films that you would recommend!
Right now I’m reading a book called Fast Cash. It’s about Swedish criminals, mafia like societies and everything that comes with it. I’ve just started reading it but it seems like a good book so far. I have no films to recommend really….seems like they don’t make any good films these days.

14. How would you describe the black/viking/pagan/folk metal scene in Sweden and what are some good bands that you would recommend from that country!
I guess that Amon Amarth counts as a Viking metal band, they sing about Vikings anyway, and they are really, really big today and tour all over the world so that’s cool. Thyrfing is also a good band from Sweden. They released their new album a couple of months ago and joined us on the Heidenfest for two gigs. Really nice guys!! Besides from these bands and Manegarm of course, it is no Viking/Pagan metal scene in Sweden to talk about...What goes on with the black metal scene I have no idea and I really don’t care…

15. Any final words!
Buy our new album “Nattväsen” (night creatures) if you want to experience the best Viking metal album ever =)Out in the stores in May 2009!!!! =)

16.Thanks for the interview!
Thank you!!

// Erik – Manegarm

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