THYRFING

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TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE

This interview with the guitarist Patrik Lindgren of the Swedish viking metal band Thyrfing was done through e-mail in July 2002.

Hello, how are you doing?
- Hi. I´m just fine. I'm having mocca ice-cream.

Your new album "Vansinnesvisor" has recently been released, what expectations do you have on it?
- To satisfy the needs and expectations of all Thyrfing warmongers out there. Also to find it's way into other's minds and CD-players of course.

This time you decided to record with Daniel Bergstrand at Dug-Out Studios, how come you didn't use Sunlight or The Abyss as before?
- We had actually booked The Abyss studio, but we realized that we would not have everything ready in time, so we had to postpone the recording. Tommy was booked up for over a year, so we had to explore new territories. In the end, I think it was only for the best, as I think we needed an update in our sound.

Were there any guest appearances this time?
- Yep. Good ol' Toni did the clean vocals as usual. Maria Gauffin (who is the girlfriend of producer Daniel Bergstrand) did some chants and keyed fiddle, and then both producers Daniel and Örjan Örnkloo helped us out with fiddle, samplings and additional guitars.

The release date has been pushed forward one or several times, have there been any unforseen problems bothering you?
- We were not satisfied with the first mix, so after a month or so, we decided to re-mix it. There was not time to do it before late January, and the album was supposed to be released in March... Then we had very hard making up our minds about the artwork...we contacted the all the giants...O'Malley, Travis Smith...but none could make it time. But then we finally we found our guy...

Once again the cover art is very nice indeed, who was responsible for it?
- It´s Niklas Sundin of Dark Tranquillity-fame. Check out his other work at www.cabinfevermedia.com.

On "Vansinnesvisor" you have pushed the keyboards further into the background, why did you decide to head in that direction?
- It was very much our producers point of view. In the first mix, the keyboards were even more in the background. However, now with some perspective, I think the balance with guitars and synths is perfect.

You have also written many of the song lyrics in Swedish, don't you think this will refrain people from outside Scandinavia from buying your albums?
- Hopefully not. Seems like they find it quite exotic...

The "core" members of Thyrfing started playing together as early as 1994, what names and members passed through in those early days?
- Actually only one guitarist, who was a member between our first two albums, but never participated on any recording. Otherwise we've had a steady line-up.

Why did you decide to start a new band instead of just keep on working as Pantheon? Did Pantheon ever record anything?
- We started Thyrfing as a side-project beside Pantheon, so in the beginning both bands were active simultaneously. With Pantheon, we recorded two demo-tapes in '96 and '97, and participated on two compilation CDs. However, Thyrfing took more and more time and effort, so the band kind of died by itself.

How did you get in touch with Hammerheart Records? Were there any other labels fighting over you back then?
- We sent them our demo, and they liked it. We were also in contact with the now defunct Invasion Records. Seems like we made the right choice...

Now that you have released four albums do you feel that you've got the hang of the music business and that everything works much more smoothly than before?
- Haha...rather the opposite. In the beginning everything was so easy and simple...now it´s just more stuff to keep track and take care of, more indepth contracts, publishing, lots of interviews, promotion etc. etc.

Which of your albums are you must proud of and why? Which song is the best you have ever recorded in your opinion?
- I am very proud of all our albums, but naturally you feel most proud of your latest album. I´ve always got that feeling after a recording, and I´m sure most musicians feel the same thing. At the moment I think the best song is "Kaos återkomst".

Thyrfing is not exactly known for extensive touring activities, is this because of you or the label? What do you think about playing live?
- Mostly due to us, and our lack of interest and undertakings outside the band. HHR would let us tour a lot if it was only up to them.

What is going on with the side projects of the band members such as Hatework and Winds?
- I think Winds is resting by now. Hatework is rehearsing, but I don´t really know, what will come out of that...

Do you know what Vintras has been up to since he left Thyrfing?
- Probably smoking cigarettes and collecting benefit from the state...

Peter Löf I believe is the most "mysterious" member of the band. Has he ever been active in any other musical projects outside of Thyrfing?
- Haha...mysterious? Well, he recorded a demo under the monicker Spellbound (back then unaware of the swedish glam-band strolling around in the 80's). It was pure synth-music, quite medieval... However some of those riffs, ended up on the "Valdr Galga" later on...

The band is heavily into the Norse mythology and pagan way of life, was this why Thyrfing came to life in the first place or do the two go hand in hand?
- It was our basic thought for concept and lyrics when we started the band, yes. However, I can´t say my interest for it has increased due to the band.

Are you involved with any pagan activities? Do you feel that this mentality plays an important part in your lives in general?
- No, I´m not active. I would not call myself a pagan either. Not in the true sense of word. who actually does?

Folk music and metal obviously work well together and there have been many new bands formed in the 90's like Otyg (R.I.P.), Suidakra, Primordial and Cruachan just to mention a few, what do you think of this? Do you like any of these bands?
- Yes, of course I like the mix of folk and metal. Have you listened to the new Thyrfing-album? Otyg and especially Primoridal are gods (to the godless). Cruachan have some cool songs, and they seems to be really nice people, but I would not call myself a fan of them. I haven't listened enough to Suidakra to give an opinion.

You are obviously heavily influence by the epic works from Bathory, are there any other bands who have an important place in the musical development of Thyrfing?
- In the beginning I would say norwegians like Storm, Hades and Satyricon... later on we've taken a lot of influences directly from the scandinavian folk music, along with epic soundtracks, classic music etc.

What are your top five albums of all time?
- Metallica "Master of Puppets", Slayer "Reign in Blood", Bathory "Hammerheart", Dissection "Storm of The Light's Bane" and Deicide "s/t".

What plans and goals do you have for the nearest future?
- We are currently negotiating about some shows in the Benelux-area...we'll see what comes out of that. Of course also write some new tunes...

Now to my very own right or wrong section. You are just going to tell us whether you think the following acts would be right or wrong:

- Ok. I'll leave my answers without comments, but keep in mind that this is from my personal point of view and current state of mind. And I could understand/accept if people really involved in an extreme situation would think differently.

a) If someone killed Hitler prior to his mass murder campaigns.
Right

b) To burn down a church because it's "evil".
Wrong

c) To burn down a church because it represents oppression.
Wrong

d) Sado-masochism.
Wrong

e) Death penalty.
Right

f) To lie if it will be of benefit to yourself.
Right

g) Censorship.
Wrong

h) Religion.
Wrong

i) Communism.
Wrong

Any final words for your fans?
- Check out the new album, and visit our soon revamped homepage at www.thyrfing.com. Skål!


Links of interest:

Thyrfing
Hammerheart Records