Sunday, November 8, 2015

Vingulmork Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

First of all, thanks for your interest in Vingulmork! We really appreciate the support! We are a Norwegian band, and we play aggressive blackened thrash with loads of energy. We love playing live shows, and we like to think that our concerts emit a sense of metal aggression combined with the feeling of togetherness you get at a great metal show! I guess you could say that Vingulmork is a result of many things. Martin and Simen, the guitarist and drummer, are brothers and we are all friends, going way back. We enjoy spending time together not just in rehearsals, but in the pub, drinking beer, listening to Slayer, basically all the great things that metal brothers do! What drives us as a collective is the love for metal, and there is a great sense of togetherness in the shared passion for writing, listening to and living metal. We try to take all the great stuff from both metal and life in general and put it into Vingulmork, and so far it's working out!

2.So far you have released an ep and have your first full length coming out in November, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings?

The first EP, which was self released, was kind of a demo which made it to a sort of CD release handed out on concerts and put out on the internet. It's quite rough, yet I think it has a bit of a "coldness" quality to it. It was a good starting point for us, and we were still trying to find our platform to stand on. I think you can hear the progression from the first EP to our full length debut "Chiaroscuro". We didn't really try to do anything differently, but as is the case with most bands, you progress your sound, your song writing, your lyrics and your live performance. I think Chiaroscuro is more accomplished in these regards. We tried to focus on what felt right to us, the authenticity if you will, and writing songs that encapsulates aggression and energy. We also like to stick some melodies into the mix, so there is plenty of that as well. If I was to describe the music on Chiaroscuro, I would call it blackened thrash that sometimes dives into both classic heavy and death metal!

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

The name of the album "Chiaroscuro" is a term that is used to describe contrasts between light and darkness, used to portray emotion and atmosphere in works of art. And that sums up the lyrical topics perfectly. The lyrics tell stories of human kind when faced with huge challenges. The adaptability, the frailty, the strength and weakness and the fact that life gives and takes, regardless of how you live it. There is anger and aggression in the lyrics, of course, and the rejection of all dogmatic limitations on how to go through life is a central theme. We put a lot of effort into the lyrics. While we have great respect for bands taking on religion and the naive dogma of religious rule, we wanted to do something different. It's not about what's expected from a band playing blackened thrash metal. It's about what we care about, and what we want to do!

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Vingulmork'?

First of all, we thought Vingulmork sounded great! It has a great tone when you say it out loud, plain and simple. Also, it says something about our heritage and background, as it is the old Norse name of the area of Norway where we come from.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Two shows come to mind. One of our earliest shows was at an outdoor festival in Norway, called Alenfestivalen. This festival is pretty weird, and the bands playing vary from hippie bands with tambourines and flutes, to black metal and death metal. The festival moves around from year to year, and the location is not really advertised anywhere. It's always in a forest somewhere, though, so the atmosphere is usually pretty great. Anyways, we played this festival a few years back, took the stage at midnight, and had such a great time. People were banging their heads, and we just got into a really good thing with everyone there. It was amazing. Also, we recently supported Enslaved for one concert on their recent Norwegian tour. That was awesome for us, since Enslaved, obviously, is one of the most legendary Norwegian metal bands. The show took place in my home town, so that was pretty special too. Lots of people came to the gig, and we had a great time. Our live shows are really energetic. There aren't really any breaks. We try to go out all guns blazing, and just kill it. We love playing live, and I think that shows! I think the most important factor for a successful concert is that you enjoy yourself, don't worry too much about anything and just immerse yourself in the experience.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

Yes indeed! We are playing a release concert on the date of release, November 13th, with label mates Arkentype. That will be a good night and of course a huge party. Also, we will do a release celebration on January 16th, in Oslo. We really wanted to play Oslo again, so we booked a small venue, invited all our friends, so that should be really epic. And then, in the end of February, we go to Russia for a ten date tour, together with a couple of other really cool extreme bands. After that, there will be a few gigs here and there, and hopefully some festivals, before we do another tour in the fall. We haven't booked this yet, but we are aiming for continental Europe and the United Kingdom. 

7.The new album is going to be released on Crime Records, can you tell us a little bit more about how you came in contact with this label?

Crime Records is from my area, so I had heard about them before we started working with them. Basically, I contacted them, told them a bit about Vingulmork, our plans and ambitions, and from there it just went really fast. We had the recording pretty much done, and Crime liked it. The guys in the label are really approachable, and they do a great job for us. We are very happy with them. I think the most important thing is that the label is run by metal fans. They are in it heart first, and that means everything!

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and thrash metal?

So far it has been amazing. We are overwhelmed by the response we are getting. Lots of people have gotten in touch with us through social media, and the reviews of Chiaroscuro have so far been really, really good. Most importantly, when we play concerts, people are very excited about us, and there has been so much praise and good words after concerts. As I am sure you've understood, playing concerts really is our main thing that we love doing, and we pride ourselves in doing great shows for the people who pay money to come see us. Therefore, all the positive feedback to our music and concerts is really important to us!

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

It's hard to say, really. But we will definitely always be a hard hitting, energetic extreme metal band. You won't see us suddenly releasing a prog album, introduce a DJ on electronics or any such garbage. I hope that we will continue progressing, getting better and better, and keep churning out aggressive music that you can bang your head to!

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Influences come from all over the place, but obviously, all the great classic bands have been important for us. Personally, I have been a metal fan all my life, starting with Iron Maiden when I was just six or seven years old, and then moving on to thrash in the late 80's and early 90's. I discovered death metal in the 90's, and that is my main genre these days. Having made that journey has been important to me, as it means I have a quite wide taste in metal. Being Norwegian, black metal has made an impact on me as well, but I think the really good bands are few and far between to be honest. Lately, I've been listening to a lot of Blood Red Throne, Skeletonwitch and Inanimate Existence.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

I play games. That's what I do when I'm not doing music.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Yeah! Thanks for reading this, it means a lot! Also, check out our facebook, and our videos on youtube. Our debut full length "Chiaroscuro" is out on November 13th on both CD and LP. Hope to see all of you on the road some day!