– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with VALKYRJA?
Last November we released the new album “The Antagonist’s Fire” and two weeks later we embarked on a European tour. For the moment we´re planning 2014, so we’ll see where it will lead us. Any updates will be announced once confirmed.
– You have just released your new album, entitled «The Antagonist’s Fire». What are your expectations on it? And how is its feedback being thus far?
I don´t know what to expect these days as the music industry is pretty fucked. Although the release itself is already a victory for our side, as it is a reflection of three years of devoted work. The feedback seems good so far, but for our part the harm is already done, so that´s never of importance.
– I personally think on this new opus we can find some of the best songs by VALKYRJA to date, specially «The Cremating Fire», as it basically sums up what we can find on this new release- What’s the story behind this song?
Thank you, I agree with you as well. I see the development and the crushing of bonderies as a necessity for a every new record. Without new experiences we wouldn´t have a lot to offer. The album follows the same theme, the antagonist who with the face of death represents the opposer to life and all that it concerns. The song you´re mentioning represents the end of this civilized world.
– In fact everything on all your albums works as a whole: from the lyrics to the artwork and the music itself. I could say the death is quite present on all your opuses but, would you mind to elaborate a bit on what did you want to convey with this new record as a whole?
I think I already gave you a glimpse of this in the last answer. Anyhow, to evaluate it a bit more, what we meant with the opposer to life itself includes humans, the world and the laws and restrictions that are fed from their interaction. Death is the complete opposite state, a state of nothingness. The fire is the untamed force when it´s spread.
– And what does the cover artwork represent? How did you work on it? If I’m not mistaken the artist behind it is Cosin Chioreanu.
Yes, it´s drawn by Costin. He based it on the lyrics and themes from this album and we were involved from the first sketch. The cover illustrates the manifestation of Death, the state of complete nothing. The surrounding fires symbolize the many ways through which She works, without limitations and barriers of the worldly.
– Atmospheres also play an important role on this album. Where do you draw inspiration from to create them?
I guess, how hard you even try, it´s impossible to not be affected about your surroundings, simply cause they affect you. I made the decision to not listen to music with a similar sound to us, simply to not be affected by music is that direct way. However there are no specific inspirations to name in the creation of this album but Valkyrja itself. During these ten years we have built our platform on which we can work upon.
– This «The Antagonist’s Fire» consists of 7 songs, being the smallest number of songs you’ve had in any of your albums. Maybe this way the band’s essence is a little bit more condensed?
Since I see the album as a whole the number of tracks are of less importance. I see it as a 50 minute piece, where some songs are longer, some shorter. There´s no quota of numbers that has to be filled.
– Once more you have gotten a really powerful sound, again after working with Tore Stjerna at Necromorbus. After working there with him for several years now, are things easier? As I guess he may perfectly know what kind of sound do you want to get.
At this point both parts are familiar with each other which of course eases the process. Although, every album is still its own and is therefore treated in its unique way. To name an example the sound on “Contamination” and “The Antagonist’s Fire” is quite different, something we worked out together with Tore. I just mean that he don’t follow a premade “Valkyrja” recipe. Making an album is never easy or harmless.
– You have managed to create a balanced opus where we can find subtle melodies as well as superb riffs sucessions. Do you feel liks this is your best record to date?
It definitely is. Not to ignore the importance of the previous works, but that we´re even still here today is cause of this necessary improvement. Without
anything to express or experience within the material itself it would be nothing but a pointless drop in the ocean.
– This has been your first release with World Terror Committee after working with Metal Blade. How has the move to a smaller company been? Is it more reliable and comfortable or maybe it also has it downs, as maybe you would get a smaller exposure?
W.T.C. also released “Contamination” on vinyl so we were already in touch with them since then. The collaboration for “The Antagonist’s Fire” is still new, but so far we´re extremely satisfied. Metal Blade did their part of the deal exceptionally, but I can´t ignore that the connection to W.T.C. is better. This collaboration is only based on both parts interest in our music. As I said, it´s too early to talk about good or bad sides of this choice, but it is for sure a suiting label for us.
– All this about «The Antagonist’s Fire» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Dynamic, unpredictable and fierce.
– And finally, what are your nearest future plans? What does 2014 have in store for VALKYRJA?
We´ll focus on our live apperances and are dealing with the bookings at the time. Official statements will follow after confimation.