HEIDEVOLK (Eng.)

Hi Sergio, Joris answering your questions. Thanks for your interest in Heidevolk 🙂

 

– Hello, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to?

At the moment I’m trying to get warm. Just got home after a visit to Niels, our old guitar player. It’s rather cold here, so some typing should at least get my hands warm, hehehe. With the band we’re currently busy rehearsing the new songs these days, and preparing ourselves for the upcoming Paganfest tour.

 

– First of all, would you mind to make some history of HEIDEVOLK?

We formed in 2002 in our hometown Arnhem. We all had similar ideas for a new band and met at concerts and of course the pub. We started writing and soon we had enough material to take to the stage. Now for some stats: 10 years later, we released 3 CDs, 1 EP, replaced 4 people from the original line-up and did 4 European tours. We’re about to release our new CD ‘Batavi’ and go on tour once again. It never gets boring! At least not for us, hahaha.

 

– And why did you pick the name “Heidevolk”?

“Heide” means “heath”, and to us symbolizes the countryside and the old ways. We have quite a bit of heath lands where we live. “Volk” means –you guessed it- “folk”, and it refers to us. So it translates as “people of the heath land”.

 

– You will soon release your brand new effort, “Batavi”; what are your expectations with it?

With “Batavi” I think we’ve proven to be able to stretch uur boundaries, not just in terms of music but also production. As a result I expect this records will appeal to people that have not traditionally been into folk metal and also people that feel folk metal is getting to be more of the same these days. Other than that, I expect to deliver these songs with a lot of energy live as the news songs get our blood pumping like mad!

 

– And how could you describe this new album in just 3 words?

Pride, war, melancholy. (Shortest interview answer I ever gave, hehehe!)

 

– “Batavi” is a conceptual album so, to start getting a bit deeper into it; could you please elaborate on its concept?

The album deals with the early history of the Batavian tribe, from its inception in the first century BCE till their revolt against the Roman empire in 69/70 CE. The Batavians originally came from modern-day Hessen in Germany, before travelling to our lands where they encountered the Romans. After allying with them they served in their army, and eventually conspired against them with other Germanic tribes along the river Rhine. The album is made up of nine songs which deal with chapters in this history. We included liner notes in the booklet, so people that don’t understand our Dutch lyrics can still get an idea of what the songs are about.

 

– I think this is one of your most powerful albums so far thanks to the whole instrumentation, which creates a more aggressive final output. Was this something planned?

Yes, I guess we all felt it was time for something a little more brutal and especially our guitarist Reamon wrote a lot of very heavy stuff on this album. I think the folk element has shifted more towards our vocals and the use of the occasional folk instrument, while the guitar playing style has become almost exclusively ‘metal’ on this album. A bit of polarization, one could say.

 

– And how did you approach this time the songwriting? How was hat process like?

First it was a matter of focussing on the concept, and trying to get a feeling of the atmosphere that would be fitting for all the different chapters. After that, we started writing the music and filling in the songs so to speak. The concept provided a really useful framework to channel the creativity and guide the lyricists. This method of working was totally different from the way we used to work before, because we just didn’t plan anything then.

 

– You worked with Peter Tätgren, who took production duties; how has been working with him?

Enlightening, refreshing and inspirational! He’s a great person to work with, very professional. When we heard the first rough mixes it felt like a true revelation. We always knew our band could sound more ‘metal’ and rougher, but actually hearing your songs with the type of production you had in mind is really something special.

 

– And what could you comment on the album’s artwork (its meaning, who did it, etc.)?

The cover features a Roman mask that was used by mounted warriors, the Batavians that fought in the Roman army used a similar one. The mask carries symbolism, as it hid their true Batavian identity yet it protected them, like the Batavian people were protected by Rome through the alliance. The Batavians eventually casts their masks and showed their true faces during the revolt. The album cover is designed by Awik Balaian, a good friend of ours.

 

– The Folk Metal scene seems to be quite healthy lately but you guys are one of the few (if no the only) hailing from Holland; why aren’t that many Folk Metal bands out there as in, for example, Finland?

That is a great mystery to us too! We have such a rich history yet very few people here seem to have the desire to make music that is based on it. It’s a damn shame. Folk metal concerts are always very well-attended here, but for some reason there are hardly any people that actually pick up their instruments and start making music like that themselves. Maybe people in Finland are more in touch with nature and folklore than our average fellow countryman? Being snowed in and living in isolation and darkness for half of the year may also make it easier for people to just start writing music I guess…

 

– You will soon start this year’s Paganfest tour; how are you feeling about it?

Very excited, I think it’s a very original line-up and all of the bands know how to put on a good show and play great music. They’re all quite diverse bands, so the audience will be treated on a variety of styles. I’ve seen all of the other bands play live at club shows and festivals, so I know for a fact it’s going to be great! Sad thing we’re not going to Spain though :[

 

– That’s all from my side, thanks once more for answering to our questions. Now feel free to add some final words.

Thank you for the interview, it’s been my pleasure answering your questions Sergio! I hope we’ll cross the Pyrenees someday, man!

Sergio Fernández

sergio@queensofsteel.com

 

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