– Hello, thanks for taking the time. What’s currently going on in the EINHERJER’s camp?
Hey, how are you? Well, we’ve just released “Norrøn”, our first album in about 8 years, and now we’re just about to start rehearsals for the upcoming Norwegian tour with Vreid & Kampfar.
– First of all, something OI have always wanted to know; how could you say the band’s name fits the whole EINHERJER’s essence? So, for all those who aren’t familiar with it, can you tell us a bit about the origin of the name?
The Einherjer, are the bravest men fallen in battle. When slained in battle, they were brought up to Valhalla by the valkyries. For then to join the army of Einherjers and fight aside the gods against the dark forces. A strong name, indeed. It can also be symbolic in many ways; to fight for something bigger than yourself and our ancestors quest for an honourable death.
– Now getting really into the band’s activity; what made you guys split up and what prompted your come back? During that «hiatus» you formed BATTERED; can we expect any other activity from that band or was just a side project while EINHERJER wasn’t active? And how and why did you come up with the idea of forming that band?
Well, for me at least, I really needed a change. I was really sick of the whole thing. I needed to direct my creative output in another direction and thrash metal seemed to be the solution…at least for a while. We were all ready for something new, something different, so it felt right at the time to end Einherjer. Battered was good fun and all, but there is a time for everything, and we started missing Einherjer a lot really.
– After getting overwhelming responses for your previous album and after all these years without releasing new stuff; have you worked under more pressure than with a «regular» release?
No, not really. I didn’t feel any more pressure doing this album than any previous one. It was a bit different this time, because we found out that the last 8 years had actually changed us. We didn’t agree on everything like we used to, and had to work more like a proper band this time.
– And how has been feedback for the new album this time around? What I’ve read so far are trully amazing reviews; did you expect such a good acceptance?
We knew that the record was good, but the majority of the reviews the last few weeks have been overwhelming. Way better than we could dream of. We are working within a narrow genre. Kind of reserved for a selected few who find this stuff interesting, and I must say that I am surprised to see that so many people actually understands what this album is all about. It’s great, just a bit unexpected.
– How could you describe the album in just a few words?
Raw, organic Viking metal charged with epic beauty and originality, the old-school way!
– And what are the main lyrical ideas behind it?
Our cultural heritage, both the norse myths and our pre-christian history, is the basis for all our lyrics. The fact that we walk on historical ground every day is very inspiring. This time we chose to do all lyrics in Norwegian. It has a better ring to it, and it fits our artistic expression way better than English.
– Did anything change during the songwriting process?
Actually, this time a lot changed through the writing and recording process. We kept changing and re-arranging songs up until the mixing had started. For a while we even had some material from the “Blot” era lying around, and some of that was included in the recording process, but we ended up leaving most of it behind as it didn’t work too well with the new stuff.
– Though this effort is a mix of all your best elements and shows the band’s personality, tracks as «Alu Alu Lauker» really stand out. What can you tell us about this song? As we could say is a more experimental track compared to the rest in the «Norron».
It’s a cover song of a Norwegian band called Ym-stammen. We’re big fans of Ym and we’ve always loved that song, so this time we thought….what the hell, let’s do it! It is a bit different, but I think it turned out great.
– I absolutely think this is your most mature album so far. Do you feel like you have now shaped the highest degree of maturity in musical terms or is there always space for evolution? As all your albums seem to be a big step forward compared to the previous one.
There is always room for evolution. We’re always looking to broaden our horizon instead of limiting ourselves to a current expression or a current state of mind. Artistic captivity is never good!
– This is your first album after signing with Indie Recordings; how’s everything going so far?
Indie Recordings has been great to us. They have grown into being a credible label with many great bands. Being on a Norwegian label makes communication a lot easier and we already know some of the guys from the Tabu days. So far, so good…
– Yourself took production duties; how positive has been this for the band? I mean, I guess noo ne like a band’s member knows what kind of sound you guys want to get.
Yes, I’ve engineered and produced the album myself. The recording was done in Studio Borealis, a recording facility owned and run by me. It sure is an advantage to be in total control throughout the writing and recording process, but when it comes to mixing, I think it is wise to get some new blood in the process. To get some new ears, so to speak. We all get a bit scared when other people take control over your product, but
at some point you have to let go. Let the professionals do their job. I know “Norrøn” gained a lot on letting Matt Hyde do his magic.
– Anyway, mix and mastering was handled by Matt Hyde, whom has worked with some well-known bands; are you satisfied with his work?
The plan from the start was to put Einherjer in a closer to rock’n’roll sound. We wanted to remove ourselves a bit from the typical European sound and aim more for the LA type of sound. More loose and dirty. As the songs started to take shape it was clear that we need an old-school mixer to make the album sound as warm and punchy as our favorite albums from 30+ years ago. Matt Hyde’s name turned up, we threw some emails back and forth and after we listened to the first test mix, we knew that we’ve hit the nail right on the head. Spot on!
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
Next up now is a Norwegian tour with Vreid and Kampfar in November and a first-ever visit to Moscow in descember. We’re really looking forward to that!
– That’s all from my side, thanks again for your time. Now feel free to add some final words.
Thanks for the interview, Sergio! Hope to see you out there!