Stefan Weinerhall - Falconer
Swedish Folk legends Falconer have a new album out, and it is really impressive, sure to satisfy old and new fans alike.. There is a strong blend of the traditional Falconer sound, mixed with a bit of older Mithotyn elements. I recently spoke with founding memeber - "Man Of The Hour" - Stefan Weinerhall about weilding the sceptre of introspection, Among Beggars And Thieves, his former band Mithotyn, and the grime and grandeur of producing the chapters, revealed forlorn, through the fields of sorrow, and glades of glory.
MettleAngel: Hello there Stefan, how are you today?
MettleAngel: Well, I'm a bit tired, because I just saw Mötley Crüe last night with my wife and son. His fifth birthday is this Saturday. We also just witnessed the Metal Masters Tour with Judas Priest, Heaven & Hell, Motörhead, & Testament over the weekend; and, I'll be seeing Def Leppard tomorrow, and Alice Cooper on Sunday. After this, I'll be all rocked out!
MettleAngel: Definitely, I am really getting back in to the whole 80's arena rock vibe. I'm more excited about the classic bands, than all these new releases forthcoming, present company excluded.
MettleAngel: I'm really having the time of my life, getting to do so much that I could not do when I was younger, either because of cost, or time constraints. Honestly, I love celebrating metal! This is why I am so excited to speak with you. I want to go on the record, that I have been a Falconer fan since the very beginning. I also followed your former band - Mithotyn. I discovered them on a Black Metal compilation, but the music stood out as being better than most cliche' acts. Your music and songwriting have always inspired me.
MettleAngel: That is easy to do, as it does appear to be a combination of "Mythos" & "Tin". "Mythos" meaning story, or legend, and "Tin" being a medieval reference for time. I thought you deliberately mixed the two up in an anagram to make it more archaic. Speaking of early Mithotyn, I hear aspects of this pagan folk band appearing on the new Falconer album; especially, on the Traditional Swedish tracks.
MettleAngel: Yes, I know. On your second CD - Chapters From A Vale Forlorn, you had the song: "We Sold Our Homesteads", which was an adaptation of a Traditional Swedish song. On Northwind there were two more, and you had the bonus disc of Swedish heritage. Now on Among Beggars And Thieves, you have three (four, if you include the bonus track, Swedish songs written in the native tongue). Is this a deliberate choice to maintain the Swedish experience? I know the theme of the new album is the impoverished tradition of dark medieval times in Sweden.
MettleAngel: The songs sung in the Swedish tongue emphasize the overall essence of the album. As the inviting 'concept' concentrates on the hardships of Medieval Sweden, this makes sense. Sweden is your land, your nation, your history. It is noble how you chose to honor it.
MettleAngel: I agree, you could have made it into a side project, or something. Hell, you could have called the band Grime Vs. Grandeur, even. That was a solid metal album, not as folk based. I really like the songs structure on that one, which is why it is my favorite. I love all the Falconer albums, though; and the new one is excellent. I guess some Falconer fans just want all the folk and pagan elements, while others prefer the speed and intensity. I enjoy the mix of both styles. I feel Falconer stands above so many other bands, in this subgenre. You, Unleashed, and Amon Amarth were among the early Swedish bands championing your pagan roots.
MettleAngel: Well you have achieved that! It's not like with the new Týr, where too many songs are sung in Faroese, and the listener tends to lose interest. Your writing style is definitely melodic, and infectious. Even with Mithotyn, you transcended the traditional Death/Black Metal stereotypes, while incorporating Power Metal riffs akin to early Blind Guardian, Running Wild, & Pretty Maids. Would you ever consider reuniting with the members of Mithotyn, for say a festival appearance?
MettleAngel: Fair enough, as a fan, I had to ask, given all the recent re-unions like Sabbat, Carcass, At The Gates, etc. I'll stop asking about Mithotyn. Let's discuss the new album. There is such light and shade. I'm drawn to the lyrics, the music, and the passion. I really like the last song, "Dreams And Pyres", with the female vocals, and operatic elements.
MettleAngel: "Dreams And Pyres"
seems to deal with Church corruption, but in a majestic manner.
MettleAngel: I'm glad you did so, even
if it's another Swedish song (which I have not heard, yet). Northwind
did not come out in the US, but the new one will be released here in early
September. I encourage fans to get this as a CD, as the packaging is nice,
and the historical lyrics are so expressive. In your only trip to the
States, you played the BW&BK Sixpack Weekend in Cleveland in 2003.
Any plans to return to America in the near future? I assume with Mathias'
vocal career, and full-time job, this would be quite a task?
MettleAngel: That makes sense, as they have Elvenking playing this year. I want to emphasize how drawn I am to the lyrical base of Among Beggars And Thieves. Like with new Judas Priest, say what you will about the music, and Rob Halford's live performance; the concept is sound. While listening to Nostradamus, I'm compelled by the life and challenges of this man. When I play Among Beggars, I can identify with the plight of the past. I revert to a time when religion and royalty reigned supreme, and Mankind suffered the frail indignity of everyday life. We take so much for granted these days. Back then, it was a real wrestle to endure the realities of poverty, chastation, and disobedience.
MettleAngel: As usual, the artwork reflects
the overall vibe as well. Every Falconer cover so enhances the listening
MettleAngel: Every Falconer depiction is
so suggestive and unique, pallid, ashen, and morose; but, still envisioning
the overall essence. Each is immediately recognizable. Will you finally
print up T-shirts for the new album?
MettleAngel: Well, that sounds great. Stefan,
thank you for taking the time to discuss Falconer, and even Mithotyn with