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Metal Covenant met up with Thyrfings Thomas Väänänen (vocals) and Patrik Lindgren (guitar) prior to the gig in Stockholm 3 Dec 2005.

Michael: Tell us how you feel before the gig.

  • Thomas/Patrik: (Thomas:) It's always fun, exept for the drivel we are doing now, soundcheck and waiting. Not the interview(!), but soundchecking and waiting for hours.

Michael: What have you been doing since the last album up until now?

  • Thomas/Patrik: (Thomas:) Picked our belly buttons... (Patrik:) It have been three years between the releases, we have been using them to polish our material. We did have a down-period creatively but since it did take so many years we think it was worth it. The album had to be good before release, that's first priority.

Michael: Tell us about the new album.

  • Thomas/Patrik: (Thomas:) It's a further development of the last album. The difference between Urkraft and Vansinnesvisor, the two previous albums, was fairly big but this time not as big. We went with the style from the last album and polished it further. (Patrik:) We played a bigger part in the production this time. With earlier albums we were in a studio for two to three weeks in a row, from rigging to mix. This time the production lasted half a year, not effectively of course, we used two studios and let some time go in between the recordings and mixing.

Michael: You signed with Regain Records earlier this year. What are your hopes for this deal?

  • Thomas/Patrik: (Thomas:) Billions :)(Patrik:) Wealth and fast cars. No, mainly it's comfortable thanks to the geografical position. It is so much more convinient having a record company in Sweden then abroad, they are easier to communicate with. Regain has a better reputation and better bands then the previous record company.

Michael: What does the future hold?

  • Thomas/Patrik: (Thomas:) We don't have anything planned right now except for a gig in the US in the end of January with Primordial and Moonsorrow. Other than that, nothing. (Patrik:) More gigs in the summer and hopefully we'll manage to get a album together faster next time.

Michael: What is Thyrfing to you? A hobby?

  • Thomas/Patrik: (Patrik:) Realistically speaking, yes, it's a hobby project. It's nothing we can make a living out of and everyone has a dayjob. One have to prioritize it as much as one can.

Michael: Would you like to have Thyrfing as a full-time job?

  • Thomas/Patrik: (Thomas:) If the possibility to make a living out of it without having to tour yourself to death then sure. But if you play this kind of music you have to constantly be on tour to be profitable. And being away from home for half a year.. that just won't work. (Patrik:) If the conditions would change, sure, I would like to play music rather then sit in an office, but at the same time it's nice having a security and still be able to make nice productions and some gigs. (Thomas:) It has to be fun. Calling a bunch of people and demand money for gigs and stuff like that, I don't understand how some bands have the energy to do that...

Michael: Any sideprojects?

  • Thomas/Patrik: (Patrik:) Not we personally but Jocke, our drummer, has a band called "Ruttna" on Black Lodge, and have released an album. (Thomas:) Our bass player plays in a thrash band called Celestial Pain and the other guitarist has two industrial projects, very extrem industrial, it's like.. (Patrik: noise!) It's just noise :)

Michael: What will the situation be for Thyrfing in 2-3 years?

  • Thomas/Patrik: (Patrik:) I don't think we have ever thought more then 6 months ahead. It started like a fun thing and then, step by step, we got a record deal, abroad gigs, etc. We haven't really stopped and thought; "what shall we do next?". Things just progess naturally. Realistically we are maybe not on the level we could have been but as long as it is fun and we have the opportunity to make nice productions, then I'm happy. (Thomas:) It's in our way of thinking, to have Thyrfing as a hobby so we won't have to plan ahead. Like, "in one year we have to release a record so we have to book studio time now!" We just relax and let it come naturally. If we get a fun offer then we take it.

Michael: Tell us about the history of Thyrfing. What has shaped the band you are today?

  • Thomas/Patrik: (Patrik:) We have had a pretty stable setting on our members. (Thomas:) We have had one change of lineup. None of the original members have been replaced or kicked, our second guitarist has been replaced one time. (Patrik:) It's a nice gang. (Thomas:) We were friends before we started Thyrfing, that's whats it's all about, I believe. (Patrik:) During all these years we have all been very active with the material so you can say that we are a band where everyone have contributed both musically and lyrically. It has been a damn melting pot. (Thomas:) For good and for worse. It has it's negative sides to try to agree among sex people but thats what make Thyrfing sound unique after 5 records, I believe. (Patrik:) I don't think one person could have done the new album, so it really is a band effort.

Thyrfing make lyrics in both Swedish and English. Will you in the future focus on only one or continue with two languages?

  • Thomas/Patrik: (Thomas:) It's only Swedish on the new record because the lyrics have always been written down naturally, if I get an idea for a title in Swedish, then the whole song will be in Swedish and vice versa. We have gradually noticed that it is better in Swedish, better flow and I get more out of it both spiritually and passionate-wise when I sing in Swedish. (Patrik:) This time we decided from the begining that everything was to be in Swedish for a better entirety. (Thomas:) It becomes better in all ways, the song is better, it sounds better, the lyrics become poetically better.

Michael: How will your international fans react to this?

  • Thomas/Patrik: (Thomas:) The fans we have are very narrow in their way of thinking, they like the original so for them it's only positive. But it's not positive if we want to get new fans. (Patrik:) Some prefer that people sing in their mother toungue, even if they don't understand it, instead of English. We had an english workingtitle for our previous record and we heard some complains for that. When we later announced a swedish title they were happy even though they didn't know what it meant. (Thomas:) People were like crazy from places you didn't think would care. People in Brazil went: "You have a title in english, Sell-outs! Fuck off!". For me it's more excuseable because when you play abroad, it doesn't matter if I forget a line, I can just sing the same twice or replace it with some jibberish.

Michael: A typical Thyrfing gig?

  • Thomas/Patrik: (Thomas:) It's significantly rawer and faster then on record, we always speed up the tempo at least half. Energic. We drench the audience in blood. War and Death. It's important for me to get ready before a gig, It does much for me when I change clothes and pour some blood on me, it's like a ritual. One goes into another state of mind. I like it when I go to see a band that has excerted themselves a bit and done something visually to.

Michael: Where is it most fun to play?

  • Thomas/Patrik: (Thomas:) The Netherlands last weekend was the best gig yet. It has to have been a thousand people there. Stockholm and The Shrine are also damn good.

Michael: Choose a Thyrfing song and tell us about it.

  • Thomas/Patrik: (Patrik:) The openingtrack (Far åt helvete) on the new record was a studio jam from the begining and turned into a song in the end. Pretty aggressive for being a Thyrfing song. We mixed the song very near and high. (Thomas:) No effects at all, allmost entirely raw, no reverb or echo. (Patrik:) It was the song that was most "off" on the record before we started to record, then it became the opening track. It proves our theory that everything we believe before we record becomes the oppsite. (Patrik:) The favourites in the jamming sessions often become the worst when you have recorded them and vice versa.

Michael: We at Metal Covenant thank you very much, Thomas and Patrik. Have a nice gig and good luck in the future!

Thyrfing send their regards...

See pictures from the gig »

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