Monday, July 20, 2020

VANHELGA - Interview by David Carnage

Speak of Vanhelga is plunge into the depths of the depressive abyss, a dark atmosphere riddled with strange feelings that makes us hallucinate with a fortuitous future in which a sinister path is shown in which we all travel without any exit, It is a pleasure for BATHORY ZINE In order to publicize this group that has elevated its musical universe to create pieces of true dark melancholy, we contacted the band and got to know a little more about them.

1) Greetings Vanhelga hope you the best, welcome to Bathory ZINE, could you join us to the band and give us a brief overview of their formation?

Hello Bathory Zine! Stay fucking positive. We are a band that represents a new and unique way of approaching the art of music. VANHELGA believes that you should let the creativity guide you instead of you guiding the creativity. There’s a very important difference between the two. When you try to control your inspiration you automatically censor and limit yourself. For example, if you decide that you will create black metal, then you unintentionally write songs that are controlled by the rules for how that style of music should sound. For us, to truly be artistic and unique, we believe in creation without any limitations. Which means it comes straight from the heart and not through the process of thoughts.

2) As for the musical, we listen dark and sad melodies, what do the band want to convey with each tune?

We like to let the listener decide for themselves what the song means to them. The only message we want to convey is that you should be yourself no matter what. Think for yourself and don’t let others decide what your worldview should be like. Be in control and create your own reality.

Our music goes under the concept of ‘positive music for positive people’ because you can’t really put our music into any genre. Our music is such a mix of styles and elements, which have never been combined before, so it’s very hard for the media and reviewers to say what type of music it is. That is what we want. That is one of our unspoken goals.

3) What have been your musical and personal influences to create this amalgam of passions called Vanhelga?

J. Ejnarsson:
At an early age I was introduced to metal and it is definitely what I listen to most. However I also think my influences come from a lot of other genres of music as well and my taste in music has become very broad over the years, everything from classical music and jazz to electronic. There is such a great and varied expanse of music, limiting yourself to only one genre I feel is doing yourself a disservice, so I try to be as open-minded as possible to new influences. When writing, I think the music comes from within. Drawing inspiration from your emotion and state of mind is key and also it is very useful as catharsis.

4) Talking about productions what you can tell us about it? Has there been support from labels that have been interested in editing your music or have worked independently?

J. Ejnarsson:
We’ve worked with several different labels over the years but we’ve never had them take part in our production decisions. The first couple of albums were recorded in our homes or in the rehearsal with 145188 doing most of the recording himself and the mixing. When I joined (after the release of Sommar) I did some of the guitar parts and the bass, and the drums were recorded by our drummer at the time, but most of the recording and all the mixing was still done by 145188. After Ode & Elegy we decided we wanted to do the recording in a proper studio, so since Fredagsmys we have been recording in StudioCave with Pontus Ekwall as the producer. We have worked very well together and we feel that having his input and expertise has really taken the music to another level.

5) How has the public received your musical proposal? Is there support? Is there an audience adept at the depressive musical field?

J. Ejnarsson:
It has been very rewarding to hear people's appreciation of what we try to do. Even though we may not yet have quite as large an audience as more mainstream genres do, their energy and dedication to our work is far greater than most other bands. It’s always amazing to hear from someone that your music had an impact on them.

6) When listening to your music can you see gothic nuances and elsewhere a doom atmosphere that reminds us of a system of mercy, do Bauhaus or Siouxsie and The Banshees have any influence on them? And what do you think of góthc as a musical style?

J. Ejnarsson:
At least not a conscious influence but it’s always very hard to tell exactly where your influences come from when you’re writing from the heart and not just trying to copy some other band. I can definitely see the parallels with gothic and doom. We try not to limit ourselves by writing for a specific genre, instead we try to make music that feels right at that specific moment, if that feeling turns into harsh black metal or some kind of indie rock it doesn’t matter to us and is not something we really think about.

7) What is a Vanhelga live concert like? What do you offer to the souls who come to your call?

J. Ejnarsson:
Something out of the ordinary. We put all of our energy and emotion into the performance but we also try to vary it from concert to concert so every performance is unique. 

8) We do not know much about the depressive scene, could we get a little deeper into it? Bands? Ideologies and others? What is his songs and his philosophy of life about?

The most well-known bands would be Lifelover, Shining, Silencer and ourselves. It's a really popular genre in Europe & Russia. But I would say that we never wanted to be part of all this stuff. We don't create our music for the purpose of being part of something. There's also a lot of other bands who are just copying what we do. I guess we’re inspiring a new wave of bands.

When we write music we're not trying to be like any other band and we're not purposely wanting to be in any genre. We're just writing music and we don't care if it sounds like Iron maiden or Cannibal corpse, if you know what I mean? I used to play with Lifelover and we had a member from that band in our band for a couple of years. Everyone are connected within the scene, we know everything about them and they know us. 

The depressive scene is usually about mental health problems and alcohol/drug addictions. But it can also be deeper than that, like the songs we write. They are about philosophical questions like death, the meaning of life and other topics within existentialism. It’s also about personal life experiences. The music is often very unique and sounds like something you have never heard before. We see no point in trying to repeat something that someone else already did, you know?

We have met and toured with a lot of bands who say that they play depressive music but they are not depressed as individuals. That is really fucking awful if you ask me. Because it means that they've just decided to play this kind of music because they think it's cool. How can you take bands like that seriously? 

When we tour we are usually very antisocial and, because we are depressed in real life, we don't want to party or have a 'good time'. The other bands show their real face when we tour with them. Most of them are happily married with kids and think that life is great, how hilarious is that?

All musicians should be genuine and honest, if they're not then their music will simply be a bleak, faded repetition of something greater. Be yourself, don't be a sheep. Don't play depressive music if you have no fucking idea what depression actually is.

9) With dark but sublime sad tunes do you try to induce suicide as an escape from this earthly world?

J. Ejnarsson:
We’re not trying to induce anything, if the music is dark and depressive it’s an expression of our own feelings and state of mind. I think a lot of people can relate to that, even if in our current society that kind of thinking is deemed negative or destructive. It’s important that people are true to themselves. What you feel about this existence is what should be important, not what anyone else tells you to feel.

10) That was it, final words? General contacts to locate them? And greet your followers?

Be yourself, don't be afraid of death and stay positive. 

For more information about us check out the fucking links below.



                                         Interview by David Carnage

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