Skalmold came to Antwerp to the legendary Trix. And we found a hole in their agenda to have a little chat with these amazing guy's. They agreed to an interview a few hours before they went onstage.
The transcript of this session is below.
Its Skawlmuuld?Do i say it right?
Baldur: Yea its Skalmuld, Skalmuld.
Björgvin: Skalmuld, yea yea
So can you introduce yourself to our readers. Who are you and what do you do in Skalmold?
My name is Baldur Ragnarsson, and i am one of 3 guitarists. And i do the, some singing, high screaming as well.
I am Björgvin Sigurðsso and am one of the 3 guitarists as well. And lead vocalist.
I remember we reviewed your first record “Baldur” in 2011. You seem to release cd's almost every year. Does this come naturally?
Baldur: *laugh* Yea every couple of years. If you take the european releases we have 3 studio albums and one live album.
Can you tell me more about that funny way of writing songs. Was it any diffrent with “Með Vættum”?
Baldur: We've always had a similar songwriting process. Basically we get ideas usually just at our homes or somewhere. The ideas are born, we bring them to practice. And together we make songs out of the whole thing.
Björgvin: We usually start with a concept. A Story for the album. Then we divide the story into Chapters. And then we write the songs, and then the lyrics last.
Baldur: So its basicly concept, tracklist, figuring out ideas, pinpoint them to wherever they work best on the album. And then last. My brother -the basist- makes all the lyrics and he fills in the blanks.
Most of your albums are seated on a concept or storytale. This album has songs about the 4 seasons. You arent fan of vivaldi by any chance?
Baldur: Well we have one vivaldi fan in the band. But it is not the case though. Its a mixture of the seasons, but its also a mixture of the directions. north, south, west and east.
Its the cycle of life as well. The main character is called Thorin. She gets born to begin with, and she dies in the end. So its also the circle of life.
And one element more is the Wight, the Wachters, the spirits of the land. And these 4 spirits are equal. Dragon, Giant, Bull and birds. And they protect their quater of Iceland from attacks from the sea.
Its all about these cycles.
Björgvin: We have a female carachter that is born. And then eventually dies. We have the seasons. We start in spring, summer, autum and winter. And then we have our island. You know, we go from north, to the east, to the south, to the west.
So this is inspired wat we call the celtic traditions?
Baldur: Yes, this is also a big part of the norsemen, about this cycle thing.
Björgvin: And in the storyline, this female heroine, Thorin. Protecting the land from attacks from the sea, With the Wights.
So the tracklist, the first song is "Að vori", thats Spring. she is born in the north, and the next song is "Með fuglum" , and that is the first battle she has to do. And she does that together with the wights . So we take the wights and the seasons hand to hand.
You toured extensively trough europe, especially with the Heidenfest and Paganfest tour. Give me one moment that truly stood out and one you want to forget.
Baldur: We had very nice gigs all over the place. We love doing this. This is unbelievably fun.
Our first gig was in london on Heidenfest in 2011.
Björgvin: When we first played in london. The moments the light went down and before we went onstage. And people went *wraaarrr*
And that was a moment that we will probably never forget.
Baldur: And on the last tour with fintroll, we where playing in Vienna, Austria. And when we got on stage, There were like 5 people. Standing in the front. Because the promoter forgot to promote us. He basicly told everyone the show started at 8 o'clock.
But we where on stage at 7:30. And there were 5 people standing there. An we where just
Björgvin: *interrupts* Alright...*laughs*
Björgvin:It was weird, but, but those 5 people where really good. They werent kidding at all.
I saw you played at wacken 2011. How was it as a tiny starting band to play at such a huge metal fest? The biggest in Europe and beyond.
Baldur: that was weird, it was a very weird and good experience. It was a real surprise for us to be able to play there. It was just a very good experience,iIts a good opportunity of course. And to see all the other bands and play for a lot of people is just lovely.
It makes you also feel proud of what you are doing. To be there as an artist. Not just come there to see some shows. It makes your metal heart beat a little bit harder.
we love doing this, and we love doing this to that amount of people,thousands. But we also like doing it for 5 in Austria. We just love playing.
Speaking of Europe, you come from Iceland. We hear very little from your Country. Are you people that quiet?
baldur: no, definatly not.
Im not sure, its a small place. Its in the middle of f* nowhere. And I think the newsworthy news for the rest of the world is just f* up the airlines. *laughs*
Björgvin: I think were not that quiet. but we are maybe not that flashy either.
Baldur: No,we have very short summer and long winters. Very little sunlight.
The weather is constantly changing, from good to bad.
Björgvin: It probably affects the mentality of the nation. But more and more people are visiting Iceland as tourists. I think people are curious about the Island.
Baldur: Icelanders are genuiely polite, generally nice and polite. But they also on the other hand, want to keep to themselves.
If you would descripe the typical Islandish people. How would it look like?
Baldur: hard working, familiy based. A middleclassed hardworking familiy person. But they are open.
You might know Belgians love their beer. Whats your favorite?
Björgvin: this one here is my favorite, corsendonk.
Baldur: this is my beer. *shows it*
Lets talk a bit more about the CD. Who made the artwork?
Baldur: his name is ..... hes working for CCP in iceland. making Eve online, the computer game. He's the Art director for that company. And he is as good as you think. He is unbelievably good.
We contacted him before our last album fot loca on the last minute. And we just asked him to do the thing. And he had very little time, and he delivered unbelievable material.
Björgvin: So we wanted to do this again with him. And now we have plenty of time and we gave basicly no directions. He just got the concept. And we set him loose and this is wat we got. And he definatly nailed it.
Baldur: And the cover is, this is our island and this is the viewpoint of our enemy's approaching. Thats the idea of the cover.
Björgvin: The back cover is again in the theme of the wind directions. Its all about the cycles.
I have to cut it short sadly enough. I will see you guys at work later this evening. Is there a ritual you do right before the show?
Baldur: Right before the show? Not really.
Björgvin: Take a last piss, like 5 times.
Baldur: We always encourage one another.
Wat we do is like, make sure everybody is feeling allright. Focused on what we doing. And just is relaxed. Like 'are you good? ok lets go do this'. This is wat we love to do in life. So we want to make sure everybody is feeling as good as they can be.
Björgvin: And Gundar Our keyboardist. Because you know, although we are certainly enjoying what we are doing. And we are very very relaxed about it. We are ambitious as well. Gundar always encourages us to do better than last time.
Baldur: Yesterday was not good enough. We always try to better ourselves.
So no big shout?
Baldur: No, we do that on stage. If we start screaming like *yells* that would be weird as fuck. We just have one beer, pep eachother up and then lets do this. Go on stage and have the most fun of our lives.
What final message do you want to give the Darkview readers?
Baldur: Thank you for the support, and for the intrest. And thank you for making this beer.
And thank you for the intrest. We love comming here. And we will keep comming here, as long as you want us to be here.