Last Updated (Wednesday, 07 July 2010 14:28) Written by Miguel Blardony Monday, 21 June 2010 17:48
Framferd consider it their life mission to pillage and burn as much of the world as they can (in a musical sense, that is) on their quest for total Blackened Viking Metal domination. While they are largely unknown outside Norway, the band remain hard at work on the follow up to last year’s “Landgang,” an epic collection of thrashing frostbitten anthems that combined extreme tempos with black metal’s trademark atmosphere. Not content to simply grow their beards while plotting future conquests, the band made no bones about entertaining our questions about castles, song lyrics, and that mysterious realm of perpetual darkness, Blashryk.
Hello Framferd. It has been several months since the release of “Landgang.” Now tell me what’s keeping you guys excited about the next album? Are there a lot of ideas swimming around your head now?
Langbach (bass, vocals): Hi there! Yes, it has been several months since the release, but we are working like hell on our new album. We have a lot of ideas and some almost-finished songs, and we are really looking forward to getting inside the studio with our latest material. But when that is, we still don’t know.
Oh right, before we proceed with the rest of the interview, who are the people in the band our readers should know about?
Langbach: [Our guitarist] Rystad (ex-Concrete) joined the band in 2009 as a replacement for Thortrillion. I rejoined the band in 2009 in replacement for Kittelsen. [Our second guitarist] Kvist (ex-Lillith, Lucid Fear) has put in many years in Framferd while Nødset (Frail Grounds, Dimitry) together with me and the now departed Kittelsen were the founding members of the band.
Framferd’s music owes its identity to Viking culture. What aspects of your Viking roots appealed to you the most when it came to heavy metal themes?
Langbach: The Viking-approach came naturally for Framferd with the maturing of the band. We all have strong roots in the Norwegian black metal scene and our first album "Djevelskap" (Devildom)
had a different approach to the lyrics and themes[of our original genre]. The strong anti-religious tone is still vibrant but today it comes wrapped in a bit more mature stories and we also find it exciting to include our old Norwegian heritage and culture, hence the Viking themes. The album we are working on now seems to be growing more and more into a concept album. We do not strive to be a typical "Viking" band however, but it came natural for us to change our perspective a bit after "Djevelskap." What we find appealing about Scandinavian history is the religious aspect. At the time before Christianity was thrust upon us with swords and violence, and the Norse language, poetry and stories, like Snorre Sturlasson’s stories, and runic poetry are fascinating. But we are also interested with how people lived, plundered and expanded their territory. All aspects of Viking-mythology and life is exciting, as is all "older" civilizations.
Did you ever have to visit libraries and buy books to research the background for your band’s songs?
Langbach: Myself and Kvist work a lot with the lyrics, and I have used a good deal of time researching both his own ever growing bookshelves and the [local] library for inspiration and background.
But as a lot of the material is a bit "philosophical" a lot of the bands own ideas and thoughts are well mixed in with the background stories.
Framferd on their way to Germany.
There’s black metal running in the veins of Framferd. Did any of you used to play straightforward blaspheming black metal before joining the band? You have a jar of corpse paint at home?
Langbach: Framferd started out as a black metal band. It was formed from the ashes of Morbid Symphony, a band where Kittelsen, Langbach and Nødset played, but later changed the name and
recruited more people to join the new band. Kittelsen earlier played in Sons of Satan and Langbach played in a smaller project called Frostheim. Nødset played in Svartalvr with Jordmungand (Framferd, Den Saakaldte, Dødheimsgard) who later joined Framferd for the “Djevelskap” album.
Your most recent album is named after a Norse word for landing upon sight of land. How much of an improvement did “Landgang” represent in relation to your previous albums?
Langbach: "Landgang" was our second studio album and we feel that we’ve improved our songwriting since "Djevelskap." Production-wise we are not exceptionally happy with the result of “Landgang” due to problems in the studio and mixing process, but the mastering helped a great deal. For “Landgang” we wanted the raw sound contrary to the polished "Djevelskap.”
When you listen to “Landgang” today, what are some of its aspects you’d like to maintain for its follow up?
Nødset (drums): Personally I would like to keep the “Landgang feel,” if you know what I mean. Especially the songs “Landgang” and “Elite.” They have the good ole black metal feeling and also it kind of twists into some technical parts, but the chorus is a shining example of progressive in your face music! As Langbach mentioned we have started working on the next album. One of the new songs are ready and I just have to say that the first song we have started on is without a doubt a “Landgang.” The song has it all. Melody, insane blastbeats, groovy riffs and technical parts. I am really looking forward to play this in the studio. Tracking the drums and hearing the piano and cello in the background just gives me goosebumps. Haha!
What studio did you go to for recording “Landgang”? How are the four of you like in the studio? Is everyone serious or is it just chill?
Nødset: I recorded and did the mixing of the drums at Falkensten Studio in about three days. Guitars, bass, vocals and mixing were done in a friend’s home studio and our rehearsal room. The sound didn't turn out as good as we hoped, but overall it felt amazingly true and real. In the studio we are pretty focused and want to be as productive as we can. I guess we have time for some fun as well of course. When you have four guys in the same room for five to eight hours a day, things just have to go wrong! Haha! I personally love to work in the studio, [in there] you really have to show and push yourself to the limit every time. I also like to mix and try new mic settings and all that jazz. Though I do recall a tired and really impatient Kittelsen during the last weeks of recording, so obviously not everyone in the band likes to be in the studio.
How much touring and gigs have you guys done in the name of “Landgang”? Any good war stories?
Nødset: I am really pleased with the touring we’ve done for “Landgang.” We are a small band so we can't go to far overseas yet, but I have a good feeling that we can push the live shows even further next time, and maybe even this summer. On the next record we will consider the possibility of forming a promotions company, so we can reach new shores. our war stories are pretty nasty so I guess we’ll keep them to ourselves.
Framferd will soon be performing in Germany? Where else in Europe would you like to perform?
Nødset: I am sorry to say that we are still working on the Germany shows. Hopefully it will work out soon. We want to play everywhere in Europe. France, Poland, Italy, Romania, you name it!
Between recording, performing live, and cranking out blackened heavy metal with your band, what do you love the most about being a musician?
Nødset: Great question! You meet a lot of new people everywhere you go and play, and almost every musician you meet is really cool. There are some nights we can talk about music and gear for hours and hours, just sharing our experience. Also we have the chance to get some traveling going and I think this is a great way to see some new places. Don't forget that when you are a musician you do something creative with your life instead of sitting home and watching TV all day long.
What keeps your hunger for uncompromising music alive and burning? When life gets you down, where do you draw your strength from?
Nødset: This is our life! this is how we keep ourselves from going insane... Taking a trip away from the city and deep into the mountains always helps.
Would you agree to a North American tour on the condition you travel across the Atlantic on an authentic longboat?
Nødset: This is the way we want to travel! Some old carpenters in Tønsberg are actually building a true replica of the well-known longboat "Osebergskipet." Maybe we can borrow it?
Do you think the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland deserves to have a few songs written about it?
Nødset: Hell! Why not? It's pretty epic to see all the lava just drifting down the mountain side.
Let’s rewind back to the most crucial turning point in your life. When did heavy metal first infect your brain and what compelled you to pick up an instrument? Who were your musical idols back then?
Langbach: We are of quite a different age in the band, but we all started out early with heavy metal. Death, Sepultura, Metallica, Mötley Crue, Slayer, Manowar, then later came the waves of Norwegian black metal like Emperor, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Enslaved.
Care to name a few of your all time favorite albums?
King Diamond – “The Eye”
Emperor – “In The Nightside Eclipse”
Enslaved – “Frost”
Death – “Human”
Dissection – “Reinchaos”
What is your biggest passion next to metal?
Langbach: Nødset is a motorcycle enthusiast and we all enjoy traveling. I am a photographer and a painter.
Does Blashryk really exist? If so, where?
Langbach: That is for Abbath to know and Abbath alone, hahaha! But if you look out the window on a typical winter’s day in Norway, you’ll feel it's pretty fucking close, hahaha!
So I guess I’ll never get to visit Immortal’s ice bound fortress in the foreseeable future, huh? Wouldn’t you like to live in a castle perched above a cliff where you could watch the gray stormy seas? Sure, you won’t have broadband, but hey, it’s a castle.
Langbach: I don’t know if living in a castle would be just cold and misery, but it would make one hell of a practice place and studio! Hahaha!
Too bad we have to wrap. Thanks for the patience and consideration. Did answering these questions make you thirsty for beer?
Langbach: Indeed it did! Cheers from Norway!!