Thyrfing guitarist and founding member Patrik Lindgren answered a few questions about their latest release Hels Vite and about the changes the band been through...
Hels Vite is out for a couple of weeks now. How satisfied are you with the feedback from media and fans?
I think, the feedback and reactions on the album has been very good. Both fans, press and people we know seems to appreciate it, and many holds it as the strongest Thyrfing release until date. Even though we always put our own satisfaction in the first place, it's of course also good to hear some feedback and constructive words about your work.
But prior to the making of Hels Vite you have been through some changes... Thomas and Hendrik left the band. Why did you decide not to add a new guitarist before you headed into the studio?
We thought it would be too little time and energy consuming to find both a new guitarist and vocalist. And obviously the latter felt most urgent. As I had been playing all the guitars during the writing, we saw no real point of looking for another guitarist before entering the studio.
And have you meanwhile founded a new guitarist?
We currently have a guy called Fredrik Jansson doing the second guitars live and it's working like a charm. It is possible that he might join the band on a permanent basis in the future – time will tell.
The new singer is Jens Rydén (ex-Naglfar, ex-Dead Silent Slumber). As far as I know you knew each other already... Was he your first choice?
Yes, that's correct. He was our first choice and quite an obvious one, as we already knew him well and lived in the same municipality. So it was a very smooth process.
And if you wouldn't have succeeded in finding a Swedish singer, what would you have done?
As Thyrfing mainly have Swedish lyrics, it's crucial that we have a Swedish vocalist. Or at least someone who speaks Swedish fluently. It's a hypothetical questions that we wouldn't find anyone, as there are many good vocalists in Sweden, but I guess we'd need to change the band concept when it comes to language, or make a sampling of Thomas' voice and create the vocals digitally, Hahaha.
How much did Jens influenced the songs on Hels Vite?
He instantly became very involved in the song writing – both music and lyrics, but especially when it comes to arrangements. This is nothing that we demanded or expected from him, but it was indeed nice to get some new ideas and views in the band to work from.
Lyrically you are based in the Nordic mythology, but I think you get inspirations from everything around you and then fit it into the 'mythology-thing'. Is that right?
That is a short, but quite accurate description, yes. In the past the lyrics were more 'heroic' and mainly all based on tales. Today they are a bit more introvert, and also a little darker … but it's true that we still have the Scandinavian mythology and folklore as a framework to start from.
With Isolation you have - as far as I know - for the first time a song with English lyrics recorded.... How came? And will there be more in future?
This is actually not true. We've had English lyrics on all our albums except for the last one, Farsotstider (2005). We have never been very consistent in our use of language. I haven't counted them, but I guess there is a slight lead for the Swedish lyrics in total right now … I can't really say what will happen in the future – it is possible that it will still be a mix of both languages.
The album production was differing from the way you worked in the past. Will you work again this way? And again with Jörgen Svensson?
Another thing which is very hard to answer right now. I think we need to get some distance to it all, to make an evaluation of the recording process and result. But it's not impossible, right now I feel very happy about how the album sounds, and the way we achieved it.
You aren't a band who tours a lot. When you go out, do you enjoy it even more? Or does it need time to adjust to the stage... to play live?
I think so. When you do like 10 gigs per year, it's not a risk of getting bored about it, ha-ha. You may have a point that we might need a gig or two to get in shape. When we did the first gig with the new line-up and album we hadn't been on stage for 2 years. Then I must say we felt a little insecure about it, but after that gig it has all been 'back to normal', i.e. that we can fully enjoy it and perform at our very best.
Do you prefer club shows or festivals? And what show was special to you? And why?
A boring answer maybe, but I enjoy both. There are good and less good sides of both coins … A very special show was Dynamo Open Air in the Netherlands back in 1999. It was our first gig abroad, and for the first time we played for more than a hundred people … and all of a sudden it was 5,000 people! It was indeed surreal, and not one of our best shows, but we surely enjoyed it and it will be a memory for life.
Last, but not least.... You will play some shows this year, what can fans expect live? And what else is on your schedule for 2009?
They can expect some metal, energy, sweat, beers and blood. I feel that Thyrfing is a stronger force than ever live, and we keep getting better all the time … 2009 is also the year where we should start working on the next Thyrfing album. Will be interesting indeed!
I have to thank Patrik for spending time and it seems that 2009 will be a busy year for Thyrfing. And that the chances are good to catch them on the road....