Wiedergänger: Greetings Andreas, at first, maybe you can tell us when you started to record "The Antagonist's Fire" and where it has been recorded. From what I've heard on the sample song, it sounds like the same studio that you used for the recodings of "Contamination".
A.L: That’s correct. All our full length albums are recorded in Necromorbus Studio. The creative process have been more or less active on a 24-7 basis since -10 and we managed to record and finalize the album, namely “The Antagonist’s Fire I might add, in the summer of ’13.
What I really like about Valkyrja is that you have this straight Sorhin/Setherial kind of "traditional" swedish Black Metal but also a very thrashy and sometimes doomy edge. Were there any mistakes or glitches that you wanted to avoid this time while writing the album or is there always a certain goal that you want to achieve during writing? Is "The Antagonist's Fire" supposed to have a bigger doom or thrash or whatever is about to finally come influence?
I look at the complete picture, thus including all the audio material, artwork, words et cetera. If a part would fall into the “doom”- or “thrash” category, it’s because the listener has chosen to make these categorizations. Secondly, these parts sound the way they do because this this sound possessed the vitality to carry the music or lyric forth in the most potent way. I never look at a severed part of anything, but include its beginning and as well in order to understand the purpose. “The Antagonist’s Fire” is not meant to seen from a category/label/style perspective, but for what lies beneath the surface and the horrid ovation to the inevitable, great end of all that is glorified through the music.
In an earlier interview, you have stated that you've had several lineup changes between the demo tapes and your first full-length "The Invocation of Demise". If we look back in time, were the songs already written for the debut CD when the lineup changed or was this a thing that the "new" lineup accomplished?
We’ve had several past members, and this is no surprise to me as it demands a lot to be a part of this group. If you enter Valkyrja with the intention of joining the average metal band, you’re in for a surprise, which I suppose says quite lot about the “extreme metal” genres today.The music was written by guitarist S.W, alike our previous material, so the lineup changes only affected the band from a personal perspective, not the audio. Of course they are connected as a dormant member would not contribute with the energy and firm determination that we require, thus forcing us to deal with that parallel to what we deliver. The material for this album was however in the making since years back, and not affected by any lineup changes or similiar.
In comparison to your last release, where are the main developements in your eyes and ears? After hearing the promotional "Madness Redeemer" for several times, it sounded like a big advancement to me, the drums even sound abit prog-ish. Can the listener expect some suprising moments on the album?
I believe you’ll see new elements in our music. There are new tools utilized and to the careful ear this might be revealed in more places you’ll expect. The main development, if you look at the general picture, is of course that we have managed to expand the channel through which we speak. It is not crafted to be simply a “metal album” whose content is only the shallow presentation of double bass drums, distorted guitar and harsh vocals. If this is your requirements, there are tons and tons of bands that’d suit you better.
Just as each release thus far has brought more focus to your work, do you anticipate that, when it is released, the album will reflect a new plateau for your sound?
I really can’t answer that question as it’s impossible for me to be completely objective in this case. The reaction has never been interesting for that part either; I just could not care less to be honest. If I feel that I’ve managed to present my part accurately in the studio, a gig or alike, then I am satisfied. Why would the opinion of anyone else, positive or negative, change this fact?
Which ideologies/philosophies are a part of Valkyrja and have left their mark on the lyrical work?
You have the lyrics up for interpretation. I simply chose not to take this in interviews as I feel I could not accurately summarize this in a couple of lines. Unlike the abundance of insecure bands, just dying to get accepted by a group, who throw out their extreme values and decadent standpoints to reel in new listeners (you all know plenty of examples), I chose to take this matter with someone with the right mind and not through a semi-anonymous text based interview.
How do you understand the concept of "light" and "darkness"?
Are these powers truly opposing each other or are these two a necessary two-dimensional emanation of the same power? What part are the dark powers playing in the music of Valkyrja?
One comes with the other. I won’t channel “light or dark” through Valkyrja, but look even beyond these aspects. The Silence and Nothing that lies within Death is what is appealing to me, no matter what names or manifestations you might present them as.
Later this year, you're jumping on tour together with Marduk, Grave and Death Wolf, the "Panzer Division Marduk 2013 Tour". As far as I am concerned, Marduk will focus on playing songs from their unholy classics "Panzer Division Marduk" and "Those of the Unlight". Which of these two do you prefer when it comes to personal taste?
It’s been so many years since I heard these album, hence a quite cloudy memory. I’ll see what they’ll deliver during the tour and make my judgment thereafter.
We simply wanted different things. The work itself went according to plan, but it was quite clear that we belonged to different words of the sentence “music industry”. The work with W.T.C. begun when they released the vinyl edition of “Contamination” in ’10 it felt natural to let the collaboration continue thereafter.
The songs that are on "The Antagonist's Fire"; how long were they sleeping in their cryo-chambers? Was it clear from the beginning that just these songs will be featured on the new album or have you had more songs written? Maybe you can also draw a coherent line between some songs if there is a certain unity between them.
As mentioned, they’ve been worked through since ’10. It was quite clear “what connected with what”, thus leaving some material out. As always, it was important not to present a collection of tracks but a unity of tracks that completed each other and was pieces of a greater picture. Some parts felt more or less complete in the first shape, some parts had to be reconstructed a bit more.
By the way; how big are Valkyrja actually? Have you got any unexpected recognition during the years from people you weren't expecting to like your music?
I have no clue as I very rarely use the Internet, nor make much noise before- and after gigs. Of course you meet interesting people now and then, even though it’s rare, but then I prefer to leave Valkyrja out of the conversation. I make my manifest on stage, not outside of it.
Valkyrja on Facebook: here
World Terror Committee: here