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zaterdag 02 april 2011
WOLFCHANT: The Story of an Amazing Bavarian Viking/pagan metal band

Interview with vocalist Lokhi of Wolfchant by Vera in March 2011

Bavarian outfit Wolfchant has been matured through the years. Recently they released their fourth studio album ‘Call Of The Black Winds’ through Massacre and we were surprised in a positive way. This band deserves some support! That’s why we contacted the band and vocalist Lokhi told us everything about the history of Wolfchant, as well as their contemporary endeavours. Dive into the world of these Bavarian Vikings!

You have been around since 2003 and you, Lokhi (vocals), Skaahl (guitars) and drummer Norgahd appear to be the founding members of the band. So, first of all, can you tell a bit more about the early days of the band and your intentions (and influences) back then?
Hi Vera here is Lokhi from WOLFCHANT ! We founded WOLFCHANT in October 2003.
My old Band and the Band of my brother Gaahnt - also Skaahl and Norgahd were part of this band – shared a rehearsal room this time. Sometimes I visited them to watch them play, and to drink a beer after the “work”. One evening we talked about founding a new band with more folk and pagan touch, because we were tired about playing the same shit all the years without success. So we made the decision to start a new project in the middle of 2003. We played and rehearsed two times every week and in October 2003 we saw that we fit well together, and thought it was time to set up a new band. So we started the Band with four members. Skaahl, Norgahd, Gaahnt and me.

The first proper full length album ‘Bloody Tales Of Disgraced Lands (2005) was already a concept album. Why this approach? Can you tell about the story? How do you look back at the first album?
It deals with the history that a nation living in peace is attacked by the neighbors and suppressed for years. A small group of people began the struggle for freedom and liberty.
Indeed a very simple story, but this time it was very helpful for us. It is easier to give a song and an album a special feeling if there is a story behind them. Unfortunately the sound of this album is very pure. So we and Massacre Records made the decision to record the whole album again. At the moment we are working on the songs and recording it step by step. I thing we will Re-Release it in August/September this year.

What did you experience as the first signs of recognition at that time?
We really get a very positive feedback from the pagan and Viking scene this time. For us it was the first huge step forward. In a short time we got many festival and concert offers. We played a lot and of course we were very proud about the first small success we had.
It was a wonderful time because our dream to become little metal stars came closer hehe.

But, as I guess, the band always improved album by album, line-up changes took place, you upgraded the band step by step. I guess many hours were spent together to come up with the result of ‘A Pagan Storm’. A brief summary of main things happening around 2007 would be nice…
If I was looking back ‘A Pagan Storm’ was the most important album for us. In a certain way we created a new pagan style and had the first international success. But first we hired in June 2006 a new Guitarist - Derrmorh, and I gave the bass guitar to my brother Gaahnt. For me it was much easier just to sing and so I had more time to animate the audience during the live shows. This time we also started the pre-production of ‘A Pagan Storm’ cause we planned to enter the studio in December 2006. It was a lot of work for us and in the last minute we finished the pre-production to start rehearsal the songs very quickly. In the end of December we finished the record session in Linz/Austria. We did it in the studio of our former label CCP Records. In April 2007 we release ‘A Pagan Storm’ during the German Ragnarök Festival and as you perhaps know the album was a great success for us.

You have a bond with Rebellion and that resulted in Uwe Lulis, producing your third album ‘Determined Damnation’. It included the first clean vocals of Michael Seifert as a guest. I think this was a kind of turn of the tide for the band, or not?
We met the Rebellion guys on the Metal Invasion Festival 2007 in Passau/Bavaria. We had a great time and many beers together. We soon became friends and asked Uwe to record our next album ‘Determined Damnation’ and Michael Seifert to do the clean guest vocals. Both of them said OK. We started to use clean vocals on ‘A Pagan Storm’, but we want to do it more professional, Michael is one the best power metal singers in Germany and his participation a huge step forward for us.

Now Nortwin (MS) is recruited as permanent member and I feel this is a way to widen the sound of Wolfchant with your best album ‘Call Of The Black Winds’ as result. Can you tell a bit more about the proper recruitment of Michael?
During the ‘Determined Damnation’ record session in Frankfurt and all the shows we did together with Nortwin we felt that we perfectly fit together as a band. Also the people liked the new songs in which we included Nortwin. And especially the live shows got a new power with two front singers. In middle of 2010 we asked Nortwin to become a full member of WOLFCHANT.

It is not the only change in line-up. You switched from second guitar player and added a keyboardist (very good in my opinion, Wolfchant’s music needs those keys!) Any thoughts of yourself about this change would be great…
We tried to find a key player since the beginning of WOLFCHANT. But we live in a very rural area of Bavaria, directly in the national park – and as you can imagine it is not easy to find metal musicians. In January 2009, after a long time of searching we found Gvern as a keyboard player. He immediately said yes when we asked to join the band and so he became also a full member in 2009. Derrmorh left the band because of his studies in the States. So we found a replacement in Ragnar which was also a very excellent guitar player. In July 2010 he joined as the seventh full member. We are very happy with this line up because it is the best we ever had.

For the first time you worked at Studio E with Markus Stock at the helm of production. What about this experience of working together with the Empyrium mastermind I like since ages? Any comparisons in recording this album and the previous ones?
We had a very relaxed but also productive time with Markus Stock. He has really a lot of experience in recording music and he did a great job. Markus don’t like to use these typical electronic things to help the musicians do a better job, if you know what I mean hehe. He said if you do too much corrections with the computer you got negative influences in the sound. So you have to play very exact and careful to get the best result. This was very exhausting but effective.

You always have some lyrics in English and in German. How do you decide on this choice?
Actually very easy... we take the language which sounds best to the song. Except if we have very difficult and seriously topics as child abuse for example. Here we use always the German language to avoid misunderstandings.

Are you also inspired by Bavarian history or do you write random lyrics about a specific universal historical/mythological theme?
Here we are very flexible. We use themes of the Nordic mythology, from the Celtic mythology of our area, about the power of the nature, or about the unbelievable brutal deeds of the church. Sometimes also current topics which interest us.

And now we are near to the topics of this album: can you tell about the themes and lyrics of ‘Call Of The Black Winds’? Is it a concept or can you shine a light on main themes?
It isn’t a concept behind the themes. Every song stands alone in its meaning.
So for example: ‘Stormwolves’ is about an old battle, ‘Eremit’ is about the power of loneliness, ‘Naturgewalt’ about the beauty and the might of nature, ‘Die Nacht der Wölfe’ is about a feast in the night before a battle,‘The Last Farewell’ is about loosing someone you love, ‘Never Will Fall’ is about always looking forward and never give up.

You have a great affinity with Ragnarök fests in Germany. Please explain…
This is a mistake of our label. We are not the organizers of the Ragnarök Festivals but of the Walpurgis Metal Days. Sorry!

Are there any guest musicians on the album? I think I hear a violin in ‘Der Stahl In Meinem Feinde’?
No, all the instruments on ‘Call Of The Black Winds’ are played by our own band members.

What can we hope for on the live planning of the band? I see Ragnarök fest in your gig agenda. Any other plans or hopes for the future?
We are playing many shows this year. Ragnarök Festival, Walpurgis Metal Days, The Rock in Concert Shows with Alice Cooper and Motörhead, Metal Invasion Festival....
You can find all dates step by step on our Homepage.

There is a special edition with a DVD coming out. What can we find on this extra disc?
You can find live excerpts of the Wolszeit Festival, Walpurgis Metal days and the Ragnarök Festival. A Making of..... ‘Call Of The Black Winds’ and a video of the song ‘World In Ice’.

There should be different artworks too… please tell a bit more about that and about the creator Ingo Tauer?
Ingo Tauer is the singer of the German pagan band Riger and since a long time cover and tattoo artist. We know him since years and so we asked him to create the cover for us and he did a very great job. I like the colours and the dark aura of the picture.

If there is any news I forgot to cover, you want to publish, feel free to add it here, last words are for you guys!
We will make a Re-Release of our first record ‘Bloody Tales Of Disgraced Lands’ in the middle of 2011. Also we are planning some vinyl of ‘A Pagan Storm’ and ‘Call Of The Black Winds’. So please take a look on our Homepage from time to time!

Thanks a lot for this interview! ‘Call Of The Black Winds’ is a refreshing great album to listen to, best you ever created, hope to see you on the road some day!
We say a big Thank You to you Vera and Metal Nose further to all your readers and all our fans!

Geplaatst door Vera op zaterdag 02 april 2011 - 17:30:51
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