For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
*H110413D – Birkenwald were born at the beginning of 2016. My aim was the creation of something which could give shape to the torments I felt and I still feel inside. I was already in touch with all the actual members of the band, but we had never played together before. Their empathy on the topics I wanted to express with my music pushed me to give birth to Birkenwald. We decided to release a promo single, called “Shrinking”, which was the result of several riffs I had composed through the past years. The good feedback from the audience conviced us to take the project to the next step. Some months after, the creation of MDD, our first album, started and, in 2017, our efforts were rewarded thanks to the great job of Federico Ascari of Wavemotion Recordings, who engineered our sound. So, here we are.
*H110311A – Birkenwald were created in order to express our deepest feelings through music. However, our songs mainly with the self-conflict which dwells in certain human minds and, therefore, our themes are also open to everyone who finds himself in the same situation.
*H081213S – The band was born in early 2016 by an idea of the bass player. We started recording our first song in june (the same period in which I definitively chose to join Birkenwald) and, in september, we released it. During january 2017 we started recording our first album, MDD, which can be considered as a concept album divided in four songs (in addition to an intro) representing 4 states of depression. It will be available from 22nd june.
How would you describe your musical sound?
*H110413D – If I should find a word to describe our sound, I would definitely say “schizophrenic”. Indeed, when you will listen to MDD, you will probably notice the constant alternation between those parts which we could define as “atmospheric” and some more aggressive parts, in which we decided also to experiment, introducing elements from other genres (it's not an usual thing to find so much breakdowns or slap bass parts in a black metal group). What is the result of this alternation? Probably in your review you went straight to the point, saying that we play “a musical style that takes atmospheric black metal and mixes it with depressive post rock to create a sound on our own”.
*H110311A – In my opinion, it is a very particular sound. When we create our music, we do it without respecting any criteria. We just follow our pulses, and this leads us to alternate some really obscure and heavy riffs to a lot of clean guitars, which aim to create melancholic atmospheres and, in many parts, seem to sound like voices. Black metal is not the most suitable definition for our music, according to me. Birkenwald are just Birkenwald.
*H170207C – From my point of view, our sound reflects the character of each member. Every song is just the reproduction of feelings and thoughts that we usually live and therefore are able to recall through the instruments we play.
What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
*H110413D – Our lyrics represent that empathy I was previously talking about. Indeed our convergence is based on themes like melancholy, sorrow, grief and, at the highest level, depression. These are feelings (or, in certain cases, illnesses) which are constantly present in our society. However, they are at the same time ignored, refused and not accepted, in spite of the fact that they exist and change radically people's lives. Our aim is to dissolve this mask of hypocrisy and to tell how our life's experiences cannot be controlled by it.
*H110311A – All the lyrics are really important and strictly closed to our life experiences. Indeed, who is going to read them, is also going to read a brief diary of our lives.
I know that the bands name means 'Birch Forest' in German, how does this name fit in with the musical style you play?
It was thought because of the bark’s very bright colour of these trees as a recall to the all-white walls of mental asylums; indeed, with the word “Birkenwald” we are supposed to find ourselves in a natural place of madness which, of course, may inspire our music.
What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance? - Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
*H110413D – We still haven't played on a stage. Anyway, we are finally ready to face the world outside and, for this reason, we're going to perform at In Tormentata Quiete's release party in Bologna, our native city, on 24th June. Be there, and join us for a extremely melancholic night!
Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
*H110413D – We received some offers, but they were not interesting enough. Therefore, we have decided to distribute MDD by our own. Our album will be digitally available on many web platforms like Spotify, Itunes, Bandcamp etc. from 22nd June and physical copies will be sold at concerts or sent worldwide, if ordered, at the price of 5 euros (plus shipping costs).
On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
*H110413D – As previously said, our promo single received a good feedback from the audience. Let's see how will be the reaction to MDD.
*H081213S – When we released Shrinking, many people found it interesting, and now, the preview of MDD seems to be appreciated by the first listeners.
*H170207C – We know that our sound cannot be properly defined. However, each of us is influenced by black metal and our listeners will be able to recognize this influence, despite our experimental approach.
Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
*H110413D – In a mental asylum, probably...
What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
*H110413D – Well, I kinda listen to a lot of genres, but, concerning to Birkenwald, I think that our deepest sources of inspiration come from Depressive rock (I am talking about bands like Vanhelga, Apati, Psychonaut 4, Joyless) and Atmospheric/Post Black Metal (Harakiri for the Sky, Woods of Desolation, Lantlŏs).
What are some of your non musical interests
*H110413D – Personally, I would like not to talk about this. Everything that people have to known about us is already told in MDD.
*H170207C - Music surrounds most of our time, but, personally, I have a great passion for cars, since, according to me, driving seems very similar to playing an instrument. Indeed, you have to feel the best part of it, experiencing and doing always better, as time goes by.
Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
*H110413D – Thanks both for the review and the interview. Enjoy our misery, listen to MDD and spread our madness.
*H110311A – We hope to see you at In Tormentata Quiete's release party on 24th june. It will be a special night. Spread our madness.