Saturday, November 25, 2017

Seid Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Sure, we play a style of music that we ourselves call Norse Black Metal, not surprising with much influences from the old Norse (Scandinavia). It could be called Viking Black Metal I guess but that sounds too much like Amon Amarth and happy mead drinking metal guys with Viking T-shirts. Nothing wrong with that all, but we want to represent and present a more spiritual, ritual and shamanic view on the Norse, that for sure has not been shown as often. Hence the band name.  War and brutality is of course part of the lyrics too, Odal demands it but runes with their power, foretelling, magic and meanings behind them are a big part of the great web of WYRD as well as it is of ᛋᛖIᛞ (SEID). Only reason we write SEID is that runes are not shown on every digital platform (like youtube) and not even accepted in real life sometimes… and people of course have trouble reading them.

2. So far you have released 2 albums, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?

The first album is a start-up process really where I (Seiðr) finally got around to record some SEID riffs with different drummers. I tried to start something up in 2009 but ended up with only one song called Red Eyes Black Skull. To be honest it is a drum machine on that song and it killed me to have to program that shit, never doing it again. In 2013 me and a drummer were supposed to record some hardcore, d-beat stuff but it resulted instead in Warhorn, Typhon Hydra and Tubal Cain. Then me and Empa from my other band Serpent Omega recorded three songs too in 2014-2015. These two drummers didn’t actually want to be a part of SEID they were just helping me out because I am a useless drummer. But later in 2015 I was mixing a band in my studio ( from the United States where Arant (the second real member of SEID) was the drummer, and I asked him if I could have the drum tracks for one of his songs to fool around with and I recorded When Frost And Fire Unite on those drums. Arant really liked what I had done over his drum tracks so we recorded two songs more together from scratch, Death of our Chieftain (Lemmy tribute) and Valknut, in late 2015. So basically The Woods album is a collection of three demos with three different drummers, which I tried to give a similar mixing and mastering. The Woods was released on CD in the US by Blood and Brutality records and digitally (Spotify, Bandcamp and so on) by Dark Prod Records. Me and Arant then quickly agreed to write a full album together from scratch, this album became Darkness Shall Fall, released 17th of December 2017 by Urtod Void Records. Vinyl is limited to 300. Worth mentioning of course is that Alex Purkis (also in Craft, Kall, Hypothermia and ex. Shining) joined us at a late stage and recorded all the bass for Darkness Shall Fall. He wrote the main part of the basslines too. To have both Arant and Alex, such extremely talented musicians in SEID now seems almost too good to be true. But yet here we are, right now in the process of writing/recording the third album as a three piece. With this explanation in mind know that Darkness Shall Fall is considered by us the first real album and I think people will hear us stepping up things more than one notch compared to The Woods (1st album)… even if both releases are old school sounding. The Woods was a real fucking catharsis for me personally and I’m not saying it’s a bad album/demo collection. Definitely worth a run through or two. The lyrics for the song The Woods and Tubal Cain are personal favourites.

3.I have read that the idea for the project came out in 1992 but you waited 20 years before bringing it to the surface, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during that time frame?

Yes hmm this is true with a modification, I didn’t really start SEID back then, I “started” Neocrome but whatever name the idea was the same. I was the only member and I had only a guitar at disposal. An Epiphone Les Paul that Grim from Domgård bought from me about 15 years later. I think he passed it on now. 1992-1993 I was listening VERY much to some specific albums since getting albums was kind of hard and super expensive, but my absolute favourites were Marduk- Those of the unlight, Darkthrone- A Blaze in the northern sky, and BATHORY’s Jubileum I and II albums, Impaled Nazarene- Tol Cormpt Norz Norz Norz and Ugra Karma, a bit later also Dissection- The Somberlain (1994). Death Metal was really interesting too, Entombed Clandestine, Dismember- Like an ever flowing stream, Deicide- Legion and Cannibal Corpse- Tomb of the mutilated were my favourite cassettes haha I still have those, seeing Entombed, At the gates and Internal Decay live back then was a huge life changing event for me… but the black metal was something special and eerie that just never let go through the years. Early 90s was as you know totally insane and every band seemed to be masters of their trade. They really were, and the thing was back then only the really fucking good bands had a chance, remember this was before people even had e-mail. Cassette trading was the shit. (Still is). I prefer that time, now days every band think they are great but the obvious fact is they suck, there are still as very few really good bands as back then, but now every band can be bigger than they deserve through internet bla bla bla I become like this when I drink beer. But… coming back to the idea of starting SEID. I have found a whole textbook of riffs I made back then under the name Neocrome. Logo framed with both upside down crosses and Thors hammer Mjölner/Mjolnir. In that sense it’s a lot like SEID haha I haven’t really changed to be honest. 
I was 13-14 back then I am 38 now, what can I say, I am a slow learner and a late bloomer but stubborn as fuck. Talents like Jon Nödtveidt and Nicke Andersson seem to never have been beginners… just picked up whatever instrument and handled it liked a professional from day one. This was the reason I couldn’t start SEID back then, first I couldn’t find people to play Black Metal with, and second I couldn’t really technically play the way I wanted to either. So I was doomed to play crust punk for 10 years in a band called Abuse, then Terrorstat, then Serpent Omega and at the same time slowly coming back to my musical identity. “Fun fact” is that me and Arant is planning to record all those shitty and naive riffs from the textbook and release it as SEID, probably as a full fourth album directly after album number three. But it could also end up as a bonus cassette or an EP. We are joking about how people probably will like that album the most… maybe a self-fulfilling prophecy. The riffs are brutal and borderline insane and not at all as “polished” as the one on Darkness Shall Fall and the third upcoming album. Somehow I think that really raw style is more popular. But if I were making music to satisfy as many listeners as possible I wouldn’t be playing black metal at all.

4. Both the band name and lyrics come from Rune Magick and Asatru, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these practices?

Well, speaking for myself I am in proud opposition to all Abrahamic religions, they are the plague. Ban them. But instead…some runes are getting banned right now (like the Tyr rune) in their own natural habitat because they were/are used by National Socialists (imagine completely banning the Christian cross or all the Mosques like they try to ban runes and Asatru. Don’t try to tell me that seriously bad stuff haven’t been done in the name of those religions. And Commies could make a whole chapter by itself. ) This on the other hand is really a true racism against native Asatru, since oppression of religion is now included in the definitions of racism. I have a Valknut tattoo on my hand for example and people really sometimes have the nerve to ask me IN SWEDEN if it stands for something “bad” referring a bit unsecure to the Nazis. Why would I give a fuck about Nazis? These are MY symbols and my heritage. People are in general stupid and want to come across as “good hearted” but don’t have the time or interest to really read up on things, so the results of their semi- ambitious good intentions are easily manipulated, but hard to reverse. The left, the right and the ones in between are all fooled because they base their decisions and politics on lies alone.
In another aspect. The interest for our old ways, runes, Asatro/Asatru, Seidr, Vikings, and all things related has been with me since early childhood. Where I come from outside Uppsala there is a lot of rune stones and Viking grave mounds, and other historic marks that early caught my eyes. My best friend as a child introduced me to an old three legged table that could answer questions with its different legs. And we also started small sacrifices early on… he had much knowledge about the characteristics of the different Asarna/Aesirs and Vaner/Vanirs, and my mother was kind enough to get me books about the gods and the Vikings too, almost all my essays in school were about Ragnarök and so on haha. Once again… before the world wide web kiddos. Nobody in school knew shit about our own culture/history, but we had to learn about all other stinking religions. Nothing about reading runes even, no field trips visiting rune stones, a clear case of self oppression. We never visited the great Viking mounds of Uppsala that was half of an hour away with bus. BUT we had to go to church to sing psalms and learn about the bible haha middle east wicked shit in Scandinavia. No one even reacts. The seidr runs in the family. My mother is a Seidrkona without knowing it but the way she can foretell future, talk to animals and find ground water before drilling a well with just a small Y- formed branch of birch (Slagruta)… to me strongly indicates she got a lot of seidr. People can believe what they want about it. I dream of things to come, but I have trouble sometimes to separate those dreams from ordinary dreams, I’m working on methods for that. I also have a very good hand with casting the runes similar to Tarot readings. I use shamanic drumming to travel the parallells. But as with all magic, the more you use it the stronger it gets. But revealing too much to anybody is a poor decision. Great forces are in work and many different agendas are struggling. But I have seen Ragnarök (the end of the world) many times and I can guarantee you it all ends in a series of big cosmic collisions and it looks beautiful. I hope it comes sooner than later.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

SEID have never played live. But we will! The members of SEID have very much live experience. Early on we made a decision to stay away from the crappy gigs. Our stage performance will be Seidr ritualistic and suggestive. We will bring in a couple of guitarists for this so I can focus on vocals, shamanic drumming and maybe a third guitar. So guitarists can get in touch. Since Arant (drums) lives in the US we already have a drummer in Sweden who has signed up for doing live shows in Europe. (Tatu from Neuronaut) If/when we play in the US, Arant will be drumming. Good venues we have played in other constellations in Sweden are Copperfields and Truckstop Alaska, and some years ago in Stockholm we also had Püssy a Go Go and Debaser Slussen. In Norway I recommend Blitz (Oslo), in Finland I would say Klubi Turku. There is a festival in Bergen, Norway that you all probably know of, called Beyond The Gates that I have visited but not played, that would be a good place to play for SEID.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Nothing booked, first Darkness Shall Fall must be released in less than a month and we will take it from there. We got some venues mentioned above that are interested when the time is right. Maybe there will not be any live shows until the third album is released. It depends. But there is no panic.

7.The vinyl version is going to be released on 'Urtod Void Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Yes and as far as I know right now it will only be 300 LP released. 100 of them will be blue splatter. So pre order at Urtod Void. It will also be on Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp. No CD or cassette is planned but we could be interested if the right label approaches. The cover design is a painting made by WÆIK solemnly for this purpose. I believe I got the advice to contact Urtod Void by Nate/Niðafjöll in Veiled (great new album on its way, recorded in Sweden by Grá members by the way). Igor who runs Urtod Void is easy to work with and gives 100% artistic freedom but still helps out with everything and we have trusted him a lot. He helped us properly digitalize the logo that I only had on a piece of paper before. Stuff like that… I highly recommend Urtod Void.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of pagan and black metal?
The support so far (mainly on our Instagram account @seidsthlm) has been truly mind blowing… maybe not really mind blowing but at least humbling. People have been buying patches for their vests from all over and I think many will be very happy when Darkness Shall Fall finally arrives. We got some really good reviews too but actually we haven’t been doing so much promotion unfortunately. It’s the worst part of playing in a band.

9. What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Alex are very active with Craft (fucking great band) and they have a new album almost completed! Right now he is in Greece with Hypothermia.
Me: Serpent Omega has a second album almost done, only vocals and mixing remain. Last one came out 2013 and the members have been busy with stuff since then so everything has taken a lot of time. We have made some shows every year though. I always thought we were better live anyway really.
Arant is busy recording drums for Witch of 1692 (you need to check them out). Also Arant and me are working on SEID’s fourth album (!!!) the one with all the riffs from 1992-1993, because he already finished the drums for the third SEID album. And I finished the guitars too. Bass and vocals to be done. That guy Arant is like a machine… and we both have OCD.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
The third album will be even deeper down in the Swedish folk music swamp, we will even have an old Swedish folk song cover as the outro for the album. Visa från Utanmyra. It’s going to be more of a folk jazz inspired version than black metal. But I still think people will like it. It is one of my all time favourite songs anyway. Other songs will have shamanic drumming and the riffs are very melodic and inspired by old folk melodies that many in Scandinavia know in their “souls/hearts/guts” even if they never actually heard them before. The name of this third album is gonna be ULV or ULF in runes. After this third one we will release the 1992-1993 album or EP and it will be totally different than DSF and ULV! More Darkthrone than Bathory if that make sense. More Orch/Orc than Alv/Elvish. Haha you will see. The fifth album will probably just sound like Wardruna or something. But we aren’t there yet.

11.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?
 I mentioned this in previous answers but I want to bring up Internal Decay again. Most underrated band in the world. The name Darkness Shall Fall is an homage to their song “…and darkness shall fall” The acoustic title track interlude on Darkness Shall Fall in also inspired by mainly them, but also At the gates and Dissection taught us early on that undistorted acoustic parts wouldn’t make albums bad, but rather enhance the dynamic and storytelling. Hmm nowadays is harder. I like Abbath, I think Marduk is still relevant, Djevel, Ruins of Beverast, GRÁ and of course my friends in Domgård, Veiled, Avslut, Craft, Sadistik Forest, Nebrus, Nott, Seeds in barren fields, High on fire. A lot of semi unknown bands I work with at Dark Prod Studios is really great too. Like Sex Dumpster from Mexico. I am sure I forgot many and I blame the age.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I want to thank the few like yourself who contributes more to the scene than half of the bands and the fans do. To get support as a unknown band is really fucking hard because people are like sheep and some of the cool sheep must say they like a band first to make it ok for the rest of the sheep to like it. Wolves doesn’t bother about this. But sheep are many and wolves are few. To all you lone wolves out there… join the #SEIDpack. Valhalla awaits.
Instagram: @seidsthlm

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