1. Can you update us with what is going on with the band these days?
L.S. (drums)- We have just completed a tour of the northeastern area of the U.S. as well as a couple of shows down south in the Los Angeles area. We have also recently completed our latest full length titled 'Raven God Amongst Us' and we are promoting that as well. We have some more shows in the future and are also slowly getting prepared for the long winter ahead up here in the mountains….
2. What is the meaning of the band's name?
L.S.- It is a similar name to the god of the winter sky…..where we live, we have very long, cold winters…..so it seemed appropriate.
3. How would you describe your musical sound?
L.S.- Valdur is metal music first and foremost. We are proud to have many extreme metal influences in the creation of Valdur. I personally grew up with Mercyful Fate, Bathory, Venom, old Slayer, etc…..and then got heavily into thrash metal…then heavily into death metal….and then also got into the newer black metal stuff. I also like doom metal as well as the classic heavy metal. It's funny though…..for me, black metal is still Mercyful Fate! hah! None of us in Valdur are confined to one style of metal. I also listen to dark ambient and drone stuff. …..it is all an influence on our music. We do NOT just take one or two bands' styles and then try to copy them!
4. The new album has some lyrics that are written in a different language, what made you decide to use a different language on some songs and how would you describe the lyrical content of the new album?
L.S.- This comes from our vocalist (also guitarist) Thor. He is from Norway and so he chooses to write some of his songs in Norwegian. And no, we are not trying to be Norwegian Black Metal….Valdur would never try to be something that it is not! hey! We all bring our different influences to this band to make it complete. I am quite unclear as far as the lyrical content of the new album…..this is Thor's department.
5. What are some of the best live shows that the band has played so far?
L.S.- Every live show is good for us, as we put all of our energy and spirit into the live setting. It is actually hard for me to look back on the live shows as I typically end up in a very strange state of mind. Our music is very fast and intense and I have to concentrate very hard to keep it all together. I typically am frustrated when a metal band thinks it ok to be 'messy' on stage.
6. Do you have any plans to tour Europe in the future?
L.S.- Well, I must say that to tour Europe would be great. I have traveled all throughout Europe many times including: Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Scandinavia, etc…. -Chamonix, France is like a second home for me, I have spent a lot of time there in the French alps. To be able to travel through some of these countries and be able to play extreme metal music would be really amazing. Also to be able to play some festivals over there would be a dream come true. Maybe someday we will have that privilege, yes?
7. Are there any current side projects besides this band if so who are they and what kind of music do they play?
L.S.- I am actually the one with all the side projects as I am always plugging away at music. I play the drums in two other bands: Endless Blizzard as well as Weverin……and I have two of my own solo projects: Sxuperion and SXAP. It is all extreme metal with the exception of SXAP which more ambient stuff.
8. How has your material been received so far by black metal fans worldwide?
L.S.- Very well…
9. How would you describe your musical progress over the years and what direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?
L.S.- I think that when we first began composing songs, they had some old school death metal mixed into old and modern 'black metal' sounds. Then, I think we had a more traditional and more recent 'black metal' style….this was due to Thor writing so many riffs! I think that we are now slowly re-molding our sound…..but I am not quite sure how to describe it. My aim is to make my drum parts faster and more brutal for every release. I always get pissed when bands' music gets less intense over each release….like they are dumbing down their music. Fuck that…..
10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and what are you listening to nowadays?
L.S.- As I said before, I listen to all kinds of metal music as well as ambient music. I despise most other kinds of music like rap or country or pop. Some people may think that I am 'closed minded'…..so be it. This is my choice. I know what I like and I stick with it. I am listening to a lot of Blut Aus Nord, the new Azarath is fucking awesome, Brian Eno (his Ambient series), Lull, the new Urgehal is good….I really like the new 1349, and I am addicted to the new Lightning Swords of Death full length…..it seems to get better and better the more I listen to it. I also am always listening to the good shit from the good old days……Mercyful Fate/King Diamond, Bathory, Morbid Angel, Unleashed, Incantation, etc. I have a huge metal collection!
11. What role does Paganism, Occultism or Satanism play in the music and how would you describe your views on those topics?
L.S.- We are deeply spiritual individuals. I will not going into our specific spiritual preferences though. To me, people who go about trying to prove their spirituality or their religious beliefs onto others are spineless, parasites who just cannot keep their mouths shut. Our spirituality plays a very strong role in our music though……and this is why one does not hear much 'happy', 'feel good' shit in Valdur, hah!…..although I think that our music can be very uplifting at times…..
12. What are some of your interests outside of music?
L.S.- We have many…..as I stated earlier, we live up high in the mountains of the eastern sierras. We have to laugh when people think of California as only being a beach when the state inhabits the highest peak in the lower 48 states (Mt. Whitney at over 14,000 ft.). The small town we live in is at 8,000 ft elevation…..so this means plenty of wandering through the mountains during all seasons of the year. The winters here are long……last winter we had snow on the ground for 9 months straight, and it gets so deep that it typically buries our homes. So this keeps us busy! There are also many other things that I get out of life, but I will keep those things private for now…….all I can say is that we are not stagnant people.
13. Any final words or thoughts?