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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Theudho Interview

1. Can you update us with what is going on with the band these days?
Yes, we are down to the final preparations for the recording of a new album. The whole-lineup of the band more or less changed in the past six months despite having written a complete album. Basically everybody needs to get acquainted with the new material before the actual recording, in order to perform all of the songs as tight as possible.

2.How would you describe the musical sound that you are going into with the new material?
That's actually a pretty good question. The vocal style will remain in a black metal vein, as it has always been. Musically, we have incorporated more and more elements throughout the years, at least since the very first demo which had a typical black metal atmosphere. Our second and third album where influenced quite a bit by classical music, as we felt that our style of music merged quite well with a Wagnerian bombast. This time around, we have toned down that influence - or at least the actual execution of that influence on keyboards. We wanted the guitars to play a prominent role, instead of burying them under layers of strings, horns and choirs.

3. You have some interesting lyrics, what are some the subjects that you find the most interesting to write about?
Thank you. Frankly, I'm not all that interested with the stereotypical subjects that a lot of bands seem to write about. Anti-authority or socially aware lyrics are out of the question, growing up in one of the richest countries, in the world with, at least back when I was a kid, very little problems and very reasonable authorities, and police and whatnot. It would be very insincere to shout screw the police or abolish free health care, wouldn't it?
I'm not a biker either. so writing about an Easy Rider- lifestyle is out of the question as well. A lot of musicians here are strongly influenced by superficial Hollywood-culture and chose to write about movies that somehow made on impression on them, mostly superficial horror stuff. One could just as well write lyrics about Ren and Stimpy then...
That said, life can indeed be somewhat one-dimensional. Everything that surpasses that one dimensional reality is interesting. On a personal level, I am most attracted to European pre-Christian myth and legend, so that topic forms the core of inspiration for Theudho lyrics.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the band's name?
When I was looking for a name for this band, I wanted a name that captured the Germanic essence of the concept. At the time I was reading yet another book on Germanic mythology and stumbled upon the ancient Germanic word "peudo" which basically means people or tribe- The word evolved into pretty much all Germanic languages, referring to an ethnic or national concept (for instance Deutsch, Dutch, Tysk, Duits, Diets). In some Germanic languages, like the extinct Gothic language, there is a connotation of pagan, heathen.
I'm fully aware that the band name does'nt sound catchy and has very little commercial appeal,but that is just a surplus as far as I am concerned. Having a band name that consists out of, for instance, one or more horror terms is just begging for being hailed by posers for the shock value only. The choice of band logo spawns from the very same idea; I didn't want a logo with lots of blood splatter and or/ a whole a whole collection of symbols just to live up to commercial expectations.

5. Have you had the opportunities to play live yet, what are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
Yes, the previous incarnation of the band performed live in the past years. Although it certainty wasn't my idea to play live (our former lead guitarist actually insisted, we did some gigs that where quite satisfying. I have fond memories of gigs such as the Rock festival in Germany in 2006, the Vlamrock festival in Belguim of 2008, and the Nepherex fest shows in 2007 and 2008 as well as our gig in support of Heidevolk in 2008.
We have always based our live set on those songs from our albums that where pretty much straight to the point, focusing on the more energetic songs without too much fuss on keyboards and such. Right from the start we have also included one or two cover songs in our set, ranging from more old school stuff to well known classic songs from bands such as Slayer and Metallica.

6.Are there still any other side projects besides this band, if so who are they and what kind of music do they play?
Yes, besides Theudho, I'm also involved in neo-folk/industrial/martial side project called Weihan. We've released two albums ( Galder and Symphonies of Divination ) and a whole bunch of compilation tracks with that project.
Next to Weihan, I'm currently writing lyrics and introductions to the lyrics for a black metal band Gorath. We've worked together before, I did one-off lyrics and guest vocals on just about every album they put out, and wrote all of the lyrics and introductions to their 2008 Misotheism album. That album turned out to be really good on all fronts.
The cooperation with Gorath is extremely interesting for me since it allows me to write about topics that don't fit the pagan concept of Theudho and Wehan, those lyrics have more of an occult, Luciferian, Gnostic, darker feel.
I have also played (session) guitar, bass and keyboards for some other bands and projects as a favor to friends, but nothing that was rewarding as the aforementioned projects.

7.Out off all the albums that the band has released so far, which one are you the most satisfied with?
Certainly the debut album. It has the more natural and organic sound off all of our full length albums and has the most spontaneous song writing, I believe.

8.Recently you have re-released your first album on vinyl, what was the decision behind the re-issue?
Years ago, we actually had a deal with another label to re-release that album on vinyl. That label sadly disappeared when label owner was messed up pretty badly in a car accident. With Treachery being the most organic sounding we've done so far, it made sense to transfer those recordings to vinyl format. We had it re-mastered. as the specifications for vinyl are different than for compact disc, and I must say I enjoy the result a whole lot. Visually the whole album is more attractive as well, as the sleeve of a 12 record offers so much detail than a compact disc cover.

9. How would you describe your musical progress over the years and what direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?
The sound on the first album was very necro, as I wasn't concerned with production and such. Our first label convinced me to get a good production for the first album, and that basically forms the starting point for more intricate songwriting. From our second album and onward, we started experimenting more with harmonies and such.
After our third album, we started to get a bit tired of messing around with keyboards, so we are returning to more guitar arrangements. We chose to push our abilities as musicians, with a bit more complex guitar parts that aren't touched up with keyboards.

10. How has your music been received so far by pagan/viking/black metal fans worldwide?
Pretty good actually, judging from all the e-mails we get from around the world. It seems that are music is doing particularly well in Germany, and surprisingly, in the United States.

11. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music, do you have influences outside of pagan/viking/black metal and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I learned to play guitar with old Metallica and Slayer tab books. so that style of playing is the core of my style. Later on i became of huge fan of Bathory, especially of the Hammerheart album.
As for non-metal music, I enjoy certain kinds of classical music. Not fancy, playful type of stuff such as for instance Vivaldi, but rather composers such as Mussorgsky,
Prokovief, Sibelius, Tveitt, and of course Wagner. Besides that I have a modest interest in industrial, martial and neo-folk music such as Blood Axis, Arditi, Trialli, Puissance, Der Blutharsch &.
As for blatant name dropping albums I've listened to in the past week include Dissection Storm Of the Light's Bane, Therion Sirius B and Lemuria, Iron Maiden Seventh son of a seventh son, Puissence Let us lead, Luciferian Demmonication, Burzum Belus, Watain Lawless Darkness, Allerseelen Neuschwabenland, Black Sabbath Heaven and Hell, ...

12. When I read your lyrics to seem to cover a lot of knowledge about Asastaru and Northern European history, what are some of the historians, philosophers and pagan authors that have influenced your views, and what kind of pagan would you describe your yourself as being?
Thanks, quite frankly there are a lot of crappy books around about Germanic religion/mythology/history, like for instance the absolutely horrible waste of paper The Rites Of Odin by Ed Fitch. Even with good books, one must bear in mind that they were written in a certain day and age and that they are always tainted by the governing mentality of that period. That said, I found the works Jan de Vries, F>E Farwerck, H>A Guerber, N>M Peterson, Rudolph Simek, and Ernst Jung to be quite informative without too much nonsense.
Philosophically, the books of Freidrich Nietzsche are on obvious and dominant influence, I guess i dont need to go into detail here. The infamous book Might Is Right by Raganar Redbeard is an interesting piece of literature as well, if one wants to be more primal than Nietzsche.
I actually avoid calling myself a pagan, as that term lost of it's meaning due to it being used by far too many groups without common ground. The easiest way to explain my point, would be to compare it to referring to a person as a Christian. It dosen't say a whole lot about that person, really. He could be verything from a Jehovah's witness, a KKK member, a Catholic , a Protestant, Christian Scientist, born again, Progressive Christian or simply a guy who was baptized shortly after birth and never set a foot into church ever since & the same thing applies to paganism. Anyhow, I dont believe in gods as metaphysical beings.

13. How would you describe the pagan/viking/black metal scene in your home country of Belguim?
There are a bunch of worthwhile bands around and a whole lot of not so great ones. Enthronesd is probably the most well known black metal band from Belgium, but I could also advise you check out bands such as Heimet, Gorath, Waelcyrge, Huldrefolk, Kludde, ...

14. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Besides music, I'm primarily interested in (comparative) mythology, martial arts, hiking, graphic design, studying languages, travelling &

15. Any final words or thoughts before we close this interview?


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