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Saturday, June 13, 2020

Gungnir Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the musical project these days?

At the moment we in the process of recording our first full length album, “With Ravens on our Side”. The drums are all tracked and have almost finished with the guitars. At the same time, the bass is being recorded and lastly we will track the keyboards and the guest parts in some songs.

2. So far you have released an ep, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?

That is a bit tricky, as some songs were recorded as demos since 2013, in order to be used in Mortuus Sum, the band that Jim Havok and me founded before Gungnir were formed. With that being said, even though Gungnir is a Bathory-based Viking black metal band, some riffs were more in the raw black metal style. We just changed them a bit and the EP was created.

3. Both of the band members are also involved with other bands, what is it that you bring into the music of 'Gungnir' that you are not able to do with your other groups?

With Gungnir we wanted to do something that never existed in Greece. A pagan metal band, with lyrics about Norse mythology and culture exclusively. All the pagan metal bands in Greece, death metal, black metal or anything, are all writing about the Ancient Greek mythology. We wanted to stand out, so here we are. Music-wise, as we said before, we wouldn’t have been here if it wasn’t for Quorthon and Bathory.

4. The lyrics cover Norse Mythology while the band is from Greece, do you also have an interest in Greek Mythology?

Yes we do, but for ourselves and not in Gungnir. Here is Norse mythology only.

5. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Gungnir'?

Gungnir is Odin’s spear, a spear that never loses its target. I think it represents the band’s goal in a way, as we are focused on what we are doing and we never stray from our path.

6. Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the ep cover?

The whole artwork, is a compilation of painting, regarding the subjects of each song and the general EP’s title. We have a painting of Ragnarök in the front cover, of Thor for “Our Swords for Thor”, of Odin for “The Wanderer” and of Fenrir’s, obviously for “Fenrir”.

7. For awhile the band was a trio but now is a duo, are you open to expanding the line up again in the future?

Not really, at least not for the band’s permanent lineup. Jim Havok and me are the band and if a live show comes up, we will use session musicians to cover the spots needed.

8. With the live line up you also have done some shows, which one stands out the most that you have played so far?

We haven’t playd any live shows so far, but we are thinking about it.

9. On the ep you also done a 'Bathory' cover, what was the decision behind doing one of your own versions on one of their songs?

As I mentioned before, Bathory is possibly the main reason we exist, apart from the desire to play that kind of music. “Under the Sign of the Black Mark” is an album, that together with “Blood Fire Death”, are the closest to what we want to do. The beginning of the epicness in the songs in the first one and the beginning of the Viking theme in the other. We wanted to combine those two together.

10. On the ep you worked with both 'Metal Throne Productions' and 'Mercyful Hell Prods', do you feel both of these labels have been very helpful when it comes to getting your music out there heard?

Yes! Definitely yes! Both labels did an excellent job for the CD and the tape and we couldn’t be more satisfied.

11. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of viking and black metal?

The feedback was pretty good, press and listeners alike. The truth is that were caught off guard with it, as we didn’t think that people would like it that much.

12. When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Yes as we said before, we are working on our first full length album, titled “With Ravens on Our Side”. As for the future, who can really tell? We have thoughts, but we will take one step at a time.

13. What are some of the bands or musical styles you are listening to nowadays?

Metallica, Bathory, Savatage, Darkthrone, Hypocrisy are some of the bands I am stuck nowadays. Those are actually my top favorites with a couple of more, but nowadays I don’t really listen to something apart metal. Sometimes I might listen to some ethnic music, or folk/ambient of something, or maybe just some good old hard rock, but those 5 bands are always the ones that I am getting back to.

14. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thank you very much for the interview, it is a pleasure and an honour to see that there is interest in us, even after 2 years of silence since our debut EP. Take care and stay safe!

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