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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Bloodshed Walhalla Interview

 

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the musical project since the recording and release of the new album?

Hi guys, thank you for giving me the opportunity to answer your questions, I am truly honored.  So, we have to start from the beginning.  When we started writing the Ragnarok material which was later released in July 2018, we realized that we had written 8 songs with a total length of about 2 hours and 30 minutes.  It was a bit too much for a CD, and the intention was to release a double CD for the public.  But in retrospect, it was finally decided to offer the public a trilogy entirely focused on Ragnarok, and in the space of 5 years to release a single story divided into 3 chapters.  In the end it seemed like a great idea.  Ragnarok, the first, was released in 2018, Second chapter should have been released in September 2020, then postponed by a few months in agreement with the label due to the pandemic and the third, which I will not reveal the title, two years later.  So as you can imagine, Ragnarok and Second Chapter are very similar because they were conceived at the same time.  The first is all done in my studio, while the second was recorded in my studio, mixed and mastered in two different studios in my city by sound professionals.


2.Recently you have released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?


Well, as I said before between Ragnarok and Srcond chapter there is not much difference precisely because they were conceived in the same period.  With the other three albums the listener will surely have noticed that the band has grown and matured significantly.  "Legends of a viking" and "The Battle will never end" were recorded roughly, with very few instruments, in a basement but with a lot of passion and desire to amaze.  I liked the album "Thor" a lot, but there were a thousand problems with the old label and it went a bit quiet.  Now I think I have found the right path, the qualitative leap has not yet taken place and I don't know if there will be, but maybe I don't even want it because making and proposing music nowadays is not easy, I guarantee it.  But that's another story.


3.All of your lyrics are based upon Norse Mythology, can you tell us a little bit more about how you got interested in this topic and would you also consider yourself a practicing pagan?

 have been approaching Norse mythology for several years now and I have to thank the teacher, Quorthon, thanks to him and his music I have approached the music of BATHORY.  As you all know, the BATHORY, after the dark beginnings, also came across mythological themes related to their homeland.  I loved reading their lyrics, HAMMERHEART was the record that marked the turning point for me on the path towards a musical world that was completely new in those times.  I loved that music and its words, and I still enjoy listening to it nowadays.  Perhaps one day, however, I will stop talking about the Gods of the North, to maybe come across more homegrown topics, the growth of the band can also be seen from these radical changes.  Also because I am not a practicing pagan and I and only I decide on my music which theme to face today or tomorrow.  For now on with the gods of the north and the Vikings, tomorrow we will see!


4.Do you also have an interest in the mythology of your home country?

I have read something but have never really delved into it.  I would like to do it because it is about my land.  I know what we are talking about, the Romans made history, full of myths and legends above all, they were pagans, they believed in the Gods.  But there are also the Etruscans or something like that.  Each Italian city has its own folklore and traditions.  My city, which is Matera, has many stories to tell, it is no coincidence that Bloodshed Walhalla made an EP on the popular songs of my city.  Ep which has been a huge success, they write to me from all parts of the world to compliment, and that it will surely have a successor.  I don't know when but Mather's successor will be there


5.Originally the project was called 'Bloodshed' what was the decision behind expanding the name into 'Bloodshed Walhalla'?

The explanation is very simple, initially we were looking for a name that would define the project I had in mind.  And the moniker that seemed most suitable among the other chosen ones was Bloodshed.  I also recorded some demos under this moniker.  Soon after I realized that in the world of bands called Bloodshed there were about twenty of them and at this point it was no longer possible.  So we decided that it was necessary to find a second word to accompany the first to make everything more unique and original.  The word we chose was Walhalla.  We all know what walhalla is according to Norse mythology and we chose this word that matched the first one very well.  Bloodshed Walhalla ... 100% original


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


"Richard Wagner Rheingold", as the painting representing the new album is called, is a true work of art by André Kosslick, a German artist of great craftsmanship. Set design concept painting for Richard Wagners music drama "Das Rheingold". 4.Scene,Finale. The God Freijr strains the rainbow as a bridge to the God castle. Now the Gods can take in into the newly built fort. Box however looks into the depth of the valley and hears the complaints of the Rhine daughters, be will destroy fire later in the God twilight Wotans castle. I really like his works and already in our first two albums there is his signature.  The whole thing was elaborated by Andrea Curse Vag of the "Curse Vag Graphic" an exceptional graphic designer from Sassari who transformed a painting into a CD cover in a truly excellent way !!!


7.In the studio you record everything by yourself but have a line up for live shows, do you prefer to work solo in the  studio?

Bloodshed Walhalla started out as a one man band, and they still are in the studio today.  Lately, before this damn pandemic, we recruited four excellent musicians to share our music even live.  For now it is an experiment, unfortunately at the most beautiful, covid-19 stopped us and now when they reopen everything we have to understand who we are.  If we want to be honest I have tried in every way to maintain the status of one man band but the different requests from fans and the music world have led us to take another path.  In the studio, actually, I give my all, the passion for music and musical instruments, I isolate myself and create music, what I like, without being accountable to anyone.  I don't have the problems that full bands have in general, and trust me there are.  The times and the ways I decide them only and exclusively me.  I am not in a hurry and I dedicate a large part of my life in my studio.  Maybe one day we will be a full-fledged band but I guarantee you that when I want I can go back to basics without any problem.  For now let's see what happens with the reopening, when there will be, of the stages.


8.With the live line up what are some of the best shows that you have played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Bloodshed Walhalla until early 2019 was a fully-fledged one-man-band.  The undersigned was the only member of the band.  So for that reason we have never done concerts or anything like that.  As I explained earlier with the arrival of Ragnarok, which was a really satisfying album, something has changed.  At the same time as the Bloodshed Walhalla project I was engaged in other musical experiences, in particular I was playing and singing in an Iron Maiden tribute band.  With the same line-up we tried some Bloodshed Walhalla songs and it was quite tempting.  As the invitations to participate in some shows arrived it was decided to study some more representative songs and bring them live.  The debut was spectacular.  We played on the same stage as Antropofagus, then we shared the stage with Furor Gallico, Benediction, and listen listen in Milan we were the band that would have played before Dark Funeral, not bad!  It was a hit, Slaughter Club was packed, we couldn't believe our eyes, and our legs were shaking.  It was a success, we were proud of what we were doing, with so many sacrifices.  Our stages were really adventurous and we had a lot of fun accumulating a lot of experience.  In particular, I play the guitar and sing live, which is why I am a bit limited because actually you can't play well and sing decently as you would like.  It takes a lot of study and several hours of rehearsals in the hall.  After Dark Funeral, like everyone else, we stopped.  At the very moment this cursed pandemic has broken our dreams.  In the hope of starting over stronger than before we have signed a contract with an agency that will take care of our live dates.  Fingers crossed...



9.In 2017 you also did a whole album of 'Bathory' cover tunes, what was the decision behind doing this album?

Bloodshed Walhalla was born in 2006 and the initial idea was to form a coverband of Bathory (Viking era).  Quorthon had died a few years earlier and I don't know why I wanted so much to play his music and surprise myself with an unreleased piece that sounded damn similar.  Unfortunately I never managed to form a real band, so with my few chances and a lot of luck I was able to buy the bare minimum to be able to do everything by myself.  This is how the first covers were born, which I jealously guard. Recorded horribly, but I'm proud of it.  The first ever was "One rode to Asia Bay".  Then another dozen followed over the years.  And nothing, in 2017 I collected them in a single folder that is now available almost everywhere.  I recently recorded my own version of Hammerheart featured on "Twilight of the Gods".  I invite you to listen to it, nor will you be ecstatic.


10.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of Viking metal?


Eleven years have passed since the first album was released.  In the meantime 4 more albums have been released plus a couple of EPs and a collection of covers dedicated to Bathory.  We are certainly not rock stars but simply a band that produces to amaze a certain number of followers around the world who are passionate about viking metal.  We never wanted to make commercial songs open to everyone but we have always dedicated ourselves exclusively to the people who follow us, who are not few in the world, our music is not for everyone, even those who review us sometimes are not able to give us  an objective judgment.  There are endless bands, but I know very few that sound like us, maybe a couple.  However, we are very satisfied, there is always a positive response at every exit.  People write to us from all over the world to compliment and buy our CDs.  Second Chapters like Ragnarok, in a certain sense they opened us to the world of the underground in a decisive way.  In Italy when it comes to Viking Metal our name is always at the top.  We are highly regarded in Germany, Brazil, Russia.  Scandinavians are a suspicious people and they are right because we write topics related to their popular culture and perhaps this is a bit annoying.  Few in those parts appreciate our work and even those who review us are not very happy to do so.  Maybe it will be our impressions, but that's okay!



11.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?

 I don't know where I see myself and the band in the future.  I'm not used to going any further, but I like to be realistic and see what happens day by day.  Now I only see our creation, Second Chapter, and I see that we have done a really good job.  One thing I can tell you, in this sad pandemic period, musically speaking I have been very active.  The third chapter of the saga is already in the pipeline, and soon you will have news about it. Regarding the live scene we are still at a standstill, but as soon as they give us permission we will work hard to prepare ourselves as best as possible.


12.What are you listening to nowadays?


I listen to the music i was listening to yesterday ... I am traditionalist and nostalgic.  I always listen to the same music with the addition of new releases from past bands.



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

I just wanted to thank you for giving me the chance to chat with you for a while.  I sincerely thank you and wish you all the health of this world.  This cursed pandemic has made us more vulnerable and insecure.  Some of us are afraid, some of us think it's all bullshit.  I think that the truth is always in the middle but in this case you have to have faith in science and go ahead according to the rules.  I have had some friends die from this damn virus, so I'm really pissed off at anyone who says the virus isn't there.  You just need a lot of patience.  I don't want to dwell on it.  Thanks again.



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