_ I caught up with Mr V (Andreas Hedlund - on the left) of Swedish Black/Folk Metal duo Vintersorg about their upcoming album, band history, the Swedish Metal scene and some other questions here and there, heja Sverige!
Who came up with the band name and what does it mean?
Mr V: The band name is something that I came up with back in the beginning of the 1990’s and an approximate translation would be something like “Winter Sorrow” but it has a more poetic feeling in Swedish, as well as a close bond to our folklore and historical writings.
What languages are your songs generally in and what are the main lyric topics?
Mr V: The songs on the new album are all in Swedish but we’ve had albums that are all in English also. It’s a matter of inspiration and what kind of emotional basis we want to transfer to the listener. I’m in some other bands as well where the lyrics are all in English so it’s nice to have both languages to express myself through. The lyrical content swirls around the relation between man and nature, on both physical, biological, mental and a historical plane and with nature I mean everything from the surroundings to the cosmological matters that have spawned us as humans. The lyrics have quite a poetic tone and are equally important as the music.
If you had to describe your music without using genre-tagging or clichés, what would you say?
Mr V: It’s hard to describe Vintersorg in words as it’s a mixture of many different musical elements. You have a lot of folk music, then a large portion of metal, the more calm and nearly ambient elements and all balanced out by a very intricate instrumentation. I also use a lot of different types of vocals and a lot of vocal harmonies…you see ..it’s impossible.
Your forthcoming album ‘Orkan’ will be your eighth album, what have you made different (if anything) from this album compared to your past albums?
Mr V: Vintersorg has always been a band that has evolved with every new album and that’s a very strong foundation in our art. To feel free to evolve and discover new grounds to embrace, just follow where the inspiration takes you and not calculate how that will effect the band commercially, that’s what real art is about from where I’m standing. The album is a continuation from the last one “Jordouls” but with some fresh angles and a more perfected production I would say. Some song have a bit darker atmosphere but I’m all from the inside..so it’ll be interesting to see what people from the outside will think.
How popular would you say Metal music is in Sweden in general and are there any upcoming young bands you wish to note?
Mr V: I think metal is very popular and is a large genre that covers people from 15-50 years old, just look at Sweden Rock festival…it’s a huge festival for a country that only have 9 million inhabitants. I’m not that updated about the scene as I live quite remote from the large cities, very far north actually and I mostly listen to old progressive and symphonic rock.
In respect of your upcoming release, which tracks would you say stand out from the album?
Mr V: It’s an album where all the songs need to be there to have the total atmosphere of what we wanted to achieve this time around, but songs like “Istid”, “Polarnatten” and “Myren” is some that will dwell your mind for a while I guess.
What plans does the band have for 2012 and beyond?
Mr V: Release the album and start work on the next one, we’re not a live act at this point in time. But we have so many things to do with our bands like Borknagar, Fission, Cronian and TME and we’re now resurrecting the old troll OTYG and are going to do a new album with that band as well…so we have plenty to do.
If you could give any advice to musicians who want to form a band or bands but not sure how to do it / having trouble doing so, what would you recommend?
Mr V: Just follow your vision, even if that some time means that you need to struggle a longer time than if you jump on the most popular genre of the moment, but you’ll last so much longer and it’ll give you much more back emotionally, and for me music is very much emotion based.
Finally are there any plans to tour the UK at some point?
Mr V: No, as we don’t play any shows at all.