Ever since I saw the name BALFOR I’ve wanted to know more about them. So what better way to find out more than an interview? Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Every band has to introduce their music to new people. What is it that you want people to get from listening to you guys?
-Well, actually is very hard to talk about music instead of listening, especially to talk about your own music, you know. However, I will try explain it. As you know, we call our style Barbaric Black Metal that could be explained as rough and epic, meaty and melodic form of black metal, which is yet dark, grim and somber. Somebody can get our music as death-black metal or even death metal for its hard and brutal sound, but for us its still black metal.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-From the very beginning we started under another name, which had nothing to fit our sound and concept so we decided to change it, it took not a very long time. At that time, I was very much addicted to history books, so I found this word in one of them. We were looking for short and memorable name and Balfor was really best choice for us. Balfor is an ancient ritual of burning a dead warrior as a funeral rite, which fits very well our lyrical concept and pagan background.
Everybody is influenced by certain things. What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
-Actually lots of them, but I think worthy of mention bands like Bathory, Celtic Frost and Emperor which are really inspires me alot from when we were started the band and until now. Also today I listen to some folk, neo-folk, world and soundtrack music and it certainly influence on me as on composer.
When you formed, did you do so with the intent of knowing what to play or did you do so from the point of having a band name and then picking a sound? How did you settle on the name/sound combo?
-As I said early we were started the band under the other name and after a while when we had some material ready we got a feeling that this name is not fit our music best. Therefore, we decided to use a new name. We have a huge pagan background and epic atmosphere in our music, and Balfor fits us very good.
I believe that digital is killing the album format. People’s changing habit of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
-Absolutely agree with your point, with tempo of modern life people are usually do not have a time to listen the music in album format. However, we are more like old school guys and still prefer releasing the albums, for us this is a good point to realize all our creative ideas.
What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
-I believe that art work and layout is a perfect tool to introduce the listeners to the album and create a shapes while listening to the music. For the “Black Serpent Rising” we wanted to create something original yet eye-catching and traditional for metal music, that is very hard these days, you know. And Nurgeslag did simply outstanding work, almost everything you see on our this cover is the sculpture he created especially for this this art-work. I think it looks absolutely fantastic and captures perfectly the whole concept of the album.
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
-I don’t think that social media has re-written the rules much, fundamental principles are still the same. It reminds me a lot the old times of ordinary mails, tons of flyers, fan zines and so on. Just everything has been moved to the web.
When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
-Sure, there are kinda big community between the musicians that makes you feel a part of a scene.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-We are trying to play as much as we can, touring, playing festivals, that’s all a big part of our activity. I think this is still one of the best ways to promote your band and we actually love it, and this is always good experience.
What will the future bring?
-You never know, but I hope for the best.