BLOODSHED WALHALLA totally floored me with their album “Ragnarok”. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
What kind of vision did you have when you started and how has it changed over the years?
-Hello everyone and thank you for giving me the opportunity to answer the questions, I am Drakhen. Bloodshed Walhalla was born from an idea of mine several years ago. The project initially envisaged forming a cover band that would play the music of the Swedes Bathory. It was a project that excited me a lot, but that never went to port because of the lack of physical elements willing to play that kind of songs. By force of things I had to do everything myself, and over time I preferred to abandon the mentioned project to devote my free time to the composition of songs written exclusively by me but they should have sounded like the band of Quorthon (R.I.P). That was the year of his death, and this was very difficult for me to accept. At that time my mind dreamed and I was more and more convinced that one day I would inherit his genius. Thus Bloodshed Walhalla were born … First of all I have to say that when Quorthon died I was very disappointed by the resonance that this event had, very poor. At the time I looked for all the details and I found only a few short stories in newspapers Then a little later, as always when he was a musician, a legend was created and everyone had become a Bathory fan. That said, my band was born right after this tragic event. “But now I will do Nordland III”. I had a lot of ideas in mind, all the things that sounded on the guitar and are inevitably towards certain sounds. Then some notes came out that I recorded and from there I started. Over the years I have had the good fortune to meet special people, friends, who believed in me and in my ideas and thanks to them have been published 4 albums that sound damn “Viking Metal”. I invite you to listen to “Ragnarok” which is our latest studio album, released for the “Helbonesrecords” in collaboration with “Mister Folk” on 20 July 2018, here you can listen to the essence of our music that over the years is matured significantly both in the compositions and in the sound.
Does location mean anything today? We used to hear about how it was all location, location, location back in the days if you wanted to make it big? That you had to come from a certain place to be sure to make it.
-I’m sure that the place where you live counts a lot, if you’re in a place and pretend to know everything about that place, you’ve got it all wrong. Every country has its traditions, its uses and customs and in order to convert this into music, one must study and study intensely. When I created the Bloodshed Walhalla, I asked myself a lot of questions but one in particular was what a boy from southern Italy was venturing into an artistic path that was alien to his own culture. I passed this taboo only with the intense study of Nordic mythology, but not only: I listened a lot to the music of the bands of those cold places and a little at a time I managed to convey to the band the right characteristics of a real Scandinavian band … at least I hope!!!
What is it like to be a in a band and to get to tour all over the world? What kind of feelings do that bring about?
-Bloodshed Walhalla are a one-man-band so they can not do gigs. Maybe one day we can organize something live with other musicians who will want to play our songs, maybe in the near future this will be possible, we are working on it. But it will be sporadic, targeted and well organized events. We’ll see what happens. With my old bands I played a lot around. I know what it feels like, you’re always waiting and anxious to make a good performance. You would like more fans to be present under the stage. Playing live is exciting, and fun but it also takes a lot of sacrifice and goodwill. You need to have clear ideas and awareness of powers to find away from your home for quite some time. This is the life of the musician, and I have experienced this life. But now with Bloodshed Walhalla things have changed, I chose to create this personal band to be a little ‘quieter, since I have a wonderful family, a good job but above all a certain age. But as I said before, the surprises are around the corner and we are working on these surprises.
What kind of feedback have you had on your music, your latest album and in general? How important is feedback? How do you know that you have written a “hit” song? Is there a particular feeling you get when you know that this is the one, this is the big “make it song”?
-As I said before Bloodshed Walhalla was born in 2006 and now 12 years have passed since then.
We have released four albums, two EPs and several demos. I must admit that the criticism in recent years has been really positive from all points of view. I do not remember a negative review and many fans who often contact me congratulate the music we offer, and I am extremely proud of this and promise them that we will never disappoint their expectations. This year in particular came out our fourth studio album called Ragnarok, it’s been a month since its publication and the first feedback with the critics can only make me happy and make me understand that the road taken is the right one. From the first album published in 2010 we have matured a lot, we have acquired the right experience that leads us to compose ever more sophisticated and fascinating songs. The sound is constantly improving and the writing of the piece itself has become more balanced. Even if our tracks are long and articulate, the listener can understand what he is listening to and never gets bored while listening. In particular, Ragnarok song is my personal masterpiece, I am aware of having created a really beautiful piece. I notice it because every time I listen to it I like it more and more. I know I’ve created something really exciting and this thanks to the fans who confirm these positive feelings, encourages me to always go on constantly.
As I am no musician I will never got to know the difference of analogue and digital. Can you explain the difference to me? what are the pros and cons of analogue V/S digital?
-I’m sorry, but it’s not a topic I’m very prepared for. I record everything in digital and I have always found great. On the analogic I do not know what to answer you! Forgive me.
What is it like to have people you never met liking your music and singing along to it at gigs?
-For now the only way to interact with fans is to share my work on the web. Not doing concerts I can not know these feelings that you ask me. However, as far as I am concerned, there are many satisfactions. I have met many guys who like the music we offer, and we are in constant contact with them. They buy or listen to our music and send me messages of praise all the time. Even if I do not know them in reality, this is and will be impossible, and as if with each one of them I have made a blood pact. They give me strength and allow me to believe and continue on the right path. This is simply fantastic and only a few years ago was a feeling that I never expected to live. Bloodshed Walhalla are now rooted in the planet of Folk Viking Metal and will remain there for a long time. And all this is possible only and exclusively thanks to all those who believe in my project and whom I thank every day from the bottom of my heart.
How important are lyrics to you guys? Do you have any messages that you want to get forward?
-Our lyrics are mainly based on stories, myths and legends related to Norse mythology. Our musical genre is the Viking Metal and for this reason on our texts we treat everything there is to know about this fantastic people that were the Vikings and their Gods. I naturally write all the texts for the Bloodshed Walhalla and for me writing real things is of paramount importance. I read a lot and I have documented enough on these vast topics and even if I come from southern Italy I am very fascinated by their ways, uses, customs, so I know what I write and I do not risk falling into ridicule.
I love a really cool cover but I get the feeling that today with all this digital uploading/downloading people aren’t that concerned about artwork. How do you feel?
-Well, honestly I really like the covers of the CDs, especially those of the so-called Metal. Some are real works of art and you can not help but admire them. The problem is that not everyone can afford a work of art, works of art cost a lot. So the penniless band that can not afford additional expenses in addition to the registration that in turn costs a lot, is oriented to download free images to be modified at will. That’s why you lose all interest in works of art. In practice, while works of art cost a lot, wild downloading is free, so it sucks. That’s all!!!
What does the future hold?
-Bloodshed Walhalla are always active and I’m sure their future will be productive for a long time. With Ragnarok we made a leap in quality not indifferent, the public sees this and hears it and transmits it to you. The confidence in our potential is so great and for this in my personal studio Bloodshed Walhalla are always creative, and to date other songs are almost ready for a new chapter. On the live front as you well know and as I explained before the Bloodshed Walhalla since they are a one-man-band have never performed, but from next year something will change, so I invite you to stay in touch with us in the ours official pages, because there will probably be news. Thanks for the interview, see you soon!