FESTUNG NEBELBURG is a to me new goth/black metal band. But since I love discovering new bands I had to interview this one. Anders Ekdahl ©2016

How different is it releasing an album compared to a demo where there were no real pressure?
-I never felt any pressure of time as neither my 2005 demo nor the following releases were ever bound to fixed release dates. But, of course, you put way more effort in an album than in a demo. You double-check everything, you listen to the songs over and over again and adjust certain things. Still, I would not call it pressure as it means a lot of fun for me to be satisfied with your own release.

What response did you get on your first album? What was the weirdest response you got?
-I received different reactions to “Gabreta Hyle”. The majority of listeners liked it a lot (at least those who made their reactions public). But there were negative opinions as well. Some people just can’t stand the fact that I mix Black Metal tunes and clean vocals, for example. In my eyes, they don’t understand my musical approach. Festung Nebelburg is not about fulfilling any scene cliches. This project exists because I feel the need to “conserve” old legends and knowledge of my home region – so they hopefully may not be forgotten. Furthermore, I just like to play this kind of music. To me, it’s not important to define my style. It is music that I just like to produce and to listen to. The weirdest response concerncing “Gabreta Hyle”…. The album was released in 2007, so I gotta admit: I don’t really remember what people said exactly.

When you release an album and you go out and play live and people know your songs, how weird is that? That people know what you have written on your own?
-So far, there were no Festung Nebelburg shows. Let’s see how things will look like in the future. To be honest, I appreciate the thought of live concerts more and more.

Do you feel that you have to follow in the foot steps of the first album for a second when it comes to lyrics and art work for example?Absolutely!
-As I said, many people enjoyed the first album. Festung Nebelburg is an important part of my life and it has to make me happy in the first instance. Nevertheless, you don’t want to disappoint the fans of your music with the second album. Additionally, it took me eight years until I released the second album “Zwischen den Jahren”. In a way, you want to progress as a musician. On the other hand, you still want people to recognize that it is still Festung Nebelburg. The expectations were quite high. So far, the fans said that the new album is at least as good as “Gabreta Hyle”. So I assume, I did a good job.

Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community because you play in a metal band?
-Difficult to answer. 10 years ago, the Pagan Metal community was really big in Germany. I guess, the number of people listening to this sort of music or similar genres decreased. But back then I said, that this “scene” contains too many people and bands that are not really committed to the spirit behind the music. They were just going with the flow. In my opinion, the status quo of today is better. Mostly, only those bands and fans “survived” who really were serious about the whole pagan thing. And this circle of people can be called a community in which Festung Nebelburg feels domiciled.

When you have found a sound how hard/easy is it to come up with songs that fit into the sound?
-I don’t have problems with writing songs. I always got ideas for new material and full songs. For me it is a bigger challenge to find a concept to which I wanna stick and with which I can identify when making a new album.

What influences/inspires you today?
-I’m pretty sure that lots of different things in my professional and private life influence Festung Nebelburg. For example, the ignorance and onesidedness of modern societies lead to “Altes Wissen” which can be considered a sociocritical song. Nevertheless, the main influences for my project are old Bavarian customs and sagas. The music is a result of what I feel when reading legends or attend traditional events.

We hear about what state the record industry is in. Then we hear that cd sales are increasing. As a band that releases records do you notice the state the industry is in?
-I’m pretty sure that less CDs can be sold than 5 or 10 years ago (at least in our genre of choice). And of course you notice that when running a project without any professional distribution channels.

What is your opinion on digital verses physical?
-Hmmmm. I consume digital music, too. I guess, almost everybody does that. But what I think is that music loses its worth. A CD, tape or vinyl is not only about the noise that comes out of your speakers. The physical factor is quite relevant when experiencing music. It gives you better access to the music, with all the artworks and the lyrics around it. And here we got the difference between consumption of and actually listening to music. So it is sad that people tend to devalue music by just using stuff like YouTube.

What lies in the future?
-As Festung Nebelburg is no mega big name in the business, things will stay down to earth for sure. At the moment, some merchandise is planned to finally react to wishes of the fans. Musically, I started with a new song some days ago. I got a raw thematic concept in mind for a third album. But it is only something vague and it will take some years again until I will release something. Anyway, I hope that it won’t take another eight years until a third CD will be produced.

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