FIRTAN is a German band that I have recently discovered. Interview done with Oliver (Bass) and Phillip (Guitar and Vocals) Anders Ekdahl ©2018

Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
O: Being in the studio to record a new album is always a very special event for me. You‘ve been working on the songs for months in the rehearsal room so it‘s extremely interesting to see how they are developing to their fnal form while recording in the studio. Working with Markus Stock (Te Vision Bleak, Empyrium) was a great experience for us. It was our frst production in a professional studio and I think we‘ve created something unique together. A mixture of many diferent elements which developed our sound to where it is now. Not easy to ft into a genre but that‘s what makes it even more interesting I guess.

I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
P: Back in the day, Firtan was found with the idea to create pagan music, which is of course inspired by old German languages and traditions. We did some research and came across the Old High German word “Firtan” which seemed ftting to us. Also the meaning, wicked or godless, matched perfectly with our musical vision.

What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
P: It‘s a great feeling obviously. Besides creating music for ourselves, it‘s the fan community and oursupporters that drive us forward and help us in making opportunities happen, which we‘d never had dreamt of when we were about to begin playing in bands.

How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
O: Our focus is to deliver quality music and impressive shows people will remember. Te image and aesthetics are one part of that, but for us the music itself is more important. Everyone should be able to dive into the music and develop his own image without having a fxed given way to see the band. We don‘t try to force any specifc image onto Firtan.

I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
O: A great artwork which supports the music is really important to us. Tat’s why we worked together with Denis Forkas Kostromitin who also did the amazing art for Behemoths “Te Satanist” and has an unique, captivating style. Our vision was to get a strong and abstract artwork for
‚Okeanos‘ which represents the atmosphere on the record rather than showing a specifc “thing”.
We also created special artworks for every song drawn by our drummer David and produced a Gatefold LP to have enough space for the visuals.

We live in a superfcial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only benefcial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
O: Your frst statement is sadly true for most bands today. Social Media had a great impact on us growing up as a band and allowed us to play numerous shows in up to ten countries now but especially Facebook is degenerating over the last years. Te visibility of posts by band pages is being cut immensely so it‘s starting to get more and more difcult for us, and probably every other band, to reach our fans there. Te biggest downside probably is that it‘s extremely time consuming to manage all your social media accounts… time I would rather like to spend on working on our music! But all in all we can‘t complain. It has helped as a lot and we have very loyal fans who are supporting us there and on our shows as well. Tanks to all our fans reading this here!

When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? Tat you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
P: Music is a big part of our lives and also the community is part of it. But for me it’s really more about the process of creating music in the rehearsal room, in the studio or actually playing it live. Te nice side-efects are that you become part of a big family of people you would have never met without being in a band and that you become privileged in a certain way regarding concerts, festivals, meeting your own idols and stuf like that. But as I said these are only side-efects and they’re not the reason why we do what we do. Te real meaning behind being in a band for me is to create music and not to please others.

When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is thescene healthy or does it sufer from some ailment?
P: Not really, because I don‘t care for a scene or however people may call it. Te thing in the end is that people will always listen to music. People who say things like: “rock is dead” don‘t dig deep enough. Tere is still so much great music produced today, but of course a lot of garbage, too. However I think it was always kind of like this. Also in the 70s or 80s, but today we only listen to the good stuf from these periods because this is what actually “survived” the high standards people have nowadays. People therefore tend to think music must have been much better back then, but that‘s not true since each decade has its classics. As long as people make music there will always be classics, which will survive throughout decades to come. Not everything is going well in the music industry but I don‘t think the scene is unhealthier than back in the days. Today we have so much more opportunities to create and witness great music, because music is always evolving.

How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
O: We used to play a lot of shows in the past years. Most of the time we played a show every two or three weeks, so there were barely two weekends in a row without being on the road and driving like half a day to play shows in every corner of our country and the ones around. As we‘re developing our status in the scene it‘s getting more easy to come out of Germany, but we sadly never managed to come to Sweden. Hope this will change with the new album! For the future we’ll concentrate on playing more festival shows and tours all around Europe to reach more of our international fans fnally.

What will the future bring?
O: More great shows all around the globe and new material from us for sure! We‘re already working on new songs and ways to explore foreign countries we never been to. Our journey will go on! Tanks for the interview and thanks to all of you listening to our music and spreading the word about Firtan! If you want to help us come to your country tell your local promoters about us, show them our music or simply book us directly!
Our new record Okeanos will be out July, 13th on AOP Records!
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