Another Polish band has come my way in the shape of GURTHANG. My atlas is starting to fill up with pins of countries with really cool bands. Anders Ekdahl ©2016

How hard was it to come up with a band name and how does the name fit the music?
-Before starting the band I already knew the story of Gurthang written by J.R.R. Tolkien. It was the sword that witnessed the fall of it’s master and later took his life. I just felt that it’s right to name band after the symbol of insanity, self-destrucion and suicide, especially since my lyrics revolved around those topic from the very beginning.

As I am new to your band perhaps a short introduction might be in order?
-We’re Polish band mixing elements of black, doom and death metal. I’m A.Z.V. – the mastermind, guitarist and singer, Stormalv plays bass, Vojfrost is our keyboardist, Turenn is a drummer and G.H. is responsible for adding ambience and effects to our music. You can find all info about us in the internet, it’s not that hard to find.

As I am no musician I have no idea how it works, but how do you make your own music based on what influences you? What parts do you pick?
-It’s a natural process for us. I’m responsible for the musical direction band takes, because I’m the one who writes all the music. I can’t really explain how it works, it’s very natural and subliminal process. I can easily hear if the riff I came up with is something I want to put on Gurthang album. Later everyone arranges their own parts. If something doesn’t sound right we simply change it until we’re satisfied with the result.

When you are in a band does it feel like you are a part of a worldwide movement?
-It’s hard to call it a worldwide movement, I think those are too big words. We’re not doing it to fit into some kind of culture or movement as you call it. We’re doing it for ourselves because this is what we love and I personally couldn’t give it up.

How important is it that you look the part in promo shots and stuff? How important is the graphic side of the band?
-Visual side is very important for us. Each and every one of our cover artworks has very deep and symbolical meaning. Some goes for promo shots – we want our image to work well with our music, and if it requires to paint our faces with blood then we’ll do it.

What would you say influences your lyrics? How important are they?
-Basically life. Older lyrics were much darker and more depressive. That later evolved in me, now lyrics are more personal with deeper meaning. There’s always much more in them than it seems, sometimes there’s second, sometimes even third meaning. The lyrics are dark, but in different way. It says more about the darkness inside, than in the world around. I would say they’re as important as music, each album revolves around the particular moment of my life, themes that influenced me at that time and things that had the most impact on me.

Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
-We have the wonders of the internet, which combined with digital distribution means that everyone around the world can have access to our music at any moment. I wouldn’t say that digital is killing the album – when properly used it can be very helpful.

Where will the future of format end – digital verses physical verses whatever?
– I know many bands that don’t care about physical releases anymore, digital is what is good enough for them. As for Gurthang, every full-length album will always come out on CD. After that we can think about different medias like digital, tape or LP. And I honestly hope that I’m not alone on this case and that other bands will not give up releasing their music physically.

How much of a touring entity are you guys? What is a live experience with you like?
-We’re not doing any live shows at the moment and there are no future plans for it to change.

What lies in the future?
-We’re planning to release our new album in the beginning of 2017 and there will be some interesting things associated to this release. We’re also reworking some of our older stuff but I don’t know how long will it take, as we’re not in any rush.

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