HEIDEVOLK is a band that you should at least be aware of. With a new album out soon I had to interview them. Answers from Rowan Anders Ekdahl ©2017
You have one of these names that do not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
Not to hard actually. Since we started it has been clear we would sing about our homeland and history so we chose a name that was close to us. “Heide” meaning heathland and “volk” meaning people. So, people from the heathland. The “volk” looks like “folk” which is an element of our music and the style we play.
As I am sure of we are quite a few that are rather new to you guys could you give us a short introduction to the band?
-Sure. We started off in 2002 as a merge of two ideas, a viking choir and a folk metal project. All of us we’re playing in different bands and started Heidevolk as a project. After the first gigs in 2004 we noticed it became serious business as we were selling out small venues (200 people) before even releasing an album. Heidevolk soon became the main band for all of us. After working Heidevolk on our own for 5 years we signed with Napalm Records back and a booking company in 2007. This opened doors to first the European market and stages and later on the American soil. 2017 marks 15 years of Heidevolk history and being a veteran of several tours through Europe, North and South America we look back at a nice first phase of our band.
We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-Our biggest influence have been the themes in our music. History, nature and myths and legend deman another sound then regular metal thematics. We always merge the lyrics with the music until we get the perfect blend that highlight the meaning of the song. Musically you can hear the punky, black metal influence in the early Heidevolk albums versus the more traditional metal and 80’s rock influences on Velua as well as on Fire of resistance. All of this combined with melodic bombast and folky tunes.
What is the scene like in your area? Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
-Look around, the internet is your scene. People live on the internet for a huge amount of time everyday, you’ll get the interest of the internet. Though i do believe that it is important to have a band supporting ecosystem sith rehearsal rooms and venues to do your first gigs. The Netherlands has government funding for the music scene though most of it goes to venues and not to the bands. This way the venues are perfect over here but the band scene could use some money too.
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-There is only one way to find out. Of course it feels great to have this hobby that adds something to live and make you bigger than life. It is absolutely amazing to think of it that a group of people can drive round the world and play shows based on music that you created. Sometimes you play in front of 200, sometimes 20.000. Its great, i don’t think of it that much but when you do, dang! But when i show up at work after a tour its back to the other reality haha, which isn’t bad at all. Thanks for making me aware, i’ll thrive on that for a while 😉
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-When I want to get noticed for the right reason. This album is one about resistance, about standing up for what is yours. The cover reflects this and fits the music. When you look at our previous album VELUA you’ll see a more quiet front and detailed landscape that reflects the atmosphere and thematic of the song.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-When there would still be a world with just physical product we would be able to live from the music. So in a way it kills it. But mankind has been in denial for too long. We lost a whole generation to downloading illegally while the answer lies in services like Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music but the major companies have been to busy protecting history instead of looking into the future. Sometimes something has got to be destroyed in order to have a fertile soil for new beginning. It’s just a shame we are caught in the middle of that. So, a definite no here. Digital will increase business like it has never been before because anyone with 5 – 10 bucks to spend can have a premium account accessing almost all the music in the world. Imagine!
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-The folk and paganmetal scene is a broad one, mostly based in metal but we have a lot of mainstream fans as well. Unlike the regular metal audience our music also attracts people that are in for a good time for the evening. That makes a hell of a party.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
We are known for intense and energetic live shows so like always these gigs turn into a party. It is great to see and feel the energy you give on stage coming back at you from the audience. It happens in different stages, we warm up and we lead the way through sour songs and you will feel the room getting smaller until audience and performer are one. As if boundaries are gone. This is the feeling we want to achieve.
What would you like to see the future bring?
-Are we talking aliens and robots? No just kiddin’. We would like to explore more territories, reach new fans and spend more time on creating new songs that will leave a lasting impression. So add us on your favorite streaming service and come on out to our shows and share this party with us.