IRRBLOSS I found on Youtube. There was something about them that made me want to find out more, hence this interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
Why choose Irrbloss as your band name? What does it represent to you?
-Before the band Irrbloss became a band with a complete line-up Lord Irrbloss, the singer of the band, actually had taken the name Irrbloss as his real middle name and also started a one-man band with the same name. Successively other members joined the band but Irrbloss was kept as the band name. For us, the name Irrbloss represents something unique and mystical. It is a good representative name for the folklores of the norse culture which is part of the foundation for our music and lyrics. The name has a good tune in it. Originally Irrbloss is a name for a folklore creature, a legend of a ghostly light orb that hovers in the forest and lure wanderers of the tracks to go deep into the forest where they´re lost to evil powers.
How does the name fit with being a folk/black metal band?
-Apart from being a cool name as it is, Irrbloss is, as mentioned, a folklore mythical creature. It represents a legend that´s been around for hundreds of years in order to keep people away from the forest at night. So since it´s connected to cultural folk beliefs and represents evil manifested in a light orb, it´s pretty suitable for a black/folk metal band.
What kind of influences do you guys draw from? What is it that makes Irrbloss Irrbloss?
-Originally the band was influenced by classical Scandinavian black/folk metal acts such as early Opeth and Dissection, Månegarm and Ulver. Irrbloss also took a lot of experience from traditional Swedish folk music. Nowadays we´re still much inspired by folk music but inspiration is also taken from death and black metal and also to some extent by jazz and classical music.
Why is it that Sweden is such a great place black and death metal? What is it in the Swedish mentality that suits this kind of metal?
-Most likely it is due to the harsh climate, the cold and the dark that dominates the seasons. Sweden is covered in darkness, ice and snow most time of the year. In the few months or sometimes weeks of light and decent temperatures, nature instantly fills with bloodsucking creatures (mosquitos and ticks). Another explanation is that the dark and gloomy music is a good way to express the coldness in our culture. Swedes are well known for being a bit cold and melancholic.
When you use pseudonyms what is the main reason behind it? What do they say about each member?
-The main thought has been to use pseudonyms that relates to our last names as well and/or to our geographical backgrounds. For example Norrsköld is a combo of the geographical origin (Norrland) and the last name (Sköld) of our guitarist. In other cases we´ve borrowed some more or less known names from the Norse mythology.
Does a sort of anonymity give a deeper meaning to the music you play? Can you get away with more obscure stuff when nobody knows your real identity?
-It is easier to use a pseudonym when you´re playing music, especially this kind of metal. It´s like taking on a uniform or gear when you´re in a specific profession. Although, the names are mostly used when we´re acting out our music, playing live and promote ourselves, and are not used elsewhere. It´s like any other form of art, an artist name brings more character to the people that perform the art. In our case the names often relates to Norse beliefs and history which adds to our band profile. So far we´ve not used our pseudonyms as “cover” for any form of nasty business but it´s imaginable that they could provide a good protection of our private lives when we´re getting better known in the metal scene
When you come from Gothenburg does that automatically bring with it an interest from people? Or are you guys being judged harder because of the history of great bands from that town?
-In a way some people, probably most people abroad ,associate the Swedish metal scene with Gothenburg. Especially since the term “Gothenburg sound” started to circulate some years ago. And yes, it´s a fact that many good metal bands have been established in Gothenburg. But in a national perspective Gothenburg is not the definite “metal town” since there are tons of extremely good bands from all over Sweden, from Luleå in the north to Malmö in the south. However, black metal specifically is probably even more associated with Norway since the genre has such strong roots there and has got so much public attention with murders, church burnings etc. Since we play a mix of folk and black metal We´re probably not being judged as hard as if we´d play “pure” melodic death metal.
What is the state of the metal scene like in Bohuslän and Gothenburg? What kind of bands do you play live with?
-There are several bands from the Gothenburg are that are active in the black/folk genre even though the metal scene has become dominated by death metal bands during the last years. There are however not that many bands that combine folk and black metal in the way Irrbloss do. Most bands that we´ve encountered in the area and that we´ve played live with tend to focus on either black or folk metal. Irrbloss has always had a good mix in the two genres, a good balance. Since our last record Bloodline however, we have changed this balance from being a black metal band with a touch of folk music to being more of a folk metal band with black metal elements.
Is it necessary to have a label backing you today when everybody and his aunt can burn CDs on their own? What can a label do that you can’t yourself?
-The music industry has indeed changed dramatically during the last decades. Today it is not as important to be on a label as it is to market the band in all forms of media, mainly social networks, and also focus on developing good live skills. The ability to perform good live is today is even greater than ever! The advantages with being on a label are that they will help you being continuously visible in different context (papers, merchandise, Spotify) while the band itself may be occupied with recordings, rehearsals etc. There´s also an advantage if the band is on the same label as other good bands in the same genre since this gives “free” promotion. It is true that bands today can do most, or all, of the work themselves but there are still great benefits in having an actor that helps you promote on a regular basis and also (if it´s a well-known label) adds to the seriousness of the band.
What future do you see for Irrbloss?
-We´re aiming at recording another full-length album within a year and in the meanwhile we’re focusing on live performances. As soon as we´ve got more live experience we aim to extend our live performances to include the rest of Europe and who knows what lies ahead! The overall goal is to reach out to as many people as possible with as great music as we ever can make!