There is something to the sound of industrial that can either lift or drop a sound. in the case of LYFTHRASYR it sure adds to their sound of black metal. Interview answered by Aggreash. Anders Ekdahl ©2014
How important is the band name?
The band name LYFTHRASYR originates from Nordic mythology and fulfils several purposes. On the one hand it stands for the heritage of our music which is Nordic black metal. On the other hand, the legendary figure of “Lifthrasir” is one of only two survivors of the apocalypse “Ragnarök” and, hence, stands for a new beginning and something totally new. Finally, replacing the letter “i” with “y” guarantees the clear identification of this name with the band and not Nordic mythology.
Just so we know what we are dealing with could you please give us a short introduction to the band?
LYFTHRASYR was founded back in 2002 by me and was meant to be more a project than a band. This means that I write all songs and lyrics, record most of the instruments by myself, and work together with other musicians to bring the songs to the stage for live concerts. In the past 10 years, three albums were released and many concerts and tours played all across Europe. My personal highlights were the European tour in 2007 with Kataklysm and Behemoth as well as the Russian tour in 2011. THE ENGINEERED FLESH is the new album and the first album released by ALIVE distribution after the first two albums have been release by twilight-distribution. After several changes in the line-up over the years, the steady line-up currently consists of drummer Nefastus and me.
How do you find your sound? Do you take a whole bunch of influences and mix them together to make it your brew?
-Since two albums have been released before THE ENGINEERED FLESH, I already developed “my” sound consisting of a mixture of black and death metal with a strong edge on melodies mainly coming from synthesizers. However, more and more influences were included since I regularly changed my taste in music. In the beginning, I was listening to Dimmu Borgir and The Kovenant, then for some time I preferred bands like Machine Head and In Flames, and now I listen a lot to Rammstein, The Prodigy, and Turmion Kätilöt. You can find all these influences in THE ENGINEERED FLESH although it never was my intention to include specific influences. So, it is more like a natural process.
Does it become easier with time to write songs or is it a much more difficult process in that you don’t want to repeat what you’ve already done?
-As there are so many different influences, it becomes easier to write songs. Especially since with the new album there is a really unique style in my songs, I guess. So, the danger of copying other bands or even my own music is quite low. Furthermore, with the experience of more than 10 years, everything from songwriting to recording and production becomes easier.
What would you say is a great album cover? What does it have to contain for it to be great? I love the really big, colourful ones from the LP days. The ones you could sit for hours looking at discovering new details.
-That is true. I always liked very profound covers with a lot of details. Especially when there is a concept behind the album and the artwork is perfectly expressing and visualizing it.
What are your feelings on the latest album?
-I’m really satisfied with the result and the press reactions so far. It took very long to finish the album, but in the end I’m really glad that I waited until the song material was mature enough to be released. Furthermore, I’m proud of the live DVD which was recorded at the Global East Rock Festival 2011 in Kiev/Ukraine and is part of the special edition of the new album. I’m sure that the new album is a big step forward for LYFTHRASYR.
How has the internet changed the feeling of community in being a local band playing local shows? Does it still feel that you are a product of your surrounding area?
-The internet is a huge chance to present your band to the whole world. Every band wants to attract as much attention as possible and now you can do it worldwide and not only locally. And since the metal scene is a really loyal community, there is no severe danger of scattering due to the internationalization by internet. However, it becomes more and more difficult to attract attention as there are so many good bands out there nowadays which are able to promote themselves well. Actually, I never really felt like a product of my surrounding area and we never had a large local fan base.
What ways has been the best for you in order to promote the band? What do you do to reach as many interested as possible?
-Concerts are the best promotion in metal music. If you play good songs along with a good live performance you can reach more people than by asking them to read reviews, interviews, and stories. Besides magazines, social media has become very important. So, we not only focus on magazine promotion but also on online marketing and even viral marketing especially via social media.
How do you best utilize the interest you get on social media to actually have it mean something in real life?
-Very simple: you try to attract people to come to concerts and buy your CDs and t-shirts. I don’t mean this in a negative way of “tempting” people, but to show people that besides the virtual world there is a real world with cool concerts and bands which need to get some support in this real world, too, and not only in the virtual.
What lies in the future?
-In the near future we want to focus on playing concerts. I really missed the stage!