I gotta say that I don’t understand the combination of folk metal and metalcore that your music is being described as. What is there to the combo?
-First of all, I would like to welcome everyone who is reading this interview, I’m Milán Leindler, the drummer of Niburta. I must say that we do not combine folk metal and metalcore, but we merge metalcore AND folk music The newest waves of metalcore music provide a solid base to our sound, which quite well supports the sad and catchy tunes of the balkanic folk melodies. Sometimes the metal themes come first and then we start a seeking expedition to find folk music that strengthens the emotions and atmosphere created by a guitar theme. Sometimes we find beautiful and breath-taking folk melodies, and we kind of “make a cover”. Either way, the final result hopefully speaks for itself.
From what I understand the band name is some sort of dual deity. How much does the band name reflect the way you play music?
-It definitely does! Yeah, this some sort of dual deity is the deity of war / agriculture of the ancient Scythian religion. Warriors prayed to the panther-god when they threw themselves into battle, praying for strength and glory, while in times of peace they hoped that the crops would survive the winter and they would have enough to eat. This duality can be found at many levels of our music. First of all, in the themes. The lyrics of the songs are about love or hatred, happiness or sadness, belonging or loneliness but at the same time about the contrast of the present and the past, the old traditions and the new (lack of) traditions, the old way of thinking and the new way of thinking. The wars of the mind and the peace of the mind. At another level, this duality is in the music itself. Ancient folk music and metalcore: you cannot name two more genres that are this far from each other. Yet, they have something in common: passion, raw strength and pure energy. That’s what Niburta is.
When you come from Hungary does it feel like you are at the edge of the European metal scene? Does it feel like you are forgotten?
-I might obviously say that “yea, we deserve much more attention” but that would be selfish and arrogant. The Hungarian metal scene itself isn’t too active, to say the least, it is very difficult to achieve a breakthrough. Fortunately, we receive invitations from abroad, for example we are to go to Poland, Lublin to be more accurate 9th december. We do not feel forgotten, we feel that it… in order to be heard, we have to shout louder than others… maybe even scream… from the east 🙂
What kind of national scene is there for a band like Niburta? What kind of bands do you feel connected with?
-There is of course Dalriada, who were the pioneers of the general folk metal scene in Hungary. Their music definitely differs from ours, but still, they introduced folk metal to the Hungarian audience. There are other bands, like Virrasztók or Kerecsensólyom, with whom we hold close friendship, and there are many young and talented bands, following the footsteps of Dalriada and the big foreign bands (and soon maybe ours;) ).
Something I often think about is how you chose what places to play? What kind of options are there for you to play live?
-There is no greater joy than going to a place where you are invited, expected, and welcomed with honest love. (this holds for women too). We go where we are invited, but our main goal is to conquer larger and larger stages. Not out of selfishness, but we would like to provide a better concert experience for our audience. As you may know, there are 9 members in the band, we cannot really play in small pubs and artist/underground places. We have been honored to play in Prague, Brno, Udine, Maribor, Bratislava, Nitra… all very good stages and good shows. In Hungary, of course, we have places to play, events are organized, but for us it is very complicated to have a venue that satisfies every requirement. How about Stockholm, Göteborg or Lund ? 🙂
What are the advantages/disadvantages to releasing an album on a national label?
We are definitely satisfied with our label, Nail Records, and are grateful to them. They invested lots of energy into us, and we hope, that they are delighted with our progress too. I’m not too familiar with the economics of this agreement, so I can only say that after releasing the album and signing with a label everything accelerated rapidly around us. More shows, more enthusiasm, more fans, more people we reached through our music… that’s the most important, I must say. Actually, I wouldn’t call it only a national record deal, since we got quite extensive international representation and promotion, and our album will be available in several foreign countries from the end November, including Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
What kind of reception have you had to your music so far? Do you feel that you take a step forward with every move you make?
-The album’s receptions are surprisingly good. We have very high ratings at foreign magazines and international sites, on an average 8/10. We feel a little embarrassed, since at some of these media usually only much elder and greater bands receive 7-8 points. We are glad of course, but still.
We have a lot of potential and a huge responsibility to improve We intend to write each of our songs so that it is better than all the previous ones. For our next album, we intend to follow a concept (which I’m not going to tell) and link the songs with a story, as a chain of events. All I can say is that we are fully committed to release an album that will prove to be a milestone in this genre… whether we succeed, I don’t know, but this is our goal.
How tough is it to get the feeling you have live and in rehearsal down on a CD? How much vitality do you lose in the process?
-We could pour all our energy, vitality, creativity and skill into that little shiny disc. At a live performance, we cannot play all instruments, for example I cannot play darbuka, cajon and the drums at the same time… Martina cannot sing three roles at the same time. Our live performance is more raw, energetic, I cannot really say if a live experience is how different from the CD-experience. I think the readers of this article should tell, if anyone has happened to see us live. 🙂
What does the cover art represent? I can see different symbolic interpretations coming from it.
-The cover depicts a Balkanic nightmare, made by Fazekas “Cyrgaan” Árpád. I dare not say more about it, it still frightens me too. 🙂
What future would you like to see for the band?
-Much more development, more shows, more people to reach and an even better live experience to offer. We would like to play on the great festivals during the Summer, and “vi vill spela i hemmet av metall musik och vikingar, sverige!” (I study Swedish:) ). We wish to be heard because we feel deep inside that we have something important to say. I thank you for the opportunity and thank you to anyone reading this, I hope that our music reaches to you.