VALKNACHT is another of these Canadian bands that seem to be everywhere. Let yourself be embraced by all that is Canadian. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
Why does a Canadian band chose a German band name? What does the name Valknacht represent to you guys?
-Good question. To choose a band’s name isn’t an easy task, but I think that it’s necessary to follow our instinct. We mustn’t choose a name because it would be catchy : the proof is that I didn’t choose a French name which would have been easier to pronounce. As far as I can remember, I’m fascinated by History, more exactly, the one of the Germanic peoples (continental or Scandinavian). Thus because I wanted to create a Pagan Black Metal band, it seemed to me quite natural to use a word who come from a Germanic language. For me Valknacht awakens a powerful feeling, which plunges me into a particular state of mind. It’s like a call for the fight.
What is it about the Germanic/Norse mythology that still intrigues people a 1000 years later?
-First of all, I think that this mythology abounds in fascinating elements who informs us about the peoples of the Late Antiquity (or the Early Middle Ages), their customs, their society, etc. For example : the correspondence between the divine and social castes (priests, warriors, and farmers) corresponding to the three functions of the sacral, the martial and the economic is really fascinating. The myths allow us to glimpse how these cultures perceived the space, the time, the coherence of the world ( and the relationship between order and disorder which constitute it), the relationship between the sky and the earth, between the life and the death. It offers us a completely different vision, foreign to that conveyed by our current society.
What is the biggest difference between the Germanic folklore and the Norse one?
-I’m not sure that we can say that there is a lot of difference between these foklores. Actually, both of them possess numerous similarity, which we perceive both at the linguistic and mythological level. Thor was Donar, Odin was Wotan, Tyr was Tiwaz; the structuring axis of the world was a tree (Yggdrasil) for the Norse, and an enormous pillar (Irminsul) for some German tribes like the Saxons. Both of them consider that the death isn’t the end, but indeed a step, et cetera. But you know I’m not the specialist of the question, so this is why I invite people to inform themselves, and at the same time, to increase their level of knowledge. It’s never a bad thing.
Is it easier to write about something that happened a millennium ago than it is writing about stuff that is closer to home time wise?
-Definitly no! That sometimes take a lot of search and reading to deepen a subject, and it is very important to take the time to make this research work, or you could say a pack of lies and shit. It’s difficult to claim that we deliver the truth, but at least, we try.
What kind of topics do you deal with in your lyrics?
-Lyrics often speaks about battles or historic events which involve a conflict which sets Heathens against Christians. We also deal with more spiritual elements, such as in “Sous une pluie d’automne”, where we talked about a blot given to honor the Nature, “Balder’s Rebirth”, where we sing about the midwinter’s ritual, or “Souffle le Vent vers l’Horizon”, a song which speaks about a funeral rite. Finally, we convey an anti Christian ideology. Christianity weakens us.
When you sing in your native tongue does that limit the success of the band in any way?
-No, and if I’m wrong, well, I don’t care. It’s my tongue, and I like it. It’s a question of cultural identity. Moonsorrow, Månegarm or Thyrfing sing in their mother tongue, and that doesn’t limit their success. I don’t understand a word of Finn or Swedish, but nevertheless I like their music. It’s thus necessary to linger in the quality of the music.
You have two albums out but it this is the first time I hear about you guys. Have I been looking in the wrong places or are you a well kept Canadian secret?
-It’s never too late to discover a band as ours. It’s also necessary to consider that it’s difficult for a group to possess a good visibility and a good distribution. In fact, that can be easy: it’s simply necessary to prostitute itself, and to deny his intellectual’s rights for a thin place under projectors… What we shall not do, because we respect ourselves, and because we have faith in what we make. Everything has to come at the appropriate time, and we must work hard.
When you have such a massive sound that you guys have I guess it is important to find the right kind of people to work with. How do you go about finding these kind of people?
-In our case, everything was a question of contact and friendship. The recording and mixing were made by one of our good friend, Frank “Blastbeat”, with whom I shared the scene when I was in Utlagr (a band from Quebec). For the mastering, one of our friend (and former manager) put us in touch with Jeff Dagenais from Kataklysm. It was simple, easy and effective. On the other hand, maybe we are going to do things the hard way for the next album, by working with more people. With this new alliance, we’ll create an even more powerful music.
I’ve always wondered what it is like to be 7 people in a band. How do you avoid insulting anybodies ego?
-Very simple: we talk to each other, and we drink beer! We’re all good friend, and it’s the key. But sometimes… damn!
What does the future look for Valknacht?
-We have a lot of new songs, and we plan to enter in studio before the end of 2012. It’s gonna be an album darker than “Chants de Guerre”. You shall see!