VARG- Interview – english
With the new album „Zeichen“ the wolves show teeth and bite powerfully (Review here ). Thematically they have dedicated themselves completely to the nordic viking mythology. In their videos they present themselves very authentically with elaborately tailored robes. So it seems that VARG (Facebook ) have dealt with the topic intensively and extensively. Furthermore, they have welcomed a new member in their midst and the new publication „Zeichen“ has some more surprises for you. With such a passion for the nordic mythology some questions come up naturally. The new member Fylgja VARG has devoted herself to our questions.
Fascination for the vikings
MH: Where do you think the fascination for the legends and stories about the Vikings comes from?
Fylgja: Basically I think that people admire the Vikings because of their values. Community, family, honor and freedom have been of great importance to the Vikings. I think that is what makes the Viking Era so rousing. Strong, consistent personalities for whom mysticism, community, family, honor and freedom are of the highest importance. Just the idea of experiencing an honorable death, coming to Valhalla and seeing all those you have lost again is a beautiful and stirring thing, isn’t it?
Living in the Viking Age?
MH: What time would you travel to if there was the possibility of time travel? Would it really be the period around 793 AD as a Viking in the Nordic countries? Where and how would you want to live?
Fylgja: As rousing and interesting as this time is, I personally would not like to go on a time travel to really live there. The time was hard, violent and without modern medicine. That is luxury which one would not like to miss today, especially since the life expectancy was really very low at that time. However, I would like to make a 2-day trip to the Haithabu of that time to really see live how it was back then.
MH: The lyrics are corresponding to your hard sound rather smashing and brutal. Is this a way to live out your alter ego or is it just your love for this kind of music?
Fylgja: That’s right, this style of music has been with us since our beginnings and it simply carries us away. This in symbiosis with suitable lyrics is simply our passion. We want to make good, hard music with lyrics that bring the people closer to the former values and revive the old stories.
MH: Let’s talk about the new album „Zeichen“. How did you basically approach the new album?
Fylgja: First of all we composed the music. Then we let each song work on us individually to find out which story it tells us. This is how the lyrics and the whole theme around „signs“ came into being little by little.
Ideas and ambitions
MH: Where did the ideas for the songs and their content come from?
Fylgja: The instrumental compositions came mostly from Morkai, Garm and Freki. The lyrics and the stories behind each song were written by Freki and me.
MH: Were there any specific goals regarding improvements or changes for the new album?
Fylgja: The general goal was to pick up our fans from the first hour again exactly where some felt left, namely with our roots, the Pagan metal. We wanted to revive the old values and stories in an authentic and credible way and return with our usual hardness, which I think we succeeded in doing.
MH: The following two themes also play a role in this context: „Auf Die Götter“ plays in a short sequence with folkloric elements and clean chorus. Could one expect that you will work more with such elements in the future?
Fylgja: Due to the fact that we deal a lot with pagan customs and their way of life (also privately) and music was and is part of this culture, we will certainly keep this for future projects and incorporate it where appropriate.
MH: Now to the second topic: You have been accepted as a new active member of VARG. How did this meeting come about?
Fylgja: I have been at Freki’s side since 2016 and, with the exception of the death of my father at the end of 2019, I have been at every concert and have made myself useful. Originally I am a classical singer and worked at the Landestheater in Coburg. My private enthusiasm for paganism and the time of the Vikings had, I think, a great influence on the album „Zeichen“. And if you already have a professional singer with you…why not use that?! That’s how the idea was born and the idea quickly turned into music, which I enjoy incredibly and is a great experience.
VARG as Female-Fronted-Band?
MH: You can be heard with your singing in the song „Fara Til Ranar“. I personally think this song is brilliant. It combines feeling with power and strength. Are there any efforts to involve you a little bit more vocally in the future?
Fylgja: Thank you very much, I am honored! From the very beginning my participation never had the goal to make a female fronted band out of Varg. I don’t think that would fit either. Surely we already have some ideas for upcoming projects and as a new member I will of course be heard.
MH: What other role do you play at VARG?
Fylgja: I am actually a girl for everything. Finding ideas, costumes, music, singing, show and besides mom 🙂
MH: The song „Verräter“ has the longest playing time on the album. So you dedicated a lot of time to this topic. Is it coincidence or does it have a special, maybe personal background?
Fylgja: The music was composed by Garm. It is one of the first songs he wrote for VARG. He presented this song to Freki and me. We were both immediately thrilled. Freki took many hours to think about what kind of story this song tells for him. So after a few days the instrumental framework developed to the first song for the new album. Personally, I think that almost all of us have had to experience a breakthrough in our inner circle and associate similar feelings as the song „Verräter“ conveys. That’s why I think this song has a personal background for everyone, including each of us.
MH: In the two-part Mediabook edition of your album, all songs from „Zeichen“ have been additionally interpreted by guest musicians. How did this come about?
Fylgja: The idea came from Freki, who wanted to do a joint project with friendly bands of the past years and wanted to succeed a connection.
MH: How did the selection of the artists take place and did each desired candidate also agree to participate? Did the guest musicians have a free hand in interpreting the songs, so that stylistically completely new songs were created?
Fylgja: Since we can proudly say that guest singers have become friends of ours, all our dream candidates have fortunately accepted. Of course, every musician has his own individual way of making music, so it wouldn’t be nice to have too many guidelines. Music is lifeblood and so each one of us did exactly what he did perfectly and made the respective song special. It was our goal to bring different facets to CD 2 and we succeeded.
Fans and goose pimples
MH: Now you’re no longer young puppies in the music business, you’ve already had many years behind you. You have travelled a lot and experienced a lot? Please tell us about two events that impressed you the most.
Fylgja: The most impressive thing for me is always when the fans shout along with our lyrics so loudly that I can’t distinguish myself from the fan voices on stage.
A special moment, where i got goose pimples, was certainly our performance at the Wacken Open Air 2010 (the year we had our „breakthrough“) where we didn’t know how crowded it was going to be in front of the stage and we were surprised with a crowd of fans as far as the eye could see.
MH: You are also successful outside of Germany. Are there differences between concerts in Germany and gigs in other countries? Does each country have its own kind of fan culture or are the metal fans all cut from the same cloth?
Fylgja: There are great fans in every country. But surely the most euphoric are the metalheads in the USA and Canada!
Wolves and their pets
MH: Do the VARG wolves have actually pets?
Fylgja: Freki and I have 2 cats, Garm also has a cat just like Morkai. He has a beautiful Maine Coon. Fenrier does not have any pets at the moment, because he travels a lot for his job.
MH: The last words always belong to the interview partners. So if there is anything else you want to say…
Fylgja: Take good care of yourself and stay loyal to us!
- VARG mit Fylgja_Oliver König-skaliert: VARG Bandfoto über Napalm Records Foto by Oliver König
- VARG 1_main_Stefan Schuman-skaliert: VARG Bandfoto über Napalm Records Photo Credit: Stefan Schuman