Finnish folk/black metal legends Finntroll return with their fifth full-length record, Nifelvind, on March 9. While the first video, “Solsagan,” is already out, Metal Insider and Century Media give you the premiere of another song from the album, “Under Bergets Rot.” An interview with vocalist Vreth follows, in which he holds forth on the Pagan Metal scene, the making of “Solsagan,” and what “Under Bergets Rot” is about, for those of you that can’t understand Swedish.
This is your second album with Finntroll. How has your role on Nifelvind changed from the last album?
I have gotten to know the band much better and I tend to speak up more than in the beginning. I had more input on this album than the one before and was more involved in the recording, mixing, producing, and writing-process this time. When I joined the band in 2006, over half of the songs were already written. Now I was there from the beginning and had lots more time to arrange my vocals. Also after being a member of Finntroll for four years now has taught me what kind of vocals fits what part.
Your keyboardist, Virta, just became a full-time member of the band. What made you promote him?
He has been around for longer than me as a session member. He was there all the time during the recording of Nifelvind and knew lots of the parts already, so it was an easy decision to bring him in and play on the album. We have also been thinking to make him an official member for quite a while now and what’s better than introducing him with a new album!?
Talk to me about the making of the “Solsagan” video. It’s a pretty intense looking video. Was it hard to make?
The actual process of getting it on tape was quite hard for all in the band, being covered in crap, cold, hungry and wet all the time. I was laying there for even a couple of hours more because of my soloshots of the singing parts. Not pleasant, but hey… It’s over now!
Listen to “Under Bergets Rot” from Finntroll’s new album, Nifelvind:
Finntroll seems a little darker than a lot of Pagan Metal. Do you mind being lumped in with the Pagan Metal scene?
Finntroll has never tried to be part of any particular scene, other than the metal scene. To put us under just Pagan Metal would be totally wrong, because of the numerous influences we have. Finntroll is basically a Black Metal band with influences from whereever you get inspiration. And what does define a Pagan Metal band? Finntroll is bunch of Pagans that play together and lots of the lyrics are based on Pagan themes. Does that make us play Pagan Metal? I think this genre has been spoiled by so many of those that want to just drink beer, throw their fake plastic swords in the air and shout: ”Humppa!”
Have you noticed the Pagan Metal scene catching on in America? How important a market is America to Finntroll?
America is really catching on to the trend, otherwise I don’t think that these kinds of bands would be able to tour over there. This spring it will be the fourth US tour for Finntroll and each time it’s just gone better for us. I think that America is getting more and more important for all the bands within the Folk/Pagan/Viking genre, as the interest for this kind of music is losing a bit of its popularity here in Europe. I think that there is still room for Finntroll to expand on the US market and that there are lots of things to come for us.
Would you ever do an album in English?
Nope! I think that it would just destroy the whole concept of Finntroll. We have been discussing how we could have gotten bigger if we would have made some other choices and switching to English is one of the big ones. We will never do it! It would be a total sellout move and would kill the spirit of Finntroll.
Talk to us about the song “Under Bergets Rot,” which we’re premiering today. What’s the story behind it?
It’s a song written by Trollhorn and Routa. This one is maybe one of the easiest songs of the album to listen to and one of the happiest. It’s about a man that is lured away to sing with the people of the mountain. He falls for the temptation and follows them underneath it. When he wakes up from his trance he feels like he has only sung with them for short period of time, when in fact he has been gone for ages.