Finntroll released their first album in seven years with Vredesvävd on September 18th via Century Media Records (order here). It’s arguably one of the stronger records of the year and has a blend between folk and black metal to keep you on your toes. We caught up with singer Mathias “Vreth” Lillmåns to discuss the record and the overall challenges.
What took you seven years to release new music?
Even though it took us 7 years to produce a new album, it definitely doesn’t mean that we were inactive during these years. We started off with touring non-stop for almost two years for the Blodsvept album and then directly we moved to a 10-year anniversary world tour of the Nattfödd album that lasted a bit over a year. At this point we took a small break to catch our breath and to try writing some new material. We wrote some, but nothing really seemed like it was the right way to go, so we decided to tour a bit more and do more off-the-normal-grid gigs for a while and then maybe back to writing with new inspiration. Still nothing felt like we wanted it to. Then we just decided to do gigs and figured that inspiration would find us when it was due time. All of a sudden the year was 2019 and we were still in the same place as two to three years earlier. This was the point when I asked the guys if it would be ok to ask Century Media for a deadline for a 2020 release, because usually deadlines help you concentrate on stuff to do instead of just procrastinating further. We got the date set and all of a sudden we started getting things done. In early winter 2019 we found the red thread for the album and here we are now with Vredesvävd!
What were some challenges getting Vredesvävd made?
The writing process was definitely the big issue here. Not finding that sound we wanted. It’s always been like this with Finntroll, since we don’t want to make the same album over and over again and want to introduce something new on every record. This time finding the path to take took us almost 6 years, whereas it’s usually around two or three.
The record is consistently heavy and would love to hear it in a live setting. During these uncertain times, do you have any plans for a record release livestream or virtual tour?
We have all kinds of plans, but due to the situation the world is in right now we have had to postpone these events over and over again. Hopefully soon we will be able to release some good news on this matter!
What’s the experience like for you to release a new album during a pandemic?
It’s definitely not an optimal situation since we cannot tour to support the album. We would have been out in Europe right now, but that one got moved half a year into the future. Still we didn’t want to postpone the release until next year. I think the fans have waited long enough already as it is! It’s cool though to see that so many bought the album and we had the highest chart entry here in Finland ever! We thank everyone all for the support!
Can you talk more about the video for the song “Mask?”
Aaah, the classic-running-around-in-the-forest-black-metal-video! The intention was to introduce viewers to some new Finntroll live elements and also to sort of tell the story of “the band waking up once again.”
What experience did you go through during quarantine towards the early stages of the pandemic and what are the restrictions like for you now?
We were actually about to hit the studio when the lockdown hit us here in Finland, so we weren’t affected that much. We were going to be locked up away from society for a month as it was. The only negative thing was actually [guitarist] Skrymer was not able to join us in the studio and had to record his guitars at a friend’s home studio in Helsinki instead. We were doing pretty well here for a while in regards to COVID, but right now we are experiencing a second wave and waiting for new restrictions on what will happen with events and restaurants. Only time will tell!
Is there anything you want to say or add about the new album?
I would like to tell everyone who is reading this that stay safe at home until this is over! Finntroll will hit your hometown as soon as the borders open again!