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Interview - Stefan Weinerhall (Falconer)

Interview with Stefan Weinerhall from Falconer
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 05 July 2014, 3:23 PM

And the FALCONER tale started back on 1999, from the ashes of MITHOTYN, when the guitarist Stephan Weinerhall wanted to keep playing Metal with Folk influences, gathering along with him the former MITHOTYN partner Karsten Larsson on drums and Mathias Blad (first on keyboards and vocals, and now only in vocals). And from back then to now, they recorded eight albums, being the most recent “Black Moon Rising”, that is out by now. So I, had the opportunity to talk to Stefan Weinerhall, so we talked a lot about the new album, as well about their past.

First of all, thanks for the interview. And to start, what can you say about “Black Moon Rising”? Did Andy LaRocque produce the album again, or worked on recordings? Can we assume that this is the best album you have done since “Falconer”? And how do you compare “Black Moon Rising” to another band’s albums?

Of course the new album is always the best. Isn't it always? We recorded at Andy's place yet once more. Infact the songs are pretty much produced as we enter the studio but of course he has some input. I knew after the last album that I wanted more attitude in the next one. More guitar oriented and ballsier. The softer folksier stuff I imagined we had done enough in ARMOD so let's concentrate on something else. On any FALCONER album you'll recognize our sound. Folksy influences, memorable melodies an original baritone singer. This time we've raised the level of speed, energy and riffs making it less lush and produced and more into the grittier garage sound of the rehearsing band.

Still speaking about “Black Moon Rising”, it took 3 years to be released, since “Armod”, from 2011. How took so long? There was a special reason for this?

I experienced some family tragedy that really threw my life upside down. The result was that I didn't think about music or had any desire to write for a long time. There were other things on my mind. But as time went by it returned and as I picked up the guitar for the first time in about 8 months I realized I started over instead of just continuing from where I left of. I imagine I had some built up frustration and anger that showed itself as I came around to writing the new music.

Well, the album’s name must have a reason behind his choice, so what is the main conception for “Black Moon Rising” name?

It's mainly a  title of one of the songs. Firstly I came to think of DEAD MOON RISING since I was in a sort of darker place mentally. I felt that that a good title must have been used and of course it was by a band called SENTENCED. So I changed it to BLACK MOON RISING which also was used for a 80's movie but I sure as hell would dump that title to. A cool title that I personally feel reflects my mental state or tragic past 2 years in a suitable robe.

Let’s talk about the past a little: back on 1999, MITHOTYN split-up, and Stephan started FALCONER. We all know that he wanted to do a cleaner and melodic music, but still with Folk and Pagan influences. And that shows a different background on music. Can you speak a little about your musical background? And do you feel some aspects of MITHOTYN work on FALCONER music sometimes?

I think that some styles of MITHOTYN still lives on in my songwriting. I have never taken any decision when it comes to riffing to try to change. It's just that I added clean vocals, if there has been any change it has come natural over the 15 years of existence. The biggest difference apart from the harsh black/death metal of MITHOTYN is the entirely Viking sung lyrics. We were active from 1993 to 1999 and released 3 albums between 1997 and 1999, where my favourite album is the second one: KING OF THE DISTANT FOREST. A remnant from that time is that the old MITHOTYN drummer Karsten Larsson is still with me.

Still speaking about MITHOTYN, nowadays there’s this whole thing about reunion of Metal bands that ended. Is there a chance of seeing another MITHOTYN reunion for a near future, just for playing some concerts and/or recording another album? Just a question due this trend we’re seeing, not an asking, please…

Well I can't give you any definitive answer. If everyone is onboard we might do it sometime if there is any interest in a minor band from 15 years ago. Any new recordings are out of the question if you ask me. So, there really has to be something special in there if we were to rehearse those old songs once again. Maybe for a bunch of summer festivals and that's it. Nothing's planned or thought of but since you asked me you get a open minded answer at least.

On the first question, we asked about Andy LaRocque for he worked on all your albums since “Falconer”. Is he a part of FALCONER’s family? And did he make some contribution to the band in terms of music or arrangements, instead of only producing, mixing, mastering or playing some guitar parts?

He is certainly part of the Falconer family. This time he hasn't contributed any music or playing. In the past he has sung lead vocals ona bonus track and then he's played solo guitar on 2 songs.

Since “Northwind”, you recorded music with lyrics on Swedish, like “Himmel Så Trind”, and “Armod” album is entirely on Swedish. But on “Black Moon Rising”, you return to and album entirely with lyrics on English. What happened? Is it a strategy to reach a greater public, or there was a reason for “Armod” to be this way?

I always said that the Armod thing only was for that album. Our normal state is to have the majority of song in English. I must admit that I had enough of both the very folksy stuff and the Swedish lyrics on Armod. I felt I was sort of done with it for a while so for BMR I knew it would be less folk and more metal and certainly only with English lyrics. It has nothing to do with reaching a greater public since we almost do none promotion and seldom play live. So pushing it to make it big or sell more is not really our thing. We just play the music we want and hope that someone out there think it's good. We surely do!

In the past, precisely on the 90’s, the greater part of Metal bands with Folk themes were from extreme Metal, especially Black Metal bands from Norway or Sweden. But FALCONER was one of the spearheads for Melodic Folk bands, and then many more appeared in an all-out invasion. So how do you feel being a pioneer? Oh, by the way: here on Brazil, where I live, “Chapters of a Tale Forlorn” astonished many on 2001, due your melodic music with Folk influences…

Well, I wouldn't consider us as pioneers although we are among the best folk influenced bands out there. I'm glad you think it though, I just guess I have a more humble or shy attitude towards the status of the band.

Well, “Black Moon Rising” is out by now, and we hope that means a tour is coming. Is there some plans for playing on great festivals, as Wacken (where you played back on 2002), and for a tour for many countries. And please, include Brazil on your tour!!!

Yeah yeah. We'll see about that.

I thank you a lot for the interview, wish FALCONER all success you deserve and a great tour. Please, leave your message for Metal Temple readers and your fans.

Not one question about soccer….I'm happily surprised!!! Hop all of you love the new album. It's there best we've done as always. If we get our asses moving we might even do a music video for one of the tracks. Cheers to you all!


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