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Matze (Thrudvangar)

Interview with Matze from Thrudvangar
by Erika Wallberg at 19 June 2010, 9:06 AM

THRUDVANGAR released the fourth full length album and since METAL TEMPLE liked it an interview with the band’s throat Matze was inevitable. So, read on and learn more about this German Viking band.

First, before “Duch Blut Und Eis” I had never heard of THRUDVANGAR before. I was quite surprised to learn this was your fourth release. There’s not much information about the band available on Internet so to start with, can you please give a brief description of the band, a bit of the history to introduce the band a bit?
Thorsten and Christian formed a band in 1998 where Andreas added a little bit later. From this composition developed THRUDVANGAR. Then there were the usual chances of the band members and so in addition came Kanne, Gunter and me. It was shortly before appeared the album "Ahnenthron". At this time THRUDVANGAR was well-known in the underground and now the new musicians had to be integrated. But it was no problem because we knew each other for a long time.2002 released the first demo. The first complete album, in the year, named “Ahnenthron” released. 2006 the second album followed, named “Walhall”. 1 year later released the 3rd. album with the name “Zwischen Asgard Und Midgard”. Our last work until now “Durch Blut Und Eis” released in January of this year.

“Durch Blut Und Eis” is a concept album, based on the saga of Eric The Red. Why did you choose this concept for an album?
"Durch Blut Und Eis" really is a concept album. The subject is the life of Eric the Red. We tried to tell the story of his very interesting life. From his escape from Norway, his life in Iceland, the birth of his son Leif (who will discover America later) up to the discovery of Greenland. The album is a historical story, musically primes by our own kind of Viking Metal.

What’s the biggest challenge in writing a concept album?
The biggest challenge was to put music and lyrics together that a continuous history originates. We had to try to build up a tension which keeps for the whole playing time without becoming dull. This wasn't always easy, but I think we succeeded quite well.

How long did it take to finish the album?
From the first ideas up to the release nearly 3 years have passed. And we have already worked during the admissions to "Zwischen Asgard Und Midgard" on the first songs. Then the tour and many concerts have still cost an amount of time.

Was it different in any way to write and record this album compared to the ones before?
As said, the biggest difference consisted in the fact that it was hard for us to hold the tension curve without becoming dull. Otherwise we haven’t made much differently like with our former albums. We recorded again in our studio (Black In Sound) which belongs to our guitarist. It also is at the same time our rehearsal room and is in our hometown. So we could take the time which we needed without stress of a rented studio.

Another band, in kind of the same genre TÝR did an album on the same story in 2003, wasn’t it sort of a risk to do an album on the same story so short after?
I think it is no problem that we have written an album with the same topic. TÝR also makes Pagan-Viking Metal, but, nevertheless, our music style is very different. Erik the Red has a very interesting history and there is a lot to report about him and his life, some more albums about him can be still made without it becomes boring. In the Black Metal area there are also thousands of songs about Satan and this also becomes not dull to the fans of this genre. Also there are Million hit songs about love and there are still enough people who want to hear. Of course one or the other text idea recurs, it depends on it how the idea are moved and are processed musically.

The band’s name, the saga of Eric The Red and your music has a clear influence from Norse Mythology. How come you’re so influenced by Vikings?
I read a lot and I'm responsible primarily for the texts. Often these are books about northern mythology, old legends and old gods. The other band members share this interest with me, it's also obvious that we argue in our music with this topic. However, these aren't exclusively the Vikings, but also the history of our forefathers which we process. There are a lot of nice stories for that time to tell that it is not difficult for us to fill still some albums with it.

THRUDVANGAR is the name of the place where Thor had his home in Asgard. Why and how did you pick that name?
At the foundation time I wasn't in the band and wasn't present with the name choice. I know only that THRUDVANGAR is called in German translated "field of the strength" and it's the name of the country where is Thor’s (in German "Donar") home. The band members have told me that they wanted to express strength, down-to-earthness and the relation to the northern mythology with the name.

Most of your lyrics have been influenced by Norse history. How did you come to that? Was that the plan from the beginning?
As I already said, I wasn't in the band from the beginning and also don't know whether it was planned like this. But anyhow this topic was the center of our texts probably from the start. How it came in addition and why, I think it's simply our big interest in the history. Since I'm responsible for the writing of the texts, we have remained further loyal to this thing.

Do you have other influences than Viking Mythology?
Musically our influences are very big and also different of each one of us. The single band members like Black- or Death Metal to classical period and folk. In our texts we have fallen under influence of northern mythology and will remain it. But between the lines become, like already on the preceding albums, increases personal experiences and thoughts be to be heard, packed in historical stories.

The lyrics are in German. Why did you choose to sing and write in your native language?
We have decided on German because it's the best (and also easiest) way to express ourselves. Certain thoughts and feelings can be processed to texts best in native language and most plausible without losing to expression strength or sense by the translation.

Do you think you would have gotten more or perhaps less response if you had used English instead of German?
In the German-speaking area the resonance would be lower. Here the fans can sing with us (or rather bawl like me) and they understand the texts without problems. Abroad it looks completely different; there it has rather turned back. We would have much better resonances if we wrote our texts in English. However, we have to decide on one…..

Perhaps it’s a little early to talk about next record already but do you have any plans for the next release? Another concept album perhaps?
No, it isn't to early to talk about our next record, we are diligent again in work. I can say already so much, it will be no concept album (from this we have enough for the next time, haha). It should become quite a "normal" album what connects of the sound and composition of "Durch Blut Und Eis". Of course we hope that it will not only connect to "Durch Blut Und Eis", but even becomes better.

Looking at your web-page you have a few gigs scheduled in the coming moths.What more do you plan for the future?
Till now we planned some concerts and festivals. We want to play also a tour, but there are no concrete planes at the moment. A management company is absent with which we can work together.

Do you have anything to add? Perhaps some promotion about the band and your records? Why should people check out THRUDVANGAR (which I think everyone really should do)?
First of all, thanks for the nice interview. And many thanks to our fans and those who still want to become it. We wish a lot of fun with our new album and of course with the digi version (it contains an interview, our video and a concert recording of over one hour in really quality). I hope we meet sometimes on one of our concerts, with pleasure also in Greece or wherever (persuaded your concert organizers, we come with pleasure). Hails from Germany, Matze!


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Edited 30 November 2022

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