Interview with SKÀLD
1)First of all thanks for your time. Could you introduce your band a little bit? Mattjö: SKÁLD is about Epic and Nordic Music. Our composer and producer He’s a man of great knowledge about old scandinavian poetry, instruments and music. He’s always wanted work on a project such “Vikings Chant”. Once in a festival, he met Pierrick and they immediately shared their willing to work together on such a project. Pierrick was alrady working with Justine on similar chants so he introduced her to Christophe. I met Christophe later in a recording studio and I joined the crew later. Justine : We really tried to stand out by creating and experimenting a unique musical concept, based on three very different vocal sounds (Pierrick is the guttural bass, Mattjö the medium voice and my feminine voice). We only use old instruments such as shamanic drums, jaw harps, talharpa, and natural and organic tools. Our texts are inspired by nordic mythology. Pierrick : SKÁLD is a team, Justine, Mattjö and I are the voices of the band, thus we have lots of very talented musicicans and producers who help us to deliver this amazing and powerful music. It’s been almost two years since we started to work on the project, our first album, « Vikings Chant », was released in January this year… The story has just begun. 2) If you have to describe your kind of music, which is your genre? Justine : SKALD doesn't fit particularly in a « genre », it's a very affordable and easy listening music that can seduce a large audience. We are halfway between Nordic folk music and pop, with very sweet themes and ballads and others chants more warriorish or shamanic.
Pierrick : SKÁLD is a band that is hard to define in a few words. Our music is inspired by the Nordic spirits, by history and the myths from ancient times. We aim to create a musical world that delivers magical and out of time pictures, connecting our audience to a estate of plenitude. I don’t really know how to label that, some have already called it « Nordic Epic Music », or « Neo Nordic Folk Music »… I guess it’s more or less a good description of it. 3)Let's talk about your last work! Pierrick : We thought the idea of releasing a new edition of our first album « Vikings Chant » was great. As we had the opportunity to spend some time in the studio we did two new original songs, in Old Norse, and three covers, including songs from Pink Floyd and The Doors. The lyrics and the riffs from those songs were really inspiring and surprisingly very close to our concept. It’s the « Alfar Fagrahvél Edition », and it’s worth it ! Justine : Our first album was an incredible success, we didn't expect such a craze… The "Alfar Fagrahvél Edition" is for us a way to thank our listeners. 4)Do you have a particular moment or memories that you want to share with us? Pierrick : I remember during the composing process, I was finishing writing « Krákumál » in my house while a terrible storm was clashing outside. At the very moment I wrote the last note, I looked out of the window and a hudge lighting stroke some tree in the forest just in front of my house That was very intense. Also when we were recording the album, I was rehearsing the chorus of « Ódinn », where we enumerate his different names at full speed. In the process, I bit my tongue very badly, I was spitting blood on the floor. I was really at shock and I was wondering how could I have done that to myself alone, thinking that maybe the wanderer was in charge. I had to end the recording with a wounded tongue, it was a challenge but I accepted it and the result is fine. Maybe it has added some cool feelings to our chants, I don’t know… Justine : I would like to tell you about the day I met Pierrick and Christophe Voisin-Boisvinet, our producer and composer. I always knew that I wanted to sing, that it was for me the most important way to exorcise all my emotions. Before I met Pierrick I was thinking to stop any music activities, to devote myself to other artistic activities. I didn't trust in myself nor in my voice, and the paths I wanted to take seemed to me inaccessible. Today, after a few meetings, I do what I love the most Never give up and believe in your dreams even if the road seems long and difficult.
5)I see you in a lot of festival how is playin in a huge festival? Do you prefer small gig or huge one?
Pierrick : Playing live is always a challenge, especially for us as we travel with a lot of unusual instruments, with the purpose of delivering an similar sonic experience than the one you can live listening to our album… I would say big festival such like Wacken Open Air and Hellfest were very intense, you don’t have much time to put everything in order, but the reactions from the audience are so overwhelming that you just enjoy your moment and the after party. We want people to disconnect with the modern world, to connect with old and out of time stories, it takes some effort to perform this kind of music. Mattjö: Every moment, every venue, every place is special to me! Even though the energy can be different it’s always a great pleasure to share this experience, this ritual with anyone!
Justine : These are two very different feelings, a big festival is a huge stress for people like me, but it's an amazing experience to see thousands of people gathered to listen to your music. Unfortunately what I miss in this kind of events -as pleasant as they are- it's to have a contact with the public.
6). For the people who don't know you, could you advice a song or album that identify you most?
Pierrick : I personnaly love « Ó Valhalla », this song is about warriors and after life, I use my throat singing technique and I love it. It appease my soul, my body, I really feel a connection while performing it.
Mattjö: I would say Rún.
Justine : I have a really complex personality and many different inspirations, I like old things and antiquities , walks in the forest and misty mountains, I have a very bright side and another very dark, my friends will say that I like « nerdy » things ! So to represent all these facets , nothing better than "Songs of moors & misty fields" of Empyrium! Well epic and nostalgic! 7)Which are your musical inspirations?
Justine : As I just said, I have many inspirations, but what comes up most often is world music, folk and traditional music, classical music, doom, dark and ambient Metal. My favorite bands at the moment are: Urfaust, Dolch, Dead Can Dance, Taake, Gjallarhorn...
Mattjö: To be honest I think that I like almost every genre! I just love music and may be inspired by so many different things!
Pierrick : Medieval Music, Folk Music, Heavy Metal, Black Metal, Classical Music, and many other genres… I must say that not only music inspires music, also books, myths, life experience… We are mainly inspired by words, and poetry, so to speak. 8)Last question, do you know Italian metal scene? And if it yes, what do you think about? Justine : Yes I love Abysmal grief, Forgotten tomb, Sacro culto... The Italians are really good at Blackmetal !! Pierrick : I remember listening a lot to OPERA IX during the 90ies. I think they were the first extreme band with a female vocalist that I ever listened to. Mattjö: I know Lacuna Coil and Fleshgod Apocalypse and I love them !! But I don’t all the Italian bands ! There are so many good bands all around the world !! 9) A quick hello for our readers, thanks for your time! Justine : Thanks for your trust, see you on the road !
Pierrick : Thank you very much Poisoned Rock ! We have already toured lots of European countries but never played yet in Italy ! Let’s hope the Norns have some plans for us about that ! We’ll bring the nordic music to you and you will bring the wine, ok ? I think Italy needs some northern vibes to refresh its soul, right ? SKÅL ITALIAN PEOPLE !