lunes, 7 de enero de 2019

Solbrud: "La fría luminosidad del Black Metal". Entrevista exclusiva.




El final de un año es un momento en donde regularmente se realizan recuentos, enumeraciones, descripciones perspectivísticas de lo hecho y de lo no hecho y, en definitiva, para repasar los 365 días que el calendario nos dice que vivimos. Ir más allá y conjeturar sobre la validez de la palabra “año”, del calendario, de la vida en ese “año”, de las experiencias, de la arbitrariedad de decir “el año que pasó” y otro tipo de reflexiones subjetivas daría para una publicación en sí misma, pero eso no es materia de estas palabras.

Personalmente hay algunos elementos que destaco del trabajo hecho en esta página: la seriedad, por sobre todo, de intentar cubrir la escena del metal extremo, nacional e internacional, con un enfoque que apunte a las bandas que en la actualidad se encuentren en la vanguardia de las escenas o que emerjan con contundencia y buenas ideas. Esta siempre ha sido una de las premisas que ha dirigido las reflexiones y la mirada de este lugar. No quedarse atrás, ir siempre un paso más allá y buscar estar en la primera línea, salvando las distancias lógicas de vivir en Chile.

Importante es el deseo ferviente de mantener en el tiempo el trabajo, incluso incrementando las publicaciones, que en este lugar se hacen. No basta con entrevistar y revisar algunas discografías, no es suficiente como para decir “el trabajo está hecho”. Siempre se puede ir más allá, y créanme que las dificultades emanan de otras responsabilidades paralelas y no del solo hecho de escribir, escuchar música y redactar preguntas o reviews, esto fluye, es la vida “oficial” la que complica todo. Sin embargo, el deseo está ahí, inalterable, potente, luminoso y sublime. Este año veremos cómo se viene la vida.

También, necesario es hacer una reflexión sobre las responsabilidades: en este lugar se publican reflexiones y entrevistas que tienen su génesis en esas reflexiones y en las especulaciones propias de alguien que goza y vive el Metal como cualquiera otro, solo que se suma el deseo de plasmarlo en escritura y de conocer más en profundidad las diferentes escenas. Por esto mismo, ausentarse, bajo el argumento que sea, es gravísimo, atenta contra la regularidad propia de este tipo de escenarios periodísticos y, lo peor, aleja al profesional de los lectores y seguidores. No considero que “una explicación” pase por alto todo el tiempo que este lugar ha estado inactivo, pero, es cierto, siempre habrá algo que te aleje de aquello que te apasiona, más si esta realidad es fruto solo de la voluntad individual. El mundo, en general, se opone y extermina este tipo de espacios reflexivos y contraculturales. Pero, ante todo, contra todos, siendo coherente, honesto y voluntarioso, todo tiene su momento y su desarrollo. Quiero que este 2019 sea el año de afianzarse como un medio estable, y no uno más…

En nombre de este deseo es que tengo el honor, e imagino que la primicia para algún medio en español, de presentar al siguiente entrevistado: la agrupación danesa de Black Metal SOLBRUD. Poseedores de uno de los sonidos más renovados que la escena del metal extremo ha entregado en la última década. Cultores de una impronta que se fortalece desde reflexiones que toman como influjo a la naturaleza y su superioridad. Nada esta hecho al azar en las publicaciones de SOLBRUD, es más, el trabajo es realizado desde lo más íntimo de una agrupación que vive en lo profundo la música, y más particularmente, el metal extremo.

Realmente fue un honor y un estímulo para el futuro haber podido desarrollar esta entrevista. Seguro de que la vida no terminará aquí y deseoso de cumplir con algunos puntos que me esperan comparto la más reciente entrevista: desde la fría y distante Dinamarca, la intensidad, la sublimación y la fiereza de SOLBRUD.

Un saludo caluroso a la banda, Mange tak for din tid, få dørene åbne i denne del af verden, for evigt, y de seguro tendrán novedades en lo que viene de este optimista y luminoso año 2019.

Disfruten la entrevista y disfruten la vida. Hasta siempre.




  
FELIPE: Guys, thank you very much for wanting to participate. I confess a follower of the group.
SOLBRUD: You’re welcome, Felipe. Thanks for wanting to shed some light on us and what we do.


FELIPE: Could you do an introduction to the band: Trajectory, members and albums.
SOLBRUD: Yeah we’ve been a band since mid-2010. We knew back then we wanted to make black metal music in an epic, grand and melodic way and since then we have strived to refine that vision and sound.
We’re four people, Ole: Lyricist, guitarist and vocalist, Adrian: Lead guitar, Tobias: Bass guitar and Troels: Drums.
We have three full-length albums out and are beginning to work on our fourth next year. It will be bigger and different, that’s all I’ll say for now.


FELIPE: The cover of your albums can be related to the darker, violent and sublime side of nature. Is this look correct? What do you seek to express with each of these images?
SOLBRUD: That’s right. Well, first and foremost with the album artworks we try to portray a visual still image of what we think our sound and atmosphere on that album looks like. Sound and image are linked in many ways, although they are entirely different dimensions and perceived with different senses. They are all merely waves of energy, physically speaking.
We like for each album to be distinct in its expression in both dimensions, while still retaining some similarities, in that this is Solbrud, and this is how we sound and look like. None of us consider ourselves visual artists as such, but we’ve always tried to do all of it ourselves, so that we are in charge and that part of our art is also our own. We’ve tried to use photos that have a certain iconic energy and abstraction.


FELIPE: Only some of your songs are written in English, why this situation? Is your language the one that best expresses your ideas? Do you think that a change of language would help to open new markets? Are you looking to open new markets?
SOLBRUD: Two songs on our first album are in English, the rest in Danish. Ole just started out in English and quite early found out that Danish worked better for him and for us as a whole. Our name is also Danish, so the song titles and lyrics probably should be so too. We never cared all that much about the markets. There’s no doubt we have the most followers in our homeland, but that probably has more to do with the amount of media attention and frequency of live concerts in Denmark. It’s just more original and mystical for us to use our native language. I’m sure one can be able to appreciate the music although the lyrics are completely indecipherable, and if people want to find out what it means, I’m sure they can also do that one way or the other.


FELIPE: The Scandinavian scene has generated some of the most transcendent bands in extreme music. Which ones has been an influence when creating SOLBRUD and when you compose your songs?
SOLBRUD: That’s for sure. Well, each of us have our own favourites, but stuff like early Ulver, Darkthrone, Emperor and Burzum is undeniable for any black metal band out there I think. Maybe some lesser known Danish acts worth mentioning could be the likes of Make a Change Kill Yourself, Molok, I, Mountain, Sortsind…
However, I think being inspired by the classic northern black metal is mostly something that happened in the early stage of developing our sound as a band. We looked at this and that band and thought, yeah this sounds really good and cool, this is a great way to play, and this here is maybe not so much our style. Now we have our sound and know what we can and cannot do with it and I think nowadays we may get more inspired by listening to, say, for instance orchestral classical music, medieval instrumentation, or progressive rock. Classic rock music in general is something that we all treasure very much and the lineage of what we do also traces back to these things if we look back through rock music history. So now I suppose we look more for overall ideas composition-wise if we sometimes find inspiration in other music.


FELIPE: In recent years I felt a fascination for the sound of some American bands, which were pigeonholed as Cascadian Black Metal, do you know any? What do you think of this movement?
SOLBRUD: Yes. An understandable fascination that some of us also share. The American black metal has a lot to offer. I’d like to mention Weakling’s “Dead as Dreams” as an absolute masterpiece and also a big inspiration for me, and I’m sure many out there will agree with that. Then there’s stuff like Wolves in the Throne Room, which we’re often being compared to (an honor, nonetheless), Leviathan, Ash Borer, Fell Voices and so on… What’s interesting about these artists is the progressive nature of their music and their will to push the boundaries in terms of what can be done with black metal music – something that we also attempt to do ourselves.


FELIPE: Your albums have a constant: violence, brutality, a cold emotion, a self-absorption resulting from radicalism and long musical compositions. How are your songs constructed, musical, lyrical and sentimental?
SOLBRUD: All four of us contribute to the song writing process. Typically a song begins taking shape within one of our minds at first. Then at some point one of us will bring a sketch to the rehearsal space – it can be just a couple riffs and ideas for drums or it may be complete and complex arrangements for all instruments with several parts. It’s different each time. Then we finish the arrangement and structure of the song altogether, and try to make the song the best we can on our respective instruments.
Ole, our singer, writes all the lyrics exclusively, and hardly ever needs any help with that, so he has the creative freedom on that part and manages it well.
With regards to sentimentality, or the overall vibe of the song, this is in fact sometimes the initial spark to write a song. The idea of the emotional quality a track can contain – or the “essence” of the song, if you will – be it more to the aggressive side or more towards a longing, desperate vibe.


FELIPE: Denmark is one of the countries with the greatest social development in the world and with a participatory state in social matters of all kinds. How is the relationship established between this reality and having an extreme music band?
SOLBRUD: That’s right and as citizens we are quite privileged here compared to many other places in the world – this however does not free us from grief and despair that’s a natural stipulation for most living things. We have these long, dark, freezing winters that are best used for composing frostbitten buzzsaw guitar parts, and politically the country seems to be flushing our values down the toilet along with the rest of Europe as of now – Something that can easily make you lose faith in society.


FELIPE: How is the daily life of the members of SOLBRUD, can you devote yourself entirely to music, have jobs related to music or work in something completely different?
SOLBRUD: All of us have regular lives, family, education and jobs that must be attended to make our living sustainable. We just make a bit of pocket money now and then off the band.
Some of what we do on everyday basis can be used in the band; Troels is studying music and has attained a wide theoretical knowledge, while also being good on piano, that is something he applies to his song writing. Tobias is a bike mechanic and really handy with all hardware tools, so he’s built our own live lighting rig that we bring and he controls it from stage. Adrian is a graphic designer and makes all our album covers, posters, t-shirts, website and so on. Ole is partly a carpenter and also an elementary school teacher so he also likes to build stuff we can use and he is good with words.


FELIPE: How has the reception of your albums been done by specialized media and fans?
SOLBRUD: It’s been very positive for the most part – sometimes here and there we’re referred to as “The new Kings of Danish black metal”, haha, and stuff like that. But I’m sure someone else is going to takeover that throne soon – lots of interesting stuff is happening in our local scene. In our homeland we’ve also gotten quite a bit of attention above underground – such as national newspapers praising us and we’ve also won a couple of awards for our second and third album. This is something that we’d never expected when we first started out making 14 minute long black metal tracks.


FELIPE: Metal is regularly judged as "noises", "jars" and other pejorative concepts. However, over the years the different scenes have been delivered to the main and most virtuous, imaginative and talented exponents of music in general. I understand that prejudice, ignorance and laziness for wanting to leave this ignorance articulate this unfounded criticism. How has your life experience been and what have you experienced?
SOLBRUD: As we’re The Beatles, Cream, Elvis and so on back in the days when they came out and Black Sabbath we’re slaughtered by the music press but the people still loved it. Maybe we’re all just afraid of change and have a predisposed mistrust to new things in general. But I think people are getting used to and becoming more aware of that now, and maybe there’s a wider tendency to not necessarily just accept everyday radio pop day in and day out. I would say that we have a lot of music festivals in Denmark – underground ones and bigger open air festivals – and the fans, musicians and organizers alike are all doing great at making things happen.


FELIPE: What is your view of religion and the Church? Historically, spirituality has been an almost innate condition in man, but I refer to the institutionalization of spirituality.
SOLBRUD: It doesn’t really interest us all that very much. It’s a totally personal thing and you have a right to believe in whatever you want if it makes you feel great and you’re not going stupid or harming anyone from it, and I mean who are we to say that we know everything by now?
All the devoutness of Christianity can be quite funny sometimes with all the holy this and Jesus that on and on. And sure in the nineties black metal was so antichristian and Satan was the shit, but come on, isn’t that somehow just as silly nowadays? We live a somewhat free country where everyone has a right to believe in whatever the hell (or heaven) they want to, and we’re not going to be the ones to tell anyone otherwise.
Denmark has been secular for well over a century and the church has about zero power over anything anymore. Its 2018 and we don’t really view Christianity as much of a “threat” to anything these days, if it ever really was in our part of the world. And hey, Jewish, Catholic, Hindu, Buddha, Khrisna, Muhammed, or whatever the hell rocks your boat – as long as people don’t go Jonestown crazy with their shit and keep it to themselves – peace be with them, man.
Churches are often beautiful buildings and serve many people as a space to the rituals of life, marriage, funeral, and so on. And that’s perfectly alright with us.
They even let us play in modern churches in Denmark two times and it’s been a blast and the house of god has been packed both times.


FELIPE: I thank you infinitely for the time, the willingness and the desire to participate in this space. Any novelty, musical or news release, have the doors open in this part of the world. This space is for a personal reflection or for a farewell. Thank you very much and goodbye.
SOLBRUD: Thank you aswell! We hope new people will discover our music and appreciate it. We are looking forward to continue doing what we do – albums, concerts, and more, we believe we have a lot in store for you.