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Falkenbach Interview

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Falkenbach Interview
The German viking/black metal band Falkenbach is the brainchild of Vratyas Vakyas. For the band's first couple of albums he played all of the instruments. Starting on the last album he began using studio musicians. Their fourth and latest album is Heralding - The Fireblade, which is the first album to use a title in English. The mysterious and elusive Vakyas agreed to answer some of my questions about the group and their latest effort.

Chad Bowar: Did you use the same session musicians on Heralding - The Fireblade as you did on the last album?
Vratyas Vakyas: Yes, again Boltthorn (drums), Hagalaz (acoustic guitars) and Tyrann (screams) helped Falkenbach out for the recordings of the last album.

It seems the songs on this album are more diverse than ever. Was that a conscious decision on your part, or is that just how the songs turned out?
I think the current album can be compared to the first official Falkenbach album, offering various styles, tempos etc. The Fireblade was meant to be the original debut album of Falkenbach, and it was recorded more than 10 years ago, though the recordings were never finished.

Why did you decide to give this album a title in English? What is the significance of the title?
I used to create the final title of an album when the material was completely recorded. Back then, as I said already, the album was not finished, and The Fireblade was some sort of working title for it. Throughout the years I talked in interviews about this album always as “The Fireblade”, and as I wanted the people now to know what to expect from this new album, I decided to keep this name. “Heralding” was added to the title, as this album was some sort of heralding for Falkenbach itself in the end.

Most of the reviews I've seen of this album have been very positive. Do you read or pay attention to any of this?
Nearly not at all to be honest. I care much more about the feedback I receive straight from the listeners by mail etc. Most of the print magazines are corrupt anyway.

Falkenbach's music has been described as folk/black/Viking metal. Are you comfortable with those labels?
Again I have to say I really do not care. To me it doesn´t matter how people label Falkenbach in the end. The music and lyrics count, not the way people describe it.

Are most of the lyrics still based on Asatru?
The lyrics always have been, still are, and will always be about western and northern European cultures, traditions, mythologies etc. Asatru is one part of it.

What is the significance/meaning of your pseudonym Vratyas Vakyas?
It can be translated as “The searching wanderer”.

When you're writing the songs, how do you decide which ones to use clean vocals and which to use screaming vocals?
It is just inspiration, and it shows me how things should be. I cannot explain how inspiration is created, where it comes from etc., such questions may be the oldest of mankind.

Any possibility of Falkenbach doing any live shows?
At the moment there are plans to play one or two small live shows. Maybe more will follow after that, but it´s not likely.

How did you get started in music?
My father showed me the first aspects of playing guitar any keyboard when I was a child, I cannot remember much more about it.

What kind of music did you listen to growing up and as a teenager?
Classical music, and the common metal stuff like Possessed, Celtic Frost, Sodom etc.

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