First of all, I would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk to you. Let's start with the questions.
It's been a decade since you've started Vredehammer. What was the main reason for starting this music project? How did you come up with the name Vredehammer and does it stand for „wrath hammer“?
Yes, Vredehammer means «Wrath Hammer». Vredehammer was started as a solo project when there was not much going on with my other musical projects at the time. I basically just wanted to write some aggressive black metal which was a little more raw and simple than what I normally wrote. Since I had no serious intentions with the band at this time, all the lyrics for the first release were just written at the spur of the moment and included texts from milk cartons, after shave bottles and just alot of random stuff that made no sense. All I cared about was that the words fit rythmically with the music.
Turned out when I posted it on Myspace, there were several underground labels that actually wanted to release it, so it was released with all the original lyrics and still without any specific plan to do anything else than just releasing the first EP «4. September».
How would you describe your music and your path starting with the three Eps and then writing and recording three full length albums – Vinteroffer, Violator and Viperous? You've classified yourself as a music geek since a very young age, so I've been wondering what musicians influenced you and your work? What do you listen to in your spare time?
Like I said, the project started out being very black metal, and gradually grew from there. Today I would say it is just as much death metal as black metal with hints of progressive stuff and also some pure thrash elements. As a kid I mostly listened to bands like Dream Theater, Queensryche, Pantera and Metallica and this led me on the path to discovering more extreme artists like Dimmu Borgir, Cannibal Corpse, Death etc.
Today I listen to all of the above bands and at the moment I guess what I listen to the most are artists like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Alanis Morisette. However after a while, I need my extreme metal fix and that`s when I go back to listening to Cannibal Corpse, Death and a hell of alot of other metal artists.
The latest album „Viperous“ was released in March. It consists of nine songs which deliver 42 minutes of very interesting black/death metal. Could you tell us something more about the new release, writing and recording process and the main idea and theme which lie behind the album?
With Viperous I wanted to release something that was alittle out of the ordinary, and that`s why I incorporated the synthwave elements to the music. Besides that, I don`t think the album stands out too much from our previous albums except for the continuous attempt at writing better and more catchy songs. It`s still fast, it`s still heavy, just with better songs in my opinion and with the synth element added to the mix.
I must admit I really like the cover for „Viperous“. Carl (author's comment - Carl Stjärnlöv) did a great job. It fits perfectly with the name of the album. Is there anything else you can tell us about the artwork and the meaning of 5 dots ( besides them making cool sounds :) – author's comment )
Haha! The 5 dots was something I took with me from playing with Abbath some years ago. There we developed my stage character «Valla» and I always had 5 dots painted on my forehead. As I quit Abbath, I really liked the 5 dot thing since it had a cool, tribal feeling to it. It doesn`t really mean anything else than it being a visual signature. Besides that, the artwork was something I had in my mind for Viperous. I simply told Carl Stjärnlöv what I wanted it to look like, and he made it look even cooler than I imagined possible.
These past few months have been really hard for the whole music industry. Because of the „Covid – 19 situation“, all the summer festivals and music tours were cancelled and we can only hope 2021 will be much better. Do you have any plans for future tours? What's the current situation in Norway? Back in 2016 you've said it is more fun to play outside the borders. Do you still think that? Could you tell us what was your favorite show ever? And are there any, even blurry plans, of you visiting Croatia?
Honestly, the Covid-19 situation came at the worst possible time for us. We had just released a new album and wanted to finally seeize the oppurtunity to tour the album and promote the band. Especially since we didn`t have the oppurtunity to do so with our previous album «Violator». We were working on setting up festival gigs and tours, but like with all bands, the whole thing got cut off at the root and we are back to having no plans at all. When all this is over, we will assess the situation and take it from there. Maybe we will simply release a new album before hitting the road or maybe we will do some gigs. I suspect there are ALOT of bands that are over-eager to get out there and play, and that might lead to somewhat of a chaotic situation when all the bands that have been in hibernation want to go out and tour at the same time.
I can`t really think of a specific show that was the greatest, but I would say our tour with Satyricon back in the day was our most successful endeavour so far. We finally got to play for the right kind of audience and at the same time show our stuff to a much bigger audience than we were used to. Vredehammer grew massively on that tour and when we finally hit the road again we will try to latch on to a big tour like the one we did with Satyricon.
I know you've been working really hard as a carpenter and are always in lack of time to do all the things you would like to. So, how do you manage between your personal and musical career? You've also very active on social media. I must admit I enjoyed watching the latest reaction video. Do you have any plans on pursuing „the influencer“ career?
It`s a challenge balancing work life with trying to reap some success with your passion, especially when you passion is art and music, because art and music is the kind of work where you put extreme amounts of time into the work, but you only get paid for about 1% of the workload you are actually doing. Being a father of a 3 year old adds to the challenge, because my kid is the most important «job» I have. I recently got separated and am now a full time father every other week and this again puts me in the situation where I have to divide my free time in a different way than I was able to do when I lived with my family.
I´m still trying to find time to do the YouTube thing, but at the moment it`s all baby steps. I don`t want to take on too big of a work load and not be able to deliver what people expect from me. Time will tell, but I hope to continue doing SoMe stuff in a not too distant future.
What's the status of your other music projects - Allfader, Those Left Behind and Valla?
I am no longer in Allfader and havent been for atleast 5 years. I was never a part of Those Left Behind except for doing a couple of leads on a song or two. I still want to do something with my solo project Valla though, but in a different way than I first intended. In the beginning Valla was supposed to be another extreme metal band, but now I am working on writing some more heavy metal/rock stuff that I hope to release one day via the Valla project.
Would you recommend us some new interesting norwegian metal bands?
Honestly I don`t really know alot of new interesting Norwegian metal bands, but I have noticed a band called «Nexorum» that seems very promising.
Do you have any messages for your croatian listeners?
Stay safe and healthy guys and gals and hope to see you on the road one day in the future!
Thank you again for taking the time to do this interview. We really appreciate it. Good luck with your future plans.