quinta-feira, 10 de dezembro de 2015

[English] Sigfadhir: victory's father on the folk metal from São Paulo

Location: São Paulo

André Frekihugr
Felipe Malavazzi
Nickolas Vicentini
Fenris Fenrir
  Dubh Vandræðaskáld

Genre: pagan folk metal
This is an interview we did in September this year with this amazing band Sigfadhir by G.Grind blog.

1. Hello, Sigfadhir! I thank you on behalf of G.Grind for the opportunity to interview you guys. Sigfadhir is a different name and it means, according to the band's blog, "father of victory", it’s a name that almost demands respect from those pronounce it. What led you to choose it? And, my personal doubt, what is the correct pronunciation of Sigfadhir?

Felipe: Actually the name has a heavy burden for us because of all it represents. The choice came from Norse mythology, in reference to the God Odin. This led us to Sigfadhir name because it came from our whole philosophy of life that is really based on Paganism, all band members adopt principles coming from the ancient religions, the message that we passed through the music comes from these ideals and we have strong influence from the Norse mythology and consequently the Asatru, then the name turned out to be a natural choice. Now the pronunciation ... it would be like this: CigFóder (the O kind of an A said more closed...), but everyone says Cigfadir, so no problem!

2. From what we researched, the logo of Sigfadhir had some changes since the band was formed, right? Although the essence of pagan/viking metal have been kept, how does it fit as a "brand" to the sound you make?

Felipe: We believe that in fact that pagan symbols carry some kind of power with them and for this reason we use in our logo. The trollkors represents it to us and it is our protection, our banner in front of the battles we face as a band. The change to use letters instead of runes was a decision of us all, since the idea is to work on the sounds paganism more "roots" without many nomenclatures, without being attached only to the Nordic culture and spirituality.

3. Each of us carries influences about and to everything we live and this is something even stronger when it comes to music. What sound references, each of you brought/bring to the band?

Dubh: I always enjoyed the traditional music from the Nordic countries, with their flutes, fiddles, vocal songs, etc. And I come from a black metal band (Black Achemoth). I believe that I mix both things as an influence.

Fenris: My influences are varied about music style. But I can say that my main inspirations come from Dissection, Bathory, Agalloch, At The Gates, Hypocrisy, Carcass, Vintersorg, Storm, Summoning, Finntroll and many other things. I also hear some classical music.

Felipe: Apart from the same genre bands like Bathory, Ensiferum Moonsorrow, Menhir, Heidevolk and more... I have some influences from Death and Black Metal and other very different styles. I hear very much folk music and try to hear traditional songs from various countries - including Brazil – I hear a lot of Zé Ramalho, Raices de America, Almir Sater, Yann Tiersen and Altai Kai among others.

André: My influences on the band's creations are mainly bands like Otyg, Bathory, Storm, Tuatha de Danann, Kampfar, among many others, but overall, I like sertanejo de raiz – some typical music of Brazil, full of acoustics guitars and pretty well done vocals -, classical music, traditional Celtic and Scandinavian music, psychedelic rock of 70s and music with bizarre instruments.

The lyrical theme, coupled with the sound, is essential or it all seems "empty". How is the process of building the theme for Sigfadhir?

Felipe: In fact it's so natural that we not need to build anything! Hahahaha. We have quite affinity when it comes to paganism, we are well integrated in it, there is no discussion. Someone comes with a melody, another arrives with some lyrics, everyone likes, then we do some (many, hahaha) adjustments and the magic happens.

From left to right: Nickolas, Felipe, Dubh, André (below) and Fenris

Something we found when researching for the band’s information is that initially the name was Drunkagård with stories of trolls, tavern brawls and drunkenness to fill the songs. How was that transition to the “current” Sigfadhir?

Felipe: The Drunkagård was a project that did not work... Before this project, I (Felipe) had with André a cover band of Ensiferum, which was the beginning of everything. The band did not work out and André called me to this project, the idea was to be a sound most casual… It ended up not moving forward due to lack of people wanting to play with us... So we were on a break for a long time. When André met Dubh, he called me and said, "Dude! We got a drummer, let's play again!". Then it was actually a beginning and not exactly a transition. We were more excited than when the Drunkagård began, far more seriously and with a definite proposal.

6. Still on the subject, paganism and mythology as central themes of Sigfadhir of course make something very interesting and bring me two questions: do you face any difficulties because of Sigfadhir beeing hosted in a mainly Christian country? What about the individual beliefs of you, do they end up influencing the lyrics?

Felipe: About Christians, we have no problem with that. Of course, you cannot ignore the anger when looking through the past and see how much shit they did, shoving their beliefs down the throats of ancient peoples. This is trashy! But these days, they stay there and we stay here. We do not waste time talking bad things about them, we prefer to rely on the things of our own belief. About our individual beliefs, they influence 100% in our lyrics, we are our main source of inspiration.

7. The demo 'Galdra Smidr', released in 2011, brings a rooted folk metal that perfectly goes through classical instruments such as the sound of bagpipes, flutes like Tin whistle, etc. How was to write and record this work independently? What about the cover art, which is something simple, but still amazing?

Felipe: It was extremely fun and difficult at the same time! Hahahaha. Anyone who has tried to produce or participate in the production of an independent CD knows what we went through. Taking the drums aside, we recorded all the other instruments/vocals at home. It was a beautiful impromptu! And we are proud of it! In the face of poor sources we had at the time, we were still able to record a good demo. It's like we speak between us: this work is like a registry of what we were at the beginning and it is important to look back and give value to all the efforts we made. The cover art is the same thing, it came out of a joke with a picture taken in Monte Verde/MG, at this mountain called Pico do Selado. What supposed to be a test, turned out to be definitive.

The demo 'Galdra Smidr', released in 2011, and the photography taken in Pico do Selado in MG, Brazil as the artwork.

If I was chosen to elect a symbol to represent the underground metal, I would certainly think about the cassette. Why did you decide to make 'Galdra Smidr' available, by the label of Pagan War, on this format more "old school"?

Felipe: Actually, it was a proposal that came from Pagan War. There was an opportunity to reach the European market in this way and so we accepted. There is no preference about formats to the band’s works, our sound will always be available as possible, whether cassette or mp3 (or both simultaneously).

9. The first concert of your favorite band, you never forget. I wonder the first show in which your own band performs. The first show of Sigfadhir started with it all it deserves, in 2011 on the first Odin's Krieger Fest! Tell us a little of this experience, please!

Felipe: This experience was unforgettable! In fact, the demo 'Galdra Smidr' appeared on behalf of this show hahahahaha. We were invited to play in this fest, which was its first edition, and to accept at the time !!! But there was one small detail: we had no songs done! Hahahahaha Hence, we run with the compositions to play in this show, and that's when all the songs that are in our demo came out! The show was unforgettable, we were quite inexperienced, but we did our best, and the crowd liked it a lot. We even have a DVD with this complete show, limited to 3 copies (only for members of the band present on this show - Dubh, André and Felipe) hahahahahaha.

10. Sigfadhir usuallys play at festivals like Odin's, Thorhammerfest, among others and at fairs like Feira Entre Mundos. Play at places with the same characteristic environments and even "mysticism" that Sigfadhir brings is more interesting to you?

Felipe: Yes, it's always nice playing at festivals that carry this "mystical" in their aura, as the incredible fair Feira Entre Mundos, which takes place once a year in the city of Várzea Paulista/SP. But beyond these festivals there is room for other non-themed events, in which we played with heavy, thrash and black metal bands and we were very welcome!
The question goes a bit beyond the festival style. It's sad - but necessary - say that many producers of events out there do not respect the bands, they make a thousand demands for national bands without providing minimal structure and allowance, and they all go bootlicking those foreign bands... But as I stated earlier: we do not waste time whining about it. We played where we are offered the condition to play and we do our best, always!

The band was in Feira Entre Mundos  located in Várzea Paulista, SP, Brazil.

You are, pardon for the word, great as fuck! In the same year of 2013, the Sigfadhir opened for the Finnish band Turisas in March and for the Russians of Arkona in November. How was to share the stage with these incredible bands?

Felipe: I do not even know how to describe. Both bands are giant influences for us, I (Felipe) particularly have always been a fan of Turisas and was one of the first bands of the style that I had contact. Arkona is also a very cool band and I never imagined I would see them playing in Brazil. To have the opportunity of open their shows was amazing. They were two fantastic experiences for us.

12. Both live and on YouTube, I could follow Sigfadhir impeccably playing covers of Bathory and Heidevolk. How to merge your authorial songs with songs of yet acclaimed bands, without that comparison by the audience with original tracks?

Felipe: Actually, if you pay attention, the covers we make are versions of songs that we admire so much, the ones that are true influences for us. And the ones that have our features! It’s so much that we consider those covers as tributes to our "masters". Earlier, we put these songs to increase the setlist time, since we only had 4 songs. But today, even with more Sigfadhir’s own songs, we still include them on sets, always testing a new cover. It's fun for us and the audience always appreciates.

13. How is the agenda of Sigfadhir for this very end of 2015? What about the future, what do you guys plan and expect?

Felipe: Sigfadhir is without shows for now because we are working on a new album and we plan to record it soon. Each member had some personal issues to worry about, so we decided to stop playing and focus on that album. The idea is to return to the stages with new material.

14. To end our conversation, I would like to thank you again on behalf of G.Grind by your time and consideration and to leave here my wishes of success and long life to Sigfadhir. The final space is free for you!

Felipe: We do thank you for the opportunity to tell more about us and about the plans for the future of Sigfadhir. We also want to congratulate G.Grind for the excellent work with from the underground scene, success and long life to you! For those who want to know more about us, just access the links below:


Posted by Caterine Souza

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