miércoles, 16 de octubre de 2019


Good evening, thank you very much for answering these questions, how is everything going for Trondheim?

- Good evening. You are welcome, it’s my pleasure. Everything is going OK. Just to mention that actually I don’t live in Trondheim anymore, last year I moved to Oslo. So, greetings from the capital! 

1. From the Vastland was born in Teheran in 2010, why do you decide to create the band? Does it have something to do with the choice of the name From From Vastland, with the Behemoth Ep “... from the Pagan Vastlands (1994 ) ”?
- I started my music career in 2003 by releasing my very first demo with my first band called “Sorg Innkallelse”. It was me and my cousin and we kept on going until 2009, could release 10 albums via different label companies internationally but then it was about the time to stop that project (for several different reasons). And I already had it in my mind to form a very personal project. So, by the time the idea was growing and you know, it was impossible for me to stop myself making music after my first band. So, after a short while I got ready and started “From the Vastland” project officially in 2010. And regarding the name, there was several different reasons that I chose this name but it has nothing to do with “...from the pagan vastland” song (btw, that’s a great song!). One of the most important reason was because I wanted the name of the band also represent the concept of the band. So, let's say I am from Iran and all the lyrics are from the ancient Persian empire era (the biggest empire in the world) So, it means the music comes from the vast land of Persia.

2. A year later comes the edition of his first album “Darkness vs. Light, the Perpetual Battle ”, how was the process of composition and recording of this work? Were there many difficulties to carry out this recording in a country like Iran?
- You know, by having that idea in my head I started to write the songs and since it was the first album, so, I needed and wanted to show the concept of the band directly and make it as clear as possible. You know, like a start point and then follow the same path on the next albums but of course it was not easy. Especially because I had to keep everything as a secret and wanted to do everything by my own. I had the experience for years and that was OK and luckily I already had all the equipment I needed (because of my old band) but later when I wanted to contact the label companies and release the album, I had to do everything anonymously and be careful about sending the songs, album covers and after releasing the album they couldn’t send the CDs to me by post (because the authorities would find out about it and could make problem for me) So, the label company sent it to my friend’s place in Italy and later she brought them to me. I mean there was a lot of difficulties, when you live in a country like Iran when black metal is banned then this things are in your way.

3. From here, with the edition of the album “Kamarikan” and following the jump to Europe, From the Vastland undergoes a full-fledged revolution, to start a project of its own, like From the Vastland integrates full-fledged band members Like 1349 or Gorgoroth, among others, how did the idea of ​​incorporating these new members come up and how did I get in touch with them? Does the composition and recording process continue to fall on you or is there a consensus among the different members? And how do you think they have fitted and defined the sound of the group since this time?
- Back when I had my first band in Iran, I could release on of my albums here in Norway on vinyl in 2008 and I got in touch with the metal scene in Norway. So I already know some musicians, label companies and the community here. And when I had the Kamarikan album ready to release, I got the chance to release it by Indie Recordings (Norway) which followed by the concert at Inferno festival and playing with Norwegian musicians, you know. Simply they listened to the album and really liked it and wanted to participate in the project. and after the Inferno festival we kept on working together on the next records and playing the gigs until today.
Regarding the composition and recording process, still I write all the music and lyrics for the albums but whenever I have the material for an album, first I make the demo album with complete mix ready and send them to the members but they also participate by using their creativity on their own lines. You know, they are professional and very talented musicians. So, I am also really happy to have their input on the songs. We also talk a bit about the idea for the whole atmosphere of the album and the way we want it to sound. And then at the end when they send me their lines, I start the final mix and mastering the album.  

4. What did it mean for you to be able to participate in the Infernal Festival in 2013? How did the opportunity to participate in it arise?
- Well, honestly it meant a world me! I couldn’t believe it. You can imagine how it was great for me to play at Inferno Festival as one of the biggest and the best extreme metal festivals in Europe. You know, it all happened very quick in less than 3 months from the time when I got the news until I got on stage with my band there in Norway! And you know, it was my very first gig and From The Vastland was the opening act of the festival. Having the chance to play with professional known Norwegian musician also made it like a dream and that is still alive today. Whenever I think about it gives me a great feeling. It’s one my best memories in my music career. Actually I got the chance to play there with my band by help of Obsidian C (Keep Of Kalessin) and Indie Recordings as I was releasing the new album “Kamarikan” by them on the same night. And of course Christian Falch (The Blackhearts Producer) and my band mates helped a lot regarding that.

5. You have also participated, being one of the main protagonists in the documentary Blackhearts, what is the documentary about and how do you decide to participate in it?
- Yeah, it was back in 2012 when I got the first email from the producer of the film “Christian Falch” and he told me about his project and asked me if I am interested to be part of that. Of course there was no doubt for me to say YES when it was a Norwegian documentary film about the black metal! And then for me everything started from that point and I got involved in the film. You know, actually the film is not only about the character making it to Norway and play there, it follows our story about our passion towards music and specifically black metal when we are sacrificing a lot of things in life in order to achieve our goals. In the film we also get to know the differences between the characters and their views in general and how they have approached black metal, what is the situation for them back in their own country and what happens to them through their journey to Norway also how it affects their life. So, I would say it’s about passion and life. 

6. Last year you published "Daevayasna", the fifth studio album of From the Vastland, how was the process of composition and recording of this work? And how do you think the sound of From the Vastland has evolved over the years?
- You know, I worked on Daevayasna album for almost 2 years and I did my best to make the atmosphere of the album exactly as I have it in my mind back in that time. I was taking care of everything with precision. As always I wrote all the songs and recorded the demo album first and I sent it to my band mates to practice and record their lines and then I did mix and master the album which took a long time as well. I was listening to the songs over and over again to make sure everything is exactly as it should be. When it comes to the sound, I would say over the years, it got more mature but at the same time more aggressive and darker with the same style. And I believe it’s also matter of experience, the way I write the riffs and how to make them sound richer, you know.

7. That richness of sound in the band has always been very present, when joining Scandinavian black with influences from the nineties with other elements related to Mesopotamian culture, it is true that “Daevayasna” could be translated as “prayers of demons ”, does this imply that the fan finds the sound of your last work perhaps darker, compared to previous works?
- Cool. Yeah, true that Daevayasna means prayers of the demons. Yeah, as I said, I worked really hard on the album for a long time and put all my efforts on it. and I am really satisfied with the result. It’s so dark and mysterious but at the same time so wild and wrathful. Yes, exactly! If I myself want to put it into the words then I would say it’s like where the ancient Persian myths, gods and demons meet the old school black metal of 90’s. That’s how I can describe Daevayasna, indeed it’s the darkest of From The Vastland until now.

8. From the Vastland texts since its inception, as I said before, have always been related in some way to Persian and Mesopotamian history, why do you decide to address these issues in your lyrics? Have you ever felt threatened In your country for practicing this style of music or using this theme?
- You know, I was always interested in history and mythology, reading books and articles about it (not only Persian mythology but also Norse, Maya, Egypt…) then when I wanted to form “From The Vastland” I found it very proper theme and concept for the band. You know, the Persian mythology was a perfect match for a black metal band. It’s full of epic stories about the battle between gods and demons, light and darkness, legends etc.
And yes, during the years I got a lot of threatening messages. In the beginning they were not so serious, coming from unknown sources by email or as messages but by the time the got more serious and the last one was an official letter from that revolutionary guard after I played at Inferno festival but luckily I was already moved to Norway when they sent it to my place. You know, a lot of my metal musicians friends had the same experience, threatened or got arrested by the police. They were in jail or had to pay fee and stop making music. They say metal music is satanic or blasphemy and you can imagine it's even more dangerous when you play black metal. Unfortunately still today it happens in Iran and situation has not changed, even got worse I would say.

9. I suppose that the beginnings and access to music in your childhood would not be easy, how were your beginnings in music, what were the first CDs you bought and the first concerts you attended? Did your life make you want to dedicate yourself to music?
- Yes, it was not easy at all. You know, I was lucky that my parents were fan of rock music. so, I grew up with music, listening to bands like Pink Floyd, Eloy, Camel etc. but you know, I born right after the revolution in Iran and that was the time when everything changed and became so limited. There was no access to music, especially metal music. There was no record shops to buy music also no concerts. All we had was the albums from before the revolution (when the rock music was not banned). So, in my childhood (during the 80’s) the only way to get the new albums was if someone was traveling outside country and could bring some cassette tapes. 
So, we could only get from friends and copy them secretly. Usually we were just trading them in the school but it was risky because it could make a problem if the authorities could find out about that. So, it was so hard to find but yeah, slowly I got into heavier music and then when I was a teenager my friend came back from his vacation in Austria and brought me tapes from Black Sabbath, Metallica and Skid Row. So, immediately I fell in love with metal music and I knew I want to become a musician. And then step by step I listened to heavier music and more bands like Sepultura, Iron Maiden, Sodom, Testament etc. and then finally after a couple of years I bought my first guitar  when I was into death metal and then later I found about black metal and everything changed...long story but you know, that was also the time when internet came to the houses and it made it easier to get access to music.

10. It is striking that most of the one man band do not usually take the step of offering concerts, however Fron the Vastland feels very comfortable on stage, how did you face the task of recruiting new members for concerts?

- Cool. Yeah, that’s true but you know, I always had the dream to play my music live in concert from many years ago and then it was unbelievable when I got the chance to play for the first time at Inferno Festival here in Norway back in 2013. You can imagine how it was great for me to share the stage with known and professional Norwegian musicians such as Vyl, Destructhor and Tjalve. So, I was so excited and eager the experience it with them for the first time, even though I had no experience to play live. and it made me a bit nervous for the first time but as soon as we met and started to rehearse together everything was OK, they were so friendly,  helpful and of course professional which made me feel very comfortable. And you know, the feeling of playing your music and share the same emotions and passion with people in a same place is very special. The close and direct contact when you are able to see their reaction, get their feedback and see how they enjoy the music at the moment is so valuable. So, when you experience that unforgettable feelings then you want it more and more but you know, I also always wanted to make a balance between releasing albums and playing live concerts. Some bands put all their time on albums and never play live or the other way around when they play hundreds of gigs and don’t release any new music for years.

11. Already fully settled in Norway, what do you miss most about your life in Iran?
- Yeah, it’s been almost 6 years in Norway. Well, yes, I do. Mostly I miss my family, friends and of course the land itself. You know, I born and grew up there and when I moved to Norway I was already 33. So, you can imagine how big is all the memories I carry with myself and now I can not go back to my country. So, it’s not easy but I had to sacrifice a lot in order to achieve my goals and follow my passion.

12. "Daevayasna", has been published for almost a year now, what has this album brought you with respect to the previous ones? Are you satisfied with the repercussion reached in the media and the fans' response to this release?
- To me it was like one big step forward when it comes to composition and making the atmosphere for my songs. As I mentioned before, I worked on this album for a long time, on all the details to make is exactly the way I wanted it to be and then we we released the album the response from the fans and the metal community was amazing, our fans really loved the album and also we got a lot of great reviews on different magazines and websites from all over the world. 

13. I suppose you are already working on future issues for a new album, what are your future plans for From the Vastland, in terms of upcoming releases and concerts?
- Yes, now I have all the material for a new album ready. It’s a special album, a concept album and we are going to release it next year which is also the tenth anniversary of the band. So, it’s going to be a special year for me. I am also making plans for some shows and applying for some festivals (some are already confirmed). So, good news for the fans in the near future and of course we will release all the info regarding the new album and upcoming shows on official pages of the band in a right time. 

14. Thank you very much for the time dedicated to Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something else for the followers of From the Vastland this is the place. I hope the questions have been to your liking.
- Thank you so much for the good interview, your support and this opportunity for me to talk. You know, it always brings me more motivation and energy to keep on going and continue my path whenever I get support from people and the fans. So, special thanks to them as well. You know, I really appreciate their support. And my last word is to the other musicians who live in places where they face all those difficulties and challenges. Just stay true to yourself and never give up, keep on going and then good things will happen. You know, it’s impossible to censor art. At the end of the day it will find or make its way.

Arstidir Lifsins - "Heljarkvida" 12" MLP

- full colored jacket
- full colored, heavy inner sleeve with lyrics, info and impressions
- two sides printed A2 poster
- two stickers
- 180g blue vinyl, lim. edition
- playing time over 40 minutes

‘Heljarkviða’ is meant to depict the Old Norse kingdom of Helheimr; a place for the slain who suffer a ‘helsótt’, a fatal illness. They are the ones who are not chosen to travel to the joyful and venerated halls of Óðinn and Freyja, but are instead taken to the kingdom of death, to Hel. It was in early 2014 when Árni (Carpe Noctem, Wöljager), Stefán (Kerbenok, Wöljager) and Marsél (Helrunar, Wöljager) initially started to compose music with the intention to set this gloomy mythological realm into music. Caught by the dismal atmosphere that surrounds this interesting place, Stefán wrote the lyrics by mainly focussing on two different poetic sources from the Old Norse corpus: the Eddic poems, of which first and foremost the grand late tenth century Old Norse poem Vǫluspá served as the most important reference, followed closely by poems of contemporary medieval Icelandic warrior skalds such as Egill Skallagrímsson or Gunnlaugr ormstunga and their mythological battle descriptions.

Hel and her same-named kingdom is ambiguously displayed in the primary sources, which is most likely due to the fact that descriptions of the place itself are much older than the ones about the goddess. It is because of this that neither Skaldic and Eddic poetry, nor the impressive corpus of medieval Icelandic saga literature, provide a coherent picture of the place and the potentially numinous figure. The lyrics for this record, therefore, are a combination of what is known about both aforementioned aspects of Hel, set into a mythological telling of a warrior’s death and afterlife.

The text describes a journey of a doomed warrior who fights with his band of Vikings and dies in a blood-driven ecstasy on the battlefield. After his painful death, his body sinks into the blood-covered soil and travels through the chthonic wastelands below, only to arrive to a place where all other slain bodies rot together under the reign of Hel in and around the bleak hall of Éljúðnir, a monstrous building made from the spines of poison-dripping snakes; a place beyond the spheres of time. Through the treacherous shot guided by Loki, Baldr, the brightest of all gods, is sent to Hel and the worlds begin to collapse. Now, at the beginning of Ragnarǫk, the undead people start to wander back to the surface of life to fight at the final battle at Iðavellir. The grand depiction of Ragnarǫk in Vǫluspá gives the most detailed description of this event and its disastrous conclusion in fire when Surtr cleanses the earth with his flaming sword Surtalogi. The slain bodies appear, however, again after all life has been extinguished. Carried by the wings of Níðhǫggr, they fall down to the revitalizing earth to bring back their very own mythological phaenomenon of death.

It is our hope that some of this apocalyptic atmosphere is transmitted through the music, lyrics and visual arts of this very special release.


No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario