Frigoris Interview with Mortem 'Zine [September 23, 2013]

Posted by Nick Skog on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 Under: Interviews
Frigoris Interview with Mortem 'Zine
Published: September 23, 2013

1. Greetings FRIGORIS, how’s the life in Essen? Are you enjoying your holidays or are you always on the go?

Hello. Life over here is good but busy. We all have to work or study and we try to play as many shows as possible so we don’t have many holidays left.

2. How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it? How would you convince him or her that your music is the right thing?

It is always difficult for us to describe our style. Especially on our new album Wind many different influences converge. The atmosphere is inspired by Black Metal but on the musical level we use a lot of elements which are more likely for Doom Metal or Post Rock. We melt it all down in our description as Melodic Black Metal.

So if you like Black Metal atmosphere in an untypical musical way you should risk an ear.

3. Frigoris means winter, so what does this cold season mean to you? Do you consider winter to be your source of inspiration or there is more to it?

Winter is a very thoughtful and lonely season in my feelings and so opens various possibilities of inspiration. Although the melancholy I try to catch in the music is more inspired by other factors, winter is a topic worth considering.

4. Even though the band exists for only six years you have experienced some huge changes in your line-up and thus Dominik Winter is the only original member. Were these changes caused by disagreement in artistic direction or simply by a wish of the band’s leader?

Well the first big change in our line-up was in 2009 while our first attempt of recording our debut album “Nach dem Krieg...”. While the complexity and difficulty of the songs grew with the time the abilities of the other founding members did not and so I came to a point where I had to decide between making serious music with new musicians or stay with the founding members and do music just for fun in the rehearsal room. Due to the fact that the new material at that point already contained parts that came deep from my heart the choice was not too difficult.

All other changes had different personal reasons just as that someone had not enough time left for the band etc.

5. How did you start cooperating with the South-Korean Misanthropic Art who released your new album “Wind”? How do you evaluate this partnership? I am also very interested about the relationship between you and Hypnotic Dirge, thanks to whom I learned about “Wind”. Are they responsible only for the distribution in America or are they doing more?

We started to search for a label that could release “Wind” in the mid of 2012 and during this process we found Misanthropic Art Productions. After listening to some of their earlier releases we decided to send them a promo and they made the best offer for us. The cooperation with Hypnotic Dirge Records was the idea of MAP. Both labels released our album for a better and broader distribution and advertisement so in practice we have two equal value labels that released “Wind”.

We are very happy with the work of both of them. Although both labels are not too big we got a worldwide promotion due to this cooperation and a very close communication. Especially HDR does very much for us besides releasing the album and Nick is really interested about everything we do and want. All in all this was the best possible outcome for us, especially it was surprising for us to get two good labels overseas and not one good offer from Europe.

6. Ok, now let’s talk about the new album. First of all, let me congratulate you. The album feels really mature and masterful, while being complimented by a great sound. How much time and effort did it cost to create “Wind”? Do you feel satisfied with the final result in the same way like when you left the studio?

Thank you very much! We took a lot of time to create “Wind” compared to our previous releases. The first fragments already existed in early 2010 even before the release of “Nach dem Krieg…”. A first version from early 2011 was totally reworked again before we were ready to enter the studio in April 2012 and then it still took a year to find a label and to release the album. So in total we nearly spent 3 years just on this album but this great effort is justified if you consider the great result and the fact that it marks a turning point in our history.

We are very satisfied with “Wind” even now, more than a year after receiving the mastered version of it. Of course there is always a little something you want to change but all in all the album is very self-contained.

7. The visuals are equally pleasing as the music. The front cover is simple and outspoken as the title. Anyway it’s far from being a static painting; one can almost hear the hum of the wind in the grass. Who created it for you? I am also wondering if it fulfilled your ideas and how does it compliment the music?

The artwork was created by a young artist (Memento Mori Art) from Halle (Saale) in Germany. He is a good friend of us and we worked with him before in concerns of flyer designs etc.

I discussed a few ideas for the artwork with him but when I saw that result I directly felt that this was perfectly fitting for the album. He captured the atmosphere of “Wind” in a single picture and to be honest I was aiming for a slightly different direction and so I’m very happy that he took his own way of interpreting the album.

I think our music is very warm and melancholic and the picture represents the same. Also the reference to wind (meaning the actual element) in the picture feels the same as in the album – not as the centre of interest but a broad feeling combing everything. At least I feel that way.

8. Since the album is titled “Wind” I am wondering if the lyrics also deal with this element? Could you elaborate on the lyrical side of the album? I am asking because it is really rare to hear so much melancholy and profoundness from a contemporary pagan black metal band. The album does offer thoughts worth contemplating…

Well the album title has different meanings for me. The lyrics on “Wind” are – broadly said - about human emotions, feelings, development and coexistence. This is packed in abstract situations often related to nature. Wind as an element is a repeating symbol that appears in most of the songs in that way and stands for different aspects just as wind is multilateral and not really concrete.

For me another aspect of the title is that “Wind” is some kind of a new start for us and literally the wind brings everything new and washes the old away.

Although I might have concrete interpretations of the album title and the lyrics for myself I used very abstract settings and words on purpose. I want the listener to think about the lyrics and maybe come to a different conclusion than I do, as long as it touches you and maybe helps you to find your way in this cruel world.

9. I feel enthralled by your use of melody which fits in the black metal scheme but it also offers influences from different genres. That's something I usually hear in Agalloch... Frigoris and Agalloch are musically different entities but the atmosphere is similar. Which artists do you consider to be your influence? Unless it is secret...?

It is a great honor for me that the music I write is so often compared to the great Agalloch. The atmosphere they create is – in my opinion – the perfection of what is possible and of course I try to reach a similar result although I use different musical elements for that.

There are not many bands that stayed with me for the long time as Agalloch did. To mention the most important: Nagelfar, Alcest and Der Weg einer Freiheit. Every of this four bands influenced my life in some way and so a bit of their heart also flows into our music- or at least the bizare version of them I carry around. ;)

10. How much time do you usually need for the creation process? From the very first ideas till the recording? Have you always entered studio fully prepared or are you open to some last minute changes?

Well…this is very different and depends a lot on the time I have as well as on my mood. The process takes a lot of steps and sometimes I have an idea and make a rough song out of it in just one day and another time just this step takes a few months. What all songs have in common in their process is that I need to lay them aside for quite a while and if I still like it then it is worth to be really worked out.

I think the longest time I took for a song was 2 years but even after recording a song it evolves further. We rework some parts for the live show or change a melody slightly because it catches the atmosphere a bit better.

At some point you have to make a cut and call the versions final – at least for the album – and go into a studio. We do so as much prepared as possible but it wouldn’t be worth all the effort and money for a professional studio if you are not open for other ideas or slight changes. For example we have not much experience in the point of “special effects” that have nothing to do with the music itself but the production and so we need a person that knows what is possible and fitting to the songs. I think Martin did a great job at Gernhart studio and I can just recommend his work.

11. Is it possible to see you live on stage? If yes, since you have two albums out, how do you create your setlist? Are your concerts special in some aspects or do you at least plan to make them special one day? Do you consider costume and stage theatrics to be important for your performance?

Yes we play live shows and we would like to play a lot more shows than we could now. At the moment our setlist consist mostly out of songs from “Wind” with selected tracks from “Nach dem Krieg…”. This is because we want to represent our “new” style of music. Our first album has a total different atmosphere and attitude than “Wind” and we try to choose a consistent setlist to draw the listener into our world.

Due to this wish of us we are also working on a concept of a show that has no pauses in it so we can build up an atmosphere and hold it for the whole show but our technic possibilities currently are limited so there is still a way to go until we reach that goal.

Regarding costumes or stage theatrics I can just say that we don’t think much of them. When we enter the stage everything we do is honest and spontaneous, not planned. As we want to draw the listener into our world we also want to fall into this abyss and forget everything around us. To reach this you need to feel comfortable and every bit of stage acting that is planned beforehand would just disturb.

12. Do you have a goal you would like to reach or do you simply enjoy playing and not really caring what the future will bring?

I would like to play a good organized tour in the near future.

13. What can we expect from you in the near future? Are you planning to start working on a new material or do you intend to take a short break?

The work on new material already started and the goal at the moment is to have a first rough version at the end of the year. The release of “Wind” took us three years and I would really like to be a bit faster with the next release.

14. Thank you for interview and good luck in your future endeavours. The last words are yours.

Thank you very much for your very interesting questions!

In : Interviews 

Tags: frigoris wind nach dem krieg dominik winter atmospheric pagan melodic black metal agalloch fen alcest imperium dekadenz