Falkenbach (Vratyas Vakyas)
Vratyas Vakyas, the wandering explorer, talks about the depth, the shape and the borders of the universe of Falkenbach. On the occasion of the release of "Tiurida", the band latest studio album, this is what the mastermind told us. Enjoy the interview!
Article by Fabio Petrella - Publish on: 04/05/11
Hi Vratyas. First of all, welcome to the virtual pages of SpazioRock. You were born in Iceland, but you’ve been living in Germany for many years. Why did you moved from your hometown?

Well, your informations are false, and therefore there´s not too much more to say about that topic, I guess. I am German, having a family which consists of Germans back for at least a couple of hundret years.

Your first demo, Hamaval, goes back to almost 20 years now. In all these years your way of composing hasn’t changed much. What was the sparkle that made the Falkenback project come to life?

Well, in the very beginning, and on "Havamal" as well, Falkenbach was folk only, the metal influences grew with the years. I think the songs, and the way they were composed, did change in fact alot in some way.  Why I started to record the first songs is rather easy to say - to me it was, and still is, a way to give shape to my religious feelings and views.

Talking about the lyrics, your albums go deep into paganism and into northern mythology. Listening to "Tiurida" you can understand how these topics are so important to you. It seems that there’s an intense synergy between this ancient world and you. What is your secret?

The first secret maybe is that to me, there is no "ancient" world when I talk about the subject paganism. Of course there are roots, and of course you can call those roots ancient. Nevertheless we are living today, we are children of the time we live in. And paganism is something that exists today. Falkenbach, and my own views, are not about building up a false picture of ancient heroism. It is about transforming our own cultures, values, beliefs in our own lifes, in our time. It´s a part of today.

Beyond these mythological and pagan subjects, your works show a true love for nature, sceneries and their aspects. Is it a feeling linked to everyday life, or is it just a try to have a different way of communicating a sort of “pagan” philosophy?

Nature is a part of the world I live in, and therefore a part of my own life, part of my views of course.
To me, there is no link between nature and pagan beliefs on first sight, but there is a link between myself and what people call "nature". To call it nature, to most people means to draw a frontier between a person and the outer world. To me there is something called animism, that´s my link to it, and the one of Falkenbach. In general, this is not connected with paganism, to me it is, as it´s a part of my world.

Thanks to its dreamy and intimate aspect, your music fits perfectly if you listen it while surrounded by nature. For instance, I’m thinking of “Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty” (but of course this can be told for all your records), rich of epic atmospheres and pathos, and if you listen to it while you’re at the mountains it really gets more suggestive. Do you dig inside your soul in order to conceive such deep and mystic pieces?

No, I don´t think so. It´s just what I receive, it´s just the melodies that come to my mind.
I don´t have to look for it, I don´t need any special places or moods. When the time is right,
those things come to my mind, no matter where I am or how I feel.

Probably you’ve been among the very first artists who proposed this way of doing metal, and in the last few years it spread out very much. Do you follow the growth of this genre? What do you think of the current situation of folk viking music that is getting more and more commercial and also pretty much the same and without a soul in it? Which band do you consider the best in this kind of music nowadays?

To be honest, I don´t follow any scenes in general, and beside that, I do not listen to new bands or albums since loads of years. I don´t know what´s going on in this scene, or any other one. There are just a few things I´ve heard during the last years, not enough to give a real comment about it, I guess.

In a way your works go back in a very original way to a certain musicality and to a certain attitude created long time ago by our lamented Quorthon so that many people see you as the heir of the Swedish artist. Do you feel like being close to his poetry?

No, I don´t think so. Quorthon created with Bathory good albums, he earned alot reputation.
He has been a musician selling a hell of CDs, I am not. He started with Satanism topics, I did not.
Lateron he stated that all the "viking" lyrics were based on interest, but that he did not believe in such crap for real, as in any other religion. That´s also something that differs a person like Quorthon from me. In the end... Well, there´s probably not too much for me to feel close to him, moreover as I don´t know him personally.

To me "Tiurida" is another masterpiece of a discography without any weak link. Your albums are hard to reach, but why does it take so long to prepare an album? Is it a conscious choice or is it just a break in order to give a very well made work to the audience?

It´s a break in the end, but a break I do not plan. Sometimes there´re just periods of time when simply no new ideas come to my mind, and there´s nothing I can do about it. There´re alot of years between "Tiurida" and the former album, but it doesn´t mean all the time was spent with working on the songs, not at all. When a new song comes to my mind, it usually is something that happens fast, there is no need to think it over again and again, it´s just there. And after that, maybe a year or even longer, nothing happens. It´s just like that.

Watching a Falkenbach concert would be a very big dream for many people. Is it true that you’re planning some shows?

Planning is too much said right now. There´s the idea, that´s right, and so far it look much better than it´s been during the last years. There´s a good chance for a couple of concerts, but it´s not sure yet. Check www.falkenbach.de from time to time, there you´ll find any news about Falkenbach first.

Ok Vratyas, we’re done with it. Thank you for the interview and good luck! …As Long As Winds Will Blow...

Thanx for the support!

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