Vreid – Interview with vocalist and guitarist Sture Dingsøyr
Interview by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
It’s not only phoenixes that rise out of ashes, there are some bands that have has a similar birth. Vreid, or Wrath as their name translates, are one such outfit brought to life following a tragic death in former band Windir. After six strongly received albums though it’s clear that Vreid is far more than just a fill-in for what once was, bringing together the black metal’s untempered edge with the groove of rock n roll, and just a touch of Windir’s ambiance. Giving us a wave is vocalist and guitarist Sture Dingsøyr as he talks new release Welcome Farewell, and what’s been happening since it said hello….
As most people are likely aware by now Vreid was formed out of the breakup of Windir – was it difficult for you to look at creating new music without Valfar?
Sture Dingsøyr (SD) – After the sudden death of Valfar we all agreed on that we wanted to continue creating music. This is something we had been doing for years, and even before we joined forces with Valfar. But as you know Windir was Valfar’s band, and it was not an option for us to continue Windir without him. So we all agreed upon starting a new band, and Vreid was the name we choose. It means “Wrath” in old-Norwegian so I guess you could say that the name sums up what we felt back then.
Do you think that was easier to do under a new band rather than trying to carry on Windir?
SD – As I said earlier, to continue Windir was not an option for us. Instead we wanted to create something on our own. The first Vreid album is very different from all the Windir albums, and that was what we wanted…to start something new.
Welcome Farewell is your sixth album – what’s changed for you since the beginning?
SD – Well a lot has changed, both in the sense of the music itself, and the activity for the band. The first Vreid album was very “raw” and stripped down. Welcome Farewell is dark and heavy with a lot of references to the 90s.
Where did the title come from?
SD – The lyrics on the album describes a lifecycle through a number of short stories, seen through an existential point of view. Hvall who has written the album gets his inspiration from nature, his surroundings, architecture and several historical artists.
Was there any particular influence or thinking driving the album?
SD – Several of our previous albums has had an angle towards war, especially the Second World War. But on this album Hvall have used his near surroundings for inspiration.
The band are often described as black ‘n’ roll – is this a label you agree with?
SD – I am not too fond of labels, but I have of course noticed this one . On all Vreid albums there are lots of references to “rock ‘n’ roll” and Welcome Farewell is no different. So I guess you could say that black ‘n’ roll is one way to describe our music.
You recently released a video for the song ‘The Reap’ off the album – it’s a really captivating approach combining animation with real footage – how did you come up with that approach?
SD – About two years ago we met with Kim Holm while playing a gig. During the show he drew us all on paper, and we all were blown straight away. He is a fantastic artist. So we knew straight away that we wanted to do something more with him. As the new album evolved and the plans for a video took form, it was clear that we wanted Kim to do something for the video as well. Another good friend of ours, Einar Loftesnes, did the directing for the Video along with lots of good ideas. We are all very pleased with the end result
Does the video tell its own story or is it a direct interpretation of the song in your opinion?
SD – There are elements based on the song of course, but mostly the song tells its own story.
For the third year in a row Vreid has been nominated for the Lutt award – for those unfamiliar what are the awards and why do you think you’ve been so successful each year in terms of nominations?
SD – Yes…we were nominated again in 2012, and we won! The Lutt award is a regional award for musicians who have done something to promote music from our region. Why we have been nominated three times…that’s up to the jury to explain But I guess that constant touring and releasing new albums have something to do with it.
How would you celebrate a win?
SD – When we won in November 2012 we all were invited to a special Lutt show, where we performed together with the painter Oddvar Torsheim. It was a lot of fun, lots of good traditional Norwegian x-mas food and some beers
You toured Europe at the end of 2012, and you’re back again this year with a whole new set of dates – what’s in store for the fans?
SD – Well right now we have finished the Norwegian dates. And early April we will go on a European Tour with Solefald and In Vain. Then there will be some summer festivals. Be sure to check out http://www.vreid.no for the latest tour updates.
I assume Welcome Farewell will be getting a good airing – how difficult has it been choosing the set list?
SD – It is always difficult to choose the songs to play from a new album. For one it is funny for us to play something new. So one have to find the right balance between new and old songs.
Are you looking further afield at all over the course of the rest of 2013?
SD – We have the plans for the first half of 2013 about ready, what will happen to the autumn is not ready as of yet.
We’ve already welcomed in the new year but is there anything else in particular in the works for Vreid before we say farewell again?
SD – Hope to see you soon at one of our shows, and stay updated on the latest info by visiting our homepage. Skååålll!
Now go say hello to my review of Welcome Farewell -