Well, it seems 2007 has been a good year for Drautran. After signing the contract with Lupus Lounge, and not having released anything since your demo of 2000, “Unter Der Banner Der Norwinde”, you released your new album, “Throne Of The Depths”, after more than ten years since the band's birth. Was the band stopped during this time or you were simply occupied with others things? When did you start working on the full-length? How much satisfied are you with the situation?
Arn: No, the band was not stopped between our two releases. We started to write new songs immediately after the release of “Unter dem Banner der Nordwinde”, played some gigs and recorded demo-stuff for our own . It took such a long time until the release of “Throne of the depths”, because of different reasons. We do not like to make a second step befor the first has been made. You know what I mean?! It is a german byword and means as much as be really sure that it is good what you do and you are satisfied with it. There were often some details in our new songs or in the lyrics, which we wanted to be realised in a better way and so we took all the time we needed, to make it perfect. Yes, we are a kind of perfectionists and time does not matter to us. On the other hand we have been seven individuals in the band while this time and everyone of us had his own point of view referable how the new songs has to sound, how they have to be structured and so on. We discussed and tried a lot in our rehearsalroom, because we wanted that everyone is satisfied with the new stuff. And finally we needed more time in studion than we had planed. Because our lack of money, we made a lot by our own during the recording-process. Therefor we had to learn a lot, how all the studio-equipment works and so on and so forth.
I am totally satisfied with the situation. I think we created a good album and like I already said, time does not matter to me or anyone else in the band!
It's underniable your music has a huge norwegian influence from the second wave of Black Metal that bands like Emperor, Enslaved or Immortal created, with a good mix of darkness, aggresion and technique(especially this last one is not so usual among Black Metal bands as among other styles), and a very powerful and blasting result. How would you describe Drautran's sound and which have been your main influences through all these years?
Arn: You ever stood on a cold and dark, stormy day at the sea shore, while wind blows through your hair and rain hits you in the face. You look into the aloofly and see how the rough sea tries to reach the clouds up high in the sky. Furious and aggressive the waves smash against the coastline and then... a ray of light appeares behind some clouds and comes through this chaotic scenery down to the water surface, you can hear a sea gulls crying above your head, in the meanwhile it has nearly stopped to rain, the air flavours of salt and there is suddenly such an unexpected calmness, but...distal you can hear thunder, you feel the wind and you know the tempest is not over... That´s it, what Drautran sounds like in my eyes and that´s it what influences us most. Nature!
It is difficult to say and I do not really know what our main influences through all the years have been on the musical plane, but of course are we among others influenced by bands from the second wave of Black Metal like Emperor, Enslaved or for example Helheim. Winter, who wrote the main part of the songs from “Throne...” appreciated always Emperor´s music as I know. I, for myself were ever deeply impressed by the creataed atmosphere on Emperor´s “ In the nightside eclipse” or In the wood´s “Heart of the ages”. But we all listened always to lots of other stuff, which influenced us for sure unconsciously through all the time.
Still speaking about the sound of Drautran, I've felt some similitudes among some of the last german Black Metal albums I've been listening to recently(the last Lunar Aurora, Farsot, Feuersturm, Helrunar, Secrets Of The Moon...), and I don't mean all of you sound too similar, but more like the german scene is creating quite a proper sound, which maybe started with older bands like Nagelfar, Bethlehem or Lunar Aurora. What do you think about this oppinion of mine? Do you feel attached to that scene? Which are your favourite bands?
Arn: I don´t know if there is something like a scene in germany and if there might be a scene, I feel not really a part of it with Drautran. But it is a fact, that there had been some german bands in the last years, which were able to create excellent music and of course do we have personal contact to some of this bands. Personal faves? Hhmm, ... I do not asses a band on a whole, I prefer to assess single albums! Only to mention five bands, there were albums from Hagal, Helrunar, Menhir, Nagelfar or Secrets of the Moon, which I really appreciate.
“Throne Of The Depths” lyrics seem to be inspired by germanic/norse mithology, but not as much as to cathegorize you into the Viking stuff, even if I read somewhere you liked to describe yourselves as Pagan Metal. Can you explain us a bit more about your lyrical parts and where would you put Drautran among all those subgenres of Black Metal? What's the meaning of Drautran by the way?
Arn: Nobody will answer this question better than Blutaar, because he writes most of Drautran´s lyrics, so I will quote him here. Once he said,”There are some central lyrical themes, yes. They are rather classical in their nature, yet innovative in their approach I’d say:the cruel and sinister faces of Death, the process of dying, spiritual reflection upon this and its subsequent catharsis, all interwoven with topics from nature philosophy, Norse mythology, history, the mighty oceans’ call and, on a rather allegoric and abstract level, thoughts about the world’s current state of mind...”
I do not like to categorize and so I do not care to which subgenres of Black Metal Drautran or any other band fits the most. It is all a question of subjektive perception. It is not important what others say! Just listen to an album, read the lyrics and decide the verdict by your own. Sorry, don´t misunderstand me, but I think it´s more important to step into the music, than to ask for subgenres. There are no borders in music, which can or have to be broken. Everything is allowed. How the result is called or where it is assigned to...I don´t care.
Everyone, who is really interested in Drautran will be able to find out the meaning of the name by his own. But I can say to you that it is a translation for a natural phenomenon.
Still speaking about the Pagan subject, what’s your impression about it’s development through these last years and the different ways it has taken, from the melodic one of bands like Ensiferum or Eluveitie for example to the raw one that especially the bands from eastern Europe have developed, and it’s mix with politics and different philosophies and ways of thinking? Where would you place Drautran?Are you more on the spiritual or the historical side?
Arn: I personally prefere the “raw ones”! I can´t bear it, if it is too melodic and I can´t bear it, if it is mixed up with politics in the way of stupid and radical propaganda or other sick stuff. First of all music is a kind of art and art should have nothing to do with politics in my opinion. I do not accept bands, which try to combine this...But this is a theme for a whole evening! To come to Drautran, I would say that we are neither more placed on the spritual nor on the historical side. We are just placed on the side of nature and this two aspects you mentioned are strongly interwoven in our concept.
The cover of this first album of yours is quite misterious, showing some foggy landscape with some kind of human figure on the top left. Can you describe us the meaning of it and, especially, its relation with the concept/lyrics of the album?
Arn: The cover of “Throne...” is an out-take from the painting “Rjukanfossen” by Nils Gustav Wentzel. In our eyes it fits good to the concept of our debut, but I won´t tell too much about it, because it might leads you to much into the direction of my personal interpretation. That is not my intention. Look at the cover (respective at the whole layout) while you are listening, read the lyrics and let it take effect on your mind. Take you some time, so you might be able to drown in our realm and climb your very own throne of the depths.
I know you played live on 2002, at Party San, but have you been doing other gigs since that one? Any plans to make some concerts and show “Throne Of The Depths” on stage? Would it be hard to reproduce the songs of this new album live? Which band would you like to tour with?
Arn: Yes, we played several gigs after the PartySan festival. We replaced Nagelfar (directly after their breakup, R.I.P.) on a little tour in 2004 for example. Together with Menhir we were on the road at this time. We would like to play live again, but there are no plans from our side to promote “Throne...” on stage so far. I think it would not be hard to reproduce the new songs live, but our line-up is not complete at present and that is the problem. Orloc, our battery is not able to play live at the moment and so we are looking for someone who can do his job with the same commitment as Orloc always does. It is very difficult to find the right person for this vacant position, because the one we search must not only be able to play the blasts and so on. The one we search for has to fit to the other members of Drautran at first. To say it lofty, it has to flow the same blood in his/her vains.
Helrunar is definately a band I would like to tour with in future. In 2004 we played together at the Av is og ild festival, here in northern Germany. We understood each other very well and I think a whole tour with these guys would be great fun. Helrunar and Drautran together would be a good match in my opinion. Unfortunately we had to refuse an offer from them for a one week tour this year, but I hope we will fetch later this package.
Lupus Lounge seems to start having quite a strong roster nowadays, so I'd like to know what do you think about each one of your label mates:
Arn: I don´t want to give a statement to each of our label mates, I just want to say that I am glad to be with Drautran among these forces in the wolfpack of Lupus Lounge! All of them are able to create great atmospheric music with a very special touch. It is worth to listen to each of these bands, because everyone of these bands have an accurate and strong imagination of what they do and what they want to express. SOTM, Helrunar, Farsot and Negura Bunget have the necessary musical skills and the knowledge of how music works and what it can effectuate. This is very important, if you want to make gorgeous and timeless music.
What about the new album of Alcest on Prophecy Productions? Did you like it? It's my favourite release of 2007, simply magical.
Arn: Unfortunately I haven´t heared the new album of Alcest yet, so I can´t say something about it. Sorry,...
I've seen you own a myspace, as well as a website, so I'd like to know your oppinion about that fenomenon, especially being Drautran a Black Metal band, as it uses to be a style which sometime refuses too much promotion and similar stuff. What’s your impression about the internet as a promotion tool and its effects on nowadays extreme and underground Metal scene?
Arn: For bands, especially bands without a label, it is a very good possibility to become known through the internet. So why shouldn´t use it? We all are able to select, aren´t we?! Of course there might be millions of dumb people, who put there homemade bullshit into the www, but every medal has it´s two sides! Nobody is coerced to go online, if he is pissed off on what he sees. Yes, with Drautran we use the internet, because we like to get in contact to other people, who might think and feel the same way we do. Therefore we will open a forum on our homepage soon for example. But anybody thinks different in this point. Effects on nowadays extreme and underground Metal scene? It will grow faster but not decline, because of too much popularity.
This is enough for now I think, so I just want to say good luck for the future and hope to see you live or listen to new staff from you soon. Add anything else you want…
Arn: Thanks a lot for your support and interest in Drautran. Good luck for your zine. Stay brutal!
Gia Thanatos is a webzine dedicated to music for the apocalyptic times. No matter the scene or genre it comes from, and mainly chosen according to its author's taste.