Interview: EINHERJER
Title: Vivid reproduction

The fact that the Norwegian Viking Metallers have been active for 30 years makes them much respected figureheads of the genre.

In their homeland even nominated for the musically important Spellemann Award, Einherjer can also feel fully confirmed in their actions in 2022. Currently, the tireless four-piece is about to release the live album „Norse And Dangerous (Live... From The Land Of Legends)“ - recorded in February 2021 during the release show for the last studio album „North Star“.

I know, appreciate and love Einherjer since the 1996 debut album „Dragons Of The North“. Time flies by … drummer Gerhard 'Ulvar' Storesund is pleased to still be so firmly with the band.

„First of all, thank you sticking around. I know even from myself, that loyalty and longevity is harder to come by these days. Attention span is not in the wind these days. I’m not super good at committing to bands myself. As I get older, my patience runs thin, and I tend to stick to what I already know. Why listen to some new Slayer, when I already have Hell Awaits? Just to make a random example. So thanx to everybody who puts up with us. 30 years is a long time. Yes, time flies by, and the older you get, the faster it flies. The mantra for me, is to accept the choices I’ve made and live with no regrets. Both in life and as a band. We can’t change the past, but we can change the future. Alright, enough of that. Sounds like I’m running for president here.“

How have you used the Covid time in creative manners?

„I don’t think I utalized the ‚blessing‘ - in lack of a better word - that this pandemic was. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are many tragic fates in this thing, and that me and everyone I know, got off easy. But most people thought that this thing would be over in mere months, and it was a good time to kick back and relax. So that didn’t happen. It’s still going on strong, although life has been more normalized. Normalized pandemic wise. Now everything else is fucked up. It just came to a point that we got restless, and figured we had to get off our asses and get something done. It took some time to muster energy and creativity. And also to focus, when the world is as uncertain as it is. But I can’t do much about a global pandemic, and certainly not the geopolitical clusterfuck we find ourselves in now. So why not make some cool rock and roll. People need some bread and circus, to keep the focus away from those dark clouds looming in the horizon.“

Nearly 30 years of unique Einherjer Viking Metal - how does this feel for you? Started as a ‚child‘ & still play as a ‚men‘ so to say …

„Well, I was actually 20 when we formed Einherjer. It feels like a lifetime ago. We’ve even gone through a technological revolution along the way. It’s weird to think about those days now, it’s like it’s wrapped in some kind of mist. Sitting there copying tapes on a double decker all day. Shipping it off to some far away place by snail mail. I wouldn’t say that that was better than now, but it had it’s charm. I still have bags of letters from back then from people I wrote with. Now people are attuned to speed, and things happening fast. I guess that’s one of the reasons people’s attention span has gone out the window. Next year Einherjer will be 30, and I will be 50. How long we can keep this up is difficult to know. As long as we enjoy what we do, I guess we’ll just keep pressing on. It’s been a roller coaster with many ups and downs, but that’s life. It has become a lifestyle by now.“

Nearly everything has changed since Covid - the world, the music business, the societies - guess, you haven't changed at all as a true Northmen, strengthened with your wonderful, fully timeless Odin cult?

„Yeah, the world has changed, and it’s difficult to know how all this will play out. The whole world seems out of wack these days. But as long as I can’t do anything about it, I’m just going to ignore it as much as I can. I won’t let world leaders that have nothing to do with me ruin my day. I’m just gonna sit here with my guitar and a GT, until I can’t ignore it anymore. Sometimes I feel like I live in The Shire, and the orcs are closing in. At least, it seems like music industry is somewhat back on track after the pandemic. At least the bands and companies that survived. We recently played at Hellfest in France, and it felt like nothing ever happened. It was fantastic. And that’s the way we want it. Too bad politicians are doing their best to screw that up.“

A album release gig - recorded during the release show for the latest studio album North Star (2021) in your hometown of Haugesund on February 26-27, 2021. ‚Homeplay‘ in full manner, or?

„Yeah, we had a small opening in the restrictions, and managed to squeeze one in. Well, two actually. It was impossible for us to go anywhere at the time, so it had to be in our hometown. It was supposed to be one gig with 200 people. But then there were some last minute restrictions again that only allowed 100 people, so we had to do another show. It was a big venue, with few people, so it was a bit circus attractionesque, but it was fun. We knew most of the people there, so it was almost like a party with friends. People also seemed happy to get out of the sofa.“

Besides the pure album songs of „North Star“, other songs were also played on that evening - which ones and how was the selection made?

„It’s always difficult to create a set list. In a limited set, there’s always something we have to leave out. It’s not easy to please everybody at all times, but we try. Obviously we had to have a selection from ‚North Star‘, since it was a release gig. But there are also some obvious songs that we have to play, to prevent people from enraging hehe. We also have a new guy with us on guitar and some vocals, Tom Enge. Playing ‚Ballad Of The Swords‘ is a nice way to introduce him to the crowd. We’re trying to make the set as balanced as possible.“

How satisfied are you with the final sound result on the live album?

„Very satisfied I would say. I don’t know how people think live albums are conceived, but it’s more close to a regular album. It’s not just a few mic’s in the room, and that’s what ends up on the album. It’s multi track recorded, mixed and mastered like a normal album. This was all done by Frode, in his own studio, Studio Borealis. The challenge is to transfer the rawness of the performance to the album. Maintain the aura of what was happening in the room. I think it sounds great.“

Anything you would like to add ?

„Like you, I would like to thank everybody who stuck with us over the years. We’re truly honored, don’t underestimate your own value. Be sure to check out both ‚North Star‘ and the live album ‚Norse And Dangerous (Live... From The Land Of Legends)“. We’ll be at Wacken, so maybe we will see some of you there. Peace out!“

© Markus Eck, 14.07.2022

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