Once a sought after Swedish export success in things of Melodic Black Metal, these Scandinavian profession-veterans became unfortunately pretty quiet after various done alterations in style and line-up. The last studio album „Darker Designs & Images“ reached the open ears of the fans in 2005, after that the participants put its such musical vampire horde on ice for a while.
Totally surprisingly Siebenbürgen left its mental vaults some time ago and gathered finally anew in conspiring manner for further harmonious black blood-songs. Final result of such a decided animated reunion is a freshly signed Label-deal, including the brand-new longplay-work „Revelation VI“. I talk about the new lucky situation with finger-trained guitarist Richard Bryngelsson.
Hey Richard, why the fans had to endure the longer pause of Siebenbürgen?
„After the release of our last album „Darker Designs & Images” in September 2005, we generally felt a lack of motivation and creativity due to the fact that all the things around us were going against us, both regarding issues related to band members and our record company at that time. So at that point, surrounded with all that negative energy, the only logical step was to put Siebenbürgen to rest and focus on other things for as long as it takes until time gets right and the right people get involved in resurrecting Siebenbürgen again. We are sorry that our fans had to experience our disband and the long pause that it caused but I can promise them all that it was worth waiting for this new album, it will be a recognizable true Siebenbürgen album on the path of our previous dark Metal act.”
What would you name as your special skills in the band?
„OK, if you are referring to our abilities as musicians I would say that we handle our instruments fairly well. We continue to improve our skills and composing-talents as it is visible in our music. In this moment in time we are not lacking in either creativity or motivation for what we are doing, so in conclusion we turned all negativities that were surrounding the band at the time when we disbanded to a highly satisfactory working environment now.”
Please tell some news about the line-up!
„Singer Marcus Ehlin and I are the only ones left from the last album line-up. I am glad to say we managed to find enthusiastic people who were willing to join us in the resurrection of Siebenbürgen, they also brought some new energy, technical improvement and ideas. Marcus and I are still the main composers, that didn’t change. As you know Siebenbürgen always had female vocals incorporated in our music so we continue that tradition with this new album, too. That task will be carried out by our new singer Lisa Bohwalli Simonsson who joined our forces in February 2008. Behind the drum-kit I´m glad to present Dennis Ekdahl who already proved his abilities in bands such are Raise Hell and Mystic Prophecy. Joining me on guitars is the young and talented Joakim Ohlsson and something that will be new on the new album is a keyboard element which is performed by Johnnie Gunther. Bass lines will be laid down by Marcus Ehlin same as he did on our 2003 Mexican tour.”
Be so kind and give examples of ideas you've had or implemented for the new music of Siebenbürgen!
„Our new album follows all that we have done through the years since Siebenbürgen became a part of the Metal-scene. We are continuing our Metal path of melodic, atmospheric and dark Metal music. Of course it will be both technically improved and influenced by work of our new members. We never had any specific plan, we are writing our music as it comes to us. I could say maybe that the idea was to make the sound harder and to attain a better production than the one we had on all previous albums. Well, the main goal was to make the best album we can at this moment and I think we manage to do that.”
So tell about your proudest achievement for the new album „Revelation VI“!
„For this new album we had opportunity to record in two of the best studios in Sweden (Sonic Train Studios & Studio 301) which means that both production and sound will be top-class. We also had luck to work with Andy La Rocque (King Diamond) who honored us as a solo artist on the new album. I should say that for all of us, as Metal-musicians, that is something to be proud of.”
Which are your favourite bands and why?
„Every band member has his own personal taste which generally goes from bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest to Dimmu Borgir and Satyricon. Some of our favourite bands you can check on our new band site www.siebenburgen.net under member profiles. Marcus and I are more of old-school Metal heads getting our inspiration from bands that made their most recognizable albums in the 80´s. Among them I must mention Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Manowar, Bathory, Kreator, Metallica, Accept and W.A.S.P. etc.”
Who are your eternal heroes among them?
„Well, it doesn´t fit my personality to have heroes but I already mentioned some of the bands that influenced my music a lot and the way I shaped my personal Metal-path. I can´t speak for other members of course but I can say that generally looking Siebenbürgen’s most powerful influences since creation in 1994 are W.A.S.P., Judas Priest and maybe Bathory. Regarding guitar players with whom I would like to work, if it could be possible, I would certainly highlight Jeff Loomis, Dave Mustaine, Kerry King and Tony Iommy.”
What are the qualities of a good Black/Dark Metal band in your opinion?
„It is hard nowadays to create songs and implement your music with some new stuff that will highly distinguish you from other bands in same genre. I personally think that good Dark/Black Metal band has to have a recognizable vocal performance which is both dark and deep but at the same time showing emotions about the things it sings about. Atmosphere in songs must reflect themes and ideas band is playing about, of course that could be done both with good dark keyboard parts or female singers, choirs etc. Production is also highly important because I´m not one of those who enjoys songs recorded on a tape recorder in a forest or a garage just to make it more old-school if u know what I mean. Regarding guitars and drums they are the spine around which all other musical elements are created, riffs and rhythms have to be hard, powerful and cold and make you want to bang your head.”
Why do you play this kind of music?
„Siebenbürgen exists since the early 90’s and through that time we managed to create our own recognizable style and also reputation and fan base. So Siebenbürgen will always stay what it was, of course with technical improvements that time brings. We continue to play atmospheric, dark Metal simply because it comes to us in that form when we write our songs. We are not seeking to follow the crowd whenever mood and trends on a Metal scene change, we are simply playing what our creative moments put in front of us and by chance our creation fits to the atmospheric dark Metal genre.”
Where would you like to be in your career five years from now?
„I could say that would be a world tour with our seventh or eigth album (laughs). I just wish for Siebenbürgen to continue improving both in technical way and in production and I am sure we will do exactly that. We will see what time puts in front of us, we are all hoping to play in front of large crowds, regularly going to festivals and bring our music to Metal fans.”
What's your ideal song?
„The ideal song would be the one which incorporates all that Siebenbürgen’s music is about. Referring to Siebenbürgen’s songs I should say that ideal songs are all the ones on the new album (laugh). Well, all of the songs on the new album are surely that, true Siebenbürgen spirit in all terms, dark, atmospheric, melodic, and powerful and will be surely recognized by Siebenbürgen fans. For me personally (not counting Siebenbürgen songs) the ideal song is Bathory´s ´Blood Fire Death´. It contains such energy and lyrics that give me goose-bumps every time I hear it.”
What attracted you guys to your current record label?
„For our first five albums we were part of the same record-company who signed with us our first contract. After we decided to re-unite Siebenbürgen in late 2007 we knew we had to have a fresh start. We just wanted to start from the beginning both with new band members and new record-company and to continue our music from where we stopped in February 2006 so that it will be again recognizable Sieben-music. Massacre Records offered us a fair deal with the opportunity to record in excellent studios and promote ourselves in the right way. So far everything goes highly professional and we are glad to be a part of the Massacre family.”
What do you think about music industry after all these years being into Metal?
„Well, negative and positive trends are visible. By positive trends I refer to easier promotion via internet and mass-media and easier access to band merchandise and even bands themselves. Development in music technology offers so many possibilities for creating new music but at the same time nowadays it is so easy to record album in your own house without needing any special playing or vocal abilities anymore. The Metal-scene offers more varieties and bands than ever before, the same goes with images and blending Metal with other music genres.”
What kind of goals would you have in mind if you get a contract with a big label?
„Our current label is just the right size for us, we are not looking for anything more at this moment. Our goals were to get a fair treatment, good financial backup, good promotion and an opportunity to work with great Metal musicians. All things mentioned above we have at this moment so we are quite pleased. No one is telling us what our music should look like, no one is putting any boundaries to our creativity in the way that we have to change our old style to please the market, so we have full control over making our music the way we want to. For a Metal artist it is quite important that no one demands of you to make your music more commercial.”
What are you looking for in terms of development of Siebenbürgen’s musical style?
„I think our only real priority is production improvement. We are not seeking for any style change. Development of Siebenbürgen’s style consists of input of our new members and technical improvement in playing our instruments. We will always stay within the boundaries of this kind of music that we have been creating so far.”
Can you tell about a time where you had to deal with the worst conflicts in the music genre?
„The worst thing that we had to deal with in Siebenbürgen’s existence is without a doubt the conflict we experienced with our former lead guitar player after we recorded „Darker Designs & Images” in 2005. There were issues that could not be solved regarding publishing-rights and finances and we simply didn´t have any other choice but to separate with him. At that point „Darker Designs & Images” had already been fully recorded and we had to re-write all the songs created by our ex-guitarist and re-record the whole album once again. That was the most stressful period in the history of the band and I don´t have to say that the atmosphere at that point was highly tense and killing both our motivation and wish to continue our work as a band.”
Why should listeners buy your new album?
„For old Siebenbürgen fans we can promise a true Siebenbürgen experience, a continuation of ideas and musical performances we offered them with our last five albums. For new listeners we can promise excellent production, melodic, dark Metal music implemented by atmospheric keyboard parts and an outstanding guest solo appearance by Andy La Rocque whose guitar abilities we don´t even have to mention because of his legendary status.”
What can you do for the fans with your music that other candidates can‘t?
„I think we can offer a unique combination of Metal that incorporate Gothic- and Black Metal elements in a way that at least I haven’t heard before. We are not looking to be different from anything out there, we are just making our music our way.”
When were you most satisfied in your band?
„The answer to this question would be „right now”. The atmosphere surrounding the band is on a great level, all band members are contributing as much and as best as they can, we are recording in excellent studios and co-operating with true professionals. Relations with our record company is good, we have a superb manager, the design of the new album cover is over and simply said all is going smooth so far. After all the obstacles we experienced in the Siebenbürgen history this kind of environment is extremely satisfactory.”
What spiritual ways in life are you still seeking?
„At the moment we (at least I) are fully content with the spirituality in life. We have chosen our weapons, we have our colours and we are following the sign. We do not seek anything else, we create our own paths and we are quite happy with that.”
What are your lifelong dreams?
„To live long and prosper! (laughs). Seriously, just taking one day at the time here, to have harmony in both our musical and personal lives whatever this may be. Thank you, Markus, stay Metal!”
© Markus Eck, 08.04.2008
[ to overview ]