Interview: VOLUSPAA
Title: ’Til Valhalla

It was a year of destiny, back in 1994, when Voluspaa first saw the light of day, after a dedicated Norwegian out of Hønefoss have decided to bring a band to life - with a unique sound, blending elements of Black and Viking metal with moody acoustic and more traditional folk music. And until nowadays Freddy Skogstad stucks on his individual musical vision with all the power of his Nordic heathen heart.

After having released the usual demos etc., mighty pagan winds have brought us also a fine debut album of Voluspaa: „Åsa”, named as the marvellous region in which Skogstad lives. Did we get in the beginning raw and rumbling material, the style Voluspaa meanwhile developed into an outstanding mixture of harsh wrath and aesthetically done additions. In the earlier days they were some guest musicians involved, but nowadays Voluspaa has become a full band.

I have visited Freddy in his home village Hønefoss for ten days this year. I've got truly fantastic hospitality and we’ve both discovered a lot of nature’s treasures around the area.

Now I can say that Skogstad is definitely more than a common musician, that’s for sure, but much more an real Nordic mind, which feels endless proud about the heritage of his culture.

Hi Freddy, please explain the meaning of the band name Voluspaa!

„Voluspaa is taken from one of the most important poems from Snorre’s Edda. It explance how Odin asks a Volve (witch) about how the world got created, the presents, ragnarok and the new world, the new beginning. This is the way I see Voluspaa as a band as well.”

Please tell the readers the main content of the lyrics of your creations!

„Main content is pre-Christian time in Norway, which also leads over to the hatred for this organization run by the puppet Pope. It’s my view on the world I live in, up here in the north. How I feel, how our ancestors were and the historical aspects of it.”

Who is the main songwriter in the band?

„Me! Since it has been a one man band for ages. But I have had some friends here and there on some songs … and that has worked real fine. Thanks to those people great friends! But now I have tried to make some new songs with my guitarist, Oscar. This seems to work very well. He has a totally different style of playing and writing than mine, so it’s very interesting.”

Who is the main lyricist in your horde?

„Me again! Every lyric of the Voluspaa history has been written by me. Maybe it’s because I am the only one that has been singing in this band, hehe!”

In which age did you discover the grand meaning of heathendom for yourself?

„Tricky question. Well, I don’t feel I have ever found heathendom, it has always been there. But as the years go by I discover new interesting things and it kinda grow on you. Funny thing is when you were younger you had thoughts and feeling about the world, and when I started to read more about the actual fact about how the Viking were thinking, I discovered that this was the way how I was living my life. So it all has been a natural progress for me.”

Which has been your greatest moment with the horde of Voluspaa so far?

„The release of 'Åsa'. But also what did lead to this, the first Voluspaa live show since 1995, our gig on my birthday in 2008. It was Amazing good feeling and atmosphere that day.”

Do you practise your love to ancient ideals & your dedication for our Mother Nature at the weekends in the forests of your area and which way?

„Yes but not as often as I would love to but I’m doing it more and more. Just being outside in the nature really clears up your mind and soul. Show the nature your respect and love and it will clean you up inside!”

Which is your preferred season?

„All four of them! I am so lucky that I live in a country that has four distinct seasons. I really love the change it brings and I always have something to look forward to!”

Which spiritual aspects are the most relevant for yourself, concerning especially the modern day’s heathendom within a polluted world full of shame & lies?

„Being yourself no matter what!”

Your main recommendation from a true heathen heart to all the nowadays more & more depressive big-city-mutants?

„Escape the city! I think the most important about living inside the world we live in, is not to get too focused on what every other fucker does out there. The humankind has always been like sheep’s so it won’t change now.

Think about how you want to live your life, it’s your future not their. I use people for what good they do for me. You can’t find any one that works well in every aspect of your life. Like some people I only party with, some only talk with. I think of what good can they do for me. Like his or her good quality’s works best if we only have a connection while that certain thing. It’s simple and you can control your life!”

Do you plan anymore live gigs in 2010 and 2011?

„Yes! Hopefully Voluspaa will play more live, and more outside of Norway. So bring it on people, contact your venue saying you want Voluspaa to come, haha!”

Why you do this all and which is still the most inner driving force within your heart to create such Viking Folk Metal music?

„A cliché is coming your way now! Coz it feels true to me. Creating music for Voluspaa is a strange feeling and I often need it to come to me, probably why it goes so slow and why it has taken so much time to release an album. But sometimes it’s like someone is in my studio, so good and strange, really nice atmosphere. Like the intro for En Tid Tilbake, it just felt so right and damn good making it. Sometimes you just get the feeling that someone say this is right. …Hard to explain, forget it, hehe!”

Do you have also outside of your home-country a dedicated fan-base?

„Don’t know! I am hardly outside the town I live in. And I get mails from everywhere, no place more than others I think.”

What’s your personal view about the metal scene in your country?

„Depends on what you expect from it. If it’s all about making music, go on the road, go to concerts get high and get laid. Fun enough for them. There has been so much talk about what is true or not, that they all have forgotten to live as you preach. There is no metal-head here in Norway that is living as people think we are from the 90’s. People now only live for the glory from the 90’s. Personally I don’t care about what you think, what you do and what you are saying. Support the bands you like and go to concerts to discover new cool acts for your self. It’s what you self get out of the music that is important!”

What’s your personal view about the metal scene in Europe?

„Have no clue. I have never ever been outside of Norway with other metal-heads ... oh yes, once at a festival in Finland, but these people seems like the Norwegians ones, so I don’t think that is good enough for me to say something about the metal scene in Europe.” How runnin' the works so far for the new album?

„Good … I think. But before a new album is done, Oscar and I are writing a new song for a 7” split release with Myrkgrav. Really looking forward to this!”

With which expectation(s) do you looking forward to your upcoming Voluspaa-release?

„Since 'Åsa' has gotten so many good reviews all over the world, it’s possible to fall long and hard. But I am making music coz it makes me feel good, so I can’t change things because a fan wants this and that from Voluspaa. I have the material to make a new album with more or less the same feelings as on 'Åsa' but I want more new music, and more mix with old songs in between. But since I am writing new songs with Oscar I am really curios about how it will be, because it will be a bit different in some way. But it’s very fun. As Oscar says, you have the last words. So in someway it will turn out to be Voluspaa, hehe!”

Which differences to the previous release are waiting there then for the listeners? Pls. tell us about the new Nordic hymns!

„It’s going to be more catchy and heavy, but I will still have the acoustic and easy going Norwegian parts. Problebly more guitar based then before.”

Where you’ve got all the ideas for your specific Viking Folk Metal art? When they come regularly at best in your mind?

„Don’t have a clue! I think my main quality as a songwriter is that I don’t play guitar and other instruments that much, so I am not that skilled with it. I don’t understand a shit when the other peoples start to talk terms within the music. So I haven’t been that collared by being technical and other ways of playing instruments and making songs. I have learned it all by myself and not by playing as my idol, the music I make is more me and natural. When it’s true to you I think people will regonice it for what it is … real. Most of my music just falls naturally. It’s not that often I plan my music. For example, the song Reis Deg Min Herre. When I started to make this one it was going to be more guitar based coz I had so many cool guitar riffs and so on. But as soon as I started to add the vocals it came clear that the song had to change to a more vocal based song. So I need to make the song to show me the way, or I’ll gonna get lost, hehe!”

What do you think about nowadays genre-bands which do mostly anything (even change the style of music) just to become and stay popular?

„Good for them! I don’t waste my time with thinking about what they have done. And I don’t waste my time on getting bordered about this … it’s their choice.”

What do you think, why so rare bands play really good epic pagan/heathen/Folk Metal nowadays? Is it a question of the broad range of inner views & feelings?

„I think you hare right with your question there. If it’s not true and real for you, it can’t be for someone else. Focus is not on the right place maybe? If you can’t get the connection from what was the past, you can’t explain it to others as well.”

Which is your preferred kind of traditional Norwegian beer, booze & meal?

„I like light beer very much. Homemade booze, moonshine, is the best. The shit you buy from the government taste too much perfume. The meal mom or my wife makes … real Norwegian stuff!”

Do you consume TV, Radio and Newspapers at all – with all their targeted spread cruel „news”? I personally avoid them all as good as I can!

„As you know Markus, I live in my own world, so no; I let the sheep’s swallow that propaganda. Why do I need to listen to all the cruelty in this world? Does it make me a better person? People have been the same from the start and I don’t think the world has become a better place since the start … do you?”

Here you have the place for some additional words to your listeners & fans!

„Check out the album 'Åsa' and our homepage Spread the words about the arise of the Norwegian National Romantic Black Metal! Demand Voluspaa in your home town, hehe! See you in Valhalla!”

© Markus Eck, 03.11.2010

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