AMAZING FANS PART 1/5
Here is the first part of a series of features where we want to pay some tribute to our amazing fans. The initiative is solely meant as a positive incitement to make our fans come forth and to make them shine. This should not be regarded as subject of marked analysis, “best-fan-competition” or whatever. Ideally we should have made such a tribute to each and everybody, but unfortunally that is just not doable. Decisions have to be made and lines have to be drawn, but we would like to thank everybody that left a comment or sent a message in order express their wish to participate!
The interviews are conducted by me(Øystein) to make the whole thing more personal in a world of impersonal commercialism. I have done my best to make this an interesting- and personal- feature. But keep in mind that I am no professional interviewer and excuse me any blunders that may occur.
The photos herein are used with kind premission from the interviewee/s.
About a year ago, when we co-headlined the Inferno festival we did a public pre-production/rehearsal at a youth club in Oslo. Just before the gig we heard a rumor from the organizers that there were some Chilean fans among the audience. Our immediate response where “Damn, that is dedication- invite them backstage!” So here we go, meet the beautiful Chilean couple Daniel and Carolina;
Daniel & Carolina
D:30 / C:36
C: Originally from Argentina (but Chilean since 16 years ago)
D: 1998/ C: 2000
Ø: First off, I would like you to introduce yourselves with your own words.
D: Hello friends, I’m Daniel from Santiago, Chile. I’m a metalhead, a die-hard Borknagar fan, in my daily life I’m a Computer Science Engineer and a nature lover.
C: Hello everyone, I’m Carolina from Chile. I’m not a metalhead but actually my favorite bands are Borknagar and the well known side projects of their members (Yes, sounds weird uh?) and also a nature lover.
Ø: So, it was great meeting you guys last year! How was the trip?
D&C: Well, first of all, we decided to travel to Norway when we heard that Borknagar will be one of the headliners on Inferno Festival. As any other Borknagar fan, we know there are only a few chances to see them playing live, and headlining a festival like Inferno are even less. So we also did the reservations on the official hotel just in case we were lucky enough to see at least one of the Borknagar members out of a stage and maybe stole them some seconds to take a cool picture a signature or something like that.
Near the festival date Jens published on the Artisan page that Borknagar would be playing the day before Inferno on this youth club called Volt, so we thought “what could be better than see Borknagar playing live once?, and the answer was, of course see Borknagar playing live twice!” so we did our best to figure out how to reach that place (since was far from Oslo center and was our first day there). I just can say that at the end, luckily, the entire journey was worth, and even more, since we had the chance to watch our favorite band in some kind of a private show before Inferno Festival, and moreover, unexpectedly, we even had the chance to spent some time with them on backstage, sharing some words, signing pictures and even taking a couple of pictures with the band members!
Besides that, the trip was great, on Oslo we visited the Nasjonalgalleriet, Norsk Folkemuseum, the Vikingskipshuset, which was commented on Jens’s Artisan page back in that time which was related to the origin of Borknagar’s symbol “Midgardsormen”, and a couple of other very cool places. Also after visiting Oslo we traveled to Kristiansand and then Stavanger where we did the hike to the amazing Preikestolen on Ryfylke, looking at those landscapes is easy to understand why Borknagar is what it is and how you get all the inspiration to write your amazing music. Besides that we also visited a couple of cities of Sweden and Denmark. Scandinavia is very pretty I must say, and the people makes you feel at home.
D&C: What can we say?. It was our first time on Peru and we only have nice words to describe the people from there. Machu Picchu is a magical place, you can even feel the energy coming directly from the earth. As we know you are a nature lover just as us and most of the Borknagar fans, so we are sure you will enjoy a trip like that, I highly recommend you to try the hike to Wayna Picchu, which is a small mountain in front of Machu Picchu where you will be able to watch all the surroundings with the Machu Picchu citadel at your feet, but I must say, you being a Viking probably will have some problems with the weather since is pretty warm and the humidity is high, also is located at 2,720 meters (8,920 ft) over the sea level but the landscapes rewards your efforts every few steps, so it really worth the try.
Ø: To me as a musician located in a small village in the northern part of the hemisphere, it’s amazing to see how far out in the world our music reach. Would be great if you could describe your first encounter with the music of BORKNAGAR? How did you first hear about the band?
D: I can remember exactly how was my first encounter with the music of Borknagar. Actually it was some kind of random choice, back in the 98 on my school days I was on a local music store and I just picked up a random weird name from the “new arrivals list” of “Black Metal” (Borknagar – The Olden Domain), if you think about it, it wasn’t so long time ago, but for the younger people I must say that Internet wasn’t like the Internet we know these days so we hadn’t the chance to preview the disc or research the members history so, I only read the song list on the back cover and I said…”mmm…Eye of Oden?, Pagan tongue?, Mount and Rove?, WTF, no satan on the song list?, this is cool, let’s give it a try”, so I decided to spent my monthly income on the CD. Then, while I was heading on the bus to my home I started to read the lyrics and review the booklet so I noticed the guys on it were not using corpse paint and also the lyrics didn’t had the word satan which was absolutely weird for a “black metal” band coming from Norway on that days, or at least that’s what I thought back in that time. So after the bus I ran to my house as I used to do (well, I still doing it when I buy a new CD) to listen this new jewel. When the CD started to play I was absolutely amazed, this band was absolutely different to my music collection on those days, but so majestic, harmonious, brutal and quiet at the same time, and well, that was all, I fell in love immediately with the first song.
C: Well, it was on Daniel’s house, most of time we spent together he was playing metal on his player, actually that have not changed with the time. I don’t have the “ears” to listen metal but back in that time I noticed between all that “noise” (how I called to the metal back in that time) were a couple of songs with very nice melodies and some very nice voices so I used to ask Daniel to put that CD on the player over and over again. Later with the time I learned that the band was called Borknagar, and the CD was called “Quintessence” so I started to ask for more music about this band and luckily Daniel already was a big fan from that band so he lend me those CDs and that’s how all started. After that, Borknagar has been always with me on my cellphone, iPod or whatever device which can play music every day on any place.
Since then Borknagar have been with us, enjoining every release, sharing opinions, discussing, celebrating and even crossing the world only to see our favorite band!
Ø: What is your favorite BORKNAGAR album and why?
D: Difficult decision, I love them all, but just to pick one, probably should be “The Olden Domain”, because was my first approach to Borknagar, as some people say, the first love cannot be forgotten, and well, also, it has more than a couple of Borknagar classics. But there are a couple more fighting hard for the first place as URD or Andreas debut on Empiricism.
C: Quintessence, the disc who teach me that the Metal is not just hard noises and brutality.
Ø: And favorite BORKNAGAR song?
D: What a decision!, there are so many favorite songs, but this time I will choose “Epochalypse” since it was the first song that I had the chance to witness performed live by the band and of course is one of the best songs from URD.
C: Colossus, which actually was the first Borknagar and metal song that I “learned” to listen. As we say over here, Borknagar is a grower, they brings up that magic which we are only able to discover after a lot of listenings.
Ø: What is your most precious BORKNAGAR item(s)?
C: My Empiricism shirt.
Ø: In your opinion, what makes BORKNAGAR stand out from the rest of the bands in the current scene?
D&C: Probably the smartness of their lyrics and the sound that Borknagar have turned into their signature, I mean, the mix between a hard sound and those sweet melodies between a progressive atmosphere. Also what we love from Borknagar has been the excellent choice of vocalists, I think it’s difficult for any band to survive to 3 different vocalists which such a success as Borknagar have done, that’s because they all have their own style and every new release have been a step beyond the latest work, we love the way the voices are most of time an extra instrument.
Other amazing stuff is that Borknagar is not a formula as other bands uses to do, Borknagar doesn’t try to sound like in their best album or something like that, the band is always progressing and trying to reach new musical edges, and the most incredible thing, Borknagar is able to do it without lose their essence.
Probably all this is due their mastermind Mr. Øystein and of course the amount of metal stars which have been or currently are part of this band, all of them have something to add to the band. By the way, the current line-up is just amazing, we cannot wait for the next album!
And finally, I love the simplicity of the band members as persons outside the stage, when we met the band on backstage I was so surprised for that. Lars said “It’s a pleasure to be here with you guys”, but the pleasure was absolutely ours, Jens also was giving me directions on how to return to the center of Oslo and the next day Simen asked me if we had any problem to return to the Hotel, everyone were so friendly with us.
Ø: Obviously, there is no sun without a shadow. Is there anything regarding BORKNAGAR you don’t like?
D&C: Of course, as every other Borknagar fan, we would love to see you touring, at least one time per year to keep the hopes alive that someday the band could reach our country, also, and related with the same issue, the lack of live material, Inferno could have been an excellent opportunity to record something like a DVD, more when we had the incredible and probably unrepeatable chance to count with Kristoffer on stage a couple of seconds singing the end of “Down of the End”. By the way, that was absolutely an amazing show for all of us, It was such a dream to have all the three vocalist on stage, thanks for that present for the Borknagar fans.
Ø: If there is anything in specific you are wondering about regarding BORKNAGAR- now is your chance to ask?
D&C: How is going all with the new Borknagar work? I remember you posted a pic of your computer with some base for the next Borknagar songs, I know is too early, but there is an expected release date for your next work?
- Ø: It’s going very good actually! I wrote a couple of songs some months ago(hence: the photo you are referring to) and then decided to put it away for some time- to see if it turned out as good or bad “wine”. I usually do that when I start to write songs for a new album; make a few songs, put it away for a while and then listen to it to make sure it holds the quality and tone that we are looking for. I recently listened to the songs and yeah- I think we are on to something! I don’t know about any release date yet, that is something our label decides. But currently we are aiming for a 2014 release, probably late 2014.
And also, and as every other Chilean and South American fan wants to know. Is true that you will be trying to come to Chile and probably a South American tour next year with the full line up? Do you think you will be able to make it happen this time?
- Ø: Live and touring is always a complicated puzzle for us because of massive obligations in terms families, jobs, other bands and so forth. It’s not that we don’t want to, but there are just so many pieces of this puzzle that have to fit together- at the same time. But doing a South American tour is on the top of my wish list(really!) and I will do my best to make sure we get there in not so distant future.
Ø: Beside music, what brings your “life in balance”?
D&C: We live on Santiago, which is the capital city of Chile, near 6 million people lives here so the traffic is a mess every day and attend to the shopping could be a pain sometimes, so we love to let the city behind and enjoy the basic pleasures which the nature can offer. Chile is a very thin country so in some places (like here on Santiago) you only need to travel something like 4 hours to go from the snowy mountains to the beach, but also is very long, so you can find from very warm beaches and an amazing desert on the north and something totally opposite on the south with a lot of rivers, forests, fjords, icy lakes and glaciers. Our passion is to travel to enjoy those landscapes maybe doing a hike and be in touch with the nature, sometimes on weekends we just ride the motorcycle out of the town or towards the mountains to spend some time away from the noisy city. We also practice martial arts which helps a lot with the current sedentary jobs. (D:) Besides that, I practice skydive, so, when I feel too stressed out, I attend to a drop zone near Santiago to jump a couple of times from an airplane, those 45 seconds of free fall makes you forget all the stress.
Ø: How is the metal community in your area, if there is any at all?
D: Luckily the metal community here is good, we have a lot of bands and if you want you can attend to a different local gig almost every weekend.
Ø: Do you play any instrument yourself? Or, even play in a band? Or in other ways involved in the scene?
D: No, I have a couple of friends working as sound engineers or playing in bands but personally I think I have a couple of “talents” but certainly, the music is not one of those. I have tried a couple of times to learn to play guitar, but I think my hands were made only to type in a computer keyboard. I have been thinking on try “the triangle”, seems to be easy, but I don’t think I will be able to fit into a metal band with that Instrument.
C: No, I don’t play any instruments, I enjoy watching how the real musicians play.
Ø: Thank you so much for the interview! Is there anything you would like to say, state, reveal, promote or even rebel against. The stage is yours!
D: I want to say thanks to the band members for the spectacular and unexpected meeting after the gig Volt, we really enjoyed that moment. Please continue caring about your fans since there are a lot of very dedicated fans over there, I hope more fans have an opportunity to live a moment like that or at least participate in an initiative like this, like Viviane which traveled from France to attended to the Volt and Inferno gig last April or any of the members of our ultra super secret UMF friends group, as Aurora said, maybe Henrik or Vegard are very good options.
C: I want to say thanks for this opportunity, and please try to come to Chile some day, we will be always waiting for you guys!
A great salute to Daniel and Carolina for sharing beautiful pictures and personal stories!!