First of all congratulations on the new album! After hearing it, I must say that is your best product up till now. The first song 'Heathen Foray', however, did sound very familiar and after doing some research I saw that 'Laeknishendr' was already present on Falkenbach's first album. Why did you decide to re-record these songs?
Well, this album was originally recorded more than ten years ago, and was meant to be the debut album of Falkenbach. Due to problems with the studio equipment the recordings were stopped back then, and “En Their Medh Riki Fara…” was recorded later at a different studio. As the whole material was re-recorded now, I wanted to change as less as possible, and that's why also those songs are featured on this album, as they're simply a part of it.
'Heralding – The Fireblade' is your first album that has an English title, why isn't the title in Icelandic, like the previous ones?
When this album was meant to be recorded, it had no real title, but some kind of working-title only, “The Fireblade”. Throughout the years, when people asked me about this unreleased album, I used to talk about “The Fireblade album” always. As I wanted the people to know what to expect from this new release, I added “The Fireblade” to the title, and “Heralding”, as this album has been some kind of heralding for Falkenbach itself.
The next question has probably been asked a lot of times before, but where does the name Falkenbach come from?
Indeed, one of the frequently asked questions. Well, the pure translation is “Falcon” and “Brook”. But to be honest, the meaning is something different. It's not a place, nor any kind of name. To me this is something personal, and I think people should care more about music and lyrics instead about such things.
I read on the internet that your name, Vratyas Vakyas, means "the searching wanderer”, why have you chosen to adopt this name?
It's taken from “Vatan”, which has got a deep influence on Falkenbach. That's why I did choose those words as a pseudonym, and the meaning fits.
Traditionally your lyrics are inspired by Norse mythology and quite a few of your fans will be very interested in these stories. How do you determine whether a story is suited for a song or not? Could you tell for one or two songs what they are about?
Well, northern and western Germanic traditions, cultures, mythologies etc. are the topics Falkenbach was, is, and will be about always. The lyrics are part of inspiration as well as music is, and I really cannot say where such things come from. I do not decide what fits in and what not, as I try to keep inspiration as pure as possible, and to change as less as possible. About the lyrics of songs I do not use to talk in details in general, as I think people should make up their own minds about them. There is no need to explain what a lyric is about, as one of the main aspects is to find your own way and own meaning for such things.
From album to album Falkenbach makes a little bit of progression in their sound. In which department do you think you have made the biggest progression over the years? Do you think you will be able to keep this up, or do you think that one day you will stick at a certain level?
There are two aspects I'd call most important: first of all to record at a different studio. The Tidalwave studio is one of the best studios in Germany without any doubts for this genre, and Patrick Damiani belongs to the most outstanding engineers for metal in general. Secondly the three guest musicians Boltthorn, Hagalaz and Tyrann. Although they did not participate on the song writing process, they added a lot to the quality of the recordings, due to their musical skills as well as due to their characters. In general I think “progress” is something I am not trying to realise. However songs come to my mind they will sound like, no matter if someone rates them as a progress or not.
Over the years I think Falkenbach has gained a rather special place in the metal scene with a very distinct musical approach. Where do you place Falkenbach in today's metal scene?
I've got no idea at all. I am not that interested in the so-called scene and therefore not “up to date”. To me Falkenbach counts, not how it is labelled.
Are you aware of the fact that 'When Gjallarhorn will sound', from the 'Magni Blandinn Ok Megintiri' album has become quite a cult song over the years?
I know it's one of the most popular Falkenbach tracks, yes, but its role outside of Falkenbach itself I cannot rate.
That song probably has influenced quite a few people, by what songs or music have you been influenced the most?
I do not think any music influenced Falkenbach in the end.
It is rumoured that you have left Iceland a few years ago and are living and working in Germany now. What is true of this? If so, is it more convenient for your musical career to be working in Germany?
Usually I just delete questions based on pure rumours. Nevertheless again I'll make an approach, and go straight over to a counter question: Does anyone know where people draw their pseudo-information from about my private life? I never met someone who knew anything about me before I told him/her. Beside that it's more than just strange to see how much people care about such things. The less they know, the more rumours can be found, and no more than one out of thousand might be correct…
Just like on the last album, you had help from the musicians Boltthorn (drums), Hagalz (guitars) and Tyrann (additional vocals). Are they really part of the band now, or are they still guest musicians? Are you planning to make use of their services on future releases again?
All of them will focus on their own project(s) and are guest musicians for Falkenbach, and I hope they will help out Falkenbach in further recordings as well. It took years to find people like them.
Since you have been working with the same (guest) musicians for two albums now, can we maybe expect Falkenbach to perform live in the future?
Indeed a full line-up for live gigs is completed meanwhile, and we also rehearsed a couple of times. It's not sure if there will be a live show are not at the moment, but as soon as there are news you will find them at www.Falkenbach.de.
This time there are only two years between your newest release and the previous one. How come? Will Falkenbach release their albums more regularly from now on?
This album was meant to be released in 2004, for the 15 years anniversary of Falkenbach. Unfortunately it wasn't possible, and it came out with about 1 year delay. About what future will bring I really cannot tell you anything, I never know how long it will take to release a new album, not even if there will be another one at all. Time will tell.
Well, I am certainly looking forward to your next efforts, because 'Heralding – The Fireblade' was a really pleasant listening experience. Thanks a lot for your time and I hope to hear from you soon!
Thanx for your support!