Norway’s Inferno Metal Festival is next week! I interviewed Galar about the festival and the impact it has on their metal scene and the vast variety of instruments used on their new album, De Gjenlevende (Dark Essence Records). Oslo is in for a damn good weekend of raw and true black metal but also acts like Galar who use more than just your average instruments on a metal album.
Jason: Hey, how’s it going? You’re playing Norway’s Inferno Metal Festival in Oslo this April! Have you previously played Inferno before?
Marius Kristiansen: Hello, we’re fine, thanks! Really excited about our new album, “De Gjenlevende”, and to be playing our first gig in four years! No, we’ve never played the Inferno Metal Festival before, so we’re very much looking forward to it as it’s one of Norway’s finest!
Jason: The fest will be celebrating their 15 year anniversary. Being from Norway, how do you think that this festival has influenced the metal community in your country? Has it strengthened your scene at all?
Marius: I would say that the Inferno metal festival has been, and still is, very important to the metal community in Norway. It’s a great arena to display what Norway has to offer with regards to extreme music, and a good place to meet like-minded individuals. They’ve kept going for quite some time now, and you always get to experience a nice blend of up-and-coming, and established, Norwegian bands, as well as quality foreign acts.
Jason: Have you attended Inferno just on your own before? What is it that makes this festival differ from other metal festivals?
Marius: I haven’t been to all of the 14 previous editions of the festival, but I’ve attended at least half of them. What I like about it, is that it’s a nice and intimate indoor festival with a strong booking. The concert arenas are good, and there is always a nice atmosphere. It takes place during Easter, which of course also makes it easier to attend, as most people are off work at the time.
Jason: Any bands in particular you’re excited to see?
Marius: I’d like to catch all the bands playing at Blå, at the Dark Essence Records label night, that is Momentum, Krakow, and headliners, Taake. Other bands I’m looking forward to are Enslaved and Behemoth, as they always deliver quality gigs.
Jason: With your new album having an array of instruments, how will you incorporate that into your performance at the fest? Will there be horn players like in “Bøkens Hymne” present on stage with you?
Marius: It would have been great to showcase the new tracks live with a complete line-up using French horn, and all the additional string instruments, but we’ll have to make do without, as we would need a little army of musicians to do that! What we’ll do to capture the true feeling of the album is to make a few rearrangements, and to use a bit of samples. We’ll also use some additional instruments such as the bassoon.
Jason: Going off of the wide range of instruments on your new album De gjenlevende, you’ve used some acoustic guitars and strings in the past as well that give off a very melancholic vibe to your songs. Is the use of these instruments inspired by your surroundings in nature or are they influenced more by personal life experiences?
Marius: I think the melancholic vibe, as you say, is an important part of our music, and in addition to being beautiful instruments, using different string instruments, such as the cello for example, really helps us in achieving the musical expression we’re looking for. Nature, and the beautiful surroundings in Bergen, is naturally a source of inspiration for the melancholy in our music.
Jason: Does Galar have any plans to tour the United States or even play Maryland Deathfest?
Marius: We haven’t got any plans to tour the United States as of now, but should the opportunity present itself, we’ll grab it with both hands! We’d love to play Maryland Deathfest. Our label mates, Taake, played there recently, and our friends in Aeternus are traveling over for this year’s festival. I’ve heard nothing but good words about it, so a gig at the Maryland Deathfest would be awesome!
Jason: What will Galar be doing post-Inferno?
Marius: After Inferno we’ll try to get a few more gigs sorted, and we’ll probably start preparations for a new album as well, although this might take the usual five years! Haha!
Thanks a lot for the interview, and if any of you readers have made it this far down, why don’t you check out Galar at the following links:
For more information regarding Inferno Metal Festival, check out our interview with the press officer Runar Pettersen or visit their official website. 4-day and 3-day tickets are sold out. Only day tickets are now available.