Seiðr is being streamed through the band’s Bandcamp, that you will find below after the interview; a physical CD can be purchased here. Now, here it goes!
Hi Vindsval, it is a long time since we last talked. First of all, how are things with you?
It was a long time since we talked Herjann but things are good with me.
What’s been happening lately and what’s new with Mara? I’m referring in particular to your upcoming release Seiðr; do you have any updates?
I have had some problems with labels but now Seiðr is signed under the flag off Aurora Australis. A true underground label that have meet my demands for the album with full force and energy. I'm happy about our deal and a production of 500 cds included 100 patches with Mara logo have been decided to be offered to the public. I'm grateful to that.
I know that you have chosen to refresh the layout of your band. Can you explain me how and why?
I have decided to change my album cover and layout mostly because I feel that my earlier album cover not represent what I want express with Seiðr. I always had the Idea to represent the old spirit of Black metal and that is something that I do with my music, so I also feel that I needed to do that with my album design. Many black metal bands today have left the path of the 90's BM with both the sound and album covers, so therefore I want to give an honor to the old path.
Vindsval, I would like to ask you something about the composing process; how do you compose a song?
I often start the whole music process from a guitar riff that after hours of working manifest into a song. How I want the drums and bass guitar to be, I perform later. When I write my lyrics, I have to be in a special mood. It's the same mood I have when I perform them later, I'm taking a new form, I do a metamorphosis.
I have gone through the texts of the album, when you sent me the promo for the review appeared on Unholy Black Metal in January. My attention was caught by the title track “Seiðr”; I found that the lyrics are influenced by Chaos-gnosticism: is it true?
Yes. I have found much inspiration from Chaos-gnosticism especially through Thursatru. Mara have always been about the nature and the old Scandinavian spirit and it's hate to humanity. I feel that much of the historiography of my own culture have been hidden and manipulated by Christians to fit there believes and opinions. I don´t want Mara to all be about þursar belief, it´s more about my own beliefs and what I find interesting that creates Mara. I often question the historiography and I am only fascinated by the parts that I feel connect to my own view of the world, which parts I then use in my own music. Finally, Mara is the voice of the nature, but the true essence of Mara is death to humanity and the death of our Christian world.
Does history have an influence on your song-writing as well?
Very much! I find inspiration from the old Scandinavian people, how they lived and sacrificed and what they believed. It was a humble way of living with the nature, and perhaps a more easy living in some ways.
I have always been a fighter of my history and culture, and that have put me in many difficulties. Let’s say that I constantly have been ready for a fight and still are. I will always fight for my believes and history. Not many people in Sweden have knowledge of their heritage and that´s a shame. Our pagan history is something that we don´t learn in school when the Christian ethics and morals are central and the pagan beliefs are put a side. I must say that all people that are using pagan symbols for political use, I do hate. The pagan symbols have nothing to do with political shit, it´s spiritual symbols.
Is there any concept behind the album Seiðr?
In our last intervju I did mention a bit of the female spiritism that I also have a focus on in my project, and that is something I have been working with on this album, especially in the lyrics. But the concept of the album is for the listener to find out by there own.
I know you have worked for many years on this album. Now that it is hopefully finally on its way out, how has it changed over the years?
A good question! It has changed in many ways. This is the most expensive recording I have done and it´s the first time that I take help from others. The album would not be what it is without the help from Hannes in the studio and the drummer Freddy. It has also been some other people around that have made a good impact on my music and all of you know whose I'm talking about.
I know you have a very personal idea about black metal; what is black metal for you?
Black metal is more than life, it is a spiritual searching. For me it´s very personal because it has changed my life to something positive. I do not expect all people to understand and I don't really need to.
Are you working on new material now?
Yes, I'm working on a new album. I have some new written material but what I can tell is that the album will be rawer and more spiritual. I will also put in some instrumental songs but that´s all I can say, you just will have to wait and see.
Can you give us some anticipations about the new songs?
Some Swedish words and “Galder” will be included on this album.
What would you like to say to close the interview?
I would like to thank Unholy Black Metal for taking the time to give underground bands the opportunity to be seen and I also want to say this to all the readers; Support the underground, keep the black flame alive and stay fucking Metal!
Thank you Vindsval!
The previous viedo-interview is available here.
Mara's official Facebook page
Interview by Herjann