Hi guys, how are you?
Nine: We’re fine,we’re pumped up.
Rydsheim: We are excited for tonight.
Yes because you are going to play a gig tonight, right?
Rydsheim: Yes this is our release party for our latest thing and it is an EP, it’s called “The Void: Stories from the Whispering Well”.
Nine: And it is our debut EP, which is on Spotify at the moment, and it will be released in a physical form in a few months.
Ok, let’s start from the beginning. Can you tell who you are to the audience?
Nine: Yes my name is Nine and I am the vocalist in Wormwood.
Rydsheim: My name is Rydsheim, and I am guitarist. We are a Stockholm-based black’n roll band with folk influences and of course atmospheric as well.
Nine: We started off in the beginning of the last year. I wasn’t in the band at the beginning, they contacted me via an advert on a site and then they contacted me on Facebook and asked me if I was interested in doing some black metal vocals in a rock’n roll band, and I thought it would be quite interesting. I tried out, and it clicked with everyone, from there it has been a few lineup changes, and we have tried to re-define our genre: it was rock’n roll in the beginning, but then it turned into more folk influences, it was atmospheric, it was black’n roll, and we have.. Everyone was listening to different kinds of music really, so we have taken our own inspiration and created something new.
Rydsheim: Yes because our singer Nine is more from like a true black metal thing, me I’ve been into several genres in metal and rock’n roll, but I have a lot of folk influences as well, because my last band Åskfödd was a folk/rock band, and I love to get a folk touch, the Scandinavian melancholy into metal. I think they belong together.
You talked about black’n roll, folk, atmospheric, and rock’n roll at the beginning. It a very huge mixture of influences, so how did you came up with the idea of this kind of mixture?
Nine: Well, as I said it started off as a rock’n roll band with a bit black, but they wanted a black metal vocals, because I’m from a band called Withershin, I’m the vocalist in Withershin, so I have a more black metal background, and I felt that something was missing, so I influenced them in any way that I could, and it got a good reception, and everyone did their part because Rydsheim is more of a folk metal guy…
Nine: More or less, and we added some folk tunes and see what would happen. Then, everyone is a fan of atmospheric music; it’s a very big term, because atmosphere is different from…ehm…
Rydsheim: It depends on the listener.
Nine: Exactly. For us, we do atmospheric, but for someone else, maybe they would call it something different. But anyway, we were many chefs in the kitchen, and we all wanted to add something different to it. That’s how we came up with our own genre, that is black’n roll with folk tunes and atmosphere.
Rydsheim: And you know our bassist Borka is more a kind of a punk-rock dude, you know, straightforward and fuck everything. In my opinion that also goes along with our attitude, even though sometimes it’s dreamy and depressive, and in another part…
Nine: It’s a right in your face kind of music.
Rydsheim: Yes you know, a fist in your face, a fuck you all attitude. So I think we are still working on it, but we have a recipe for the next.
Nine: For something grand, because, as we speak, we are working on our full-length debut album, and it will be different from our EP. Our EP is pretty straightforward black’n roll with some folk tunes. Our new record will differ from the straightforward black’n roll that our EP is; we will have more an epic scale of this atmospheric part that we were talking about, and we will of course have the rock’n roll, we will have black, we will have folk, but it will feel more grand, more epic.
Rydsheim: And maybe you should tell about the lyrics from this EP: it’s more like old Scandinavian horror stories, you know, from the woods, but the next thing, you can..
Nine: Yes, the lyrics, as Rydsheim here says, the EP is more of folktales and personal anecdotes, while the new album will be more of a nature inspired theme, more northern nature themed with romanticism about the feelings of nature, animals, and space, a lot of space theme lyrics.
It will be a special album.
Nine: It won’t feel special in that way, but there are references to cosmos in almost every song.
So it will be in a sense also a dreamy, oneiric album.
Nine: dreamy in a sense that it will feel atmospheric and grand, we have influences from newer Alcest, and we have some post-rock shoegazer parts as well, not in every song, but it will be different from our EP in a good way.
Rydsheim: Yeah, and of course, I’m on repeat now, but that stuff makes with the pagan, heathen Scandinavian feel as well. So I think on this record we will bring some friends to mix our music with traditional elements as well, traditional instruments.
Nine: We still want to stay true to the fans that we gain from our EP, but still gain new ones with this full length, so we’re still defining our sound. Our second full-length might sound different; we’re still in the process of defining our own genre.
Are you already working on new ideas for the second full-length?
Nine: I would say that we have more ideas, maybe there are a few songs that we have made that, you know, it won’t have the feeling that we want in the full-length, but maybe we will wait and have it on the next album, but we are not really thinking so much about the second one, because we haven’t done the first one. We have almost a good ten songs for the full length, but maybe we will release some free EP for the one that doesn’t fit really, we will see, we have many ideas.
What else are you working on right now? I know you are working on a video, right?
Nine: Exactly, we are working on a video with song called “Wyrd”, yeah and maybe you can…
Rydsheim: Yeah you want to know about the process, the theme of it, or?
What you want, anything you want to talk about.
Rydsheim: We are working with a guy who is helping us, and he is from mainstream television, and me as well have a background doing music videos, so we will work together to put this thing together. And it is about a witch, the lyrics are about a witch, and this will be spooky.
Nine: It will be an unnerving video, it will be both artsy, and it will still be different, it will still have a story, we are gonna use our first song in our EP, called “Beckoning”, so the video will be beckoning and weird, which both is part of the same lyrical theme.
Rydsheim: We don’t have a deadline for it yet, but somewhere in the beginning of the summer I think it will be online.
OK, online on your Facebook page or do you have a Youtube channel?
Rydsheim: Youtube, Facebook, everywhere.
Nine: We will try to bring it to the masses, we don’t want to restrict it, we that’s why it will be released on Spotify, that’s why we don’t care if people applaud it on Youtube. We want people to listen to it, and it’s just a bonus if people listen to it on Spotify, or when they buy the EP that’s a bonus. The most import thing is that people listen to it, and they enjoy it.
Rydsheim: And we’re not just working with that, as we told you the next plan is do a few gigs working on little this and that, the upcoming album, and then this summer European tour.
This is very interesting; where are you going to play this summer?
Nine: There are only a few venues that are booked, but nothing is official yet, but what we can say is that it will be start on Croatia, and it will end in Poland, and we will have a few countries in between. We will make it official on our Facebook and on our website later on.
Rydsheim: We will tour together with the Stockholm old school death metal band Of Fire, who’s gonna play here tonight as well. More info will come soon.
They’re gonna open this evening.
Rydsheim: They are cool.
Can you tell us something about your personal view on black metal?
Nine: I was pretty late into the black metal scene, I didn’t start to listen to black metal until the mid 2000s really. I was more of a doom metal guy, death metal guy. I come from a small town in Västmanland, and we didn’t know what happened in the world really. Black metal was never a big thing there, so I didn’t really explore black metal, but then when I moved to Stockholm a new door, a new door opened up for me, so I’m not ashamed to say that I was quite late into the black metal scene, but it did have the biggest impact on me. My musical preference is that I really like atmospheric black metal, especially Wolves in the Throne Room, and I Russia has one of the best black metal bands when it comes to the atmospheric sound, like Elderwind and Autumn’s Kingdom. That’s the things that I listen to, the most when it comes to black metal.
Rydsheim: I started off in the mid 90’s by accident because my brother’s friends are in Månegarm, that are still growing right now, and they are like folk Viking pagan black metal band. Of course it was Iron Maiden and Kiss, everything from old school rock’n roll, but nowadays I think the best thing, the black metal for me is Windir, I fucking love Windir, they are the best band on earth, and too bad they are not a band anymore because you know why. When it comes to extreme metal, I love the atmosphere, the melancholy that black metal brings, death metal and other styles of course, I can dig it, but black metal is not just music, is feeling, more depth, and that’s why when we talk about extreme metal, black metal is is the only music I listen to, and of course pagan and Viking stuff.
Nine: Because it’s so deep, because there are so many perspectives. People can interpret black metal in so many ways because there so much more than music, it’s feelings, it’s a way of life, and that’s no right or wrong.
In my opinion black metal is something spiritual. What do you think?
Rydsheim: Hell yeah!
Nine: I’m not really a spiritual person, I’m a skeptical person, but I do believe that music in general makes you feel something, which is really hard to define. And that’s what black metal is for me, I get a feeling that I can’t explain, like if you are in love, if something sad happens, you get a feeling…
Rydsheim: I think black metal can talk, you know, many people outside of the metal scene think black metal has to be something very very depressive; yes there are of course depressive elements, but it’s also about, you know, can you say love? No you can’t say love, but it will fulfill you…
Nine: It’s seeing the world in a new perspective, it’s to love nature, it’s to have an affection for where we live, and to respect nature and animals, that’s black metal for me. Of course there are black metal that are, you know, more nihilistic and more hate/kill, but for me, I draw towards the more nature feelings.
Are there any books or literature that influence your songwriting?
Nine: Oh yes, very very much. When it comes to the lyrics on the EP, I travelled up to the north of Sweden, it’s a town called Kiruna; I’ve there up for many many years now. I’ve learned about they have different folk tales there up than they have down here in the south, really. So I got a huge inspiration from the word to mouth stories; that’s how I got inspiration to The Void. The Void is actually like a legend of course up in the north, and that’s where I read all books when I was in the libraries up there. So the lyrics are both fictional, and some are events that I have read and people have told me; so my influence when it comes to the music is Wolves in the Throne Room, they write perfect nature romanticism, and nevermore actually from America; they have really good political and anti-religious texts, and those are my both biggest influences.
So you are interested in politics and religion or anti-religion.
Nine: Not really politics.
Rydsheim: We are not a political band at all.
Nine: And we are not really anti-religious in that sense, but we don’t believe in it, but it’s up for the readers to interpret the lyrics, and it can mean different things, meaning that people can read it in different ways, I mean I write it for my sense, but some of readers think it means something completely different for them, and that’s not right or wrong.
Rydsheim: Yes because you know, we’re not a “Hail Satan, fuck the system” band, we’re about something else.
Nine: Be nice to the forest! Don’t kill the animals!
Exactly I’m vegetarian and very sensitive to this problem of animals.
Rydsheim: I used to be a vegetarian.
Nine: If should talk about vegans, for me people can eat whatever they want, just do it in moderation.
Now I would like to leave to you the last word of the interview. What would you like to say to the readers?
Rydsheim: to people out in Europe, stay tuned for the dates and everything that we will announce soon for the European tour, and spread the word about Wormwood, and I hope I will meet you at the venues.
Nine: This is just the beginning of Wormwood, we will be the plague storm will fall for many many years, and can expect to see us everywhere very very soon.
Thank you for tonight guys, it was a very nice time with you!
Rydsheim: Our pleasure!
Nine: The pleasure is ours!
Interview by Herjann