Vinterriket Interview

Salut cz, How are you? How is it going on in Germany now?
Hello. Everything is fine over here… Thank you for asking. Everything is a bit stressy, but that’s quite normal. Besides this everything is all right.
Starting in a classic sytle, Could you please tell us a little about yourself and the history of Vinterriket?
Well, the story/ history of Vinterriket is quite boring and nothing special, I think. I have started the whole project back in late 1996. In the early days the whole thing was very slow and I was not 100% behind it. The first demotape was released in early 2000 or in the end of 1999, I think.  So it took 3 years to finish the stuff. This was mainly because of bad equipment and so on. After the release of the demo the whole thing became more serious and I totally focused on the project. Up ‘til now many EP’s, CD’s Demos and so on have been published on different labels around the globe. Too many stuff to mention, actually. Vinterriket was founded because of my endless love to the dark side of mother nature. I wanted to express my feelings and the way I see nature through this kind of art in order to satisfy myself. You know, principally I make music ONLY for myself, for nobody else! If others like the music, too: Ok. If not, I do not care at all. Of course it is great to see that many others share the same feelings, that many others have the same visions/ landscapes/ feelings inside when listening to the music of Vinterriket and that many others interpret my lyrics as I’d do myself. Then I see they got the point I want to express. Others listen to the stuff and they understand simply nothing what I wanted to express. But as I said: I do not care at all. Vinterriket is me and I am Vinterriket. No other members have been included in the past.
As far as I knew you are a German and live in Germany, however some of  your songs bear Norwegian titles. How come?
Yes, I am german and I live in Germany. I have used Norwegian titles on Demo#1 (1999/2000) and on EP#1. The reason why I used Norwegian titles on the Demotape “…Gjennom Tåkete Skogen” and on the EP “Det Svake Lys” is quite simple: I just felt to do so! In my eyes Norway has the best nature on the whole earth. Have you ever been up to the north? I am totally fascinated by the vast, endless woods, the mysterious and misty fjords, the majestic mountains and the atmosphere up there! You know, VINTERRIKET is totally influenced by Mother Nature. Therefore I thought that the Norwegian titles would fit best to the whole concept on the Demotape. The band picture was taken in Norway, too, and the front cover was drawn by the famous Norwegian artist Theodor Kittelsen. I am doing what I want, depending on my current mood. Maybe the some lyrics/titles will be in Swedish, Danish or whatever in the future! All the new songtitles/lyrics are totally written in German language. I am a big fan of all the Germanic languages, like German, Swedish, Norwegian… They have a very hard accent, if you know what I mean. When people talk English it sound like having 10 chewing gums in their mouth! The German languages are hard-sounding and spreading a kind of power and might. It’s too hard to explain actually. I hope some might get the point what I mean.
How are the responses to your latest opus,namely “Der Letze Winter”?
Very good so far, actually. I am very satisfied. Some poeple like the stuff, some not. I do not care that much about that, actually. I got many positive reviews in the past and it’s cool of course. Nice to see that many poeple share the same feelings. I also get a lot of bad reviews but I do not care at all. I mean, once you’re creating art (paintings / lyrics / music or whatever) you’ll get positive and negative feedback.
You are working with Flood The Eearth Recordings at the moment,yet I guess your next album will hail from Black Attakk,could you tell us more about this?What is what at the moment regarding the labels?
Two new cd’s (US-Version of the new CD and a Vinterriket/Northaunt Split CD) were released on Flood The Earth Records (US) In September 2005. I’ve been looking for a company to release a US-version of the new record “Der letzte Winter – Der Ewigkeit entgegen- “ and FTE Records (US) showed interest in it. I have worked with FTE in the past (Winterschatten – release) and I am very satisfied with their work. The Vinterriket/Northaunt CD was supposed to be a three-way split but it turned out to be a pure two-way split which is great anyway,… I am really satisfied with both releases and the work FTE is doing. Both releases differ a lot: The Vinterriket/Northaunt release is a pure Dark Ambient release, feat. only dark, melancholic, cold and depressive synth soundscape from both projects. The other CD (“Der letzte Winter – Der Ewigkeit entgegen -”) is more in the “Black Metal-vein”. The official German-release should also be out in early 2006 on Black Attakk records, wel’ll see… The Vinterriket/Northaunt CD features the tracks from both Split EP’s (2002/2005) plus two unreleased tracks from the “Landschaften ewiger Einsamkeit” session on the Vinterriket side and one additional track from the first Northaunt CD. Pure nature-inspired desolate synth soundscapes. Turn off the light and enjoy the trip…Besides this not much is planned at the moment. E.g. there’ll be released some MC-versions of different records and some
new shirts, that’s it, basically. I am working with a lot of different record companies around the globe, actually. This will probably continue in the future, too.
Talking about the labels,you are (were)also running the label Neodawn Productions. Could you tell us a little about it?
Neodawn is officially closed since 01.03.2003 – completely and forever. The small mailorder has already been closed about a half year before, too. It was a cool time when I was running Neodawn. A lot of great releases have seen the light of day through Neodawn: Legion (SWE), Necroplasma (SWE), Crowhead (NOR), Bloodline (SWE), … But I came to a point where it was impossible to run Neodawn and Vinterriket together (at the same time) properly.  It was clear that one of both had to be stopped. And, of course, I decided to stop Neodawn without even thinking about it. You know, time is strictly limited these days and the only thing I want to do is making music, nothing else. In the future I’ll totally concentrate on Vinterriket. I simply had no lust, no energy and no time for Neodawn anymore. This is the only reason why the label was shut down. There are a lot of rumours around about the closing,… But those mentioned reasons are the only explanation. All future- Vinterriket- releases will be out on other labels. We’ll see…
On the other hand,for you,what kind of qualities should a label carry?Honesty?Promotion?or Publicity?What kind of definition can be made for a “perfect” label?
The only thing I am interested in when it comes to labels is honesty and professionalism. I do not care that much about promotion or stuff like that. As I said: I make music ONLY for myself, for nobody else. If others like the music, too: Ok. If not, I do not care at all.
Do you have some musical training or are you completely self-taught?And,does this affects your creativity in that or this way?
My musical skills are self-taught so to speak. I never had any musical training, actually. I think this is quite good, actually ‘cause you can do and learn whatever you want. If you’re taking lessons you learn a lot of stupid things which are not of your interest at all. When it comes to techniques it’d be quite good to have lessons, actually,…. But you can teach all the stuff yourself if you like.
Do you like to spend most of your time being lonely listening intently to the winds` whisper and wolves` howl?And,regarding todays world,what do you think about mankind who permanently try to destory nature?Aren’t they destroying their own futures?
I am interested in the darkness, the melancholy, the emptiness, the bleakness, the nothingness, the coldness of nature. I am a “nature-child” so to speak. I am into the dark side of nature as I prefer to call it. There is nothing better to do than to be alone in nature, to feel the power, to get new inspiration and to feel the atmosphere. I am a really winter- fanatic. It is my beloved season of the year. Cold, depressing, grim, cruel and desolate. It is the perfect season to get new inspiration for Vinterriket! There is nothing better than to make long wanderings through deep, snowy and mysterious winter-forests, through misty valleys in winter or upon majestic snow-covered endless landscapes. It is an amazing feeling when coldness is slowly crawling through your veins and when winterstorms are crushing in your face with all their strength and power. Winter is the time when you can feel the greatness and power of mother nature in its true and cruel form! Sooner or later life will disappear from this planet anyway and the dark nature will take over again. Well, the definition of nature is a very difficult thing. Other so-called “nature-lovers” are into the world of all the animals, others enjoy the beaches, the sunshine, the sweet places of nature, palms on the coast. I am fascinated by the dark side of nature, as I prefer to call it. Nothing more and nothing less. Personally, I do what I can to keep the nature clean and to avoid pollution in general. But it is worthless if only I am doing it. Sooner or later our whole ecology-system will crush, I am sure about this. It is only a question of time. But, do not misunderstand me: I am not involved in any so called “nature-saving” movement like Greenpeace or stuff like that….
Returning  to the Vinterriket activities I really do not remind myself that you have played live. Why it has not happend yet? Maybe Vinterriket`s music is too atmospheric to play live?And,moreover,I personally do not like gigs,concerts etc,what about yours?Dou you like going to fests,live shows etc?For me,particulary in Black Metal and related,live performances omit the spirit of the genuine dark music..What can you say about this?
Well, in the past I always wrote the following when I was asked this question:  Up ‘til now Vinterriket has never played live. Maybe in the future? Who knows… This mainly depends on finding other competent session musicians. The music is mainly pure Ambient as you know. So it is senseless to make live-shows, at least in my opinion. In general VINTERRIKET’s music is absolutely NOT made to be performed live in crappy concert halls. People should listen to it individually at home during the uttermost darkness! I’d not like it very much to play in front of a drunken horde of stupid kids, you know…. If there would be a gig it would be something very special, I am sure. But there are absolutely no plans for a live-show right now. And 2nd, it would be difficult to perform the stuff live, too. But on the other hand I have several offers for live shows lying here. People are asking more and more about it. But I do not know… Maybe I’ll do gig or more in the future, we’ll see what the future will bring. Here’s an official press-statement from early 2005:As VINTERRIKET has mentioned in several interviews over the last months plans existed to bring VINTERRIKET on stage this Spring with the help of some session members. Unfortunately those plans are dead now due to one session member leaving the live line-up a few days ago because of several reasons. With his departure the  plans to bring VINTERRIKET on stage are laid on ice now…. Maybe the plan has died forever….I am seldomly attending gigs, actually. I prefer to listen to the stuff at home.
What do you think about spending your late ages far from the city centers,or to say in big cities? Wouldn`t it be great to spend most of the time near huge forests and mountains?What are your future plans regarding your “very” self?
I do not care about the civilization at all. I just know, that things are slowly going down. I am also quite sure, that this world will come to an end sure. Maybe I’ll not be alive anymore when this happens. Better it would be. I am living here in a very small village not far away from the woods. I am living at the border of this village. When I am looking outside my window, I can even see the majestic woods. I like this very much, because in a way I am a quite misanthropic person. I hate big masses of people and big towns. I also totally hate big parties and stuff like that. Most of my time I spend alone and only a few very close persons. The village where I live is also very unknown and not of importance at all. My misanthropic attitude is also the reason that Vinterriket will probably NEVER be a band consisting of more members than me. There are only advantages being alone with Vinterriket. The main one is that I am my own master. I can do whatever I want. Not forced to join any rehearsals with other stupid guys. I can write and record music whenever I want. I can do whatever I want. Nobody is telling me what I have to do. When you are many people in a band you have always to do compromises. When you’re alone you can just do what is in your mind. There is no better inspiration than loneliness (besides the dark side of nature of course)!
As you probably may have heard of,Burzum mastermind Varg “Greven” Vikernes (a.k.a Count Grishnack)tried to escape from the Vestfold prison.And when arrested,varg had in his possession the following items;a cell-phone with headset and lap-top computer,AG3 automatic rifle,a gas mask,knives,camouflage clothing,a portable Global Positioning System satellite navigator,maps etc..I know it is a weird question but,do you have any ideas on his aims while trying this escaping thing?Some local Norwegian newspapers wrote that he was going to join French Foreign Legion…
Yes, I have heard about this some time ago, but I do not care at all, actually. I am not interested what he planned or whatever,…. But of course I like BURZUM. My favourite CD of Varg is hard to tell. I like a lot of them very much. “Hvis..”/ “Filosofem” maybe?  I do not know. I also like his 2 Ambient- CD’s. But Burzum never had a direct influence on Vinterriket…. Varg is a good musician. He has created a lot of amazing tracks with minimalistic abilities. “Der Tod Wuotans” which is on the Oskorei- release as an cover(bonus)- song is one of the best track he has ever written, I think. The track is so dark, so atmospheric, unbelievable. But as I said, my main source of inspiration is the dark side of nature. Concerning his ideologies: I regard Varg as a very intelligent and strong personality with great ideas and visions. E.g. I  read his book “Vargsmal”. Some points of view are really okay and totally acceptable but others are not. It depends. You know, I have my own personal philosophy about life & death & politics. I am not following a special theory or attitude. Some are walking on the way of La Vey or Crowley: But these persons are not strong enough to develop their own philosophy. Blindly and stupid followers in my eyes!
What do you think about changes in the zines creation? I mean changes that are caused because of the computerization and mainly slow decay of the dedicated printed zines. Do you think that the situation will turn round and we will desire xeroxed zines not webzines in the near future?
I think that it’s a quite normal development. Computers change life of mankind… even of magazines. I never thought about this actually. Printed magazines will disappear sooner or later, I think
Do you read much? What books have you read recently? Do you have any favourite authors?On the other hand,to what extend you are taking inspirations from the books you read?(While composing lyrics etc)
I am not reading that much, actually. My time is limited. Good music is much more important for me than books. When reading stuff I am reading books/articles about
all kind of science, mysterious phenomenons, astronomy, politics and such stuff. But it depends. What I am NOT doing is to read novels,fantasy-stories and shit like that.
The same goes for TV.
Last and quite typical question… Say something about the future plans for Vinterriket?
Not that much. I am currently working on a new record in which will be release somewhen in 2006. Besides this a few re-releases, MC-versions and stuff like that will be released in the near future.
Tell me something about the following topics: …………
Vinterriket and politics are two different things. I am NOT mixing music with politics. Politics is another field for me. Of course I am very interested in politics, but this is something else and has nothing to do with music. I do not care what others do. If they want to mix politics with music they should do. This does not affect me. I also have my political views, but this has nothing to do with my music/ Vinterriket. I hope you understand what I mean.This question is too much in the field of politics. And as I said: Vinterriket and politics are two different things. Of course I have my political views and I am very interested in politics, but this is my private thing. I’ll not misuse any private political views within Vinterriket. Thanx for understanding.

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    August 2008
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