Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Windfaerer Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?
First of all, warm greetings and hails to everyone interested in Windfaerer. Second of all, I don't think most people have heard of us (if they say so, they may be lying). Windfaerer began as a project of ideas I've had for years. Its concept started as I was trying to write songs for a band I was in with friends from high school, called Skies Devoured, we played a mix of melodic death metal and power metal. While writing I was yearning to inject a sort of folkloric edge, but not everyone was on the same page. It was frustrating experiencing the gridlock and writer's block in that band, being that we wanted to do everything, yet we always accomplished nothing! So, I said, "to hell with it!" and began keeping ideas for myself. I composed a few songs and fellow band-mate, JP, was willing to record the drums for me, which led to the demo. Eventually I got in touch with Valèek to perform violin. The stars aligned and Windfaerer finally saw light.

2. How would you describe your musical sound?
The concept of Windfaerer is to create metal music with folkloric edge--the keyword is "metal". Windfaerer, is first and foremost, a metal band. The music is written on guitar, down to the violin's melodies--maybe in the future we will begin to write using the violin, but for now, it's all guitar-determined. I would describe the music as epic, heavy, melodic, heartfelt and angry.

3. What is the meaning behind the band's name?
Windfaerer is a compound word simply meaning to voyage with the wind. I chose this combination of words to beckon a feeling of freedom and capture the vibe of someone lost at sea, guided by the earth's energy, the wind. In a way, I feel like I am lost at sea, I am not clairvoyant, nor am I omniscient, thus I am unaware of what is to come of the future. I can only sail with a goal and purpose in mind, hoping to reach that in the end, but discovering along the way. This is the essence of Windfaerer.

4. How would you describe the lyrical content of the music?
The way I like to describe most of the lyrics is that they deal with common emotions in an ancient setting, likely Hispania (present day Portugal and Spain). A lot of the lyrics are a result of the feelings evoked from the music itself. In terms of Hispania, Windfaerer puts its head around the aura of the Iberian peninsula and its history. Rather than follow the route treaded upon by tons of folk-inspired bands and write about Vikings and drinking (which are cool in their own respect), I wanted to bring forth something dealing with my own ancestry; something I can connect with. I want to write about the history of my ancestors (who don't get a very audible voice in metal), like the Lusitanians, Celtiberians, Visigoths, and of course, conquistadors. One of my favorite figures from the Roman era is Viriathus. He is, to me, a symbol of rebellion. Without rebellion our lives are complacent and stagnant. We must rebel to live--constantly challenging ourselves, our thoughts, in order to advance. I am looking to make that a constant theme.

5. What is it like being a Folk Metal band in America with most of the bands playing this style are usually from Europe and do you hope to create a folk metal movement in this country?
My essential goal is to create music that I, personally, would like to hear. It's great that others enjoy it and I love that, but it's truly a personal experience. If this takes me somewhere, great, if not, I will still be doing it, because I'm impassioned. Being part of a movement would be interesting, but it is not imperative. Unfortunately, movements (or "scenes") tend to cause trends and dull whatever edge the original music had. Scenes also take authenticity away from the music, making you question, are people playing this music because it's in their hearts or just because all the cool kids are doing it? You cannot control such things. Everything happens for a reason, and even scenes push music forward, making way for the next one. All in all, it would be cool to leave a mark.

6. Have you had any opportunities to do live shows yet, if so what are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
We haven't had a chance to play live yet. The idea to play live came to me recently, so I'm still working on mobilizing that aspect of the band.

7. How has your music been received so far by folk metal and melodic black.death fans worldwide?
Regarding the reception of the two-song 'Glorybound' demo (which can be downloaded for free at www.purevolume.com/windfaerer), it has been overwhelmingly positive. The only complaint I have been hearing is that the demo was "too short". Hopefully, they'd still be wanting more after the full-length, 'Tribus' gets released.

8. How would you describe your musical progress over the years and what direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?
Throughout the years, I have been learning to keep focused and have a mental agenda of what I want to do. Considering that I have a lot of musical influences I have to filter through a lot of ideas before I create something for Windfaerer--fortunately, sometimes it's on the spot! There are points where I want to create a band for every genre (black metal, grindcore, brutal death, goregrind, power metal, hardcore, doom, etc); there's just so much metal! As far as I can see, I plan to continue Windfaerer with a straight-to-the-throat attack with the music. I am trying to keep this as cheese-free as possible. Some future songs (that have not been recorded professionally yet) will have a darker, more brutal sound, while others will keep the melodic melee. The challenge is retaining a flow. I plan on doing a short concept album, or a few songs, dedicated to the age of discovery and Iberian conquest of the Americas--hopefully sooner than later.

9. Do any of the band members have any side projects besides this band if so who are they and what kind of music do they play?
JP and I both play in Grimus (from New Jersey, not Romania), which play death metal. JP also just started playing with The Breathing Process, which have a groovy melodic death/black style. Violinist, Valèek is pursuing violin studies at his university and also utilizes his talents in raw heathen black metal band Mjollnir (New Jersey).

10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and what are you listening to nowadays?
Windfaerer's sound is influenced by a lot of melodic death metal, black metal, power metal, and various folk music. In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, Mithotyn, Catamenia, Vintersorg, Dalriada, Moonsorrow, Windir, Forefather, Agalloch, Wintersun, are amongst the direct influences. Finally, one of my favorite bands in the folk metal subgenre and a great subconscious influence, Mägo de Oz. I also really enjoy Morbid Angel. But, I like a wide spectrum of music, from rumba to dream pop. Nowadays, my ears have been digging Alcest, Amesoeurs, Year of No Light, Cypher Seer, Katatonia, Beyond the Flesh, Sotajumala, Burzum, and a bunch of other stuff.

11. Does Paganism play any role in the music?
Paganism interests me, but not to the extent where it would greatly influence the music. When writing lyrics I try to avoid anything that implies the absoluteness of monotheism or polytheism. In the philosophy of the music there is an enigmatic force or spirit that oversees the happenings on earth. You may call this spirit Providence, Gaia, God, or whatever. I just try to keep in mind that a lot of these peoples' lives were governed by religion, be it a god or serpents, and it was a major factor. Paganism plays a role, as long as it is appropriate to the story being told.

12. What are some of your interests outside of music?
I love traveling, be it Maine, Mexico, Paris or Portugal. I think every place in the world has its own vibe and a story to tell. The thought that you can be miles away from you home on another point of the earth is exhilarating to me. I suppose it's my inner-conquistador trying to explore/conquer! I also enjoy the histories of these places. I'm young and I plan to travel much more--there is so much to see. Besides that, I have a weak spot for animals and I studied graphic design in New York.

13. Any final words or thoughts?
I would like to send my regards to everyone who supports me and Windfaerer. I would also like to thank you for the great questions, it has been a pleasure answering them.

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