Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Varus Interview

Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?

Hi there! We’ve been working quite a lot in the background to create material and content for the upcoming release. So that might be some making of video clips, promotion material and even some new music! However, rehearsals are sadly not possible.

2. You have a new album coming out during the end of June, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

It might be very different, especially when it comes to the vocals. They’re lower, not as high pitched and more in-your-face. Apart from that, the guitar tuning is now Dropped D, whereas it’s been Dropped B on the first album. We strived for a more folky, epic sound and even introduced acoustic instruments which haven’t been there on Till The Sun Rises. The song length has also increased but it’s fewer songs therefore.

3. This is also your first release since 2014, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?

Our line up has changed a few times, most noticeable on lead vocals and drums. Also, we strived for getting a unique band image that should be indistinguishable, almost a Corporate Identity if you like. I’d say we’re now stronger than ever and it just feels like a strong bond between us.
On top, we’ve had some amazing concert opportunities over the years and worked hard on our live performances.

4. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores on the newer album?

Our biggest theme is liberty. That’s the main topic but every song stands on its own. So we explore some drinking stories of our hometown, mourn the passing of a close friend, experience the apocalypse itself and remember how our surroundings have changed over time.

5. Originally the band was called 'Banjaxed' what was the cause of the name change?

When starting out, we played half cover, half original songs. The name Banjaxed was heavily related to that and restricted us to an all party band. As we were growing up, we strived to bring only our own material to the people. Varus was more universal and there is actually not one single metal group with that name. From that point we didn’t do covers anymore. So it wasn’t only a name change but also an image change.

8. I know that the bands name is a reference to 'Publius Quinctillus Varus', can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this historical character?

I’ve been interested in history generally and somehow I stumbled across the Battle In The Teutoburg Forest. It hooked me from the first moment on until today. One reason for Varus was that the Germanic opponent Arminius just didn’t sound good as a band name. Image people trying to remember the name or yelling it at a concert. On the other hand, the character Varus as well as his story are just more tragic and not as heroic. This makes him a very interesting subject. Be sure that there willl be music about him at some point.

9. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

A highlight for us has been the performance at Wolfszeit Open Air 2019. We’ve shared stage with huge established bands that could be named idols of us. Unfortunately, it was at short notice and we couldn’t rehearse that much, so some songs could have been a bit tighter. Feedback has been great though.
Our on stage performances have become very energetic and wild. There’s now a lot of movement on stage and it seems to have a good impact on people.

10. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

No, there’s no plans like that at the moment. We’re not actively searching for a label but if the right one comes around the corner – why not? However, we’d like to keep full control over music and image.

11. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of symphonic, melodic, folk and extreme metal?

It has been good so far! Actually, the more epic and folky aspects are well received and seem to be the favourite themes of our fans. There’s even die hard fans in South America and a following in France. People tend to fall in love with the large choir and orchestra arrangements.

12. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

I guess, we’ll be exploring the folk instruments a bit more but also looking for a more atmospheric approach. Moreover, there’s plans to not overdo it with lengthy songs. I’m already writing new songs and try to keep a strong songwriting, yet not to get lost in too many different parts.

13. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

You can certainly hear some non-metal influences on the latest material, like Irish Folk or even Jethro Tull. Also, the metal side is inspired by other bands like those in the past. There’s fewer Alestorm-ish themes but rather hints of Ensiferum or Turisas.
At the moment, I’m listening to some Månegarm, Svartsot and again Jethro Tull.

14. Does Paganism play any role in the music?

Not really, to be honest. I know we get labelled as Pagan metal a lot of times and we’re fine with that. Musically, there might be Pagan metal in our style but lyrically, there’s not one single Pagan song in our repertoire. Nature romanticism is part of our music/lyrics but not worshiping the old gods.

15. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I want to thank you guys for these well researched questions and your support!
We’re glad to get a lot of positive feedback on our music and are grateful for it. That’s what fuels our inspiration and motivation. So we’re really looking forward to the release of our second album, even during the ongoing crisis. This is what unites us – music.
Thank you all for reading! Stay safe and healthy!


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