Swedish folk metal outfit Månegarm’s new album, Ynglingaättens Öde, has finally arrived on April 15th via Napalm Records. We caught up with vocalist/bassist Erik Grawsiö to discuss the record.
What was the process like recording Ynglingaättens Öde?
Much of the composing and writing process has been the same as before I would say; I compose the songs and send rough demos to Jakob (drums) who writes the lyrics. I just sing the melodies where I want the words and Jakob always does a great job in “translating” my wordless singing into a text/story. We recorded drums and rhythm guitars at Studio Underground (Västerås, Sweden), where we have recorded nearly all our albums, and then we recorded lead guitars, violins and some vocals in our own Månegarm studio. What was new for this album was that I had just finished building my own little studio in my house/basement, so now I could record stuff in my own little crib 🙂 I recorded all bass parts there and most of the clean vocals. That was so nice and relaxing to be able to record whenever I felt like it and when my voice felt good.
How would you compare the new album to 2019’s Fornaldarsagor?
Musically, I think it follows the same path, but maybe the new album is a bit more melodic and atmospheric. Lyrically, we are still holding on to stories, sagas and myths from the Vendel-age/early Viking-age. On “Fornaldarsagor” we focused on the Norse saga genre with the same (Fornaldarsagas), and we had that as a source material and inspiration for our lyrics. The new album is a lyrical concept album based on the old Norse poem Ynglingatal. This poem tells us about a Swedish old Norse dynasty of rulers/kings of Uppsala and about their deeds, their rule, and above all – their deaths. On the new album we tell you about the kings in one way or the other, and a few selected kings have gotten their very own song.
How has the pandemic influenced the writing for the new record?
The pandemic was terrible in many ways but when it came to the album recording, we actually had more time to compose and record this album. There were zero gigs, festivals or rehearsals so all that time we used for composing and recording instead and that was great. When the pandemic was at its worst, we couldn’t meet each other, but I have my own little studio at home so I could record a lot of stuff anyway which was great.
What songs were more challenging to write?
I would say the song Vitta Véttr. The first riff/melody on that song was the first thing I composed for this album. Then I didn’t come up with anything else on that song for a couple of months, which was quite frustrating, before I wrote the verse and stick. I also came up with the chorus which I thought was really cool, quite “metal” and groovy, but when Jakob gave me the lyrics I realized that the chorus totally sucked, haha. So, back to the drawing board, we needed a new chorus…Finally I was satisfied and the new one was much better than the first version, so all good. But overall, it was a bit of a struggle to complete this song.
I must have worked on this f***er for over a year!
Can you talk more about the song “Freyrs blod?”
It’s a long one, the longest Månegarm song to date. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to start an album with a ten-minute song but we think that Freyrs blod contains many of the Månegarm elements that we like. It has fast parts, blast beats, diverse singing with both growls and screams and also harsh and clean vocals. There is also this soft, acoustic part it the middle that makes the song “breathe” and creates some nice dynamics. That clean part was actually going to be an acoustic song but I didn’t come up with anything else than this riff so I took it and put it in the middle of Freyrs blod and it turned out nice I think 🙂 The inspiration for the first riff is actually our own song “Vargstenen” (from the album Vargstenen, released in 2008) It’s written in the same key and I guess you can hear some similarities since the grips/chords are quite similar.
Do you have any plans for this year you can share with us?
A couple of cool festivals are coming up, Sweden Rock in June among others. That will be awesome! Then we will host our own festival Månegarm Open Air for the second time. First year was 2019 and it was a great success; Sold Out and visitors from over 30 countries. We had to cancel 2020 and 2021 of course but now we’re back again. The 26-27 of August is the date and the festival is located in our hometown Norrtälje. The line-up is fantastic with bands such as Moonsorrow, Grand Magus, Einherjer and others 🙂
Is there anything else you want to say or add?
Hope you guys give our new album a spin. We’re really satisfied with it and we hope that you will like it 🙂 And if you have the chance – come to Norrtälje, Sweden this summer and visit Månegarm Open Air!! Rock n’ Roll // Erik – Månegarm
Tags: Erik Grawsiö, Manegarm
Categorised in: Interviews, Releases