05th, March 2013
by Dominik -
Vocal/Guitars and Oliver
- Bass )
FIRTAN has recently released their first
opus entitled "Wogen der Trauer" , an EP
containing 6 masterpieces of pure pagan black metal
combining raw and agressive moments with catchy melodies and
an overall astonishing atmosphere. Two of their members talk
us about several interestings topics regarding the band.
1. OK guys, nice to have a chat with you, please make a brief introduction of yourselves and tell us a little bit about the FIRTAN`s initiation and how
has been the experience of your recent debut EP release?
Oliver König: Hi Gorthaur, my name is Olli and I'm
FIRTAN´s bass player.
Dominik Phillip: My name is Phillip and I'm vocalist and
guitarist. FIRTAN was founded in 2010 in South Germany with the idea to fuse epic melodies and black metal.
Oliver König: I think the release of our EP "Wogen der Trauer" was the right step for now. We are getting more and more fans and amazing support, also from foreign
countries. All the reviews we got so far were very positive
2. your music have been described like pagan black metal or even with some folk elements, Can you give our readers a more detailed profile of what your music sounds like?
Dominik Phillip: Our music is a mixture of good and evil elements, if you understand what
I mean!? Sometimes it's harsh and fast but also with epic slower parts. I do my best to get all my emotions in all songs, the good and the bad ones. You may could compare our music or parts of it with bands like Thyrfing, Moonsorrow or even Finntroll.
Oliver König: I am not really good in describing my own music... I think the genres you mentioned fit quite well. In my opinion most of the riffs are black metal riffs, but we put a focus on melodies you can remember. Not the common black metal shredding. I think thats why sometimes called epic or melodic black metal or whatever. Best way to find our what we are doing is to give it a listen I think.l
3. You are all quite young. How did you came across with black metal? And what made you decide to take a step towards a band creation?
Dominik Phillip: Since I can think I was surrounded by music. My father always played in some punk and rock bands...so I found my musical direction in early years. Black Metal always fascinated me, there's just special feeling i can't describe. I personally love this kind of music most, but i wouldn't describe Firtan as a black metal act. The creation came even before i could play an instrument, i think because of my father...
Oliver König: I listen to metal since I was 15 I think... before I hardly listened to any kind of music, but then I discovered metal and well... it was the right music for me. Then I started to play guitar at the age of 16 and formed my first band
MAERSUNG one year later. I like all kinds of extreme metal, but I think the genres I like most are death- and black metal.
The experience to perform your music on stage is a thing I wouln't like to miss anymore.
4. And what about musical school? Did you all learn to play instruments by yourself or did anyone of you go to music school as a child?
Oliver König: I learned to play guitar and bass myself. Just had a teacher for half a year, but I realised that I don't need someone else to learn how to play.
Dominik Phillip: A friend of my father taught me to play the guitar, but nothing professional. And the singing i taught me myself. I just learned it because no other wanted to sing in the band...
5. Where do you think all this interest for paganism matters comes to you? Were you raised based on such principles, or you discovered everything at a certain point?
Dominik Phillip: The only point that interests me in paganism is the aspect to respect nature and the coherence. But we don't even use the pagan thing in our lyrics anymore, only two songs where made up like that.
6. Why do you think that Paganism is generally accepted amongst metal circles, whereas other organized forms of religion are ridiculed and parodied?
Oliver König: Nothing to add.
Dominik Phillip: Paganism has something martial and militant. I think many people feel strong identifying with paganism. Also christianity was really powerful some years ago, and metal is or was, just pure rebellion...some may want to be against the mass.
7. Who came up with the band's name FIRTAN, the logo and everything? Does it have any deeper meaning for you or it was randomly assigned?
Dominik Phillip: The name is old high German, the founding guitarist and I decided to find a name, back in 2010, that would fit the music. The logo was drawn by me. The word means something like cursed or wicked, so i think it matches the music very well.
8. I am curious to know more things about your debut EP. Tell us something about the main idea of the 6 tracks. Where did you record? Did you have any problems in studio and all sorts of interesting details for our readers?
Dominik Phillip: There is no concept with this release, the lyrics were written to talk about problems and our emotions. I wrote about things that are important for me, even if it isn't always obvious. All of the music was written since the band has been founded, it was a long creative process, but there's also material for a future release now. The recordings lasted very long, because everything, except the mixing, has been done by ourselves.
Oliver König: We didn't record at a real studio. All the tracks were done here at my house. We did some really stupid things, for example we recorded the guitar tracks for two songs and some days later we realized that our guitar tuner was at the wrong frequenz, so we had to re-record the whole guitar tracks At the end it took much more time than expected but the result is totally worth it.
Oliver König: Now we know what to focus on for our next record to avoid problems.
9. Are you getting a good distribution for your EP now? How many copies did you sell of the "Wogen der Trauer" EP? Did it live up to your expectations?
Oliver König: Well, it could be better. I have to say I expected more people to buy our EP after we got so much positive response from them, but that seems to be common today. Unfortunately most people only listen to the music and don't buy it, but we are happy that there are at least some people who support us and by their copys. Anyway we get much support by people from all countries and our music is spreading quite fast. Thats more important than selling many CDs.
10. Talking about this, What do you think that is most important criterion for you assessing the value of the release? Is it your personal feeling and knowledge about the CD, the press, the response of the audience etc?
Oliver König: The most important thing is that we are pleased with our work and that we have done our best. If people like it afterwards thats perfect, but we don't give too much on the response we get from the press. Anyway, at the moment we didn't get any negative feedback.
11. In my opinion the most profound song on the album is "In unendlicher Vergessenheit" which subsequently made the hair on my arms and neck stand on end. Is there a particular favorite song of yours that has the most personal meaning to you ?
Dominik Phillip: My personal favourite is „Für immer Schweigen“, because i like the melodies and the choir parts in this song very much. „Strom der Tränen“ has it's moments too. But the song that is the most personal one really is „In unendlicher Vergessenheit“, this song contains much emotion within the music and the lyrics. Also thank you for the compliment on this one.
12. Can you explain the method of songwriting employed by FIRTAN? Is the writing process generally collective or does one member often craft the song on his own? How important is the keyboard as an instrument in the band, and how do you develop these parts?
Oliver König: The songwriting is mostly done by Phillip. He develops the songs and we sometimes make little changes together afterwards. The drums are written by our drummer Martin and i write most parts of my bass stuff, but the music itself is written by Phillip.
Dominik Phillip: I develope the keys with the help of the programms guitar pro and tux guitar, this helps me to keep everything together.
The keyboard is important to create an atmosphere.
13. What is deeply in your mind when you’re making the texts (lyrics) of your songs? What`s the reason you are using your nature tongue and not english?
Dominik Phillip: I write the lyrics to speak about problems, that i think this society has (religion, pollution). Also i think german is perfectly harsh and aggresive to spread my message with emphasis, it just feels right to use my mother tounge, it's easier to express myself.
14. German's black metal scene is quite big and has a lot of many great bands. Do you think that the fact you are coming from there helps you in a way or is it bad because of the big circle of good bands?
Dominik Phillip: It can help you a lot, because there are many influential persons. But on the other hand you can sink very fast in this ocean of bands.
Oliver König: I think we profit from our metal scene here in germany, because we are able to play many gigs and we're getting much support, but the fact that we are a german band itself won't help us at all, I think.
15. As black metal has germinated and sprouted, it has achieved a commercial viability that could not possibly have been foreseen when the art form was taking its first steps in Sweden, Germany and other countries. Do you believe that there are principles and ethics in black metal that should not be violated? Is black metal necessarily an underground phenomenon anathema to commercial aspirations? What do you think about this development?
Dominik Phillip: Black Metal is an Underground-Music but it is egoism to say it just belongs to some people that are „worthy“. All this true and untrue shit, i don't care! I just want to do the music i like, and if it gets popular I'm glad with it! But like i said, we just have black metal elements in our music. Only thing i can say: most BM bands go other ways when they are famous, you can't say that this is black metal anymore, that's commercialization.
Oliver König: In my opinion the "true" black metal spirit can't be combined with popular music, because black metal is an underground phenomenon. The popular black metal bands today haven't got much in common with the old black metal bands.
Phillip is totally right.
16. You've been playing a number of shows recently, do you have a good reputation for your performances? are live shows a central aspect of FIRTAN? What have been the best and worst live experiences you've had?
Oliver König: Live shows are definitely very important for us. We love beein on stage and performing our music live.
The funny thing is our best and our worst show were on the same day. We had two shows this evening and the first one was a litte club show. There were 4 guys standing in front of the stage without moving for the whole concert and some older ladies in the back who were clapping their hands after every song. Not a really great live experience... but the next show that evening was totally great. It was a show we played with swiss bands Abinchova and Atritas and we were the last band for the evening. Although we started playing after 1 am the croud was still very energetic and we had a lot of fun.
Dominik Phillip: We had the best and baddest live experience at one day actually. There where two gigs in our region, the first one was sobering, there where no people and all the cables in the club were broken. The second one was awesome, it was very late through, but the stage was great and the crowd gave everything althrough it was late.
17. OK dudes, that´s all for now, thanks a lot for your co-operation. I hope you enjoy this interview.. Some words you like to add?
Oliver König: Sure... thanks for your support and thanks to all people out there who bought our CD and help us to do the music we want to!
Dominik Phillip: I would like to thank everybody who supports us and thank you for this interview!