Interview with Drēogan, by 72 Djinn of the Goetia (Black Metal Zine)

Can you give us a brief history of the band?

This project (I refer to bands as projects which contain more than one person, who typically rehearse and play live) was created in autumn of 2004 with the name “Bergelmir”. Bergelmir is a frost giant from Norse mythology, his important feature being (according to Snorri Sturluson) that only he and his wife survived the ocean of blood, which had poured forth from the wound of Ymir after Ymir had been slain by Odin and Odin's brothers. The concept behind choosing this name was that I saw myself as someone who would survive some theoretical, world-encompassing catastrophe, and thus naming myself this as well.

I worked on recording tracks for a full-length release right away. They were my first attempts at this style of music, and so were somewhat amateur, but I think I pulled off the general concepts I wanted to present, fairly well. After working on them and messing with the recordings, I sent off very few (I think it was actually only one) demos to try and get the songs legitimately released. This was unsuccessful, so I started on new material that would turn into the first Peordh album. I am considering releasing some kind of demo collection containing pre-An Obscure Forgotten Path demo songs.

After finishing An Obscure Forgotten Path, I sent a demo C.D. to various labels I thought would be interested. Records expressed a lot of interest in releasing it, which of course made me very excited. After some conversation and time thinking about the project, I realized my initial philosophy of the project had matured enough that the name “Bergelmir” was no longer applicable. I henceforth called the project Peordh. (For the meaning of the name and other essential information, read a previous article I wrote, which is entitled “Statement on the Existence of This Project” and available on the official Peordh website.) After that point, it is fairly standard and predictable.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you?

Complicated, particular, “deep”, thorough, intelligent.

According to Encyclopedia Metallum you have been in several bands before; can you explain who they are and what style of music they played?

I've been a part of multiple other projects. Folkearth is probably the most well known of these. Folkearth is an international Folk/Viking Metal project that takes many different people's ideas and recordings from around the world and creates a final product. I've been generally happy with the music. It is good, fun music to listen to; we all need that kind of normality and unseriousness once in a while. While I say that, some of the tracks are about some very serious things, such as famous, historical wars and ancient battles for freedom. But it is all done in a rather light-hearted way. Overall, I also like the concept it presents: unification of European peoples in a common project that recognizes and celebrates the similarities in all our Pagan cultures. Once again, done in a rather light-hearted way. My contributions thus far have been the song writing as well as guitar and bass playing on two songs (one on Drakkars in the Mist and the other on Father of Victory). These were just songs that I realized didn't fit anywhere else, and after I discovered Folkearth, I contacted the main guy who organizes it to see if they were interested in the tracks. I am currently considering new tracks for future Folkearth releases.

The other project I am currently active in is Xtaodecas. There is not much information about this project available, and I think I will keep it this way. It is a project I do with rocker666. It is some kind of experimental, drone, industrial project that I put all my negative, sickly energy into.

Garrisoned was an amateur, more standard Metal project I was a part of a few years ago. We did one serious EP, self-released it, and then disbanded it. Overall, I think it was good for me at that stage, but is generally amateur songwriting and leans on the technical side. Though, I could be going too hard on myself. It mainly helped with my training in production techniques and experience. I've also been in a couple of “garage” bands (the only real bands I've been in), and they were amateur, but necessary because they showed me the value of doing things myself and professionally, rather than worrying about playing live and things like that. They did also help with some technical aspects, such as drum training. Before that, I had a very amateur I.D.M. project(s), which was before I was introduced to any type of worthwhile Metal. (I think I had heard of Metallica at the time, but really wanted nothing to do with Metal until I discovered the more extreme styles.)

How would you describe the progression between your new and old material?

Obviously, I learn from past mistakes, pick up new techniques, and gain experience as I progress from one album to the next, but there has also been a definite style change. Each album has a distinct, separate sound and style to the point where the unwitting might think they are indeed from separate projects. But, as far as underlying concept and the unique aspects of my music that only I can make, they are all a part of the unifying concept of Peordh. The first album is dark, depressing, hopeless, and disgruntled, whereas the second is hopeful, light, determined, lively, and adventurous. This was intentional, as it is a part of the core, underlying theme of the two. They are meant to be seen as two parts of a whole, in stark contrast with each other, with some aspects of each part leaking over to the other. Careful interpretation of the lyrics should provide you with a general understanding of this theme.

Mood and thematic aspects aside, there is a definite, gradual change in my musical approach as I mature. This is yet to be heard, because it becomes apparent more on future albums that have yet to be released. I like to have a unique and very different sound on each album, as that keeps things fresh and me interested, as well as describes the different concepts better.

Any plans for any future releases?

Yes! Many! I have enough concepts to definitely last for 10 more albums, and I am sure I will be thinking of new ones along the way! As long as I am alive, I will be releasing music, even if I am doing other things along side it.

How would you describe the lyrical content of the music?

My lyrics (for the first two albums) are very personal, written from the view of my own experiences. They really describe personal journeys I go on. Read them and interpret them for yourselves!

What are main influences music wise or non-music wise?

For the first album, my main musical influences were Burzum (Hvis Lyset Tar Oss) and Nargaroth (Herbstleyd and Geliebte des Regens). For the second album, my main musical influence was Drudkh (Кров у Наших Криницях). Graveland has also been a consistent, musical influence since the formation of Peordh. I will include newer influences for yet-released albums in future interviews.

Non-music-wise (meaning not audio content), those most influential to me as personalities from the “scene” are probably Varg Vikernes, Robert Fudali, and Roman Saenko. They have always been very important figures for me. Those influential that are unrelated to the music would be some fantasy authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien and “Robert Jordan”, politicians such as Vladimir Putin and Ron Paul, polymaths like Leonardo da Vinci, and my family. There are many more, but I can't seem to think of them at the moment, for whatever reason.

What are you listening to these days and what bands would you recommend?

My most-recent, first-time listen is Black Water Path by Leadhaze. It was created by one of the main guys of Kroda from Ukraine. I really recommend it, as well as all the Kroda material. They have been a huge influence on my style recently. In fact, almost all Pagan-related bands from Eastern Europe, I highly recommend. They are very good at infusing their culture with their music, and, of course, it helps that their culture is much richer and more intact than here in the “West”.

What rule does Paganism play in your music and lifestyle?

Everything. Philosophical Paganism is my music and life. Without it, I would probably be long dead.

Are there any good books or films that you would recommend?

At the moment, I am reading The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, which is a very long fantasy series, but I really have enjoyed it thus far. Some of the characters' experiences have shaped my mentality greatly, especially in past times of crisis. As far as non-fiction, I'd recommend the classic philosophical ones, such as Nietzsche, and more psychological ones, like Carl Jung. I really enjoyed A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking when I read it a while ago. Again, there are many more, but they aren't coming to mind at the moment.

Some influential movies and shows for me (and my music) have been Braveheart, Gladiator, Patriot and similar ones. Once again, this question should be asked again in another interview, because I can come up with many more. But these are probably some of the more important ones, none-the-less.

How would you describe the metal scene in Virginia, and what are some good bands from that state to look out for?

Well, I would say “Metal scene” and “Black Metal/Pagan Metal scene” are very different, especially in this area. We have mainstream Metal bands like Lamb of God, whom I don't really care for. As for a Metal scene, in the area I grew up in (Hampton Roads in the Southeast) there is a fairly small one. It is really nothing compared the Emo scene, which is some kind of childish, trendy, trash-like culture where teenagers whine with snotty noses about some nonexistent girlfriend dumping them. They all like to hang out at the local mall and waste their lives away in wretched moodiness. It is all really very pitiful, and this is the area's counter-culture! In fact, the “garage” band I mentioned playing in above was really about being anti-Emo and trying to crush this nonsense (and we actually succeeded to whenever we would play in some local shithole).

So, with a standard Metal scene in this bad of a shape, you can imagine a Black Metal scene is basically nonexistent. I have not heard of a single underground Black Metal band from the area playing a single show in this entire area ever (though, correct me if I am wrong; I am not very well connected). I myself only exist in my current situation because of the Internet and its ability to spread information from anywhere in the world.

As far as the remainder of the state goes, I doubt any rural areas have people who play standard Metal, though I actually think the Black and Pagan Metal might be more prevalent in this case, since such projects are usually inspired by lonely, isolated people reflecting in nature. The Richmond area probably has a larger normal Metal scene because of Lamb of God, and the D.C. area I know is home to Grand Belial's Key, but I don't know them and haven't talked to any of them. Another project I know of is Gurtholfinn, who had contacted me, but I haven't heard anything new from them lately. There may be more, and I apologize if I didn't mention anyone obvious, but I really don't pay much attention to other bands as a matter of scene since they are so few and far between. I really hope to inspire some kind of interest in Pagan Metal in my state.

What direction do you see the music going into the future?

Probably into a more orchestral, mature, original style of Metal-based high music. You'll just have to wait and see. :)

Any final words?

Thank you very much for the good questions! This is Peordh's first official interview, and I am glad to get some of these basic questions out of the way and hope for some more particular ones about philosophy and concepts of the music in the future from whomever that might be.

Thanks for the interview!

Thank you!


February 12, 2009

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