Interview with Drēogan in Meridian 9 Magazine, Issue 3

When you formed the project that would later become Peordh it was originally entitled Bergelmir, after a frost giant in Norse mythology. The switch in name came about due to a change in lyrical philosophy and song structure as I understand it?

I changed the name because I felt the name of the project should reflect the entire point of the project, which had evolved as I worked on evolving the music. So in that sense, the lyrical philosophy, or more simply, just the philosophy of the whole project, since I don't separate lyrics out as the only thing affected by the core philosophy, caused me to change the name.

The structures of the songs on the Bergelmir demo are much different than on the first Peordh album, but that was unrelated to the name. In fact, An Obscure Forgotten Path was originally submitted as a demo under the Bergelmir name, and some of the lyrics were essentially unused parts from the early demo songs that I had altered a bit. I later changed the name of the project to Peordh before its release. So, you can see the change in name really was unrelated to change in style; it was simply a function of my abilities as a composer.

Your first album “An Obscure Forgotten Path” was rather dark and rooted in traditional Black Metal, whilst “Glaring From Spacious Woods and Mountains of Eternal Frost” has a warmer and much lighter tone to it. This was an intentional progression of style and we will be seeing more of the same in future releases I take it?

This change was indeed intentional. As I mentioned in a previous interview, these two albums should be seen as two parts of a whole. The intention was to create a sort of duality between absolute despair and realization of a fulfilling, purposeful life. I don't think Peordh will progress from one album to the next with small alterations in style, but rather the changes are simply what are required for the concept of the album and so will change abruptly.

The concept of the album drives its entirety; the tone, stylistic leanings (in reference to genre), artwork, lyrics, and everything else is decided by the entire backing concept. I take the idea of a “concept album” as far as possible. For me, it is very hard to write a song or whole album when I do not have an underlying purpose to it. I don't create music just for the sake of itself, but rather to describe the core concept. If the listener does not understand even generally what these ideas are, they might have a problem enjoying it as intended.

So, as for future releases, it simply depends on the concept of the album. I can say that there will be a revisiting of the general tones depicted on the first two albums as well as new, unexplored ones. Peordh does not pursue just one tone, but rather the whole spectrum as an all-encompassing body of all essentialities.

Your lyrical content is very personal and often rooted in nature and, after a little interpretation by the listener, reveals what you were thinking/feeling at the time of their composition. Will future releases delve deeper into your own thoughts and emotions or will we see broader themes and less personal exploration?

This is an interesting question, because I was considering the same thing while looking at the next album's lyrics. The way I have organized future releases concerning this topic is that the LP's will not longer follow the format of personal lyrics. They will be much more unusual and abstract. The reason for this change is simply that the concepts for future LP's are less on a personal story or journal and more on a journey of things on a much larger scale. However, they are still related to the essential core concepts of Peordh, otherwise they would become a new project altogether.

Somewhat recently though, I thought of continuing the style of Glaring..., since I figured there was still some unexplored avenues in this vein. It was then that I decided to implement this idea in the format of an EP, since it seems to be more of a footnote to Glaring... rather than a new concept in general. So this future EP (which will hopefully be presented as part of a split album with another project) will focus again on the personal style of lyrics. I might do other such EP's/splits in the future to follow in this personal style as footnotes or continuations to previous concepts, but I do not have any specific ideas for those yet. If this does happen, maybe we will see Peordh follow two paths of conceptual styles in the interim period, and if all goes smoothly, the release of each type will rotate (LP, EP/split, LP, EP/split, etc.).

This question is not intended as a slight or insult, but upon viewing the cover to “Glaring From...” I couldn't help but chuckle. It appears to me that there is a certain amount of humor woven into the image of a lone axe wielding man glowering down at a modern settlement. That and the rather long album title. Was this intentional or am I just a total ass?

You're an ass. Haha. No. Seriously though, if others have the same opinion, I guess I did not do it correctly. I don't put humor anywhere in Peordh, so if something is funny, it's because it is unintentionally “cheesy”. While I was working on Glaring... (Yes, I know it is a long title, but I like to be descriptive.), I had the concept for the cover in my head. Sometimes when you try to implement such a cover, it doesn't turn out exactly as you imagined. In this case, it was as close as I could get it. I'm satisfied with it. I think both covers are particularly original, and I will always strive for that. It could have been much worse, believe me...

You've sited Varg Vikernes of Burzum as one of your primary influence: Now that he has been released from prison he has stated that he will begin writing music again. Do you think his contributions to Black Metal will still be relevant considering his long incarceration and the many different personal/philosophical changes he has undergone?

I think he will always be influential, no matter what he does; he has celebrity status in Norway and possibly the rest of the world. Whether it is a positive influence or not is a different matter. But I think most of what he has contributed has been positive, so I only see more positive things to come, especially now that he has gone through so many changes to a more mature person, as you have stated.

Concerning the music specifically, since that is what you and most are really interested in, I think so. He is a creative guy, and I don't think he will bother releasing anything if it mediocre. It will probably sound a lot like his old music, but maybe with a different spin on it. I think that's what everyone is hoping for, anyway. People are probably concerned that since he has been disconnected from other Black Metal music for so many years in prison that his effort will be outdone by other bands that are perhaps much more advanced than him now. Really? Is Black Metal that much different than before he was imprisoned? I think the rest of the bands have now just caught up to some of the ideas he pioneered. If anything, I think being disconnected from everyone else will give his music an even more original quality. But I guess we will have to wait and see. In the mean time, people should probably stop calling him a “Nazi” and that sort of nonsense. After all, who the hell wants to release music to a public that acts like deranged children? I sure wouldn't.

“Without philosophical Paganism,” you've said, “I would probably be long dead.” Can you expand on this statement and perhaps share some of your beliefs on the subject?

That was a reference to suicide, but who knows how my life would have been. (Perhaps that's a bit dramatic.) As far as I see it, I was destined to discover the things I have and therefore no such life could exist, so it really doesn't matter how I would have been without philosophical Paganism. As far as philosophical Paganism, that is at the core of Peordh and all my serious efforts, and so it is much too large of a subject to expand on here. I recommend reading some articles on Burzum.org as a start, since his ideas are pretty similar to my own on this subject (and indeed helped form my own ideas).

In addition to Peordh you have a side project entitled Xtaodecas that serves as an outlet for your negative and sickly emotions. Can you share any further information about this project or do you prefer to keep things on the obscure side?

Like I said before, there is not much information on Xtaodecas, and I would like to keep it this way. I am not even entirely sure what I am attempting to portray with the project. It seems to be more of a direct, spontaneous, unplanned style of music of a drone or experimental, soundscape style.

You played in an anti-emo garage band before taking on Peordh full time, and had moderate success in squishing this obnoxious counter culture. Do you think the attitude and image of this sub-culture is particularly damaging Metal as a whole or will the similarities in musical style not matter once this trend has passed?

Well, if you ask me (and probably anyone who listens to Metal), the two genres are not similar at all. People oblivious to both genres might see some similarity in “screaming” or “loudness”, but I'd say that's as far as it goes. Just because you use distortion pedals on your guitars does not make you a Metal band. The sentiment behind the Emo style is absolutely different and contrary to Metal. Metal is commonly about strength, assertion, power, enthronement, and sincerity. Emo is about weakness, trend, failure, self-pity, and self-denial. Good Metal is the product of rising above the mass. Emo is about slowing the mass down even further. So, naturally, I hated (and still do) everything Emo stands for and hence tried to introduce Metal properly. The blurring of the two genres comes when bands attempt to gain success by artificially blending the two. But of course this doesn't work, as there is no way to blend the two. It is quite obvious to the serious Metal enthusiast what is Metal and what is not. I think these said enthusiasts do a good job of calling out the false bands when they seen them, so this problem will eventually die, as more people are educated.

You contributed two tracks to the Folk Earth project by the names of “Drakkars in the Mist” and “Father of Victory.” As I understand it you presented these songs to the organizer of Folk Earth because they didn't fit with any of your other projects at the time?

That's correct. I read about them somewhere on the Internet and ended up writing some songs that fit straight with their Folk Metal style, so I contacted Ruslanas, who organizes these matters for Folkearth, to see if he was interested. He was, so the two best tracks ended up where you stated. This is about the extent of my involvement in Folkearth. They are pretty good tracks, but I could write much better ones today; they were written around the same time as An Obscure Forgotten Path and with not much seriousness. Like I mentioned in the last interview, I will probably write some new songs for them sometime in the future, but it isn't a priority right now.

You live in an area that is relatively barren when it comes to a Black/Pagan Metal scene and have very little contact with other Virginia based bands. Do you find that the relative isolation from an “official Metal scene” has played an important role in the development of your music? I've read that you now prefer to compose alone following several attempts at full sized bands that didn't pan out...

I do. I think not being able to find any other people in my area that I wish to cooperate on music with in this genre has made Peordh much more personal and specific than it would have been with other members. Peordh was always intended to be a solo project, so even if I knew others interested in cooperating, I would have started a separate project for that. Not having others directly influence Peordh's style probably makes it more serious than some other notable bands were at their conception. For instance, Immortal seemed (and still seems) to be half serious and half a bunch of friends joking around and making music. Varg Vikernes had Euonymous play that “cool solo” on “War”. On Aske you could hear Burzum continuing in the same Venom-esque, rock-'n-roll sounding style. He, of course, reversed this trend on Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, but other bands were not so willing. Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Satyricon, etc., all push their image as “Black Metal”, but are in fact only watered-down versions of their original concepts. I think that, had they been solo projects, that transition would never have happened, because the temptation to want to play live and such wouldn't have existed as strongly.

More on this topic, I can say that these bands all have at least one true Black Metal album (usually the first one), but are now more just vehicles of theater. I can say one good thing about them though: they act as “gateway” bands to real Black Metal (I know, because, I admit, that it was through these bands that I even got into Black Metal and relating genres and ideologies.), but does that outdo the damage to the label “Black Metal” and opinions of the other bands that use this title? As Knjaz Varggoth so eloquently put it, “Explode the bomb on their gig?” Maybe not, but I'll definitely attempt (and succeed) at outdoing them so people can see the true music!

About the full-sized bands I was in, there isn't much to talk about here. They were not even true Black Metal. We played some very small shows mostly in front of Emo kids who looked at us with quizzical stares. It was more just funny to play where we obviously were not wanted or understood. Either way, I doubt Peordh will ever play live, and if that does happen, it will probably not be in the conventional Metal way, but in a more sedated and mystical way associated with Darkwave projects and other types of non-dance electronic music. If I start announcing Peordh as direct support to Lamb of God or something, do me a favor and boycott Peordh. I wouldn't want a bomb to explode at my gig, but if that is needed to stop such a rampage of demeanment, so be it.

Do you have a release date in mind for your next album? Is there anything you can tell us about this project or will we simply have to wait and see?

I am currently putting the final finishing touches on the third release, which will hopefully be out at the end of the year on BlackMetal.com Records, but it could be sooner or later than that. It's hard to say how quickly the releases after that will be, though. I am convinced the U.S. economy is going to completely collapse as the U.S.D. is getting inflated and possibly hyper-inflated, but I don't know how many years (or months) it will be until there is a drastic effect from that, so there is nothing much I can do about it concerning Peordh except move forward. Expect the split album sometime after the third album. There might be a release by a side-project I am working on around that time as well. Hard to tell.

Thank you very much for slogging through these long winded questions. If I missed anything or if there is anything at all you would like to add, feel free to do so!

Hey, thanks for the interview! Always good to give my opinions!

-Drēogan

April 29, 2009


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