Based of Denmark, the mighty Huldre convey dark and mystical tales of intrigue that are wondrous to behold. Fans of acts such as Korpiklaani and Finntroll will surely want to explore the folk metal reveries Huldre has to offer. Intet Menneskebarn is the name of Huldre’s latest magnum opus, a stunning adventure is sound sure to enchant and haunt all who give a good listen. Here is a recent interview we conducted with the Huldre collective to find out more about their adventurous music. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Huldre, and how long the band has been together.
Nanna Barslev: I’m the lead vocalist and writer of most of the text in Huldre.
The idea of a folkmetalband started for some of us many years ago, at that time the folkmetal was not ordinary seen in Denmark. Some of us started playing together in 2006, but the band took its final shape in 2009.
Laura: I’m playing the violin, and basically compose all the violin-things. Our general way of working/composing is that each musician is responsible for his/her own things, but of course everyone is open to suggestions from the rest of the band 🙂
Bjarne: Im the bass player and I also handle a lot of the managerial tasks related to being in a band. The three of us started with an idea that would eventually refine into Huldre in 2009 but as Nanna says; we began this journey back in 2006.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local metal/music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
Bjarne: We are based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Generally the music scene here is filled with quality bands within all sorts of genres. Some of my favorite Copenhagen based bands include the likes of Afenginn (Bastard Ethno), Solbrud (Blackmetal), Tako Lako (Gypsy/Alternative), one-man-blackmetal-army Eldjudnir (where I have the honor of being part of the live lineup) and of course local pirates Dead Men’s Tales with whom we share rehearsal room. Oh yeah and Iniquity are doing some reunion tour this year which I’m really excited about. Those guys have made some of the finest death metal the world has ever seen.
Laura: I’m with Bjarne on this one.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the new album Intet Menneskebarn?
Nanna: The songs and the album cover have some recurrent themes with dark and strange tales about the meeting between the human and the nature and nature creatures/spirits, some of the song also have a pagan undertone. We specially wanted to express the hidden Huldre nature creature in the album cover.
Select two songs from Intet Menneskebarn and what inspired the lyrical content?
Nanna: “Trold” is a one of the songs where you in the rhythm instruments almost can feel the Troll trample through the forest, the lyrics are inspired of themes from common old folklore tails about the angry troll who destroys a village.
“Ulvevinter” is inspired of the Nordic winter where the dark and cold rules and effect humans mood.
Has Huldre ever toured here in the States? If so, what was the experience like?
Bjarne: Not yet but we of course hope to do so sooner rather than later.
What could one expect from a live Huldre show?
Nanna: Presence and intensity, changing moods and involvement in dance and whatever we could find in the situation, occasionally we have Viking fighters and a fire show on stage.
Laura: Great music, beautiful people, lots of hair – and candy 😉
Who did the cover art for Intet Menneskebarn and how much input did you have on it?
Bjarne: We hired a good friend of ours, an artist named Kristina Tandrup Gittesdatter whom we have worked with previously in other projects. We all enjoy her art so it seemed obvious to work with her for the cover. We basically went to her with an overall vision for the cover and together we agreed on how we should execute it. From there we basically gave her peace to work and create the stunning artwork, but of course we had inputs and discussions along the way. We are very happy about the result.
Her art can be found at Njordfoto.dk
What is your favorite Danish beer and why?
Bjarne: A good friend of mine is involved in the brewing of “Djævlebryg” which directly translates to “The devils brew”. They specialize in dark beers, and they are really really good. The sad part (for me) is that at the moment you will probably have more luck finding them in the states than here in Denmark.
Nanna : ahhh I can recommend many Danish beers. All beers from Skovlyst Bryghus; fine ingredients from the forest. Thisted Bryghus and one of our friends brew historical beers from Ølsmeden, he gave us a special Huldre-beer at our releaseparty.
Laura: Danish brewery Thisted Bryghus brews a FABULOUS beer named “Porse Guld” which is made with Bog Myrtle (aka Sweet Gale) instead of hops. Not to forget “Ale no. 16” from Refsvindinge!
Nanna Barslev has a stunning voice! What kind of vocal training has she had and who are some of her influences?
Nanna: Thanks a lot 🙂 , I am mostly self-taught , I have been singing since childhood and experimented with expressions in the voice through rock and medieval/folk-music. I think I have been inspired from bands I listen to in the nineties such as the Swedish “Garmarna”, The Dutch “The Gathering” (with Anneke) and Norwegian “Third and the Mortal”.
If you could open up for any band either now or from the past, what band would would that be and why?
Nanna: I think it could be cool to warm up for bands like Finntroll, Eluveitie and Nightwish because our music is different from theirs, but we still share some of the mythical universe. I also think that we maybe appeals to the same kind of audience.
Laura: Personally I’d love to play together with Finntroll or The Pogues.
What’s up in this New Year for Huldre?
Bjarne: A lot of composing, a lot of concerts and we hope to be able to start recording a new album towards the end of the year.
Nanna : yes, and we plan to record a video for one of our songs
Any final words of wisdom?
Laura: Be strong, never give up unless there’s no other way out and remember to serve your beer cold!
Bjarne: May your beer be forever plentiful!
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! Hope to see Huldre out here in the States sometime.
Nanna: you are welcome and thanks a lot for the interest in our band and music, and we will hope to play in the States in the future. Please tell us if you can recommend a venue or a club or if you know any places there would like to set up a concert for Huldre? 🙂
Vocal: Nanna Barslev
Violin: Laura Emilie Beck
HurdyGurdy/Flutes: Troels Dueholm Nørgaard
Guitar: Lasse Olufson
Bass: Bjarne Kristiansen
Drums: Jacob Lund
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)
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