The Dawning of the Almighty Varus
The Dawning of the Almighty Varus
The almigthy Varus from Germany present their own inspiring brand of Symphonic Folk Metal that will captivate the senses and set the imagination in flight. A New Dawn is the name of their latest magnum opus, a stunning auditory adventure that should garner the band a good deal of fans above and beyond their Bamberg home base. Highwire Daze recently interviewed vocalist Konstantin Raab to find out more about Varus and the explosive tapestries found within A New Dawn. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Varus and how long the band has been together.
Hey there! I‘m Konstantin and I‘m the lead singer, keyboardist, flute and mandolin player for Varus. We‘ve been a band since 2012 with a few line-up changes from then on.
Where are you based out and what is your local music scene like there?
Most of us hail from Bamberg in Southern Germany, that‘s where our rehearsal spot is and most of the action happens. There are quite a few locally based bands, most not too big but it‘s an active scene with lots of Rock, Indie and Alternative going on. Now we‘ve also got a few more extreme groups here, though most of them are rooted in the more modern Metal styles. Unfortunately, we do lack a specific scene pub or venue.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the A New Dawn CD title?
While it‘s not a concept album, recurring themes are liberty and leaving old habits behind. On top, we‘ve got two drinking songs, as well as a farewell song dedicated to the passing of a friend.
Select two songs from A New Dawn and what inspired the lyrics?
If I were to choose, I‘d take the title track A New Dawn and Ein Lebewohl (eng.: A Farewell).
The first being a motivational and powerful song with a very grand, epic vibe. Actually, the lyrics were inspired by personal experiences and they‘re mostly about breaking up with people that are narrow-minded and suppressive. In the song‘s lyrics, the narrator tells a story about oppression and fighting for freedom.
Ein Lebewohl is dedicated our friend Eduard, who played guitars for German Pagan Metal band Wolfchant and had been very close to us. He sadly died in 2017 from cancer, so the lyrics are mourning about his passing and they‘re incredibly emotional. A few lines are inspired by the Heiligenstadt Testament, written by Ludwig Van Beethoven as he nearly lost his mind and hearing.
Who did the cover art for A New Dawn and how much input did you have on it?
Our fantastic cover art has been created by Belén Morante Velasco (Monito Illustration) and we certainly had a lot of influence on it. Actually, I had a quite clear vision in my head on how it should look like and she totally nailed it!
What has it been like to record and release new music In the middle of a worldwide pandemic and so much social unrest in the world?
Apart from not being able to play any release show, it wasn‘t that different, to be honest. The good thing was, that we didn‘t have to prepare for a huge live release and could focus very much on promotion and content. There was a discussion, if we should wait with the album release but then decided we want to give our fans our music, especially during this crisis.
How does A New Dawn compare to your previous release Till The Sun Rises?
I think, it‘s way more mature, with better arrangements and a huge leap forward in sound. We had some major line-up changes over the past years which certainly contributed to that. However, you gain experience over the years, be it in arrangements, instrument skills or mixing. Moreover, I‘m still the main composer but your inspiration and influences change constantly and so does the music that you write.
What could one expect from a live Varus show?
You can expect a high amount of energy and movement on stage! Playing the songs is just one aspect but delivering a powerful show is our personal goal. We strive for giving our fans a unique experience.
What was it like opening for Welicoruss and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
It was great! I mean, they‘re nice guys and we did meet them before and after the show. They‘re of course very professional but down-to-earth people and treat everybody great.
If Varus could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
A fitting band for me personally would be Turisas. They‘re music is super diverse and always up for a surprise. Apart from that, I think Ensiferum would be cool dudes to play a show and hang out with.
Both groups have been a huge influence on our music.
What’s up next for Varus?
Dawn has just been released, I‘ve already finished what might be the title track for the next album. There‘s so much material that we won‘t be short of songs before the next 3-4 albums.
Any final words of wisdom?
We‘re looking forward to the future and would be glad, if you give our new record a spin. Take care and stay healthy during these uncertain times. We‘re all in it together and will go through it together. Thank you all for supporting us and thank you guys for having us doing this interview with all those interesting questions!
Currently, we‘re still promoting our album and working on some visual stuff – stage outfits, backdrop and the likes. As there are no gigs before September, we can all focus on personal things as well. Oh, and we‘re renovating our rehearsal space to make it more cozy.
Konstantin Raab • Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Flutes
Stefan Schwarz • Guitars/Backing Vocals
Norbert Caspar • Bass
Max Betz • Drums
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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