Interview: Fortid

(c) Fortid

Das Interview mit den neuen Pagan Heroes in „Englischer Originalfassung“:

Fortid released their new album „Pagan Prophecies“ on Friday, August 24th. In addition to the review (in German) we’d like to provide you with some further information about the album, the new full line-up and Fortid’s plans for the future. Hi! Congratulations for a superb album! But before we talk about „Pagan Prophecies“ I would like to ask a few questions in general. First of all, please introduce yourself and your band to our readers.

E. Thorberg: Hello and thank you! I am E. Thorberg, also known as Eldur. I started Fortid in 2002 as a solo project. I’ve been working with few selected session musicians through the years while writing a trilogy named Völuspá. Those albums came out in 2003, 2007 and 2010. I moved from Iceland to Norway in late 2008 and recruited members for a full line-up band. We’ve been playing some live shows in few European countries since 2009 while rehearsing and preparing for this new one. The other members of Fortid today are R. Jonsson, Ø. Hansen and D. Theobald. Having now a full band what are the main differences compared to the solo project it used to be?

E. Thorberg: The biggest difference of course is being able to present the material live. Also as Fortid goes through actual rehearsals for the first time, a lot of things get the chance to shape and reconstruct before ending up on the album. We focused also on the material being possible to deliver on stage, instead of this studio project that it used to be. What was the reason for your move from Iceland to Norway?

E. Thorberg: I did not find a steady ground for myself in Iceland. The band I was playing in at the time had members moving away and it proved difficult to form a new line-up with the limited selection of musicians that were around for this type of music. I just felt I had to try something new and change environment. Now, 4 years later my musical career keeps me busier than ever before, plus that I am now married to a Norwegian woman. I might possibly have moved back to Iceland by now if it wasn’t for those things.

(c) Fortid – E.Thorberg With „Völuspá Part III: Fall of the Ages“ you completed a series. Where do you locate „Pagan Prophecies“? Is it the beginning of a new series or kind of an interludium?

E. Thorberg: It is not a part of any series. I think the best way is to look at it as experimental stage. It is somewhat of a platform towards a new era of Fortid’s evolution. Whether we end up embarking on another series later on is currently undecided. You named your new album „Pagan Prophecies“. Could you amplify this?

E. Thorberg: The title is inspired by the Edda poems, more precisely the Völuspá which is about our ancestor philosophy and visions of the world. The Völuspá poems tell the story of Óðinn and a seeress who predicts to him the end of the world. The Pagan Prophecies is in short a modernized Ragnarök concept. „Electric Horizon“ has quite dark lyrics, especially with „Misanthropic, hateful mind – Catastrophic humankind“. What’s its context?

E. Thorberg: Electric Horizon symbolized manmade structures spreading so vastly that it has detached us from our roots and connection with nature. The obsolete religions of Christianity and Islam clash within this new world as powerthursty men employ it as an excuse for their own greed. It is about war, deadly machinery, mass murders, pollution, destruction, as our weak and tolerant society turns a blind eye to the truth while sinking into the empty capitalism. This is a dark world we live in and the filth thrives on the inconcevience of facing our problems. Where do you find inspiration for your lyrics?

E. Thorberg: On this particular album, they come from the old Icelandic/Norwegian paganism and the attempt to connect it to the modern world. In general I write lyrics about anything that comes to mind and inspiration can come from countless different things. There is a hidden track on „Pagan Prophecies“, which is, well, quite unusual. What’s your interpretation?

E. Thorberg: As the Ragnarök prophecy comes to an end, the world sinks in the sea. The direct quote to Völuspá is “sígur fold í mar”. Pagan Prophecies is a concept album dealing with Ragnarök, so the attempt was to bring that vision to live by keeping an out on sea thunderstorm playing for a long while. If you find 18 minutes excessive, imagine an eternity of such fate. Then again, if you have no such desires you can always press the stop button or even better, switch the album back to the beginning. We did not expect everyone to want to listen to this but we certainly did not expect anyone having a problem with it either. You combine a lot of different metal genres on „Pagan Prophecies“, which make especially the longer tracks very interesting and tantalizing. Is this an effect of the newly created band?

(c) Fortid

E. Thorberg: I think it has a lot to do with all of us listening to quite a large spectrum of music genres overall, not solely metal. We have spent countless of hours playing all kinds of music to each other ranging from the 80’s to our current day and we pretty much seem to like the same stuff with very few exceptions. There was no focus on sticking to a specific idea when it came to the riffs. It was more about using whatever sounded good and felt right to us. How was the recording with a full band compared to the former recordings with guest musicians?

E. Thorberg: It was a lot slower process than usual, but a much more precise one. Everyone got pushed for the perfect take every time and there was no room made for tiniest mistake. It is a different vibe going on as well when you have a whole band in the studio working on the same thing along with some curious friends popping over every now and then. Doing an album alone is a lonely thing when even the session guys only drop in for a couple of sessions but don’t stay around or get too involved in the whole process. It is of course always an advantage as well to get a whole band’s opinion on how things are going. When the whole band likes the outcome, well then we pretty much know we have something good in the making. As Fortid is a full band now, how about live performances? Are there even plans for a tour? It would be great to see you on stage!

E. Thorberg: We did a European mini tour in late May, but since then we have had holidays and some personal issues going on as well. On top of that I have been working on a new project with the Sólstafir drummer as well as recording a new album with Curse. R. Jonsson is working on new material with his death n’ roll band Forcefed Horsehead and Mr. Theobald has been working with me on Curse, plus bands such as Loveplanet, Den Saakalte and Sarkom. He’s keeping himself busy for sure. We will be cooking up a new schedule soon but we’re not exactly the “contact richest” band out there so getting shows in some places is hard. We want to be on stage in as many countries as possible. Having said that: whoever is interested in booking us can contact us at What can we expect from Fortid in the (near) future? Are there already ideas for another album?

E. Thorberg: We already have some pre-productions of various ideas. I am on the verge of nailing down a new lyrical concept and we will start rehearsing new material any day now. Now it’s time for the famous last words…

E. Thorberg: Buy our album and you’ll get a lot of words from us. Thank you for taking time and hopefully we will see you soon on the road!

Das Interview führte Anita von im August 2012

Weitere Informationen über Fortid:

Offizielle Facebook Webseite von: Fortid

My Space Seite von: Fortid

Aktuelle CD Rezension:

Pagan Prophecies

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