Skyforger is a lettonian band with a strong character
I interviewed Skforger in occasion of the mini italian tour. They came for the first time in Abruzzo and they fomented the fans a lot.
Enjoy the reading!!
- Hi! It is a pleasure to talk with you. Your last album, Senprusija, was released in 2015. Are you working on a new album?
Nice to know you, my name is Peter and i am guitarist and singer for Skyforger. I will try to reply your questions here, but since i do it with mobile phone in Brescia, sorry for being a bit shorter than it should be.
Last two years we were touring for support of Senprūsija album, but of course, in rehearsal room we have started slowly to work in new songs and ideas. So far, we got only 1 song in the raw stages, but i hope to get more inspiration and then things can start to flow. But i think, it will a couple of years until new full length is ready.
- When The line up changes, the new members bring somenthing different in your way to compose music?
Yes, band members changes sooner or later are inevitable, so every time comes in new band member, we need to teach him old songs. This is not easy, but we try our best. It’s hard to say if they bring big changes i think not so much. After all, me and bass player Zirgs, we are since beginning of Skyforger which is since 1995. We are used to work together and new members usually adapts to our way of creating music.
- Many of your songs have a particular sound, so ancestral, so evocative, are ther some symbols that influence you, in addition to your roots?
Well, this is how we have seen Skyforger in our vision. I guess, we have found that special “our sound”. There are not really any special symbols who are influencing us to create the sound. I think that’s very important to find the way to be different from other million of metal bands. When you can recognize a band after the sound, that is the best thing for any musical band.
- In 23 years of your career how did your vision of music change, and what do you think about new generation of musician and metalheads?
This is hard to answer… I think that during all those 23 years, maybe we even have not much changed. Initially we wanted to play loud and extreme metal like Venom or Motorhead, drink beer and bang our heads till death. And we still to do today haha. I am always happy too see young faces in concerts and also new, young bands. Metal has to live forever! Musically maybe there are not that many new genres defining bands as it was back in 80s, but sometimes there are new promising bands appearing.
- This is an “horrible” and “disturbant” question. Can you live with your music? I try to explain better. Is this a job for you or the passion and to your fans are the first things and only after you think ‘oh, ok we earn money..it’s good’?
No, of course, we don’t live from music. That was also not our goal when we started. If you approach music from that angle, i think you’re going to fail sooner or later. We wanted to play metal, because we loved it. And luckily I met similar passionate guys at right time, in the right place. So, we all work day jobs, and at evenings we make rehearsals and play concerts. For example, I am a plumber at big Latvian theater in Riga. If there are some money from gigs or albums, that’s cool. Normally we invest it back into band, buy new instruments, guitars, amplifiers etc.
- If that is not your job, how do you conciliate your work with the tour??? Exspecially when you are so far from your land.
Luckily, i have found such a job, where i can join both things. Tours are not every day, and concerts mostly happens at weekends. Traveling these days are fast and easy with airplanes. We try to organize tours this way, that Monday morning we are back into job.
- How do you see the metal scene in Italy?
I think Italian metal scene is pretty big and you definitely have some well respected bands like Necrodeath, Bulldozer, Death SS, Bunker 66, and tons more. From newer names Godflesh Apocalypse springs to the mind. We played a festival together in Portugal. Will be fun to meet another local bands in this tour.
- Is it the first time that you came in Abruzzo???
Yes, since this is our first ever tour in Italy, all places are new to us. I hope that people will come to check the shows and have a good time.
- When you go to the new place, you take some information or prefer to discover when you are in the place?
Normally i don’t check out any cities or places, too much to do before going out. Sometimes it’s hard to remember where we played few days ago haha. But i am history lover, i read a lot of books and that’s how I got to know things.
- Skyforger. It is a very evocative name. How did you choose that name?
Skyforger is the English name for Latvian god of Thunder, we call him Pērkons. In ancient times when people were much more superstitious than today, they believed that when there is thunder and lighting, that meant that old Pērkons is angry to someone and throws down sparks to him. That goes well together with our musical ancestral message and lyrical themes.
- If I’m not mistaken the first name of the band was not Perkons, why you choose to change the name?
Actually we were playing together already before Skyforger was formed. That band had strange name Grindmaster Dead and played death doom metal with a flute. We had 3 albums, but they are not officially released. I believe you can listen last album “Stronger than love” in YouTube. After some time i understood that i am getting more and more interested in Latvian heritage, mythology, ancient battles and that new music required also a new name. That happened in 1995, so we measure start of band with this year.
- How do you imagine the Skyforger? For example, one of your fans told me that he thinks about a Skyforger as an old bearded man (a sort of God) with raised arms that forges the sky…
Exactly haha. That picture is on cover of our third album “Thunderforge” whick was released in 2003. I imagined the Thundergod Pērkons as an old man, majestically forging with a big hammer. We will play also songs from that album. Basically we will play Best Of program with songs from all our albums.
- For some of your songs did you use the ancient songs of your culture? (for example Ready to Be a Warrior)
This song is from our folk album “Zobena Dziesma”, which means Sword Song. Yeah, that is absolutely ancient Latvian folk song. We rearranged those songs in our way, and Skyforger sometimes plays also acoustic music concerts.
Thank you very much for having us, and hope to see you very soon!
Peter / Skyforger