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Vaakevandring

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Vaakevandring, a melodic blackmetal band from Norway, released in 1999 an interesting demo-CD (produced by a former Dimmu Borgir member) that showed a band with talent. Part of this band are Pål Dæhlen and Ronny Hansen. Their first demo-CD was reason enough for an interview. However, finding out Ronny is also the new vocalist for Antestor and considering Pål being part of Nordic Mission postorder service, I had lots of reasons for a long interview. Read it and enjoy it.

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Interview with: Ronny Hansen (vocals) and Pål Dæhlen (drummer)

Date: November 23rd 1999

Where: This is an E-mail interview. Date refers to date first mail

Other Bandmembers: Morten Sigmund Magerøy (keyboards), Alexander Nygaard (guitar), Trond Bjørnstad (bass) and Solveig Maria Magerøy (female vocals)

Band's Hometown: Hunndalen, Norway

Discography: Demo 98/99 (1999)

Available Through: Nordic Mission

Official Website: Vaakevandring

Contact Address: Vaakevandring, P.O. Box 105, N-2807 Hunndalen, Norway

Interview by: MPO

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You have released a demo-CD. What is the main-goal for the band in releasing that demo-CD?

(Pål): Well, finally we have a product people can get when they hear us at concerts or read about us in zines. People can check out our music and hopefully some will also be touched in their hearts with our message about Christ. The last thing is also the main reason why Vaakevandring exist

The lyrical content of the demo-CD is quite plain in the second song which is sung in English. The two other songs are done in Norwegian. Fader Vaar appears to be the Our Father prayer. The third song is not clear to me. It's called Og Sorgen Stilnet I Smertens Vann. What is it about?

(Ronny): Og Sorgen... is a kind of an answer to the second song (Some Day). As Some Day seems like a kind of depressive song.Og Sorgen... continues the journey, and gives the story a happy ending, with help from God. Nothing is possible without God and everything is with Him. Song numbers two and three are concerning the matters of despair, personal problems and the kind of hopelessness you 'achieve' when your life must change drastically. Translated into English, song three means  "and the sorrow drowned in the waters of despair."

Before the band was called Vaakevandring, you were called Korsferd. Around that time you did some Norwegian songs. The demo is partly English and the new material is all English, as far as I know. Is this the beginning of looking abroad or were people asking for that?

(Ronny): Korsferd did not release anything. We have three small clips of one session on mp3 on the unofficial site.  That's all. Language for Korsferd was meant to be in Norwegian  but we never made the lyrics.  About Vaakevandring:  We will continue to use both languages, though mostly English.. The more 'primitive' parts of our songs, and the more Norse sounding songs will continue to be written in Norwegian.  On our full-length CD we are planning to translate all the Norwegian lyrics!  Norwegian is popular. All those that I have spoken to, say that we should keep on doing the Norwegian thing!

(Pål): The band Ronny and I had together was called Signum Crusis and when we found Morten (guitarist and now synthist) we wanted to change the name to Korsferd. So we were called that for a few months before we collected the whole five piece band that we are now and so wanted to change the name once again.

Ronny, what do you mean with the 'primitive' parts?

(Ronny): By the primitive parts I mean like Old school black metal. Untechnical and pretty simple parts.

The Demo-CD was produced by former Dimmu Borgir member Stian Aarstad. How did you get him involved in the project?

(Ronny) Stian heard us when we were attending a competition. He liked what he heard and at that point he did not know that we are Christians. He contacted Morten (our synth-player) and said that he was impressed by the way that he played, and by our sound. Stian had contacts involving studio, and he wanted to help us. By the time he invited us, he knew that we are Christians. Stian did a great job. He's friendly and not really the kind of person that would crush our heads just because we are Christians. Stian is by the way not an ultra Satanist. I believe that he is a 'normal' guy with non specific beliefs

I saw on the unofficial website of Vaakevandring a cover of the cassette release that's only available in Asia. That cover is, to my opinion, better looking than the cover of the demo-CD. Why didn't you pamper us with that cover?

(Ronny) Pål knows more than I do here. He can tell you the whole story

(Pål): Do you really think it looks better? I think it's looks almost the same, but the thing is we finished the CD version long time before we even talked to the label that's going to release our cassette version. By the way, the CD cover is taken from my bed-room window and the label in Indonesia who will release the tape version have picked a picture from the internet I think. Okay, I really don't know that. The tape version will only be released in Asia and will be a bit rare to track down in Europe. Thanks to THT Productions who wants to work with us!!

Ronny, you are the new singer for Antestor too.  I'm told by drummer Svein Sander that Cacophonous has gone bankrupt but recently I visited the label's website and couldn't make that up. So, what's going on?

(Ronny): The story with Cacophonous is that they really hate the Christian scene. They want to destroy it. Antestor has not earned a single dime from their album due to the so called 'bankrupt' of Cacophonous. I don't know what Cacophonous is up to, and how they are going to get away with it. I've also heard that Antestor have sold quite much in the U.S.

What you tell me is quite the story of other bands that were once signed to Cacophonous. I remember interviews with Gehenna and Dimmu Borgir in which they spoke about their frustrations with the label, like not getting the money that they deserved. But why do you think they want to destroy the Christian scene while, as you say, they've sold pretty good on Antestor. Isn't it just about business after all? Perhaps even fraud?

(Ronny): The thing about Cacophonous is that Antestor did not tell them that they are Christians. When they saw the lyrics, they realized it and edited out most of the Christianity in them. The lyrics of almost all songs of The Return Of The Black Death is edited and chopped off. I think that Cacophonous did not know until Antestor had a contract.

Yes, I know. The problem is that they don't pay you. You seem quite confident that the label does not do so because of your spiritual backgrounds. At the same time, I'm trying to say that other bands experienced the same thing like Antestor. Isn't it just a matter of, they're making money on you and they want to keep as much as possible, neglecting the contract?

(Ronny): I must admit that you are right. I have nothing to add to your conclusions on the Cacophonous business. I have not that much info and knowledge about their business or the contract that Antestor has.  All I know is that Antestor have NOT gotten their part of the money that they (we) deserve!

I'm told that there's a good chance that the unreleased Martyrium album of Antestor will be released soon. Can you tell more about that?

(Ronny): Not much. It will be released pretty soon, it contains old material, with a more death metal sound (still Norse). But the release must be after we know more about what's going on with Cacophonous.

(Pål): Endtime Productions will release Martyrium in March and the official release party will be on a Swedish festival called the Bob Fest. Come and visit it everybody! Here is the website:http://come.to/bobfest/

The Martyrium album will be released, like you said, through Endtime Productions of Samuel Durling. Ronny, are you trying to get things going through him? After all, the Cacophonous deal was a two-album deal.

(Ronny): We will never make the second album under Cacophonous before we get the money. Why should we? I don't know anything about the future with Samuel. I think that maybe Nuclear Blast is more the goal. I don't know.

Interestingly, with Vaakevandring you recently played a concert in Jønkøping in Sweden , and Lars from Antestor assisted the band on second guitar. Is he now a permanent member of the Vaakevandring too?

(Ronny):  Lars would not be a kind of name you would connect with the black metal scene... (heh-heh). His name is 'Vemod'. But, yes, his real name is  Lars. He will not be a permanent member of Vaakevandring but he will help us out with the second guitar at concerts.

You also have a female singer. She isn't part of the demo-CD. Why?

(Ronny): She's attending a school pretty far away from us. We only had a weekend to make the CD and that pretty much sums it up. I believe that she won't be a full time member, but she will have some parts on our (full-length) CD and she will do some concerts. We are trying to do the clean vocals ourselves. I think that the singing on Fader Vaar is better with the male voices.

(Pål): I think it was cool when we played in Sweden and Vemod from Antestor also did some singing on Fader Vaar.

Pål, you also have the Nordic Mission postorder service. Through your company you have a lot of contacts within the Scandinavian scene. We all know bands like Extol, Veni Domine and Narnia, but what are to your opinion the most underrated bands at the moment?

(Ronny): Vaakevandring, ha ha!

(Pål): No , don't say that. Someone might believe you!! I think a lot is happening with Christian metal in Scandinavia and a lot of new bands pop up almost every day. I'm looking forward to DROTTNAR's CD (Norwegian black metal band we've played with a few times and who are very good friends of us). LENGSEL is also a Norwegian black metal band and they are very good. I hope they will get far in the secular scene. They are releasing a CD on Endtime soon. Don't forget to check out Endtime's latest release, a Swedish doom/death/thrash band called ANAEMIA. I also heard SANCTIFICA (Swedish black metal) are releasing a CD on Little Rose soon and this just HAS to be great! CRIMSON MOONLIGHT from Sweden are working on a second CD I guess. The scene in Sweden is really growing. Some great heavy metal bands are DELTA, MERCENARY and MOURNINGSTAR. Ok, this is a long answer!! Yes, and one more thing; the vocalist of NARNIA has started a Christian heavy metal label and plans to release a lot of great HEAVY!!

How do you look at the future of black metal?

(Ronny): The primitive part of black metal will only exist in the very underground scene, with very underground types. With people that like the kind of  pure evil banging and brainwashing of their minds. It will fade away. The more new black metal, which consists of more heavy metal, will never go. The heavy metal has been here for around 25 years and will stay.

And what do you think, Pål, when you take in consideration your experience with the Nordic Mission mail-order?

(Pål): I agree that the extreme primitive black metal will stay underground but it will never be gone. Actually it has always been underground in some ways. But one thing that scares me is that the more popular black metal bands are being accepted here in Norway and are interviewed in big medias and also get top reviews as if they were top selling pop albums. It is getting so clean, if you know what I mean? People are more afraid for bands with Christian lyrics than pure evil ones. Parents think Christianity is brainwashing but Satanism is just some kind of playing that kids will grow away from.

And the future of Vaakevandring?

(Ronny): That's up to the listeners. As long as we find a reason to play, we will play

(Pål): Up to Christ!! He is the reason why we play and also the meaning behind it all. I'm sure the band is God's will and that he will keep on blessing us in the future if we stay close to him. We lay everything in his

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