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Out of Norway comes Vaakevandring. This melodic black metal band released a demo CD two years ago that created interest worldwide. While the fans are waiting eagerly for new material to come out, it was time to do a message-board interview with these Nordic people about the state of the band.


Discography: Demo 98/99. Available through: Vaakevandring. Official website: Vaakevandring. Interview by: mpomusic, Dftg7, Loyd, Lord Rogoth, Shamgar, Transfigural Form. Article work-out: mpo. Date: October 19-24th 2001. Photos made by Nordic Metal Archive


mpomusic: Can you first give us an introduction to the band Vaakevandring? Maybe tell something of how the band got started and what you've been doing over the last couple of years?

Pål: Vaakevandring is a five piece band with the following members: Morten plays keyboards and he does clean vocals. He is also the main songwriter of the band. Alex is our guitar player as well as the webmaster to our website. Ronny does lead vocals. Trond is our bass player. And I play drums. We'll also get some help from Solveig, Morten's sister, on vocals for future studio recordings. The band started up for about five years ago with the same lineup as today, except that Ronny and Trond switched instruments (Trond sang and Ronny played bass). Trond actually sings a song on our old demo CD. For the last couple of years we haven't been as busy as we wanted to be. We have played just a handful of concerts and as you might now, we recorded one song last year for the Endtime Production's compilation CD In The Shadow Of Death. Early this summer we also recorded a new five song demo which we are currently shipping out to a few key-persons within the scene. This will not be for sale as the sound quality is very poor.

Dftg7: What does Vaakevandring mean?

Pål: Well, it is not the most international name we could choose, and it is funny for us to hear all the US, German and other versions of it. So I'm not going to explain how to pronounce it, but to explain it briefly, it consists of two words: "Vaake" means "wake" or "being awake". "Vandring" means "wandering". So, the spiritual meaning, or what we mean with it, is to go around, wandering through life on this earth waking people up for the Lord as well as being awake ourselves in this sleeping world. We later found this bible verse: Mark 13, 33-37. Check it out!

mpomusic: What kind of drum kit do you work with? And have you tried out different heads and stuff? And how much do you practise to be tight, especially on the faster parts?

Pål: When rehearsing I use an old Mapex kit. That is all I own actually. I hope to be able to buy a new kit soon, and especially a double bass pedal. The one I have now is just put together with three different broken ones... As cymbals I use an 18" Paiste 2002 crash, an 17" Sabian crash, a very old 20" Zildjan China (is very loud) and a 20" Paiste Pro Ride. I use my own cymbals live and in studio, but borrow a kit. I have to admit that I practice way too little. Partly because I don't have a proper isolated room. I'm also living about two hours apart from the rest of band which is one reason things are taking so long with the band. We only practice together like twice a month. I think we can get tighter, but as of now it is harder to sound good at the slower and more groovy parts.

Lord Rogoth: I was wondering from what sort of background you come from? Why did you start playing music? How did you get involved with metal?

Pål: We have all been playing some sort of metal before Vaakevandring. Ronny and I had a primitive black metal band called Signum Crusis, that actually ended up as Vaakevandring a few years later and the rest of the band had bands together within the heavy/thrash vein when they were in high school. I think it was very natural for all of us to start playing music, because it is a important thing in our lives. We are of course very thankful for being able to play together and to do what we like most. We have all grew up on metal, but I'm the only one listening to old Christian metal like Stryper, Bride, Bloodgood and stuff like that. These bands are still among my favourites!

Lord Rogoth: And the others? What kinda stuff did they grow up on? The real satanic black stuff? Or Bach? Or something in between?

Pål: I think all the others have different backgrounds. I know Morten was very much into Petra and stuff until he met his "cool friends" (Trond & Alex) who were into Metallica. Morten listens to a lot of classic music now and basically atmospheric stuff. Trond & Alex are very much into progressive metal like Dream Theater, Stratovarius and power metal stuff. Ronny listens to a lot of different kinds of metal. Everything from Dream Theater to Dimmu Borgir I think. He "eats" everything style wise.

Shamgar: Perhaps this one is a bit off-topic but I heard some of you also play in Antestor these days. Which of the bands has priority?

Pål: Yes, Morten and Ronny did a small US tour for Antestor last Summer. And, not really as a consequence for that, Vaakevandring didn't do much last year. It was more like a motivation thing. So, I would say it is no problems for us having them in two different bands. It is actually very cool, but to be honest, I'm not sure what will happen with Antestor now. Both the drummer and bassist dropped out last year, and they haven't rehearsed since last summer.

Ronny: We are to get a new line up with Antestor. We're probably getting a new drummer (cannot tell you who he is now) a second guitarist, and we have Erik from Stronghold doing the bass. But things have not happened quickly, and we have not discussed all that is to discuss concerning the future of the band. But pray for us... We have some new material which is more than hot. But you'll have to wait a bit for some end-results.

Shamgar: Can you keep the bands completely separate or has Antestor-like riffs leaked into Vaakevandring's music, and have Vaakevandring-style riffs leaked into Antestor's music?

Pål: I the bands sound very different, and that is mainly because none of our members contribute with much material in Antestor.

Ronny: Antestor and Vaakevandring are totally different in genres. Antestor is "sorrow metal" and Vaakevandring are like a happycore band in comparison. So riffs from Antestor leaking into Vaakevandring is almost impossible. Besides, Vemod makes almost all music for Antestor and Morten and Alex for Vaakevandring.

Lord Rogoth: Talking about member changes, how solid is the Vaakevandring formation? Is everyone happy with the musical direction, with the slow rate things are going? Maybe a hard question to answer...

Pål: Well, who knows. Nothing seems to stay forever, and I hope we will continue with the same line-up. We have been talking about adding a second guitarist. Especially for the song writing part, but this is something I think will not happen in the near future. If one or more members decides to leave the band, I would say there is a pretty big chance for a break-up since we are all good friends and everybody's opinions count.

Dftg7: How's the Christian metal scene in Norway? Are there many bands in the Christian scene? How about the styles mainly involved? New upcoming bands?

Pål: There are a few Christian metal bands up here, but not very many serious ones. At the moment, it is just us and Extol among the extreme bands that do live gigs.
We had a serious band called Groms some years ago playing heavy death metal, but they broke up. Antestor is still trying to find members. They are the longest running band in Norway. Some other bands and projects are: Ganglion, formerly Lengsel but totally different. Pure rock 'n roll; Silver. Punk rock/rock 'n roll. Very cool and very big in Norway at the moment. They have toured in Germany several times; Drottnar. Brutal cold black metal. Did some live gigs with us, but they need a bassist now; Frostharder. Primitive black metal. Might be releasing some stuff on vinyl soon; Myrkheim. Norwegian/folkloric black metal. One man project; Stronghold. One man doom/black metal project. Released one CD on my company Nordic Mission; Bleediance. This is very promising band formed by the members of Vixivi but now with a full band. Very brutal black/death metal with interesting elements. Keys, female vocals; Arvinger. Two man black metal project; Arise. One man thrash/speed project; Grand Lux. Norway's only really heavy metal band; Grøde. Norwegian gothic rock/metal; Dime 'n Dough. Groove metal like King's X and stuff like that; Soniferous. Thrash like Believer, Vengeance; Absurd. Extremely technical thrash like Believer; Silence The Foe. Hardcore; Umbrella. Pop punk with girls only! They are very popular, also in the secular scene. And there's more that I'm not sure what's happening with. Bands like Implacable and Exhort. They were death/doom metal but haven't heard from them in a very long time. Schaliach and Vardøger don't exist anymore, and that is too bad!

mpomusic: Talking about the scene, are there metalfests in Norway? Something like the Bobfest?

Pål: No, we don't have any REAL metal shows (Christian ones..). We have to go to Sweden to experience this. The fan base is just too small here to arrange a festival. The closest thing we have is the DP festival where we have played a couple of times. This year they had over 1000 visitors, and the music is mostly hardcore, punk, rock but also some metal. A very cool festival. I hope we can get more metal festivals and concerts in the future!!

Shamgar: First of all I have your demo CD and the Endtime sampler, and I must say the styles are totally different. I myself love the song Fall Of Man (I like fast blackmetal), I like the demo CD, but those songs are a bit too "atmospheric" for my comfort, although the key parts are very nice. Now I have heard that in future you will play both styles so I kinda wonder what we can expect on a future full length album?

Pål: About the song Fall Of Man on the sampler. Thanks for the compliment, by the way. To be honest, we too are quite satisfied with the outcome of that recording. A lot of people have asked us the same question, and I don't think that song or the songs from the demo actually represents us very well. I think we have songs with more variation now. We still use both Fall Of Man & Fader Vaar from the demo, so I would say that we are playing and making songs within that musical area. We have more brutal and technical parts mixed in. Even some classic heavy metal as well as some more "folkloric" kind of riffs. But the most important thing is the atmosphere and good melodies. I think Fall Of Man is one of the most atmospheric songs we have. One big difference from our earlier stuff is that our songs now are more guitar based than they used to be.

Loyd: I'm wondering about the Demo 98/99. Are there any plans to re-issue this CD?

Pål: Yeah, we have been talking about a re-issue. Especially since it might be some time before we get any new material out. We might be doing a re-print of it. Maybe do a split with another band, maybe together with Crimson Moonlight, but nothing has been decided yet....

Transfigural Form: Any upcoming album plans, songs written, label deals in the works?

Pål: We have about seven songs finished for a full length recording, but are going to write more before we actually start the process. We recorded a demo early this Summer that we will be shipping around to a few labels and just check the interest.
We don't have any specific plans or interest from labels, and I think we prefer getting that before recording anything. We can't afford releasing it ourselves.

Shamgar: I wonder if you guys have plans to make a Germany/Holland tour and play some gigs here?

Pål: We would love to come and play in Holland, Germany and a lot of the European countries actually. The hard part is to find people that can manage such thing. Nothing is impossible, since Extol are doing a small tour in November and December in Germany & Czech! Another problem is that all the members in Vaakevandring have full jobs, and that makes it very hard to do a tour, and single concerts just are too expensive. But if someone invites us, WE WILL COME!