Troldhaugen talk East Coast Tour, Second Album Release and Troll Gristle!
By Mandy Craig.
Wollongong’s quirky folk metallers, Trolhaugen are ready to take their fans on an alluring mythical journey, also known as their East Coast Tour starting from Friday 7th, and are preparing to release their second album.
Having formed originally as a music duo in 2008, and becoming a full band in 2010, Troldhaugen have ascended massively over the years. Their music blending circus, celtic, gypsy and many other musical elements in their overall folk metal sound, they have had success with their well received debut album Ramshackle in 2012, performed alongside Alestorm and Korpiklaani last year, and have recently released a wickedly awesome tongue-in-cheek ABBA cover, ‘Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie! (A Troll After Midnight.)’ With all this in mind you can definitely say they have knocked the Troll King off his mountain!
Talking to lead singer Reventusk, he revealed everything you need to know about Troldhaugen: their East Coast tour, mythical names, and what they have brewing in the new album for their fans!
Q: Troldhaugen, you guys have been a part of the live metal music scene since 2010, have released an EP and your acclaimed album ‘Ramshackle.’ What have you liked so far as a band, what are some awesome moments and hilarious memories you’d like to share?
Apart from the awesome experiences of touring, performing and meeting some amazing musicians and fans, for myself (Reventüsk), the thing I’ve enjoyed most about being in Troldhaugen has been the ease of progression of our sound throughout the years. When Meldengar and myself started the band in 2008, our sound reflected that of the style of music we enjoyed most at the time. Throughout the years our tastes have changed and along with the fact that we now listen to very different music, our own style has progressed as well. The ability to be in such a band where we can continue to express what we each like and change our sound accordingly without ever feeling as if we’ve pigeonholed ourselves is a great feeling.
Q: You guys definitely have such an epic folk metal vibe, with a big orchestral sound, circus antics, and mythical/Celtic essence. How did you guys come up with such an awesome sound?
I would say our sound is a result of a combination of our favourite aspects of our musical influences and also a smattering of things we find amusing or unique in our everyday lives. We’re interested in European culture and its rich history and there is an absolute banquet of musical and cultural inspiration to draw from there. From the mystical forests of the frosty Norwegian mountains, to the creaky gypsy circus caravans of the Eastern European swamplands, it’s all stuff that we’ve been interested in at some point. We always enjoy challenging ourselves to stick something unexpected into our music. Basically, we just keep trying to add in things we currently like.
Q: As a band who would you say are your musical inspirations and why?
Individually we all have quite varied tastes in music. One thing I would say though, is that we all share an appreciation for artists that know how to do something different to the norm, or inversely, artists that know all the ins and outs needed to deliver an extremely catchy and accessible song. For myself I would say Primus, Kate Bush and They Might Be Giants have stuck with me as my greatest influences. Meldengar and Grädenøk are both fans of pop music geniuses Max Martin, RedOne and Dr. Luke, and I guess it goes without saying that we’re all heavy metal fans in some respect. When it comes to our song writing, I would say that most of the time we’re more inspired by our favourite artists’ approach and/or the attitudes they’ve employed – rather than trying to specifically emulate their sound. That being said there are definitely times when we’ve purposely added in a recognisable musical tidbit from our favourite musical style or artist. These moments are normally utilised in order to create a musical joke or parody, which is also a big drawcard for us in terms of writing. Often while we’re composing, if we’re laughing our arses off at the same time, it’s usually a keeper.
Q: How would you describe yourselves as a band?
We’re all pretty silly guys. Nothing is ever too serious when it comes to our music. Heavier music is oftentimes too caught up with trying to maintain a macho and/or violent image. We’re not like that as people so we don’t believe our music should reflect that. Anything that could be perceived as violent or crass is usually derived from a style more akin to the cartoony madness of the Looney Tunes or The Muppets. The lyrical content nowadays focuses more on story telling and humour. The slapstick antics and light-hearted comedy may sometimes give way to a darker undertone, but it never takes precedence. Our serious side is our dedication to our main goal of delivering an original and entertaining product. There’s not much else to it.
Q: You guys all have mythical names; who are attached to each name, and how did you guys come up with these names?
The main reason we decided to give ourselves pseudonyms is due to the fact that our music is heavily rooted in fictional stories and tales. Personally, I put a lot of effort into developing an on stage persona, so it wouldn’t make much sense if we just went by our plain old first names. The band ethos is kind of detached from reality so we think our day-to-day personalities should also be somewhat detached. Occasionally other people use the names when referring to us, and every time it happens we have a little chuckle. The names don’t really have any meanings and most of them are completely made up nonsense, but currently we have:
Q: You guys have an East Coast tour coming up. What can you tell us about that, where are you planning on touring?
We’re super-mega-ultra-*eXtRa* excited to be hitting the road throughout March with Melbourne prog-juggernauts (proggernauts? juggerprogs?) Toehider! We’ll be smashing up a bunch of venues along the East Coast of Australia – starting in Sydney at the Agincourt Hotel (Valve Bar) on March 7th. We’re making our way to some places we’ve never played before but we’ll also be hitting up some of our favourite venues along the way too. Along with a few new songs under our belt, we’ve got quite the show in store!
Q: You were also gigging in Melbourne recently, how was that?
It was great! Melbourne is always awesome to play; the crowds are really passionate about art so there’s always a great response. It was our third time playing in Melbourne and our second time playing at the truly amazing “FEAST OF METAL” festival. Trust me when I say this, next time FEAST OF METAL comes around, you’d better be there! Think of medieval re-enactment sword fights, glorious feasts, and two stages of heavy metal, markets, flagons of ale, competitions and an insane medieval tavern themed venue with all the trimmings! It’s as unbelievable as it sounds and we were stoked to be a part of it for the second year in a row.
Q: What do love most about playing live?
Live is when I feel our music comes into its own. The content is so visual and I especially love trying to emulate the emotions and stories with my own movements and expressions. The energy we have on stage can get quite intense and it’s always awesome when the audience joins in with that energy too. There’s not much else that compares with getting to entertain people while you’re also having the time of your life too.
Q: You guys are in the writing process for your second album. What can you tell us about this new upcoming album, what will it be about?
Well…I can’t say much, but I can say that it will be even more of a progression from RAMSHACKLE, than RAMSHACKLE was to the E.P.! I say that in the best possible way and although the material is still being refined and tweaked, we’re unbelievably stoked with how it’s coming along. Without giving too much away, expect spooky tales, big orchestrations, World music inspired musical interludes and much, MUCH more!
Q: How will it sound musically, how will it differ to your previous releases?
Along with the fact that we want it to be a surprise for our fans, the truth is, I have trouble explaining how it sounds even when I want to…There are a few main obvious progressions from our previous sound, but even if I went into detail, it would likely leave more questions than answers. All I can say is the Swamprocket is prepared for lift-off.
Q: How has the writing process been going? Any particular tracks you are fond of, and why?
The process has changed throughout the years as new software and members have come and gone. The options we have now far surpass anything we’ve been able to utilise in the past. As a result, it means that many more sounds and musical avenues are being explored, the likes of which have never been heard in previous Troldhaugen material. Our current writing method is yielding amazing results, and in the last few months we’ve been able to road-test a few of the new songs live, which is always a good indicator of what’s going to sound good when we lay it down.
Q: When do you see it being released?
Much sooner than people are expecting! There are a few things that need ironing out and tidying up, but when we return from our East Coast tour, it’s going to be full steam ahead on getting the new album polished and recorded. Expect it around the middle of the year.
Q: What else do you have instore for this year?
New songs, new merch, big gigs, high fives, fist bumps and Troll Gristle (…all will be revealed soon…)
Q: Any other upcoming gigs that you’d like your fans to know about?
Aside from our East Coast tour there’s been a few big shows in talks, but other than that make sure to keep an eye out for gigs closer to the release our new album!
Trolhaugen’s Special message to their Fans!
“Thanks for all the continued support throughout the years and we hope to see you at a gig in the near future! Troldhaugen awaaaAAAYYYYYYyyyyyy!” Raventusk.
Copyright © Music Mayhem with Mandy 2014
What to know more about Troldhaugnen, and where you can see them on their East Coast Tour? Check it all out via the following links:
Listen to Troldhaugen’s, ‘Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie! (A Troll after Midnight)’