Sometimes it’s absurd how things work out… a Finnish Metalhead passes the debut CD named Ufång by an Austrian band to a German buddy, who in turn mentions it to her Austrian friend, who also lives in Helsinki… who in turn listens to it … and spontaneously decides to send Perchta some interview questions.
Well, solid Rock’n’Roll and earthy dialect (e.g. Müllionäre) or German-language Extreme-Metal/Prog from the Alps (e.g. Dornenreich) isn’t really something new … However, when it comes to Black Metal with Folk elements, you would rather expect Norwegian, Icelandic, Finnish or Russian language. A solid Austrian dialect is probably as incomprehensible as the mentioned languages, even to most Germans further North 😉 But now more about this band, directly from Lady Perchta herself:
How did your career as a musician start, via music school and folk music (because of the zither / nyckelharpa) or self-study? Did you do something different in the past, e.g. playing in a Priest/Maiden style heavy metal band, classical orchestra or brass band?
I for my part as well as the rest of the band started with different instruments in music schools as children.
After piano and saxophone lessons and, of course, long singing lessons, I started to play music. Theresa Wopfner and Lukas Massinger each have a university degree in guitar, dulcimer and zither from the Innsbruck Conservatory. Fabio has been a professional musician for more than a decade anyway, so he brings a lot of experience with him.
Therefore our previous experiences in other music projects are also rich. From cover bands to school orchestras, everything was there. As a child and teenager I already gathered experience on stage, because I had the desire to become a musical performer for a long time. Our guitarists are very successful in other metal bands, among others. Chris plays in his main band Asphagor as well as with Agrypnie and Lukas in his band D.A.W.N.
How did you get to know each other and decided to found this band? What is your main job?
The band started as a project of Fabio D’Amore and me in 2017, but it wasn’t until the final production of Ufång ( autumn 2019) that we got together as a group. The Tyrolean scene is small. Among the local musicians we know each other and support each other.
Most of us are also full-time musicians and music teachers. Chris is in the ID business and I work as a freelance midwife.
How about role models, influences? When listening to your sound, it could be anything from Myrkur to Marduk to Dornenreich … what inspires you?
Based on your suggestions, we were probably most inspired by our good friends from Dornenreich. Nevertheless, our highest claim was to create something of our own. Openness for all kinds of music directions is the main focus of our songwriting. Blackmetal gives us a stylistic framework, but we don’t like to be categorized into one genre in order not to limit to our artistic freedom.
How did you get the idea for the Austrian dialect lyrics for Folk/Atmospheric BM? And how did the band name and the 4-elements-theme develop?
The theme with Perchta, Alpine folklore and lyrics in dialect came to me years ago all by itself. We have the incredible luck to live here in Tyrol, surrounded by powerful nature and a cultural legend. For me it’s therefore a seemingly inexhaustible source of inspiration. The dialect in our songs does not only fit thematically, it also helps me to express emotions in the songs much better.
Ufång and the circle of the 4 elements symbolizes our beginning and the cycle of life birth – life – death and rebirth.
How did Austrian audiences react to BM plus dialect? And how does the international audience react – for example, for British people Austrian dialect sounds as exotic as Finnish 😉
The national and international reactions to Ufång and Perchta were very positive. That makes us very happy in view of the difficult times without live performances! Many people experience Perchta as very refreshing, also with regard to the female fronted section.
I also think that the fascination for people can be very much compared to the Scandinavian language bands. The speech pattern and melody sounds exotic and mystical.
What is going on in the Austrian Metal scene at the moment – back then it was all Death/Grind?
Oh, very difficult to judge. 15 years ago, it also seemed to me that the scene was very Death Metal focused. At the moment I personally see a musical generation change. There are so many genres and subgenres nowadays that everything is very much a blur.
In my opinion the Austrian Black Metal scene has developed extremely well in the last 10 years. I think this richness in diversity is something very positive.
In my Austrian hometown it got worse with infrastructure, even before Corona the live clubs, rock/metal festivals or relevant metal-friendly “water holes” (where you drink everything but water) kept disappearing. Is it the same in your region?
We have a wealth of excellent bands, but our infrastructure of scene bars, clubs and event halls is dwindling year after year. It is really sad. In Tyrol there are hardly any concerts left (lack of venues and of visitors / spectators) and we have in fact only one metal bar, which unfortunately has a hard time at the moment due to Corona. But unfortunately the problems have already begun before the pandemic. Now it is even more important than before to support your local scene by going out and visiting bars and concerts. Provided that you are not in lockdown again!
Do you organize your gigs yourself?
We usually receive concert requests by mail via Prophecy (the record company, the ed.) or direct inquiry.
Did you create those videos yourselves? And was it an expensive endeavour?
Video concepts and production were developed in cooperation with Dominik Geißler (M. T. A. M. Production) and me.
To go straight to the next question: The medium music video proved to be especially helpful to promote Ufång, during the Corona situation.
Even though it was not quite cheap and was mostly privately financed, I attribute a large part of our success so far to our videos.
It was also a great job and another artistic means to give our songs more depth and expression.
Corona as an opportunity – e.g. streaming gigs from rehearsal room, studio or a club room, perhaps the new “normal”… Do you have any plans for something like this?
Our hopes are for the year 2021 and the already two confirmed live concerts at the Dark Easter Metal Meeting 2021 in April and Vienna Metal Meeting in May. Let’s see what the coming season brings, otherwise other plans have to be made.