Have any of you played in other bands? Absolutely! Me (Henrik), Joakim (guitars) and Robert (drums) previously played in the Gothenburg based folk/Viking metal band “Irrbloss”. Joakim and Robert also played together in the Gothenburg black metal band “Warheim”. Robert is presently also in a band called Nox Vorago. Mathias (bass) has played in a number of Gothenburg bands, such as “Butterfly Imp”. Adam (vocals) also handles the vocals in a local band called “A dead tree doesn’t talk”.
How is it that you started playing music? Ever since I was a small kid (6-ish) I´ve realized that I´ve got some kind of talent with instruments, and a pretty good ear for music. Trying out variuous instruments during my youth, I finally stuck with the guitar (classical and electric). Occasionally I play the piano as well. Mainly I consider myself a songwriter.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?
Henrik Bodin-Sköld - Acoustic guitar, rythm and ead guitar, main songwriter
Adam Rexius - Vocals
Robert Isojärvi - Drums
Joakim Andréasson - Rythm and lead guitar
Mathias Rexius - Bass and synthesizer
Have you had other previous members? On our first EP (Blessings of winter) we had the Johan Tunander on session bass and Alexander Wik Fridén on session vocals, both are ex. Irrbloss members.
Did you make music even when you were young? I actually started writing my own music quite late, I think I was about 22 when I wrote my first song.
Where are you from? Myself, I´m from southern Norrland, a small town called Hudiksvall. The rest of the guys are born and raised in the Gothenburg are.
What year did the band form? Norrsköld was founded by me in the winter of 2012/2013, and was initially a studio project.
What's your style of genre? Norrskölds “style” is quite hard to define. We´re playing sort of a mix of folk metal, black metal and death metal with elements of acoustic guitar. Since we tend to write songs in 3/4 and with a lot of catchy folk melodies, some people consider us to play “Dödshambo”. In reviews we have been compared with bands like (early) In flames, Dissection and Sacrilege.
What inspires you? Spending time in nature, and listening to soundtracks and classical music. Usually the song ideas pops up very spontaneous, especially if I´m in the shower. Then I usually hurry up and whistle the melody into my cellphone.
How often and where do you reherse? Since some of us are very busy with other projects and full time jobs, we basically rehearse in periods before a gig or a studio session. We rehearse in central Gothenburg.
How have you developed since you started with the music? It´s hard to say from our own perspective, since we usually are so into the songs and focused on details etc. Reviewers and fellow musicians however, tell us that we have evolved quite a bit since our first record. Especially regarding song arrangements and studio quality.
Do you have other interests of work outside the band? We all are quite into music even outside of the band, especially since most of us have other musical projects as well. Personally I like to write, hand out in nature and drinking coffee.
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? Our current label is trying to help us out with bookings, and we also have some contact with abroad booking agencies.
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? We are currently quite satisfied with our label, especially regarding recording possibilities.
What made you decide to make this music? I listened to a lot of metal when I was a kid, and writing riffs comes naturally when holding a guitar. Also, living in Gothenburg makes it easy to choose this kind of genre, since the area is so famous in the metal scene (“The Gothenburg sound”).
What are your songs about? Usually the lyrics are about folklore and legends from old swedish folk culture history. It´s often quite dramatic stories, but also with a touch of nature romanticism.
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? Mainly I write the foundations of the songs on guitar back home, then I take the ideas to the other guys in the rehearsal space where we work on drums, arrangements etc. together. I also write the lyrics. However, we have sort of a “tradition” everytime we enter the studie. That is, to let Robert improvise a song on drums, which I later on write riffs and melodies to. Sort of like an inversion of the usual composing process.
Do you start with the music or the lyrics? I always start with the music, it comes naturally.
Do you compose in a certain enviroment? Sometimes I bring the guitar when taking long walks in the forest. The compositions tend to be more… authentic when written in nature. Otherwise I usually write our stuff at home.
Have you done any covers live? On our latest release (“Ridden”), we recorded a cover of the traditional Swedish folk song “Hårgalåten”. Our intention is to also play this piece live.
What language do you sing in? Mainly English, apart from “Hårgalåten” which is performed in the original Swedish language.
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? Until now, we have mainly focused on recording music rather than performing live. However our main goal from now on is to play live shows. When playing in the smaller clubs in Gothenburg, about 100-150 persons are usually present.
What ages are most of your concert attendants? It ranges from 18 to 60!
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? We have varied the songs in our live sets. We also have perform acoustic versions of some of the songs.
Do you have a regular place you play live often? In Gothenburg it´s quite common to play at Sticky Fingers or Belsepub.
What was your first gig like? For me, it was with my former band Irrbloss. It was quite nervous and I probably drank maybe one beer too much before the gig (for the nerves). But in all, I think it sounded decent.
What was your latest gig? An acoustic gig in central Gothenburg.
Have you had to cancel a gig? Yes, we had to cancel a couple of gigs this spring (2015), due to problems with club permits and also due to personal reasons.
Where have you played live this year? So far this year, we have mainly been in the studio recording two EP´s. Gigs are planned for later this year though.
Where do you plan to gig the comming year? We have a gig booked in Gothenburg in August, and we´re currently planning for more following gigs.
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? The merch page has been active since 2013. It´s an on-demand site with shirts, tops, bags etc. in all sizes.
Where can people buy your merchandise? http://norrskold.spreadshirt.se
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records nowadays? It´s a natural development and we´re totally aware of the conditions for selling music these days. We do produce CD versions as well, but mostly this is for promotional purposes.
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? As a band, it´s much harder to be original and to stand out, since all music of the world is accessible with only a couple of mouse clicks. At the same time, it´s much more easier these days to record, produce and distribute music on your own, making it possible for even smaller acts to get noticed.
What do you think of my work? There´s a nice mix of genres on the blog site, and you seem to be quite a hard working person!
Do you have any role models or idols? In the band we all have our own musical heroes. For me, I look up to Mark Knopfler, Mikael Åkerfeldt and (the late) Esbjörn Svensson.
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? I personally think it´s easier to find inspiration from older bands, at least in the metal genre.
What have been your biggest obstacles? Finding time to rehearse and record music, for all five of the band members. We all have quite hectic lives.
What advice would you give other bands or artists? Work hard on your musical network, and spice our music with some original elemets so that you get a better chance of getting noticed. But no.1 is to never give up, since the are always ways to get far as long as the will is strong.
How do you get psyched for a gig? Usually I lock myself up in a room, thinking about how lucky I am that I get the chance to perform with my own music.
Do you have any new material? We have tons of songs structures waiting to be recorded, the material is the least of our problems. Hopefully we can record some more songs withing a year.
What are your web sites?
How can people reach you? E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
What are your plans for the future? We´re releasing an acoustic EP later this summer. Then it´s 100 % focus on live gigs, both in Sweden and abroad.
Do you have something to add?We´re thankful for getting to do this interview, good questions!