interview with Baruk Khazad

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Have any of you played in other bands? Yes several, some current and some in younger years. Marcus Eitzenberger: Charlie Shred, Cryonic, Black Velvet Erik Sundberger: Cryonic, Eternal Dusk Christian Nielsen: Era of Ephemeris, Eternal Dusk Sebastian Karlsson: Era of Ephemeris (live), Vertution Linus Bergman: Deliberate Devastation

What are your names? / Who plays what? Marcus Eitzenberger: Warcries, Sharp Axe (Vocals, Lead Guitars) Erik Sundberger: Blunt Axe (Rhythm guitar) Christian Nielsen: Dual hammers (Drums) Sebastian Karlsson: Big Axe (Bass) Linus Bergman: Mercenary Axe (Session guitars live)

Have you had other previous members? Yes Christian Jernberg, Hugo Larsson, Anton Franzen: Vocals Tobias Stjärnqvist: Bass Klas Blomgren: Drums

Where are you from? Luleå, Sweden

What year did the band form? 2009

What's your style of genre? Dwarf Metal!

What inspires you? Wow, well a lot of things really. Anything that inspires that dwarven feeling of jolly good bearded violence and feasting. And that can arise from many different things. Films and video games and literature of course. But in some cases also nature and locations have driven the thoughts to some battle or happening that could have taken place in a similar location. Even though the end result might have nothing to do with that particular place the music and lyrics may have partially sprung from that. Inspiration is a really cool but hard to describe feeling but needless to say making something as… different as we do, requires lots of different inspiration.

Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? Very much yes. Baruk Khazad is a band that really come to life when it plays live. While we try to kick as much ass as we possibly can on the recordings there is still something that cannot quite be captured. Our energy and show live is really something else, even within the metal genre and it has to be experienced firsthand to really be able to grasp. An agency for bookings would allow us to play live even more and is a logical and very

important step for us to take moving forward from this point.

Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? We are currently unsigned, but we do get some help with digital releases from Diginorth. We are just wrapping up the last recordings and mixing for what will be our first ever full-length physical album. When that releases we will need a different kind of distribution and a label could help us with that. Of course as any band we wanna reach more people with our recordings but mostly to let them know about us and spark an interest in a territory to book us live. Which as mentioned before is where our magic really happens!

What are your songs about? Anything and everything dwarven or with a dwarven feel. Our lyrics take place in a fantasy world where the audience get to follow a jolly drunk and angry dwarven clan through all kinds of adventures. Ranging from violent warfare against brutal foes such as goblins and orcs and celebrating afterwards with a feast, to just killing elves for fun and drinking for the hell of it. You can also hear tales about working in the mine or taking to the sea. Some might say fictional lyrics puts boundaries on a band, but we will strongly claim the opposite! Only the imagination sets the limit! And to be fair, anything a real-life human could or would do a dwarf can do with more beard! Only the future will tell what our dwarves will undertake, and we are far from out of ideas. Our campaign has only just begun!

Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? Earlier singers have done some parts of the older lyrics but for the time being Marcus writes all the Lyrics. Erik and Marcus together write the majority of the music material but of course naturally the rest of the band weighs in with ideas and how to play their own parts.

Do you compose in a certain environment? Well as mentioned before inspiration and ideas that can be considered songwriting happens in a lot of places. But when it’s time to wrap it up and have it take form practically it happens mostly in our homes or in the rehearsal room where we can write the ideas down or try them out full volume with our instruments.

Have you done any covers live? Early days we did a lot of Amon Amarth covers. Some years ago we redid one of them only for the sake of a guest singer at a special party. But in the broad sense, no. We play only our own original material in our own show.

What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs?

Well that ranges quite wide depending on the territory and situation. One early weekday night in Slovakia or Poland I think it was we played for not even 10 people. Other shows on the same tour had over 100. In our hometown we one time played a completely full 300 people seated audience indoors and on some of our festival shows the audience has been above 500 people. We are still looking to bump those numbers up into the thousands of course, the more people we can share our music with at the same time the better!

Still waiting for that great opportunity to play where more metalheads can be gathered in the same place than what is possible in your regular European clubs. But regardless of one or thousand dwarf metal heads in front of us Baruk Khazad always swings their axes to the full and deliver the same explosive energy burst that we are known for! When Baruk Khazad plays the dwarves surely are upon you. Khazad Aimenu!

What ages are most of your concert attendants? Extremely ranging to be honest. Some of our shows have been inspiring young girls and boys to start playing and the ages have been as low as 10-12. In other cases and even other countries we actually have senior citizen fans. It´s kind of amazing to see how we can affect such a wide range of ages. Even though the majority probably is your 15-40 year old typical metalheads we seem to offer something for everyone that goes beyond that group. Something we are a bit proud of actually, the energy of metal truly is for everyone!

Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? Well the same songs in the sense that we play some of our own original songs yes but of course the setlist varies pretty much between every show. Depending on the event and expected audience and also the length of the set we make variations to deliver what we think will be the strongest hammer blow and biggest party that particular night (or day).

Do you have a regular place you play live often? We are not the house band anywhere in that sense no, but we have made a few extra shows in our neighbor town Boden than we have elsewhere. No particular reason or active decision like that but, we just receive requests a bit more often and they seem to like us a lot there so of course if we have the opportunity we go there to swing our axes for them yet again. Of course it feels great to be desired as always. We have a good time there aswell since at this point the audience even knows our lyrics and warcries quite well which adds an extra flavor. Myself I´ve always had a soft spot for crowds singing along, it makes the show two directional in that sense and that is a very important factor for us!

What was your first gig like? Oh very sweaty! We actually invited audience into what then was our rehearsal place and just turned stuff around to make it sort of a stage/audience area showroom and the place just filled up completely, crammed from wall to wall a sweaty and even bloody constant moshpit and headbang. It was quite a motivational spark to kick off with to be honest!

What was your latest gig?

We went north to the town of Gällivare and was surprised to find an incredibly dedicated audience of around 200 people going completely crazy and loud during our set and we were extremely well received! They knew much of the lyrics and half broke their necks during the performance aswell as got some battle gear (merch) afterwards. We couldn´t be happier with that one show, it was everything a metal club gig should be and very

close to the audience! I remember this one guy actually drank his entire beer when I announced the title of the next song “chug your mead” before we even reached the first chorus, that was hilarious!

Where have you played live this year? During the last 12 months or so roughly we visited Sabaton Open Air in Falun, Lapland Woodstock in Malå, Luleå Hamnfestivals main stage and some clubs in Arvidsjaur, Boden and Gällivare. All very well received shows and it´s been an interesting year like that. Next year when we finally get our drummer back to Luleå after some studies we hope to turn our eyes outside of Sweden again. Finland, Norway and the Balkan area has been mentioned but we will see how it takes form.

When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? Some 2-3 years ago, T-shirts at the moment but besides from the full album which we will of course sell once it´s done we are at the moment looking into stickers, patches and even woolen hats to add to the armory!

Where can people buy your merchandise? Mostly on site when we play live but we have made a few shipments after requests over our facebook page actually aswell.

What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? Not sure how to answer that since we offer all our music for free over spotify and youtube. There is the option to send us a voluntary sum over bandcamp. As a small aspiring artist it´s always hard to get payed for your work and I guess downloading music made that even harder. I wasn´t around in the days before Napster haha! That said I do think metal fans are some of the best in the world at buying records. Even if it’s just as a collectible and they mostly listen online they are very loyal to the bands they like. We are very thankful to be a part of the great community that is metal music and we will probably sell a few records even though we give the material away online via streaming services haha.

How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? Well, I do think it became even more important to actually hit the road and play live! Something we don´t mind at all cause we love being on stage more than anything else. Even if we sold millions of records we would probably never wanna play less live. Meeting the audience head on is the spark that keeps us going and we just hope the number and sizes of the shows can keep increasing as much as logistically possible!

What do you think of my work? I think it´s great that you give smaller artists spotlight like that, we need all the help we can get. Keep up the good work!

How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business?

If nothing else it shows the band to some new people and they can listen to our songs

which is always a victory in itself. That is what it is all about after all, sharing music. But best case scenario.. some booking agency reads this and see our huge desire to play live, then checks out our live music video to Khazad Aimenu to get a glimpse of the bombastic show and then hopefully hook us up with more opportunities to play for audiences we haven´t reached before! One can always hope!

Do you have any role models or idols? I think that would differ a bit too much between bandmembers to list them all but to mention a few.. Amon Amarth for their dark and heavy yet melodic and appealing music. Finntroll and Alestorm for their ability to combine metal and party just like we do! Sabaton and Rammstein for not being shy with visuals and delivering shows well beyond what music alone can do! Just like we try to do even though we don´t have the budget, space or opportunity to reach those sizes of stage sets yet.. not to mention pyrotechnics being hard if not impossible to get permits for in small venues. But we got some workarounds for that we recently acquired for smaller shows which we will start using on upcoming shows!

Why do you think that they exist? Why those bands exist? The same desire to write, play and share music with other people as we also feel I suppose? If I was to guess at least. Why humans make music to begin with probably goes well deeper in psychology than I would understand haha

Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? Equally easy I would say as long as their music has gotten enough reach before they quit. It´s all out there to be experienced these days thanks to digital technology.

What have been your biggest obstacles? Probably convincing people beforehand of the impact our show gives. Some promoters seem to want some sort of guarantee of ticketsells before even making the booking rather than looking to book a cool show that people will remember. It´s hard to transfer that energy and magic that happens when we play via an Email to someone looking for a band and convincing someone that just checks numbers. Hopefully the new live music video helps us a bit here. We just hope that they give us a chance and we won´t disappoint them. As long as we keep showing up to play this problem should sort itself out in pace with our digital audience growing and making our reach more clear. We are still in a very early start of reaching out to people even though we´ve gotten quite far in the 3 last years where we became that much more active.

What advice would you give other bands or artists? Never give up! Music is a path you walk your entire life not a trampoline to fame and glory. Play the long game! Fight the battles but win the war as we would put it!

Do you have any new material?

Absolutely, as mentioned above. 3 new songs going into mixing and mastering next month waiting to see the light of day! A lot of the material scheduled to be released next

summer is already taking on something close to it´s final form. Rest assured our forge never stops glowing!

What are your web sites?

Do you have something to add? Only to tell everyone to come see us play if you ever get the opportunity and we play even remotely near to you! You won’t be disappointed! It is possible to play and listen to very rough, heavy and dark music but still be happy, laugh and have a good time aswell as a huge party! We try to be the embodiment of that! When you´ve seen us, you´ll understand! Until then, keep your axes sharp and keep chugging your mead!

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