Varg (NO, NOT THAT VARG!!!) is quickly becoming one of the hardest working bands in the German Folk Metal world. With combining elements of Folk, Black, Metalcore and even Pop, the band's 5 album, The End Of All Lies, is becoming known as a fantastic representation of the band's versatility. I had the pleasure to talk to Managarm (Timo Rotten) to talk about everything currently going on the wolf dominated world known as Varg.
Thank you for taking the time out to do this interview with me. My first exposure to you guys was in Minnesota at Paganfest 2014. You guys totally blew me away and I've been a fan ever since. Now that The End Of All Lies is officially out. How has the early reception for the album been so far?
Sure, thanks for having me. Minnesota was great, I remember that night very good. Glad you liked the show. It has been very great so far, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, the fans liked it. We even entered the Top 20 of the German album charts at position 17. It just feels so great. We’re very proud of that album.
The new album does showcase a stronger and different distinct sound than used in the past. What brought on the new ideas in the band's sound?
We’ve been experimenting a lot on our previous release „Guten Tag“. The results were a bit confusing for everyone. But now it feels like we found the right way to combine our pagan roots with the more modern approach. I simply love bands that try to incorporate different styles into their music. This has always been a great influence for me. Finally having accomplished that is just great. It feels good. I think we have found our musical core. Varg is exactly where I want it to be at the moment.
The first track, The Great Dictator marks a great use of the legendary speech from the film of the same name (The Great Dictator). Is it fair to say that the themes of the film inspired the lyrics of The End Of All Lies?
It sure seems legit. But the songs were long written and recorded before we came up with the intro.
The Title Track, The End Of All Lies is a great representation of the sound of the album, showcasing everything the band is capable of right now. Was it an easy choice having that be the lead single from the album?
We had a couple of songs in mind to become the title track. At first the album was supposed to be entitled „Revolution“, then it was „Achtung“. But „The End of All Lies“ soon became our favorite, because of the reasons you already named. It perfectly sums up everything we do on the album.
Anna Murphy from Eluveitie makes a fantastic guest spot on the song, The Dance Of Death. How did it come about to bring her on board for the album?
Yeah right? Her performance is just incredible. I’m so happy to finally have a collaboration with her doing vocals. (She already did a guest appearance with her hurdy gurdy in 2011 for the song „Rotkäppchen“, you know.) She’s been a long time friend of mine since our first tour together with Eluveitie in 2010 and I have a huge respect for her. She’s an incredible musician.
Was there any B-sides, covers, or unused material from the End Of All Lies sessions that might make an appearance in a future release?
We indeed wrote a shit ton of songs. Two of them can be found on our previously released „Rotkäppchen“ EP. I don’t really know what’s going to happen to the other songs. They might end up on upcoming albums. There are a couple of very strong ones among them, which just didn’t make it to „Then End of All Lies“ because they didn’t fit into the tracklist.
What are the current plans for Varg for 2016? Any chance of hitting North America for this album cycle?
We have the Wolfsfest coming up in March/April. This is going to be our first self produced headlining tour through Germany and Switzerland. Very big production and it’s gonna be awesome shows. I’m sure we’ll come back to the US, but unfortunately I can’t confirm anything so far. We’re working on it.
Now that's the beginning of 2016, were there any albums you enjoyed from 2015? What albums are you looking forward to in 2016?
I really enjoyed the new album from Hollywood Undead: Day of the dead Killer band! Also Love Story from Yelawolf was one of my favorites in 2015.
I don’t listen to much of the new metal stuff that’s coming out though. I’m more into the bands and albums I grew up with. The new Marilyn Manson album The Pale Emperor. probably was the most surprising and exciting release of 2015 for me. He was one of my major influences as a teenager and seeing him getting back to full strength on that killer album was just awesome. I’d call it my album of the year probably.
Thank you once again for taking the time to do this interview. It was a tremendous honor. Before we wrap things up. Is there anything you would like to mention or promote that I haven't brought up yet?
Thanks for the interview, it was a pleasure. Hope to see you soon again in the US.
And a shoutout to all our American fans: We will come back! You guys rock! Keep the Wolfskult alive over there.
Varg- The End OF All Lies is available now via Napalm Records.
That Drummer Guy: Radio DJ, Interviewer, Reviewer, overall...an OK guy.