Heidevolk is a Folk Metal band that has been that has been scouring the metal realm for the last 16 years. With every release the band gets bigger and stronger and with last Friday's (January 12th) release of the band's 7th album, Vuur van Verzet; that is no exception. I recently had the chance to be able to ask Jacco Bühnebeest (Vocals) and Koen Vuurdichter (Guitar, Backing Vocals) a few questions about everything going on in the world of Heidevolk. Enjoy!
Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview! This Friday (January 12th) brings the release of the band’s 6th album Vuur Van Verzet. How does it feel to be able to finally get the new album out?
Jacco: It feels genuinely good! We’ve been sitting on it for a while now, eager to let it fly and see what it would do for our listeners. We were excited making it, and now we are excited to showcase it. That is the next step, the opportunity to unleash these new songs into the hungry crowds around the globe ;)
How did the songwriting process begin for the new album?
Jacco: This album was written by Rowan, basically. He had the whole album envisioned and let the rest of the band in piece by piece. We all got to add a little to it, while voicing his ideas to our best abilities.
Koen: For Rowan, it was quite the project. He had basically done the same thing before with ‘Velua’, but ‘Vuur van Verzet’, with all its extra traditional instruments, a 24 piece male choir, and a couple new band members as well, was a whole new challenge. Nothing but respect for him how he managed to pull it off and create a wonderful new Heidevolk album.
Every Heidevolk album has its own very distinct sound, for those that haven’t heard the album yet, how would you describe Vuur Van Verzet?
Jacco: It is a somewhat more aggressive album than Velua was. Whereas our previous record was more of a folkloric tale-telling kind, Vuur van Verzet is more about rawness, assertiveness and brawn. The sound follows the theme, so there is a lot of bombast, edginess and heavy pounding on this one, while not foregoing on subtle details and intricate musicality.
Koen: Absolutely. We all believe it is still very much ‘Heidevolk’, combining folk with metal, but there’s been a slight increase in traditional influences, and exploring new grounds going on by means of a 24-piece male choir that is present in a number of songs. All in all, it’s basically the same concept, but with a slightly different, more epic and bombastic approach.
Ontwaakt and A Wolf In My Heart were chosen as singles. How did you decide on these two songs being released before the album coming out?
Koen: ‘Vuur van Verzet’ is quite a diverse album, which always makes the decision to choose a 1st single difficult, to say the least. Both band and record company eventually decided that ‘Ontwaakt’ had to be it. It is the opening track on the album, of course, and one of the more ‘in your face’ songs. Compact and powerful enough for a video. And it also has almost all the elements that are hearable on the rest of the album. For the 2nd single, ‘Wolf in my Heart’ was an easier choice. It’s a very catchy song, instantly recognizable, and because it’s in English, it shows a slightly surprising side of Heidevolk. But as always, it could have been 2 completely different tracks. These decisions are always a matter of
debate and gut feeling.
With the band celebrating it’s 16th anniversary this year, how does it feel to be in a band with this kind of legacy for so long?
Jacco: It is a great honor for a band to be around for this amount of time, especially nowadays where it gets harder and harder to maintain a bands stability as societies expectations step in. Everyone has to struggle to combine their day jobs and the band, but you know what? The sheer encouragement, enthusiasm and dedication of our fans make it all worthwhile! Add to that the natural urge for musicians to actually make music, and there’s all the incentive one needs. We feel like we’ve got plenty of music still in us, so expect us to be around for quite a while longer!
Koen: What Jacco says! Heidevolk is not going anywhere. Onwards to the next 16 years…as long as we’re having fun, there’s nothing that can stop us. What is next for Heidevolk? Jacco: Touring the new album, of course! Playing to as many people as we can, while starting to turn our heads towards new material for… yet another new album! Maybe some special projects down the road, who knows. If i told you i’ll have to kill you ;)
With it being the beginning of 2018? Did you have any favorite albums from 2017?
Koen: Heidevolk is a 6 piece band, so you can imagine the diversity in favorite artists/albums among the band members. Each individual has his own, but some of my favorite albums last year were ‘Malina’ from Leprous, and ‘Lykaia’ from Soen. I’m definitely a sucker for progressive, melodic music. But my taste varies, from Black and Death metal to classical music. It depends on my mood and circumstances ;)
When you are not focusing on the band, what do you like to do in your free time?
Jacco: We all have our hobbies, some music related, some not at all. Koen is an avid writer, for instance. Kevin draws a lot, I am an pipe organ builder, and Lars builds websites. And Rowan and Joost?
Koen: They do all kinds of obscure things haha, I don’t even want to know.
Once again, thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. With being a long time fan of the band, it was awesome to be able to talk about the new album and everything going on in the world of Heidevolk. Before we are done, is there anything else you would like to mention that I haven’t brought up yet?
Jacco & Koen: Keep an eye on us, 2018 will be a year where one can see a lot of Heidevolk in the wild! There will be tours, new plans, a couple of videos and we would like to meet you all out there in person! Keep the pagan metal brotherhood alive and kicking! Proost, and thanks for the interview!
Heidevolk- Vuur van Verzet is available NOW through Napalm Records