With the new album, ’Folkloren’, Weh has created another acoustic masterpiece, this time with slightly lighter themes than the predecessor, ’En Natt Kom Doed’ (Death Came One Night) from 2012. The Power Of Metal.dk’s Thomas sent a couple of handfuls of questions to Norwegian musician Erik E, the man behind the Weh moniker.
POM.dk: Erik, ’Folkloren’ seems to be a less dark album than ’En Natt Kom Doed’ – without being cheerful as such, though. Why did it turn out like that?
Erik: I don’t know, it was never planned to be any less dark than “En Natt Kom Doed”. But I agree, there is a little more variation in the atmospheres of “Folkloren”. When I record songs, I let things develop a little on their own, by trying different approaches until I feel it works well for me.
POM.dk: What is the meaning behind the title ’Folkloren’?
Erik: “Folkloren” just means “the folklore”, that is the tales of old superstition, tradition and knowledge. It’s the perfect title for this album in my opinion.
POM.dk: When you look at Norway of 2013, do you think that folklore is cherished among your fellow Norwegians? I know the 17th of May is celebrated almost obsessively every year, but apart from that, how deeply rooted is the need for searching into the nation’s soul for the average Norwegian?
Erik: I don’t think that the need is strong at all for the average Norwegian, but I have always been very fascinated by the old tales and superstitions, and I like to keep that fascination linked to my love for the Norwegian nature.
POM.dk: I can see that there are many positive reviews of ’Folkloren’ on metal sites from around the world – my own review was equally positive. Do you think there is not just a place, but also a need in the metal community (if one can speak of such) for dark, reflective music such as yours? I mean, you’d normally expect metal to be distorted guitars and big tattoos.
Erik: Well, I hope there is a need for this kind of music, or at least an appreciation for it. I have always listened to a lot of metal music myself, but after a while it is nice to break the rhythm with something else. I have nothing against distorted guitars, but when I started up with Weh, it was my intention that this should be calmer music, still carrying some darker emotions found in other types of music.
POM.dk: Who would you compare yourself to musically? Who would you consider your peers right now?
Erik: I actually have no idea which acts I could compare myself to. I don’t listen much to any similar kind of music, and I have little knowledge of the folk scene. So I guess someone else could give a better answer to this.
POM.dk: Which song of the album do you enjoy listening to the most now that the recording is behind you?
Erik: “Every Leaf And Branch Will Tremble” is one of the tracks I really enjoy right now. There are others that I really like too, but that one stands out at the moment. I am pleased with all of the tracks this time, which is nice for me.
POM.dk: How you write your material? Do you sit there with a guitar and a computer, or do you come up with songs in the shower?
Erik: I usually sit with a guitar and try out different things, and when I find something that works I play it until it sticks. After the music is made I try to come up with some lyrics that fit. Lyrics are the worst part of the whole process, I think it is getting more and more difficult. But usually it works out in the end. The shower can also be a nice place to find some inspiration!
POM.dk: Do you play live at all? Since you’re the entire band, it could be hard to purvey the music from your albums?
Erik: No, I never play live, and I have no plans to begin doing so. It is not important at all for me really, and it would mean too much trouble to make it work live.
POM.dk: What’s the best music out there right now?
Erik: That’s a difficult one. I tend to listen to old classics more that new stuff, like Iron Maiden, Bolt Thrower, Johnny Cash, John Denver etc. Of the newer stuff I have listened to I can mention Nile, Behemoth and Vreid among others.
POM.dk: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions, Erik. Any last rants for our readers?
Erik: Thanks for the interview, the kind words and the support. I hope those that enjoy some acoustic music with a darker twist will give “Folkloren” a chance.