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Interview mit Erik von WEH

Interview mit Erik von WEH

Torben K.: Hei Erik!
First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the excellent job you did with "Folkloren". I really enjoyed listening to your work! Since I guess that a lot of our readers aren't quite familiar with WEH, would you mind to introduce yourself and your project?

Erik: Ok, I started WEH in 2002, with the only ambition to play acoustic music with a dark atmosphere. Since then I have recorded a number of demos, up until 2006. A couple of years after that I was contacted by Soulseller Records who wanted to release all the old demo recordings on one album. This turned out as the album "Origins", and it was released in October 2010. In 2012 the album "En Natt Kom Doed" was released, and now "Folkloren" is fresh from the print. The music has changed somewhat since the beginning, but the ambition is the same - songs based on a voice and the acoustic guitar, and with that quite dark atmosphere.

Torben K.: You have recently released your second album "Folkloren", a wonderful piece of acoustic music. Are you satisfied with your work? Is there anything you would like to improve on further albums?

Erik: I'm very satisfied this time. It's hard to tell how things will turn out in the end, before everything is completely done, and although some things didn't come out like what I had in mind, I'm very pleased with the outcome. Right now I don't know what things I'd like to change or improve on future recordings, but some development is only natural of course.

Torben K.: Before going into the details of "Folkloren", I would like to ask a few general questions on WEH. First of all : In German "Weh" means something like "pain". Is that the reason why you have chosen this name or is there any other meaning which I don't know?

Erik: Yes, that is the reason I chose the name. I wanted a short, strange name, and it fit the concept. And there is a similar word in Norwegian, Ve, with the same meaning – but I think the German version looks better in print.

Torben K.: You started playing music with WEH 11 years ago. What was your motivation to launch this project / to start making music in general?

Erik: It was natural for me to want to create music, as music has always been a great inspiration, and at the time I was primarily interested in the acoustic guitar. I had no other goals than to record songs that I enjoyed myself, and let anything else be a bonus. So to be able to release my music on proper albums is of course very satisfactory.

Torben K.: Let's take a deeper look on "Folkloren". One of the things which I like best about this album, is its deep atmosphere and it's melancholic beauty. Where do you take the inspiration for this kind of mood from? What's your favorite setting to work on your songs?

Erik: The music is made by just sitting down with the guitar and trying out different things. There is no particular setting that I need, I just use the opportunity when I feel like it. The lyrics are done in the same way, most often after the music is done. Inspiration can come from many places, books, films, whatever. But most of all the inspiration is taken from spending time in the woods every now and then. The atmosphere and melancholy is probably something I have in me and that always will be there.

Torben K.: The lyrics on "Folkloren" are written both in English and Norwegian. What are the Norwegian ones about?

Erik: They are for the most part about the same things as the English lyrics - thoughts around death, the uselessness of mankind, the love for untouched nature. I don't want to explain it any more than that, it is often a special, mysterious atmosphere to lyrics you can't really understand.

Torben K.: While listening to your songs, I can't avoid the impression that the Norwegian songs are darker on one side and more personal on the other side. Do you find this association understandable? Is there any difference between writing a song in English to writing one in your mother tongue?

Erik: I can understand the association, and maybe you're right. It is certainly a lot harder to write lyrics in Norwegian, because it makes the message so naked. I used to write all lyrics in English, but writing in Norwegian is getting more and more important to me. The downside to it is that a lot of people will have no idea what they are about.

Torben K.: I have to admit that I love the sound of the Norwegian language combined with your guitar play. Have you ever thought about writing a complete album in your native language?

Erik: Yes, it is absolutely a possibility that I'll do all the lyrics in Norwegian in the future. I like the sound of my native language with this type of music myself.

Torben K.: "Folkloren", your second Album, is now out for a few weeks. Let's take a small view into the future. Where do you see WEH in the next years? Are there any further goals you would like to achieve with this project?

Erik: I have not made any plans at all as to what happens next, but after a while the urge to make some new songs will probably come over me. I can't see any drastic changes in the near future, though. I think I'll continue on the same path, just a little further into the dark woods.

Torben K.: Have you ever thought on bringing WEH onto the stages of the world? Something like the Church-Concerts of DORNENREICH would fit your music perfectly.

Erik: No, I never meant to play live with WEH. I can't say that it never will happen for sure, but it is not something I consider doing. I'll have to check out the Dornenreich church concerts, though.

Torben K.: While listening to your music, I often felt reminded of bands like IKON and TENHI. Is that the kind of music you like to listen to in your free time?

Erik: I haven't heard any of those bands you mention, and no, I don't really listen much to music like that, besides my own.

Torben K.: Which are your favorite bands? Which are the best albums of all time?

Erik: There are many bands I like, but if I have to pick just a couple then I'll say Iron Maiden and Bathory. "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" is an all-time favorite.

Torben K.: You have nearly reached the end of my questions. But before it's time to say goodbye, I would like to do some brainstorming with you. Your first associations on:

Erik: - Norway: My homeland, and I'm proud to be a Norwegian.
- Nature: My main source of inspiration.
- Literature: I love to read. The written word is my favorite form of expression, next to music.
- Black Metal: Done right, quite interesting. Done wrong, totally pathetic.

Torben K.: You've made it! Thanks for answering my questions, thanks for your great music! The last words are yours!

Erik: Thanks for the interview and the great support! To those reading this, I hope you check out the new release, "Folkloren". Have a good day.

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