Theudho is a band I recently discover and instantly liked their style. I was lucky enough to get a promo copy of their latest release "The Volsunga Saga". So here's what the band has to say for you to know them better.
Thank you for your time guys. Congratulations with the great album The Volsunga Saga. Tell us about how this project came into place.
The Völsunga Saga is the second Theudho album, but only our first album as a full band.
Theudho started out in 2003 as a one-man band. I did a couple of demo's and got signed on Nepherex, our current label, in 2004. That very same year the debut album "Treachery" came out. "Treachery" was still recorded as a one-man band, with guest-leads by Bastiaan.
After the release of "Treachery", Bastiaan joined Theudho as a full member. Later on Filip and Joachim joined the band on bass and drums respectively. We recorded our album in our home studio, as I've basically been doing since the first demo. Afterwards Raf of Ancient Rites came in to not only mix and master the album, but do some guest vocals and play a magnificent guitar solo on the instrumental track "Fall of the Niflungs".
Is everyone on board contributing to the music?
The majority of the music is penned down by myself and our lead guitarist Bastiaan, but everybody's opinion is considered when working on new material.
Which come first; words or music?
Normally it would have been the music, but this time around we had already determined that we would use certain quotes from the saga throughout the lyrics.
Why did you choose the raspy black metal vocals? (Great choice by the way).
I guess I've been looking for a vocal style I feel comfortable with ever since the first demo. Raspy black metal vocals, as you fittingly describe them, seem to fit the grim atmosphere of our music and lyrics. Still I try to offer some variation, as we use different kind of vocal approaches throughout the album.
I know old tales are really popular in European countries such as Scandinavia and Germany but to my knowledge, it's not frequently known to bands from Belgium. Correct me if I'm wrong and perhaps tell us more about this interesting phenomenon.
Well, there are a bunch of bands here as well that are lyrically devoted to pre-Christian culture. The Dutch speaking part of Belgium we come from (Flanders) belongs to the same Germanic cultural realm as our Dutch, English, German, Austrian, Icelandic and Scandinavian brothers. There's only about six million people living in Flanders, so it is not very likely that we will ever be able to profile ourselves as "the center of Germanic culture" on an international level.
Now where does the fascination for heathen culture come from? As the modern age progresses, the yearning to older, simpler times seems to be sustained ever since the age of Romanticism. I have come to see the pagan metal movement as being part of the very same spirit that inspired melancholic souls to hail their national past ever since the 18th century; the spirit that inspired the brothers Grimm, Rousseau, Rossini, Macpherson, Wagner and so forth. It is a counterweight, if you will, to the cold-hearted and heartless society we live in today.
Still I understand that it might be strange that a band from a strongly urbanized country such as Belgium chooses to write lyrics about topics that don't have anything to do with the modern world. Indeed Germany and the Scandinavian countries have preserved large stretches of unspoiled, inspiring nature that appeal to melancholic souls such as myself.
How is the underground scene in Belgium?
There are several worthwhile acts around here.
It is also nice to see that younger people get inspired as well and start bands, just like we did all those years ago.
What are the good bands that you would like us to discover?
Without doubt I can advise you to listen to our countrymen Wapenspraak & Drinkgelag and the Dutch band Heidevolk; two great bands worthy of international recognition.
Do you think bands such as you are getting a proper exposure and recognition and if not, what should be changed?
Recognition is totally up to the individual metal fans out there, isn't it? If they like our music, that's great. If not, there are plenty of other bands to enjoy for them.
As far as exposure goes, we're on a small label so it is in fact quite hard to get our name and music out there. It's hard to say whether we deserve the exposure we are getting right now. All I can say is that we work quite hard and are determined to keep playing the music we love.
Do you still listen to the radio and how do you consider the mainstream?
No, I don't even own a radio. When my previous stereo broke down I didn't bother to buy a new tuner since I never listen to the radio stations that are on here.
I think that the situation with radio stations here is a bit different compared to North-America. We don't have a rock/metal stations, only one national alternative station that broadcasts songs of popular rock bands as well as mainstream R&B and whatnot.
You recently played with one of my favorite folk metal band Korpiklaani. How was it to share the scene with them?
It was an odd match really, we play a very different kind of music. We were playing for their crowd, so we weren't really too sure how their fans would react. It was cool to see that we got some heads banging in the front though, so we were quite happy with how things turned out.
Did you get to know those fellows a bit more?
No, not really. I only talked to one of their guitar players for a brief moment about some technical stuff concerning the backline we were sharing. Things were hectic that evening so unfortunately we didn't have the opportunity to socialize; everybody was focused on their own performance.
What are the future plans for Theudho?
We hope to play a bunch of shows in both our own country and perhaps even do some more shows abroad. After that we'll start working more intensively on the follow-up to "The Völsunga Saga".
Right now we're just recording some ideas and some riffs here and there, but eventually we'll need to come up with material that tops our current album, won't we?
Anything you would like to add to end this interview?
Well, I would like to thank you for your interest in our band and for the time you spent interviewing us.
Readers of you magazine are welcome to visit our website to check out band and music out at www.theudho.com.
Thanking you for your time and answers. Looking forward to more epic black metal.