Interview: Bjørn Eide (Glittertind)

BFBWhen some bands say they’re mixing up their sound, they really just mean cutting back on the blast beats. Enter Glittertind, who have come to show the world what changing your sound really means. From folk metal through to a more indie folk sound, the band are almost unrecognisable now.

Now we’re a metal site and most likely you’re a metal fan if you’re reading this so you know what metal fans are like. As a group we tend to reject the smallest change (god forbid a band evolves), however, take a second to scan the comments on Glittertind‘s social media or Youtube and you’ll notice that the change has been met with a large amount of positivity. I would assume due to the fact that the music is still very good, but it’s a good sign if we’re accepting change these days. Bjørn Eide took the time to answer our questions about thier latest album, Blåne For Blåne, and the reaction to their musical changes.

How are you doing today?

I am doing very good, thank you!

Can you give us more information about the albums concept, I believe it’s based on the peace following the end of the war in 1945? Is it this peaceful concept that led you to focus on a gentler sound compared to that of Djevelsvart?

In this album we wanted to do something completly different to Djevelsvart. Djevelsvart is a very dark album, and we wanted to bring some light into the music. It’s 70 years since World War Two ended, and we thought it would be fun to make an album about this. The war showed man from its most destructive and ruthless sides. But with these dark forces a strong counter-force emerged and values like freedom, social justice, tolerance and solidarity became more apparent for people than ever. These forces contributed to the rebuilding of Europe and gave birth to its welfare states. The ability the war-generation had to create new meaning after traumas and loss of meaning has inspired the work with “Blåne for blåne”.

Høyr Min Song

How was the writing process for the latest album?

It was very fast, stressful and fun. I think we wrote all the songs in a span of six months. We spent three years writing on Djevelsvart, so it was quite a change of pace.

It’s the second album as a full band, was writing and recording easier with an established relationship?

I guess you can say that. We are six guys in the band, and all of us have different ideas on how we want the songs to be. We know each other better now, and it makes it easier to communicate the ideas we have.

What sort of other musical paths would you like to follow as Glittertind while still keeping the folk basis?

That is a hard question. We will always have folk in our music, but it’s too early to say what other musical paths we might take.

Obviously with work such as Landkjenning and Til Dovre Faller you have a good following of metal fans, how has the reception been to the lighter atmosphere of Blåne for blåne?

It has been very good. There is always somebody who wants us to play metal and hard rock, but most of our fans understand that we want to explore different styles as musicians. We like to surprise ourselves and our fans.

Is there any apprehension before trying a new style, be it rock, acoustic?

Not really. A good idea is a good idea, be it metal, pop or jazz. The first ideas for this album were really good, so it felt natural to go down this path.

Longships and Mead: how many in the UK came to know Glittertind, thanks Metal Hammer compilations!

With the genre mix, are you finding it hard to maintain distinct groups of fans, or are you finding people from a variety of styles are mingling to create a fairly unique fanbase?

I guess you can say that we have a very varied fanbase. All kinds of people listen to our music. You can find everything from metalheads to people who only listen to pop coming to our shows.

Folk is a very broad term with different countries and cultures having different folk styles. Do you focus purely on Norwegian style folk, or do you take influence from outside sources?

The Norwegian style of folk is the basis for our music, but in this album we have been experimenting with American and English folk as well. You can find great folk music from all around the world, so it’s fun to mix it with the Norwegian tradition to see if we can make something new from it.

What is in store for the remainder of 2015?

This year we are going to be playing concerts in Norway, and we might start writing songs for the next album.

A final thanks to Bjørn for his time. You can find the band here on Facebook. I thoroughly encourage you to go and explore their back catalogue, it’s one of the rare times I can say “there’s pretty much something for everyone” and mean it!


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