I’ve heard that you, Illugi, write most of the material. Is that true, or is more like a collaborative effort? If not, what’s the writing process?
Mannveira started as a solo effort; I wrote all of the Von er eitur material by myself, but then I recruited the rest of the band and have tried to involve them in the writing process, or at least have them apply their own style to the material I’ve written.
The lyrical themes of Mannveira seem different from the rest of the bands in that they are more nihilistic than spiritual. Is there a special kind of doctrine, writing or anything you adhere to, or is it more like catch all – fuck everything?
Nihilism is indeed a big part of Mannveira’s lyrical themes; perhaps it’s not the core concept, but rather a way to capture the sort of bleak, cold atmosphere we’re always looking to create. There’s no specific doctrine that inspires what I write, but rather just inspiration drawn from whatever is around, be it books, paintings, real life experiences or whatever.
Mannveira doesn’t strike me as a band that has a masterplan like some others that write down every step in an Excel document, with everything mapped out, futurewize. So what I am getting at is what do you see on the horizon for the band?
We try our best not to make too many plans at once, but rather just head towards one (or very few) goals at a time, so that we can maintain focus and achieve them properly. Our plans at the moment are to finish our tour and then start working on our debut LP, which will hopefully be ready sometime next year.
What about in 5 or 10 years?
We honestly haven’t thought that far ahead – we’ve only been active as a full band for just over a year now, so I think in perhaps 5 years time we’ll hopefully have released at least a couple of full lengths or EPs and developed our sound in a way that satisfies us creatively. Or we’ll try and sell out and make a shit ton of music videos and action figures.
Then of course is the interest that has sprouted up concerning the scene; do you think Icelandic bands will continue to release great releases and the interest still being there in the long run?
I can imagine that the general hype surrounding the Icelandic scene will fade away soon enough, but then again, there are a number of Icelandic bands that have established themselves as quality acts regardless of their geographical location. I think some of the bands will stay relevant if they just keep creating material of the same quality they’ve been creating up until now.
Photo by Hafsteinn Viðar
How was is it letting other people come in and handle music you previously had been working on at to that time by yourself?
We’ve all known each other for a long time and occasionally worked together, so all of the members of Mannveira were first choice when I considered a full line-up. I still write the majority of the material but in collaboration with the other members, so they at least get the oppurtunity to utilize their ideas for the songs or apply their own style to them. But I can safely say that involving the other members in something that was my solo effort is not a decision I regret.
You talked about books, paintings being inspiring to you in relation to nihilism, anything in particular you wish to mention?
I don’t know how deep I should dive into this, but there are definitely a few artists/writers that capture that certain atmosphere and, to me, represent nihilism. For instance, Olivier de Sagazan is an artist I’ve always been very fond of how he creates these terrifying abstractions out of the human norm. The same could be said for some of Francisco Goya’s works. As for books, I feel that Georges Bataille and his works represent the same thing in their own way.
What can we expect from you debauched lot on this tour? You are quite the cathartic live band in my experience.
We’ve always tried to utilize Mannveira‘s music to express what we need to express to the fullest, so there really won’t be much holding back. However, we’re quite miserable and slow for a black metal band, so it won’t exactly be a whirlwind of violence and fury. We’ve also been playing some material from our future full-length, so those who haven’t seen us before can expect new material along with some previously released songs.
CELESTIAL WOUNDS Tour 2016
08.10) St. Etienne