Interview with Feleth
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Espen: I was enlightened by how amazing live music is when I was about 7 or 8. I and my dad used to go to AmCar meetings where there were several thousands of people and a dozen of old muscle cars, and at the end of the evenings there used to be rockabilly concerts, really high-energy music that just blew my mind.
If I were to not do music, I honestly am not too sure what I’d be doing. I love creative stuff, so maybe I’d do painting or some other art form, who knows hehe.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
E: I love going out and meeting people for a couple of beers. I’m very extroverted so I find great joy in meeting new people etc., which usually is through alcohol these days. I have really horrible hangovers, and they might influence some darkness in my creativity. Probably not much, but some.
How long has your band been around?
E: We formed Féleth in 2015 from a previous band called IronBound which started around 2011. We’re mostly the same members from way back, but added our bassist Brage in 2016.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
E: We all grew up in far northern Norway, a little place called Alta, where we’ve got the midnight sun for 2 months and utter complete darkness about 3-4 months a year.
Would be over-exaggerated to say that ‘’the darkness made our metal more brutal’’ but it’s not entirely true. There are some quite genius musicians where we live who influence us, not our environment, and hometown doesn't really do that for us.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
E: When we made Féleth, transitioning into more death metal, we had a bit of a rough time finding a new name. We bumped a bit of heads on a new name but Féleth just sounded cool. I just made the name out of nothing and thought it sounded catchy, but to our surprise, we found out that Feleth is a female first name in southern America. We found that really hilarious, and I genuinely hope there’s a south American death metal band named Espen somewhere hahaha.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
E: Our most amazing show was definitively playing Tons of Rock, Norway's biggest rock-and-metal festival, where bands such as Iron Maiden, KoRn, Jinjer, Dark Funeral, etc. played. We are used to performing for about 100-200 people and we were met with 3-4000+ super hype metalheads. That was really one for the books. We also had a funny gig in our hometown a month earlier where we had pyro and stuff indoors, everyone was sweating bullets but great show regardless.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
E: Our favorite venue is easily City Scene in Alta, our hometown. It’s a great stage and it is where we went from being total amateurs to being able to deliver great shows. Our closest dream would possibly be playing John Dee in Oslo, Norway’s capital. From there on it’s really anywhere.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
E: Dream lineup would probably be warming up for Shadow of Intent and Cattle Decapitation or anything like that. The rough question really, as there are many awesome bands we’d love to play with!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
E: To be honest, if anyone wants to play metal, they should probably not go for death metal and the more extreme/brutal subgenres. That being said, I think people should play whatever they want to play, regardless of genre. I can’t really see myself playing indie-rock or such, just to be able to ‘’make it’’.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
E: If I’d give myself any advice, it would probably be to not put so much pressure on myself, and have more fun, which I am currently having!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
E: It would be a tie between our songs USA and Riven from our upcoming album.
USA is about the oppression indigenous people have faced, the lyrics took form after reading atrocities the Americans did upon their natives back in the 1800s but the songs also about how the Norwegians oppressed the Sámi people from the north, which is a great and beautiful culture we’ve all grown up around. Then our song Riven is written from a PoV of someone suffering from drug addiction and that which comes with it, somewhat criticizing how many countries fail to help and support those who suffer from it. Having close friends who’ve been addicts was a very dear topic for me, especially as I lost my childhood best friend to addiction.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
E: My favorite songs to play are usually our newer and unplayed songs, playing the same songs over and over can get a bit tiring. Our first single ‘’Decayed Kingdom’’ gets infinite play, and I don’t think we’ll ever play a show without having that song on the setlist haha.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
E: The creative process for the band can be quite stupid, most of the time we write riffs, etc. on Guitar Pro 7, where everyone adds their parts but also anyone can share ideas for other instruments. The songs are usually refined in the practice room and in the studio.
Writing music is always fun and great, there are no rules, no limits, but infinite creativity.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
E: I’d just like to share fun, love, and good times. Our music might be a bit chaotic at times, but I find stuff like that cathartic at times. When we play shows I love to share with others a place of belonging, which is the metal scene.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
E: We’ve actually never had a real big disagreement. There have been some minor issues, but we are very democratic in the band so we throw votes if we have to. As a band, we actually get along very well, and we are almost family in many regards, if anything is an issue we work through it together.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
E: We are to release our upcoming album ‘’Divine Blight’’ on the 11th of November, and we’ve got some local shows here in Norway for the release. I think we all share a dream of touring eastern-Europe, UK, and Germany, but there’s still some work to be done for that to happen.
Interview done by Espen.
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