Valfreya (Interview)

Today we chat to Valfreya.

What’s the history of your band?

The band was created, back in February of 2009, by Crook, female singer and main composer.

Having many compositions she wanted out there with a much more aggressive musical sound than typical folk metal. Graz’zt joined in October 2009.  Many other members have joined the band over the years, to finally settle down with the current line-up, which now brings it’s own musical ideas to Valfreya.

What’s your musical history? (Trained or Amateur)?  

Trained for Crook, Graz’zt and Donar.  Crook is studying classical singing at university level, Graz’zt has studied classical guitar and Donar is still studying jazz drum.

So what can you tell us about your latest album? (Inspiration. Sound. Style.) How did you go about making it?

We started with getting a story together to do a conceptual album.  Once we got that done, we separated that story in smaller fragments to use for our songs.  Then, the writing process started for the music.  Knowing what the subject of each song would be helped us in getting a mood that is appropriate for each songs.  On most tracks, Crook starts with building the orchestrations and a skeleton for the guitars and drums.  Then, Graz’zt re-writes the guitar parts to his liking.  The exception to that is on Shame and Despair and Mortal Supremacy, which were fully written by Graz’zt (including the orchestrations) and Evolution, which was written by Karhu (except the orchestration which where done by Crook, for the most part).

Anything you’ve learnt as you’ve gone along? Or have you simply tried a bit of everything to see how it works?

We’ve learned quite a few things!  One of which is applying the saying “Less is more”.  We tend to put too many layers and many different melodies and harmonies, which sometimes makes it harder to properly distinguish the different instruments.  We’ll work on that for our next album!

What sort of technology and instruments do you work with? Anything you’re keen to use on your next album?

We usually write our music using Guitar Pro first, then export to MIDI for the orchestrations, which our keyboard player then imports into Logic.  He then applies sounds to each of them from his banks and tweaks the volumes.

For live settings, our keyboard player cannot play everything so, part of the orchestrations are on playback (whatever he is not playing).  As for the instruments / orchestrations, we want to have real instruments for our next album (either fully or in parts) because it just sounds better.  But, it costs more so we’ll see how that plays out.  As for using other instruments we haven’t used before, it all depends on the music we write and if we feel it would fit.

Other than that, it’s a pretty typical set-up for guitars, drums and bass.

Any future plans for your solo work, or do you have other projects on the horizon?

No plans for solo albums for any of us at this time.  We are looking to do a second acoustic album in the next year or so.

Any plans for upcoming live shows?

We’ll be playing some acoustic sets in May at the Montreal Medieval Fare.  Besides that, we’re working on a Canadian tour for August with a European band, but I cannot divulge any details at this time.

Let’s have a few general questions now. What do you see as a musicians role in society?

Relieve people of their everyday worries and give them a place to escape to, relax and enjoy!

How’s the scene different in your country to what we’re familiar with? -Anything unique to your country?

Well, besides Canada and the United States, we haven’t played anywhere else so, it’s a little difficult to answer this question.  No real noticeable differences between Canada and USA is all I can say.

Where do you stand on music videos? -Do you see their value in today’s world?

We find it can be a nice addition to a band’s arsenal but it has much less value than it used to have.  Plus, they’re pretty expensive to produce if you want something that’s of decent quality.  But, if you can come up with a video that captures the attention (whether it’s funny, weird, etc…), it can give your band recognition and help it get known faster.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Lower the cost of CDs from recording companies so people might be more inclined to buy them vs download it for free.  We find sites like Bandcamp, Reverbnation and such, where you can buy an album straight from the band is a good start.

Any advice for new bands?

Set your goals from the start and work hard to achieve those goals!  You’ll have to do a lot more than write music and practice to get somewhere, and that’s often where people get stuck.  They don’t wanna do all the extra work-like chores like media presence, promotion but it’s mandatory if you want to get somewhere.

Let’s have some generic questions. Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Trek although Star Wars is also enjoyable.

Sci-Fi or Fantasy?

Fantasy but Sci-Fi is a lot of fun too!

Horror?

Not so much.

Books or Comics?

Comics!!

Trump or Putin?

Putin.

Anything you’d like to tell our readers? Any last words for our readers?

If you enjoy Valfreya’s music, please follow us on Facebook to get some news and let us know your favourite song / songs!  We like to hear from our fans.

If you really like a band (and that’s any band) and have been listening to an album for free and enjoy it, please support the band by buying some merch or physical / digital copy of CD (ideally directly from the band if possible).  It’ll help them in continuing to bring you enjoyable music!!  I know it’s easier to take everything for free but keep in mind most bands put a lot of money in an album to make it sound good for YOU, the public.  An album can easily cost from 4k to 20k or more.  Think about it!

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