EMQ’s With Norrsköld
Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Swedish Melodic Black/ Folk Metal band, Norrsköld. Huge thanks to guitarist Henrik Bodin-Sköld for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Henrik Bodin-Sköld, guitarist and main songwriter in Norrsköld. Norrsköld started out pretty much as a studio project by me in 2013. The overall ambition of the music was to combine “the best of worlds” considering melodic metal and black metal. A large part of the inspiration for the song writing came from early 90’s Scandinavian acts like Dimmu Borgir, Dissection, Opeth and In Flames. So, the aim of Norrsköld has been “What would it sound like if all of these bands would join forces and create something with a modern production?” And we write music that somewhat corresponds to this. Norrsköld had a live performance era between 2015-2018, including European tours with Amon Amarth and Nightrage etc. Nowadays, the main focus is once again on creating and recording music as a studio project. However, live shows in the future are not an impossibility.
How did you come up with your band name?
It’s basically a wordplay with my origin (Norrland) and my family name (Sköld). Initially it felt like a natural name for the one-man studio project it all began with.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Me, I’m from the northern part of Sweden (Hälsingland region). Most of the other guys / girls that have been / are a part of the project comes from the west coast of Sweden (Gothenburg primarily).
What is your latest release?
Three singles have been released in October / November, prior to the release of our new album Prisma Aeternus (release date on Spotify and similar platforms 2022-11-07). Music videos have also been produced for two of these singles, available on our official Youtube channel.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Metal wise I’d say Dissection, Opeth and early In Flames. In general, most influence has been taken from soundtracks to movies and video games (an underrated source of inspiration).
What first got you into music?
I stumbled upon a keyboard at a very early age (4 or so). Then we have this thing in Sweden called municipal music education, where every kid gets the chance to get educated in one or several instruments “for free” during the primary school years. I believe this is one of the explanations that Sweden has produced so many acknowledged musicians throughout the years.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
It would be really interesting to record / perform an album together with a grand orchestra in a great concert hall sometime. To really explore the soundscape in all dimensions. Would also be a cool thing to co-arrange a song or two together with the Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
I’d say we would fit pretty good in the Wacken context. It just feels like a natural habitat for our kind of melodic death / black metal hybrid.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Once after a gig, a guy comes up to the stage giving me a hand drawn portrait of myself, which he’d been creating with crayons during the concert. Honouring but unexpected.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Melodic metal can still be interesting! If you’re into death / black metal and want a touch of Scandinavian sounding melodies, Norrsköld should definitely be considered.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Cliff Burton. Even though he accomplished great things while being alive, I think he had a lot left in the tank in terms of composing REALLY interesting and harmonic metal. A truly open-minded musician.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Having the gift of expressing oneself in not only words, but also in tones. I believe some feelings and moods are not possible to express in words, why composing is such a unique medium for this.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Well, make better room for up-and-coming artists on the greater platforms / venues. There’s a great need of “refreshment” especially in the metal scene. There are SO many exceptionally good bands out there that get stuck in the struggle of actually reaching out.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“Morningrise” by Opeth. A timeless classic. Delicate mix of nature romanticism, death metal aggressiveness and a haunting melancholy created with almost weeping guitars. Mikael Åkerfeldts finest.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Soundwise it’s definitely vinyl. Although in order to find an artist that actually deserves to be listened to on vinyl, download / streaming services are gold for discovering new (and not necessarily world famous) artists.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Must have been at arenas in St. Petersburg and Moscow, together with Amon Amarth. There was an overwhelming response from the audience, especially in Moscow.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Myself, I actually work in the environmental business, with focus on climate change. It’s a pretty decent work for being a “non-artsy” one. As a main alternative, I’d say being a full time author.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Not to unexpected maybe, but I would arrange a “composer’s dinner” with representatives from different genres. I’d really like to hear the stories behind how come up with their own special kind of music, and generally listen to how they create songs. I’d invite Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish), John Frusciante (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) and, resurrected from their graves, Cliff Burton (Metallica) and Jon Nödtveit (Dissection). I imagine quite interesting discussions around the table. And a lot of drinks.
What’s next for the band?
Heavy focus on promoting the new album and videos. Maybe do some playthroughs. Will also continue to write and perfect new music during next year.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Mostly Instagram, Facebook and Youtube. Check out our channels / accounts!
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Definitely a bis-cake hybrid.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank YOU for taking the time to notice our music! Just want to recommend everyone to give our music a listen, especially if you’re into ultra-melodic and catchy black / death metal music.
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