The profound impact Wolves in the Throne Room has had in the scene and the recent years of the underground is undeniable. While travelling the whole of Europe to promote their latest – highly acclaimed record “Thrice Woven”- the band had conversation with us at Metal Invader about their way of looking at music, about writing material and their new album.
Hello guys. How’s the feedback on the new album by fans and zines so far?
Hello to you! The feedback for Thrice Woven has been overwhelmingly positive from fans and zines. Everyone I have talked to on tour has been really into the new album, and people are feeling the new songs live. All press I’ve seen has been really awesome!
You are touring heavily these days around Europe. How hard is it for you to be on the road for long periods of time?
I love touring in Europe. We have so many friends there, tons of amazing sacred sites to see, beautiful architecture, and people that treat us very kindly. Extensive touring can be difficult for some bands, but we are so lucky to have such an amazing crew of people with us. We are a tight knit tribe and make sure to take care of each other and protect ourselves from possible negativity.
It’s reasonable to present the new record live with this tour and promote it, should the fans expect old classic tracks as well? How often do you change setlists for your shows?
Yes! We play a couple new songs, but we really like dig into the old cuts with the current live band. With 3 guitars in the live setting, we can truly form the old songs. It’s rejuvenating to us to give them a breath fresh air again. We change out songs on tour sometimes, and try to do a different set each tour to keep it interesting for us and the audience.
Tell us a few words about the artwork and the concept behind “Thrice Woven”.
The cover depicts the binding of Fenrir, a pivotal point in Norse Mythology, beautifully rendered by Denis Forkas. Fenrir, the wolf, keeps growing and growing, and can no longer be controlled. After many attempts to contain Fenrir, and him continually breaking his fetters, a final plan arises. Tyr offers his hand as assurance that Fenrir will be let loose if the fetters contain him. Tyr willingly submits his own hand to the gaping jaws of a massive wolf, knowing that he may need to break his word and lose his hand. This perfectly illustrates the accountability of actions, sacrifice, justice, and honor, which most people know nothing about.
The core of Wolves in the Throne Room are the two of you, Nathan and Aaron Weaver. What other musicians contributed to the new album and how come you chose Kody Keyworth to participate?
We are so thankful to have so many talented friends who lent their services to make this record. Don McGreevy brings acoustic guitar to life at the start of the album. Anna Von Hauswolff brings a much needed feminine vocal presence to the album. Steve Von Till, also brings his voice and acoustic guitar to the Old Ones Are With Us. Zeynep Oyku Yilmaz plays Grand Harp on Mother Owl ,Father Ocean. They are all so talented and we are grateful for their presence.
I was chosen to fully join the band after 6 years of playing live in the band and doing session work. Nathan and Aaron are brothers, and I feel like they are my brothers, as well. We are very aligned in our vision and unaligned in ways that create a space where creativity can bloom.
Are the compositions solely made from you two? Do the session members suggest ideas on the tracks?
Thrice Woven drums and first round of rhythm tracks were done when I entered the studio. We all contributed ideas from that point about direction of songs, overdubs, synth, vocals, noise, etc. As far as the session people, we had many back and forth conversations with revisions to parts of the songs. We had ideas that were elaborated on, so yes, they suggested many great ideas which contribute to the whole of the album.
What’s new in “Thrice Woven”? Where would you place it among the rest of your albums?
TW is decidedly Wolves content with subtle leanings in new directions. When I hear the songs I feel a sonic assertiveness, a melancholic lament, and psychic spaces not previously encountered on Wolves records. It is a nod to the past and glimpse of the future.
Your previous release “Celestite” alienated some of the fans because of its pure ambient nature. What was this record all about?
As I was not on Celestite, all I can only say is it was an grand elaboration of one part of what makes Wolves in the Throne Room. It wasn’t an permanent change, but rather an exploration which lent the space and creativity to blast out the new black metal album, Thrice Woven.
In what condition and under what circumstances should someone get into “Thrice Woven” for the first time?
My preference would be to listen to it in a comfortable setting with complete darkness, except for possible candlelight. I would listen on vinyl or cassette which both have superior sound quality. Also, I feel this album unfold after multiple listens. You get a glimpse, but not all secrets are given away at first. That being said, I feel like this album pairs well in solitude or at a raging party getting wasted. HA!!!
Where do you see yourselves and the black metal scene in ten years from now? Is it possible to foretell the evolution of the genre?
I see myself doing what I want to do, content in my progress, and looking towards the future with wonder and contemplation. It’s none of my business what happens to Black Metal in the next ten years. The internet already killed it!!!!
As -quite possibly- the most influential atmospheric black metal band from the US, where do you draw inspiration from?
Friends, Tastes, Family, Nature, Taboos, the Universe, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Sounds, Maya Deren, Sex, Terrence McKenna, Runes, Love, Dale Pendell, Magick, Smells, Plants, Unknowns
Are there any bands in the scene right now that you feel are close to the essence of Wolves in the Throne Room?
There are bands I like today…right now….!!!! Blood Incantation, Cost, Cloud Rat, Obsidian Needles, Pillorian, Puce Mary, IRM, Purity of Essence, Weregoat, Coil, Blut Aus Nord, Trepaneringsritualen.
Thanks for your time, any last comments are yours.
Thank you for the opportunity to talk with you. See you on on tour! Good luck and Hails!