Lucem Fero recently published an interview with TURISAS vocalist Mathias "Warlord" Nygård, conducted in September by Welsh interviewer Anthony Morgan. Topics of discussion included TURISAS' DVD, "A Finnish Summer With Turisas", its accompanying documentary, "Battle Metal"'s re-recording, and plans for a follow up to 2007's "The Varangian Way". Several excerpts from the interview follow below.
On whether too much emphasis is placed upon TURISAS' image:
"Yeah. There's likely many individuals who hear the name TURISAS, and immediately think of the group's visual image. When you open a magazine, that's the initial impression you receive. Sometimes, it's slightly difficult to compete with that. This can additionally work against the group; in some respects, our image can discourage a potential fan. They'll assume that TURISAS are a bizarre outfit, and won't wish to listen to our material. When most individuals witness us in live performance, it's a somewhat enlightening moment (laughs). Then, it all begins to make sense. You have to take note of the fact that the media always place emphasis upon aspects they feel will aid in selling their publication. It won't be the first time, or even the last time, that a photographer will suggest a Viking-themed photoshoot upon an open top bus. Of course, we could sometimes suggest alternative ideas (laughs). We don't participate in interviews for leisurely purposes anyway; as opposed to turning down interview and photoshoot requests, we might as well just make the most of things. Actually, it's essential to have good coverage in the media, as that's how music fans learn about you, and learn about your group. Despite the fact that the internet is taking over so to speak, I think that articles published via print media are somehow deemed slightly more valuable than those published via digital media."
On "A Finnish Summer With Turisas":
"Compared to the other group DVDs available for purchase, it's slightly different. While touring across North America, we began to take a look at our summer 2008 schedule. We realized that a number of Finnish shows had been booked, and that was quite strange. In the past few years, most of our performances have occurred within Germany, the U.K., or abroad. Only during the last year or two, we've actually started gaining recognition in our home country. Of course, it's nice to gain recognition in your home country as well. We found our summer schedule slightly special, and opted to film a documentary regarding the whole summer. It's a road trip somewhat, but also happens to be a documentary regarding TURISAS. The DVD features interviews and so on, and that type of material spans roughly an hour. That footage sits alongside roughly ninety minutes of live material, which was filmed from each of the festival performances we conducted. Collectively, they work; you see the group behind the scenes making pre-show preparations, and you can then view the performances themselves. In a nice way, both are built on top of one another."
On how performance footage was selected:
"We hadn't actually decided which performance footage would eventually feature upon the DVD. For that reason, each and every show was recorded. In light of the DVD's fellow content, we felt that it was more appropriate to use several tracks from each of the festivals we performed at. Obviously, the DVD's fellow content concerns travelling to the festivals, and the circumstances surrounding those festival performances and so on. It'd be slightly strange not to use footage from each of the performances. The DVD isn't a complete show as such, but is simply comprised of a lengthy set, and that set boasts tracks from different performances."
On "Battle Metal"'s re-recording:
"As we embarked upon this tour, a label representative asked us if we wanted to cut a budget video in support of 'Battle Metal'. After being asked, we then all thought about it. We like how the track is performed live today, though the album version is somewhat outdated in our opinion. We didn't really want to channel much work into a track we felt was somewhat outdated. Instead, we re-recorded 'Battle Metal', and slightly changed the arrangement. However, the original rendition will always be the original. I used to say that everything cut after a track's original rendition is crap, though the re-recording wasn't made to replace the original rendition, or anything of that nature. We merely wished to hear how 'Battle Metal' would sound, had we recorded the track during 2008. At many of TURISAS' live shows, countless fans arrive replete with makeup, and costumes. How much effort they channel into their appearance is extremely impressive, so in light of that, we invited fans to send in their own material."
On plans for a follow-up to "The Varangian Way":
"I think it's going to be awhile before we issue our third album. (laughs) At the moment, we'll be touring for quite some time. Right now, our plans are to finish this touring cycle alongside DRAGONFORCE by the summer of 2009. Following that, we'll take a break to start focusing upon writing new songs, and subsequently entering production. From mid-2009 until the end of 2009, there'll likely be a gap. We won't tour much, but will focus upon writing new tracks, and cutting our third album."
On whether the follow-up won't surface until 2010:
"Yeah, that sounds realistic."
Read the entire interview at Lucem Fero.