Jonas Albrektsson from King Of Asgard was interviewed by Luke Hayhurst:
Your new album is entitled “Karg”. Can you explain the meaning behind the name?
To us it has several meanings but – “Karg” – simply the swedish word for “Barren”. We took this title and forged the album atmosphere and used it as an influence during the writing process of the album. In a way keeping us as well as the musical approach stripped down. The outcome is darker and there is less hope and joy to say it metaphorically. Imagine a dead landscape stricken by the harsh wings of history. The old times was difficult times and that’s something we tried to capture and solely as to begin with with the word “Karg” as a guideline along the way. Guess we came close to it as it’s not as easy to get into this album as the predecessors but once there the landscapes takes its shapes. We’ve actually always worked like this but not as obvious as on this album. “Karg” has been with us throughout the whole progression of forming this album, through music, lyrics to art, photos and layout etc. We’ve had it as an underlying motive in everything really, more or less. I think it will show when people have the final product in their hands and consider the thought. There’s also a music video being presented within a few days that’ll show the harsh barren side of King of Asgard yet in our already trodden paths.
Clearly Viking folklore is a subject you feel strongly about, hence your bands name. Where does this interest come from?
Not sure, it has somehow always been there more or less. Could be a natural instinct to acquire further into the matter. It’s something that interest me and that has come to be part of my life, mainly, and because of the fact of the usage in King of Asgard. I’ve had certain interest in it before but with KoA it took a new turn maybe and I got more into it on a higher level. My daily life is pretty regular I guess and Norse mythology/asa belief doesn’t affect me that much as I don’t practice it in religious form neither live after any such standards. I see it in a close and deep relation in a way of praising our ancestors and we actually breath and see some of their efforts here where we live. It’s close at hand, we feel connected and it’s the main conceptual usage in our band King of Asgard. So, not sure where it comes from but through KoA it’s very much in our daily lives I would say and appart from that a great interest and a very close interesting past.
You seem to have settled nicely into a groove with Metal Blade. How happy are you with the working relationship you have with the label?
Yeah, it’s been great all the time actually. We feel safe with how they treat us and we get along well and get the support we expect. Things are always smoothly handled and there are not much their not able helping us out with and solve which often is the case with less big labels. So we’ve got a steady relationship by now, both with the European as well as the American offices and the rest of the world. We’ve personally, with other bands in our past been involved with many smaller labels, one worse than the other, so we’ve got much experience of less functional ones. It’s been a good experience working with them thus far and a pleasure really, I guess they’re even with us as well though I’m pretty sure they would have seen us on the road more. As would we.
I wasn’t particularly taken with “…Of North” as I mentioned in my review. However for me “Karg” marks a huge stride forward in your sound and song writing. Have you noticed any changes within the band with regards to your style and sound?
Three albums into your career as a band, would you say King of Asgard are on track? Have you accomplished all the goals you set for yourself and what is now left to achieve?
Our progression throughout these three albums has come natural and never been forced or pushed but we rather just felt we’re on the right way and worked from there on and forward, without taking in nor taken affect of outer pressure. Our progress has automatically driven us forward and we have along the way also found a pretty unique sound, on track as you say, despite that we did not force it. What once started as a clone of Mithotyn absence has now grown into its own monster. We think we found the right path somehow with a powerful appearance mixed with folk-inspired pieces and a damn attitude. That’s how we look at on how to shape the music inspired by Norse mythology and ancient days of darkness. We consider and realize that it must have been a bloody awful time to live in, the time of our ancestors and hence, with that in mind our musical appearance exempt from cheerful rhythms and comical incidents e.t.c. So, we are pleased with our progress and achievment, at least so far, and it’ll be damn interesting to see how this album will be received, thinking of the much harsher approach this time than before. So, many goals been accomplished and several not yet set I belive so there will be new paths to follow as we’re not set nor cast in a mold. King of Asgard will always explore end evolve, be it back in time of view to the future.
Will you be doing any extensive touring for the new album? Will the UK be on your list of places to grace?
Unfortunately there’s no extensive touring coming up nor festivals planned at this writing moment. Right now we’re putting all our focus on the release and the promotion of the album but there is some interesting stuff for you though, such as a music video coming in next couple of days. Hope a visit of grace in the UK will come though!
Finally, what does the future hold for the band?
We’ll continue working in our well oiled fashion and hopefully get the ability and manage to do some live shows. Rare occasion for us unfortunately but hopefully we’ll manage. Next up is album and video release which we of course look forward to.
Cheers for your time!
Cheers! Thanks for supporting King of Asgard! Horns up!
“Fi’mbulvintr” – 2010 – CD
“…to North” – 2012 – CD
“Karg” – 2014 – CD