Recently the German metallers of Vagrant released their debut album, called The Rise of Norn. DutchMetalManiac’s Tim van Velthuysen recently interviewed Vagrant’s composer/guitarist Stanley Robertson.
Hey, how are you doing?
Thank you, I am doing great, hope you guys are fine as well!
How did you come up with your bandname, Vagrant?
It was the idea of our bassplayer, Vagrant is basically a metaphor for a nomadic person, that has no home and is wandering through the lands. His home is his mind and his thoughts. It describes a philosophical person, that is thinking a lot about the world and himself.
Recently you released your debut album, The Rise of Norn, congratulations with that. It is really nice! How does it feel for you to have your debut album released?
Thank you, glad you liked it. I pretty much feel relieved after this long time of writing, producing and so on. It’s great to have it done all the way, so we can focus on new things again.
How are the reactions you got on it so far?
We got great ones so far, the people seem to like it. That makes us happy and we hope that even more people find something for themselves in our music, that makes them enjoy it.
Your biography on Facebook says “Deep inside a raging storm there is a truth. Untold and forgotten and too silent to be heard. A truth that seeks to voiced. Founded in 2016, this band steps into the depths of human volatility and despair and displays these untold stories in a versatile, refreshing way. The lyrics pierce the tissue of shallowness in order to reveal a fragile, vulnerable core.” What truth do you mean here?
Good question, probably needs a bit longer to explain. We try to just write concept records with Vagrant. All the stories are based on a personal experience of myself, that happened to me in life. So the “truth” in the music are my personal stories, that I try to proceed with my music. Behind every story is something personal.
Is there a relation between this, the lyrics and the album title The Rise of Norn? If yes, can you elaborate on that?
Yes, “Norn” is a metaphor for “fate” and the whole album is about the fate of a young warrior with selfdoubts. He thinks that his fate is to be a warrior, who fights battles, because other people are telling him to go this way. But in the end, fate is showing him, that he chose the wrong way for himself, which is the reason why he is dying. Always listen to yourself and your inner voice and not to other people.
You released The Rise of Norn via Black Lion Records. What is it that makes Black Lion Records the best record label for Vagrant at this moment?
Black Lion basically reached out to us after they got a song from a friend of us. They made us the right offering and have the same goals and mindset, which is great. So we decided to work together.
It is often said that nowadays it is difficult to be a new band and to get things done. Since Vagrant is a relatively new band, how do you look at this?
Yes it is not easy to be a brand new band, since there are so many bands out there and nobody is knowing you in the beginning. But you need to start and present yourself out there, otherwise people can’t recognize you as a band. And you need to try to be unique and make something different than others to stick out, I think.
If it indeed is difficult being a new band, what is the most difficult thing you experienced so far and how did you handled it?
The most difficult thing for us was and still is to find the right musicians with the same mindset and goals. We still don’t have a full lineup, so the problem is still not solved, but you need to make compromises to go on and reach your goals.
What was the nicest thing you experienced in those three years?
The best thing was to listen to the finished album the first time after it was done. It took a lot of time and probably more than hundreds of hours to finish it the way we wanted it.
Can we also expect some touring in support of The Rise of Norn? Maybe coming to The Netherlands?
We would love to, but we don’t have a full lineup to tour right now. But we are already working on the next album and there will be some changes for the band in the near future, so stay tuned.
Thanks for your answers! Is there anything you want to say to our readers?
I’m Tim van Velthuysen and I started DutchMetalManiac back in 2014. I’m 27 years old and I live in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Of course, I like metal, but I can also appreciate other musical styles. However, metal is what I mostly listen to. I also like going to concerts, meeting with friends and watching movies (especially arthouse).