On February the 28th Kvaen will be releasing their debut album, titled The Funeral Pyre. Recently DutchMetalManiac’s Tim van Velthuysen already reviewed it here. Now he also interviewed Kvaen’s mastermind and sole member Jakob Björnfot.
Hey Jakob, how are you doing?
Hey dude, I’m fine. Just got home from 70.000 Tons of Metal playing with Ghost Ship Octavius. Very tired but thanks for asking.
You’re a session musician, a live musician, guitarist/vocalist of Autumn Death and also played in The Duskfall, of which you parted ways with a month ago. Was that only because of Kvaen or were there more reasons for that?
Things have to move on, that’s pretty much it.
How felt that decision of leaving The Duskfall for you?
Not bad, there is no bad blood between us. It had to happen and they have a new great player so I wish them the best of luck.
You now also have your own band, Kvaen. How did you come up with the idea of Kvaen?
I was tired of hearing the same old boring black metal that everyone seems to be into. I have already heard Darkthrone so no need to listen to all the ripoff bands, same goes with all the other classic bands. I wanted to make something unique mixing all different kind of genres: Black, pagan, etc.
On February the 28th you’ll release Kvaen’s debut album The Funeral Pyre, congratulations with that. It has become a really nice album!
Thank you! I am happy you like it. I am very happy with it and it turned out great.
Originally it was supposed to be released at the end of 2019. What delayed the release?
It collided with other releases on the label basically and that’s not a good business idea.
How does it feel for you to have Kvaen’s debut album ready for release?
One word: Amazing.
It will be released via Black Lion Records. What makes Black Lion Records the best record label for Kvaen at this moment?
I know the owner and he lives close to where I live so if something goes wrong I can always knock on the door.. ; – )
No, hehe.. He offered a great deal and it was stupid to say no. He also believes in my music and that the album(s) will sell well which is always nice to hear.
Kvaen is your solo project. However, in addition to you there are some other people to be heard on the album. The guitar solos and the vocals do feel like guest-parts, but all the drums are played by others. Can you explain why it’s still a solo project despite you not playing any of the drum parts?
I can’t pull off the drum-stuff, I can do some drumming but it’s basic simple stuff. I would never use a drum-machine for this stuff and since I know some of the best guys in the business, why not use the opportunity and create magic? And do you know what? I FUCKING DID!
I think you combine many aspects of black metal’s different subsubgenres on your album. What are your favorite black metal bands?
Black…metal? What’s that? 😉
Hm, well let’s see.. I don’t listen to a lot of black metal nowadays.. but.. Mayhem, Deströyer 666 (if considered BM), Dissection and Marduk are a few.
You come from Kvenland and The Funeral Pyre‘s album closer Hymn to Kvenland also is about that. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there are different theories about where Kvenland exactly is, right? What’s your opinion of that?
Probably right, I don’t care really. 🙂
Since you also made a hymn to it, I guess being from Kvenland is something you’re proud of. What is it that makes you proud of that?
Everything about it. It’s the best place on earth.
In June you posted on Facebook that you were searching for session/live musicians for gigs after the album release. One day later you commented that the bass player spot was already taken and that you had three drummers and four guitarists ready to try out. How is this search for session/live musicians going at this moment?
All the spots are taken and they are all good friends of mine. I am very happy about this, I am no longer going to play with fools or people who can’t take this kind of art seriously.
Are you already working on planning gigs? Maybe coming to The Netherlands?
Gigs are in planning mode and Netherlands is OF COURSE a must!
Thanks for your answers! Is there anything you want to say to our readers?
Thanks for the interview! Bow string and steel will prevail!
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).