WATAIN vocalist/guitarist Erik Danielsson recently spoke with Australia’s Heavy magazine. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On utilizing pyrotechnics in concert:
Erik: “The tours we did in 2018 were with full pyro production here in Europe, so we’re very used to intense fucking heat, on stage at least. To be honest, now it’s just problematic to perform without that heat, because it feels like something is missing.”
On how the group prepared for its upcoming tour of Australia:
Erik: “We’ve had to rework the entire stage show because it needs to be flyable – you need to be able to check it in on an airplane every day. That’s a huge difference from how we’re working in Europe. We’ve been playing around with ideas. All of the stage show that we have, in Europe as well, is built by the band from scratch. That’s the same thing that we’re doing now. I would say it’s similar to writing music or anything else we do with the band — it’s a thing we devote a lot of time to and meet and exchange ideas and make sketches. It’s a creative process, just like writing an album.”
On whether choosing which songs to perform live becomes more difficult over time:
Erik: “It’s a challenge, but it’s a good challenge. I consider it more a privilege than anything else to have so much to choose from. What we did on the latest European tour, we changed the set list pretty much every day. We had about 30 songs rehearsed, and then we pick and choose for what feels right for the mood that we are in and the venue. Everything like that is taken into consideration when we’re figuring out the set list for the night. We write it on the same day that we’re going to perform. When we’ve seen the venue and sometimes we feel that maybe if it’s a huge hall or theater-like, then maybe that’s more fitting for the more epic and grandiose songs, while if it’s a small club, we want to do something a bit more in-your-face. It’s a challenge, but at the same time, it’s good to have so much to choose from… Most of the songs are changed from night to night, so we will try to keep it like that, partly because we want to keep things a bit challenging for ourselves. We don’t just want to do the same thing night after night. Also, there’s always people that travel and see more than one show, and it’s cool if it’s different from night to night.”
On how the material from the group’s latest album, “Trident Wolf Eclipse”, has gone over live:
Erik: “Very good, I would say. The whole album was written in a bit of a live state of mind, you could say. In the creative process for this album, we were exploring what would happen if we brought the live kind of energy and mindset into a studio environment, and took it from there. A lot of those songs, they come out very naturally. It’s been a very good album to tour with like that… Every recording we’ve done is quite different, but yeah, it did definitely change the approach that we had in the studio. We didn’t dwell so long on every decision that we had to make. If we wanted an effect for the guitars, we used a pedal instead of adding it afterwards in a computer or whatever. That was a bit of a game-changer — it was a much more direct approach, I would say, and less contemplative and less room for over-analyzing things. It was more of a straight-for-the-jugular kind of approach.”
On the group’s upcoming plans:
Erik: “We’re going to continue touring until August, but we also have breaks that we have discussed using for writing. We’re definitely hungry to write more material. ‘Trident Wolf Eclipse’ was, to a certain extent I would say, a lot about getting a lot of shit out of the system — a lot of ideas that had been lying around [and] a lot of things that we just wanted to get out there and then. Once that was done, my fingers, at least, immediately started itching for writing new stuff. That’s definitely in the crystal ball.”
“Trident Wolf Eclipse” was released in January 2018 via Century Media.