Interview with Myrkgrav Kacper Sikora 22/10/2018 Wywiady Today we invite to read the interview with Myrkgrav, one-man project created by Lars Jensen. Myrkgrav is active since 2003. Now a few words about the beginning, inspirations and hobbies. We encourage to the lecture. Picture from fanpage on Facebook When did your adventure in music start? What motivated you to start writing your own music? The funny part is that when we first were “forced” to learn music in high school, I hated it immensely. I have no idea how it came to be that I started gaining interest in the field and eventually invested in my own gear. I suppose a more profound interest for guitar-driven music from the 1980s had something to do with it, by the influence of my friends. To begin with we played Guns N’ Roses covers exclusively, which gave me the basic skills to start understanding how to compose hard rock and metal. As I got more and more into the metal side of things, I couldn’t quite find any bands that truly gave me what I wanted to listen to. The only logical solution was to pave my own way by writing the type of music I wanted to listen to. As is how it goes with most young, eager and inspired musicians. Eventually that gave birth to Myrkgrav – after a few less successful attempts at finding “my” thing. Why are you fascinated in folk music? I could go into this in detail from an academic standpoint where all music is folk music since it is made by the folk, just in different time periods. But if we are talking traditionally Nordic folk music from the 17t, 18th and 19th century, I appreciate the complex simplicity of it all. You can create a huge atmosphere with very little to work with. There is also this sombre melancholy in Nordic folk music that tickles my fancy, as there is no secret that us Northerners have melancholy built into the fabric of our mindsets. How was Myrkgrav created? I started writing the first material before I had a band name. As mentioned earlier, the music itself came from a desire to compose songs and atmospheres that I myself wished to listen to. It was (and has always been) all done by trial and error, as I do not possess any theoretical knowledge of music. I had not heard a whole lot of folk metal before writing my own songs, which is evident if you have ever heard the early material on the demo; and to a degree on the debut album “Trollskau, Skrømt og Kølabrenning” as well. I don’t think it really turned into folk metal before I finally found out what kind of visual and lyrical theme I was going to implement in the project. I had always loved local history and folklore from my home area. I suddenly became very natural to make this the conceptual basis of Myrkgrav, and as such it also effected how I changed the compositions to become more inspired by folk music. What is the meaning and inspiration behind this name ? The direct translation for Myrkgrav is Dark Grave, which I actually didn’t come up with myself. Some person on the old heaymetal.no forum suggested it after listening to some tunes, and I just chose to stick with it. I sort of regret it now. It’s not exactly a name that represents the musical and conceptual side of the band – and doesn’t sound great when pronounced either. Over the years I’ve built up a whole array of alternate names for the band that I will certainly use if I ever write and release any more music following the “Takk og farvel; tida er blitt ei annen” album. Which bands were your inspiration when you creating your debut and the lastest album? I am a bit dumbfounded every time I get this question. Myrkgrav’s music has never been directly inspired by other bands or types of music. I can’t negate the fact that some of it comes from a subconscious intertextual link to everything I’ve listened to over the course of my life, but I have always stood by the fact that the music I create comes only from within me. There are of course other bands I admire and love listening to – but then I don’t really need to be inspired by them if they do such a great job by themselves – do I? As always, every single Myrkgrav song has come to life through trial and error, riff by riff. No “vision” for how a song is going to sound. They all just come to life little by little from who knows where. What do you do besides music? Any hobbies? Do you have another job? I am currently not making music at all, but have instead started making traditional leather boots and shoes. I studied folklore and ethnology at Åbo Akademi University for some years, but became very tired of just reading and writing without really making anything concrete out of it. My great-great-grandfather was a cobbler and shoemaker, and when I found some of his old tools I knew what I had to do. It’s taken me two years of being completely self-taught, but I now make quality boots following Scandinavian traditions in terms of construction and patterning. This is what I aim to be doing when I settle down in a proper house. Right now my workshop is in the bedroom of our 46sqm. apartment, haha. You can follow my bootmaking adventures at http://instagram.com/ostmoboots What would you take with you to a lonely island? My fiancé, a lighter and something to write with. If we wouldn’t make it as castaway survivors, at least we’d die together and could tell our story on a piece of paper if our bodies were ever to be found. Who are you most proud of as a Norwegian? Pride is a scary thing, it can trick you into thinking and believing things that are completely out of touch with reality. Having that said, I appreciate true kindness. While most Norwegians are not that great with interacting with strangers, they will often go above and beyond to listen to and help those that are in need of it. The stereotypical cold and distant Norwegian is just that – a stereotype. Is there another country besides Norway in which you would like to live in, and if so why? I’ve been living in Finland for almost six years now. But as far as other countries go, I would love to spend some time in British Columbia, Canada. And perhaps Switzerland, after having been there and become very impressed with their culture. If you win a large amount of money in the lottery, what would you spend it on? Apart from the obvious things like a house in the countryside and a proper machine park for my shoemaking business, I don’t think I’d spend much of it. I just want to live peacefully and comfortably with no wish for luxury. Much of it would be donated to causes I find important, such as organisations working to reduce stigma for things such as mental health issues, which is something I’ve been struggling with my whole life and is also the reason I can’t keep up with the “normal” pace the world moves in. I’ve already been involved in ICCD clubhouse work for several years to aid this motion, and nothing has been more rewarding. What can I wish you in the future? All I want is good health, love to give and receive; and positive energy around me. Acceptable levels of misery are inevitable, and I can live with that. Thank you for the opportunity to do an interview with You. Thank you! Good luck!