Huldre are the Danish winners of this years Wacken Metal Battle. They play at Wacken along with all the other Metal Battle winners from all over the world to compete for the Over All Metal Battle Champion!
Laura: Huldre is the elegant fusion of Nordic folk music and metal. And by fusion we mean a genuine mixture of the both – not metal with added folk or folk with added metal.
Bjarne: And we take our sillyness serious and our seriousness silly.
How would you describe your sound.
Laura: An intense hurdy-gurdy and flute entangled with vivid violin on the solid ground of thundering guitar, bass and drums topped by an almost unearthly beautiful female voice might give a hint of the sound universe.
Bjarne: Or to quote your very own Simon Bower: “To my ears the music is much more to the folk end of the spectrum than Metal and I don’t say that in a critical way, the folk elements always remain at the fore of the performance, whilst the addition of Metal influences is always meant to compliment rather than dominate, which actually makes a pleasant change from the usual format.”
How would you describe the metal music scene in your country? What has changed over the last few years.
Bjarne: It’s big, relatively speaking, with a sprawling underground of competent bands. It also has its usual elitism and conservatism so it’s mostly made up of run-of-the-mill deathmetal bands while the niche genres are a lot smaller. Like the Danish grindcore family, the “new” blackmetal scene or the fact that we are still only 5 bands in the whole country dealing in some form of folk/Viking/pagan metal.
The latter niche groups are probably what’s changed the most in later years. Otherwise it has stayed much the same, although the quality is on the rise.
We can definitely recommend our friends and Wacken MB DK “competitors” Defilementory if you want to hear some great new brutal stuff. They just put out a debut album I think.
Why did you enter the WOA Metal Battle Competition.
Laura: Actually our first thought was that we didn’t want to be part of yet another competition, as we’ve tried that a few times and have had some pretty hairy experiences. But then we read the terms and conditions once again, and realised that participating was not just playing a few different places in Denmark but it was mainly a chance to get proper feedback on our live shows from a panel of very competent persons, and that is something that is very rare! Usually the feedback we get is – agreed – very nice, but it mainly comes from happy people who has been to our concerts and really liked it, so we never get to hear about the bad parts or get to know how we could do it better. Of course we secretly hoped to win and get the chance to go to Wacken, but that actually wasn’t the main reason for participating (strange as it might sound).
What was your initial reaction when you found out that you have won & you were playing at Wacken.
Laura: Something like “What? We won?? We’re going to Wacken??? YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARHAGsjzdxlæmsaø ACX. RYIÆ4ÆØ’AasghjSMLCSNKÆ’ DØPVD,JBiuvrip” or something similar.
Bjarne: They say a picture speaks a thousand words so, here’s a picture of that moment. We had just played three gigs in a row to get there, so it was quite overwhelming all at once. And yes Nanna is holding a skull and a beer while Laura is waving antlers all over the place.
What was the best and worst part of the competition for you.
Bjarne: There werent really any bad parts to the competition. Playing three evenings in a row all over the country is a bit tiring, and it was of course not great that we had to play with a standin the first night due to one of our members not being able to get out of work. But other than that it was a great experience. The best part of course being that we won, but it was also great to get out and meet some new people and hang out and have fun backstage with bands that approached the competition as casually as we did. The quality of bands were really high. Oh and it was also great to get some competent feedback on our performance and so on.
Would you recommend the competition to other bands? Any hints/tips for bands that are looking to enter.
Laura: Definitely! This is not another competition where the main goal is to screw upcoming bands. Participating is actually extremely helpful no matter if you win or not. To get proper feedback from competent people whose only job is to watch your concert and give hints of what was good and bad is priceless! And the help we’ve had with all the practical stuff from the Danish organizer after we won has been awesome! He’s been doing this so many times, knows all the right people and has so many good tips and tricks, that being under his guidance is absolutely fantastic. For any band looking to enter I can only recommend that you focus on how you make your show, music, appearance etc. fit together, i.e. if you sing about machines and industry try bring some machine/industry elements into your show and outfit instead of just showing up in whatever-you-were-wearing-when-you-left-home-this-morning. Putting some effort into your show indicates you’re taking your show and your audience serious.
Bjarne: All that Laura said is of course only true if all the battles all over the world are run in the same way, but if they are run the same as in Denmark, then you should really just go for it.
What can the audience expect from you at the festival.
Laura: dancing, trees and fun with bones ;)
Bjarne: Yeah… look out for flying bones. Just saying.
Bjarne: I don’t think we can pinpoint one specific achievement as new ones seem to keep appearing on the horizon but getting the chance to play Wacken is of course a big thing for us. We have played with some of the great bands within our scene, and we have played some great festivals, both small and big, and there is no end in sight. We have only just begun.
Have you ever been to Wacken before? If so when and what did you enjoy most about it.
Laura: Yep, I was at Wacken in 2012 as ordinary guest and had a wonderful time! I’m from Roskilde and have been at Roskilde Festival for the last 20 years, so it was extremely fun to see how another big festival works. The greatest experience for me was the good vibes everywhere. I know of course metalheads are full of love and good stuff, hehehe, but that Wacken would be even MORE loaded with love, joy and good feelings than Roskilde was amazing!
What is your opinion of the Wacken line-up?
Bjarne: Well everybody seem to be bitching about it, but maybe thats just the norm? Our local Copenhell festival had the same bitching noise around it regarding lineup but it looks fine to me personally. There is of course the mortal oversight of having Carcass and Motorhead play at the same time *shakes fist furiously*
I personally look forward to a lot of things like Excrementory Grindfuckers, The Sognametal 20 years thing, if I can stay awake/conscious, and DTP is always a must-see
Laura: Ehem *cough cough*, I haven’t checked the line-up really. My preferred festival planning procedure is to read the program booklet when I get it and then figure out what to go for, so I guess I’ll stick to that this time as well – it usually works perfect for me
Can you sum up Wacken in one sentence?
Laura: Metal, fun, love and beer overload (well, the latter not for me this year unfortunately as I’m pregnant at the moment)
Bjarne: It’s Wacken, what more do you need to know?
Any message you wish to pass on to the PM readers.
Laura: Hope to see you all at Headbangers Stage Thursday 31/7 at 5 O’clock. We can’t promise tea or cucumber sandwiches, but I hope that we can give you something else instead…
Bjarne: And if you want to know more or read more, there is an album review and an older interview on this very site that might give you a stronger idea of what to expect