Hello once again. Winter’s Wake (day 2) is starting in less than six hours! If you haven’t noticed, I’m really excited about this. When the line-up for this show was first announced, there were so many bands I was really looking forward to seeing, I wasn’t even sure which one to get the most excited about. But if I had to pick one, there’s a chance it might have been this next band. Vattnet Viskar‘s self-titled album (Broken Limbs Recordings) was one of my absolute favorite releases of 2012, and in my opinion, one of the best examples of atmospheric black metal I’ve heard in a very long time.
So I am just thrilled that these guys will be in Pittsburgh later today, and I was also thrilled to get a chance to ask their guitarist Chris Alfieri a few questions about the band. Here’s what he had to say…
VOS: Hello, thanks a lot for taking the time to talk to me! Would you mind introducing yourself for the readers?
CA: Chris Alfieri and I play guitar in Vattnet Viskar.
VOS: How exactly would you describe your band to someone who’s never heard your music?
CA: Generally we avoid this conversation at all costs. I won’t say we’re black metal, due to the angry purists that appear out of their mom’s basements. Atmospheric metal usually works well!
VOS: So, how long has the band been around, and can you please briefly describe some of your history?
CA: We’ve been a band since 2010. All of us were in bands that used to play together a lot. We had this idea and just went for it! First thing we’ve all put 100% in on, most likely.
VOS: What is the atmosphere of the metal scene like in New Hampshire? Do you find a lot of like-minded people there, and have a lot of opportunities to play shows, or is it necessary to travel a lot?
CA: The scene in New Hampshire is non-existent. No venues, no shows, all pay-to-play. It’s all Rise Records ripoff bands, with only a few bands venturing into new territory.
The doom/black metal scene is generally more of a national scene than regional in most ways. It’s definitely necessary to travel to reach your audience, and if you’re not touring, then why are you doing it?
VOS: What is your reaction to the reception of your debut album? Were you surprised at all with the amount of recognition and praise it has received?
CA: Shocked. Still shocked. I wake up everyday and am completely overwhelmed with excitement. Aside from dealing with a lot of stuff I never thought I would even have to think about (record labels, merch ideas, etc.), an opportunity like this is once in a lifetime. We’re all just very humbled by the support complete strangers have given us. The world isn’t all bad…yet.
VOS: I know the music industry is a completely different place than it was, even just a few years ago. But at the same time, I understand it’s still an important goal for a lot of bands to sign with a big label. Can you tell me how it felt to get that deal with Century Media?
CA: Unreal. I’ve been a fan of their releases since I was 14. The industry is brutal. You’re gonna get fucked, so accept it and use it to get whatever you can out of it. Luckily, Century Media is run more like a family. They have already taken great care of us without us even releasing anything yet. A true honor to have our name associated with that history.
VOS: So, what’s next for you guys? Got any new material on the horizon soon?
CA: Working on new material now! Should have a release out this summer. We’ll be doing some dates around SXSW in March as well. New merch designs, new everything! We also brew our own beer, so maybe a Vattnet brew this year as well!
VOS: And finally, is there someone else playing at Winter’s Wake that you look forward to seeing?
CA: Vektor. It’s always Vektor.
VOS: We’ll look forward to seeing YOU on Saturday, and thank you again for your time!
If you haven’t heard this yet, please do yourself a favor and remedy the situation immediately!
Vattnet Viskar are playing at Winter’s Wake on Saturday, 23 February 2013, at 6119 (6119 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh).