A Q&A with Solnedgang
One-man immersive post-rock/metal…
What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
My new single is called ‘Nornir’ and is inspired by the Norns of Norse mythology – mysterious creatures who decide the fates of humans, and include Valkyries, who choose which fallen warriors go to Odin’s Valhalla or Freyja’s Folkvangr. The forthcoming album explores different aspects of the afterlife in Norse mythology, and there is a personal connection to the topic as well.
What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
That would be the mixing/mastering process. I spent ages trying to do it myself, but I just couldn’t get it to sound the way I wanted so I had to get someone to do that for me. I was really lucky and found the perfect person (thanks Ilarion Ivanenko!) who had experience working on similar music and was really helpful and knowledgeable. It was also really valuable just getting someone else to listen to it, and especially someone who hadn’t heard the track before.
Who produced the release?
I mainly produced it myself, but I got some very helpful input from Ilarion, the mixing and mastering engineer, so he’s listed as co-producer on this track. I had quite specific ideas in my head, and not sure I’d be able to articulate them in any meaningful way, so for me, it was key to do it myself. Thankfully I managed to get a decent rough mix together that sounded alright (although clearly not ready for release) so we were in a good place for the final mix and then mastering.
What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
Music is such a big emotional release for me, so if listeners can have something close to that experience that would be the main thing to take away. I like long songs, but I try to mix things up and cut anything that is not driving the song forward, so hopefully it’s not too boring for the listener – that can be very frustrating, I know!
How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
Most of the time I’ll just sit down and start playing, and it’s usually the first thing I play when I pick up the guitar that will end up in a new song. It almost always starts with a very simple riff or just a few notes that sound interesting, and I’ll then record the riff that improvises over it. I’ll come back to it the next day, see if it sounds as good as I thought it did the night before, and then continue working on it until I’m happy. Occasionally I’ll have an idea of how I want it to sound before starting, but most of the time I let the music guide me and just do what feels natural.
What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
I’m influenced by all kinds of music really, but since starting this project I’ve been listening a lot to Pelican and Russian Circles in particular, so they’ve been big influences for sure – mostly in terms of songwriting and song structures, and general sound and production. Other big influences (at least the ones that are probably easiest to spot) are Mono, Explosions in the Sky and a Swedish band called Sagor Som Leder Mot Slutet (if you haven’t heard them check them out – they’re amazing!). I’m also a big fan of The Cure, and you can probably hear Robert Smith’s influence on my guitar playing.
What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
I don’t play live, but if I were going to tour I’d start with the UK and the Nordic countries. And if I can combine it with a nice holiday in South America and/or East Asia that would be ideal! In terms of venues, I live very close to Electric Brixton and I’ve seen some great bands there (my favourite gig there was Jaga Jazzist), so that would be one. Of course, I have to mention Brixton Academy as well – I really hope they’re able to reopen soon! I also love Islington Assembly Hall, the Underworld in Camden, the list goes on… And those are just the London ones!
If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
I chose ‘Nornir’ as the first single because I think that’s the best introduction so I’d have to say that. There will be some different sounds and styles on the album though, so for anyone who’s into instrumental music there should be something that they (hopefully) like on there.
What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
My main ambition when I started was just to release some music and see if anyone liked it. I’ve got some truly amazing feedback, so it seems at least a few people do! Next is obviously the album, so hopefully people will like that as well, and then I’ll just take it from there. Sorry for the boring answer, but I don’t really have any ambitions beyond that – at least not any realistic ones!
Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
I really hope you enjoy the music! Please check out my Bandcamp site, where you can buy my music (it’s ‘pay what you want’ so you can download it for free if you want) and there are some t-shirts on there as well. And please don’t hesitate to get in touch on Facebook, Instagram, or via email – I’m always happy to have a chat!
For more information about Solnedgang, visit solnedgang.co.uk