Warkings released their sophomore effort 'Revenge' on July 31st via Napalm Records. We recently caught up with Viking to discuss the bands ride from Walhalla, their message from the god, take a deep dive into their latest album 'Revenge' and much more...
"The worst thing for us is that we cannot gang up and kill it with swords, axes and spears. Quit the contrary: we had to cancel almost every battle this year. Perhaps we can fight one or two, but that’s not for sure."
Firstly, I have to ask this at the moment, how have you guys been coping in the lock-down, what kind of things have you been up to since the lock-down came into effect.
We were not in earth when all this shit started. We’ve been in God’s studio and recorded the album, worked hard on our tunes for the upcoming battles. There was no connection to the human world but Hermes showed up and told us that our warriors are in serious trouble. Not knowing about all this we entered earth and saw that a new enemy spreads all over the world. The worst thing for us is that we cannot gang up and kill it with swords, axes and spears. Quit the contrary: we had to cancel almost every battle this year. Perhaps we can fight one or two, but that’s not for sure.
On the other hand: That provides us time to speak with human beings and drink much more than we could if we fight every week. And if you're age is 100 years or even more this will be over in an blink of an eye.
How did you get into writing and creating music? Was there a decisive moment or event that you remember that made you stop and think, wow, holy shit! THIS is what I want to do with my life?
That was not a decision, it was an order from God. When we saw each other the first time and stopped trying to kill each other he appeared and told us to return to earth and fight for the only real music as there is to much shit going on concerning music.
So we started this mission with a huge fire, meal and feast! I can’t remember being drunk like this the last 900 years! But after some weeks we put together all the songs we sung and wrote own songs, influenced by the old tunes we sung in the ancient days! Songs from different decades, sung for different reasons and in different situations became one song, got one sound and merged into one big thing: The Warkings!
Was the journey to the Holy Ground of Wacken easy to make or did you have a long way to make?
We came from the ancient times just to bring our attitude and message to the people, to stand side by side with them and fight against all enemies! I can assure that was a long way to Wacken! But we all are used to enter holy grounds. I was part of the crusades, I crushed heads and made my sword shed blood on many holy grounds! That’s what I call turning an area to an holy ground.. which leads us to Wacken.
Fighting in Wacken was just another battle we completed. Don’t you forget after our return to earth we fought several battles right before no matter where we showed up. We’ve been prepared for Wacken and our warriors were with us. We didn’t expect to get this big army together but that made it so glorious. This battle in Wacken turned into an triumphal procession! We defied the enemy, increased our army, smashed the critics. In the end, we all showed the world, that this army is invincible. The Warkings lead to victory! We finally sacrificed Wacken, now it is holy ground!
"you can use all these nice new stuff, new guitars with these huge cabs and amps! They sound so powerful and could make an aisle through the enemy's army!"
How was it bringing you ethereal sounds from Walhalla to us here on earth?
Not easy if you’re used to perforate or decapitate your enemies bodies. The situation nowadays is totally different! The chariots got no horses any more, houses and tents are warm without fire places and music is not just made for 100 or less people! You need to make all this technique work. On the other hand you can use all these nice new stuff, new guitars with these huge cabs and amps! They sound so powerful and could make an aisle through the enemy's army!
Sometimes I wonder that those old tunes can easily be mixed with the new instruments or music styles. They're the same notes, the same chords, but of course not the same lyrics. We tell you our stories, our former lives. And what we need to do right now being back on earth!
As long as our warriors stay with us, we get our jobs done.
How did the gods decide the four of you should spread the word of your famous and legendary war songs?
That's easy: God just send the best he could get out of the last 3 millenniums! Even the devil fears every single one of us. He begs for mercy when the Warkings awake, the Warking Warriors gather around and we all prepare for the next fight! Seems to be the right choice!
Let’s be honest 2020 has been a weird year so far and things will probably be weird for a while. As an artist, especially an artist with an album releasing soon, How has this affected your rhythm? This is the time you would be out there promoting the new album for all your fans!
I’m honest since the beginning and I ever will!
We would fight several battles, that's right. We all don't know how long this unholy virus will stay on this world but right now we take care about our warriors and will not fight any battles due to their safety. Right now, we don't know what to do beside of waiting and prepare our weapons for the next upcoming battles. Of course we try, rehearse and train. We keep us informed an stay in touch with our warriors. But that's all we can do. Beside partying and drink as much as we can.
Speaking of the new album, which is released on July 31 st, can you go a little deeper into your creation process for your music?
That's nothing special. Most of our songs are made in the underworld. We just hang up, drink, talk about the ancient times. When we're all drunk, we start to sing and play the old tunes we sung when we came back from the battlefield or back home to tell our friends about our victories. Or when we partied hard! You need to know that drinking and having a good time is nothing new even if times where harder back then! After all, when we get sober and didn't drink it all away... we start to bring all this into metal. I write some riffs, the Spartan smashes some drums and the Viking returns to the drinks! That's it. Nothing special at all.
"It's funny how [Queen Of The Damned] her face and her movements change when she growls. Usually she looks so nice and pretty but when she growls she looks like the dangerous vampire she really is. Like she is hunting or eating."
I have noticed that your followers have been growing larger every day. How does that make you feel as Warkings? How does this make you feel this as leaders of the horde?
It's like coming home. We're all used to lead an army, gird us for the battles and fight until they die! We always had to convince men to fight with us and women to love us. I guess nothing changed beside the fact that you don't need to ride almost a year until you're on your place of work which was really annoying! Well.. it was a long way to Jerusalem.
Anyway... we'll never stop searching for new friends, warriors, shield maids, fighters and followers. We're the Warkings, we need them. You cannot win a war by yourself. Even the Spartan needs confederates even if he would never admit. We all need to stay together, be strong and fight side by side!
You have been joined in your quest by the queen of the damned. How did this collaboration come about?
We just met her when she had dinner. She was covered all over with blood and her victim lay on the floor. We talked a bit and it turned out that she's got this incredible voice we never expected. It's funny how her face and her movements change when she growls. Usually she looks so nice and pretty but when she growls she looks like the dangerous vampire she really is. Like she is hunting or eating.
If you could choose any one person to do a guest spot on one of your tracks who would you choose and why?
Ou.. we already had guests on our battlefield. The Evil Monk or the Queen Of The Damned. If it's up to me I'd love to play with Randy Roads or Dimebag Darrel. Just let them play and I do the chords! Or Cozy Powell. It depends on WHAT to play. If you're taking over a castle Elephants wouldn't help you! But if you fight on a battlefield they can smash some bodies, take some arrows and crack some heads.
If you had to choose one song from the Warkings catalogue that you feel encompasses the bands signature sound, which song would you choose and why?
That's a good question I'd like to ask the Warriors. It's not up to us to decide cause God leaded us into this and the Warriors help us to spread the messages, the tales and fight with us. It's their battle as well. They're the reason God send us to this world and lead them. They should decide which song motivates the best. We just do this like doing announcements to the army before the battles started. We just try to find the right words to get rid of the fear they all feel! I don't know which words finally succeeded.
Perhaps that's a cool idea: To all warriors... just tell us which song typify the WARKINGS the best? Send us an owl or tell Hermes! He will transfer the message and we will listen!
Finally, are there any war stories from the new album that you can go into more detail with?
There was this one day the Spartan came back to the Underworld and was totally frustrated about playing drums. I heard his recordings and couldn't understand cause all that drumming sounds like a war machine. But he kept on complaining. After some discussion we got the reason: He was not used to hit on anything which doesn't start bleeding. It took us one night and a shitload of wine to get him back behind the drums.
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