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Wolfcross interview: Metal is not a fashion

by Vjeran

When we started Metal Jacket Magazine, we wanted to somehow bring our readers closer to bands that might have a harder time breaking through to listeners in the sea of bands and music.

To begin with, it would be best if you introduced your band.
J.B. Vorgoth: We are Wolfcross, black metal band from Sweden.

Is it hard to keep all the members together since this music has no income?
J.B. Vorgoth: No. Everyone in the band already have successful careers within their respective fields of work outside the band. We do this because it is something we really want to do and because it is something we are passionate about. If anyone starts a black metal band with the goal of making money then they should probably reconsider their choice of musical path.

How do you finance yourself and can you cover the costs of recording, equipment, concerts with music?
J.B. Vorgoth: The band currently covers a part of it’s own expenses but running a band doesn’t have to be very expensive either. It is important to know what you need to spend money on and what you can do yourself.

What made you start playing metal music? Who were your role models in the beginning and has that changed over time?
J.B. Vorgoth: For me it was very much a natural extension of growing up as a metal fan and then starting to play music myself. I come from a family of musicians. My father was a musicians and so was my grandfather so music has always been part of my life.
As for why metal? Well I have loved metal for all my life, since I was a little kid. At this point metal is such a vital part of who I am as a person that it is not so much that I simply want to play metal, I need to play metal.
My musical role mdoels are way too many for me to mention all of them but I will limit it to bassists since I consider myself a bass player first and foremost despite me also doing all of the vocals.
And for bass it would be Lemmy of course and Geezer Butler and also Joey Demaio. All classic metal bass players. Black metal has alot of great bass players too but they are almost always lost and made inaudible between a wall of guitars and pounding double bass drums. I want the bass to have a more prominent role in my music.

Is it hard to find a publisher or is it better to self publish considering the internet?
J.B. Vorgoth: For smaller bands and up and coming bands I think it is always best to find a publisher for your music because that at least informs listeners that the publisher found this good enough to be worth publishing.
Once you have made a name for yourself and built a fanbase then you could probably publish it yourself if you ahev the economic means to do so. It all depends on what situation you are in.

What have you published so far?
J.B. Vorgoth: The first tracks I recorded back in 2014 I published myself since I did not think this would ever be a real band. I printed cds and gave them to people I thought would enjoy the music.
That first home recording became very popular and as second one was released as an digital release only and then Andrey of Narcoleptica Productions wanted to release them as a compilation album and that became Storm of Black Salvation which was released in 2019.
And now our first full length album as a real band is due for release on Grind To Death Records.

How do you create songs, how do you record them?
J.B. Vorgoth: We records riff and ideas and demos at home then we try them out in the rehersal space and make a home recorded demo of the tracks to get the structure of the song down before recording it for real in a studio.

Where do you get inspiration for the lyrics?
J.B. Vorgoth: Mostly from books I read but it can be from anything I find appropriate or metal enough.

What is your favorite song you’ve made so far and why?
J.B. Vorgoth: For me personally the song “Wolfcross” will probably always be my favourite in a way because it is the reason this band exists.

Where can readers listen to you and maybe buy your material?
J.B. Vorgoth: Our music is on spotify and youtube and on bandcamp. We only sell merch and cds at our shows currently. If you want the new album then head on over to Grind To Death Records bandcamp page.

How do you organize concerts, is it difficult for you and how many people come to such concerts?
J.B. Vorgoth: So far we have kept it to local shows in Stockholm but now with an album out we are gonna look to play more shows around Sweden and Europe.

In which countries have you played and where did you have the best time, where is the crowd the craziest?
J.B. Vorgoth: So far Wolfcross have only palyed shows in our hometown and we always ahve a good audience but over half of them are our friends so of course it will always be good for that reason alone.

What do you think about the digital release and is it serious like CD or LP?
J.B. Vorgoth: The digital format is a necessary evil these days but I always prefer to buy physical albums for myself. If you want to support a band, buy their music!

Was metal music more honest than today?
J.B. Vorgoth: Metal today as you said in the beginning has no income unless you are a big band that constantly tours and even then a regular full time job often pays more.
So I think thsoe that do play metal and start bands today are more honest in their intentions because it needs to be a calling, a passion.

How do you comment on this bunch of sub-genres in metal and is it good for metal or is it destroying it?
J.B. Vorgoth: It is always good. Metal is limitless and lawless and should never stop exploring new boundaries but at the same time you do not have to reinvent the wheel either because classic heavy metal still works just as well.
If you want to start a band that sounds like Black Sabbath or Judas Priest tomorrow that still works because metal stands on such strong foundations that the classic sound of heavy metal will never become obsolete either no matter how far the genre keeps growing.

Do you support this commercialization of metal music and how about the wearing of metal t-shirts by some “exposed” people who do not belong to this philosophy of metal music?
J.B. Vorgoth: Metal is not a fashion. To me it is laughable when people who clearly do not care for the music still want to look like they do. However I have no problem with metal becoming popular at all. If more people listened to metal the world would be a better place for sure.

What would you change in the world of metal and would you like to go back to the time before the internet if you remember it at all?
J.B. Vorgoth: Hehe yes unfortunately I am old enough to remember a time before the internet. For information the internet is good. The youth today can learn about so much more bands than I could do that had to read magazines or go to record stores and try to find new bands.
However the internet also heralded the end of the music industry. No one buys records anymore and that is a big problem since bands lost their biggest source of income. I cannot say that enough, buy albums!

How important is supporting the local scene and can you single out a band from your area that you would recommend to our readers?
J.B. Vorgoth: The local scene in Sweden in general and in Stockholm in particular is insane! There are so many great bands that too few have heard of and I love that. Sure the competition is very stiff for spots on shows and festivals and such but there is also alot of mutual support and friendship. You should always support your local bands. One day the metal gods of old will not be around anymore and the metal scene needs regrowth and up and coming bands need all the support they can get to ensure that regrowth.

How do you see this situation in the world and how do you think it will develop? Will they imprison us again, scare us or maybe send us into a big war?
J.B. Vorgoth: When I was young we had mandatory military service in Sweden for every man so I did time in the military. I was called back this year for refresher training because of the situation in Europe right now. If there is war I will defend my country.
As for metal heads I am fortunate to live in a country where no one cares if you have long hair or have tattoos or listen to metal. As I said I was a soldier anyway. I am well aware not everyone is that lucky and I have the outmost respect and admiration for anyone that stays true to metal even when they risk imprisonment or worse.

Finally, what would you say to our readers and why should they listen to you in the sea of bands that are offered to them every day?
J.B. Vorgoth: If you like black metal you will like Wolfcross. And even if black metal isn’t your thing I will say this that alot of people have approached me after our shows and told me that they usually don’t like black metal but that they loved our show.
So we have something to offer for anyone that likes their metal faster, louder and more evil sounding!

Photo by Linda Gabor Photography

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