(In what must have been one of the high points of his year, NCS writer TheMadIsraeli got the chance to do an e-mail interview of Daniel Bergström, the guitarist and principal song-writer for Sweden’s Vildhjarta and the producer of the band’s massively popular debut album, Måsstaden (reviewed here). In what follows, a discussion about chick-slaying and chainsaws, personal shittiness, gear, and the meaning of That Word. Here you go.)
TMI: So, here we are: I and you guys, the mighty Vildhjarta, the gods of thallism, the magicians of massive, gravity-intensifying groove. How does it feel to release your first album?
DB: feels pretty sweet, wasnt sure if anyone was gonna understand it but the reception’s been sehr gut.
TMI: Is thall truly indeed thall?
TMI: Obscure word aside, if we go back and look at your catalogue of songs it’s obvious that your sound underwent a major overhaul for Måsstaden, so much so that it seems intentional. Was this the case or was it truly a natural progression? If intentional, why did you set out to undergo such a change? If natural, do you feel you’ve found your sound, or that this is merely a stepping stone in achieving sonic enlightenment of your identity as one cohesive thall?
DB: i always want to try new things and see where it goes. i often get bored pretty quickly with the stuff i write so it’s pretty unintentional in that sense i think, everything has to sound new and crazy to my ears.
TMI: For each member of the band, what is the song you feel truly epitomizes Måsstaden?
DB: eternal golden monk, it’s so unethically evil
TMI: You’ve undergone a couple of vocalist changes, of course. What ultimately led you to decide on a dual vocalist approach?
DB: the more people i can complain to and give shit the better!
TMI: How much would a thall thall if a thall could thall thall?
DB: thall, also a bunch of chicks and a chainsaw
TMI: So what’s next on the Vildhjarta calendar? I’m sure you’re all eager to finally get out there and do some serious touring after having worked on the album for so long.
DB: we’ll see, we keep getting our tours cancelled but hopefully our bookers and label will come up with something that makes sense, if not we’ll just do festivals
TMI: Have you potentially started in on writing new material already?
DB: i have an album structure in mind i want to make reality of but havnt started writing for serious yet due to the lack of motivation and personal shittynessess
TMI: Obligatory guitar-nerd gear question: What do you use for gear and what tuning are you in?
DB: we usually go with the chickslayer tuning (pretty low). on the album i used 2 ibanez xls, one with lundgren pickups and one with stocks running through a boss ge7 and finally le podxt. live we go with a palmer straight to the PA.
TMI: In your video about being signed to Century Media you kind of make a joke about your popular single “Shiver”. How do you look back on your older material in retrospect?
DB: We sold out but we are back on track now, i had a girlfriend back when i wrote those songs so no wonder they came off naive and happy sounding haha
TMI: How satisfied are you all with “Måsstaden”? Has the ride been worth it?
DB: im satisfied with the album but whether or not the rides been worth it remains to be seen. im not gonna complain about how hard it is running a band, sure it is hard but no one is forcing us to do this whole thing. we love music so i guess we’ll keep on doing it as long as we think it’s fun
TMI: Will we ever know what the fuck thall means?
DB: i think you already know
TMI: Well, you have a good day! “Måsstaden” is an astounding piece of work and I look forward to seeing what is in your future. Continue kicking ass.
DB: keep that site of yours up, i dig the title ^^
Since we’re on the subject of Daniel Bergström, here, coincidentally, is a video that went up yesterday showing Daniel doing a guitar play-through of Vildhjarta’s song “Shadow”:
So… What DOES “thall” mean – at least to you guys (TheMadIsraeli and Islander)?
If you ask that question of true believers and students of thallic scripture, who accept it as the literal word of Thall and have immersed themselves in its mysteries, you will get only one answer: thall is thall.
If you ask me, my answer is this: I have no fucking idea.
Those two answers are what one would get from anybody as to what the origin of the word is. But, what does the word mean to YOU? WHY does is do “thomething funny to your mouth”? Why is it not the word “Moo” that does that instead of That Word?
THALL just represents and brings to mind the Vildhjarta sound. Nothing more, nothing less.
Fair enough. At least you didn’t say it’s an onomatopoeia for Tomas Haake’s fart or something. 😛
Now to come up with a crazy nonsensical word for one’s own band. …or rather, just shout “SPORK!” at people.
Thall is That’s All
Well, that’s going to piss off some people. 😀 But, it does make some sense to one.
can anyone tell which ibanez models do all guitarists from vildhjarta use!!??
Both Daniel and Calle use an out of production 7 string called an XL.
Here is a detailed spec list.