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SVLBRD - Interview

Well, a lot of people think of ambient music as some kind of background music or something relaxing to help you sleep. I understand, although for me it has nothing to do with that...

Interviews
Interviews
SVLBRD - Interview
ETHEREAL.PRESS

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Date
August 5, 2022
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10 mins
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ETHEREAL.PRESS

Tell us a bit about SVLBRD...

SVLBRD

After 'Home', my second ambient album as Warmth, I felt like I needed to work on something with a darker tone. I also had the idea to launch my second label, Faint, and focus it more towards techno, so I started some projects in that direction, but it all sounded quite generic to me.

The project has had a long struggle, but it has been interesting. When I was working on the first EP 'Svalbard', I gave up a couple of times and put it on hold, because it wasn't too interesting for me, then one day I started working on a song called 'Hvit' and I thought it was the right direction, although it was far from my first intentions and the rest of the EP was built around that track. Later I made 'Stratus', I also had a lot of doubts about the direction I should take, I was about to make it a pure ambient album, but I ended up including some tracks that weren't just ambient, then I almost regretted it and released a full ambient version and later, I made 'Inland', with the intention of making an ambient album, something simple, without major pretensions.

I'm quite critical with the music I make, but I think it's a good album, although it's something that could surely have been signed as Warmth and after that it was difficult for me to continue with the project. I didn't see it going in a very different direction from me main project as Warmth. When I started working on 'Solstice' was when I really felt that SVLBRD had found his own sound and it was the line that I followed for 'Somber', I did the two albums practically back to back.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Much of your album art is seemingly Nordic in countries like Iceland, Norway, Sweden, etc., with many captures taken by photographer Alexander Kopatz.

How does the north inspire your creative vision?

SVLBRD

Alexander has been a source of inspiration for me. Some of my albums, like 'Wildlife' or 'The Night' came directly from his images. I had the artwork in mind when I started working on the albums and the images of it set the concept and direction.

I guess my idea of my own sound is related to a cold and dark environment, something that really has nothing to do with the place where I live.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Is SVLBRD related to the Norwegian Archipelago Svalbard?

SVLBRD

Yes.

The first EP I did is called 'Svalbard'. The intention was to call the project that way, It was just a way of making it a bit more cryptic.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

What does ambient/drone music mean for you?

SVLBRD

Well, a lot of people think of ambient music as some kind of background music or something relaxing to help you sleep. I understand, although for me it has nothing to do with that. What I try with my own music and what really attracts me from other ambient producers, is to find something that moves me and awakens different sensations, not necessarily pleasant ones.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

You also go by Warmth. Tell us about the music you release under that name.

SVLBRD

With Warmth I have also had my little battle, more related to what I mentioned in the previous question (Q1). I got amazing feedback on my first two albums, but after a while I felt like they sounded maybe a bit cheesy. There was a lot of piano arrangements, a lot of layers of sound and everything in general sounded very "nice", it was also what people's comments transmitted to me, so when I started working on 'Parallel' I wanted to do something completely different.

My idea was to do something very minimalist and dark and well, I guess I didn't get it. Some tracks were in that direction, but in general it had a very gentle sound. The record had an overwhelming response, more than any other work of mine before or since, but it really left a bittersweet taste in my mouth.

When I started working on the next one, on 'Wildlife', I didn't want to miss out on the opportunity again. I spent a whole year working on the album, there were some moments when I was totally stuck, I thought I would never finish it, but I was really happy once I did it. It is an album with a very different sound from the previous ones, more dynamic and stimulating, with very tense and dark pieces. The reception was colder than usual, I imagine it was not what many expected from an album of mine, but as I say, I am very happy with the result and I learned a lot working on it.

I consider that Parallel/Wildlife was a more exploratory time of the project and after that I have been moving towards a sound spectrum in which I feel very comfortable, I have returned to incorporate sounds more close to my first works, but with a darker aesthetics and a much more refined sound, I think.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

What would you like to accomplish as a creative?

SVLBRD

Working on my music is an escape route for me, it's therapeutic. It's exciting to finish an album and present it, check the reaction of the people who listen to it, but I could just as well work on an album and never release it. I work on my music when I feel like I need to, when I feel like it fulfills me and if it turns out that people like it, that's obviously great, but my main goal is to express myself through what I do, without much more intention.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Tell us about your 2022 release titled, 'Somber'.

SVLBRD

I started working on 'Somber' right after finishing 'Solstice', I felt I had finally found my own sound for the project and I was excited. My concept was like seeing the outside from a dark chamber.

The production process was very fluid, one of those few times that you feel like you're in a state of grace and everything comes very easily. I think it's really one of the best works I've ever done, despite the fact that, as I say, I tend to be very critical of my own music. It actually has a pretty similar aesthetic to the first EP I did as SVLBRD. It has a more hypnotic sound, dark and dirty, but at the same time more polished.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

What sensations/feelings do you want to convey with your music?

SVLBRD

Behind each work there is a very specific concept. Sometimes it's not really what one might imagine because of the graphic design or whatever, but that's precisely why I never bother to attach my albums with long descriptions. Each one has a meaning for me, but I don't like to impose it and make people listen to it with a predetermined idea, I prefer that everyone feels free to interpret it. The same track can make us feel something different, depending on the moment, on our state of mind. I think that's the great thing about music, that everyone can interpret it in their own way.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

What's next for SVLBRD?

SVLBRD

I'm currently working on Warmth material right now and there are also ideas for a possible third project so, it's in hibernation at the moment but for sure there will be a new album sometime next year.

ARTIST LINKS: BANDCAMP

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