TURISAS frontman/founder Mathias “Warlord” Nygård is featured in a new interview with ThisIsNotAScene.com. An excerpt is available below:
Q: From Finnish forests to videos shot in Californian deserts, Turisas have come a long way since 2004’s Battle Metal! What has the journey been like?
Nygård: “When you’re in the midst of it all you don’t really notice things changing that much. We used to play the London Underworld and now we just played The Forum a couple of weeks ago, that’s playing to about 2000 more people. It’s just been about trying to stay focussed and do your best in many ways and you learn all the time as well. What comes back to me all the time is that you should trust what you think is best and just follow your intuition. There’s always gonna be the people who say “That’s a shit idea, it won’t work!” and put you down, saying something is too complicated or too big a risk, but you should just go for it. So from now on I just gonna stick to pushing forward with my vision rather than listening too much to what others think we should be or do.”
Q: Turisas has seemingly made a whole new genre of battle metal, what do you think of the label?
Nygård: “I think it’s funny seeing as it started out as a small inside joke! We had made our music, but we didn’t know what to call it and pretty much as a joke started to call it ‘Battle Metal’ because it had some trumpets in it and stuff and songs you would go to battle to. And then that little inside joke turned into the name of our debut album Battle Metal as well, and that’s where things really picked. It’s not really easy to define battle metal, I don’t really even know what the definition of it should be, because we just do what feels interesting and right at the time, so if Turisas is battle metal and battle metal is Turisas, then I guess battle metal is bound to change all the time as the band goes through change, or we cease to be battle metal, if it is an unchangeable thing. I don’t know (laughs).”
Q: As a band you are always evolving and diversifying on every album. Some fans are worried that by becoming more accessible, the some of the uniqueness will be lost and they won’t be able to wave their plastic swords around as much. What is your reaction to that?
Nygård: “First of all if you’re someone like MOTÖRHEAD it’s going to be very easy to just do what you do and people will love it for the next 10 years, and if people hate it, they just won’t get into it. We never felt that to be our path. I really love bands like Motorhead and AC/DC even though they never change and always do the same thing. There are always artists like DAVID BOWIE or whoever who manage do to different things at different times, yet it still feels Bowie, and there’ll always be people who love his glam stuff more than his 80s stuff, or the other way round, and that’s how it should be. But most of all it should be what the band wants to do and what they find interesting rather than trying to define ourselves through what people expect us to be. That would be very dangerous, I think. Instead we should just do what we want to and to stand up to any accusation. I think the more sell out, to use such a term would be to do exactly what is expected. It’s easier to market a band who say ‘Hey, we’re Turisas, we wave swords and we play this kind of music’ and that’s it. And we do it on the next album and the next and the next. It’s much easier to work like that, and fans love it and the press love it and everything, rather than having a band that is constantly finding new ways to express themselves. People are afraid of change and I think it’s actually more daring to change things than to stick to the same formula that people loved four years ago.”
Click here for the complete interview.