Vreid interview (Steingrim)

October 12, 2015


Vreid has a new album and we decided to ask Jørn "Steingrim" Holen (drums) some questions that you can see below.


BRS - The new album title, "Sólverv" means solstices but what about the rest of the songs titles. Is there a story here or  is a concept album?


Steingrim - Hello. No, it's not a concept-album, but all songs are strongly inspired by our history, family, nature/surroundings etc. We've always been inspired by this, but now maybe even more than before.


BRS - Who was the artist that design the cover and what is the meaning of it. Vreid has always great covers with a strong significance.


Steingrim - Thanks! The artist is Kim Holm from Bergen. He designed the previous album as well, and he is, in my mind, a genious! The idea was to create a coverart which reflects the lyrics and the songs themselves, capturing the nature in our local area (Sogndal) – and I think he did that in an excellent way.


BRS - Perhaps it's not the first time that someone asks you this but what is the meaning of the band's names, Hváll, Steingrim and Strom because Sture always adopted his name?


Steingrim - Hvàll is old norse/norwegian for "Kvåle", Jarles last name, as simple as that. "Steingrim" was a name Terje "Valfar" Bakken used on his first Windir-demos, where I played the drums. "You have to have an artist name" he said – and so it was J. As for "Strom" it was the same way when we released "1184" in 2001 – and the names have just stuck to us since then I guess.


BRS - In 2014 the band celebrated the 20 years of establishment of both Ulcus and Windir bands, although the 10 years of Vreid so it was a special year. The band conceived a tour (Sognametal Tour) where played songs from all 3 bands. What you want to say about the fealling of that tour and has the band recorded some of that gigs?


Steingrim - It was a great period. We joined forces with all our former band-mates and Terje "Valfar" Bakkens brother - Vegard and just celebrated our long history together. It felt great to play the old songs again, both Ulcus and Windir-songs, and we had a great time on tour. We did not record any of the shows, so in that matter was a "one-in-a-lifetime-thing".


BRS - Vreid was always interested in history. The Norwegian history and specially the World War 2 history. How do you see the fast invasion of Norway by the Nazis in 1940 and the taking pro-Nazi position by many Norwegians?


Steingrim - It is the most dramatic period of our nations history I think. As for the fast invasion that was possible because we weren't, and never were, a great military nation – no big army was positioned to fight the germans, and all in all we thought the war would not come to Norway. Remember; we were neutral during WW 1, and most norwegians were "naive" in that sense.


I guess some norwegians took the pro-Nazi position, but I don't think the numbers here in Norway was any bigger than in other countries. Lots of people fought the enemy, direct and behind the lines - and those stories have been told many times, also by us ("Milorg").



BRS - As Norway, Portugal was always a country of seamen and as the vikings, the portuguese discover other worlds and have always been interested in new relations with other cultures. Did you know about this? What do you know more about the Portuguese history?


Steingrim - I don't know that much of your history in general, but I have read european history and know of Portugal's position as a nation of explorers and seamen. We have a lot in common there actually, the Vikings travelled the world, not always in good matters, and we can see traces of that up to this day. Also the same goes for Portugal, they do speak portugese in Brazil – right? J


BRS - Back to band history, the band build his own studio and recorded, I think, the last 4 albums there (correct me if I'm wrong). You recorded other bands there or it's only for Vreid?


Steingrim - Yes, we have our own studio (Studio 1184), and we do all recordings there. We've only done some other (short/small) recordings for other bands, but that was some years ago now. Nowadays we keep it for ourselves!


BRS - Indie Recordings is the band's label since the "I Krieg" album. What's the band relation with this Norwegian label?


Steingrim - They are very good friends of us, we og way back. It's a big advantage for us to have them aroud here in Oslo, and we can, if needed, talk directly to them over a cup of coffee – which makes things easier. We're very satisfied with our relationship in general.


BRS - Vreid is a band that love to be on the road and it's known for great gigs. Although, a tour needs a lot of investment, both personal and economic because you need a bus, many merchandise to sell, special and regular albums releases to sell too and many more things. Measuring the pros and cons, you think it's worth?


Steingrim - It's definately worth it! To be able to go on the road and perform for our fans is just amazing – not all bands can do that. Also it's a social thing – we get together, good friends, having a great time, and meeting exciting people. We always look forward to touring, although there are some major logistics that have to be taken care of!


BRS - The last question and the most important to me and to many portuguese fans is - What we need to do to bring Vreid to play here?


Steingrim - We need a portuguese promotor (shows or festivals) to "pick up the challenge" whenever we are preparing a tour. We would love to go to Portugal, one of a few countries in Europe we still haven't visited. But it's not too late – hopefully we'll make it there when the "Solverv"-tour continues next year!

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