Erik Ravn Interview In English

Posted on February 18, 2014

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Hi guys!

Almost a month and a half ago I published an interview, or more like a story told by Erik Ravn from the Danish Folk/Power Metal band Wuthering Heights.
The story was written in Swedish for my Swedish audience but as Erik himself wrote it in English, and since there are many fans of this great band that doesn’t understand Swedish I thought hey, lets give them Eriks own words!
Its a very interesting story about the album The Shadow Cabinet and the bands history, so be sure to check it out!

WUTHERING HEIGHTS – THE SHADOW CABINET (2006)

I´ve been asked to give a few comments on this album – our fourth. I´m pleased to do so, since I´m very happy with this one, it may actually be my favorite WH album, at least on some days.

As you may know, our band has suffered a lot from line-up issues through the years, and it that respect this album is special, since it marks the beginning of our current line-up, that has proved the most steady so far. To understand this album, we therefore have to go back to 2004, where we played the ProgPower festival in Atlanta, Georgia. You may think it was just another gig, but the circumstances were quite special. We had been invited to play this prestigious festival, and I had to get a live line-up together in a very short time. As it turned out, half of the band was replaced, for various reasons.

Anyway, here we are – six guys who have had no time to rehearse properly, or get to know each other musically – on a plane through the hurricane “Ivan”, then driving through floods of rain to play a concert of quite complex music. Scary stuff, but a real bonding experience. To make a long story short, we had so much fun together over those few days in Atlanta, that we decided on the spot that this “temporary” line-up would indeed be the real future Wuthering Heights. And since then, everything has worked out so much smoother than ever before in the history of the band.

Even the recordings for the album, which can be a nerve-wrecking experience, went surprisingly easy. The new guys were real pros, and everybody was able to work on their stuff in advance at their own home studios. The whole thing was finally put together at Tommy Hansen´s studio, guided by his sure and experienced hand.

But what about the music, I hear you ask? Well, this is certainly our most direct, heavy and dark album. As usual, the lyrics had been in the making for several years before they finally found musical accompaniment. I´ve always written the lyrics first and then composing the music to support and underscore them in the most effective way. But my experience tells me that this is not the way it´s usually done, and I guess it has put some people off writing with me in the past.WH_Erik_2010_pic01

Anyway, in the end I had a demo of the album, which I thought was very strong indeed. And I actually think that this album is our most “conceptual” release – one where the songs really make up a unity. I know our past albums have been heralded as some big concept story, but that was never the case. There never was any “trilogy” or “saga” – that was all made up by the record labels. The thing that tied the first three albums together was the fact that all the songs were more or less written before we got our first record deal. So when we started recording the first album, I had already arranged which songs would go on the first, second and third album. But that´s about as far as the “concept” goes.

On the other hand, “The Shadow Cabinet” was a fresh start. The songs were not tied in with the old days of the band´s history. And they all dealt with various dark aspects of the human psyche, the dark forces we try to hide, but which still govern our behavior – a shadow cabinet, in deed. So in that respect I feel the album is very much a whole – the songs really work well together. And the track sequence is really good, there´s a great, natural flow to the album.

All in all, as I said earlier, I´m really proud of this album. There are some intense performances – you can hear the band has matured, and there´s a real feeling of working together, despite the fact that it was such a new line-up. And, I think this album may contain my best lyrics. There´s a lot of the stuff that I´m quite proud of, although that of course makes you wonder if you can ever reach that level again.

As an artist you can never really chose favorites among your work. It all represents who you were at that time in your life. And as long as you always do the best you possibly can at any given moment, there´s really nothing to be ashamed of. But of course, sometimes circumstances make it easier to achieve your goals. And there may be good or bad memories connected with a certain work. One way to judge your work is to think about what you would change. And I must say that with this album, I can hardly think of anything – unless it be really minor technical details that no one else would think about. I think it´s a solid piece of work that stands up to the best out there and it´s certainly one of my favorite WH albums.

Herne protect you!
ERIK RAVN 2013

Picture: Used with permission from Erik Ravn

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