1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the musical project these days?
At the moment, we are busy with doing the promo work for the album. Beside this, we are also writing on some new material for an upcoming release – but I actually don't know, what kind of release this will be. Maybe a new album, haha.
2.You have a new album coming out in May, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
For us, 'Grausammler' is the logical developement of our past releases. It contains the melancholic, dreamy parts from 'Nur ein Traum' and mixes it with the rough parts from 'Durch die Stille'. The songs sound more mature and are containing new elements and influences – it's mixture of traditional and modern black metal, without loosing the roots of the typical Vargnatt sound. For me, it feels like the first real Vargnatt release since 'Nur ein Traum', because 'Durch die Stille' was more like a personal tribute to french underground bands like 'S.V.E.S.T.' or 'Vlad Tepes'.
3.This is the first release in 3 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?
As I recorded the first song of this album in late 2012, there were no plans for a debut album. The idea for Grausammler came after I recorded a couple of songs. I noticed, that they fit well together, whereupon I made a musical concept for a debut album. So, 'Grausammler' had a long and uncertain development process. For realising some new ideas, I needed some musicians. So I got in contact with H.es.a.e and Wiedergaenger. Also we took the time to search for a new convenient label, because we had some problems with our first label, where Grausammler should be released. Fortunalety we came in contact with Eisenwald.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your newer music?
I would say that the lyrics are mainly based on general and critical thoughts about life. Sometimes very abstract like in 'Weltverloren', sometimes more obvious, like in 'In der Irre'. Topics about the fugacity of all being, nature mysticism or transcendental experiences . Sometimes I got my inspiration from literature, 'Vor den Toren' for example is inspired by Jean-Paul Sartres “No Exit'.
But I don't want to interpret my own lyrics here, this is the task for the audience.
5.Is the name 'Vargnatt' from the Ulver song of the same name or does it have a different meaning for this project?
To be honest, I really took the name because of the same titled album from Ulver. When I found Vargnatt 9 years ago, all old Ulver releases, especially 'Vargnatt', were one of my favourite albums of all time (and still are). They have this unique mystic atmosphere, which is fascinating me until today. I think were important reasons, wherefore I chose the name 'Vargnatt'.
6.On the new album you had a couple of other musicians, can you tell us a little bit more about them and their contributions to the recording and also are they permanent members?
H.es.a.e. is a permament member of Vargnatt- He played viola and sang the choir parts on Grausammler. He is also part of the neoclassic band 'Nachtreich' and the modern classic project called 'Himmelsrandt'. Wiedergaenger played drums on Grausammler. He is mainly active in his black metal bands 'Total Negation' and 'Nachts'.
I needed a good drummer for the album and wanted some classical influences, so I got in contact with both musicians.
7.In 2008 you had also done a live show with this musical project, are you open to doing this again in the future or was this a one time thing only?
Yeah, we had one gig, but I think that Vargnatt will not play any live shows in the future. We don't have the time or know some convenient session musicians to play some live gigs. Also, my interest in playing live is not very big.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
The feedback has mostly been good. Especially 'Nur ein Traum' gained a lot of postive reactions. Many people liked the adaption of the 'Secret of the forest' theme from the SNES game 'Chrono Trigger'.
9.What is going on with some of the other musical projects these days that you are a part of?
At the moment, me and some friends are working on the first release from our band 'Trautonist' – a mix of urban post black metal and shoegazy sounds. It can be compared as a mix of older Lantlôs and the dreamy moments of Whirr. Also, we are still searching for a label. You can listen to a preview track here: https://trautonist.bandcamp.com
Also I'm primarily responsible for the atmospheric black metal band 'Impavida', we had a release about 7 years ago. But I don't know if we will ever record more releases. Time will show, maybe. And I play bass in a stoner-like rock band called 'Eat More Plastic'.
10.Where do you see yourself heading into musically during the future?
I think Vargnatt will maintain the course of Grausammler. According to that, we will still experiment with elements of traditional and modern black metal. I don't have concrete plans or a special concept, thats not my typical working method.
11.What are some of the bands or musical [projects that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
In the writing process of Grausammler, I had no knowingly influences. I only listen rarely to black metal and just to a few bands or records, but all the 90s black metal and some underground bands of course had unconsciously influenced me over all the years.
Nowadays I'm listening to many bands and musicians from all genres, I don't set myself boundaries in music. So my current playlist is very versatile, with jazzy musicians like 'Mac Demarco', or 'Homeshake', which released some great albums the last years. Also shoegazy stuff like 'Whirr'. In black metal, the last releases from 'UNRU' and 'Paramnesia' were very great. There is so much good music, it would be a shame, if you only listen to black metal.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have nay final words or thoughts?
I wish you all the best with the occult black metal zine.