Down the White Waters – Interview with Skaldir, the brain behind Ash of Ashes

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Ash of Ashes is the follow-up project of the German band HEL. The strongly poetic, emphatically artistic and aesthetic style of ASH OF ASHES is best described as EPIC SKALDIC METAL.

Composing master Skaldir, who became known with the dissolved predecessor group HEL, wrote and arranged fabulously independent songs full of longing and passion, which inevitably instantly grab the soul of a real lover of such art.

“Down The White Waters” is a highly original, fully dynamic and ultimately completely homogeneous blend of enjoyment that does not lack massive power thrusts or driving-impulsive emotional wealth. In terms of content, the extraordinarily profound release revolves around mythological, historical, legendary themes, but also around inspiring themes as departure, homecoming and remembrance.

Co-vocalist Morten is responsible for all lyrics on “Down The White Waters”, which is best described as a self-confessed manifesto and musical monument in one.

IRD is thankful that Skaldir took a little time to provide us an interview:

Pic credit: Sandra Preuß

IRD: If you didn’t become a musician what would you be doing right now?

Skaldir: Apart from being a musician I’m also a sound engineer and that’s my main job actually. So I would be still working with music if I wouldn’t play it myself. But I can hardly imagine to not make music, it’s really important for me.

IRD: What do you feel is the best song of Down the White Waters and why?

Skaldir: The title track kind of has it all. Atmosphere, a subtle folk touch, epic melodies and diverse use of the vocals. It’s one of my favorites together with Sea of Stones and Flames on the Horizon. I think if I had to pick one it would be Flames on the Horizon, because it has the perfect tempo and a great vibe.

IRD: What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? Why?

Skaldir: Being a musician or a songwriter is just in your blood. You need to write songs, it’s what you’re good at. I like it when songs come to mind easily and basically write themselves. What I don’t like is the whole music business around it. It’s very expensive to make a record and do physical copies. Then when more people download it illegal than buying it it’s hard to keep doing it and finance the next album, especially for underground bands. When you think about what all the instruments and gear costs and how much time you put into learning an instrument it’s not really wise to become a musician.

IRD: What plans do you have for the future?

Skaldir: Currently I’m writing songs for a new album. There are many ideas in my head and I hope it won’t take as long as the debut album to be finished.

IRD: Will we ever see you in live concerts?

Skaldir: There actually are plans for hitting the stage one day. I think the song material begs to be played live. And although I’m not the biggest fan of playing live, I think this could work out really well.

IRD: What are your favorite places to retreat and unplug?

Skaldir: I totally love to be in the forest and I need mountains around me to be happy.

IRD: What message do you have for young aspiring musicians?

Skaldir: Since I haven’t figured out how to live from making music I think I don’t have much to offer to young aspiring musicians, but I could need some tips 😉 On a more serious note, just do what you love, be passionate and something good will happen.

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