The descendants of Conan
Interview signée Naya le 21/09/2018
From the cold lands of the mythical Sweden, they present themselves with powerful chords and a great voice, a very particular band that tells us the story of Conan the barbarian and the hambienta with pure powermetal.
Naya Zamiel: Thanks for this opportunity! I speak for myself and for all of us who work at Metal Mad TV
VANQUISHER: Hail brothers and sisters of Metal Mad TV!
NZ: Tell us a little about the beginning of the band. Whose initiative is it? How do you know yourself?
VANQUISHER: It actually started with Niord trying to learn guitar. He reached out to Heimdal to ask if he could teach him some stuff. They both knew each other from before, but not so closely. They simply both happened to have a common friend who recommended that Niord could contact Heimdal for some tips. Not much tutoring was done that day, though, and as if by a force of nature, the two simply started coming up with some melodies together.
At this time, Niord had recently gotten very involved with the pulp stories about Conan of Cimmeria by Robert E. Howard, and simply asked Heimdal: “Hey, why don't we make a Power/Thrash metal band about Conan?”.
After this, they started seeing each other every Sunday to compose in Niord’s apartment with a shitty little amp, way too much messing around in Guitar Pro and a lot of willpower. After the first three songs were done, Wulfhere, Heimdal’s brother, showed interest in joining. And before they knew it, he was in the band!
Some years followed of consistently rehearsing and looking for members, until at last Niord saw Horsa perform a gig with a black metal band. He encountered him again at the local rock/metal pub wearing a Manowar t-shirt, and asked if he would be interested in auditioning. Horsa totally nailed the two songs he auditioned with and after some more time of rehearsing, recording the EP (with the help of Micke Kihlén of Jordablod on drums), and tirelessly looking for the last member (we even walked around with a sign at one point), Horsa got in contact with Gorm at the hobby store Gorm worked at at the time. Gorm came to audition, telling the rest of the band that he didn't even own a drumset - so expectations were not high. But the guy totally crushed it! And here we are!
NZ: In the beginning, what is the first approach you have with music?
VANQUISHER: The vision has always been to let the stories of The Hyborian Age, in particular the adventures of Conan, decide the direction of the music. If the story speaks of bloody battle, then perhaps a more Heavy/Thrash attitude is displayed, if the story speaks of proud warriors marching with flags held up high on shining horses, then a power metal style will be more incorporated, and if the story is a dark one, perhaps we flirt a bit with black metal or something more melancholic.
NZ: What are your main influences in the world of metal and its sub-genres?
VANQUISHER: Our diverse influences that color every member differently is what makes Vanquisher who we are.
An example of three bands each who inspires us:
Niord: Manowar, Grand Magus and Wizard. Heimdal: Megadeth, Alestorm and Dream Theater. Wulfhere: Primus, Crowbar and Behemoth. Horsa: Iron Maiden, Hammerfall and Månegarm. Gorm: Rainbow, Dio and Power Quest.
We of course share a common liking for most of these bands but originate from quite different sources of inspiration.
NZ: I understand that your music is based on the stories of Conan "the Cimmerian" Why choose that character?
VANQUISHER: It simply occured to Niord one day that Conan is the most heavy metal thing ever! If you look at stereotypical representations of metal such as the game Brutal Legend, for example, you find that the main character stands on a mountain of skulls wielding and axe and having babes all around him. Now who does that sound like? ;) Also, we have so many bands telling the stories of Lord of the Rings through metal like Blind Guardian and Summoning, but for some reason there is no big, established band that narrates the literature of the most famous barbarian in literature. We are here to fix this, by Crom!
NZ: I must admit that the first time I saw them, and I clarified that “¡I saw them!”, I thought they were a Folk metal band, but later when I introduced myself to their world, to be exact in their EP I discovered their powerful Power Metal chords. How do they decide to adopt this genre and adapt it to the story of Conan?
VANQUISHER: We can see how you would think that! We are not the stereotypical outfit of guys playing this kind of music. Which is our exact intention! The power metal influences come from the fact that that genre is the one most used to tell fantasy stories, and the Conan stories are very much just that. The melodies are very epic and bombastic in Power Metal, and so are the tales of the barbarian. Therefore, we felt it fitting.
NZ: From your perspective How do you feel that the response of the Swedish public to this combination has been?
VANQUISHER: It's great! The best thing about having these outfits and playing music that is still somewhat catchy, is that people come to see who the hell these guys dressed in fur, leather, bones, skulls and spikes are, and they stay because of the show and the music. Many people also have wanted to take photos with us when we walk around the area where we are gonna play, which gives us extra recognition.
NZ: Your EP "A Demonstration of Power" makes me descend through a spiral of different emotions ... Some songs make me feel like I have the world in my hands, but some others make me feel very melancholy. It was very difficult to compose the songs that make it up?
VANQUISHER: Good to hear! If it was the same all the time, we would be disappointed with ourselves (laughs)! It was more difficult in the beginning, when we made the first three songs, because you are trying to establish what your sound is. Many adjustments and changes were made in the beginning. We managed to convey the emotions we wanted in the end, though, which we are proud of. The songs are supposed to be stories, and one should never be the same as the other, because then you’re just re - telling the same thing over and over again.
NZ: Did you ever imagine that with your music you would transmit feelings like that?
VANQUISHER: We didn't know what to expect, honestly! We just wanted to make music that we would like to listen to ourselves, and if people like it - great!
NZ: What do you expect from Vanquisher in a few years?
VANQUISHER: We expect to have gone much further than we are now. For us, this is everything. We all fight for this with the intention of one day doing it for a living.
NZ: What countries would you like to visit?
VANQUISHER: All of them! But mostly we look forward to countries where there are people passionate about this music. Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, to name a few.
NZ: Greetings to your fans.
VANQUISHER: We will see you next time, savages! Never let civilization break you down and keep the flame of metal burning forever!
NZ: Finally, we appreciate the opportunity.
VANQUISHER: Thank you for taking the time to interview us!