Firtan is a promising black metal band from Lörrach, Germany and was founded in 2010. This year they signed with AOP Records and they just released their second album ‘Okeanos’ on July 13th. The first track of the album ‘Seegang’ premiered on May 17th and caught our attention, so we found the opportunity to get to know the band better.
Tell us a few things about Firtan. What made you come together and form the band?
Firtan was founded in 2010 in Southern Germany with the idea to fuse epic melodies and black metal. The beginning was hard because we had problems to find members that fitted to the band and lineup changes were a constant topic until recently. But luckily we have a steady and fitting team now, bonded by friendship and our love for this very special type of music. Together we’ll continue to develop our sound and musical expression as we see it.
Many black metal bands usually have a kind of philosophical worldview. Do you follow a specific one and if so, does it reflect to your music?
I wouldn’t say that we “follow” any particular philosophy since what we call “truth” and everything that comes with it (faith, values, goals etc.) cannot be perceived by only one line of argument. However, on the other hand we are of course quite inspired by various authors like H.P. Lovecraft or Nietzsche, the latter being very present in the lyrics of the upcoming album (some people may now think “Oh, Nietzsche, what a surprise – not that everybody else in the genre has dealt with him before”; well, they might be right, but he simply provides the terms, tone and expression that perfectly completed the album regarding lyrics. Maybe next time there will be less received ideas to be found in our lyrics…
Your new album ‘Okeanos‘ has just been released (July 13th) and the premiere of ‘Seegang’ gave a very good impression. The title of the album is the Greek word for “ocean”. What is the concept about?
‘Okeanos‘ is actually not a concept album, but the “ocean” still served as a source of inspiration. It may again seem like an overused concept: Primarily, “the ocean” is usually associated with depth, the unknown or mystery, but on the other hand also with power and beauty. This already suggests that we do not only focus on the negative or “evil” aspects of human nature or the world as many other black metal artists do. Like the ocean, our aesthetic capacities do not simply evoke something positive or negative. The relation between the two is way more complex, showing that aesthetic or philosophical judgements we make as human beings are not as simple as we often assume – there are always underlying premises that we have to “dig out” in order to fully understand ourselves, and by music we experience this process not on a rational, but on an emotional or spiritual level.
The artwork was undertaken by the very talented Denis Forkas Kostromitin. Did he capture your vision you had about the album or did you leave it to his judgement?
Once we had all songs completed for ‘Okeanos‘, we started to look for a fitting artwork. The piece we chose had already been done long before and was a favourite of ours by Denis. We think it perfectly captivates the general vibe of the record while not being a “literal” realization of our lyrics.
You signed with AOP Records recently, a label with many interesting acts. Do you feel the difference compared to your first release?
So far we have nothing but the highest praises for AOP Records. Apart from being a great human being, Sven does an amazing job and we couldn’t be happier at the moment.
You claim, and it’s obvious that your music is rooted to black metal, which also involves atmospheric and progressive elements. Does this mean that you will constantly experiment with your sound?
This will most certainly be the case. If you consider our discography, you’ll realize that every record sounds differently, both concerning the music as such and the sound. Philipp is the main (and often the exclusive) songwriter, and his range of ideas becomes wider day by day. Of course, it depends a lot on one’s temporary mood how a song will sound like in the end, and since it is a human trait that one’s general mood changes from time to time, it is more or less “natural” to end up with results that sound differently, showing various aesthetic aspects and expressing different kinds of emotions.
There are some live shows this summer, also outside Germany. What do you enjoy most when performing live and with which bands would you like to share the stage in the future?
Probably we simply love playing live for the same reasons as most other artists do. It is just great to see when people are literally thrilled by the performance, no matter if they show it by closing their eyes and just listen or mosh like hell. Since all of us listen to a whole lot of bands, the list would be endless. But we’d probably all agree on touring with most of the “major” bands of the genres that we can relate to.
Thank you very much for your time! Close this interview as you will.
Thank you very much for your interest in Firtan and for your support – we highly appreciate this!
Photo credits: Oliver König (1st one), Klara Bachmair (2nd one)