Interview with Arak Draconiiz of Isvind


“I blame Frank Zappa and Dee Snider, mostly.”

 – Arak Draconiiz, Isvind

Interview by Jason Guest

Arak Draconiiz, Isvind
Arak Draconiiz, Isvind

Jason: Hi Arak. Thanks for taking time out for this interview and congratulations on Daumyra (reviewed here). What was it that drew you back together after such a long hiatus to produce 2011’s Intet Lever?

Arak: Thanks Jason. Half of the songs that made it on to the album were already written, and Goblin had started rehearsing literally one block away from my apartment. At that point there weren’t any excuses left for not getting our shit together.

Jason: What was it that you set out to achieve with that album?

Arak: Tie up some loose ends. Everything else came together in the process of producing the album.

Jason: Did you have a clear idea of what you wanted for Daumrya?

Arak: As far as production and concept is concerned, absolutely. Musically it was a bit harder for me this time, but Goblin came through and got us to shore.

Jason: For you, how does it differ from Intet Lever and your earlier releases?

Arak: The production is more natural and dry on this album than on the previous ones. In a way the album turned out as a synthesis of the melodic approach on Dark Waters Stir and the rhythmic on Intet Lever. At the same time we were very conscious of not simply repeating ourselves.

Jason: With Isvind being comprised of two members, how you approach writing? Do you work separately and bring complete tracks to the band or do you collaborate?

Arak: We do both. One of us will bring a complete track and we may or may not end up reworking it because of some idea that pops up, or one of us brings a killer riff which we turn into a track. Other times it just degenerates into binge drinking.

Jason: Do you discuss how you want the songs and your albums to sound or do they take shape as they are being developed?

Arak: Discuss, slur, yes.

Jason: Is there an ideology or philosophy that underpins your music?

Arak: Nihilism.

Jason: Can you tell us about the meaning or significance behind the album title?

Arak: Daumyra is compound word encompassing the lyrical themes and concept of the album. A similar compound word, blåmyra, was used in Old Norse poetry as a name for the sea.

Isvind - Daumyra
Isvind – Daumyra

Jason: Can you tell us about the artwork and how it relates to the music?

Arak: Not a situation you would want to find yourself in, and there’s no escape.

Jason: Who’s the artist? Why did you choose to work with him/her? And how much direction did you give him/her in its creation?

Arak: Juha Vuormas artwork captures well both the musical atmosphere and the main lyrical themes of the album. We explained our vision and received a sketch which only needed a few tweaks. Vuormas has a good portfolio.

Jason: In western culture, rock and metal, once deemed “dangerous” by the powers that be, are becoming more acceptable and are now part of the mainstream. Black metal too has become a lot less underground than it once was. Has black metal lost its potency?

Arak: You’re probably right in your assessment. I blame Frank Zappa and Dee Snider, mostly.

Jason: Do you think black metal is the last remaining musical art form for true self-expression?

Arak: Absolutely not, it’s just a matter of doing it properly. That goes for black metal as well.

Jason: What does the future hold for Isvind? Is there more music in the works? Any plans for live performances?

Arak: Expect a new full length album in 2014. We’ve got a few performances planned for the next couple of months, and there will likely be a tour next year. The vinyl edition of Daumyra should be right around the corner now as well, check our Facebook page for updates.

Jason: Thanks again for taking time out for this interview. Do you have any closing words for our readers?

Arak: See you guys at the bar!