India’s Melodic Death Metal band Ragnhild released their debut offering “Tavern Tales” on March 24th. Check out this interview discussing a handful of things including “Tavern Tales”!
TMR: Explain how Ragnhild started.
After retiring from a very short-lived band called “Facticity”, which was a start-up project, our guitarists – Rahul and Shardul, decided to start something new as their previous ideas didn’t workout. With no more band members but just the two of them, they started to compose a music different than any other bands in Pune, or rather, in India. With common influences like Amon Amarth, Ensiferum, Eluvitie, etc., they always had some melodies of their own but never got a chance to implement them until 2012, when they decided to try out those melodies in their first song – A Viking Mosh…And thus, the journey began. Along the way, we met the other band members – Devashish, Rohit and Ajinkya, had a few drummer replacements and reached this stage with a new drummer – Harmesh.
TMR: What influenced the Viking theme of your band and album “Tavern Tales”?
We always enjoyed the taste of folk music from the northern regions like Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, etc. All the Ragnhild members have been huge fans of medieval movies, stories, fiction writing and folk music. Along the way of “discovering new melodies”, when they reached the folk music from the North, they sat down to write their own song. They didn’t know what to call it. But after a few jam sessions, we realized that this is something different than the usual melodic death metal. This is indeed a melodic death metal by roots, but has a different flavor of melodies all together. Thus, adopting a Viking theme seemed more appropriate, i.e., the lyrics, song titles, Band name, etc.. In the process of song writing, Tavern Tales was our 3rd song that we wrote. Looking at the appreciation we received from our people here, we decided to do more and use Tavern Tales as official name of our first album.
TMR: List your 5 essential melodic death metal albums of all time.
First one has to be none other than – Amon Amarth: Twilight Of The Thunder God; then from some old records, Kalmah: Swampsong; Ensiferum: Unsung Heroes; Korpiklaani: Manala and Eluvitie: Slania.
TMR: What is in the works for the band right now? Any shows planned?
We have begun with composition of some new songs, all set to be introduced in our second album. We can’t give you the dates yet, but we have more songs to come soon. For now, we are mainly focusing to get our work out there to the world along with which, we are also trying to get some gigs lined up for the promotion of our first album.
TMR: What are your opinions in the new era of streaming? Do you guys collect albums cd’s and tapes still?
CDs or Tapes are more like souvenirs. We collect them, but not a lot. New era of digital streaming and selling is quite impressive. Things have become much easier indeed and the reach of internet is like a wildfire, we just need to light up the matchstick 🙂
TMR: What do you guys think of the phenomena of “buying on” tours? Don’t you miss when bands had to earn their keep instead of buy it? My, how the music world has changed.
As much as digital era has helped, it has also costed the bands on the other hand. The rawness of attending the live concerts more, has decreased. Not sure about the world outside India, but here, we do have our own struggles. People prefer to watch YouTube videos rather than attending the gigs.
TMR: What are your favorite albums of 2019 and what ones are you guys looking forward to?
We are thrilled to see a great work by our fellow Indian bands – Noiseware (Cloud At last), Darkhelm (Hymnus de Antitheist), Hostilian (EP: Catalyst) and are awaiting for an album from Abraxas (India). We are also looking forward to the new album from Amon Amarth.
TMR: What did you guys do differently for “Tavern Tales”?
Tavern Tales is our debut Album and was a long journey of writing the 9 songs. Our goal was simple, to keep it straight-forward and stick to the roots of the melodies with hint of our own imaginations. Choosing a right music producer was tough. I would be exaggerating if I say that India has around 1% of its population as metal-heads. This means, we had lesser options of music producers. Studios abroad were expensive. So what we really wanted was a local music producer, who knows what is metal. We tested a few but were faced with challenges like “lack of proper scheduling of the sessions” or “poor output”. That’s when we finally reached Audio-hack Studio – our saviors, who gave us exactly what we were looking for and even more.
TMR: Explain the pros, cons and struggles as an independent band. It can be quite rewarding and personable, rather than bowing down to the needs of record labels. There’s just as many struggles on doing it on your own.
You are your own boss.
You can proudly label it the way you want to.
You can take your time to bring out the finished product.
Struggling for exposure.
Lack of returns in comparison with investments.