This week, we’re featuring the Austrian artist Perchta in Meet The Band. The black/folk metal group’s debut album is Ufang.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Perchta.
Perchta: Perchta was founded in winter 2017 by me and my producer/bassist Fabio D’Amore. We already had a clear concept in mind regarding our first album and started recording demos in 2018.
Describe the songwriting process for Ufang.
The songwriting of the four main songs was mostly done simultaneously on two levels. Together we developed melodies spontaneously in the studio, that were mainly inspired by sounds of nature or emotions. With some songs the lyrics were written before composing, with others simultaneously. The lyrics of “Herest,” “Långs,” “Summa” und “Winta” were done in a single night and have been spontaneously sung by emotional interpretation during the mastering process.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
The first time hearing the complete master of Ufång in the studio. Taking in the dynamic of the album by listening to this song has been an overwhelming experience.
How would you characterize its style/sound?
We have been trying to come up with a definition where our work could be located within black metal, but defining the genre of Perchta is not an easy task. Elements of folk and ambient music can definitely be found as well. Our first priority is the transport of our emotions during the development process. Therefore you can find stirring exuberant passages, but also calm mysterious ones and even some disturbing sounds.
What lyrical topics do you cover?
Ufång focuses on recurring phases of live in nature and is written as a musical cyclic concept of the album. Birth-life-death and rebirth as part of every element and every human.
How did you come to sign with Prophecy?
Prophecy Records has noticed our pre-production version of “Åtem” and have been very interested in the concept of Perchta. I am delighted by this cooperation, because I believe that the label is a perfect fit for us.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
I am hoping that many people can share our joy regarding this debut album and will be taking part in this unusual musical journey. There are lots of ideas for upcoming albums. This is why we hope that Ufång lives up to its name (beginning) and raises the desire to hear more among our audience.
What has the early response been like?
The reactions have been quite positive. There are some very good reviews of Ufång and I have been able to take part in many interviews. Therefore I see our future in a very positive light and am truly grateful for all the interest that people take in our project.
How did you get started in music?
I have been able to gather stage experience since my childhood. My education started out in the areas of classical singing and musicals. Since the age of 14 I have been interested in the metal scene, was gaining experience within smaller bands and could get acquainted with many fantastic musicians and friends.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
My fascination and inspiration lies within those bands, that are brave enough to look over the edge of the plate and refuse to be narrowly defined by genre borders. Experimenting with unusual instruments, voice or melodic sequences as done by Igorrr, Dornenreich or Bethlehem inspires us to explore our own musical borders.
What is the first metal concert you attended? What’s the best one you’ve gone to?
My first concert was also my first festival. It was the FM 4 Frequency Festival 2005 with Queens Of The Stone Age, Die Toten Hosen, Foo Fighters, Incubus and Oasis. The best concert was also at a festival that I have been attending for many years: Solstafir at the Funkenflug Festival 2014.
How is the metal scene in your area of Austria?
Very small, familial and authentic. You know, respect and support each other.
How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted the band?
Due to the cancellation of many events, the CD release and our simultaneous live debut on the Dark Easter Metal Meeting 2020 has been postponed to the upcoming year. Very disappointing, because everything has been planned so neatly, but it was inevitable under the circumstances.
How has it affected you personally?
I work in health care and therefore I am on the front lines and sadly experience the impact of the virus first hand on a daily basis. Thanks to the fairly quick reaction of the Austrian government and our excellent health care system, we were able to avoid a more severe tragedy. Our situation has stabilized due to the strict limitations.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Taking care of oneself and not overloading the system is now more important than ever. After the crisis has passed it will be particularly important to support artists, hosts and locations. Thank you for your interesting questions and good health to you!
(interview published April 11, 2020)
Watch Perchta – “Atem” Video