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Always a difficult ask to interview a truly anonymous band who prefer to let listeners draw their own conclusions from the music: nonetheless, Comrade Aleks approached the Icelandic ritualistic Funeral Doom outfit Andvaka to see what he could learn about their mission.

Interview with Andvaka.
"As Andvaka's Facebook page states: "Andvaka meaning the state of insomnia, and direct translation would be spiritual invocation, a fitting name for a highly spiritual post doom band". Meanwhile, Metal Archives categorizes Andvaka as "Funeral Doom Metal" band, though it's closer to the truth from my point of view if we edit that to "Funeral Doom with clean vocals". The project was born in Reykjavik earlier in 2019, and their monumental three-hymn debut 'Andvana' was a big surprise for me. I bet no-one expected such a deep and clean (to a point) down-tuned ritual coming from out of literally nowhere. The band's line-up is shrouded in mystery, so with all respect I'd like to offer you this interview with Andvaka's collective mind."

Andvaka - members and roles unspecified.

Hail Andvaka! There was a bunch of big Doom debuts this year, but you took me by surprise with your first full-length album 'Andvana'. How long ago was Andvaka born?

Andvaka has been actively writing under the name since August 2019, but I already had this name in mind for a doom project since January of 2019, where one of the first riffs was written. It brewed in my mind while working on other projects.

Oh, that was really fast! What kind of image did you have in mind starting Andvaka? What drove you to create a project of this kind?

I had a near death experience while in Copenhagen, Denmark on the 17th of August. I thought my heart was giving way, lyrics in Partur II is about that. I collapsed to the ground and felt my consciousness fade away, while I fought it someone from the street managed to pick me up in their car and take me to the hospital. I was fine after that, but it was truly a terrifying experience losing control of your own body.

It's said that Andvaka features members of another Reykjavik-based band Zakaz. Do you see Andvaka as a real band or as a side-project? Are you going to keep it alive further?

Andvaka is very much a real band, we played our first non-official gig at Doomcember 2019, where we secretly headlined the festival. We seek booking requests through the Krummafótur label.

On one hand you don't reveal Andvaka's members' real names, and the album as I understand it was released through Krummafótur which looks like your own label. On the other, you produce some merch - T-shirts, hoodies and CDs.

Krummafótur is a label run by I, we produce cassettes/CDs and possibly vinyls in the near future. The members identities are irrelevant, the music speaks for itself.

We express ourselves through it but does not contain us, we are actors of a higher power.

So do you see the processes of writing and performing music in Andvaka as a spiritual act?

We are all Andvaka, waiting to fall asleep just to wake up from this world.

How would you sum up the band's message? What kind of energies do you put into the music and lyrics?

We in Andvaka play music with a message for all humanity, we play the soundtrack to the apocalypse caused by the idiocy of humans, we are blindly destroying our world as we have never experienced it in our lifetimes, our civilization protects itself by attacking nature and by attacking it, it will fight back eventually.

Andvaka - 'Partur I' (2019):

Sorry, but probably in this case it would be better to use English, isn't it? Maybe it's a stereotype, but often when bands appear who use their mother tongue (especially Nordic bands), it's about paganism in general.

I respect my language and I believe it is one of the purest languages in the world. Phonetically and structurally it is one of the greater poetic languages as well as a great singing language. Icelandic needs support if it is not going to die out in the next 1000 years. So, any publication in Icelandic is a positive thing.

As an Icelander there was no question that we would perform in Icelandic, Andvana is written while I was searching for a way out of Iceland and in the meantime gaining opportunities.

A lot of people would dream of settling down in Iceland because of its nature and isolation. And your political system looks healthier than many others. At least from aside. What does drive you away from the island?

The corrupt nature of Icelanders is astounding, we pretend to have a booming economy and pretend that our political structure is working, when it is far from the truth. Maybe we are safer in the context of murders and rape but economically and politically we have entities that have long overstayed their welcome.

Andvaka - 'Partur II' (2019):

Andvaka sounds minimalistic yet very powerful and natural, how easily was the 'Andvana' album born? And did you have this formula of combining a cold funeral aesthetic with clean vocals from the start?

Simplicity is not to be underestimated, if one tone: one note could change your way of thinking and make you think deeply on your existence, how important is complexity then?

Complexity is an imperfect way of expression.

How quickly did you find the right sound in the studio? Did it take much time there to finish the album?

I had been working on the sound for about 5 months before we entered the studio. The whole production process was 4 months from start to finish.

The band has really strong potential to widen Andvaka's circle of followers: are you considering ideas of collaborating with some label, or do you want just to work on your own without any intervention from outside?

We hope people will recognize us eventually, it way take time as we have almost no support. Iceland is tiny and everyone is in their corner, instead of helping each other out.

Our outlook is very much whatever happens; happens. We will just continue doing what we do and if people want to support us, then that is appreciated.

What's your next step with Andvaka? Do you aim to perform your hymns live, or will you just return when you have new material ready?

We hope to bring Andvana to the foreign stage in the year 2020.

Click HERE to discuss this interview on the doom-metal forum.

Visit the Andvaka bandpage.

Interviewed on 2019-12-16 by Comrade Aleks Evdokimov.
Aesthetic Death
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