A chat with Lafawijn (Terdor) by Teo

SL: Hey guys,
welcome to “The Somber Lane” blog and thank you for giving us the possibility for this interview!
First of all could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

L: So first of all, thank you for your interest in Terdor.

Terdor is a black metal band from The Netherlands. The line-up consists of me, Lafawijn, doing the vocals and lyrics and Elshschappij Tovenaere doing the drums, guitars, bass, cello and piano. We have never done a live concert, and nor will we ever perform live. Therefore, I think it is best to introduce our band by its releases, as this is the most important thing for Terdor.

Terdor was founded in 2005 and during our early years our songs were focused on war themes, hence our slogans, “No Peace for our time!” and “It’s not just music with war lyrics but the war within the music!”, that we still use today on our releases. During 2005 our first demo called “The combat action of 5 October 1944” was released by my own label Lafawijn Records (RIP) on 152 tapes. In 2007 this demo is re-released by War Flaggelation Records from Portugal as 300 tapes and by Wolfsvuur Records from The Netherlands as 100 tapes and 48 CD-Rs. Of note, all editions have different artwork. During the years after the release of our first demo we worked hard on new songs for the first full length album. This album named “Axis Panzerzug anno November 1942” was finally unleashed in 2008 by Thor’s Hammer Records from France as CD and by Krieg Distro & Productions from Brasil as a tape release. Almost simultaneously a split album with Gheestenland was released by Wolfsvuur records tape. In 2010 the war inspired period of Terdor was finished with the release of the 7” EP named “No peace for our time!” by Negra Nit Distro from Spain, limited to 525 copies. With a different approach, both lyrically and musically we started working on our second full length album, titled “Levi”. This album was released as a co-release by Negra Nit Distro and Stunde Des Ideals from Germany as 1000 CDs and 250 digi-CDs. Our latest output Levi II was released by Pesttanz Klangschmiede and Hass Weg Productions as a CD and LP in 2013. It is an album that both lyrically as well as musically is a continuation of Levi I.

SL: You’ve been very productive over these years, congratulations for that.
But amongst all your records, Levi II is the one I enjoyed the most. I heard so many different influences in this album. How would you guys describe your sound?

L: It’s good to heat3r that you like Levi II the most. As we also feel that this is our best album so far.
We have made a big evolution during the past years. We have come from very straight forward raw war black metal to the progressive and avantgarde black metal that we make today. But it does not matter how weird and progressive our music gets, we always try to maintain the true black metal spirit. By always keeping it raw and true. That’s also why you do not have to expect any ballads or clean singing on future albums. The music may include anything that we like, even if it is not straightforward pure black metal, as long as it suits the story we are trying to tell it is fine.
But it will never become easy listening music.

SL: I know that you guys are from a small town in the east of Holland. How is the underground music scene in both your country and local area?
Do you find people interested in your kind of music?

L: Actually, I live in Groningen now, a city in the north of Holland. I think the last few years the Dutch Black Metal scene became much stronger. We have a lot of great bands and many concerts are organized in Holland. Among the best Dutch Black Metal bands are in my belief: Urfaust, Fluisterwoud, Sauron, Nachtvorst, Kjeld, Salacious Gods, Lugubre, Gheestenland, Mordaehoth and Laster. Many of these bands have just released very good albums. In the north side of Holland especially the scene has matured a lot the past few years. Many of the abovementioned bands are from the north side of Holland and in my city every month at least one good metal concert is organized. So, I can’t complain about the Dutch scene, but it is true that a lot of people from other countries are not aware of the Dutch scene. I think this is a pity because there are so many great bands to discover!

SL: What do you think about the new music business?
Do you think it’s easier for bands and musicians to stand out in these days?

L: The music business has changed a lot recent years. In the past it was not so easy to get your hands on good music. You needed people that were already involved in this type of music to get the music yourself, and every album or demo you got were special. Because you only got a limited amount of new music. Now, with youtube, facebook and bandcamp every one can listen to every band. You only need to search the internet to have all albums available to listen. I think this has degraded the mysticism and obscureness of black metal music. Therefore, black metal has also lost some of its magic. But there are also positive sides to the evolution. Bands can easily make their music available for a large audience. And black metal fans can listen on-line to a lot of albums and then buy the ones that they really like (saving you the disappointment of buying yet another crappy album).

I think it is ok for people to check out bands using youtube or facebook. But I hate the fact that a lot of people only download albums and never buy anything. This is destroying the whole music scene. Bands need labels to release their music, labels need buyers to keep releasing these bands. Also it is way better to listen to music from a LP then listen to your iPod don’t you think?

SL: Yes, I absolutely do agree with you. So how do you manage to promote and sell your music to your audience? Tell us some of your promotion strategies, if you can do that, of course.
And do you think it could be possible to live with only metal music these days?

L: In the ideal situation our music should not need any promotion. I don’t want a million fans and our music is not for everyone. The people who do like our music will find it somewhere.

But that is not completely how it works these days. There are so many bands and so many new releases every month, that music doesn’t automatically reach their audience. But still we try to keep the amount of promotion to a minimum. Most importantly, we now have a facebook page, where we give updates about the band and where people can get in touch with us.

Furthermore, we added some songs on youtube for people to listen to the music before they buy it. And we do some selected interviews (like this one we are having with you). The rest of the promotion is done by the labels. I still have faith that our music will reach its audience.

SL: It’s definitely an interesting and optimistic point of view, and let me say that you’re really self-confident, congratulations for that.
What can we e
xpect from Terdor in the future?

L: So, maybe I can comment on this.t1

I don’t think I am overly confident. If this is what you got from my last message than maybe I did not explain it well enough.

I am not assuming that we have a lot of fans or people who like our music. But that is not my wish either. I just want to make the music that I like to make. And it is great if people like it, I really appreciate all the attention that we get. But that is not the goal, the goal is to make the music that we like to make. Therefore, also we do not do vast amounts of promotion. So maybe I am optimistic, to think that our music will be discovered by the people who like it.

So on to your new question. Hopefully, in late 2015 you can expect a new album from Terdor. There is not much I can tell you about it now. But I hope that it will be another step forward, with better songwriting and better use of both vocals and lyrics. But we have to see how people respond to it, because it is also yet another step away from mainstream black metal.

SL: Well, Lafawijn, unfortunately we have come to the end. But before we wrap up this interview, if you have anything to say to our readers, your fans or if you have any final thoughts this is your moment!
Thank you very much for your time and good luck with your new projects!

L: Many thanks for this interview.
I really liked it and I think we have talked about some interesting subjects.

I wish you all the best with your blog.
To contact the band: http://www.facebook.com/terdorwar

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