Interview with Magnus Animus
Irrseele One-Man project
Dark Nordic black metal from Bavaria has the power of density and the dryness of dark woods. Magnus and I will discuss this briefly.
Alan – Hi. First of all, I'm not at all sure if anyone in the Czech Republic or Slovakia knows you. So can you tell us a little more about yourself?
Magnus - Irrseele is just Magnus Animus, it's as simple as that. I'm the only person behind this solo project, that plays music in the tradition of the Skaninavian black metal bands of the 90, but with a slightly more modern approach in terms of production. With my songs I explore the shadowy corners of the human mind and soul. My topics are madness, despair, melancholy, spiritual worlds but also the forces of nature and the transformation into a new way of existence.
Alan – I assume Irrseele is not your first project or your first band. Or am I wrong?
Magnus – No, I've been playind in bands since my teenage days, which means I play metal for 25 years now. I had bands and projects in death metal, black metal, heavy metal or even thrash and folk metal. A lot of experience in different styles that I can benefit from now. But unlike the earlier bands Irrseele is a true solo project cause there are no other musicians involved.
Alan – You have a recording studio + what else? The whole project originated there, I assume?
Magnus – That's true, I used my spare time to experiment with riffs and beats and recorded ideas whenever they came to mind. It's way easier when you have all the tools at hand, especially when you do everything alone.
Alan – Did you do all the instruments and vocals yourself? Or did someone help you? Guests?
Magnus – No, it's just me. I recorded all instuments and vocals myself. That is not the easiest way to work, cause you have to work in layers and to check what fits while recording. There is a lot of tweaking and rerecording involved to make everything sound cohesive and like a song and not like a bunch of separate takes.
Alan – How long did you create the project? Because we have to take into account that other bands came to record at your place, so to close for a week, for example, is quite impossible.
Magnus – The whole process took me a year from the first ideas to the final album. As I said before I experiment with riffs, harmonies, beats, synth layers and additional effects to create an atmosphere and dynamic I like. That can take a while, cause I can only make one step at a time. Also my approach of combining that 90s old-school vibe with a more modern production was a challenge that has been time consuming.
Alan – Why did you choose Nordic black metal? Do you have a closer relationship with him?
Magnus – Simple answer is: Cause I really like it. Long answer is: Basically I went back to my teenage days and listen to the same stuff as 25 years ago. I want to write music in the style of black metal and melodic death metal from Scandinavia, Germany and UK. Those old albums from the 90s and early 2000s still inspire me cause they captured so much atmosphere and emotion. I wanted to recreate the feeling of that time but with new music and my own topics.
Alan – The original Irrseele, have you thought about releasing it yourself? Or were you clear about who (under which label) the album will be released?
Magnus – When I wrote and recorded the album I didn't think much about this. For me it was pretty clear that I don't want to go and search for a label to release it. I didn't want anyone to interfere with my musical vision, no other musicans and no label. So Wahn & Wehmut is 100 percent as I wanted it to be. And I'm happy with the feedback I'm getting.
Alan - I've had a chance to read the reviews on Wahn & Wehmut and they've all been pretty positive. What do you attribute this success to?
Magnus – I think one reason is because black metal in general is getting more popular again, but the other reason is maybe because my music sounds "authentic" in some way. People seem to feel what I felt when I wrote the songs. Music is mainly emotion and atmosphere, and Irrseele focusses strongly on this. I'm really happy that it turned out this way. You never know how the reactions will be when you put an album out.
Alan – Now that the album is out, and the reviews are quite positive, won't you think about getting the musicians together and doing at least a few concerts?
Magnus – I've been asked this a couple of times now, but I still have not found the final answer. Obviously people want to see Irrseele play live, but I'm not sure if it would work. It's not only the problem of finding the right musicians, but also the unsure outcome. Could we recreate the intense atmosphere from the album live with other people playing the parts? Maybe somewhen in the future this could happen, but not now. Irrseele stays what it is: a solo project.
Alan – I digress. How is it played in Bavaria? I go to Cham or Regensburg, and there are always good enough concerts to attend.
Magnus – The metal scene in Bavaria is pretty active and there are a lot of good bands and interesting concerts. I have another death metal band which plays live regularly. I remember a really cool gig in in Regensburg. I enjoy playing live.
Alan – I think, and I hope that you will continue with the project.
Magnus – I will certainly do. But right now I'm working on other stuff. I need to refill my creative energies. But I write down ideas for new songs when they come to mind. Summer is not the time for black metal, but as soon as the snows starts falling again, Irrseele will rise with new music.
Alan – A question outside of your work, or work in Germany. Do you know any Czech or Slovak black metal or metal bands?
Magnus – I know Krabathor and Hypnos which I like very much. And also Master, if you want to call them a Czech band. We played a show together with Master in Bavaria with was really fun. Very nice guys.
Alan – I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the Czechs and Slovaks, and I hope it doesn't stop at just this one interview. Thanks for connecting.
Magnus – It was a pleasure, thank you. Keep up the good work and stay heavy!