Monday 8 May 2017

NEW INTERVIEW: Our first interview with VALAFAR (Bradford, England Death Metal), 7/5/2017

Kieran James: Hi, can you tell me the early history from the formation of the band up to now? 

VALAFAR band: We formed early 2013 in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Most of the band knew each other from previous groups around the Bradford circuit and joined to create Valafar. Our first Demo EP 'Ritual of the Diabolical' was released in February 2013. Following this, 'Helheim', the first full length album was independently released in August 2015. Since then we have been performing regularly nationwide at clubs, bars and festivals. 

KJ2: How is the response of people to your debut full-length album Helheim

We’ve had a great response so far from our fans. The first pressings of the CD sold out completely and the reviews have been extremely positive. We’re still frequently selling copies online and at gigs over a year after the initial release. 

KJ3: What are the most influential bands for you guys in playing music? 

As a band we take our influences from Scandinavian bands such as Amon Amarth, Entombed and Bloodbath as well the old school American bands such as Obituary and Cannibal Corpse. As individuals though our influences our quite diverse, we try and incorporate this into Valafar as much as possible. 

KJ4: Are you writing songs and planning for a second album? 

Writing is progressing well at the moment. We’re hopefully planning to release our next album around the Autumn 2017. We have a number of new songs written that we integrate into our live set. 

KJ5: What are the lyrical themes? 

In Valafar we tend to stray away from specific themes and choose to cover a wide array of subject matters such as War, Norse Mythology and Serial Killings. Although recently we’ve been leaning more towards Viking topics in our music as a lot of our fans identify us with that theme. 

KJ7: Why do you all like to play death-metal instead of deathcore or other modern styles? 

Nothing against Deathcore but we choose to play Death Metal as it is far more riff driven genre. Death metal tends to have a much more organic sound by comparison. Modern metal seems to rely far too much on production and less on the band overall. We’re quite traditional in regard to our live setup. 

KJ8: What is the meaning of the band name and why was it chosen? 

Valafar is an altered spelling of a Demon Valefar. Valefar is a duke of hell in demonology. It seemed like the perfect name for a Death Metal band. 

KJ9: What is the metal scene like in Bradford and what are some of the best venues, recording studios and record labels? 

I’d say the metal scene in West Yorkshire is very strong indeed. A venue we frequently play at is the Exchange in Keighley. Keighley is quite a small town comparably to Bradford or Leeds but the turnout there is normally very good. Other venues include The Fenton, Bad Apples and the Trap Door nights at Bradford Uni. For our last few records we worked with Robert Hobson at Silent City Studios in Leeds. He’s a really talented producer and it’s a great place to record if you’re in any sort of extreme metal band. We don’t have much experience working with record labels around Bradford but I’d say Yorkshire in general is quite well known for Doom Metal. Peaceville Records is based nearby and they’ve released music from artists such as My Dying Bride, Anathema, Bloodbath etc. 

KJ10: What towns and cities have you played shows and where do you get the best reactions and biggest crowds? 

We’ve played all over the UK. London and Manchester are great places to play but we always love coming back to Bradford and Keighley to play for our local fans. We’re trying to reach further afield with our shows at the moment. 2017/18 is filling up nicely with shows planned both UK and Europe wide. 

KJ11: What are the best and worst things about the metal community in your town? 

The fans are really supportive of underground music, people always buy CD’s and shirts at shows and come out and cheer for bands. Bands are also really supportive of each other, playing live events is often a great way to meet likeminded musicians. The only negative aspect of the metal scene would be venue closures. It seems to have become increasingly difficult for live music venues to stay open these days. 

KJ12: How many copies of the debut album did you sell and do you plan physical copy releases for future albums? 

We sold out of our first demo EP ‘Ritual of the Diabolical’; digital copies are still available online through. Helheim we’ve sold around 150 physical copies with a majority being bought digitally through our website. We’re planning on releasing the next album physically also but with the possibility of getting vinyls produced as well. 

KJ13: Pick your favorite and give a reason – Obituary versus Cannibal Corpse? 

Opinions in the band are divided on this one, it’s hard to pick one over the other. 

KJ14: Iron Maiden versus Judas Priest? 

Iron Maiden. 

KJ15: Tomb of the Mutilated versus Kill? 

Tomb of the Mutilated. It has that old school sound we’re all fans of. Although the band musically is much stronger on the Kill record. 

KJ16: Chris Barnes versus Corpsegrinder? 

Early Chris Barnes. His vocals aren’t what they used to be these days. 

KJ17: Bradford City versus Bradford Park Avenue? 

Bradford City. Currently watching the Semi-Final against Fleetwood whilst filling out this interview. 

KJ18: Name the three best curry restaurants in Bradford (!)

International Shezaans Akash. 

KJ19: I’m living in Glasgow but we are an Indonesian metal zine. Have you listened to Indonesian death-metal bands Death Vomit, Bleeding Corpse or Saffar? Please give your opinions. 

I haven’t listened to any of these bands unfortunately but ill definitely be looking into them after this interview. 

KJ20: Have you got any message for the fans? 

Thanks for all your support. If you want us to play a show in your town or country then please get in touch at \m/ 

KJ21: OK, thank you very much. Thanks a lot! 


IN HEL WE RIDE from HELHEIM album (2015):


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