When I got the confirmation to speak with Mathias “Warlord” Nygård (vocals) of Turisas, I honestly jumped up and down like a little kid hearing that he was getting that toy he always wanted finally. Turisas isn’t just any ordinary folk metal band, they are world known for being one of the great forefathers of the genre itself. I spoke with Warlord during Turisas’ trip to Kansas City during the tour for Paganfest and here is what he had to say:
TMF: Introduce yourself and the band?
Turisas: My name is Mathias Nygård, the singer of the folk metal band Turisas from Finland and founder of the band.
TMF: How did you join Turisas?
Turisas: We started in 1997 by myself and guitarist out of boredom as teens. We were able to get a lineup and pick up and do well by 2003.
TMF: What does Turisas mean?
Turisas: The word is used as “God of War” in Finnish mythology.
TMF: What inspired the band to become what it is?
Turisas: One important thing was doing what we felt like doing and having freedom to do so from Century Media.
TMF: How come Folk Metal? Why not another genre?
Turisas: When the band started, it kind of just happened since there was no label of “folk metal” at that time but we were influenced by bands like Amorphis and Belphegor.
TMF: What influences the lyrics?
Turisas: Previous album were historical concept but not main theme, more like framework and Turisas2013 was more straightforward and more of universal themes that can be related to.
TMF: What inspires and influences you personally?
Turisas: Its quite rare that I get excited by music but more by art or ideas. More distant sources rather than expected.
TMF: How would you compare Battle Metal with Turisas2013?
Turisas: Those two can not really be compared since each album between was a gradual step as progression. Also, age changed along with interests and sound.
TMF: What is your personal favorite Turisas song and why?
Turisas: It changes daily but right now its “We Ride Together” since its uplifting and challenging to play and sing.
TMF: How did it feel playing Paganfest?
Turisas: It was great returning for Paganfest as coheadliner with Korpiklaani to bring together more people. Always a pleasure to play new areas and see true fans as well as new ones.
TMF: How does touring America compare to Europe or other parts of the world?
Turisas: Different in many ways, distance is shorter and venues in downtown areas in Europe unlike the US. More traveling it seems in the US to come to an event.
TMF: What bands would you like to tour with in the future?
Turisas: It would be great to play an arena Iron Maiden but in reality its been fortunate to tour in general and see everyone on tour.
TMF: Is there a new album in the works?
Turisas: Not at the moment because of touring and playing many shows and only three shows are left of this tour till going home and resting.
TMF: Do you have any advice to upcoming metal bands worldwide?
Turisas: Focus on your own music and sound rather than try to mimic other bands. Music takes time to create and over time developing your own sound.
TMF: Any last words?
Turisas: Big thanks to everyone who have seen Turisas and hopefully we will return soon! Go check out Turisas2013 if you haven’t listened to it yet!
Turisas2013 can be purchased here!