Introducing Arvas, featured on issue 099’s covermount CD
Norwegian black metallers Arvas may well have been spawned in 1992/3, but they’re not done yet and having collaborated with a track on issue 099’s covermount CD we thought we’d get an update from them ahead of the 2021 release of their new album, from which the featured single, ‘Silent Night’, is taken.
Who are you and from where do you hail? V-Rex: The band is based in Kristiansand, but originally started in Bergen. The name Arvas doesn’t have any particular meaning, it just sounded interesting. However, it does have some meaning in other languages. The band today is V-Rex on vocals and guitars, Jarl handles the bass, Kristoffer is our drummer, and Roald does guitar as well.
Describe your musical output… V-Rex: We try to come up with fresh ideas that suit our style, which is metal and based in this element in different forms. It is not that important to me what is in there as long as the music in the end has something interesting going on, all this is relative though, so in the end is up to the listener to identify it, we are just the means to make it happen. Lyrics are not my strongest side, so they do not really have any deeper meaning in context here. We are focusing on the music mainly, besides, no one hears what I say anyways…
Who / what influences your music? V-Rex: I am not sure, to me all music these days sounds alike and most bands in the so-called BM genre sound like relatively good copies of bands from the ’90s with a few exceptions every now and then. But I do not listen to this type of music so I really have no idea what is going on with anyone. I am influenced by nature, summer, cats, friends and life itself. Musical inspirations would probably be classical music, E, K and J Pop, that is all really.
Jarl: V-Rex is the one creating the music in our band, but sometimes others also have some good ideas; we are four guys with four quite different tastes in music. Myself for example, I like old British heavy metal, though not exclusively. But I don’t think any of the music we listen to ourselves influences the music that is created. I sure can’t hear that, if anyone can.
Why did you select the track included on the ZT covermount to represent you? How does it fit in with the rest of your material? V-Rex: We wanted a single because we never had done one before, we landed on ‘Silent Night’ because this was one of the ones that kinda stood out compared to the others on the album. It reveals our direction and still doesn’t give too much away. It is a good teaser. The song itself has some interesting structure to it as well. Not a typical Arvas tune. Lyrically this one is based around loneliness, and the unavoidable silence that occurs when you die.. Or chose to leave this life.
Jarl: Also, when we decided to go for a single, we already had five songs for the new album rehearsed, but were uncertain which to choose, or if we should rehearse one of the other songs from the upcoming album. But we decided to go for ‘Silent Night’, and I think the end result shows that we made the right choice. I think it has a better production sound-wise then older stuff, but that only goes to show that Arvas’ next album will be something to really look forward to.
Writing and recording – how do you go about it? V-Rex: The writing process is mainly me working with ideas and put things together. On the upcoming album VI everyone has had an input and has contributed with ideas and even riffs here and there. We record guitars, bass and vocals here in my studio, the drums are recorded elsewhere. The mix is done by me for the most part, and mastering is usually done by Tom Kvålsvoll from Kvålsonic Lab.
How has the recent pandemic affected the band. Do you see it ever ending, and what do you really miss from before it took hold? V-Rex: We have been somewhat affected as in not being able to tour or do more shows, so we have just been doing other stuff; I do some other projects, Jarl is working on his label and his own show and webzine, Kristoffer is busy with work and other bands, and Roald is a full-time student, he is also involved as guitarist for some other projects with Kristoffer. This pandemic is here to stay I suppose, we don’t expect things to go back to normal any time soon. What I personally miss is going out travelling with the band, experiencing new places, meeting people, I guess.
Jarl: We do have some plans on doing a greater show, preferably for the release of VI (which also happens to be our sixth album release) and the way it looks, it will be all digital/online. We are working on finding the right venue and the right set-up to arrange an online concert that can be watched anywhere in the world. And if our government allows it, it might be a crossover with both regular and digital concert.
What are your plans for the band? V-Rex: Well, we are preparing for the recording sessions for the sixth album these days. Looks like we are gonna do everything by ourselves this time as well. The guitars, bass, vocals and additional FX will be done in my studio and the drums will probably be done at Kristoffer’s place. We also would like to make a music video for one of the songs, we’ll see. We are not able to tour by the looks of it these days so probably we will do some online shows.
Jarl: Like V-Rex said, and stated above, there will probably be a greater online concert and hopefully a music video. The plans are in the making and I hope we have all of them in order by February.
How can ZT readers hear more? V-Rex: check us out on Spotify, also tune in on our YouTube
Jarl: Yeah, also the members post stuff independently. Kristoffer puts out a lot of great drum videos on his FB and Instagram, so you should go check him out there, and both V-Rex and I have our own YouTube channel where we talk about music and stuff. I think I speak for all of us when I say that all the members eat, sleep and breathe music, one way or the other. So there is a lot of Arvas to check out, if you still haven’t.