Danish band Iotunn will for sure be one of the most remarkable newcomers in 2021 with their debut album Access All Worlds for Metal Blade. They came out of nowhere and really made an impression with their craft, and it is also great to see that people all around the world are giving strong reactions to their work. We naturally had to invite them to represent their work to our readers…
Greeting Iotunn and welcome to the pages of Metal Sound! How are you guys doing these days?
Greetings and thanks for reaching out! We are all good these days and are really enjoying the amazing response to Access All Worlds and everything.
For the beginning, can you try to describe this new band Iotunn to all of our readers – what can they expect from this name?
I think the best way to present us is to say that we are a band that breaks boundaries in our musical explorations. We do everything we can to take in all the inspirations and energies we get from music, nature, books and so on and try to create music from those impressions and all the feelings life has as such. So we are a band that try to always take things where we haven’t been before and who works very hard to always stay focused on the quality of everything we do.
The band exists for 6 years and you have one EP entitled The Wizard Falls under your belt, what can you tell us about this formative stage of the band?
I think the word formative is connected with the search for sounds that felt right, and the whole process around The Wizard Falls got us to new places which we then later on evolved further from so to speak. For example there are some elements in the fundamentals of the instrumentation on the EP that I have explored further since.
One very cool fact about Iotunn is that you have magnificent singer Jón Aldará among your ranks! How did you come in contact with him and is it hard to work with someone in that distance?
I totally agree. It was such an amazing thing for us to have Jón join the band. It started in early 2018 when I wrote to him. We had met a couple of times at Hamferd and Iotunn concerts so we had had some warm talks and Jón always were on our minds when we had to find a new singer. So I wrote to him and he wanted to hear some of the music we were working on which would end up on Access All Worlds eventually, and he really loved it. So from there it was a matter of talking about perspectives of everything, get to know each other better and begin to create music together.
The distance is actually something we don´t think about because it is never a problem really. During the writing process of Access he would fly to Copenhagen for long weekends and we would hang out and write music, and he did this around ten weekends or so and then we had an album. And for the recording sessions it was the same. So if I have to mention one thing it is that it would be nice if you could phone each other and hang out the same evening or so, but taking all things in consideration I think we are handling it perfectly.
Your debut album entitled Access All Worlds is about to be unleashed so now that everything is said and done how are you satisfied with its final outcome?
We are very satisfied with it! We feel that we have done everything we could to make the best record possible where we are now. So it is a good feeling. But also, having released Access now, gives us the possibility to really think further and talk about how to make the next one better. For us there are so many places we haven´t gone yet and we are in the process of entering those at the moment. So I think the release of Access All Worlds has given more room for that now, and that is also a really good feeling.
How would you describe the musical direction of Access All Worlds? I somehow feel that Iotunn is similar to Dan Swano’s work in Witherscape or Edge of Sanity…
I like to think of the album as a combination of contrasts. That means that it is an album that is constantly being created right there where contrasts meet. So there are directions but there are also a lot of deviations and things where we are not ourselves in control of what is happening but just going with the feelings of the moment. This has been a big part of the creation of the album. And in all this there are numerous inspirations from all over the musical spheres so to mention a few bands is very hard. But we have a huge love for music and this counts for many aspects of metal music and beyond.
Can you tell us something about the lyrical direction, is Access All Worlds conceptual album of sorts?
I think it is an album with many layers. The main story was created by Jón which is a sci-fi story of some daring space travelers going on a voyage to seek for new truths that can solve the near apocalyptic world back home. And everything during this voyage reflects itself in the many stages and feelings human life has, and for me personally the album is also about a way of living and being creative where you try to stay open and connected with a world full of energies and inspirations from others, nature and cosmos.
You have worked with some very talented people on production of your work, so can you tell us how it is to work with Jens Borgen and Flemming Rasmussen?
Sorry to correct you. We have not worked with Bogren. We worked with Flemming Rasmussen on our EP and that was a great experience! With Access All Worlds we worked with Fredrik Nordström and it has been a huge experience for us, and we really enjoyed the stay which was so enriching music wise and very much fun also. Fredrik is a great guy and a fantastic producer, so we really enjoyed it all.
Of course this covid-19 situation ripped apart all of your plans regarding the live activities I presume, but are you preparing something in that field for the promotion of Access All Worlds?
It did unfortunately. We would have loved to go on tours right now but it is not something that we sit down and cry about. We try to focus on what can be done, and in all this we are planning some interesting things – also concert wise. We are looking very much forward to announcing those things and we can not wait to enter stages all around and play Access All Worlds in front of live audiences!
My all time fave metal artist King Diamond comes from Denmark, but can you tell us what are your favorites from the rich metal history of your country?
We all love King Diamond as well! And Mercyful Fate! I will have to speak for myself here but King Diamond and Mercyful Fate are up there for sure and are probably the best. As a boy I loved Mercenary and their album Everblack meant a lot back then. Also bands such as Sacrificial, Illdisposed, Hatesphere, Artillery were blasting the speakers at some teenage parties, haha. In the more heavier doom-ish sphere I really enjoy Saturnus and Parzival.
Today I listen a lot to Myrkur and enjoy listening to a Danish metal scene that I think is growing musically and expanding beyond our own borders – Baest, Konvent, Afsky, Livløs, Møl, Sunless Dawn, Lamentari, Orm, Slægt, Xenoblight to mention a few.
What are the further plans for Iotunn, do you already have something on your mind?
We have our eyes on our next album now. There will be different things but this will have much of our attention throughout 2021. And of course, planning live shows and tours. And everything in between, haha.
Well that would be all for this first time, I would like to wish you all the best for the release of Access All Worlds! Your last message…
Thank you very much and thank you for reaching out. We want to say thank you to all of you who listen, buy and respond to our music. It means a lot and we can not wait to come out to meet you and play the Access All Worlds music live!
Questions by Slobodan Trifunovic