20 Years Ago: WINDIR release Arntor

Daily Noise -

20 Years Ago: WINDIR release Arntor

The melodies are my music. Some people use melodies to give the music a bit extra, but for me the music is there to give the melodies the extra. I always use chords that are related to each other so that the melody can be harmonic. So I create and build the music and arrangements for the melodies. I guess that is what my "trademark" is. I have serious problems when I try to do a theme without melodies. I feel it's empty and soulless. My vision with the music is, and has always been, to give the listener a feeling of blissfulness. That is how I feel when I listen to my music and other music with the same types of chords as me. I get blissful... A fantastic feeling.

Valfar / Windir interview, Ablaze, 2001

Valfar released the second WINDIR album, Arntor, on this day in 1999 through Head Not Found.

..."Arntor" will always be something special for me since I wrote it in a special period of my life. According to alcohol I sniffed petrol to reach my "level" when I composed it. It fucked up my mind, but it was fun.

Valfar / Windir interview, Aegis, 2002

Recorded in August - November the previous year at Grieghallen with Pytten, Arntor is the last 'solo' WINDIR album, although drums are again performed by Steingrim.

...Grieghallen is expensive for bands like Windir. Since I arrange grand music with many instruments and a hundred different melodies, it takes time to record it. Of course it's easier to hire a good studio if you only play straight forward Black-Metal. I would have to be a millionaire if we recorded "1184" in Grieghallen. But I really enjoyed Grieghallen and Pytten, he took a personal interest in my work since he thought I was original.

Valfar / Windir interview, Ablaze, 2001

Steingrim would be joined by several other ex-ULCUS members, including bassist Hváll, to create a full studio and live band in 2001. Later, after Valfar's death in 2004, most of these members formed VREID.

There is a direct line from Arntor to Hvàll. The farm that Arntor had still belongs to the same family, Hvàll's. I'm not sure if I found that out just before or after releasing Arntor. But I had worked on the lyrics and concept for a while. It surprised me, but when I thought about it and red a bit it made sense. That lucky bastard. I live 30 meters from Hvàll, and the farm I origin from were in the ancient time a "sub-farm" to Hvàll's. So I'm actually their "boy", he,he.

Valfar / Windir interview, Ablaze, 2001

I and Valfar were raised on the same farm, and we have known most of the other members all our lives. I have always loved WINDIR, and Valfar wanted to develop the sound of WINDIR. So we decided to join forces. This also meant that WINDIR could become a live band. We have been doing a couple of Norwegian gigs lately, and it has worked out very well. Next year we are doing some Scandinavian gigs and we will be playing at the Inferno festival in Oslo in Eastern. Currently we are working on an European tour for April. We will get this tour confirmed early next year.

Hváll / Windir interview, Voices from the Darkside, 2001

WINDIR wove stories of Sogndal's regional history throughout their music. Arntor was introduced on this album and developed on 1184. Here is some background on Arntor, written by the band:

"The battle at Fimreite" is a well-known event in Norwegian history. In the year of 1184, Sverre Sigurdsson and Magnus Erlingsson bashed together in the fjord here in Sogndal. Magnus fell in battle, Sverre became sovereign king and the people of Sogndal lost their village to Sverre's flames.
Then, who is Arntor? King Sverre claimed higher taxes just before Christmas 1183 from the villagers and they were furious. They gathered up, with Arntor of course, and went to the kings' men that were stationed here to guard the region. Priests, "dukes", and servants celebrated Christmas as happy as they could in the name of the lord. The tables were covered with fine food and good drinks. The crowd asked to be spared in this conflict, but they were all slayed to death.
Sverre were furious after this event. He went straight towards Sogn with his army. The village would burn and the guilty ones executed. At that time Magnus heard Sverre were on his way and saw an opportunity to kill him. He gathered his army and sailed inwards the Sognefjord. Well, we all know how that ended...
Sverre burnt down the village. They say Arntor fought and fell with Magnus at Fimreite, but none know for sure. All we know is that he died during the conflict. Sverre confiscated Arntors' farm Kvåle and stated his new men there. Kvåle were the richest farm in the village, so the consequences were enormous.

[1184] is the year of the greatest sea battle in Norway. It took place in the Fjord of our home village Sogndal. The people of Sogndal were tired of all the taxes from King Sverre. When he raised them again before Christmas 1183, a group of men in Sogndal, led by Arntor (a local farmer) killed the priests and men that served Sverre, as a protest for his tyrannical regime. Sverre was furious and ordered his army to burn Sogndal to the ground and kill the guilty ones. Another local king, Magnus Erlingsson, heard that Sverre was on his way to punish us and saw an opportunity to defeat him in a battle and become the sovereign king of Norway. The two armies bashed together in the fjord here in Sogndal, 2000 men died and sadly our "king" Magnus fell in the battle. As a punishment Sverre burned Sogndal to the ground. He confiscated Arntor's farm, and made it a seat for his men. So our lyrics are made in honour of our local hero Arntor, and is in total hatred against Sverre.

The lyrics of WINDIR are based on local history, not our Norwegian history in general. WINDIR will always be based on the mighty history of our home village Sogndal, and since both I and Valfar grew up on the same farm as my great ancestor Arntor, we feel a strong connection to the history of the battle in 1184.

Hváll / Windir interview, Voices from the Darkside, 2001