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"Webzine Interview"

Guthrum is a one man epic metal project from Hessle, East Yorkshire, incorporating sounds from black metal and folk music, and taking on board guest musicians. I spoke to him not only about the project, but also the UK folk metal scene, heritage and war.

First of all, for those who have not encountered you before, how would you describe Guthrum, both
musically and ideologically?
That's a great question. Guthrum is basically, for me, something that represents a great struggle
because I'm always focusing on making my music better. Musically it appears I'm improving which I
guess is down to natural process but to put it simply. Firstly it was medieval instrumentations and
now I've changed the concept by basically getting other people from the Folk Metal UK underground
community and getting them to basically give their input. So you can see its going to be a mixed bag
already. But musically the music is a mix between the ambience and atmospheric elements of black
metal and the content subtle sounds of folk. The idea itself was basically to make music and get the
Folk Metal UK team involved by raising it's profile in a unique way. Kind of how Folkearth have in
the past and currently still are.

Tell us a little of Guthrum's past, such as how you have developed and what you have achieved these
past few months.
I'm in two other bands and find that being creative is an addiction. Well to me, it's a disease and
I cannot cure it! So I decided to still create music but be my own boss and not have to wait up for
other musicians to learn and write music with me. I guess it's very selfish of me but I can't help
being creative! So all in all I've really achieved the ability to be in three bands! Music is my
life and I find that being in three bands is really a great gift to have! On a professional point of
view I've gained many contacts in the industry and have made many new friends and have built
relationships that will stay with me forever!

Tell us a little about your other two bands.
My first band is Ravenage. A pagan metal band which I formed along with my two good friends Glyn and
Richard from the remnants of Heathen Foray. We've played great gigs such as Gathering of the Clans,
Bloodstock Unsigned 2008, We've played a mini tour with Waylander and have supported Negura Bunget,
Blaze Bayley and Skyclad. We've played a small tour with Folk viking Metal band Gwydion in Portugal
for three days. We've only been gigging since March and it's been the most busiest and exciting
year of my life. At 20 years old I really feel that I have a place in the music industry as a
My second band, Infernal Creation are a Black/Death metal outfit from Hull. they have been together
for over 4 years and have played many gigs in the UK. I haven't been in Infernal Creation for long
and I have found great musicians to work with and really great friends. It's been the most lucky
year from me I must say.

Exciting stuff! How do you feel about the whole experience of playing live and touring?
It's really great. The concept of travelling is something I often dreamt about at a young age.
Playing live is something that is indescribable. Being able to play your music in front of people
sometimes in their hundreds is breathtaking. especially when you get people jeering and supporting
you. It's extremely humbling that people appreciate your music and don't just stay at the back of
the room at the bar all night.
The folk metal scene in the UK is rising predominantly and thanks to Aled Pashley this wouldn't have
been possible and the rest of the Folk Metal UK team of course. The promotion of the genre in this
country is getting widely recognised and has also gained media interest in underground
magazines/webzines etc. It's truly a great experience.

One theme that comes up a lot in the UK Folk Metal scene (and indeed the folk metal scene in
general) is heritage, also shown as one of your influences on your myspace. How much do you think
society has lost sight of our British heritage?
In a way I feel that British heritage still does stand strong and proud. But at the end of the day
everyone has a streak of being proud of who they are. We all have our own way of showing it and I
believe that the only reason that Folk Metal is one genre that is looked up at is because folk music
is universal. Folk music is the primitive of all music and people do relate to that and feel the
connection to their heritage.

Another inspiration cited on your myspace is war. What are your opinions on modern warfare, and how
do you feel about the development of warfare over the centuries?
It's all natural process that technology does take over most things. I find that modern warfare is
no different to the wars and battles that took place in history. It's just a new way to finish
something. It's all over the same thing no matter what anyone says. War only has one word in there
that stands out and that is greed. I'm fascinated with war because of the ideas that some people
come up with in order to maintain their primary ideologies. It's amazing what the outcomes are and
how it all ends. Historically of course, imagine if the other side won and we would all be under a
new rule and everything would be different. War goes in hand in hand with Heritage.

Are there particular wars that are of great interest to you?
Stamford Bridge is one that comes first to mind.
Fulford Gate also. I have an admiration of Harald Hardrada and his ways of engaging in battle. I love the ideology that historians describe the way these battles underwent.

Going back to the project, what do you feel the future has in store for Guthrum?
I'm optimistic that something may happen with this project. I think the idea of raising the Folk Metal UK scene in a way like this is hard to not notice. I'm incredibly excited about what the next coming months will bring!

Interviewer Freyja Atkins - Unfashionable Creatures


Guthrum - 'The First Ode to Many...' (2009 MDR001)



Guthrum is a one man project created by Mark Wood. Writing from the depths of Hull, I bring you the music that keeps the hairs on my neck upright. Guthrum was originally a folk metal project under the name of Bard of Hessle and as time progressed the urge to write heavier faster and more beautiful music became more apparant. Guthrum's beliefs are in no way left or right wing. Guthrum stands for the individual and nothing else. The message that Guthrum promotes is as simple as "be yourself, be happy with what you are doing and be successful." Guthrum pays homage to its extensive rich history and heritage. I have had many outings in my life and due to these experiences I feel that I will one day find a place in the industry weather it's on stage, behind the scenes in the control room or on location. Thank you for looking at this page and if you listened, thank you for doing so. My music is my life and I create it with pride, passion, endeavour and patience.