Formed in mid-1994, Siebenbürgen was founded by Marcus Ehlin (guitar, vocals) and Anders Rosdahl (drums). However, it would not be until 1996 that they would release their first demo, "demo-96." That same year they released their second demo entitled, "Ungentum Pharelis" and "Siebenbürgen - LIVE." In 1997 their first cd "Loreia" was released, giving them worldwide recognition in the underground music scene. Their latest release, "Grimjaur" was released this year (1998.) The following interview is with Marcus Ehlin...

OK lets begin by enlightening those who do not yet know of Siebenburgen with a history of its members, how it was formed, when, etc.
It all started in the year of 1994 when I (Marcus) met Anders (Drums) at a friend's house. I had been looking for musicians so that I could fulfill some ideas I had. I soon found out that Anders was very interested in my ideas. After a couple of weeks or so, Fredrik (bass), joined us. During that period of time another member joined us on guitar. He did however not fit into the band at all, so we kicked him out. During a short period of time we had two guitarists who were a total waste of time for us. None of them had talent, nor did they fit into the band. However, they never contributed in any way to our music. It seemed we had to manage with only one guitar. In February -96 we recorded our first self- titled Demo, which included four tracks. (Vampyria, Blodspår i snön, …Om hösten död, Att dricka någons blod). We had been looking for a guitarist for a quite long time, when we met Linus. He seemed to be the right person, so we took him in. About three months later we had our first gig, with In Aeternum and Svartsyn, during which the Live-tape was recorded. It was never meant to be released, but when we recorded our second Demo "Ungentum Pharelis" in October, we thought it would be cool to print some covers to the Live-tape as well. Pagan Arts (Germany) contacted me and wanted to order some Demos, and I included a Live-tape in the shipment. They liked it and wanted more tapes for distribution. In February -97 I got a letter from Napalm Records who wanted to sign us. We accepted their offer, as it was a good and serious one. One and a half months later we entered Six String Studio, in which we also recorded our first Demo, for the recording of our debut album. It is entitled "Loreia" and was released during the end of May -97. In February -98 we recorded the second opus, "Grimjaur", which was released in June this year. And that's about all....
You have two full length releases available, 'Loreia' and 'Grimjaur.' Tell us a bit about them and the differences between the two. What do these two titles mean?
"Loreia" is one of the Queens of the fantasy-world called "Grimjaur". The legend of "Loreia" tells us that she is the cruel ruler of Midnight. With her beautiful appearance she lures her male victims deep into the Grimjaurian forests, where they are granted her death-bringing kiss. Loreia lives in the forests outside the medieval town of Grimheim, where the soil is stained with the blood of her numerous victims. The front cover picture itself depicts the Queen Loreia in her crypt holding the skull of one of her victims. "Grimjaur" are, as told before, the name of this world. And its meaning is midnight. The most apparent difference between the albums, in my opinion, is the sound and the speed. "Loreia" had a to "digital" sound that we tried to change for the recording of "Grimjaur". But the result of that attempt wasn't pleasing. The sound became to "un-clear". I think that if we had got something between those sounds, the result had been somewhere what we had wanted. It's very hard to sit in the studio and listen and everything sounds so fucking perfect. Then you go home and listen to the final mix and it sounds crap. And in my ears "Loreia" is to slow. "Grimjaur" isn't, and that's at least one thing that we managed to change till the better. About the material: On "Loreia" we used 6 tracks from our Demos, because there was not many people that had the tapes. But we left one track on each Demo so that them who had it had something special. There's also an intro and an outro on the track "Nattens Väv" on the "U.P." Demo that's not on the album. "Grimjaur" is only new material. And I am more pleased with those tracks.
Would you say your music has any sort of message you wish to relay to the listeners? What sort of feelings do you hope to invoke within the listener?
I see each song as a short nightmare, a dark fairy-tale. So if the listener can feel something of this, we have achieved something I think.
I understand Siebenbürgen is the old European name of Transylvania. Why was this chosen?
It was my ex-girlfriend Mara who came up with the idea that our band should be named Siebenbürgen, as we all are into transylvanian folklore and history. Anders and I thought it was a good idea to have the old European name for Transylvania as it was used in Swedish language in earlier times. Besides, it was very suitable for us regarding to our lyrics.
Explain what sort of topics your lyrics deal with?
The contents of our lyrics are mostly about creatures such as vampires, werewolves and ghosts, and of course Death in all of his various shapes.
Before Siebenburgen, were you involved in any other bands or projects?
Nothing special to talk about.
What can we expect from your 3rd full length release? How are things coming along? Could you give us some titles of upcoming songs and when is this slated to be released?
Stronger and better material perhaps, he he.... So far we have about 9 new tracks that we are still working on, more or less. I'm very pleased with them and I feel that this material is the best so far. The only problem yet is that our co-operation with Lovisa Hallstedt has come to an end, and that we until this date haven't found a replacement for her. The recording date is set to sometime in January/February 1999. All depends on how everything turns out right now.

Some new titles are:
"Av Best Är De Komna"
"Ljusets Fall"
"As of Sin"
"Majesties Infernal
The title for the album has not yet been decided yet. We have to see.
Explain to us were you derive inspiration for music writing. What about outside of music, in every day life, what do you find inspirational?
The only answer that I have on that question is that I think that everything that you surrounds you with, or everything that you get surrounded by, will influence you in one way or another. I can't put my finger on something special that influences me. Everything depends on what kind of mood or state you are in.
Some of your lyrics deal with topics of the past, what periods of time and what elements of the past are you most interested in?
Most of our lyrics deal with the legends and myths of Grimjaur. So there is no specific time that our lyrics deals with. You could say that they are "time-less". But for my own interest I'm mostly into the middle ages. That's the time-period that I am reading most about. So maybe there is some elements from that period that I unconsciously mix into our lyrics, I don't know.
Would you say the world lacks beneficial elements that the past once possessed? What would you say is different about people back then, in comparison to people now?
Because of that I didn't lived back then, I can only suppose different things. But I think that people back then, had more religious faith then the people today. And that's s shame I think. There is so many today that claims that they are true Christians or Satanists, but they are not religious at all, Priests that don't believe in God or the Devil, or so called Satanists that follows the non-religious words of Mr. LaVey. Makes me want to puke....But their days will come, and they will regret what they have done. The punishment will not be pleasing....
On your webpage, you list some upcoming song titles for your third release, it states that three english tracks will be included this time around, versus all in Swedish the previous releases. Is there a specific reason behind this.
The only reason is that I wrote some lyrics in English, and I thought that they where to good to just throw away.
You also have three demos, tell us a bit about what they are like. Is it still possible for anyone to obtain any of them?
What can I say, They are sold out and we are not planning to re-release them. The first one included 4 tracks and was recorded at the same studio, which we used for "Loreia". The second, "Ungentum Pharelis", was also a 4 track Demo, recorded in a shitty studio. The third one isn't a Demo. It's a live-tape from our first gig. It was never meant to be released, but one thing led to another, as explained in question number 1.
Tell us about some of the touring you've done. What sort of positive and negative things have you experienced in this? Does Lovisa Hallstedt (female vocals and violin) play live performances with the band.
We have had 2 tours this far, the first in October/November -97 with Menhir (Ger) and Forbidden Site (Fra). That tour was rather bad organized but the reactions from the audience were great. The second tour was in May/June -98, with Atanatos (Ger) and Ragnarok (Nor). We had a fucking great time with those guys. And the tour was better organized. About Lovisa Hallstedt, no she doesn't play live with us, and that's one of the many reasons why we won't work with her in the future. And I think that her vocals on "Grimjaur" sounds really bad. So right now we are looking for a new female vocalist, so if anybody reads this, and are of female gender, can sing, and would like to work with us, don't hesitate to send a tape and a short description of yourself.
Do you have a favorite song you've done? How about a least favorite? If there was one song you could play to represent Siebenburgen, which one would it be?
My favorite is "Nattskräcken" from the "Grimjaur"-album. Fast and a lot of energy. My least favorite is probably "Att dricka någons blod" from the "Loreia"-album. To slow and boring. A song to represent Siebenbürgen? It must be "Vampyria" I think.
What are your thoughts on modern religion? Do you possess an interest in 'paganism'?
The only interest I have in paganism is to read about it in history-books, but I don't feel close to it as a religion, it's just interesting to read about.
On the subject of religion, do you believe in any sort of afterlife?
Yes, end of discussion......
As expressed in many interviews we've done in the past, most people seem to harbor a deep hatred and dissatisfaction for this world. Do you feel similar? If so, or if not, why?
I don't care for this world and the people within it, so I don't see why I should throw away my feelings on people that don't deserve it, if you understand what I mean. May it be love or hatred. I only care for the closest ones. So if I should go and hate this worlds all inhabitants, it would be a waste of both my time and my soul. But sometimes it's hard to not do it....
Alas, on that final note, on a global scale the problems and the tensions of the world seem to be amounting like never before. Many have lost hope. Do you see hope for this troubled world? Will things get worse?
Things will get even worse, I think. No hope, no future. Only Armageddon.
Thanks for your thoughts Marcus! Give us your final comments.
OK, thanks for this interview and good luck with your magazine in the future. And to all readers: STAY FUCKING METAL!!!!

Tegelhagsvägen 33
176 76 Järfälla


Siebenburgen Review

Back to Interviews