Heidevolk are a folk metal band from the Netherlands. Formed in 2002 by Joris Boghtdrincker and Sebas van Eldik. Heidevolk’s lyrical themes are based around nature and the history of Gelderland.
In 2005 Heidevolk released their first full-length album ‘De Strijdlust is Geboren’ [The Lust for Battle is Born], followed by their EP ‘Wodan Heerst’ [Odin Rules] in 2007. A year later Heidevolk released their second full-length album ‘Walhalla Wacht’ [Valhalla Awaits].
Their third album ‘Uit Oude Grond’ [From Old Ground] was released in 2010, followed by Batavi in 2012. Heidevolk’s most recent album ‘Velua’ was released in 2015, and contained the track ‘Vinland’ which is their first song featuring English lyrics.
Heidevolk have recently celebrated their 15 year anniversary, and toured Europe with Equilibrium on their Armageddon tour, with support from Finsterforst and Nothgard. Shortly after this Heidevolk returned to the UK for their first headline tour, with support from Old Corpse Road and Sellsword, they performed in four different cities in the UK.
Heidevolk are about to embark on the ‘Folk Metal Superstars’ European tour with Korpiklaani, Arkona and Trollfest, which kicks off in February 2018.
Loud-Stuff caught up with Heidevolk’s bassist – Rowan Roodbaert to find out what to expect from the upcoming album and what plans Heidevolk have for the foreseeable future.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with me
So you’ve recently finished your first headline tour of the UK. How did that go?
It was a really nice experience! We were about to go to the UK before, but it didn’t work out with the booking, or we didn’t have time, or were recording a new album. So this time we said “Okay, lets just do this!” and it worked out great.
I think we played four shows and the overall attendance wasn’t too bad, especially not with the small promotion period. But uh, yeah it was great!
And are you coming back anytime soon?
[Sarcastically] No, we’re not coming back of course.
- Definitely! Definitely!
When we were in the UK and we met all the fans over there, and we played the places we played, it was like, we missed this during our Heidevolk career, and we could easily do this every year, you know come a weekend to the UK, play 4-5 shows throughout the country and I think that’s what we’re going to do!
And what did you get up to in the UK, while you were here?
There was a lot of driving of course, but I don’t really mind that in the UK, especially when you drive up to Scotland and you are, you know, driving through the nice meadows and the hills, it’s sightseeing mostly, so we did quite a lot of sightseeing.
And we didn’t have a lot of time in the cities to explore, we just had a quick bite to eat, then put our gear in the venue and sound check and stuff.
What’s the plan for Heidevolk now that the tour’s over? I know you have a few festivals this summer.
Yeah we had ten festivals this summer, of which we’ve already played nine. So we’ve got one more festival left, there might be another gig in Romania and then we have the rest of the year off.
We were supposed to do another tour but in the end that one got cancelled, but that’s not too bad because, while between the UK tour and, well, yesterday. We’ve recorded, mixed and mastered our whole new album.
Oh excellent! So that’s finished now?
Yes that’s finished. So I got the final product yesterday and I was really happy. So I think we have a very early release date for 2018, I think the first month of 2018, and everything starts off now with promotion and video clips and that kind of stuff.
And when I said we have the year off, I meant we have the year off of gigs but not off Heidevolk.
Speaking of the new album. When Mark left, as a fan I was really sad to see him go, and I wasn’t too sure how you’d sound with such a drastic lineup change, but having seen Lars and Jacco’s performance, I am looking forward to hearing the new album!
Are there any festivals you’d like to perform at that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
Well I think any festival in the UK. I mean I always hear nice stories about Bloodstock.
Bloodstock is one of my personal favourite UK festivals.
And we’ve never played a festival in the UK so that’s definitely on our list. And um, right now we’ve started booking for next year so I hope we will get a few of those down. Also I would really love to play Wacken. I mean, we’ve played a lot of the big festivals in Europe but not Wacken yet so, let’s change that next year! That would be great.
And you know, as long as we are playing nice festivals, we’re good. I don’t have that many more targets, as to say. I really want to play this or really want to play that.
Well I really hope to see you guys make Bloodstock!
Yeah that’d be great!
So going back to the lineup change. Do you think that’s changed your sound much?
Well of course it uh, it changes our sound a bit. Because we had quite a lineup change of course. Joost, I and Lars remained from the lineup, everyone else has been replaced now. So we’ve got Jacco, who’s of course a different sound of vocals than Mark. But still – he knows how to Heidevolk it!
We’ve got two new guitar players, which are more into, well we’ve got Koen who’s in Detonation, and more into those thrashy kind of bands, and Storm who’s a really melodic guitar player. So it does affect our sound of course but for this album, I wrote all of the songs, I also wrote a lot of the songs from Velua. But this time I said, well in 2015 when there were band members leaving, I said “okay, we’ve got to keep the style consistent, so I’m going to start to write a new album, and when we have a new lineup we’re going to record it with this new lineup.” During this process I worked a lot with Kevin [Storm], I wrote the main rhythm for the guitars and he made it into his own parts. I worked with Koen on this as well and I tried to get everyone involved, so basically our style doesn’t change, because I wrote all of it, but you will hear the influences because the musicians that are now in Heidevolk, they wrote their own parts.
And when can we expect to hear a single, if you’re going to be releasing one?
Yeah I’m pretty sure there will be one or two singles, or maybe three before the release date because there’s still four months to go. So we definitely have to keep everyone interested and of course there will be one or two video clips, so there will definitely be a single – yes.
I don’t yet know when, but I would expect to have a single at least at the beginning of December or the end of November.
I know as a band a lot of your influence comes from the germanic gods, and with Batavi you went for your take on what happened with the Batavian tribe. So has the inspiration for the new album changed at all?
I think, you know it didn’t change. We’ve refocused on the historic sagas and historic myths, with Velua we focused more on the mythology that’s over here [in the Netherlands] but now we’re working more on the historic events and the historic myths. I think this time we took a subject instead of a tribe, with Batavi we focused on a tribe, and this time we took a subject, and that subject is breaking free. That’s kind of a main theme for our album, we took a subject and got some different historical events, and we placed this around the subject and wrote songs about it it. So it’s more based on history and historic myths this time.
But we didn’t only focus on the Netherlands, we also went abroad a bit with the myths, and I mean it was great to be in the UK in May, because I also know there are a few songs about Britain.
My final question, is if you could choose three bands to tour with, who would they be and why?
Three bands to tour with, who would they be and why? HA!
Thank you for that easy question! [laughs]
I think within our genre I can barely choose. I mean we’ve got so many bands who are absolutely great persons. We’ve toured a lot – we toured half the world with Ensiferum, we’ve toured with Turisas, we’ve toured with Primordial, we’ve toured with Alestorm, we’ve toured with Eluveitie.
I would choose all of them because they’re great persons and we can have a lot of fun with them. Um, for example Trollfest who we’re going to be on tour with next year, and Korpiklaani of course.
But you know I think it’d be really interesting musically to be on tour with a band like Amorphis, because you know, they’re not too much in the folk scene right now but I think we would fit together really well with those guys.
I would love to tour with a band like Amon Amarth because that would also be a great combination.
And you know, I mean who doesn’t want to be on tour with bands like Motley Crüe and Mr. Big, [laughs] you know those kind of hair metal bands, but that’s because it’s my favourite kind of music.
Thank you for your time! I look forward to hearing the new album and seeing you on your next UK tour!