A few months ago, my colleague Aidan – co-founder of our blog – reviewed Library of Death, the second full-length of Swedish doom metal band Dun Ringill. Because of his positive rating, especially regarding the epic songs with some folkish elements, I was convinced that we definitely should interview this outfit from Gothenburg. Fortunately, bass player Patrik Andersson Winberg (ex-The Order of Israfel) was available. Enjoy reading!
Hi Patrik, thanks a lot for your time. How are you doing?
Patrik Andersson Winberg: I am doing great. Tired of this Corona times but one has to be patient and wait for this to blow over, waiting for the vaccine. But as a band, we are doing better than ever. Our new drummer, Neil Grant, was like a fuel injection for the band.
How are you dealing with the current situation? I suppose the pandemic destroyed a lot of your plans with Dun Ringill.
We had a couple of tours and gigs canceled because of this shitty virus, so it has definitely affected our work in a negative way. It feels like Library of Death didn‘t get a proper chance to shine like it should. But as it looks, we will head out on a tour late this summer, fingers crossed!!! We are working on album number 3 right now during this pandemic, so we do still work hard, even though we can‘t meet up for rehearsals. We have meetings every week and we work on songs from home.
I think there are still some readers who don’t know your band yet. Could you please tell us a bit about the history of Dun Ringill?
Me and Tomas, vocals, were in a band before, DoomDogs, and when we left that band I joined The Order of Israfel and Tomas reformed Intoxicate, his old thrash band, but we both decided that one day we would work together again in some way. We already had decided the band name Dun Ringill for the project and we knew that we wanted to do doom music with folk music and thrash involved (we lost thrash during the way though). A couple of years later, The Order of Israfel went on a break (that this Saturday ended with a break up…). I talked to Tomas and told him, that I now had the time for Dun Ringill and he said «YES!! Let’s go.» We teamed up with some of Gothenburg’s finest musicians, Drummer Hans Lilja (The Order of Israfel, Lotus), guitarists Tommy Stegemann (Silverhorse), Jens Florén (also in Lommi & ex-live guitarist for Dark Tranquillity) and Patric Grammann (SFT, Neon Leon), and we were ready to go. And to be honest, I must thank The Order of Israfel for taking a break, without this I don‘t know if Dun Ringill would have seen the light of the day, there is only 24 hrs/day even for me….
Who is responsible for the songwriting?
So far it has mainly been me, but Tommy has also written one song per album. When the songs are written, we all arrange them together in the rehearsal space and this really gives the songs a Dun Ringill feeling to them. When it comes to lyrics, I write them all. We decided at an early stage that the lyrics should be about horror and evil in general. I know that album number 3 will have more songwriters involved, for sure.
In July 2020, you released the aforementioned Library of Death. How would you describe the feedback you received after releasing your second longplayer?
Amazing!!!!!!!!! We have received so many good reviews, average 8/10, and we have now been on several best of the year lists as well. People who have listened to the record also send us e-mails about how much they love the album. We have done two live shows and one live/stream gig and the audience went crazy about the new songs.
Could you point out a favourite track on this record?
It differs from day to day, but I must say «Reverend of many faces» – with its complex arrangement, with all guest musicians at the end of that song. And I am so happy about how the lyrics turned out on that song, too.
Do you often read reviews about your own music? And what would you describe as the «weirdest thing» that you’ve ever read in a review about Dun Ringill?
Yes, we read all reviews that we get sent to us and we search the internet to find more of them as well. I think it is fun to read the reviews (especially when they are this good). We have not really gotten any strange reviews, to be honest. But I reacted to one where the reviewer didn‘t like the vocals and didn‘t understand why Tomas is singing like that – when he can sing with a clear voice. It is, of course, up to each person to have his opinion about the vocals, album, songwriting, etc – but it gets funny when they try to tell us how to do it.
Do you often listen to your own music? If so: Can you enjoy it or do you regularly think: «Oh, I’m not totally happy with this riff, vocal line, etc.?»
I know that most of the musicians say that they don‘t listen to their records after being released, but I don‘t believe them. For me, I consider our albums as great records and I love them, so I do listen to them from time to time. But, of course, there is always something here and there you could have done better, but if you want everything to be perfect, it will take years to produce an album (see Def Leppard…). I see every record as we‘ve captured the time where we were at that moment and that’s why they sound like they do.
You said that you are already working on your next studio album…
Oh yes!!! We are working on a BIG project this time! But I can‘t really talk about it at now. But if everything falls into place, it will be SUPER EPIC!!! But I can promise you that it will be a double album with 12-14 songs… It hurts so that I can‘t speak about it yet.
On our blog, we focus on metal with epic elements. How would you define the term «epic»? We received a lot of different answers regarding this topic in the last few weeks.
Big sounding, complex songwriting, storytelling lyrics, big arrangements with many instruments. I want to feel almost exhausted and breathless when I have listened to an epic tune or album. For example, TOOL – Aenima, Jethro Tull – Thick as a brick or Dimmu Borgir – In Sorte Diaboli.
How would you classify your own music? The Metal Archives describe Dun Ringill as «doom metal with folk influences», for instance.
Maybe epic as mentioned before? But we also have been influenced by heavy metal, classic rock, singer/songwriter music…. For us, it is important to have a good song and not just a good riff. Most of the songs are written on an acoustic guitar and in a bass players‘ point of view.
Could you recommend our readers some interesting young Swedish doom metal bands?
Vokonis and not so young Dead Kosmonaut.
What do you generally think of the Swedish underground metal scene?
It blossoms! There are so many good bands and podcasts about music from Sweden. And the best thing is that it‘s no competition between bands, we all try to help each other out.
Do you have a favourite festival?
I have been at least at one festival every year since 1986, so I’ve been at many of them. Roskilde late 80s and early 90s was super cool, Ankkarock in Finland in the 90s. The best festivals I played at were Hammer of Doom and Sweden Rock Festival. Imagine the feeling to play for an audience that knows your songs and lyrics… But if I should choose one to visit today, I must say Muskelrock in Sweden. Small, 1500 persons, super cool festival that always has some upcoming bands on its billing. I saw Ghost, Witchcraft, Graveyard, The Devil‘s Blood and many other great bands in their early, early days there.
Last question: What do you generally think of social media platforms?
It is a necessary evil (laughs). If it wasn‘t for the music, I would leave it today, but you have to be there in order to draw attention to your music these days. But we will go «old school» as of mid-February!!! At the end of that month, we will launch a classic homepage (www.dunringill.se). We do think that people, nowadays, tend to get tired of the band profiles on Facebook and Instagram, just like people got tired of CDs and mp3s and started to buy vinyls again. So, keep your eyes open for that.
For sure! Patrik, many thanks for this nice talk! Stay safe.
Cheers and stay safe, too – and buy merch from bands! We all need that more than ever!