Interview: Ryghär

You didn’t seriously think there would be an Epic Metal Blog Birthday Special for Aidan without Ryghär? If you did, you don’t know our blog that well… There is hardly any other band that my friend and colleague has been so intensively dealing with since the beginning of his blogging career. So it’s only fitting that Ryghär Highwind should have a word to say in tribute to Aidan on the occasion of his special day. Enjoy it!

On March 30, 2022, my Epic Metal Blog colleague Aidan celebrated his 19th birthday. What bands were you listening to at that age?

Ryghär Highwind: When I was 19, I was jamming a lot of the cool stuff I grew up with like Savatage, Grim Reaper, Judas Priest etc my cool stepdad from the 80s showed me, but I was also into some cool avant-garde stuff in indie synth wave etc. I think I was singing for a hardcore band at the time too.

As most readers of our blog know, Aidan is my colleague, but first and foremost a great friend. It is indeed music that brought us together. Have you also had many good friendships develop over the years thanks to your shared passion for music?

I want to take a minute to first address Aidan and our friendship online over mutual love of metal. He and the blog are in the special thanks of Thurmecia Eternal not just for the support: This guy literally introduced me to my friend and label chief Raf of Rafchild Records. Aidan is a guy who really loves and supports metal in any way he can and we became fast friends over that mutual love and appreciation. I’m lucky to share friendships all over the world because of metal: Haunt, Fili from Fortress (who can beat me in pvp on Elden Ring), my friend Uli from LA who runs our Facebook because I don’t have one, Jeff from Gatekeeper who we will be seeking to hire for Ryghär‘s second album as well as being featured on our first with his project in Encloaked. Old school dudes like the Jarzombek Brothers here in town and the Cats from Militia, our brothers in Knight and Gallow who’s premiere first record is making huge waves (their drummer did most of the drum work on our album), Tucker from Throne of Iron, my boys in Morgul Blade, Christian of Necrofier and Night Cobra, I could go on and on, even Arthur Rizk, the amazing engineer and producer and Zach from Skull Fist, veterans and amazing artists taking time to give great advice to smaller projects. We are all making waves and helping each other and it’s very inspiring and awesome.

Aidan was probably one of the first bloggers in Europe to take notice of your demo songs in 2020. Do you think that traditional mouth-to-mouth propaganda still works well in the underground? Are journalists here still open enough to deal with artists who are still at the very beginning of their career?

Metal has the most dedicated hardcore fanbase and if you can connect with your communities they will literally help your dreams take flight. The steel is alive and only because of those that keep it trve. Aidan and Dennis from Schwermetallisch were two of the first to truly listen and weigh in (honorable mention to The Metal Forge podcast and Tully Diö) – this bit of serious commentary brought my music to our European audiences and they are the largest and most faithful.

Aidan has chosen your first studio album Thurmecia Eternal as one of his favorite albums of 2021. How were the reactions in general that you caused with the record?

As everyone’s first record can have its mixed reception, so too did mine. I have never done lead vocals before and a lot of criticism was made and I’m totally ok with and accept. We made the record we wanted at the time and cannot wait to reveal the teasers of album two – it’s way more in every department and some of the best music I’ve ever been a part of, just you wait.

Can you estimate in which countries Thurmecia Eternal was particularly well received?

Germany, Sweden, the USA and surprisingly in parts of Argentina our record was notably well received! I like that I can see these analytics with apps and such! Can’t wait to tour for our European fans.

Was there also a review that you were a bit annoyed about? Or was there a text that made you laugh?

I believe in the comments of angrymetalguy‘s blog someone said I sounded like a drunk karaoke singer and I was like “sir, I was also on drugs – get it accurate“! Lol Critique is powerful and can be useful, but at the end of the day I make the records me and my Silver Company want and don’t care.

How do you yourself look at the record at this point? A few months have passed since the release – are you still completely satisfied with the final result? Or are there aspects where you say: “I definitely want to do that differently on our second album”?

Gearing up for our huge set at the Legions of Metal fest in Chicago with many of our contemporaries has us revisiting a lot of the first album‘s material. Hindsight is 2020 and we have definitely refined parts or shortened more repetitive sections, I still love the album – it was my love letter to heavy metal and I stand behind it.

Aidan has twice created a playlist for International Women’s Day, which was meant to honor female musicians. Looking over our scene: Which female musicians fascinate you the most at the moment? Do you have any insider tips for us?

Women musicians – I admire Sarabeth from Tower so much, I accidentally caught a set and it blew my mind, also Savage Master is one of the best out there right now (honorable mention for Black Knight‘s amazing vocalist in the 80s).

The year 2022 is still quite young. But were there already releases from this year that could really inspire you? And which record are you particularly looking forward to?

Releases for 2022? If you are sleeping on Knight and Gallow, correct that – they rip it up so hard.

Getting back to my opening question: I know you’ve already gotten to know Aidan quite well. On the occasion of his birthday, do you have a few words you would like to share with him?

My words to Aidan, our brother in steel and chrome on the occasion of his birthday are: Thank you for our friendship, up the hammers, and always keep it true! You are a true member of the Silver Company and we can’t wait to come play for you!!!

Ryghär, thank you so much for your time and your very personal words, which I’m sure Aidan will be really happy about! All the best for the future – we can’t wait to listen to your second album!

Aidan’s review.

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