Mannveira's EP Von Er Eitur was released back in March of 2014, just over a year ago now. Despite this being a well received release, and the project's only one to date, there was little information about the man behind Mannveira, Illugi. Fortunately, Illugi was available to do an interview to shed some light on the nihilistic project and answer some questions about his past, present, and future along with some comments that went into the prior article about Icelandic black metal.
Apteronotus: What is your earliest memory of listening to metal, was it something you enjoyed immediately or did it take time to click?
Illugi: Luckily for me, metal is something I grew up with so I've always been very fond of it. It did take me some time to really appreciate more extreme stuff when I was a teenager but it grew on me like a tumour, eventually.
A: Why did you form Mannveira?
I: Because I wanted to use the material I had written and I wanted it to sound like I had imagined it.
A: Before Mannveira, you played in Abacination. How did everyone in Abacination get to know one another and will those demos ever be re-released?
I: I think everyone in Abacination met through the internet because they were looking for some like-minded people to make music with, and then I joined because I'm friends with the singer and he recommended me as a bass player. I am fairly certain though that the demos won't be re-released, due to lack of general interest.
A: The label you are on, Vánagandr, has a fairly sizable group of black metal musicians, some of which you have played with before. What then is the driving force behind creating the music Mannveira mostly individually rather than collaborating?
I: It is mostly because Mannveira is the first music I made that was specifically the way I wanted it to be and I didn't feel like it needed someone else's input. However, I collaborated with some people to write some new material and will probably continue to do so from now on.
A: My understanding is that Mannveira translates to human virus, and Von Er Eitur translates to Hope is Poison. Are these fair translations or is some meaning lost? Do you feel that art, and your lyrics in particular, can truly be translated?
I: Your translation of the titles is absolutely correct, but I feel that the lyrics and the atmosphere surrounding them would be completely lost in translation.
A: When it comes to musical influences, how do you think the bands that you enjoy have impacted how you make music?
I: Of course, there is a great impact from the artists I enjoy in my music, but I try my best not to imitate anyone and to develop my own sound.
A: Many outsiders comment on Iceland’s unusual geography when interpreting Icelandic music. What do you think of the idea that the mood of your music is somehow shaped by your physical surroundings?
I: It makes sense to a certain degree, the connection between the two maybe isn't that strong, but of course your environment has an effect on you no matter what, so the extremely dark, long and unforgiving winter in Iceland has an effect that we can't deny.
A: While there are many metal bands in Iceland, is there a defined or separate black metal scene, given that the country has so many black metal bands that incorporate large amounts of dissonant sounds?
I: The number of black metal acts in Iceland has grown considerably in the last 2 years or so, which has turned into a pretty specific scene that maybe doesn't get involved too much with bands involved in other genres, but there's always a small bit of interaction between the black metal band and bands from other genres (live shows and such) for diversity's sake.
A: What gear did you use to get the sound on Von Er Eitur and are you satisfied with the end result?
I: Honestly, I borrowed pretty much all of the equipment that was used to record, so I can't really specify what was used because I'm not so sure myself. I was very pleased with the end result though and it is only fair to mention that those who assisted in making it did an excellent job.
A: What are your long term goals for Mannveira and are you working on any other projects?
I: There is a split release being planned for sometime in 2015 and plans for some live shows as well, although I can't really go into any details regarding neither one of those plans yet.
A: Illugi, thank you for doing this interview and for your time. Do you have any final comments?
I: Yes, keep an eye out for the Icelandic black metal scene in the coming years!