I’ve met the project Talv wandering through YT and I do not think twice before buying a copy of his last album, Üksildus [post #005] – wich means ‘isolation’, in estonian language. And how I know that? Well, I took a great dose of courage and was very well received by Andrea Talv, the man behind the project, whose anonymity I was a lil afraid to disturb. He lives near Milano, at Italy, and we talk for many days, little by little, about his music. To this very special interview, he gently gifted us with some unpublished images!
GM: Well, let the show begin!
Before Talv there was Trees in The Fog. For how long? And why he gave way to the current project?
Talv: Yes, the project started as Trees in the Fog, there was also a logo and some songs ready for a demo, but before the publication, I decided to change the name with a more effective one. Talv means Winter in estonian language.
‘Trees in the Fog’ was from the end of 2011 to the end of 2012.
GM: And what about the meaning of the title of the first album, My soul is a velvet glove?
Talv: My Soul is a Velvet Glove is nothing more than a demo, and a really unpolished work, but at the same time very important for my evolution. About the meaning of the title: it comes to my mind really suddenly, without premeditation. I thought about the fact that Talv’s music is like a poetic thing trapped in a total sense of desolation.
GM: The second track is incredible! There’s a point in wich you get mad, your voice sounds really crazy and possessed by madness, that is very creeping!
Talv: Thanks! I think that My Soul is a Velvet Glove is really an effective title, and slightly in contrast with the harshness of the music.
GM: The lyrics are no available, I think that they would be valuable.
Talv: Yes, I never put the lyrics online, not really to follow the “trend” of the genre, but maybe ‘cause that are too personal, even in a “metaphoric” way… but, maybe, in the future, I’ll put available all the lyrics.
GM: That’s wy I asked you about the… anonymity, because we never know when someone is being esoteric, shy or just don’t have time or anyway, you get the idea.
Talv: For the anonymity: I’m rather active on Talv’s Facebook page with news, or sometime with links to youtube uploads of my songs, but Talv is a really underground reality, and without live activity, so not really well know also in the black metal scene. But yes, I never put a lot of information about me on the web, as you can see on Metalarchives.com or on webzines
Betwen 2012 and 2014, when you release “My soul…”, there’s a hiatus. Why?
Talv: In that period, I continued to write down songs, and in facts the first bunch of that were used for My Soul is a Velvet Glove demo. Then, I perfectioned or add some new sections to other songs that I wrote between 2012 and 2014, and the result was Melancholic Wanderings.
GM: Until now, we know that Talv is about desolation. Where this come from? The modern society, with his hush life, get rid of the people, that seeks in the forest a moment of isolation, like in the romantic age, or is something else, a spectral sadness, a inner desolation, that makes the men to walk away to the forest?
Talv: Nice point. Yes, the main theme of Talv is without any doubt desolation. This feeling is fueled primarily by something hidden and remote, as a sense of nostalgia for something of unknown. Is not really simple to explain it. Surely, a component is also a “misanthropic” view of the actual society, as you stated. And yes, there’s also that inner desolation, melancholy who always accompanies me.
GM: The ‘scenario’ has some influence on it all? Do you live in a urban center or in a place with more green?
Talv: It might sound a bit strange, but I live in a small city not far from Milan, so – there’s not so much green – so, the place where I live, is not too much influential in what I compose.
But for sure, I always loved forests, mountains, and places surrounded by nature. When I get the chance to visit similar places, I gather a lot of inspiration.
GM: Got it.
Where did you take inspiration?
Talv: Sometimes woods, other times natural landscapes, or maybe during travels. There was a period of my live where I travel really a lot by train, and that was a great form of ispiration.
GM: Books? Movies?
Talv: Before books and movies, music itself is another enormous source of inspiration: I listen a lot of things, firstly atmospheric black metal, but also heavy/power/epic and doom metal, a lot of thrash and death. Some bands not strictly related to the genre that I play, also influenced me a lot, as some quality italian songwriters. I’m also a “big reader”, and some atmospheres that I found in thriller or horror genre, gave me “insights” for my music. A little bit less for movies.
GM: Great. After “My soul…”, comes the split “Take away my pain’, right?
Talv: Yes, is the first Talv split, but at the time I was working to “To Wither Away…”, the split with Schizocaria. That was the priority, at the time, and a work that I consider really important in Talv’s evolution.
GM: So, do you worked in the two splits at the same time? How do you get into it?
Talv: Not really. I was working firstly to the split with Schizocaria. During the works, I received the request for partecipate to Take Away my Pain split, so I used a previously written song.
GM: Now that I heard all those titles, I noticed that they has some old tracks; just one, “White wolves…” is brand new. But, by the vocal aproach, I would say this is previous than the material in Melancholic wanderings.
Talv: What you said is correct. The material on the various splits was composed by the same bunch of songs, sometimes with a new production or directly re-recorded. All the material was before Melancholic Wanderings, as you correctly noticed.
GM: Melancholic wanderings is a step ahead. Your vocal style changed – please, talk about this.
Talv: Yes, the vocal style of the previous works was a classic screaming, but then, I prefer to choose something more “personal”, like an howling and distant moan, in my opinion more suitable with the “new” sound. My vocals are definitely criticized by people, who say they don’t appreciate. I respect their opinion, but Talv’s vocals aren’t made for like, but to create a sense of discomfort and desolation.
GM: Laughing here…
Who don’t like? This new vocals are amazing!
Talv: And I’m really glad that you like, amongst others. Fortunately, someone can grab the whole atmosphere of Talv.
GM: In my first post about Talv [post #005] I was to say that maybe we need a new term for this, cause it sounds like an whistle to me.
Talv: Yes, I hope that it sounds also a little bit original, ‘cause atmospheric and depressive black metal vocals are really a stereotype
GM: This album was released, in cd, by Depressive Illusions. Could you say something about this process?
Talv: Yes, Melancholic Wanderings counts only one release by Depressive Illusions Records. When the album was ready, I searched some labels to put out the work, and DIR seemed the right choice. And I still think that it was.
GM: We can say that you was working on it for some years – and then we came to Üksildus. How long do you work on it?
Talv: Yes, Melancholic Wanderings took surely more time than Üksildus. At least two years but with not continous work. Üksildus was produced in less time, but with more intense work, about ten months. After Melancholic Wanderings I took a little break from the writing of new songs, but not really too much.
GM: Tell us about your writing process. Do you record at home, at a studio, what do you record first?
Talv: I record all at home, I made some kind of “personal studio”. My writing process is quite simple: I take my guitar, try some melodies, and than I try to develop some more, until I reach the “skeleton” of the song. Than I experiment on the sounds, and finally, I record guitars, bass and drum programming.
GM: Then, you looked at a new label, again.
Talv: Yes, both the labels for Üksildus worked really well! Limited editions, great underground support. I’ll surely want to work again with those labels: Silentium in Foresta Records and Misanthropia Records.
GM: Slowly you’re getting known by more people. Do you like it?
Coul this be a menace to the underground?
Talv: I admit that lately, Talv gain some more “popularity”, expecially after Üksildus and I’m glad about it [exactly right now, when I’m finnishing this, the Talv’s FB page has 499 fans]. Knowing that people get into my music is great. I’m sure that Talv will always be an underground project, I think it is the very essence of the project.
GM: Great to hear it.
What about the future?
Talv: Actually, there’s an almost ready split with two mate bands: Nero Barlume and Cercueils. This is surely the last work of 2015. For 2016, probably an EP, but not a full lenght. I’ll work for a full lenght to put out it on 2017, but this is only a “temporary” schedule. Talv will certainly go ahead, maybe with a little evolution in the sound, but with the same intent: melancholy and desolation filtered on atmospheric black metal.
GM: A little note about this: I dared to said your sound has some shoegazer nuance – but you always stand, saying just ‘atmospheric’. Blackgaze is not to you?
Talv: Oh, yes, there’s a shoegaze influence in my music, no doubt, and I also like a lot the genre, from My Bloody Valentine to Alcest. I noticed also that the majority talk about depressive black metal, but in my opinion – Talv – is firstly an atmospheric black metal project, there’s a depressive component, without doubt, a shoegaze influence, and maybe other elements, but I prefer atmospheric black metal.
GM: All right!
Do you like vinyl? A 10” version of Üksildus would be a treasure for maniacs like me!
Talv: I’m a big collector but not really into vinyl, but an Üksildus vinyl version could be really interesting. I’ll definitely keep in mind the possibility of thus type of release.
GM: Well, now about albuns: what is the album you listened to most in your life? What’s the best album of 2015, until now?
Talv: Such a difficult question: about the major number of listening, probably Master of Puppets by Metallica. If I have to choose my favourite album ever, I go with “Melancholie²” by ColdWorld, although there would be a lot of albums that I like very much. For 2015: I have to listen some more albums, but until now, the last Drudk, Mgła and with surprise, the new Marduk.
GM: What’s your age?
Talv: I’m 28 years old.
GM: Do you watch the doc “One man band”‘, of Noisey? Do you liked it? Would you be happy in participate of something like that?
Talv: The one with Xasthur, Striborg and Leviathan?
In that case, yes, and I think that it was an interesting project.
Would surely be interesting to participate in a “documentary” like that!
GM: I love covers and versions; did you ever think about to make a atmospheric cover of a classic song, of any musical dimension?
Talv: I also like covers, but strangely, I never made one of it in my releases. Sometimes I thought to reinterpret some songs from two italian songwriters that I like so much, but I never end that attempt.
Talv: Francesco Guccini and Fabrizio de Andrè.
GM: Fine. Let’s wait!
GM: To end, would be nice to have a exclusive picture, maybe you playing at your ‘home studio’, maybe and artwork not used, something like that. Some idea?
Talv: So, I have a photo that in the future, will certainly be an artwork, maybe for an EP, maybe for a full length, and I can send it to you without problem. By now, I don’t have a photo of mine in the writing or registration process, unfortunately.
GM: I have no words to thank you!
Talv: It’s a pleasure, and thank you!
You can listen, download and buy the Talv’s albuns in Bandcamp.
Check his steps in FB!