"Expect the unexpected’. Roadburn always brings weird surprises, joy and collaborations, and we are happy to be a little part of it."

One of Europe’s most enigmatic and adventurous bands, Wolvennest have already passed into Roadburn legend after a packed-out debut foray in 2017 and then an astonishing performance of debut album Void in 2019. This year, despite current circumstances, the Belgian mavericks are poised to bring their brand new album, the wild and immersive Temple, vividly to life. Steeped in the dark side of psychedelia and audibly driven by otherworldly insight and horrors unseen, Wolvennest are an irresistible bad trip made flesh.

Dom Lawson

How have you adapted to our weird new reality over the last year? Any new challenges, in terms of being creative?

Corvus (guitar): “Adapted? As everybody, we deal with it, but I don’t see how musicians could totally adapt. You can use the free time to develop musical skills and go deeper into writing, mixing etc, but at the end, you put a point in your calendar with a live goal. That last part is not happening right now for 99% of musicians. So, you have to fight the ‘What’s the point?’ feeling we all have here and there. On a personal level, I went deeper into midi editing, how to record vocals correctly, how to create weirder sounds, that kind of thing. I surely learned a lot, but always with the goal that live music will be a real thing in the future. I don’t want every musician to turn into a YouTube shred warrior, there were plenty enough before the world stopped.”

What can you tell us about your forthcoming Roadburn performance?

“The Commission work is something special that includes aspects we would probably not do under the Wolvennest banner. It’s a little more violent and dark, I would say. We got several guests who were crazy enough to say, ‘Fuck yes, let’s do it!’ That gives us strength. And Temple will be fully performed, with Thousand Lost Civilizations bringing new visuals. I know they spent countless hours working on that. I’m curious to see the result, and by that I mean to feel the result while we will perform. They have total freedom and the best way to respect that is to discover it while playing.”

What does Roadburn mean to you, as creative people and on a personal level?

“Expect the unexpected’. Roadburn always brings weird surprises, joy and collaborations, and we are happy to be a little part of it. On a human level, Roadburn was, is and will be a place where you just feel good. Shitloads of people are there to have fun, listen to good music and meet people from all around the world. You walk in the street, you have a chat, you laugh hard and then you realise you just missed a band you absolutely wanted to see. We all experienced that at Roadburn!”

Can you tell us about your favourite past experience(s) of Roadburn? Were there any shows that had a strong impact?

“Mysticum, for sure: one of the best visual experiences when it comes to black metal. Cold, harsh, mechanic. It was a frenetic descent into madness, and a perfect performance from start to finish. I would also put on the top of my list Aluk Todolo and The Ruins Of Beverast [performing Exuvia], in a packed Green Room. You can experience those bands in a small venue with an aggressive vibe, but it’s another thing when they both benefit from a stellar sound.”

What are your hopes and plans for the (hopefully post-pandemic) future?

“Live shows mean freedom, and you can’t have that feeling with restriction, plain and simple. We’ll do the best we can to still offer something special here and there, but as everybody involved in live music, we are waiting. I don’t have faith in collective and individual intelligence, so I’m mentally prepared to wait for years before it becomes again what it used to be. We entered the data world, not only for health, but also for, for example, schools. What’s the next move? Covid should not be a Trojan horse. That scares me a lot. Is this all we are, data? My strongest hope is that the word ‘human’ will start to mean something positive again, not only for us, but for what’s around us as well. Concerning Wolvennest, we got our own studio, so we’ll always be able to create and experiment. Musically, the best can still happen, it depends on us.”

What else are you looking forward to experiencing during Roadburn Redux?

“First of all, I hope that the countless efforts of so many people involved will pay and will bring some joy for the ones who will watch it. It’s quite a challenge to prepare, but we did everything we could to make it happen in the best way possible. You can’t control everything, but if you give your very best, you’ll not have regrets. Restrictions are quite strict, so I’ll wait for a normal Roadburn for the memories and the beers in the street!”

Wolvennest (The Nest) will perform Her True Nature on Saturday at CEST, and Temple in full on Sunday at 20.40 CEST.