Trollaflem, bass player and backing vocalist of the Belgian Folk Metal band Aktarum, answered some of my questions after the release of Trollvenger, the band’s third full-length.
Hello and first of all, thank you very much for your time! Could you please introduce yourself and the band Aktarum without using the usual “Metal” labels?
Trollaflem (bass/vocals): Hello ! So my name is Trollaflem and I’m the bass player and one of the singers of the band. Aktarum is composed of a bunch of Trolls, making music to motivate our troups on the path of war, and hymns to party when the victory is ours!
Do you remember where does the band’s name come from, and what is its link with your music?
Trollaflem: Actually it’s a completely made up name ^^ « Aktarum » is the name of the village where the Trolls come from.
Trollvengers, your third album, is out since few weeks now, how do you feel about this release? How is the feedback?
Trollaflem: Pretty great to be honest 🙂 We already had a few awesome reviews for now and people seemed to really appreciate our new songs!
How could you sum Trollvengers in three words?
Trollaflem: Three words only ? Hmm… Fight, fight and fight !
How does the composition process happen? Was it different from your previous releases?
Trollaflem: Actually each Troll in the band composes. We all have different musical influences and I think that it is our strength. We can go from Power, Death or Black Metal but always sprinkled with Folk. It was quite similar to Ragnatroll to be honest.
Where does the concept of mixing your universe of trolls with the Avengers come from?
Trollaflem: Well we are big fans of super heroes, so we thought it would be fun to mix both universes. But it is only visual, the story in the album is completely made up.
On this album, you welcome Elliot Vernon from Alestorm on the song Pirates VS Trolls, where did the idea come from?
Trollaflem: We met the band at a festival here in Belgium and we hit it off. After the festival we continued to chat with Elliot and he suggested composing a song together!
The band has been alive since 2005, and faced some line-up changes, how do you deal with it as a band? Did you think the band could last this long at the beginning?
Trollaflem: Oh I think it’s the same for every band, the secret is to questions ourselves to keep going!
Since 2020, Covid-19 crisis fucked a lot of things up, how did you face the situation as a band? Did it have an impact on the album?
Trollaflem: Well I would say it helped us at that time… By giving us time to finish the album!
Do you already have plans for the future after the release of the album?
Trollaflem: Conquer the world with our music ! The story of the Trolls is not over, we still have plenty to tell!
What can you tell me about the evolution of the Metal scene around you?
Trollaflem: Hmm that’s a hard question actually, I really appreciate it, there’s a lot of great new bands coming up.
Do you think you still improve yourselves as musicians?
Trollaflem: I think so, we never stop to learn new things.
What are your best and your worst experiences as a musician ever?
Trollaflem: There’s a lot of great experiences but for me the best was Hellfest 2022 ^^ And the worst… hmm… that’s hard to say, maybe the times where our gear does not work properly, but our guitarist is a great engineer so the problem won’t last long!
What led you to the Metal universe back in time, and especially Folk Metal? What was the very first album you ever bought?
Trollaflem: Actually I always was in the Rock and Hard Rock universe thanks to my parents. One of my first concerts was Deep Purple when I was 8. Growing up I slowly started to listen to Metal bands such as Iron Maiden, Blind Guardian, Slayer, Iced Earth, etc… To be honest I never really was a big fan of Folk Metal until I join Aktarum ^^
What do you know about the French Metal scene? Which French bands do you know and like?
Trollaflem: We are Belgians so we know it a bit ^^ I personally love Gojira (not very original I know…), Existance, an awesome Heavy Metal band, Trepalium, Ultra Vomit, really fun to see them live.
What can we expect of an Aktarum show?
Trollaflem: You must be prepared to fight, to party and to drink a lot of beer!
What if I ask you to compare Aktarum’s music with a dish? Which one and why?
Trollaflem: I would say onion soup, ’cause it stinks but it’s good.
Are there any musicians or bands you would like to collaborate with?
Trollaflem: Oh yeah, a lot of them! We already collaborate with some of the best but we want more! Korpiklaani, Eluveitie, Ensiferum, etc…
Last question: which bands would you love to tour with? I let you create a tour with Aktarum as opener and three other bands!
Trollaflem: So much possibilities! Maybe something like this: Alestorm, Ensiferum, Windrose, Aktarum.
That was the last question for me, so thank you very much for your time and your music, last words are yours!
Trollaflem: Thanks to you! We hope to see you at one of our parties and maybe marching to war with us!