Hail Floris. First of all, I wanna know what made you create Annwfyn since you were already involved in Meslamtaea. When have you started this new project and what was your main goal?
Floris: Music is for me a way of art, a way to express and translate personal moods, thoughts and experiences. My project Meslamtaea evolved over the years from a standard Black Metal act into a project on a more person level (for example the track “Slaapwandelaar”). That was the moment the concept of translating my inner world into sounds, got much more important than playing heavy riffings on distorted guitars and screaming myself a sore throat. So I named this LP “Gedachten” (thoughts) and decided to move on to something new: a way to effectuate the same atmosphere, but without the typical Black Metal elements. This became Annwfyn, which just like the late Meslamtaea, is a cross-pollination of different styles, sounds, and genres. Multi-layered and ethereal music for open-minded listeners so to say. I think that the music needs to be listened carefully to be really understood. It’s quite fragile and multi-layered: there’s a lot going on. Nobody expected that there was a scene or platform for it, and I could not predict if it would be picked up by the Metal community or the Post-Rock/Metal Shoegaze public. But I liked it myself anyway so I decided to finance and release an EP, promoted via Heidens Hart Records. And here it is!
Is there a particular reason under the choice of Annwfyn as monicker? What does it mean?
Floris: Annwfyn is a mythical place beyond our world. So this name fits my concept, which is about my inner world.
In “Zicht”, vocals are done by Arjan. When did this collaboration start? Do you confront with him during the writing process? How do your songs come to life?
Floris: Arjan is a long-time friend with whom I played in a number of other bands and projects. All the music is written and recorded by me. Arjan‘s vocals were later added when the music was completely done. He also mixed and mastered this EP.
From a lyrical point of view, what are your favourite themes and where does their inspiration come from?
Floris: In short, Annwfyn is about human consciousness and senses, philosophy, nature, society, psychology, sensitivity, the super natural etcetera. The human nature always was and still is a big mystery to me. In this sad, modern world everyone seems to have forgotten who and what they are and where they come from. I believe that we have a very limited perception of reality. Everybody knows that, but no-one wants to see and sense, as people are focused on their own safe little world that they can understand. Mankind is such a strange and destructive species whose behaviour doesn’t look like any other animal on this earth. Thus I’m really interested in the paleocontact theories of the researcher Erich Von Däniken.
In the short description coming with the EP it’s written that your music “is not Post Rock, not acoustic Folk, not Shoegaze, not Progressive; it is impossible to put in any category. Yet it is a bit of everything”. So, what are your main influences?
Floris: The band Ulver is one of the biggest influences. Their “Kveldssanger” album has provoked my interest to do something with acoustic guitars, even though Annwfyn is influenced on music across a wide musical spectrum and this fusion just went naturally and unintentionally. I listen to 70’s psychedelic bands such as Yes (especially their “Fragile” and “Close To The Edge” era), fusion like Mahavischnu Orchestra, Celtic music, Classic and the contemporary Post-Rock and Metal wave. Also the 2th wave of Norwegian Black Metal, avant-garde stuff like Fleurety, and some of the nowadays acts like Code, Virus or Ihsahn, appeal to me. There’s so much to listen too that I don’t stuck to a single music style.
Besides the music, I’ve really appreciated the wonderful artwork that totally fits the mood of the EP. Do you think that musical experience should be also extended into images?
Floris: All the credits for the artwork go to Lennart Verhoeff. He is a great illustrator and he made the artwork that perfectly fitted to the concept of Annwfyn. I think that music and the mood of the cover-art should go hand-in-hand. That’s why I love to collect vinyl records with large cover-art. I don’t like the MP3 movement nowadays, which reduced music to a disposable product on a hard disk.
Do you think there’ll be a chance to see Annwfyn in concert, or at least have you ever thought about it?
Floris: There’s so much instruments involved that it isn’t possible to play this live. Each track has about four lines of acoustic harmonic guitar parts, a number of electric guitars, a couple of elbow harmonies, drums, percussion, synths, fretless and acoustic bass (sometimes more tracks for a bass harmony) and many many vocal lines, sometimes reversed and distorted (even Dutch people can’t understand what it’s about). So, no change to perform this stuff live… Would be nice to have a filled stage though with a complete orchestra (laughs).
Speaking about your future proposals, do you have anything planned? Have you already started writing anything new?
Floris: Writing and tracking my personal music always goes very, very slowly because I only play when I feel to it. It takes a lot of time to write good melodies and harmonies. Thereby I don’t want to recycle stuf that’s been done thousand times before. So it will take a few years to finish a new record. For example, recording “Zicht” took five years. At the moment I’m focusing on a new record of my full member Black Metal band Asgrauw. This will be a total blast!
Thanks for your time. The last words are yours.
Floris: Thanks for the support and interest. I really appreciate it!