PHILLIP “FREKI” SEILER (VARG): “We Have Returned To Our Original Strength And Given Pagan Metal Its Well-Deserved Place Again”

Varg band photo

Pagan Metal veterans Varg recently released their eighth studio album entitled Ewige Wacht on October 13th. Varg’s front man Philipp “Freki” Seiler took the time to talk with Metal Express Radio about the latest release, the lineup changes in the band, their recent live acoustic sets, and more. Check out the chat below!

Metal Express Radio: Your band, Varg released their eighth album entitled Ewige Wacht on October 13th, what can you tell fans about the upcoming release? 

Seiler: On our new album we continue to follow the path we started with Zeichen. This means that we are once again dedicating ourselves to our Pagan Metal roots and at the same time taking another step forward. Fylgja’s voice takes up even more space than on Zeichen, which gave us new creative possibilities in songwriting. Overall, the new songs on Ewige Wacht are very heterogeneous, but they fit in very well over the course of the album and ultimately make the new record a homogeneous Varg record.

MER: How was the writing and recording process having this being your eighth album with the band? 

Seiler: First of all, we got two new band members, Rohgarr and Ulvar, who each came up with some completely new song ideas and ways of writing songs. So first we had to coordinate our creative output and make sure that each of us recognized ourselves in the new album. The fact that it would be Varg’s eighth studio album faded into the background. It was more important to us that this album should bring us together as a band and at the same time represent the next step in our career. The songwriting took place over several weeks because we don’t all live in the same area. This helped us grow together enormously and share the spirit of Varg. The finished songs were recorded quickly and the mixing and mastering finally took place in the studio of our sound engineer André Hofmann.

MER: How would you compare Ewige Wacht to your previous albums?

Seiler: As already mentioned, Ewige Wacht is the logical next step in our band’s history. Since then we have returned to our original strengths and given Pagan Metal its well-deserved place again. At the same time, we were able to further develop our sound and style to clearly stand out from the last six albums. In places, Ewige Wacht is something completely new that we haven’t presented to the common Varg fan before. However, we don’t want to stand still and do something that we’ve already done on previous albums. We try to develop ourselves to the right extent so that the old fans are not disappointed, but we can also win new wolves for the Varg pack with our music.

MER: You’ve released a single from Ewige Wacht entitled “Immer Treu”, what kind of feedback have you received?

Seiler: The feedback on “Immer Treu” was actually mixed, but overall positive. We chose “Immer Treu” as one of three singles to give fans a clear taste of where we want to go. We wanted to give Fylgja’s voice an even bigger place in the songs and “Immer Treu” is one of those songs where her voice forms a strong contrast to the rest of the song, especially in the chorus. “Immer Treu” was and is our statement that says: Here are Varg in 2023 – this is who we are and this is how we want to be in the future.

MER: What do you see as plans for you and the rest of your band to support the album? 

Seiler: The album was released at the beginning of this year’s Wolfsfest Tour. This is why now we first have to tour extensively and present the new material to the fans. The new songs will take a big place in our live set. We’re hoping for a few great festival shows next year, as this gives us the opportunity to introduce our songs to audiences who may have had little or nothing to do with our music so far. And while all this is happening, we are of course already working on new material in the background.

MER: You recently played an acoustic set at the Wolfszeit Festival, how was that experience?

Seiler: We already played a small acoustic set on the Wolfzeit Festival in 2022. But this year we were able to make it something really special. First we invited another, third guitarist (Daniel Knaur) to make the sound even denser and fuller. The highlight this year was the premiere of one of our new songs, the title track of the new album. We were able to perform this in an acoustic version that we wrote especially for Wolfzeit Festival and this can not be found on the album. The song was extremely well received by the audience and made many fans want the new album. We opened Wolfzeit Festival with our acoustic show and were also supported by our friend Voenix, who held an opening ceremony after our show. This was a very intimate and beautiful moment – both for us and for the many visitors. A great experience.

MER: Is there anyone you hope to tour with that you haven’t and why?

Seiler: There are a lot of bands that we haven’t toured with yet that we would love to share the stage with. These include, for example, Ereb Altor or Vanaheim. Let’s see if we can have one or two of our favorite bands on the upcoming Wolfsfest tours.

MER: What have been some of your favorite releases of 2023?

Seiler: For me, this year’s release of the new Helgrindur record was something great. The debut album of Abyss Of Hel was also released. Overall, a number of cool albums have been released in 2023, all of which are worth mentioning – unfortunately there are too many.

MER: How was you describe the Metal scene in Germany?

Seiler: For me, the Metal scene in Germany is one of the largest and most important in the world. Over the past 40 years, some of the most influential and important metal bands in the world have emerged in Germany and they have shaped the scene to this day. In addition, almost every metal genre is represented in Germany and has a large audience, so that Metal bands from all over the world always find a grateful audience in our country. Friendship, camaraderie and mutual consideration are just some of the values ​​that are upheld and lived in German metal culture. This is especially noticeable at the numerous festivals in Germany – the atmosphere here is always great and the metalheads prove again and again how inclusive our subculture is. I’m proud to be part of the German Metal scene.

MER: Where has been your favorite place to play live and why?

Seiler: It’s always fun to play at festivals, no matter which country they take place in. The audience is mixed and there is always someone who hears Varg for the first time and loses their heart to the band.

MER: Out of your band’s eight albums, what is one you would suggest to a new fan and why?

Seiler: I would recommend our current album Ewige Wacht to a new fan, as it sets the direction in which we want to move forward. We are very proud of the new album and believe we can expand our fan base with it. On this album we sound modern, but reflect on our strengths and our musical origins – Pagan Metal.


  • Matt Zaniboni

    Matthew is an interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He started his passion for music journalism back in his college radio days serving as the Heavy Metal Director at WKKL out of Hyannis Massachusetts. During Matt’s tenure in radio, he has had time working for commercial stations in Boston Massachusetts such as WAAF, WZLX AND 98.5 The Sports Hub before landing with Metal Express Radio. Anytime you want to talk heavy Metal, hockey, Guiness, and dad life, Matt is your guy m/

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