Gåte is a Norwegian Folk Metal band that have just released a new record. “Nord” came out on the 3rd of December and we have talked with Gunnhild Sundli, the band’s vocalist, about the new album and many other things. Hope you enjoy this interview.
Hello Gunnhild! How are you and the rest of Gåte doing?
Me and the band are doing very well, thank you. It feels so good to finally release this album, “Nord”, to listeners. We are very proud of the result.
You released your new album ‘Nord’. Would you like to tell our readers who haven’t heard your music yet what they’d experience if they listen to your album?
With the acoustic expression on this album, you will hear a more unplugged soundscape than you have heard with us before. We have tried to present a sound that we hope can feel more authentic and “back to the roots”. We wanted to come closer to something at the core of our idea of our origins, and we wanted to be more “naked” and stripped-down than in our previous albums. Gåte has always used a plethora of musical devices, maximalism is at the heart of what we have done in the past. But this time we wanted to control and limit the devices. “Nord” is the result of this exploration.
I’ve listened to some of your older releases and noticed there’s always a progression between one record and the next. What would you say is something your new album ‘Nord’ has that your older music didn’t have?
As I said, the music in “Nord” is the result of a more minimalist approach to musical devices, where we have deliberately stripped down. We have given more attention to the smaller details, and we hope these smaller details can then shine through. It is definitely a more naked, maybe more “honest” soundscape.
You’ve been in the music industry as Gåte for about 20 years now. What is one lesson you learned from your 2-decades experience?
To never censure myself, and to not be too self-critical. To be true to myself as an artist, and to ignore the idea of limitations. It is particularly important for me to be authentic and “real” on stage. To dare to be vulnerable and to offer to the audience glimpses of myself as a human being. I have a vision and a hope, that through my honesty on stage I can inspire others to be more fearless, more true to themselves. I feel that I am carrying forceful female empowerment. I hope I can inspire other women with this, so they can access this integral and natural power which I believe all women are in possession of, but which some might need some assistance to access.
Brilliant. In order to get to know you better, and to have some fun, how about we play a game? I will give you a certain scenario in an alternate universe and you will have to react.
In a universe where you’re the ruler of a country, what would be an interesting law you’d make?
State salary for all citizens.
In a universe where humans are born with superpowers related to their personalities, what would your superpower be?
To give all humans self-respect
In a universe where all the songs from your album “Nord” came to life and became humans, which song would be your best friend?
In a universe where the currency is the person’s sense of humour, how rich would you be?
I would be a millionaire. Laughter saves lives.
In a universe where a zombie apocalypse happened, would you most probably be hiding, fighting the zombies or already a zombie?
In a universe where the senses of taste and hearing are mixed up, what food would Gåte’s music taste like?
As my homemade Taco
Thank you for playing, Gunnhild!
What is one music-related memory from your childhood that means a lot to you?
It must be the first time I heard “kveding”. That is the term for a vocal technique used to describe how Norwegian folk tones have been sung in a tradition that is several hundred years old.
Have you ever been treated in a sexist manner? How would you have sexism and what advice would you give to young people who deal with any kind of discrimination?
No, I actually haven’t experienced that. I have probably been very lucky in this respect.
That’s great then. Thank you for the interview, Gunnhild. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Gåte’s pillar and the main foundation has always been traditional music and folklore. This has been our red thread throughout our career. We like to call ourselves folklorists, who through our music carry old tales, ballads, myths and fairy tales. We see ourselves as contemporary transmitters of folklore, and we wish to form and reform tradition in new creative ways, rather than to just adopt the tradition. We have always communicated new music using old cultural heritage.