Prog Metallers Iotunn Choose 5 Places That Inspired Their Music


By Iotunn (Facebook),

Nature is a source of energy and inspiration which constantly influences and (helps us) co-create our music. Besides the love for traveling into nature around the world, all five of us have found the silence for recharging and finding inspiration throughout our lives in the nature of Denmark and the Faroe Islands. We have searched our inner Danish and Faroese maps and found a special place that means and has meant a lot in terms of forming us as human beings and in terms of places that influence the constant evolution of the Iotunn’s music. We all found it, went there, and took a picture to encapsulate it. Join us as we go through some of the wondrous places of the island kingdoms of Denmark and The Faroe Islands.

Jón Aldará
Photo supplied by Jón Aldará

Jón Aldará – The Faroe Islands
Though my childhood home at the bay of Borðoyavík comes close, I do not have one singular favorite spot. Instead, I have an entire country: the Faroe Islands. The landscapes, nature, history, and myths of my homeland are an endless source of inspiration to me. Here on these green, mountainous islands, my ancestors have survived the unyielding terrain, the bitter winds, and the mighty waves of the North Atlantic for more than a thousand years. I am no nationalist or traditionalist, mind you, but despite being fortunate to live in these times of prosperity, I do feel deeply connected to the trials and triumphs of my forebears, as well as the beautiful wilderness with which we so closely coexist. The photo is from the easternmost island of Fugloy, and appearing on it is the island of Svínoy, as well as an Arctic skua; a bird species which I have studied for some years.

Jens Nicolai Gräs
Photo supplied by Jens Nicolai Gräs

Jens Nicolai Gräs – The island Fejø
For several years, the Danish southern island called Fejø has been a gathering place for family and friends. It’s a sanctuary. It is a place of contemplation and rest. It is a place that inspires action. Whatever the season, it is beautiful here. The bird life is rich. The poplar trees whisper. The starry sky is infinitely clear on a cloudless night. You can talk to the wind and float in the blue water that melts into one with the blue horizon. This is a place among many that is important to me in this island kingdom called Denmark.

Jesper Gräs
Photo supplied by Jesper Gräs

Jesper Gräs – Amager Fælled, Copenhagen
My brother and I grew up far from the noisy and hectic life of big cities. To this day, we travel north to the nature of Sweden, Norway, and Iceland, and we are hoping to visit Jón´s home country this summer. We travel to connect with nature and this means a lot in our whole way of being and of being musicians. In my everyday life in Copenhagen, I have a special place that keeps me connected with this magical energy only nature engulf you right into. On the island Amager, you find a natural site called Amager Fælled, which is up to 5,000 years old in some places. Full of lakes, bogs, and meadows you find yourself in the middle of unique wildlife right next to the expanding cityscapes. This is a true treasure of nature. It is not a park. Just pure nature without any kind of functionality and it is a world that enriches my life and forms me as a musician every time I visit. A true source of inspiration for aviating riffing right in the middle of the Danish capital.

Bjørn Wind Andersen
Photo supplied by Bjørn Wind Andersen

Bjørn Wind Andersen – The North Sea of northern Jutland
The North Sea of northern Jylland. By far the most important part of nature for me. The wind and the sheer power of the breaking waves is music in itself. The sunsets are also some of the bests I have seen. Next to the sea, there is a grand wide-open moorland. It has the most fantastic smell of heather flowers in the summer. An incredibly special place and home to a few eagles. Also, the fishing village in which I grew up has a special place in my heart. The place is situated on top of a hill overlooking the North Sea. The wind is always gushing, and at night the lighthouse is a fixture, as it turns throughout the foggy darkness. In the picture you see the moorland with the ocean in the horizon.

Eskil Rask
Photo supplied by Eskil Rask

Eskil Rask – The island of Bornholm
To me — and especially when it comes to the sound of Iotunn — the most inspiring aspects of nature are the awesome places that make our mortal lifetimes seem insignificant. Mountains are one of these spaces. Trekking across the national parks of Scandinavia has been a big part of my childhood and adult life. Life is simple when I have all I need on my back and nothing demands my attention but the path at my feet. As I lock into a rhythm, I find myself falling into an almost meditative state of simply ‘being’. Another place of inspiration is the ocean. To me, the sheer size and power of the ocean is terrifying, yet still I find few things as calming as staring at the waves — be they churning or silent. I grew up on the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, and to me the island’s geology embodies the many forms of the ocean. Whereas the north coast rises as granite cliffs, jagged from the relentless waves, the south coast offers soft and fine sand dunes and beaches. The picture is one I took on a walk below some sandstone cliffs on the southern coast.

** Iotunn’s awe-inspiring new album, Access All Worlds, is out now on Metal Blade Records. Shop for CD and LP (blue marble) by visiting Metal Blade’s shop (HERE). Fly to unknown worlds on the wings of Iotunn!