Sometimes it’s easier and more efficient to just take care of business on your own. Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely an appeal to teamwork and having others help with a task can certainly make the work easier and less lonely. That being said, when it’s a creative endeavor, other people around can dilute your vision. If the idea that you’ve got in your head is strong and clear enough, putting more chefs into the kitchen can really change up the original recipe. It might make for more work in the long run, but going the solo route with music is probably the best way to ensure that your vision is the one that is being totally presented on your records.
Since 2018, Tryglav has been doing the one-man band act quite effectively. The band, which hails from Italy, is the black metal powerhouse brainchild of Boris Behara, who handles pretty much anything and everything for the group. In February, Tryglav returned with their second record, The Ritual, another worthwhile outing of melodic black metal. I recently caught up with Behara to talk about the new record and how he keeps Tryglav going by himself.
First off, how did Tryglav get started? What made you want to start this type of band?
Boris: Tryglav started in 2018 after I decided to quit my previous band. I was tired of wasting my time with people that were just taking the band as a joke. Growing up, many people prefer to concentrate on a normal job, family, etc….I’m the opposite so I decided that if I wanted to do the stuff in the right way, I should have done everything alone.
What got you into black metal in the first place and who are some of the bigger influences for this particular band?
Boris: Plague Angel from Marduk was the first black metal album I’ve ever listened to. It’s still their best album, in my opinion. In the past, I could have said a lot of bands as an influence, but nowadays there’s really no band that influenced me. When I write my own stuff, I don’t have time to listen to music. The only thing that I try to do is to write good melodies and be sure to not write something that I have already heard somewhere else.
Being that it’s just you in the band, what kind of benefits and challenges does that provide? Are you looking to expand out to other full-time members?
Boris: The benefits of being the only member is that I have full control over every aspect of the band. I don’t have to ask anybody if they like this riff or not, if the cover [for the] album is ok for them, etc. That’s the best part of being a one-man band.
On the other hand, it can be really stressful. You have to write and record all the instruments, answer all the interviews [and] emails, take care of the social media pages and it can be really expensive paying [for] an entire album alone. Sometimes I’d just like to compose my stuff on the guitar and have others that take care of the bass, vocals, drums, etc. but I know that it will never happen because, besides all the stress that can bring, there’s nothing more satisfying [than] to be able to have a product that is 100% as you wanted.
What’s your process like for writing the music side of things? Has that changed at all over the years?
Boris: The process is more or less the same. Usually I start with the guitar and when I have some riffs, I start to add the drums behind. During this process, both guitar and drums change many times, until I’m not 100% satisfied. What I usually compose at the beginning is totally different from what you listen [to] at the end.
How do you write the lyrics for the band? What do you turn to for inspiration for the songs?
Boris: For the first album, I wrote all the lyrics and everything was inspired by ’80s horror movies. For The Ritual, I wanted to have a concept with more mature lyrics but since my English isn’t the best, I asked for help. The story is mine but the lyrics were written by Social Abattoir.
Going back to the debut, Night of Whispering Souls, how did getting to record that one come about? What was the writing/recording process like for that one? Looking back on it, are you still happy with the record or is there anything you’d change if you could?
Boris: I just had one song (“Evil Dead”) as a demo and one day I decided to send it to some labels for fun, nothing serious intended. I didn’t even write a proper email, it was something like “This is a demo of my song, if you’re interested contact me.” I didn’t expect that someone would actually answer and be interested, so that was the input for me to start to do something seriously. It took most of the year to finish the album, not only to write it but also to take pictures, find the right cover, the right singer, the logo, the producer, etc. If you’re not into it, you can’t imagine the amount of work that it requires. Regarding if there’s something I’d change, yes definitely. There’s some part in the mix that I’d like to change and there’s a few songs that would have been better with a couple of solos. Besides that, I’m still happy with the album.
The new record, The Ritual, is another killer release. What was the writing/recording process like for that one? What was the goal with that second record? How happy were you with the final product?
Boris: The writing/recording process was the same, besides that I didn’t write the lyrics this time. The goal was to have better production, better drumming, and overall more energy.
I’m really happy with the result. There was a moment where I thought I would never finish it because I couldn’t find a new singer, but in the end, everything went well.
What’s the story behind “The Evocation?”
Boris: “The Evocation” is just the continuation of the first song,”The Ritual.” In the first song, my character was dead and plague doctors took him with them. “The Evocation” is where he was brought back to life in his new demonic form. The entire album is a concept and every song follows the previous one.
I really dug the cover to that record too. Who did it and how much direction did you give them? How stoked were you when you saw the final piece?
Boris: The cover was done by an Hungarian artist called Mordiggian Art. Funny thing is that I bought this cover when I was still working on the previous album. The cover of Night of Whispering Souls was also done by him and when I saw the new one, I loved it so much that I immediately bought it to be sure that nobody would have taken it. It’s also the cover that gave me the inspiration for the concept.
What’s your local scene like where you’re at in Italy? Is there a pretty active one and has it shaped you as a musician or Tryglav as a band at all?
Boris: Where I live in Italy there’s no scene. There were a bunch of bands before but with time all of them split up. Metal for most of them was just a youth passion. There’s no places to play and there’s no metal concert or, let’s say, no concert at all. There’s, though, a couple of bands that are still playing and have my respect. One of them is called Razgate, they play thrash metal and they’re really good. The non-existent scene and lack in professionality is the reason why I started Tryglav in the first time so we can say that it helped me in some way.
Lastly, what’s next for Tryglav? What are your goals for the future of the band?
Boris: Live shows! That’s the only thing that I still need to achieve with Tryglav and the one that I want the most. I have friends that would help me to bring the project live so the only thing I’m waiting for is to get the attention of some promoters.
Photo at top: Album cover for The Ritual.