If you like drinking rum, singing like a pirate and scream “Walk the plank !” when your friend has made a not funny joke : Ye Banished Privateers is made for you ! I interviewed Magda Malvina Märlprim, guitarist and vocalist of the band and asked her some questions to make you discover them and their past but also about their new album “Hostis Humani Generis”.

Hello how are you ? Are you impatient to present “Hostis Humani Generis”?

Hi, we are absolutely great, thank you. We are really psyched about letting our fans listen to our best album so far and to get some response to all the hard work that we have put into this project.

Before talking about it, I would like to ask you a few questions about what brought you where you are today. The first is simply, what led you to do “pirate folk”? Did you want to do folk and the pirate theme came after? Did a band inspire you?

Actually, we started off with the pirate theme with Peter having a nice costume and some beard. Then it turned out Björn had some nice songs that he had written years ago.

Our musical inspiration was quite diverse since the original members came from metal, folk, punk and singer-songwriter traditions. It was only after a couple of years as a band that we realized there are other active pirate bands around. Now, eleven years later, it’s a genre on its own, which is huge.

What are the lyrics of your albums about? Do they tell the same story? Several stories? Or are they mainly about pirate life?

Our last album, “First Night Back In Port” was all about returning to your loved ones after a hard life at sea, bringing gold and stories of great adventure.

This time, piracy is not all fun and games. The end of the golden age of piracy is around the corner and pirate hunters and fleets of the great seafaring nations make pirate life a dangerous and often short endeavor. Hostis Humani Generis tells the stories of how the end is coming closer and how every day as a pirate can be your last. We try to draw a nuanced picture of the idolized and stereotyped villains of the early 18th century, both including all the rum and swashbuckling but also giving voice to the oppressed, the ones left behind at shore and the human struggles in times of feudalistic nationalism.

How did you choose your costumes? Is it based on a character that you created for the group or is it based on a big size role-play dating from before the group was formed? If it’s group specific why did you choose this costume specifically?

Every member has a personal story about their costume, both related to a stage character with specific tasks in the pirate crew that is Ye Banished Privateers, and to the fact that spending ten years in a pirate band adds attitude, details and a lot of patina to anything you wear. Most stains are there because something happened…

I saw that the band has a lot of members, 20 if I’m not mistaken, have you ever had any problems with that? Do all of you travel for each concert? Isn’t it complicated to get everyone together for rehearsals?

I think we have been 27 members on stage once. Most of the time we are 10 to 12 when we go on tours. Sometimes it can be really crowded on stage, but most of the time it’s fine. The stage is actually more or less our rehearsal room, as our members are scattered all over Sweden at this point. Being a large crew is a lot of fun, but it does make traveling more difficult. Alestorm have said they don’t want to tour with us. They were afraid we were going to eat all their catering.

If you were offered an American show with all the special effects and decorations you would like, what would be the ideal show for you?

We would build a replica of the Swedish warship Wasa, fit it as a pirate ship, put it on a stage with flame throwers and finish the show by blowing it up with gunpowder.

Let’s talk about your new album “Hostis Humani Generis”. What are the lyrics going to talk about? Is it linked to the title and the notion of the enemy of humanity?

All the lyrics follow the theme of the duality of piracy. Today we think of pirates as pistol wielding party characters with treasure maps and hidden trunks of gold. We try to focus more on the real humans behind the myth. In the eyes of many, Pirates were violent criminals with little respect for human life. To others, pirates were devoted fathers, brothers and sisters, who had no other choice than to break the law in order to survive or provide for their families. Behind every person labeled as an enemy to all of mankind, there is usually a deeply tragic story to be told. In our album, we focus on a few of these individuals and their path to the gallows.

This will be your second album at Napalm Records, how is this collaboration going and has it brought you anything compared to the previous label?

Our team at Napalm is really good at what they’re doing. From bookings to social media to press. For us that are used to everything D.I.Y it’s a cool experience to be part of a major label. We still control everything creative and they have great respect for our values, that’s important and what makes our collaboration so successful.

Where does the drawing / painting that was used as the album cover come from?

The album cover was created by the talented artist Eliran Kantor. He has really captured the essence of Hostis Humani Generis.

Ye Banished Privateers - Hostis Humani Generis

Is it the same person / organization that created the lyric video for the song “Elephant’s Dance”? Did you make a contribution or is it something that was managed by the label?

The lyric video for “Elephant’s Dance” was produced by 4inch Media, using the artwork inside the CD booklet drawn by Felix Jonathan Jenkins. We are involved in everything released in the band’s name so we definitely sent it back and forth a couple of times before the video was finished.

Except for a date in Germany, no tour date has yet been announced. Do you have any idea if there will be a tour and if so where you could go?

We have a lot of dates in the pipeline, but we are still waiting for a green light from the promoters to make it public. If you want to stay up to date, keep one eye behind your eye-patch and the other on our social media.

We arrive at the end of this interview. Do you have something to say to our readers and / or your fans ?

Thanks for all your support throughout the years. It turns out, being a musician is bloody hard work, but you make it worth every second. We really hope you like our album and help us spread our music over the high seas!

Apart from that, remember that Piracy is about fighting the big fish, questioning oppressive norms and surviving.

Be a pirate!

“Hostis Humani Generis” will be released on February 7th 2020! If you liked the interviews, you know what to do!

Photo by Samuel Pettersson

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