Melodifestivalen boss Christer Björkman once said that the contest is a soap opera. And one of this year’s most dramatic stories revolves around Pagan Fury.
The folk-metal group, which boasts some crazy costumes and a singer who stepped out of Ruslana’s closet, is set to perform “Stormbringer” in semi-final 4 in Lidköping on the 23rd of February.
But the road to get there is already rocky. At the end of November, shortly after being announced, the band gained some unwanted media attention because of their collaboration with gaming developer Paradox.
Paradox published their latest game “Crusader Kings II” in November, and Pagan Fury features heavily on the soundtrack to the game. From that moment on the metal group started to introduce themselves as ‘the official Crusader Kings rock band’, which made people question their motives for entering Melodifestivalen.
As Aftonbladet reports, Swedish media commentators have accused the group of violating SVT’s rule against commercial advertising, which is strictly forbidden.
The newspaper quotes media analyst Olle Lidbom.
“Paradox is an extremely commercial company selling a product,” he said. “Pagan Fury is part of the story, part of their content and a great deal of marketing for this game. It contradicts SVT’s principle of no commercial cooperation.”
The lead singer of Pagan Fury Arven Latour (aka Mia Stegmar), competed in Melfest back in 2004, as part of the band Itchycoo, so the passion for the song contest is real. But another member of Itchycoo, Tobias Gustavsson, is now the head of music at Paradox games, which adds another layer of intrigue to all this.
Anette Helenius told SVT News that there’s no problem here. Pagan Fury had released music before signing with Paradox.
She said: “To make sure there was no hidden agenda, we met Paradox and explained the conditions for participation in Melodifestivalen, which is the same for all contestants. Paradox has guaranteed us that the band will not associate with commercial messages or products under the impression of Pagan Fury’s involvement. ”
What is Crusader Kings II?
For people who don’t know the video game: Crusader Kings II is a real-time strategy game which takes place in the Middle Ages. The player can gain success and power through strategy, by leveraging war, assassinations and marriage.
Writing on Twitter on the day of the Melodifestivalen announcement, Pagan Fury was already busy promoting Crusader Kings. In a tweet that’s now been deleted, they wrote:
“We are super thrilled and happy to share the fantastic news that we, Pagan Fury, will participate in the Swedish song contest Melodifestivalen with the ambition to represent Sweden and Crusader Kings in the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv 2019!”
Wiwiblogger Kevin met up with the band during SVT’s artists’ reveal in November.
Lead singer Arven Latour was beautifully covered in feathers and faux fur, while her band wore hoods as if they were torturers from Medieval times.
“We’re moving in the world between fantasy and reality,” she said. Once again it seems to nod to the entire concept behind the Crusader Kings II game.
Do you think Pagan Fury is competing for their love of music? Or do you think they’re trying to promote their video game and should be expelled and sent back to the Middle Ages? Let us know in the comments box down below.