This interview with Tharen from the Austrian darkwave/ambient band Dargaard was done through e-mail in December 2000 / January 2001.

Full name? That´s why I use a pseudonym...
Birth date/place? 29.06.1977 in Austria
Live in? Same
Family? Have one
Pets? Had a few dogs
Favorite food? meat
Favorite liquid? Water and beer
Favorite book? Once again „The Lord of the Rings", but the „Dragonlance"and the „Forgotten Realms" sagas are unique too!
Favorite band? Too much to mention
Favorite album? „A Blaze in the northern Sky" from Darkthrone

I understand your real name is actually Rune. Why did you choose the name Tharen? Does it mean anything?
Answer: I used the name "Rune" in times when I played in Abigor - I simply don´t want to be identified with them any more and I wanted a new name for my own musical creations.

I know that most musicians don´t like labelling their music. Still, there are many people who haven´t heard your music yet, could you please give us your own description of the Dargaard sound and atmosphere?
Answer: Dargaard is mystical music based upon symphonic and medieval keyboards and vocals, both Elisabeth´s clean voice and my „Black Metal-like" voice". The lyrics mostly deal with magic and journey to other worlds and anient realms, bringing a nostalgic feeling to the listener.

How and when did your interest in music begin? Did themusic come to you through your parents or friends or did you find it on your own?
Answer: The first step into music (not the reproductive way) was with Abigor for sure, even I played piano for some years before. I think I was 14 years or so as we started with Abigor.

In 1993 you joined the newly formed black metal band Abigor as vocalist. Were you in any other bands prior to that?
Answer: No, it was the first band I was involved.

According to the official Abigor website you had to leave the band in 1994 due to your "passivity and lack of dedication". Is this true or what really happened?
Answer: Ha, you can call it this way even if I prefer to say that I wasn´t satisfied with the very strong dominance of Peter and especially Thomas within the band. It wasn´t easy or possible to unfold my ideas in Abigor, just listen to the cheap sounding keyboards on the first Cd´s. With a little bit more time and engagement in the studio it would have been a much more better result, but 1 hour for the recording of 2 songs isn´t really...enough.

What did you do between your split with Abigor in 1994 and 1997, when you formed your own band Dargaard?
Answer: Together with Thurisaz, who is actually the singer of Abigor (irony of faith), I formed my Black Metal band Amestigon and after 2 demos we reorded a Split CD with Austrian Angizia and a MCD entitled „Höllentanz". But at this time the idea of Dargaard was just omnipresent in my mind.

How come you started Dargaard and making music so different from the black metal you were originally into? Does Dargaard mean anything?
Answer: I simply wanted to make music by myself and for myself, without making compromises with other musicians. A synth-projet was the only solution because I never played guitar. It´s as simple as it sounds. On the other hand I don´t want to be limited to one instrument, therefor I´m playing drums now in Amestigon and try to get behind the serets of the guitar-but this will take a few more years for sure before we can talk about seriously.

What instruments do you play?
Answer: Keyboards, drums and voice, if you want to call it an instrument or a stylistic mean.

Are you or Elisabeth involved in any other bands than Dargaard at the moment?
Answer: I´m still active in Amestigon as drummer and vocalist and within my „apocalyptic electronic music" project dominion3 I handle all the music and the greater part of the vocals. The debut Cd, „The Hand and the Sword" was released by Napalm Rec. last summer.

What do you think about your label Napalm Records so far?
Answer: They are a good label, even if the ould do more merhandise for us and maybe a bit more promotion. But they´re ok. I know Max and the rest of the crew for alonger time now, and they are really dedicated persons.

What kind of music have you listened to and what do you listen to today? Has your taste in music change changed over the years?
Answer: I started with stuff like the first Samael and stuff like that, I never listened to classical Heavy Metal and therefore I don´t like such acts like Venom and so on. I think that´s one of the main differenes between me and the most Black Metallers who have their roots in metal. At this time I was total Black Metal hardcore, didn´t listen to anything else, but nowadays I opened a bit and listen to styles like industrial, Dark Wave, medieval music and so on.

I understand that you studied to become an audio engineer. Have you finished your education yet and has it helped to make Dargaard sound even better in anyway?
Answer: Yep, I finished it, but I don´t work in this genre yet, I´m working for an internet provider. But the studies helped me much to understand the whole signal flow in a studio and what does really count through the reording. I´m far away to be a master in this job, but it makes things much easier...

How did you find Elisabeth and her beautiful voice? Did you know each other from before?
Answer: I once heard her on a gig of a local demoband and knew her from her appereance on Abigor´s „Nachthymnen", so I simply gave her the rough mix of the music and the lyrics and asked her if she ould do anything with it. And she did.

I know you don´t like playing live, how come? Isn´t it fun meeting your fans?
Answer: Of course it would be fine to get in contact with some fans personally, but I simply don´t want to play live, I´m a bit lazy and like the anonymity I have if I release Cd´s. Aone gig was planned on the „wave Gotik-Treffen" in Leipzig last summer, but due to the collapse of the whole festival our gig was cancelled.

Am I right when I say you use a computer and keyboards to compose most, if not all, of your music? Do you use any "real" instruments?
Answer: No, nothing real at the moment, maybe in future if we get a greater recording budget, but that´s nothing to talk about at the moment.

What do you think about the Austrian metal and dark wave scenes in general? Are there any other great bands who deserves to be mentioned?
Answer: Besides the well known bands there are some outstanding ats like Grabesmond, Die verbannten Kinder Evas, Ice Ages and my very own dominion3. I´m not into the scene that much, so I cannot give a general survey about what´s going on, but there are some others of course.

Do you listen to any Swedish bands? Have you ever been to Sweden?
Answer: No, I´ve never been to sweden, but I like bands like Dissection and all the cold meat industry stuff. Many good bands up there in sweden, fine country!

You have recently recorded your third album called "The Dissolution of Eternity". Could you tell us a little about it and if it differs any from your first two releases? Is there a release date set yet?
Answer: We´ll go back to studio in the next time to record the vocals and to do the mixing, I used much more dynamic and variety within the songs this time, I think it´s a step foreward and exactly what I planned, but I cannot tell you more until the reordings are total finished. Many can change in the last days.

Do you have a life philosophy that you try to live by?
Answer: I have my own identity in mind, but it don´t follow any regular moralistic way.

Do you have an opinion in the Jörg Haider business and the way Austria as a whole was treated by the rest of the world?
Answer: Ridicolous in my opinion, look at Italy or france with their extreme right partys or Germany with it´s NeoNazi movement in the public. But it seems it was time to make an example, and Austria got the jackpot if you know what I mean. I don´t know any „strong Neo Nazi movement" in my radius of action.

Any final words you would like to tell us?
Answer: Thanks for the interview and await the coming of Dargaard´s „The Dissolution of Eternity"!

Links of interest:

Dargaard Official Website
Napalm Records Website