TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This internet interview with Helrunar was done by Fjordi in October 2005.
German black metal band Helrunar have released a good album through specialists in excellence Prophecy Productions (under the sublabel Lupus Lounge). So why not interviewing them to know more things about their life? Some questions had to be asked and they were kind enough to answer them.
Hallo! What´s up? How are things going around there? What are you doing right now?
Hei! Things are going quite well, thanks! At the moment we try to relax a little from the past weeks and months... our new album attracted a lot of interest, so we had to do lots of interviews and so on...
First album is partly easy, because songs are most of the times quite rehearsed and learnt, and partly difficult, due to the financial stuff, promotional arrangements to get a deal and so on. Tell us something about the history of this album.
That is true... but I think it is a little bit busy and difficult all the time if you make music. All in all it´s a job and you always spend a lot of time and efforts in it. Of course, there are always different problems you have to face, but you never run out of action, that´s for sure...
“Frostnacht” sounds excellent, I´d like to know something about the arrangements to get the desired studio and production, what options did you have in mind, etc.
Well, we recorded the album in the Docmaklang.de studio in Osnabrück. After a few days we were finished with the mix, but the label was not satisfied. We tried two different versions more, but it still wasn´t perfect. In the end we changed the studio to try something completely new, and so we entered the Klangschmiede Studio E for the endmix. I think, it was the right decision, the production got a lot more power, and now we are all satisfied- the label and also us.
Tell us the differences of any kind between the “Grátr” demo and the full-length album.
The differences mainly found in the way that both albums were composed... "Grátr" was composed during a time of 2 years, while the material for "Frostnacht" was collected during one year and then composed within just two months. "Frostnacht" is more direct, more spontaneous. Of course, also the production is a different one. The "Frostnacht"- Production is much more powerful, because we had better studios this time, and it also fits the music better.
There´s also a difference in the lyrics-the concept for "Grátr" was a kind of "feeling lost and disorientated in the modern world", while "Frostnacht" deals with memories in the widest sense.
Is there something in the album that you haven´t been totally satisfied with?
Actually not... just that the production and the mix took so long was a little bit nerve-racking... but now we´re very satisfied. We wouldn´t release the album if we were not satisfied.
The reason for you to make music is the will to do something unique and original or simply put your songs on CD and express your feelings?
It is the first reason you mention. I have no other choice than creating art.
Don´t you think the lyrical side is too often understated by many bands and simply used to fill the verses with the first words that come to mind when writing?
Yes, you´re right. Of course, if you listen to a record and the music is shit while the lyrics are brilliant, they still will make no big impression on you... but if you make interesting music, then good, strong and poetic lyrics can give the whole thing the finishing touch. You see, metal is stagnating a little bit at the moment. The labels release 10.000 records every month and they all sound the same... good lyrics could be one possible way to create something new and innovative.
Your lyrics seem to be interesting, though. I didn´t have the lyrics in the booklet, nor I´m able to read German, so could you put down some lines explaining something about “Frostnacht” lyrics?
Well, this is difficult... if I want to explain the influences I have or what all the lyrics mean, than I would write 100 pages or so... to make it short: my lyrical influences reach from old-norse poetry like eddic or scaldic verse over romantic poets of the 19th century to modern authors and poets like Franz Kafka. Of course, every text means something different... on "Frostnacht" the lyrics mainly deal with a kind of "rememberance", sometimes with dark aspects of the subsconcious which are described by the archetypical pictures you find in old (especcially northern) myths. I don´t like to say much more, the reader or listener shall have his own freedom for interpretation. Sorry, this is not very helpful for someone who understands no german, old-norse or norwegian (these are the three languages I used on "Frostnacht")... maybe we put english translations of the lyrics on our homepage one day.
Please unveil what is the relation or link between the “Frostnacht” and “Nachtfrost” songs.
The first songs on that album including the intro are a kind of "trilogy". It starts with the intro and consists of the songs "Frostnacht", "Unten und im Norden" and "...bis die Seele gefriert", and the it is concluded by "NachtFrost" as a kind of outro. The three songs are closely linked by a lyrical or emotional topic. They are the darkest lyrical part of the album.
The biggest obstacle in your career so far has been...
... parts of the fucking German black metal scene with all their ignorance, stagnation and stupidity.
Previous and current bands and projects. Are they compatible with the main band Helrunar?
We don´t talk about the other bands or projects that we´re involved in. They are simply not important for Helrunar. But I can say: It´s always the metal thing...
What is black metal for you and what does it stand for?
Rebellion, anti-modernism, love for nature, individuality, highly emotional music.
What are your favourite black metal bands? Do you think modern black metal is dead as itself, or are there many good young acts in the scene, in your opinion?
My favourite bands are those of the early nineties from Norway: Darkthrone, Enslaved, Emperor, Burzum and all that... there are still "young" acts which are really good... like Drautran, Geist or some other. I think sooner or later the scene will split into parts: One is intelligent and innovative and will carry forth the torch and maybe move something. The other is ignorant, uncreative and stupid and will choke on its own degenerated values.
Are Helrunar willing to do gigs and tours, as much as you can? Or you prefer to concentrate on releasing albums instead?
We play gigs, but not very often... if we do, we enjoy it, and if we get a good opportunity for a tour, we will of course accept it! But we´re more likely to compose and record new stuff.
Did you toy with other bandnames before deciding to be called Helrunar? What ones?
I can´t really remember... it was all old-norse, because I wanted to give the band an old-norse name because of the lyrical concept... but that´s all I remember.
I think German fits perfectly with black metal (but not in some other styles), in my opinion. Tell us something about the decision of using German as your language.
It is simply used by me because it is my mother tongue and I can easily play on words with it... much better than in english or so... the lyrical side of the band is very important for us, and it is much easier for me to create something new and interesting in my mother tongue. Apart from that I think that english is used too often... everybody uses english, why should I?
Danke schön for your answers. Keep up the high quality and good luck for the future. As usual, tell us something I may have forgotten or you want to add to these lines. Tschüss!
Well, thank you for this interview and the support! Good luck for your magazine and greetings to all our fans!
Knowledge is a weapon- arm yourself!
Heill ok sæll!
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