HELHEIM – Heathendom is resistance
Vår innflyttede greske medarbeider Michael Siouzios har tatt for seg Helheim og bandets vokalist V'Gandr. Hovedsakelig er det bandets siste skive "Kaoskult" som var samtaleemnet, men de streifet innom bandets livesituasjon og barnehagebesøk også.
First of all; congratulations on the new album. Tell us a few things on how Helheim sees this release? And what is the feedback from the media so far?
Thanks. Well, the feedbacks been so far really positive and it seems like the general idea is that this is our best album thus far. We also feel this in the band (naturally), and we accomplished what we wanted (darkness and the epic feeling). We're on a darker path now which I think we'll follow for the next releases as we feel quite comfortable with this evolution.
What is the lyrical concept about?
This is not a concept album, but still has a general red line lyrically. I try to portray the evolution of the pagan world through its different stages and also to drag in a human perspective to it e.g. "Om Smerte og Liv" which can be interpreted two ways; one being the pains of the world tree through its fragile universal position and also mans everyday struggles through what goes around us. It's all heathen!
The album is written in Norwegian lyrics apart from the song Northern Forces, which in my opinion by seeing it's title it should have also been in Norwegian, heheh…any particular reason for this song being in English?
Frankly we felt that this song required an English lyric due to the structure and the riffs. We never considered it in Norwegian.
Kaoskult compared to the previous release "The journeys…" is more in the old fashioned way of composing, feeling and playing Norwegian Metal…it is more BLACK metal compare to the previous release which i consider as more in the death metal way of playing. What has happened? Nostalgia for the old day's maybe?
Nah, it's just our own way of seeing our own progression and evolution. Helheim is neither Black metal nor Death metal, but I guess BM is closer and have always been. This is just how we write music these days; we're restless souls that never bow down to conformities.
The drums and the keyboard parts are so well thought, so well made and so well produced…did you pay extra attention to these parts this time or it is something that happened naturally?
Yes, we did. We've never spent so much time with the drums before and Hrymr and Bjørnar (producer) did one hell of a job here. Not one single hit was left unoticed.
What is the interpretation of the cover? What does it symbolize?
It symbolizes the Jotun Yme being teared a part to form the world. It's the primordial chaos.
On the song Svart Seid your vocals bring in mind quite a lot Gaahl from Gorgoroth. Was that intentional? Are you influenced by him and what do you think of his works so far?
No, not at all. We felt that the song needed a speech- like vocal as I'm representing the tounge of Odin; just pure coincidence that my vocals reminds of Gaahl. I have no idols of influence as this really doesn't appeal to me as a person. I always try to define my own voice on my own terms, if this turns out to remind of anybody… well, so be it. Gaahl has a good voice and especially on the last Trelldom album.
Lately there have been some changes concerning the line up. Who's in and who's out?..any comments on this?
Thorbjørn left to pursue his new band Sinking sea (70's prog/ hard rock) and in came Noralf (Syrach). Nah, no comment other than we wish Thorbjørn the best of luck with his new band. There are no hard feelings or bad blood between us.
One month ago Helheim played in Oslo a gig that I can't say that it was that successful as even the name of Helheim was announced in the media just 1 day before the gig. What happened? What's your opinion about the whole situation?
Well, as you say we were announced too late. I don't think we attract too many anyways, but more than the people attending. The price was way too high as well. We will return and hopefully more people would attend.
You also play in Taake, Aeternus and Deathcon…what is that makes Helheim unique from the rest? And what's the feeling that you get from the other bands that maybe Helheim doesn't have..!?
Helheim is the band that I was a part of creating. It's my child in a way. This is the band where I've created my lyrical realm and created my best tunes, been through the hardest struggles and best accomplishments. Helheim is what I am, pagan, the other bands are not. That's the biggest difference… and of course the music.
How are you going to promote Kaoskult? Any tour planned?
We've been on one tour already and have another one planned in September and yet another in November. Early next year we're heading for Finland and possibly the UK, after that we'll see…
You played at a kindergarten lately. Tell us about this experience. Also, do you think that this move will help Helheim…or the kids in some way? And if yes, what is the thing that you think they will get better at?
It for sure gave us some promotion, haha. We wanted to present some pagan stories and play a few tunes for some kids. We feel that our pagan heritage is more and more dying out and becoming transparent, so we wanted to give metal and Odin to the kids before Jesus takes them, hehe. I don't know if we succeeded though… probably not, but hopefully they had a good time.
Last words are yours Mr V'gandr. Thank you for your time.
Thanks to you as well and remember kids; Heathendom is resistance