Monday, May 25, 2009

Interview with HORNA in Issue#3, 1998

“Hiidentorni” introduced me to the world of Horna, where uncompromising primal black Metal worship brewed in their own way is the name of the game. Countless releases of Horna are to be found after this excellent promotape, as you all are well aware of. Warmaster Nazgul Von Armaggeddon (also of Pest) answered the questions when he was still in the band.
Since the release of your promotape in CD format, what is the progression of Horna up until now?
Our upcoming MCD, “Kohti Yhdeksan Nousua” is recorded, and scheduled to be released in a few week, actually. We played some shows around Finland with Barathrum, Wizzard and Babylon Whores, and we’ve also already recorded our second full-length, “Haudankylmydden Mailta”. At the moment we are very passive, because of the military service of some of our members.
What’s the real reason of releasing “Hiidentorni” as a promotape in the first place? Why don’t you release it as your second demotape (although in one way or another, it could be called that way)?
The purpose for releasing “Hiidentorni” mainly was to send it out to labels, to hopefully get a deal to release an LP. Still, we sold it like any demo, just to get our name more out in the underground. If you think it deeper, the difference between demotape and promos is not so big after all.
And as a promotape, it has a long duration of playing time…
Yes it has. But when there are CDs released with 20 minutes of music, I think that our promo was really a run for one’s money.
What leads to that deal with SOLISTITIUM RECORDS? Any other possible releases with them?
Carsten (who runs Solistitium) liked the “Hiidentorni” tape a lot. He wanted to release it on CD, and we thought it was ok because the tape really is very professional and has a playing time of more than some of the CDs of already well known black Metal bands. We have, as I told before, recorded our new MCD, “Kohti Yhdeksan Nousua” and our second full length “Haudankylmydden Mailta” for SOLISTITIUM already, and there are no plans to change our label at the moment. I think Carsten’s done a pretty good job with our releases.

You’re developing your own direction in sound since the release of “Varjoissa”, and the result is of course “Hiidentorni”. So tell me, what is the differences of both of these releases?
If you would listen to “Varjoissa”, and then to “Hiidentorni”, I think you would not possibly even think that they were made by the same band. It is hard for me to compare these two, because I was not a member of Horna when the first demo was released. Maybe “Varjoissa” is a bit more melodic and primitive, with a lot worse sound (it was recorded with an 8-tracker, as “Hiidentorni” was recorded in a pro digital studio with 16 tracks). “Hiidentorni” is just aeons more professional than “Varjoissa”.
Has Horna found the definite form of black Metal that suited the band yet? Or would Horna never venture further than the sound displayed in “Hiidentorni”?
Of course not. If we would stop to the present situation and stop progressing in any way, it would be very unhealthy for the band. Things would be soon so much worn out, that it would not interest the listeners and neither the musicians. The future releases will be much different, especially the upcoming MCD.
Horna never longed for originality, but I could sense some of it (and also the intention for it) in “Hiidentorni”.
To speak the truth, I don’t think Horna’s music is not original at all. It’s just uncompromising Nordic black Metal, plain and simple. I cannot speak too extensively about the process of creating Horna’s songs, since all my musical donations limit to one riff on the upcoming MCD.
But you claimed originality in lyrics? Because it’s written in Finnish? Perhaps there’s other reason.
Shatraug (guitars) write all of the lyrics, except for one song, “Imperial Devastation” on the upcoming MCM, which is written by me. I don’t know if the lyrics are so original after all, they deal mainly with the destruction of Christianity. I don’t think that the fact that most of our lyrics are in Finnish makes us any more original lyrically than any other band singing in their native tongue.
The Finnish black Metal scene… What differentiate the scene there compared to other countries?
Finland has always had a scene of some sort since the days when Impaled Nazarene and Beherit were rising up in the international scene. There are now quite many newer, so called ‘second wave’ bands, that are releasing albums, like Thy Serpent, Diaboli, Darkwoods My Bethrothed, etc. Some bands I can recommend are Children of Bodom, Barathrum, Wizzard, Vordven, Tunrida, Black Swan, Dawn of Relic, Enochian Crescent, …And Oceans, NIghtside, Kyprian’s Circle, Urn, Warloghe, Flauros,Withered Garden and a lot more. Of course we have some really pathetic bands popping up like RAVENSTORM, who don’t know jack shit about the underground and are now signed to CENTURY MEDIA for 7 albums! That forementioned band has been around for a year now and they claim Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth and Emperor as their main influences. Pathetic.
Horna claims no relations with any religious groups and sects. So what is your opinion about them?
It really is not very intelligent to let someone say what everyone in the band thinks about things, since most bands are groups of individuals, and it is impossible to think that everyone in a band would think just the same as others. I personally have even planned on joining some religious sects. Of course some pathetic hippie groups which stands for world peace and love are pathetic but there are also some sects that contain ideologies and principles I find very intelligent and powerful.
And you understand yourselves as paganistic.
This case is just the same as the aforementioned. I’ve never said to be a paganist/heathen or whatever. I have been a practicing Satanist for 4 years now, and I don’t see any reason to be anything else.
And the lyrics, why do they have to be in Finnish?
I guess because Shatraug feels it suits him better. I have no problem singing in Finnish, so it is ok by me too. Still, we will have translations available for those many who do not understand Finnish.
I really like the intro… haha!
The intro is taken from some porno-movie. We thought it was cool, so we use it. We just added a bit of low-pitched speech to make it even more sick.
I don’t know why, but it seems that black Metal is getting ‘softer’ and ‘kinder’ these days…
It is true that the musical (as well as the lyrical) approach of a large part of the modern black Metal bands has become somewhat less extreme. I’m not sure how to react to this, since I admit that some of these ‘kinder’ black Metal bands are way much better musically that some bands that play fucking primitive and raw just because they simply cannot handle their instruments. Black Metal cannot be defined musically, because bands like Rotting Christ, Bathory, Deicide, Beherit and Mysticum are all black Metal, still they are completely different music-wise. This is what makes black Metal such a strong movement, musical variety. That wouldn’t be very enjoyable if all the bands would sound the same. Of course this does not mean I like some fucking wimpy lullabies with some arsehole screaming on top of it all. As long as the music is good, I support it.
And what do you think about the participation of females in the black Metal scene?
Sure, why not! I think it is positive if some of you wicked witches out there participate in the scene. I have found out that some females within the scene are way more dedicated and intelligent than most of the male ones. So actually, all you females out there MUST write to me at once!
Black Metal is the ‘thing’ of the day. I mean, lots and lots of labels are trying to release black Metal albums, and this somewhat affects the scene itself whenever crap releases are to be found…
First of all we must remember that we are living in anno 1998, not in ’92-’94, when things were somewhat in control in terms of black Metal albums released. Releasing a CD is the same as what was to release a 7”EP back in ’93. There have been crap releases ever since there has been heavy Metal. Still, it is true that labels that release black Metal just to get some money out with it exist, but still there are a fair bunch of good-quality albums released by labels that know what they are doing.
And it also seems to be profitable right? Should black Metal be linked or considered as a way of making profits and so on?

Yes, it is possible to make some money with black Metal, as it is with any kind of music. Horna was not formed to make money, but to satisfy the need to express ourselves. Still, if I could make some extra cash with Horna, I would not mind. It would give me the freedom not to care about every single penny I used. Still, black Metal will always in essence be much more than just commercial music. It is a CULT which not everyone will understand.
Horna sounds like primitive black Metal, I might say so. What about the modern black Metal then?
Yes, Horna is somewhat primitive. I don’t think it is the right thing for Horna to develops towards the modern sound of black Metal. We have found the more raw and brutal expression to be our way, and we have chosen to follow that path wherever it will lead us. The earlier days of black Metal were much more easier in a way… If a black Metal album was released, it was for sure of good quality, and the bands expressed their art in a way nobody is able nowadays. Black Metal will never be the same as it was before…
Potray Horna’s vision of the scene in their near future…
The underground scene will become more and more isolated from the mere public and commercial scene. Only those who really are into this will stay with black Metal, the rest will hopefully lose interest. Still, it is impossible to know what exactly will happen.

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