torstai 31. maaliskuuta 2011

Horna interview



KMC: Horna was formed in 1993. When you look back that was the Finnish Black Metal scene/band situation back then?

Shatraug: Hell… back then it was all clad in darkness and even meeting someone was a special occasion. We didn’t practically know anyone or anything and just started out with trading demo tapes with other Finnish bands, getting in touch, ordering obscure albums from distros where you could not even know how accurate their list was at the time you got it in your hands, hah. There were definitely less bands and a lot more spirit.

KMC: When you compare the year 1993 to this day, is Finnish Black Metal getting better or...?

At least it seems “Finnish” Black Metal is a big thing these days, for some reason become a quality standard by itself and now it feels like the music and riffing style we started has become a trademark of sorts. The scene here hasn’t become any better in my opinion, there’s just more bands doing the same thing and despite I have nothing exactly bad to say there is no personality in most of it.

KMC: How important (or not important) was the Norwegian Black Metal to you when you were starting as a band?

Along with early Impaled Nazarene and Beherit and the greek scene at the time, it was definitely one of the most important influences there was. There will always be something special with early 90’s Norwegian Black Metal, that spirit will never die even if many of the bands have done so. What they begun to channel within the forces of darkness is something to acknowledge and revere.

Horna - Tappakaa kristus!
(from 'Hiidentorni' demo Noitatorni Tuotannot 1997)

What do think of Norwegian Black Metal these days.. I mean bands like Satyricon, who are starting to look and sound like a gothic rock version of U2, and what about nowadays Darkthrone etc.?

Shatraug: Kinda funny you should mention these two as they are practically one of the few old bands I still listen to and I even like the latest releases from both Satyricon and Darkthrone. For sure neither is the same band they used to be but both have their recognizable character still intact. There are far worse examples… Of course have to remember that there are lots of bands still doing excellent Black Metal in Norway too, just need to take a closer look at the Nidrosian circle.

KMC: What about Watain from Sweden? There are people who are comparing Watain to Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir, because the band do you say...become more media friendly band?

I have nothing bad to say about Watain. The encounters I’ve had with them have always been respectful and that’s all there is to it. People who become dicks after some fame are another thing entirely…

Horna - Örkkivuorilta
(from 'Kohti Yhdeksän Nousua' Solistitium Records 1998)

KMC: Back to Horna and to early days. You did a buch of demos before your first full-lenght. When you listen to these demos nowadays, what kind of memories and feelings do you get? Are you proud of all of them?

Shatraug: With old recordings there is always lots of nostalgia and a thought how something could’ve been made better, different or had some change in production, but the bottom line is that it’s all part of Horna and lead us where we are now. I am definitely proud of everything I’ve done with this band.

KMC: You were known as 'Shadowed' before changing the band name to Horna. How did you end up choosing the name Horna? What does the name mean to you?

Shatraug: Well, I would imagine nobody would even know we had another name before Horna if we didn’t say it so ourselves. We never released anything under another name before we did the first demo. We chose the name for it’s simple meaning and the way it sounds – harsh, powerful and promising…

KMC: Do you remember your first show...where was it and how did it went?

Shatraug: Haha, yeah, I will NEVER forget it and that’s much because it was a complete disaster! We were supposed to play with Utgard and Vornat at Saarijärvi but during the evening local rednecks started hording around the venue threatening to beat us satan worshippers down to the ground and in the end we played three songs or so, got a police escort out of the Saarijärvi county and that was it. Never looked back.

KMC: When did you notice that there are people coming to shows (for example shows where there was three or four bands playing with you) just to witness Horna?

Shatraug: Ah, fuck, I’m still not sure if they come to see just us or not. It’s something that’s not worth thinking about, we just go on stage and rip it.

KMC: What is a typical Horna fan?

Shatraug: Someone who does not understand one bit about the lyrics (or Finnish in general), just feels the darkness in our music and has let it rape his souls with wrath… Really, I don’t know, haven’t thought about it.

KMC: If you had to describe Horna as a live band, how would you describe it?

Shatraug: Horna is Black Metal with the energy of a raging punk band, out to play live and not to performe.

Horna - Synkän Muiston Äärellä Live 2002
(Live Portugal, 25-11-2002)

KMC: Maybe this question has been asked before and i know the answer, but there are some that don't know, or want to know more. What happened with Horna and Antifa?

Shatraug: It’s all old bullshit and one thing after another taken out of context to benefit the purposes of Antifa as they see fit. As far as I know it’s just bored kids playing around with their computers. We have no problems with REAL Antifa people, it’s the trendhopping kids who have nothing better to do and have not yet learned even their own values of life…


KMC: If i had to choose two of my favourite Horna albums, they would be 'Sanojesi Äärelle' and 'Sotahuuto'. Lineup for 'Sotahuuto' was Corvus - vocals, Shatraug - guitars & bass, Sargofagian - dums. The album is a tribute to Bathory. How did you came up with the idea to do a tribute album? And why Bathory?

Shatraug: Originally me and Corvus were just sitting at my place drinking, made up some songs in the vein of Bathory and thought nothing more of it. After a few days I heard Quorthon had died literally during the same damn days we were doing those songs and it felt like we had to do our honors in such a special way.

KMC: How was the recording sessions?

Shatraug: Recording for the Sotahuuto album was all done without any rehearsals. We just went to our bunker and did it, nothing special.

KMC: Sargofagian, the singer in Baptism and bass player in Behexen played the drums in 'Sotahuuto'. Has Sargofagian played drums in any other Horna album? How did you end up choosing Sargofagian as a session drummer?

Shatraug: Yes, he’s also played on half of the songs on “Envaatnags…” album as well. At the time we were still looking for a new drummer to replace Gorthaur and I simply asked a friend to do this. Could’ve been someone else too, but he was available when needed. Ravenum was going to become our drummer from that point but he had to give up drumming and instead we found Vainaja to join the band.

Horna - Lähtölaukaus
(from 'Sotahuuto' Grievantee Productions 2007)

KMC: 'Sanojesi Äärelle' was released as double CD and LP. How did you end up with the idea of doing a double release?

Shatraug: The whole album session was based on the idea of cleaning the table once and for all from all old material that had been piling up in my notebooks. There were still many many song ideas which never reached fruition but the ones that did are on this album. During the arrangement process we saw the material shaping in two ways and instead of doing two albums, we just did one with two sides to it.

Horna - Verilehto
(from 'Sanojesi Äärelle' Debemur Morti 2008)

KMC: How was the recording session for 'Sanojesi Äärelle'? Challenging?

Shatraug: It’s always a challenge to overcome the previous work and find satisfaction yet again. There is no challenge in the actual execution of songs, we learned our ways to play long ago.

What does 'Sanojesi Äärelle' mean? I know what it means in Finnish, but i am looking for the meaning you mean with those words?

Shatraug: It means to find wisdom, enlightenment, answers to questions of life and beyond, to be one to channel the divine darkness.

KMC: There's a song in 'Sanojesi Äärelle' called Wikinger, A Pest cover song. How did you end up doing a Pest cover and why did it end up in this record?

Shatraug: Saturnus, who was our lead guitarist at that point, is an original member of Pest and I personally loved that song long before I even knew him. It is our homage to a band that connected us in the past without knowing we would be part of the same congregation eventually, even if briefly.

Horna - Nostalgiaa
(from 'Pimeyden Hehku' Debemur Morti 2007)

KMC: Is there any bootlegs of Horna made? If there is, then what do you think of them, i mean bootlegs of your band?

Shatraug: I’m aware only of bootleg dvd’s but that doesn’t matter. In the past there used to be just vhs copies of live shows so as far as I’m concerned, only the technology has changed. Bootleggers should be shot in the neck.

KMC: Last year (2009) there was a live Horna album released called 'Vihan Tiellä'. Hornas second live album. What is your own personal opinion about live albums? Because i know some people hate them.

Shatraug: When a live album captures what is essential in the band it is justified, but just doing a live recording because it’s “live” makes no sense to me. I doubt we would do another live album, but if we did, it would have to be something special.

KMC: Are you now recording a new album or EP? Anything you would like to reveal?

Shatraug: Yes, at the moment we work on a new EP and a cover song of Emperor for a tribute release while preparing for rituals in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.


KMC: You have had three different vocalists in the past and now you have Spellgoth (from Turmion Kätilöt, Baptism, Throllheim's Grott etc.) doing vocals for Horna. How did you end up choosing Spellgoth as a Hornas frontman?

Shatraug: In fact, Corvus himself chose Spellgoth to be asked first as his successor. He wanted someone he respected and thought was worthy of entering into Horna and I wanted someone I knew well enough. He met both ends.

KMC: Have you ever concider of doing an instrumental Horna album? I mean you have instrumental tracks in your past albums.

Shatraug: No. I have no such ambitions and I don’t see such an idea interesting enough to even consider.

KMC: In your Myspace page (and NO i'm not in my computer at the moment) it says "No picture comments, we delete all!". Why is that?

Shatraug: Ahh, should probably change that sometime. It was put there because some idiots kept on putting pictures on the commentary wall and we did not know it could be blocked automatically. Nothing special about that.

Horna - Kirous ja malja
(from 'Envaatnags Eflos Solf Esgantaavne' Woodcut Records 2005)

KMC: You have done much shows/tours with great BM acts. Is there any favourite bands you like to tour and play with?

Shatraug: We would tour with any of them anytime again. Each tour has something special about it so I could not say any over the other too easily.

Many know Horna as a "massive discogaphy band". Is Horna a hard working band?

Shatraug: Not really, I’m just possessed being creative and can’t stop it without going mad.

KMC: If you had to choose. What is three of your own personal favourite Horna albums?

Shatraug: Hiidentorni, Sanojesi Äärelle, Musta Kaipuu.

KMC: If someone offered to do a official music video for Horna, would you say YES or NO?

Shatraug: Yeah, we would do it. We’ve been thinking about doing some videos for a long time but there was never a budget or we just didn’t get anywhere with it. We wouldn’t want to do some bullshit video with the band playing like they usually are. It would have to be something more obscure, more violent.

Horna -Raiskasstu saastaisessa valossa
(from 'Ääniä Yössä' Debemur Morti 2006)

KMC: Christophe Szpajdel is responsible for Horna logo? How did Christophe end up doing the logo for Horna? Have you ever met?

Shatraug: We asked him to do a logo when found his contact in an old magazine. He delivered us three different choices of which we took one. Later on our logo was re-worked by Werwolf. We’ve met Szpajdel a couple times, both unpleasant. No further comment on that.

KMC: Shatraug also runs a label know as Grievantee Productions and writes a zine. Coluld you tell me what is the name of the zine Shatraug writes, what kind of zine and where can i (and the readers) buy or order it?

Shatraug: The zine I have is Grievantee Journal. It was easily obtainable at my label site but I’ve just sold the last copy of issue two so there’s nothing left for now. I’ll be starting to work on issue 3 sometime this year, sooner or later, and some bands are already certain. As always I am focusing on bands who are interviewed more rarely, if at all, or have some kind of special interest why to interview them. Grievantee Journal is an old school cut&paste Xerox zine with my insight to it.


KMC: What does Satanism mean to Horna?

Shatraug: The foremost reason for Black Metal to exist, being the musical vision and reflection of Satanist souls.

Horna - Haudan varjo
(from 'Musta Kaipuu' Debemur Morti 2009)

KMC: What does NSBM mean to Horna?

Shatraug: Most of it are crappy drum programmed bedroom projects… No support for bands like that.

KMC: What does burning churches mean to Horna (yes fucking stoopid question)?

Shatraug: Symbolic fuck off to God.

KMC: What does Black Metal mean to Horna?

Shatraug: A reason to exist and keep on proving wrong those who thought it became another genre of metal music, which it never should be.

I just have to ask this everytime, don't know why... But what is the thing you hate in modern nowaday Black Metal?

Shatraug: One thing I hate most of all are programmed drums and the fact people have too easy access to record in their own homes, just need a computer and some ripped programs to have a studio… It’s becoming pathetic, and even more so with bands incorporating ideals which are fundamentally against Black Metal, making it nothing more than music imitating the sound of it.

Horna - Live, Under The Black Sun Fest, Berlin, Germany 2001

KMC: What about christian "black metal" (as they called it)?

Shatraug: It’s more amusing than actually leading to something worth the attention.

KMC: Name your favourite BM bands from Finland at the moment?

Shatraug: Aura Saturnal, Blood Red Fog, Clandestine Blaze, Warloghe, Satanic Warmaster, Noenum, Baptism. Just to name a few I had in mind without thinking too much.

KMC: Greatest BM album ever made?

Shatraug: Under A Funeral Moon


KMC: How do you find the time between Horna and Sotajumala and Behexen and...well..all of your bands?

Well, I was only session guitarist for three gigs in Behexen it doesn´t take my time at all. It´s just organizing the gigs that they won´t be at same time. And if some gig have been booked I won´t book nothing for that same time. It´s quite simply after all and nothing serious double-booking haven´t occured at all.

Horna - Muinaisten alttarilta (Live)
(Nummirock Fest, Finland 2009)

Have there ever been a night, or will there ever be, when Horna and Sotajumala are sharing the same stage in the same happening at the same day/night?

Infection: One Tuska festival there was Sotajumala gig in the fest area in mid-day and Horna gig in the after club so it isn´t that of a big deal. It´s quite easy to do them both ´cause Horna and Sotajumala are totally different kind of music and I sing in other and play guitar in other.

How and when did you end up in Horna?

It was back in 2003 when we meet in bar with Shatraug and after little conversation he asked me to join the horde as a bass player. The main reason for this was propably the thing that Horna didn´t have a bass player at the time and they were going on an european tour with Taake. Well it took the post and here we are now.

Horna- Piina (Live)
(Live at Crusade of Black Conquerors Tour, Brno - Favál, 28.3.2010)

KMC: How and when did you end up in Behexen?

Shatraug called me one day and asked if I could help them with Behexen ´cause in two weeks they are supporting Mayhem and they are missing one guitar player. I replied fuck yeah and asked the set list. So I was only session member ´cause they had a new guitar player but he didn´t had the time to learn to new songs ´cause he lives Norway.

KMC: What is the difference, i mean the state in you, when you are playing with Horna and doing vocals in Sotajumala?

Of course it´s totally different compared SJ and Horna. Other is BM and other is DM. And in SJ I´ve to agitate the audiens to do something. In horna I don´t have to do that at all. But when I´m on stage mainly the same things goes on my head weather it´s SJ or Horna. Hail Satan!

KMC: Let's imagine. What would be the band you would like to play/do vocals, if you had the time and there would not be Horna, Behexen, Sotajumala and all of your bands existing?

If it would be finnish band it have to be Impaled Nazarene in vocals even though it´s impossible to fill Mika´s boots. Great guys with good music.
Well I´ve said to Behexen guys that if they need help I ready to do the devils work anytime.

KMC: What is your favourite Horna record?

The favourite Horna album is still Hiidentorni.

Horna website