Saturday, May 25, 2019

May 25th, 2019 - Reclaiming His Throne In Hell: An Interview With Heljarmadr Of Dark Funeral!!

God kväll and hails evil-doers!  I had the great pleasure of attending the Devastation On The Nation Tour this past Thursday, May 23rd at the Metro Music Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah.  What's more, I was lucky enough to meet with and interview the amazing and incredibly kind  Andreas Heljarmaðr (aka Heljarmadr), vocalist of Dark Funeral!!

Here's that interview... enjoy!

B&T: I'm here meeting with Heljarmadr) of Dark Funeral.  

AH: Yes.

B&T: Thank you so much for meeting with me!  So you are just starting... or rather about 5 shows into the Devastation On The Nation Tour.

AH: Yeah... something like that.  Yeah.

B&T: It is a somewhat short tour.  You're doing 2 months roughly here in the States, right?

AH: In the States we are doing 26 shows.  

B&T: Let's kinda go back in time... how did you get started in music?  What was your inspiration?  

AH: Well, I joined Dark Funeral 5 years ago, but I've been a musician for like 20 years... something like that.  Since I was a kid I was listening to music and like "monkey see monkey do", I started imitating them.  Finding stuff on the guitar and practicing singing styles.  It has been a big interest... the main interest in life for me.

B&T: Who were your biggest influences as far as when you were young?  Who did you emulation?  Who were you really listening to?

AH: I kind of discovered extreme metal when I was really young.  I had an older cousin who introducing me with tape trading back then.  I got to hear a lot of that stuff when I was about 12 in northern Sweden.  I listened to Cannibal Corpse and AC/DC, all the classics... Iron Maiden, Motorhead... all that.

B&T: As far as your singing, was there anybody in particular you were listening to that influenced the way you sing?

AH: No, I don't think there was a specific influence.  I listen to a variety of music.  I'm a huge country music fan for example.  The Doors is one of my favorite bands.  Jim Morrison was an excellent frontman.  So I wouldn't say I have a specific singer, but you see some stuff people are doing that you like and... of course I have my own voice in the end so it's me.

B&T: It is interesting that you mentioned that you listen to some country music and The Doors.  One of the questions I was going to ask you is are there any bands or musicians that your fans would be surprised that you listen to or that they influence you.

AH: Yeah, I guess some metal people are narrow minded... you know, don't go outside the genres, but I like a big variety of music.  So yeah, country music has been a passion for many years... the singer songwriter stuff.. not the Nashville pop shit.  One of the best live albums I have is the Highwaymen.  That's excellent!  You have 4 great guys in there, you know?

B&H: As far as a songwriter, as far as a lyricist, what has your inspiration been?  You joined Dark Funeral about 5 years ago you said.  You were on the last album, which is the first album you've been on and I know you wrote a lot of the lyrics for the album.  What are your inspirations far as being a lyricist?

AH: Well, I always have a notebook with me, or I use a notebook in my phone.  Whenever something comes to me... like an idea or a phrase that I really like, I write it down.  When I'm sitting down and compiling, I need to have an idea of what the song's going to be about of course and then I look through my notes and see what would fit here and then I go from there and try to build something that actually makes sense.

B&T: In terms of your writing with Dark Funeral, is it a collaborative effort with the band?  Do you guys write your own songs and bring them to the studio?

AH: Lord Ahriman [guitarist] writes all the music mainly.  For the last album ["Where Shadows Forever Reign"], he and I would send stuff back and forth.  So he comes with a riff and how he would like to structure the vocal lines, and helps me write the lyrics.  So it has been a team effort.

B&T: The last album came out about 4 years ago... almost 5 years ago.  You have a big box set, "25 Years of Satanic Symphonies" coming out next month. It is every Dark Funeral album, right?  And live and EPs?  That really exciting!

AH: Yeah!  A huge box set!

B&T: I can't wait to see and hear that!  I guess the next question is do you have a new Dark Funeral album in the works?

AH: Yes.  Whenever we have the time.  Being on tour makes it a little difficult because you are on a tight schedule and you need to focus on saving your energy for the night's show.  But when we are home, we are doing like what we did with the last album... sending stuff back and forth.  So yeah... it is in the works.  Yeah.  I can't say anything about when or where or how, but about that box set, I'd like to mention there are amazing liner notes in there.  It is really interesting reading.  I learned a lot of stuff I didn't know before.

B&T: So that comes out at the end of June right?

AH: I'm not exactly sure, but I think the dates are posted.

B&T: I'm sure fans are going to be really excited to hear that box set.

AH: Yeah, it is beautiful!

B&T: So after this tour, the Devastation On The Nation Tour, you guys are heading back to Europe?  Is that correct?

AH: Yes. We have a festival in Estonia and then we have the summer festivals... Wacken for example.  And we have something in Slovakia.  And then we are going to Australia.  

B&H: So you guys are really get out there!

AH: Yeah, yeah, yeah!

B&H: I'm sure the fans will love that.  As a fan myself, I saw you on 70000 Tons of Metal this past trip and it was phenomenal!  I went to both of your sets and took pictures.

AH: Cool.  Yeah, we had 2 different sets.  

B&H: For tonight's performance, are you guys playing a similar set to what you did on the ship or will there be any new material at all?

AH: I don't remember what we played on the ship.  [laughs]  So tonight's set is about 70 minutes and it is a variety from all the albums of course with a little more emphasis on the latest.

B&H: How has it been touring with Belphegor and Hate and the other bands?

AH: It has been really nice!  We are sharing the tour buss with Belphegor.  And we really get along well.  They are professional musicians and know how it is to live on a bus.  It is a good arrangement.  They are great!  You get the whole package with this tour... it has been awesome!

B&H: So my blog that I write... so I pair craft beer with heavy metal albums.  So at the end of a long day, what beer does Heljarmadr crack open and what album do you listen to?

AH: If I get to choose, I put on a Willie Nelson album and I'd enjoy a Weiss beer.

B&H: Very cool!  Thank you so much for the interview!

AH: You are welcome!

Make sure to catch Dark Funeral on tour now with the Devastation On The Nation show currently making its way through North America!


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