Interview with Herem

Please introduce your band. When was the band formed?

Herem was formed during the summer of 2005 by Tommi, Jani and Juho after their previous band broke up.Valedis joined to do vocals and I (Patrick) joined soon after to complete the roster.

What does the name Herem represent?

It’s just something our bass player Tommi thought up to use as a name for the band.I think he found it from a bible he had lying around. As of why he was reading the bible frankly I don’t know, I guess he was just looking for weird stuff in there. It’s not a statement of any kind. I think Herem was one of two options on the table and we chose to go with it. It was easy to remember and different.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Mainly from jamming with each other. We usually start our practice session with a long jam where Jani, Juho and Tommistart by making up a massive crushing riff and I then start soloing and playing harmonies on top of that. It’s a great way to loosen up and clear your head from all distractions. Sometimes that and up as a base to a new song that we start working on later but more often it’s just a ritualistic mind cleanser. When working on songs someone usually has an initial part to start with and then we play it over and over to see if evolves naturally into a full song. Sometimes it works like that and sometimes it’s required to go through practice tapes and individually think of compositions and arrangements for  new parts. But I think the songs usually work out better if it all comes together as a happy accident while just jamming for a while. After we have a semi-complete version of a new song then usually Valendis comes up with the lyrics and starts to work with her vocal arrangements.

Can you tell us about your main influences?

One major inspiration in the beginning was to take a deep wiff of the esthetics present in Autopsy’s slower tunes like “Dead” from Mental Funeral and use that as a base to create sludgy doom. Of course Reverend Bizarre was very big in Finland at the time so they were also strong influence. Naturally Black Sabbath and their use of the devil’s interval can be heard all over in this genre were a part of.

Last October you released your latest album ‘’III’’. How has the reception been so far?

I think it’s been very good for us. Generally the reviews have been very favorable. As a whole we are very happy and proud of how the album turned out and how well it has been received.

Is there a concept behind this album you’d like to talk about?

Lyrically there’s not really a single themed arch or concept across the whole album. The songs are mostly about occultism, horror fantasies and sheer desperation.For example Scars to summon is about summoning stories and secrets of the dead by using the markings of another persons skin, Snakes of the third moon tells the story of sex, death and rebirth involved an occult ceremonyand Slumber is a nod to H.P.Lovecraft featuring the horrors of ancient nameless monsters and pure madness .  Dark songs for the dark times we live in.

Do you have any live shows planned for the second half of this year?

We’re taking a bit time off with each of us working on different projects right now. However, as lazy as we are arranging shows, we are happy to consider any offers for a few one offs. It’s always a pleasure to play live and I think thats where we are at our best.

What are you listening to these days?

I’ve been visiting Roadburn festival for many years now and usually crawling through the playlist while trying to decide which bands to see is one of my major sources of new music for the year. It’s a truly fantastic festival and I’d recommend it to anyone. Lately I’ve been listening to the new Elder album which I think is much better than the previous one.  The Slomatics album from last year is very good, I just got into it. I also just got the new Monkey 3 live album, also good stuff. I guess I tend to go for heavy music leaning towards psychedelics and progressive elements.  I must give a special mention to a relatively new Finnish punk band named Huora. Their debut album came out a couple of months ago and it’s awesome! You must check it out.

What does the future hold for Herem?

As I previously mentioned we are taking some inspirational time off from Herem right now. We may play some shows if the opportunity comes, though.

Interview with Thomas from Kollapse

Hi guys! How have you been? What news from Aalborg?
Thomas: Aalborg is a blackhole.

Please introduce us to your band. When was the band formed?
Thomas: That depends on what you want to know? We formed roughly 5 years ago. We started out as a threepiece, with Troels being the lone guitar player. We all had previous bands. Frederik attended a few live shows and later joined us as a percussionist for a couple of shows. He then joined as a permanent guitar player later. We recorded the Fathertrack for a 7” with him and things started to pick up at that point. We are all passionate music fans and this interest branched out into wanting to record and release music for ourselves. This band is somewhat different from what everyone has done before. Kollapse exists for us.We have no great aspirations or commercial interest. kollapse is greater than the sum of its parts and we would not sound like we did, had any member been replaced. This is us.

What inspires you the most?
Thomas: I can only answer for myself, but for kollapse I hardly get inspired by music at this point. Life feels so intense sometimes, and I get inspired by all the feelings of shortcomings, loathing, alienation and stress of everyday life. If I do find inspiration outside of my own state of being, it mostly comes from art and literature. States of mind that I feel connected to on some more or less abstract or intuitive level. In general the one thing that inspire sme most in my life is being a father.

Can you tell us about you rmain influences?
Thomas: As in musical influences? I listen to a million things but as far as kollapsegoes I am influenced by bands that feel to me, like they mean, what they do: Breach, midperiod Neurosis, Weakling, Amrepera, Today is the Day, Union of Uranus. Emo, hardcore, metal, indie…whatever.

How would you define your sound?
Thomas: I wouldn’t want to, because we spend an insane amount of time clawing at our songs, making sure that they end up feeling like kollapse songs – it is pretty tiring but we have to do it. I really dislike hyperbolic catchphraseytripe so: “heavy and emotional” is how I would describe it.

This May you released your debut album ‘’Angst’’. How did the recording sessions go?
Thomas: They went great, we had a reall ygood time with Jacob Bredahl who is a funny, honest and loveable dude. He is really into martial arts and hardcore – which helped me immensely during the few hours we didn’t work in the studio. We recorded the entire album in roughly two days, which is insane.

Is there a concept behind this album you’d like to discuss?
Thomas: The album title and lyrics tells it all I think.

What are you listening to these days?
Thomas: a lot of Danish bands for some reason: Orm, Slægt, Nyt Liv and other stuff like Yellow Eyes, Ash Borer, The Weeknd, Oxbow, City Keys, Ultha and so on. I listen to and buy a lot of records.

Do you have any live shows planned for this year?
Thomas: Yes, we are playing a lot of shows this year, including Copenhagen, Norway, Sweden and Germany. Check our bandcamp for more info.

What does the future hold for Kollapse?
Thomas: probably writing a lot of music oncetouring for this album is done. I’d like kollapse to branch out into other forms of art, but we will see. I paint and write and Peter our drummer is a photographer so maybe something will manifest, we never know when it comes to kollapse though – we might implode next week.

Interview with Kalpa

Hi guys! How have you all been?
Hi, pleased to meet you. It’s been nice  and steady lately, perhaps a bit hectic at times. Normal stuff.

Last April you released your latest album ‘’Dissociation’’. How has the reception been so far?
“Dissociation” was well received from the underground. Some people did drift away because of the significant style shift to a more extreme sound, we guess, but the ones that stayed with us and those who came along the way really get our drift. We also organized and carried out a European Tour with our friends in Minerva Superduty to promote the album, during which the feedback we received was awesome. Lastly, speaking strictly in numbers, “Dissociation” is almost sold-out, so there’s that.

How did you decide to put vocals in your music?
It wasn’t much of a “decision” -let alone a deliberate one-. We really enjoy music both ways. At the time ‘Sequences’ was written we felt that there was not much vital space left for vocals. On ‘Dissociation’ we did find that ground to add an extra instrument, and the whole writing process was adjusted accordingly.

What inspires you the most?
Pretty much everything evolving around us. With music having a key role, inevitably, translating our perception of the world to sound.

Apart from your favorite bands what else would you name as a key influence?
I think each one’s social circle and everyday interactions are crucial. They shape each person slowly and steadily day by day. Art in every form is also a major influence for us. It’s just amazing to see how people can express themselves in so many different ways.

How is music produced in Kalpa?
We all contribute to each composition equally. The initial idea can only come from one single person; we then process it collectively, brainstorm on it and rehearse it till it reaches the point where we can visualize performing it live. Then, it’s not unusual for us to actually play it on stage to see if it passes the test or if we should make more adjustments to the song.

Given that your first album ‘’Sequences’’ was an instrumental one, how did you decide then to give your songs the song titles you did?
The “Sequences*” era seems somewhat far behind us, now. We really don’t remember a lot of specifics about the titles, just that at the time they felt good as a representation of the songs they were given to.

What does the name Kalpa represent?
A kalpa is, essentially, a Sanskrit word for a scale that times the creation, death and recreation of a world or universe. It is also a Finnish hockey team and a black metal solo artist from South Korea. There are probably more current updates on Wikipedia that we’re not aware of.

What are you listening to these days?
Tons of stuff where it reaches the point of being impossible to even start a list from the top of our heads. The amount of produced music -most of it being great, granted- is overwhelming. At this very moment, one of us probably headbangs to the new Succumb album and another one revisits Botch, while a third one absorbs old-school Hip-Hop. A couple of us also enjoyed the new album by the Afghan Whigs lately. The combinations are infinite.

You recently played two shows in Crete. How did it go there?
We had a great time in Crete and we’re really glad we’ve been given the chance (as individuals) to revisit the island, which we hadn’t done in years. We played Heraklion and Chania and people down there profoundly enjoy extreme music. Shout out to everyone who run the shows, those who came over and the bands we shared the stage with.

Do you have any live shows planned in the months to come?
At the moment we’re mainly focusing on writing the new album more than everything else, but we’re always available when it comes to being a part of and supporting initiatives that make sense to us, such as an upcoming DIY festival in Corfu in early June and Svenfest VII in Karditsa in late July, both of which we’ll be performing at.

What does the future hold for Kalpa?
A new album and as many gigs as we can possibly handle, both home and abroad.

Interview with Green Yeti

Hi there! Please introduce us to your band. When did it all start for Green Yeti?
Hey there, we are Green Yeti, a stoner doomed psych-rock trio from Athens, Greece, formed in early 2014. Dani plays the bass, Mike sings and scratches the guitar, while Giannis keeps destroying drum kits while we jam. That’s the current line-up.

Can you tell us about your main influences?
We have been influenced by 70s rock bands of the time, psychedelic stoner doom of recent years, and basically any music style that has the appropriate amount of mojo to keep us going!

How would you define your sound?
Strange Heavy!

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Almost anything really, it could be today’s weather report, or a walk in the park. A phone call. Of course, there are dark caves, purple smoke, urban legends and unexplained phenomena involved, but hey, it adds up to our strange heavy sound for sure. And lots of green fuzzy hair, that too.

Your new album ‘’Desert Show’’ will be released this April. How did the recording sessions go?
It was hard. We did have to change drummers during the recording sessions and also prepare a new song for a compilation (spoiler) that is still under development. Fotis left the group and almost immediately Giannis took his place and lived up to our expectations. We were good to go again! Following the same routine, we did everything our own way, full DIYlive recording in the cave as always. Then mixing/mastering DIY again…We have found the recipe so now we can only improve it with time. The very positive feedback shows that we are doing more than fine. We pushed ourselves to the limit but like we say “Pressure makes diamonds”!

Recently you revealed a track from your upcoming new album. In my opinion ‘’Rojo’’ is an excellent track. How did you decide to write a song in Spanish?
It sounded right. We always try new things so this was definitely something we wanted to do. Dani’s first stoner band was called Rojo in the early days of his bass career, so we already had a title too. It kinda evolved from there by itself. Mike wrote lyrics, which then were corrected by friends/native Spanish speakers, and he also learned to pronounce the words of the song. We are great fans of Los Natas and also Alejandro Jodorowsky who played a major part for this song to emerge from the depths of imagination.

What are you listening to these days?
Dani is listening to the Desert Show masters, Giannis is into hip hop, while Mike prefers silence and sounds of nature for now.

Which is your favorite way of enjoying music? What would you choose between digital and physical format?
Sitting on a leather couch, doing nothing else but focusing on these music waves till you fall asleep…! Format wise, practically speaking, we prefer good quality mp3s or flacs, but there is no comparison if you have a good sound system and a vinyl pressing available. You can combine these 2 by using cassettes, but tape players are more and more hard to find these days!

Next month you’re going on tour. Can you tell us about your tour dates?
We will be playing on our first tour together as a band! Wow. Starting our trip from Volos we will move on to Thessaloniki, followed by 2 dates in Bulgaria and SoundartFest in Bucharest, Romania with bands like Nightstalker, Stoned Jesus and Exivious. It will be a blast! For the final gigof this tour we have the privilege to play along Yawning Man at AN Club, which feels like a second home to us really, and playing along the fathers of stoner rock will be a night to remember.

What does the future hold for Green Yeti?
It holds mysteries, the future is unknown of course. Oh, and a lot of RAWK. There’s much RAWK in the future for sure!

Interview with Daniel Pilsäter from No Omega

Hi there! First of all congratulations on your new album! On what degree does it follow on from its predecessor?
Hi, thanks! It’s a fun record for me, because there’s a lot of new stuff going on. We have a new drummer since the last record, and even though we step off in some familiar ground on some songs, we’ve tried things that I’ve wanted to do for a while! There are still themes that we’ve touched upon before, but I think Oscar (vocals) is writing a much more personal record this time.

Can you tell us about your main influences?
Musically, I think we all come from listening to screamo, and moody rock music. Swedish screamo like Suis la lune and Italian bands like Raein and La Quiete, or American bands like Loma Prieta or Ampere. Earlier on I’d say Converge, Killing the Dream, Meleeh and maybe post-metal stuff played a bigger part for us.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
We’ve pulled a lot of lyrical themes from the Ishmael book series. I’d say there’s a feeling that comes from a more diffuse place though, the frustration and hopelessness that the world puts on your shoulders. Like you know something’s wrong, with everything, and there’s nothing we can do.

How is music produced in No Omega?
It almost always comes from someone who wrote some guitar parts at home, brings it to the band where we hash out a structure and maybe find new ways to play the chords together. It used to be Oscar and Andreas (old singer), and then I started writing some songs, and now we have a pretty good system on how to get a core for a song going. Gabriel who joined on drums 2015 has really pushed our writing, in my opinion. Joakim who plays bass never brings his own songs from scratch, but he has a lot of good ideas, and always wants to try and find new ways of playing a song.

Your new album ‘’Culture’’ comes out on May. How did the recording sessions go?
I thought they were good. We spent two weekends up in Söderhamn with our friend Dennis, just recording and hanging out with the Söderhamn crew. We finished up the vocals in Stockholm, but I really appreciate the chance to leave Stockholm when we record this band. I need to focus, and have an outsider kind of push us through the sessions.

Is there a concept behind this album you’d like to talk about?
Hmm. If there is a concept, I’d say it’s communication. That’s the new thing in the lyrics, and it ties a lot of the songs together. We keep talking about how important communication is, both between ourselves, but also from band to audience, and how hard it can be. When making music, it’s important to me that what I think also comes through to the listener, and sometimes it feels useless even trying. And then when it works, and you connect, it’s amazing.

What are you listening to these days?
I got heavily into the artist Mitski this winter, and her new record Puberty 2. It’s SO GOOD. Other than that, I listen to a lot of americana/folky stuff, and for aggressive music it’s either death metal, hardcore stuff like Protester or more screamo. And the usual, Radiohead, Kent etc.

Which is your favorite way of enjoying music? What would you choose between digital and physical format?
I like collecting music physically, because of the packaging, and you get another relationship to the record. But I rarely sit down and listen to my records anymore, and I have even started paying for Spotify. I used to just get my music digitally and put it on an iPod or something. Now I have playlists of stuff I’m into, like full albums, but I have to admit I sometimes listen to normal playlists too…

Do you have any live shows planned for this year?
We’re doing a release tour for Culture in April, which will be our first tour booked by Loudnoise. We’ll be playing mainland Europe, and this summer we’re coming back with our Japanese friends Endzweck to play festivals.
We have some more things lined up, but we’ll see what comes through! We might even play a hometown show this year.

What does the future hold for No Omega?
No idea. We’ve been a band for a long time now. We’ll see.