Friday, January 30, 2009

KEMENYAN FANZINE: Interview With Einherjer

Why there has been so many great musicians born in Norway? Well, when we still praise the ‘necro’ yet wonderful blackish noises from MAYHEM, DARKTHRONE, EMPEROR, GORGOROTH, ENSLAVED, they have those who explored the new dimension of extreme metal like SATYRICON, DHG, OLD MAN’S CHILD, LIMBONIC ART, BORGNAGAR and THE KOVENANT. One of the most interesting act, must be the Viking Metallers, EINHERJER. Here, I brought to you, Frode Glesnes, the guitarist, whom also the versetile drummer of OLD MAN’S CHILD....

The interview were done for issue # 7 that released on May 2007.

Hails the Dragons of the north. How’s life today?
Hello Rammy, how are you? Life’s great at the moment.

You has just released your brand new album “Norwegian Native Art”. Tell me more about it? Yeah, it’s undeniabely the most powerful album Einherjer ever released...

“Norwegian Native Art” is extremely heavy and in my opinion a big improvement in every way. In contrast to the “Odin Owns Ye All” album, “NNA” has a more up-to-date production. It also sounds more massive and powerful than earlier. The songs have also increased to a new level, both in complexity and structure. The atmosphere has also developed to be more dismal, grimmer, and aggressive which gives Einherjer a more different sound than earlier.

You also recorded it where “Odin Owns Ye All” were recorded. That is in Sweden, right? Do you think the production there are better than other studios?

Actually, it’s all thanks to Century Media. They sent us there to record “Odin..” and we worked very good together so we decided to use that studio for “Norwegian..” as well. There was an extremely good atmosphere all the way. Beside, Gothenburg is 10 minutes away and that’s a pretty cool city. We hope to use this studio in the future too.

Well, “Norwegian Native Art” absolutely much more brutal, rawer and less melodic than before. So, tell me more about your song compositions. The characteristic changed hugely towards more metal aggression.

The first track “Wyrd of the Dead” is probably the most aggressive song on the album, very varying song-structure. The first song completed for this album. Deals with Odin and his “crucifixion” on the world-tree Yggdrasil. His sacrifice to himself to gain the ultimate wisdom from the dead. “Doomfaring” is in my opinion the most complete metal song on the entire album. Deals with Hel, the goddess of death in the Norse myths and her banishment to the darkest depth of Helheim where she rules all those who died a natural death like sickness and old age. A dark atmosphere with an insane groove. “Hugin’s Eyes” is a pretty untypical Einherjer song. Pretty heavy with a bit more modern approach. Odins view on the world through his two ravens Hugin and Munin (thought and memory). “Burining Yggdrasil” is pretty long and epic track, with some mid-paced parts and some more aggressive parts. This one is about Ragnarok (surprise!) and all the horrors that come with it. When the sons of Muspell torch the world, and everything is layed to waste. A typical Y2K prophecy. “Crimson Rain” is split into two parts. Half metal and half bombastic with a pretty melancholic feeling. The lyrics on this song is a typical slash ‘n’ bash, slice ‘n’ dice Einherjer type of lyric. The romantic violence combined with the Einherjer that we glorify. “Howl Ravens Come” is stout and proud, train in your face kind of song. The last two tracks, “Draconian Umpire” and “Regicide”, stands out from the rest of the album with a calmer and more medieval expression. Lyric-wise the last three tracks deal with the myth of Sigurd Fatnirsbane based on the Edda poem. The most important fragments of course, because the story is far too long in itself.

So, the folky elements have decreased and only left for the lyric-wise, right?
Well, we still have some folk-influences left in our music, but we don’t want it to over-shadow the fact that we are a metal band. Norwegian Native Art is a very complex album with many different influences, but the lyrics stays true to our roots.

That’s why these time, Einherjer appreared with leather covered with blood and dirt because of your new musical shape, am I right?
We felt that we needed a change and for us, dressing up in leather, covered in blood and dirt was the most natural thing to do. It reflects very much the musical direction we’re heading, but it also reflects the contents of our lyrics.

Don’t you think there’s too much romantic bullshit in Black Metal nowadays?
I’m not in the position to judge the lyrical directions of todays black metal bands, but I do find strange that so many bands have ‘cosy’ lyrics.

You also taking care of NATIVE NORTH RECORDS. Tell me more about your new plans?

We have two upcoming releases now very soon. Arthemesia, a black metal band from Finland will release their album “Devs-Iratvs” in January, Ulvhedin, a viking metal band from Norway, will release their album “Pagan Manifest” a little later next year and we have band called Angelgrinder, which consists of me and Gerhard from Einherjer. It’s an extreme metal band influenced by Norwegian black metal and late 80’s thrash metal. It will surely be a killer. No releasedate has been settled yet, but be sure not to miss it.

Wow! “Norwegian Native Art” also featuring Andy LaRoque as guitarist. How it was to have him in your recording?

Yeah, Andy has been one of my idols, as guitarist, for years so you can imagine what I was like. It was a great experience.How about tour?
We just did a small Norwegian tour in September and we are currently working to get a European tour organized.

Let me hear your last whisper from the north...
If you want to be updated with what;s going on with Einherjer –news, tourdates, etc, check out our official website –
interview by:- Rammy

Thursday, January 29, 2009

KEMENYAN FANZINE: Interview With Grim Force

This interview was done with Katsuyuki for my issue # 7 that released on May 2002. Grim Force is violent Thrash Metal squads from Japan.
Tell me anything special that happened in Japan lately?
This is Katsuyuki Nakabayashi, who take up vocals and guitars in Grim Force. Thank you for this interview. Is the question about the news in Japan? If so, there are a lot of allegations by politicians and investigations are violently. I feel insecure about this country’s future. As for myself, I got married.
Tell me about Grim Force’s history?
In July 1999, the band was formed by Nakabayashi (Guitars, Vocals) and Kamomiya ( Drums). Although they recorded a demo tape soon after that, the band stopped it’s activity, Nakabayashi joined RITUAL CARNAGE. After recording their 2nd album and touring Europe, he left RITUAL CARNAGE to start the band in February 2000. While Nakabayashi was away from the band, Takahata, the bassist, joined the force in January 2000 and the band signed up with World Chaos Productions for an album. In September, the first album was relased. This album received high credits from Aardschock and other zines. Riding on the strength of reputation, the band performed live energetically. Doing support acts for DISMEMBER, DEFLESHED, NIGHT IN GALES, DEW-SCENTED, 8MM OVERDOSED and so on. The band succeeded in getting many listener’s attentions. Going through some member changes, the current line-up is as follows:
Katsuyuki Nakabayashi ( vocals, guitars)
Sonoe Takahata (Bass)
Masayuki Higuchi ( drums)
So, I have seen a lot of fucking good reviews about your debut album around the globe, what about your own opinion? Tell me more about it....
Actually, I’m surprised. It is true that I thought the album was great when we finished the recording. I thought every piece and every riffs was complete. But that was just matters of my taste of music and was a kind of self-complancency. So I didn’t think we would receive such evaluations, responses, and affinities from many people. It is, however, pleasant to get highly evaluated.
Could you tell the background of your line-up. There’s a members from RITUAL CARNAGE involves in the band, right? How about that handsome female bassist?
That’s right. As I said ealier, I played in RITUAL CARNAGE. Before that, I played in a thrash metal band called DISGUST. As for the bassist, she played in some bands whose name were lesser known. Masayuki, the drummer plays in some bands such as RAGING FURY, GOATS, and so on. If he stopped playing drums, he would die!
There’s a lot of European band touring down Japan last few years. So, which one is the best for you? What band you expect to see in the future?
Well, they were good differently. They were powerful. I can’t decide which was the best. I don’t have any band to see in mind particularly, but I want to see any band if I have the oppoturnities to do so.
GRIM FORCE performes live?
Yes, of course. We do live ‘violently’! It is fun to perform live every time.
Tell me what is your faves bands of all times?
I love TESTAMENT all the time! They are the best. Other than that, I like so called Bay Area thrash metal band, as you would see listening to our album.
How about the future of GRIM FORCE?
We will release a new album and tour around Japan this year. Also, we’d like to tour around Europe if someone invites us. To tell you the truth, we cancelled a German tour for certain reasons. We feel very sorry for the fans there expecting to see us. It is for that we want to tour around Europe.
Is the ‘samurai metal’ things going trendy in Japan? He..he..he..
Well, the situation is slightly different. We’ve got ‘sumo wrestler metal’ here. Everyone eats so much to put on weight, to be like members of CROWBAR! Of course, this is just a joke! There is no sumo wrestler metal.
Last words to our readers?
Everyone who is reading this interview, buy our album NOW! That will make our lives well, hehehe. So much for joking! Seriously though, now that you can get 100% pure thrash metal album, please listen to our album if you have any interest. I believe you will love it! And please invite us! WE all hope to see you soon. Thank you very much! My snailmail address is as follows:
Katsuyuki Nakabayashi
202, Minamino Shijounawate-shi, Osaka-pref ZIP 575-0021, JAPAN

interview by:- Rammy