Αρχική ΜΟΥΣΙΚΗΣΥΝΕΝΤΕΥΞΕΙΣHarakiri For The Sky - Interview

Harakiri For The Sky - Interview

Austrian post-black metallers Harakiri For The Sky are coming to Greece once again, visiting Eightball in Thessaloniki on the 11th of March, before setting the stage of Temple Athens on “fire” on Saturday the 12th. They have spoken with George Gazis about the post-Covid era of live music, their recent album “Maere”, and even had time to comment on Placebo!

For the Greek version of this interview, please see here -> Harakiri For The Sky - Συνέντευξη

• Hello and welcome to Greece again! It’s been almost 3 years since you were here last and we surely missed you! Everybody is been through a lot these past couple of years, but thankfully live gigs are slowly returning into our lives. How do you feel about touring and playing live again?

J.J.: I think it will still take me a little time I can “accept” such as a Normality. I can’t trust it. And I’m not sure if time will ever heal the wounds the pandemic, the politics and also the people itself cut in our society. I’m not sure if I’ll ever forget how egocentric most of the people around me behaved during this troubled times, just looking for themselves. So yeah, hopefully we are going back to normal when it comes to touring and all that band stuff, but I’m not sure if our society will ever go back to normal. But I’m really looking forward to playing gigs, seeing gigs, going to festivals, tour etc. It was a long time of uncertainty which hopefully has an end now.

I’m not sure if time will ever heal the wounds the pandemic, the politics and also the people itself cut in our society.

• Your latest album, “Maere,” was released last January and it really feels like a new chapter in the Harakiri For The Sky history. You also have some guests, such as Stéphane “Neige” Paut from Alcest and the anonymous vocalist of the mysterious Gaerea, that surely enriched the music and lyrics of your songs. Why did you choose these particular guests and did the writing and composing process change since “Arson”?

J.J.: I mean, as a band, as an individual or a lyricist, there never should be stagnation. You mature from album to album, year to year and with every lifes chapter. And that’s a good thing. You get more experienced and know what you like and what you don’t like. That’s why I think “Maere” is our most balanced work till date, and we are still pretty proud how it turned out.

When it comes to the singer of Gaerea: We share a pretty similar love for all these Hardcore Bands like MODERN LIFE IS WAR, CONVERGE, DEFEATER and so on. Matthias met him in Portugal many years ago, and this is how we became friends. I don’t have to tell you a lot about Neige, I think. He is a genius and ALCEST as well as AMESOEURS are one of the main reasons HFTS was founded. As well as singing as his screaming vox are unbelievable. And on the other hand he is the nicest down to earth guy you can find around the Black Metal scene.

• Maere is the name of a mythological entity that sits on your chest at night, making it hard to breathe and bringing you nightmares. Was it the story that inspired the songs or was it the music and lyrics that made you relate to that story?

J.J.: Totally. This ghoul sitting on my chest while sleeping is a good metaphor for the lyrics and the stories they tell. Most of the things I write about are autobiographic, so “Maere” as title totally makes sense, as I also struggle with sleep paralysis.

• The first music video that you released is the first track of the album “I, Pallbearer”, and it brings out the meaning of the song in a refreshing way, narrating with a combination of images and actual words. Why did you choose this particular song to be the first video to release?

J.J.: We choose that song, because it shows a good synopsis of the album. It has the Post Rock Parts, it has the quick and hysteric Black Metal Parts, and textual it is one of the most important songs on the album. The story is about three people and Bipolar Disorder. Two of them are dead. So I think, this were the reasons we chose “I, Pallbearer” as first single back then.

• One month after that, you released the second video “Sing For The Damage We’ve Done”, featuring Neige from Alcest as a guest vocalist. This one is approached differently, image-wise, but it is somehow relatable to the first one. What is the story behind it and did Neige’s feature contribute in completing that story?

J.J.: I think “Sing For The Damage We’ve Done” is a classic HFTS song. It’s about two people in a toxic relationship that can’t live without but also can’t live with each other. And under the banner of love the do awful things to the other, a person they pretend to love. Neige’s vocals fit the song perfect I think, as it has some serious ALCEST vibes musically.

• Your third music video is “Us Against December Skies”, one of my favourite tracks from “Maere”, another different approach that feels like a cloudy, dark nightmare. How do you connect the video narrative with the lyrics?

J.J.: I mean the video is pretty artistic and has no direct relation to the lyrics. The lyrics are once more dedicated to lost love and the time two people spent with each other. On the one hand they know each other better than any one else, on the other hand they are strangers. Pretty fucked up and paradox. But I think that’s life or whatever.

• A question that you probably get a lot, but I have to ask. You did a really interesting cover on Placebo’s “Song To Say Goodbye”, that you masterfully managed to move towards the album’s musical direction. Why did you choose Placebo and why this particular song?

J.J. Haha, yeah, we get asked that pretty much. Matthias is one of the biggest PLACEBO Fans on earth, I think since highschool. I also really like them since around that time. “Song To Say Gooodbye” and the video it included, which also played a huge role, was released about the time I started my last year in school. It was a very intens summer, with a lot of sleepless nights, parties, drinking and romances. I also wrote my first songs for my other band KARG in this summer. So I have very good memories with this song and Matthias couldn’t choose anyway, because he likes every song. So we covered “Song To Say Goodbye”.

• You are officially a duo, but your live setup includes more musicians, such as Mischa Bruemmer on drums, Marrok on guitars & backing vocals, Thomas Dornig on bass and lately Kerim “Krimh” Lechner on drums, who also plays for our own Septic Flesh, among others. How does playing live with session musicians works for Harakiri For The Sky and, if possible, what is the current live line-up?

J.J.: Playing live with session musicians just works out when you act on a professional level. There aren’t many rehearsals before you play, you have to learn your stuff at home. But all the people we work with take this kinda serious, so we never had problems working that way. Cheers to the guys, thanks a lot for your passion and time.

When it comes to the singer of Gaerea: We share a pretty similar love for all these Hardcore Bands like MODERN LIFE IS WAR, CONVERGE, DEFEATER and so on.

• So, the question that everybody hates, but it is always a fun one! What does the future hold for you? Touring for as long as possible or new music on the way?

J.J.: Haha, I can’t really tell you. The plan is doing shows and touring for “Maere” the next year. We have a South America Tour announced and also some other pretty rad shit. Then a headliner Europe tour in January 2023. I think it will be the time afterwards we’ll be starting working on new songs. But that doesn’t mean we are not playing concerts during this time. Maybe just slowing down a little after a hopefully stressful 2022. Hope all will work out well for us and live music this year. Fingers crossed!

• Thank you very much for this interview and I hope I didn’t tire you. I hope I can meet you guys on the 12th of March in Temple Athens! The ending is yours!

J.J.: Thanks for the Interview! We’ll see us in a few days my friend. Stay gold