First of all, hails and congratulations on your new album, ‘Defanatus (Diabolus Adventus)’. The album has just been released, but was done for some time of course. Are you satisfied with the result and the reactions from the fans and the press so far?
Hell-o Nima. First of all, thanks for support! ‘Defanatus’ is our fourth studio album and the eighth release in the Horncrowned discography. It’s a total discharge of brutal black metal, and I’m very satisfied with the result. We invested considerable time and effort to make this album. We have received very good feedback from fans and the press, and I hope that with the passing of the days this album hits a good position in the global ranking of extreme metal releases.
Horncrowned’s history dates back almost twenty years ago, to 1995 when you started that band as Inoculation, and you have been operating as Honcrowned. How do you look back on almost two decades of hell raising?
Inoculation was a 90s black/death metal band that managed to have a good recognition in the local scene. From there we went to form Horncrowned because we wanted to play extreme black metal. It's been almost two decades of heavy work and true dedication to the heavier metal, although it has not been easy to do from a country like Colombia. However, I continue being faithful to death and black metal, collecting tons of records and composing new music for Horncrowned all the time.
There is a period of more than five years in between ‘Defanatus’ and your last LP, ‘Casus Belli Antichristianus’. Of course in the meantime you released several EP’s and a live album, but still. What took you longer than usual to deliver a new album?
Exactly, we were dedicated to making the ‘Regni Diaboli – 10 Years of Hellfire’ live album to celebrate the first decade of our work. That was a project I had in mind for some time, and as you mentioned also a couple of EPs were made in the meantime. That’s why it took a while for the new album to be released. But it was worth the wait; ‘Defanatus’ is the fourth studio album and in my personal opinion is the most elaborate release in the band’s history so far.
’Defanatus’ is again a tornado of extreme black metal and the influences by Swedish bands like Marduk, Setherial and Dark Funeral is again obvious. As I mentioned in my review, Horncrowned is one of those band from whom you always know what to expect, and you have always kept true to your sound and style. Is that an obvious choice and do you pay attention to it while working on a new record, or is it something that comes naturally? Please tell a bit about the Horncrowned sound and how you tend to maintain it…
Our main influences are indeed European extreme black metal bands as you mention, so over the years we have been faithful to that sound, obviously trying to give identity to the band. In Horncrowned can find guitars and vocals that give it a unique sound.
In how far has your vision on the music in general and your influences changed over the past twenty years?
I really like the extreme metal that existed in the 90s, where there was the true underground, including tapes, vinyl records, printed zines, and smaller concerts. Back then extreme metal had a unique mystique. Now the Internet acts as a double-edged sword, because it makes the promotion more easy, but at the same time kills the mystique of which I speak.
Again, as I mentioned in my review, the one thing that is a bit different on ‘Defanatus’ is the sound and production. The album has turned our heavier and less sharp sound wise. And to be honest I prefer the shaper sound of the previous albums. In how far can you agree and please tell a bit about what you had in mind for the new album in general and in how far you have achieved that.
On every new album we try to improve on all aspects. On the first albums the production was less elaborate, so maybe the result was more raw. Like any band we want the sound to get better with every new release, without losing the power of our style. ‘Defanatus’ has a huge international participation: the album was mixed at Blackout Studio in Belgium by Phorgath from Enthroned, mastered by László Zsolt in Romania, and the cover artwork by Kontamination Design in Poland.
Something different: Colombia (and South-America) in general has always been a great soil for extreme metal. What is it about South-American regions and your country that makes you guys so pissed off and inspires you to play extreme metal?
For me, most of the South American metal is too crude and lacking in production. For bands it’s difficult to access recording studios that are specialized in metal, and also the technical and economic resources are limited. Nevertheless, some bands, including ourselves, have tried to make things right and make decent productions for the global metal market that is dominated by Europe and USA, and raising interest this continent.
In my opinion Horncrowned’s music has always contained everything black metal stands for: raw sound, catchy riffs, lots of dark and grim atmosphere (to name a few) and that indescribable feeling only black metal fans will understand. And of course corpsepaint, bullets an spiked are a part of it. How would you describe black metal and what it means to you personally?
From the beginning we have been faithful to the aesthetic language handled within black metal. Obviously with the passing of the years black metal developed as well; some things disappeared, other things were born and introduced, but basically the generalities in the genre are maintained. For me black metal is a genre that started very raw but over the years has evolved in a coherent manner. I hope that the death of this movement will not be soon. For now, bands like Horncrowned make the black metal is more alive than ever.
Your music has always been connected with the Occult and to Satanism. Lots of mainstream black metal bands have openly admitted to use Satan as an image, but you take this subject quite seriously I believe. With Catholicism being the main religion in Colombia I can imagine that your daily lives and politics are greatly influenced by it. In how far does that effect your music and make your lives as musicians harder in your country?
Colombia is indeed a catholic country, nevertheless related to Christianity proliferate other religions. Here you find a Christian church on every corner. This is because most people lack adequate cultural level and are very poor, so people put their faith and hope in a supposed God and the scammers get there to take the little money they have. With our music and lyrics we puts our point against those alienating religions that make countries like ours getting poorer. Other than that I lead a normal life; my family, my job, and my bands (Demongoat is also active in Daemoni and Satanizer – Nima) are my priorities.
How is the metal scene in your country nowadays? And I’m not only talking about bands and fans, but also access to decent studios, rehearsal rooms and decent gigs for underground band’s like Horncrowned…
Here you find many metal bands of all genres, but few with proper projection. Most conform with getting drunk, playing in a bar every the weekend and have two or three groupies. Here, the average metal head does not buy original albums, and only consume YouTube or mp3’s. Most bands don’t survive because of this. As for recording studios and rehearsal rooms; there has been a great improvement in the last five years, although it is difficult to find engineers in venues that are specialized in metal. Nowadays I prefer to play bigger concerts, sharing the stage with international acts, so we don’t play very often, but at least the conditions for lights, sound and attendance are better.
Speaking of gigs, are there any plans to take Horncrowned on the road to support the new album? And although it’s difficult, maybe even plans for some dates across Europe?
In 2012 we tried that; we had scheduled several dates in Europe, but unfortunately the German Embassy in Colombia refused our visas, arguing that we were a danger to public order and national security, haha. However in 2015 the Schengen visa for Colombians will be removed, so we can schedule some dates in Europe without any problems. This month (January 10) we will play with Taake here in Bogotá, where we will also launch ‘Defanatus’.
What’s the next chapter for Horncrowned?
I'm working on a covers album, which will be a tribute to some bands that influenced us. The working title I ‘Pro Reverentiam’. Also I have a lot of music in my head for another album or and EP, and I hope we can play some concerts in Europe and USA.
Well then, I guess we can call it a day for now. Unless of course there is something left that you’d like to mention…
I hope everybody enjoys our new album, ‘Defanatus’, and I invite everyone to meet and collect the whole Horncrowned discography. Make sure to check our website and our Facebook page to stay updated and feel free to contact us via email@example.com. And finally, thanks a lot for the interview. Hellish Hails to the Lords of Metal followers, see you soon!