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Red Harvest

Norwegian industrial metallists Red Harvest re-released their album ‘Hybreed’ for more than twenty years. Back then it was a special piece of work in the industrial landscape, as well as you can read in the review Red Harvest I recently did on the re-release. Even now ´Hybreed´ has still got an identity on its own that maintains dead straight, offering breathing atmospheric spaces to, among others, ambient and doom. The album also marked a turnaround in the Norwegians’ songwriting. One of the band’s important creative brains, guitarist Ketil Eggum, explains the special characteristics and meaning of ´Hybreed´ for Red Harvest and an ongoing start-up of the band.

By: Jurgen | Archive under industrial / ebm

French Cold Dark Matter Records – named after Red Harvests´ fifth full-length in 2000, ed. – released your album ´Hybreed´ (1996) again on double cd, including live recordings of Blastfest in Bergen, Norway in February 2016. To what extent does the generally good response to this re-release of music press and anyone who has a warm heart for Red Harvest influence current developments in and around the band, since you returned to the scene after five years´ absence?
In 2015 Blastfest asked if we could be interested in doing a concert. That festival had a “all Norwegian” line up, and that was for us so special that we agreed to say yes. It is important to point out that we took a break without any bad blood between us, we were just a bit tired of everything. And in 2016 the 'Hybreed' album was 20 years old. An good, old friend of the band, Damien from Cold Dark Matter Records asked if he could re master and re release it, and we none of us had any problems with that. So you can say one thing took the other. And playing together again was really cool, so we decided to do a little bit more, cause the energy and “joy” is back in the band.

In my opinion ´Hybreed´ does have a perfect balance between his strong whipping industrial and techno-phrases on one hand and the rather intoxicating doomy ambient and drone shades on the other hand. Can you tell me something about the creation of the album back then? Plus: how do you fit the re-launched work in the midst of the current industrial / EBM scene?
The creative forces in the band at that time were … what shall we say: They were quite alternative. So more or less all unwritten rules were broken, we implemented very unfamiliar sounds when it comes to traditional metal and worked with a non metal producer. The idea of the album was to try and capture the urge to get out of the industrial city and up to the mountains and the wastelands there. And then it is up to the listener to judge if we managed that or not, I guess. The process was quite cool and fun. Hearing it now, I think of course we could have done many things different, but at the same time we would not have the guts or experience to do things we did in the years after 'Hybreed' without it.

Given the aforementioned completely throbbing fusion of styles, maybe within Red Harvest ´Hybreed´ will be considered as the bands´ creative opus magnum. Or does that assumption go too far?
For me personally, I have another album as my favorite. But like mentioned above, without 'Hybreed', none of the other albums that followed.

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On the moment you are working on the new album. You were interviewed in April at the Inferno Festival in Oslo – where you, by the way, according to several reviews performed very well -, there you indicated that the new songs will be more technical and complex. Could you please reveal some information that is illustrating to what the upcoming album – that probably will come out around end 2017, ed. – will bring to the table, in terms of musical interpretations, atmosphere and themes?
Well, we have pre-produced about eight tracks and also some more ideas tracked down, either programmed versions or recorded live on rehearsals. Some of them are like you point out a bit more technical and complex compared to things we have done before. Some are quite heavy. But what I like most with these songs are that they are a bit different from what we have done before, still very much Red Harvest. So, hopefully we are able to develop ourselves one more time without getting boring.

Red Harvests´ band members are living a good distance from each other – you live in Switzerland, for example – and/or there is involvement with other bands (Gothminister, K.P. Riot Brigade). Something that occurs of course more often. The internet will undoubtedly be supportive when it comes to mutual communication. How is Red Harvest in the context of the creative process and continuum dealing with such practical problems?
Yes, it is of course a bit difficult to live so far apart as we do. At the same time, we are way more effective now when it is something that needs to be done. So we communicate via Internet and exchange files and stuff, and when it is time to realize things, I jump on a plane for 2,5 hours to go to Norway to hook up with the others. We have always been a band that rehearsed and played everything at rehearsals before recording, and it is important for us to keep it like that. We need that organic feel to the Red Harvest music. Especially drums and guitars must have a human touch. That what makes us stand out among other bands. After that, keys and vocals and other effects and additional guitars can be recorded “anywhere” before mixing.

In that same interview at the Inferno Festival you reflected that Red Harvest is having certain contacts – as it seemed – with other record labels/distributors. Your current label Cold Dark Matter is a relatively small record company with a more limited distribution channel. Can you perhaps make sure that there are possible bigger plans for Red Harvest ´2.0´ in promoting and selling the new album? Maybe also based on past experiences? And, for example, will there be a tour at the end of the year or somewhere in 2018?
We need to work with someone that can provide services outside just releasing material and offer distribution. We need someone that can also organize travels/tickets/concert contracts and more practical stuff. And we are talking to someone that can do this for us. But I made it clear for them that we need to include Cold Dark Matter in a possible collaboration. So I hope we will keep on working with Cold Dark Matter on certain levels if Damien is interested to continue with us. It is so important for us to have people around us that are truly dedicated and love the band as much as we do ourselves. And yes, we will probably try to play more concerts. I can’t guarantee a tour, but most likely more festival appearances.

Finally, something more worthwhile left that you want to share with our readers? In any case, thank you very much for taking your time for this interview. All best wishes with Red Harvest for future to come!
Thank you. And like already mentioned, stay tuned for new material from Red Harvest. It might take some time, but it’s happening sooner or later.

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