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Harakiri For The Sky

The music of Harakiri For The Sky is cast in a blackened mould, with influences of fluttering post rock. It settles down in lengthy compositions with momentum, including contrasts of harshness and moving beautiful semi-acoustic passages. Vibrating tremolo guitar skills ascent into heaven while we dig deeper into mud lyric-wise. Once again this contrasts are blend in a marvelous way on the new, fourth studio album ’Arson’ from this Austrian band, which will be released February 16th. We had an interesting interview with vocalist J. J.

By: Vera | Archive under black metal

Congratulations with the new album ‘Arson’! Great work again! How are you doing at the moment?
Hi. Thanks for the compliment. I’m right now sitting in a cellar in Tampere/ Finland drinking wodka, waiting for our show and searching for amphetamines haha. No, playing in the North is always funny and interesting. And yeah, we are looking forward for the album to be released and our show with Ancst and Ellende.

First of all, how do you look back at the reception of the previous album ‘III: Trauma’? Did it come up to your expectations
No... I mean, I was and I am not 100% happy with the sound my vocals have on the end product, but I made my peace with it. The album as a whole turned out very cool. I have to say I like it more and more with the years. As a musician it takes some time and distance to an album to look back on it objectively. The storyline is still a very hard one, but I am still glad that we did it that way. Honesty pays off in the end.

You were even nominated for the “Amadeus Austrian Music Award”. Quite a surprise I guess… how did you experience this?
Fuck, the event itself was a total catastrophe, snob bullshit. If we will be nominated there this year, I wouldn’t show up again. But my father finally accepts me as a musician since the nomination haha. Now he knows that Harakiri For The Sky is more than drinking, screaming against a wall and being fucked up.

In the past you did eminent tours with A Forest Of Stars, Der Weg Einer Freiheit and Agrypnie. What can you tell about the live activities and tours for ‘III: Trauma’? Could you support this album with enough gigs?
Yeah, we did like two bigger tours and many weekenders to support this album. Was a cool, but also an exhausting time. Being in a band is not always easy, but worth in the end. And yeah, I still like to play these songs live for sure.

When I started to explore the new album ‘Arson’, first title that leaps to the eye is ‘Fire, Walk With Me’. Is there any inspiration coming from the prequel of Twin Peaks from David Lynch here or just coincidence?
The idea for the title came from Twin Peaks yeah, but it was no inspiration in matter of fact. I like the series, but I chose the title just because of its meaning.

Well, lyrics and music of Harakiri For The Sky always invoke very gloomy, every depressive moods. But can you lift a tip of the veil about the lyrical contents on this album?
The album is primary about estrangement, broken relationships (not just with girls, also friendships), drug abuse, depression and a sort of other problematic feelings. Every song is autobiographic, but written in metaphors. Writing these lyrics were like a clearance, a therapy I really needed.

band image

We should shine a light on the fact that you recorded with a session drummer for the first time, Krimh of Septicflesh (and Behemoth live)fame. How did you come to this decision and how was this new challenge for you, a drummer of flesh and blood in the studio?
Krimh is a great drummer, one of the best we have here in Europe. Sure it was also beneficial he don’t lives that far away, but that was not the point we asked him. He is simple a very professional and excellent drummer and he also really liked our songs. This is why he’s part of the album.

There are also few other guests on the album, like Bernth and the female singer on the bonus track (and cover) ‘Manifesto’. Can you tell a bit more about these contributions?
Bernth is a friend of us and is for sure one of the most talented guitarists we know. He can play the acoustic guitar way better than we do, that’s we you can hear him in the intro of ‘Heroin Waltz’. On ‘Manifesto’ we have two female singers. That was M.S.’s idea. It was something like an experiment.

By the way, ‘Manifesto’ really sounds different from what we are used of HFTS… An experiment you liked?
Yeah, this was something like an experiment. We like to do covers of songs that are no black metal songs, that’s why we chose ‘Manifesto’. Me and M.S. both like Indie music. This is why we came up with this song. And yeah, it shares a melancholic feeling and also the lyrics fit with HFTS.

You always work with producer Daniel Fellner. Please tell us about this long time cooperation and what are the pros and cons of going with a familiar person into the studio?
The pro for sure is the atmosphere. Recording an album with a friend is always better than with a total stranger. To me there are no cons. It just has to be sure that everybody is honest with the rest of the team that the ideas can be elaborated best.

Soon you will hit the road. Who can we expect as live session musicians on the tours with Draconian and Dool?
We have a stable line up since like 2012. It’s only that we change members when somebody has to work, what happens sometimes. This year I think nearly every show is played by the same line up.

To occlude: can you resume your upcoming plans for playing live and the expectations?
We play in China this year. This is something I really look forward to. I hope to see more foreign places this year. And for sure we really look forward to play the songs of ‘Arson’ live.

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