:: Interview with Helevorn
Interview with Helevorn
You there, who read these lines ... Don't turn around, I'm talking to you!
Tell me, are you able to give me a Doom spanish band? No? It's high time to correct this shameful gap ...
Here is Helevorn, a spanish band that practices a very well built Gothic Doom. Metalship likes to give voice to actors from the underground, so Josep (vocals) in person will tell you about Forthcoming Displeasures his new baby!
Metalship : Hi Josep !
To start this interview, could you come back to the Helevorn’s beginnings and the origins of this name?
Hi, we started in 1999 with the idea of doing something similar to Theatre of Tragedy
, with female vocals with a classical style which we recorded in our demo “Prelude” in 2001. In 2003 we took the hard decision of changing the original idea which we recorded in “Fragments” in 2005.
The name became because one of the members was a fanatic of the Tolkien universe and proposed the name that we all liked because it sounded cool and has the “sinister
Metalship : You return in 2010 with a brand new album, five years after Fragments. Why has it taken so long before its release, and how have you occupied your time during those years?
After “Fragments” we did lots of gigs around Spain since 2007 were we made the tour supporting Swallow the Sun
, it was then where we started composing the new songs, working on them through the entire 2008. Remember that we recorded “Forthcoming Displeasures” in the middle of 2009 with some line up changes in between, by the way, we made things a bit “slow” than usual...
Metalship : Forthcoming Displeasures was released earlier this year with the label BadMoonMan. What were the first critics? Could you tell us a bit about your collaboration with this Russian label?
All the reviews has been awesome, in that sense we are very happy and satisfied.
The collaboration with BadMoodMan started at the end of 2009 after the listened our songs, they proposed us the edition of the record and everything went fine, they are people that enjoy what they do and that makes things easier.
Metalship : By hearing the album, the first striking thing is that it sounds very heavy, with a power touch. I imagine that you are satisfied with the work of Jens Bogren...
Absolutely, that was our main obsession and that’s the reason why we contacted Jens and Johan for the production of the album. We wanted to record and album which meaned a total change of Helevorn’s sound and they did the perfect work for it.
It was a very strict and methodical recording sessions giving the 100% in every track and moment but the result was really surprising, no doubt!
Metalship : Again, your sound reminds me of Paradise Lost and Anathema, and above all Draconian and Moonspell ("Revelations"). However, it seems that you’ve found your own sound by mixing each of these influences. Do you think that you’ve found the Helevorn’s identity?
We’ve always loved the 90’s Doom because we all grown with it, bands like Sisters of Mercy or Christian Death but we do listen Scandinavian bands too so it’s logical that bands like Draconian
or Swallow the Sun
comes to your mind but anyway we don’t think we sound like them as some people said, if you listen to our first record you can notice the evolution till “Forthcoming Displeasures” and you can understand much better the band’s sound.
The problem is when people tries to match or compare your band with some famous ones instead of listen to the music and flow with it.
Metalship : Just as on Fragments album, there has been a great work at the guitar, with solos perfectly well integrated into music. Keep this contribution melodic (like with keyboards) is an important component of the recipe ‘Helevorn’ when you compose your songs?
We are a heavy-weight guitar band, we love it, and is where we focused all the work with “F.D” but when recording comes we try to be more versatile with the keyboards and make an atmospheric overall sound and trying to balance every instrument.
Metalship : The other evolution concerns the vocals. The clean voices seem perfectly controlled, and a certain authenticity emerges from the lyrics. What are their main topics?
Thank you! We care a lot about the lyric concept and we keep trying to avoid all topics and of course it is very complicated, sometimes I can escape from the typical Doom topics like happens in “To Bleed not to Suffer” or “On Shores (Of a Dying Sea)”, which are a bit more “bloody” basically we don’t talk about love and darkness, so I prefer to put a limit to our existence, the misanthropy as main concept.
Metalship : Who was responsible for doing the artwork, and what is its meanings?
Robert Hoyem (attheends.com) did all the album artwork, reaching all the expectations and ideas we gave him. Basically we wanted to show the “path to nothing-good to come” from humankind and all those people with their “damaged” minds that walks to a circle, swallowing them.
We think the colours he used in the front cover are perfect and the booklet too.
Metalship : You also made a video for the song "From Our Glorious Day". The images are quite shocking and give a grim picture of humankind. Can you tell us more?
That’s what we were looking for, a bit of realism doses. It is a raw video, straight and criticism which makes us to feel a bit responsible and sometimes we feel things with “nonsense” a bit far from us. The script was very clear for us and the work that “Ladron de auras” did was fantastic.
Metalship : If we dig a little in your past, we can see that you participated in the tribute to Katatonia with the song "12". What the Swedes have influenced you and how did you able to participate in the tribute?
We have always liked Katatonia
since their origins till their new stuff and we had the chance to record a cover of an old song through Northern Silence Prod, just before the recording of “Fragments” started, so we proposed to record the song “12” for the tribute and well... not perfect but has our personal touch.
Metalship : In 2007, you shared the stage with Swallow the Sun for several dates. How did this mini-tour and what can you tell us about Swallow the Sun in backstage?
Yes, it was our first mini-tour with an international band around Spain and Portugal ending in Rotterdam performing for the Dutch Doom Days, it was brilliant.
Swallow the Sun
guys are cool people and we enjoyed those days.
Metalship : Is it difficult for you to find gigs? Do you have some plans for the future to support the Forthcoming Displeasures’s release?
To find gigs it’s becoming a real complicated job, being a Spanish band gives you less possibilities because here in Spain the scene is limited and the places where you perform, you have to risk too much if you want to do something serious.
We would like to perform more often these months but it is very complicated to match the flights, we are arranging something with an international band for 2011 and introduce FD the way it should be.
Metalship : How do you see the Doom’s scene in 2010? If I’m not mistaken, there are few bands of this style in Spain...
We think that Doom’s scene has his best moment of productivity ever, with great bands and with different range of sound but the problem is they can’t reach the audience and becomes as a minority style.
In Spain there’s only a few bands but with great level like Autumnal, Evadne, Ephemeral Dusk, etc... The problem here is the lack of support from the people and the media, they give the support to international bands.
Metalship : What are the first Spanish bands that you wish to advise us?
I think this is answered in the previous question.
Metalship : As tradition dictates, I leave you the final words, and we hope to see you in France soon...
We would to thank you for your support and for giving us the chance to express ourselves. Thanks to the audience for all the support messages given and we hope to play there soon!!
added by kumelia, on August 9, 2010 for Metalship