1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?
Vanhelga is just another fucked up creation in this fucked up world. If you like atmospheric, obscure and melancholic music maybe you will like what you hear.
For inspiration I like to taste and feel blood (preferably my own). You can use the pain from selfmutilation together with drugs and music to reach beautiful levels of consciousness. I also think that the taste and feel of blood is inevitable when obtaining this state of euphoria. At least that is the case for me.
Note that these are just my personal predelictions and many other people would certainly disagree. But it's their loss and I doubt they've ever tried things like that.
Why do I tell you this? I don't know, maybe because it might give you a picture of Vanhelga. I don't want to describe the music with words or categories like ”black metal” because stuff like that aren't enough to describe the music.
Actions speak louder than words.. Or what was it? I can't remember.
2. How would you describe the musical sound of the newer stuff and how it differs from the older recordings?
The old stuff is less complex and more straight forward. It's more primitive but not in a bad way. I think all the material is equally good, it just reflects different states of mind.
On the new album “Höst”, that will be released by Art Of Propaganda and Obscure Abhorrence Productions, I use another style of recording, both for the instruments and the vocals. The album feels like a natural progression for Vanhelga.
I would say it's definately more experimental and I would hate to release stuff that sound exactly like the other stuff I've already created. What's the point in that?
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
The older stuff deals a lot with different occult theories. Philosophy have always been a part of the music and always will be. 'Mortem Illuminate Mea' is a reflection of some experiences I had while working with the Draconian Current. It also sums up a lot of the philosophical thoughts I had at that point.
You could say that the newer stuff deal with topics of a more personal nature. Anxiety, depression and death. The things I embrace and love. I've read somewhere that “Blessed are the sick” and I must say that it's a correct statement.
I don't have any certain rules or directions when I create stuff for Vanhelga. I do what feels right at the moment and I don't care about anything else.
4. I know that the band name means desecrate in Swedish, why did you decide to pick this name for the band?
It's about finding your own way. You go against the stream. Realizing that there's no right or wrong in life. That you are the creator of your own reality. (One can say that to desecrate something holy is equal with the concept of “going your own way”). You don't care about other peoples rules or morality. You create your own morality - knowing that in the end it's worth nothing anyway.
There's nothing special about true or false, right or wrong, good or evil. It's just something we've invented and then decided it's meaning. The only thing that truly gives it meaning is ourselves. Thats why in some cultures it's considered an act of goodness to celebrate when someone have died while in other cultures it's an act of evil and considered as sick.
Unfortunately most people don't see this. They're stuck in the illusory state of dualism. Limiting their minds with unnecessary rules that they've been brainwashed with since birth.
I wanted the band name to be a statement saying “Fuck you” to all the worthless human slaves out there and also like an exhortation.
5. Has the band had any opportunities to do any live shows, if so what are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
No live shows yet. However I have some ideas and I think Vanhelga will start doing shows in the near future. I want to take the music to new dimensions by performing it live. I say new dimensions because you can reach different states of mind while performing live. Trancelike states. And of course, there will be a lot of blood and alcohol used.
6.The last release came out on Art Of Propaganda, how did you get in contact with this label and how would you describe the support that they have given you so far?
I was looking for a label to work with for Vanhelgas upcoming releases when I got in contact with Art Of Propaganda. They're great support and I'm very pleased with the co-operation. I think we will work together for a long while.
7. On a worldwide level how has your music been received by fans of black metal?
To be honest, I don't know.
8. Are there any other projects besides this band or is this full time?
No other projects that are worth mentioning here.
9. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
Only the future will know. As I feel at the moment I want to do more complex rhythms and experiment some more when recording. For the live part - you'll see when we do our first live show.
10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I guess the music is influenced to some degree by Metallica, Iron Maiden, Dissection, Mayhem, Burzum, Meshuggah, LifeLover and Arckanum to name a few. They're bands I listen to nowadays. I also listen to Vildhjarta and King Diamond/Mercyful Fate.
11. How would you describe your views on Satanism and Occultism?
I've studied them a lot. If I would write down all my conclusions, experiences and opinions about them, well, then this interview would become a book.
However, it's just words. Words are poor and insufficient when describing things. You only end up limiting the thing you try to describe. Therefor I suggest that you start doing and experiencing things instead of reading/writing about them. The only thing you do when using words is to limit yourself.
To really start experiencing reality you'll need to let go of your logic thinking and all these 'Words'. I know it's hard but listening to music can be a good way of achieving this (especially combined with other things – make it more ritualistic).
That's my view.
12. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Philosophy. Lying down in a chair, numbed out by alcohol and listening to music while the blood runs fresh from different parts of the body. Taking sleeping pills. That's one of my new favorite things to do.
13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Only when you embrace death you truly start living!
Thanks for the support and keep destroying your lives - it's the only sane thing to do.