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Friday, August 31, 2012

Hrafnblod Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?
I started Hrafnblóð in late 2010 because I was fed up of the generic metal-heads around my local area of Telford, and them having no substance. By 'no substance', I mean that they lacked an ideology or stance that I could relate to. They were just singing songs about having a broken heart, or trying to replicate the pointless, shock value style of lyrics by Cannibal Corpse.
Since those angry beginnings, I've released an independent EP (The Quintessence of Man), been signed to Wodfreca Records, and through them I have released a full length album (Heathen Psalms) and my latest release, a 4 track EP entitled ''Mid Weorðe Standan'.

2. How would you describe your musical sound?
I don't know really. I like to try different things. There's a track on Heathen Psalms which has a harmonica solo. Why not? Who says there has to be rules?
Each release has been different, in my opinion. I think, as soon as you stick to a genre, you've put yourself in a box. I just call it Heathen Metal, because that's what I am, and it's Metal music.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
I like to explore my ancestry (as many bands are doing now). The beauty of nature often comes into at least one song on a release. Between releases, I try to visit somewhere new in my country that has some form of ancestral history. The track 'Mount Tūalf'seni', for example, off the new EP is about a local area called 'The Wrekin', which has alot of history and folklore tied to it.
However, most of my songs have Anti-Zionist lyrics. People blame immigration for the reason that our Indo-European culture is slowly, but surely dying out. Yes, but who decides what happens in our Western Governments? Zionist Lobbies. If anyone is unsure on what Zionism is, visit - He's someone who I look up to for his lack of fear in speaking the truth.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
Hrafnblóð means 'Raven Blood' in Old Norse. The idea came from the 'Blood Eagle', which was a method of torture and execution that is sometimes mentioned in Nordic saga legends. It was performed by cutting the ribs of the victim by the spine, breaking the ribs so they resembled blood-stained wings, and pulling the lungs out through the wounds in the victim's back. Salt was sprinkled in the wounds.
That's where the inspiration for the name came from, and then I changed the 'Eagle' for 'Raven' as the latter is more prominent in Norse Mythology.

5. Currently this band is a studio project, are you planning on expanding the band for a live line up in the future, or do you choose to keep it in the studio?
I would love to take these songs to the stage some day. However, my hometown is still the shallow pit of braindead metal-heads as it was in 2010. So, I doubt I will be able to find musicians on the same wave-length.
I'm happy with keeping Hrafnblóð as a studio project for now though. I'm happy with how things are going. The only thing I'm worried about, is being known as another one man Burzum wannabe. But, hopefully, my music is different from Varg's enough where that won't become an issue.

6. Currently you are singed to Wodfreca how did you get in contact with this label and how would you describe the support 
A close friend of mine introduced me to the label. He was friends with the Operator/Owner of Wodfreca 'Matt Kay', who also has a solo project called 'Æþelruna'. I emailed him with a link to a few of my tracks, and he emailed back a couple of days later offering me a one album deal. After signing the contract, I begun writing for Heathen Psalms in November 2011. I finished recording the entire album by February 2012, and it was released in May 2012, limited to 100 copies, with artwork by Black Raven Design.
The support I have recieved from Wodfreca has been amazing. He's a great guy, and we often speak over Facebook. I really honour anyone who parts with their own money in order to further someone elses' music.

7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of pagan metal?
That's hard to gauge, really. I've had lots of support, great comments, reviews etc. Whether it be worldwide, or from just people in my own country, I have no idea.
Whether they are from Pagans, Christians or Jews, I have no idea. (Although, I doubt comments would be positive from the last 2)
The positive comments tend to be more about my riffs or my vocals, than anything else.
However, to anyone that has made positive comments, I thank you for taking the time to listen to my music.

8.Are there any other projects besides this band or is this full time?
No. Not ones I can talk about, anyway.

9. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
No idea. I listen to so many different types of music, and I think alot of it depends on what I'm in to at the time. I would like to add more clean vocals and folk instruments though. I'm sure I'll be blasted by Metal fan-boys, and be told that it's not 'cool' to do that. Well, fuck you. It's not your band.

10. What are some bands or musical styles that have infuenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I was raised on the classics - Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, Nazareth, Hendrix, UFO, Mott the Hoople etc. I got into metal when I was 8. My first album was The Great Southern Trendkill by Pantera. It's still my favourite album of all time. To me, Pantera had the best idea of what metal is supposed to be.
I am currently listening to alot of Mastodon, Absurd, Pink Floyd, Tchaikovsky's concertos, Satanic Warmaster, Selbtmord, Eluvietie and Ulver.
My musical tastes change. I don't understand people who listen to one type of genre. Those are the types of people who are so insecure about their image. The type of people who think that if they listen to classical music, their friends will disown them. And so what if they do?

11. How would you describe your views on Paganism?
For one, I personally don't describe myself as Pagan. That terminology conjures up alot of negative steroetypes towards us. People hear 'Pagan' and they think that we re-enact The Wickerman every weekend. I use the term Odinism.
I won't go too much into this, as I feel it's a very personal part of my life. All I'll say is that I'm not an Odinist because I'm latching on to the musical ideals, that's why I don't feel the need to talk about as much in my songs. I know what I am, I don't want to be like some filthy Christian and throw my beliefs at everyone.
I honour the Gods. I learn from the Gods. That's all you need to know.

12. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Anything nature orientated. I work alot. So, when I'm not there, and not writing, I like to get out of the concrete jungle and go out into the wilderness. It's the best thing any musician from any genre can do for inspiration.

13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thank you for your questions. And thank you to anyone who reads it. I hope people will enjoy my new EP, available here for free download -

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