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Monday, May 11, 2020

Heruka Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Because of the Covid19 and the difficult moment that followed the gigs that were scheduled have been cancelled so we're spending this time writing new material for future releases.

2.You have a new album coming out in June, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
We think that "No sun dared pass our windows" is an album that shows an improved version of the band, a better way to  write songs compared to the previous two, a more personal sound which comes from our dark and deranged musical background, but always with a great amount of melody.

3.You refer to your music as being 'oniric black metal, can you tell us a little bit more about this term?
Well, what we mean is that with our music we try to plunge the listener in unreal and ethereal atmospheres, not only with the melodic parts or the mid tempo sections which may seem a better choice to achieve that intention but also with the use of very violent and fast music in order to sweep away reality.

4.Your earlier music had more symphonic elements while your newer music is more aggressive, what was the decision behind going into the musical direction?
It was more of a natural progression than a real decision, we never think in advance about how an album will sound like, generally we write some material and choose the songs or the parts that we like and we try to build a number of songs that have something in common, at least to us, so as to have a coherent album both lyrically and musically and paying attention not to repeat something we have already done without at least improving it, which is a terribly difficult thing to do. 

5.From 2005 to 2018 there was no new music being released, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during that time frame?
After the release of the EP "Leggenda" in 2005 the project Heruka was abandoned because the only member (Adranor) decided to concentrate on other projects, (Throne of Molok, Legion of Darkness, Ars Macabra, Sirrush). In 2017, when Adranor and Nemuri-Shi met, it was the right moment to start again Heruka and from that moment on we never stopped and we have three releases out now (two albums and another EP).

6.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer album and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?
The new album is a little journey inside the minds of various mental patients, experienced in first person but with an  open mind so as to change perspective and understand that sometimes ours is not the best point of view or the only one. Every song deals with this subject in a different way, some feature very intricate mind patterns and are a bit cryptic at times, others are more understandable but they all convey a feeling of uneasiness. We tried to look from their side to us,the so called normal people and tried to understand if they could feel as much distance as we do from them, the same pity,
the same feeling of not wanting to be a part of our lives, maybe even appreciation for their condition that may be considered a better way to live. Some songs have a satirical approach and should be taken with a different frame of mind, it's a very complex album lyrically and it took a great deal of work to complete and refine the lyrics of every song. Please keep in mind that another important factor is the respect that we felt towards those who we consider unfortunate, in no way we meant any
kind of disrespect to any mental patient, on the contrary, it has been a way to step down from the pedestal and starting asking ourselves some questions and try to see things shoulder to shoulder.
It is extremely difficult to judge yourself as a songwriter, we all write in a very spontaneous way so our progress has been what has naturally sprung from the period we were living at the moment that a particular song has been written. To us it doesn't matter if a song is technically difficult or very simple, if it's fast or slow or in between, the only thing that matters is if we like it. It's a luxury you can have when your band is in the depths of the underground music scene so we don't have to worry about nothing. I hope we have progressed as songwriters but that's really up to you to say, we see a common thread between all the songs and since we haven't stopped writing it's something which is bound to continue but it goes back and forth and we really don't know how the next album will be, it could be anything, that's what's exciting.

7.Your earlier lyrics cover more fantasy themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?
In truth in the first releases the lyrics focused a lot on personal and introspective topics but they were “masked” by the fantasy setting that we chose to give to the whole thing.To summarize briefly in the lyrics there's an imaginary and visionary transposition of a section of Adranor's life path which, subsequently, got mixed with the paths of the other members of the band.The fantasy genre is and will continue to be a topic very much appreciated by us but at the moment something else is coming
naturally and we're not trying to push things in the other way.

8.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Heruka'?
Erice is the name of a little city in the western part of Sicily where the band was born and began developing.The name “Heruka” comes from a distortion of the ancient name of Erice , "Iruka", used during the Elimi's domination people coming from Troy together with people from the land according to the Athenian historian Tucidide.

9.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The cover has been realized in Palermo by the artist Daniele Paternostro, the layout instead is by our singer Nekrom.
Both the dark room on the cover, in which there's an alienated and suffering figure in various moments, moving frantically all over it and the Rorschach spots under the lyrics in the booklet convey a sick atmosphere and should prepare the listener to what the album is about.

10.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Even if there's a certain limitation about time we, as Heruka, prefer playing in festivals.
We have very fond memories of the "Magma Pure Underground Festival III" where we played in 2017. It was the first played by the new line-up and after the long period of inactivity of the project. A very good location and a great vibe with all the other bands as well as with the staff, not forgetting the appreciation that we received from the people present there.

11.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your newer music by fans of black metal?
We have received good to very good reviews and comments but we never forget that we are an underground reality to say the least (even if sometime this is a plus).The only difficulty is to obtain a real good promotion but in the end we're satisfied of the results.

12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We'd like to explore new musical frontiers and, why not, add experimantations. Also we'd like to continue recording and releasing new records and playing live.

13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Every member of the band has a very wide musical background and more than any other thing, different from the other members. So there's no point in selecting one or two bands in particular as a reference.Everybody in the band tries to put something personal in the songs, mixing everything in the best possible way without limits or particular goals. It's up to the listener, if he/she feels like, to discover the influences.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
First of all we'd like to thank you for the interview, it's always exciting to know that there's someone interested in our music and in going deeper inside it. We never take these things for granted really, we think of ourselves as fans of music more than anything else.To wrap up things we hope to continue with the band, releasing albums and playing shows for as long as possible, when you're lucky enough to still have something in your lives that thrills you and keeps you going, what more do you need?
If anybody is interested in our music these are the official sites:

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