Everyone has their own views on what makes good Black Metal. Some say it was to be raw and evil, some say its about the tremolo picking and blast beats, some think you can make Black Metal any way you want it to be. Harakiri For The Sky proves that last theory correct with their signature blend of Post Black Metal. Back in February, their 4th album, Arson was released to critical acclaim. Back then (though updated now to make the interview make sense) I was able to ask the mastermind of Harakiri For The Sky, M.S. some questions about everything going on with the band. He recently got back to me and I can now call this my 500th interview to date. ENJOY!
Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview! February 16th brought on the release of Arson. How does it feel to have this album out now? What was the songwriting process for Arson?
Actually the whole process was really smooth, we handled it as before, hence me recording the music and providing it to JJ to create the lyrics, then recording those. Only difference was that our friend Krimh (Septic Flesh, ex-Decapitated) played the studio drums for us and gave the whole album a fresher sound with the way he plays drums, that was a great experience for us. He was in Austria that time and after sending him the pre-production he had some time to practice the drumtracks and refined them a bit. Was great to record with him, he is an energetic drummer and it was very good for the whole album sound.
What led to Arson being chosen as the title of the album?
The album deals a lot with closure of past events in our lives, finding a point to leave it behind…metaphorically spoken setting it all on fire. Also it can be seen as a critic on how our society develops, how shallow it gets and that its unhealthy how selfish people have become and how this is harming the way we treat each other. There are many way to interpret the title but best is just to listen, read the lyrics and make your own opinion.
With the amount of positive reception for 2016’s III: Trauma, did you feel any kind of pressure (good or bad) when writing for Arson?
There is always pressure but the important part is not to give in. Otherwise you would get influenced to change your unfiltered ideas to stuff that might sell better or sounds more like the previous release or whatever. Most important is to make honest music that comes from the heart and not to do something just to be successful.
Having been a fan since the first album, I really love what you guys are able to accomplish as far as the songwriting and lyrical concepts. How have you feel the band has progressed since 2011?
I think there is always a natural progress. Or lets call it change better. We got older too, we have different things that influence us, different things that are on our minds and that we have to deal with. Probably the same with everyone.
Every Harakiri For The Sky album has it’s own very distinct sound to it. How would you describe Arson in an overall sense?
I'd describe it as very organic but also quite aggressive. its overall a bit faster and harder but still with its very melancholic and melodic side. it was always important for us to combine those two features…might say a lot about our characters.
With that, I really notice from a songwriting perspective that there is much more use of Melodies, Harmonies, and diversity on Arson. Was this an intentional thing, or did that just happen naturally?
That's all natural, i guess maybe i write more mature songs now with the melodies embedded a bit better, but its hard to evaluate that myself to be honest.
Tomb Omnia and You Are The Scars were chosen to represent the album before it’s release. What led to these 2 songs being chosen to showcase the album?
Both of us got to choose one song, simple as that…wasnt easy though i have to admit.
What do you like to do when you are not focused on Harakiri For The Sky?
I love to travel, that's incredibly freeing and relaxing for me to also see other places and getting to know other cultures. Also with touring a lot its important to not forget about social contacts at home…besides that there is always music, that's an everyday thing in our lives anyhow.
Has there been any 2018 albums that you have enjoyed so far?
I can say in 2018 i especially enjoy the new Sworn (black metal from Norway) album as well as the new A Perfect Circle album.
Once again, thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. As a fan since the beginning, it’s awesome to see how far the band has come in a relative short time and I can say that Arson may be my favorite album from the band to date. Before we are done, is there anything else you would like to say that I haven’t mentioned yet?
Thanks a lot for the interview again, sorry for the severe delay with the interview…has been a bit of a rough patch lately personally. Cheers!
Harakiri For The Sky- Arson is available NOW through APO Records