Greetings. First of all, I would like to thank you very much for taking your time to answer this interview. As I’ve mentioned to you before, I have been following your work for many years. Well, Himinbjorg is about to or has just released, depending on when this interview will be published, a new album named Wyrd. I’m sure that most of us are/ were expecting it with much anticipation. In your personal view, what can you tell us about it music-wise? What can people expect from it?
This new album brings the listener to the shamanic and warlike universe of Himinbjorg in a very straight way, it is an intense 47 minutes crossing through every feeling and spiritual experience I got to experience during my journey.
And now my views on Wyrd, I believe this is a strong, powerful and proud album, perhaps the best in Himinbjorg’s discography. It’s simply stunning. What were the main inspirations when it comes to the creating of this work of art both musically and lyrically? In addition to that, if you may, please, let us know the reason of the five years gap from the previous release.
My existence is vowed exclusively to spiritual work, so I can learn and evolve in a positive manner. It has led my life since childhood, and I tell of all this through my music. Five years have passed because it simply was the necessary time for things to occur, from inspiration and composition to tracking, mixing and releasing. I do all this almost alone, things happen at a natural rate. I don’t live from my music, people don’t buy music anymore. I have other occupations to make a living for my family every day, I’m quite busy.
Still on Wyrd, the album’s production is another outstanding aspect of the release, commanding and intense. Could you tell us about the composition and recording process/ production work done by you, Zahaah, and Patric “Darkhyrys” G.?
I write and record every part alone in my studio, except for the drums done by K.H. and folk instruments. I contacted Patric to master the album and he offered to remix it entirely, which was a very good thing and gave a superior depth to the album. The mix is tight and punchy while retaining its analog qualities, just as I wished for. Patric knows how to bring ideas to the table and pay attention to the composer’s wishes in order to help him achieve his goal. It was such an enriching process, that I hope will happen again.
On a previous interview I did with Abigor, one of the answers was that and I quote “Black Metal releases are comprehensive works of art! The cover in good quality, booklet artwork, lyrics, CD or LP carefully mastered – this can be an ultimate and even enlightening experience.” How important is the cover art and booklets for the band?
The music, the tracks, the color of the sound, the cover, the booklet have to be the embodiment of the energy you want to convey. It is barely manageable to attain this completely, especially when you lack the budget like I do. Fate (Wyrd) led me to meet the right people in the right circumstances to make this happen with this album which is incredible. It is an immense joy.
Before I ask you some questions about your views and opinions, the usual question concerning the promotion of the album. I know this is quite standard, but I also believe that it’s always needed to be asked for a better promotion of the band. What are the future plans for Himinbjorg? Any shows, tours or festivals?
Himinbjorg is not a business, working with touring agents, promotion agencies … My way of doing things does not match with how the market works. Proposals come along at the initiative of promoters, for instance this summer we will play at a festival in France with Primordial, Enslaved, Wardruna, Nokturnal Mortum … We would like to play outside of France but it’s difficult since touring agents ask bands to pay and there is no way this is happening.
A few days ago, when I was searching for Wyrd’s reviews, as I wanted to know what people were thinking about it so far, a simple curiosity, most of the links were to illegal downloads. I guess there’s no excuse of “getting to know the material before buying it” since you put the album on Bandcamp. What do you think about people pirating your work? How do you feel when you see so many illicit links to get for free a work you put so much effort?
That’s an interesting question. As I was just coming back from shipping the first orders for the CD, it came to my attention Wyrd was already illegally available on the internet, before any of the (rare) buyers had gotten theirs. I was furious, trust me on this, I would deal with those thieves myself and strip them of their belongings. I live in poverty every day but will keep on living in accordance with my beliefs.
This is a question that I always enjoying asking and now even more, so, my dear readers, I’ll repeat it very often. Well, I spent over a month at a hospital because of a pulmonary problem that made me have to undergo through five surgery procedures. The only time I was able to feel happy again when I could live the Intensive Care Unity and was able to keep my phone and listen to my favorite bands again. It really elevated my mood and gave me hope to leave that place. Being that said, what are your thoughts when you get to know that your music has helped people to go through tough phases; that helped them to simply go on?
I uncover your questions along as I answer them. Your interview already seemed interesting at first glance, but once more I have a deep feeling that nothing is random and the Wyrd manifests itself. I am currently facing health problems with my leg that will lead to undergoing surgery and long months of re-education. And music can be a breath of fresh air and happiness that allows one to face difficulties. I also share the joy one feels with the bringing of life through music that carries me, and I am deeply touched when I meet people explaining how music backed them during difficult parts of their life. I have experienced it, we all have. Some albums are the soundtracks to periods of our lives. These musical pieces lift us and mark our minds for ever.
More on your personal opinions and this is not music related, but thinking about your lyrics, I believe the question is valid. How do you see and feel about today’s society? Also, concerning this society we are living in, how do you feel over the attacks that happened in Paris as well as the new threats against France and Europe in general?
I think the peoples of Europe, because of their own frailty have let themselves be mislead by religions and ideologies not of their own for two thousand years. The power of spiritual traditions has almost vanished from the world, yet these traditions have it in them to lead humanity to advance in harmony with the laws of the universe. Now people will have to pay for ceasing to be the enlightened and strong minds they were through the knowledge of their elders, and for relinquishing their fate to the hands of the monstrous and greedy beings that turned the planet into a vast economic field where only their profit matter. We march to chaos because of the sum of individual weaknesses, it is time for things to get back in place, but we will certainly go through hell before then.
Back to a lighter theme, I want to ask you how you got involved with metal music. When and how you got involved with extreme metal music? Was it about the dark atmosphere, rebellion?
I commit through each of my actions to help raise the collective conscience, that we have become slaves to a global speculative financial system and have no real freedom. To question this system leads to being accused of the worst intentions, history and media are perverted at every level, and daring to bring up the real questions will get you in jail. SO since I am of a fighting nature, I try on my modest scale to bring back some traditional knowledge to my people if only through Himinbjorg, but I also make sure I can defend my family in case things get rough because we are in a lingering state of civil war in France, even though it’s completely forbidden to express such considerations.
I always like to ask you one question about yourself, the man behind the music. I guess many of Himinbjorg’s listeners want to know a bit more about yourself, but, of course, without invading your privacy. Just tell us, please, if you have any hobbies, your favorite activities, movies or books, anything that you’d like to share with us.
What is important in my life is to make my path through the way of my ancestors, through spiritual work, my family, through nature, fishing, picking mushrooms, training for fight … making sure to fight lies and bring the truth to light.
One more time I’d like to thank you very much for your time and answers. I also would like to wish you and the band all the best in all of your future plans. Do you have any last words for our readers?
Thank you so much Markus, this is by far the most interesting interview I’ve had.
All pictures belong to their rightful owners (Nennvial Ea, Sylvain Clapot, Delphine Martin, etc.)April 6, 2015