Today we got to speak to the guys in Austrian Post Black Metal band Harakiri for the Sky. Check it out
* You have been with Art of Propaganda records for a while now – how did your deal with them come about?
J.J.: This all came about when we finished the recording of our first album. I went through my vinyls and wrote a list with labels releasing Depressive Black Metal and that stuff. AOP released Apati and Self-Inflicted Violence at this time. So I sent a Demo Cd there and Sven made us a good offer. With the years we became good friends. And that’s why we stayed with him. We had many offers for the 4th album from bigger labels like Napalm, Season Of Mist and that kind, but staying with Sven felt better to us.
When it comes to making music the Austrian “scene” is overshadowed by German bands
* You are from Vienna right? How’s the metal scene there? I would imagine that it gets over shadowed by the Germany scene or does it have enough of its own identity?
J.J.: I live there yeah. M.S. too. In Vienna we don’t have something like a specific scene. It’s very mixed with people from other genres such as Hardcore, Stoner Rock and so on. And yeah, when it comes to making music the Austrian “scene” is overshadowed by German bands and labels. We don’t have many bands that make it out of the country. Austria is still a farmer country. Such as Kansas in the USA haha.
* Correct me if I am wrong but Heroin Waltz is about those small minded people who never left their towns and never broaden their horizons by traveling? Is this right?
J.J.: Not especially, but it’s a part of it. The song is about an everlasting search for a place called home and this warm feeling we are all searching for. Everybody that tried drugs like Heroin knows what I am talking about. I don’t know if were are able to reach this feeling of completeness and happiness in real life and without these substances. I don’t know if we will ever feel home.
They are like big unbelievable thick walls that safe me from the rest of the world
* If so I presume you grew up in a small town and not some where like Vienna (which is very cosmopolitan) is this correct? If so how was growing up like that?
J.J.: I grew up in a small town in the middle of the alps, 400 kilometers west of Vienna. Growing up there was great and one day I’ll find my way back there. I miss the mountains every day. Many people say they feel caged there, for me it’s the other way round. They are like big unbelievable thick walls that safe me from the rest of the world. My relationship with Vienna is like a Love Hate Love. I have many friends there and it’s the only place in Austria where you can find open minded people, but it will never feel like home there.
We bought some really strong MDMA there and were fucked up like hell
* As a touring act you have done some pretty decent tours so far? What’s been your best experience on tour so far? Your favorite city / country to play and why?
J.J.: That’s difficult to say. I really like Great Britain. We played in Scotland once. That was great. We bought some really strong MDMA there and were fucked up like hell. Last year we played in a Theater outside of Paris, that was also very cool. And for sure Sweden is nice to play too.
* How did you come up with the name Harakiri For The Sky? Many primitive cultures believe the end of the world would come when the “sky was falling” is this a play on words for the end of times?
J.J.: The name was my idea. To me this name should describe a special feeling I get while listening to music. It’s like running straight up to a cliff and just jump into the sky. Like in the music video of Sigur Ros’ Glósóli. But it’s also leant on a song by the Norwegian band Snöras.
* How do you guys write your songs? Does it start with MS coming up with a riff or guitar part and JJ writing his lyrics /vocal lines around that? or possibly the other way around?
J.J.: No, it’s just possible with writing the music first. M.S. shows me the preproductions of our songs and then I write the lyrics.
* This is your 4th album correct? How do you guys feel the band has progressed in the last 6 years?
J.J.: With “Arson” we kind of matured. The music is more conceived and thought-out. Lyrically as musically. In comparison to our first three records “Arson” is for sure the most eclectic one with very different musical influences. Also concerning to the production we made a big step. Now we sound like we always wanted to and made the best album we were able to at this point of life.
Never lose touch to your childhood friends
* What advice would you go back and give yourselves if you could send a message to yourselves in 2012?
J.J.: I think we made everything right when it comes to the band. In my private life I’d make many things different these days. Never lose touch to your childhood friends. You never know if it’s the last time you can share a drink with them. In worst case you will never see them again.
* How did you guys get into Black metal – what were your gateway bands?
J.J.: I started listening to Slayer, Death and Sepultura when I was like 12. Before I really was into Misfits and that stuff. I know that I bought Nocte Obductas “Galgendämmerung” because I really liked its cover. This was probably my first Black Metal record. This brought me into all these Austrian cult bands like Abigor, Summoning and old Dornenreich. At the same time I started to love Burzum. Latest at this point I was addicted to this music. This love didn’t change until today. It just got stronger.
To me “.neon” of Lantlos is still the most important album in my life
* When did you see/feel/realize that the limits of what was called “Black Metal” were expanding past the lo fi style of Darkthrone style bands? (For me it was Ulver)
J.J.: Ulvers first album was already to good produced to be Lo-Fi. I don’t really know. When it comes to modern Black Metal I’d say Alcest and Lantlos were very important. Black Metal began to become boring in 2005/06 but then these two bands came up mixing Black Metal with Post Rock and saved it. To me “.neon” of Lantlos is still the most important album in my life and maybe also the point where Black Metal changed its direction.
* Have you played the USA yet? If so how was it? If you have not yet – are their anything you are looking forward to doing? (some musicians want to see the Dakota building where John Lennon was shot, or the grand canyon, Mount Rushmore, The Sunset Strip etc) How about you guys?
J.J.: No we have not. But I will fly there in 2,5 months. I go to Dever and make a 4000 kilometer long trip from there to Cheyenne, Idaho Falls, the Rocky Mountains, some Nationalparks, Helena, Missoula, Piere/South Dakota and back to Denver. And yeah I will see Mount Rushmore too. I’m very excited about that.
* Do you have any dream countries you would love to tour but have not done so yet?
J.J.: Australia and New Zealand. Maybe Ireland too.
* I know you have a big European tour going on right now but what more can we expect from the band in 2018?
J.J.: We play many shows this year. More than we ever played before. We are playing Japan and China. In Autumn. And right now we are touring Sweden and waiting for the album to finally be released.
* Any final words?
J.J.: We hope to come to New York one day. With many luck we can go there in 2019. But who knows. Its not easy for an European band to tour the US these days. Thanks for the interview.
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