I for sure don’t want to be hit with hail when I am outside but I’ll take HAGL any day of the week. ©2015 Anders Ekdahl
How hard was it to come up with a band name and how does the name fit the music?
Malphas: The first thing I had with this band was actually the band name. I am very fascinated with the weather phenomenon HAGL(in english hail), that it actually has killed a lot of people during the years mankind have walked this earth. HAGL fits the music since it’s mysterious, cold and grim. It can’t get any better than that.
As I am new to your band perhaps a short introduction might be in order?
Malphas: HAGL is a three piece band that consists of me(Malphas) on guitar, backing vocals, bass and mellotron, Sorath on vocals and Gheist on drums. We started out in 2011 and created the songs in 2011 and 2012. We all wanted to do a record that focus on the slow and groovy blackmetal, something that is dying out in the new scene that is today.
As I am no musician I have no idea how it works, but how do you make your own music based on what influences you? What parts do you pick?
Malphas: Well, for me, HAGL is very influenced by old Burzum and Hellhammer. I must say I also have listened a lot to Khold and really like what they do. But you always want to do your own thing, and with the inspirations and influences you have, you create something of your own that the bands do not have. I don’t steal any ideas or riffs any other bands have, but you use the inspiration you get by listen to others, and from that, new riffs and melodies appear that people never would even guess where you got your inspiration from. Thats a thing I love about music.
When you are in a band does it feel lkke you are a part of a worldwide movement?
Malphas: For me, the black metal music scene is like a big family. I don’t feel like the scene is big, and when we’re playing on festivals or other gigs, you end up with the same guys from other bands, or you meet someone new you haven’t met before. You make good friends and contacts that will last a lifetime. That is also something I like a lot with music. You might say that its a worldwide movement, but its too big of a word to call it that. For me it’s just a big family.
How important is it that you look the part in promo shots and stuff? How important is the graphic side of the band?
Malphas: Promo shots, album designs and logos are very important. They take a lot of planning and ideas are being discussed back and forth. It’s important that fans see what they are actually listening to, and the members playing the music. HAGL will take more promo photos in the future, and we will keep our Facebook page alive with news about our future, what we our plans are next.
What would you say influences your lyrics? How important are they?
Sorath: The lyrics are inspired by both personal experiences and happenings I’ve heard and read about other beings. What separates these lyrics from my earlier writings, apart from the obvious fact that it’s written in Norwegian, are that these are concentrating around the darkness of humanity and the human mind, compared to my other stuff that are usually more religious and spiritual. The lyrics are extremely important. I strongly believe, like the actual music, that it’s an equal part of the scale; together they unites the core and identity that defines the band.
Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
Malphas: The digital world really consumes and eats up the record sales, but I also think it reaches out to people that could not afford a record in the first place. In 2015 vinyl sales are slowly beating the CD sales, and that’s really cool. I tend to see that bands who take a lot of time designing cool artwork and release limited edtition stuff tends to get a lot of sales. The conclusion for me is half and half agreed with that downloading illegal records is shitty and destroys the music industry. On the other half you as a band need to create quality albums to atually get a record deal and release records. But in the end, it does not provide bands with money that they need for equipment and money for studio work, mixing and mastering.
Where will the future of format end – digital verses physical verses whatever?
Malphas: I think the CD format will be dead in a few years, and that vinyl and cassette tapes will take over. We are going back in time. Personally I like the sound of an LP a lot better than a CD. The sound is more warm and you have to listen to the full album in its entiety. Lenket to livet is a concept album that you need to listen to in its entiety, so for me this is good news. So a vinyl\cassette release alongside digital releases is not so bad for a future.
How much of a touring entity are you guys? What is a live experiencevwith you like?
Malphas: I am often on the road, and I like it a lot. I had a blast at last years Wacken with Koldbrann. That was a great experince. I also liked to play at last years Under The Black Sun with Endezzma. The atmosphere of the festival was perfect, and the mainstage looked so grim when the night came.
What lies in the future?
Malphas: We have a lot of plans, a new record is already in the making. We will have another promo shoot soon, and we are establising live members to do shows in the future. Just wait for more news from HAGL!