With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to HANGATYR. Answers by Silvio – Vocalist, speaks for the whole band. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
A band name says more than thousand words, or does it? How important is a band name to get people interested in your music?
-When HANGATYR was formed in 2006, the Pagan Metal wave was just at its peak. At that time we listened to a lot of music from that direction. Therefore it was also a name that should come from this genre. Hangatyr is the name of Odin in the rune song. Nine nights he hung on Yggdrasil. As a reward, he received the knowledge of the runes. We understand that so, to achieve something, such as knowledge or wisdom, you must be willing to sacrifice something. To what extent a band name alone is important to get people interested in our music, I cannot say. I think it is perhaps quite good if it is halfway pronounceable and can be remembered relatively well. Because nothing is more stupid than telling your mates about a cool band you have heard and you can’t remember the name.
When you finish a recording and then sit back and relax, what kind of feelings do you get? Are you glad it is finished? Does the anxiety grow, not knowing if everybody will like it?
-When the last studio session was over and we listened to the result with a beer, it was especially pride in what we had created that prevailed in me. But there was also a little bit of melancholy, because it was a very intense time, in which we sunk deeply into our own music. On the one hand it was very instructive and on the other hand it was really fun. It was always clear to us that not everyone will like our music. We do it primarily for us, so there is no fear of getting negative reactions.
What is it like to be in a studio recording your music? What kind of feelings and thoughts race through your heads?
-During the recordings I was excited at first, my hands were really shaking. It was probably because I was afraid not being able to meet my own requirements. But when the first vocal tracks were done, this tension fell away. My aim was to convey as much energy as possible and for that I needed such banal things as hate for humanity, sadness, anger, contempt. Of course it was a joke, basically you concentrate and try to get the very last thing out of yourself.
Today I get a feeling that the promotion of a band lands a lot on the bands themselves so how does one promote oneself the best possible way in order to reach as many as possible?
-Well the social media makes promotion easier than before, you reach a lot of people in a short time. With Markus Eck from METALMESSAGE we got someone else on board, who has the necessary contacts and can make us heard here and there. That’s how we ended up here.
Today we have all these different sub-genres in metal. How important is that you can be tagged in one of these? Why isn’t metal enough as a tag?
-Metal alone is not enough, I agree with you. If you’re looking for new music, it helps if you enter the genre you want on Youtube, for example. But often bands tag themselves with metal genres, that have nothing to do with their music just to reach more people. That distorts the picture and what could actually be a useful help is taken ad absurdum.
What importance is there in being part of local/national/international scene? Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of something bigger?
-I know it does to me knowing that in some slight way I was a part of the Swedish Death Metal scene in the 90s. I honestly never thought about that, surely you get a reputation if you stay steady as a band over a longer period of time. If you become part of something bigger, I can’ t say personally. Maybe you are, just because a few people enjoy your music. I don’t think I understand the question.
Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
-A good cover attracts attention. But in the end the music has to be convincing. So I feel that way, but I also know people who buy CDs just because they like the cover. I guess everybody has his preferences. The cover to “kalt” was created during the recordings. To be more precise, we composed a little intermezzo with a lot of beer and this picture of a lonely wanderer in a snowstorm came to us. Ute Ruhmann then realized our idea in a great way, I think.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? With the ability to upload your music as soon as you’ve written it the freedom to create has become greater but are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans now that every Tom, John and Harry can upload their stuff?
-We have been without a label for a few years now. Surely it would be nice to get support from this side, because connections are also important, especially in the underground. But with the platforms you mentioned, you can also “market” yourself quite well if you want to. In my opinion, it only becomes negative when you think profit-oriented and want to earn money with every click.
What is a gig with you like? What kind of shows do you prefer to play?
-A nice question. We are always burning to play! I prefer the smaller clubs. This way the spark can better reach the crowds and we can have a nice concert together.
What lies in the future
-Hehe, they know us already in Sweden, I think we will be worldwide famous soon. But joking aside, we just like to play some gigs and have a good time.