HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY is one of these bands that lingers in my conscious but never really gets examined closely. Until now. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
J.J.: At first, for sure doing something different musically than me and M.S. did before. Post Black Metal was a big thing to us. And then when “Torn Beyond Reason” from WOODS OF DESOLATION saw the light of day, we knew, that we have to start a new band heading this direction.
How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
J.J.: I think most of these things come naturally. We never say: Take a little bit of Post Rock there and a Blast Beat here. If you have your own sound, then this happens just because of your own very specific access you have with the music you are playing. You can’t constrain something like “your own sound”. I don’t think so.
I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
J.J.: It’s not that hard. Most of the songs come to life, when M.S. is hungover and/or when he comes home in the early morning, still intoxicated. Than he writes the best riffs. I myself also never wrote my lyrics sober, maybe a few sentences, but never the whole concept. When M.S. recorded the Pre-Production of a new song, we meet, or he sends it via e-mail and I write the lyrics. This process was the same since the beginning, and I think it is still the way it works out best.
Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
J.J.: We recorded our first two albums at home by ourselves. And looking back now, a few years later, this is still a cool achievement. But in some point, you have to extend your work and go to a studio. This was the best decision we could have made. And yeah, there are some bands out there, that are recording a song and get very stressed out with releasing it asap via youtube, soundcloud or whatever. Everybody should work how it’s best for them, but in the case of HFTS we never thought about doing singles. We do albums with a more or less strict concept. I still have my problem with the kids, just listening to one single song of a band, completely disregarding the full album. Switching from one youtube video to the next, that’s fucking fast food. You will never get the intention a band or a musician had when he wrote his music, when you just listen to one song.
I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
J.J.: That’s right. But that’s the world we live in. It’s fast-moving and being a musician gets harder and harder. In the future there will be a handful of rich artists, which scoop up more and more money and many many many poor musicians, that will never earn a coin with their music, but do it out of passion. But the people who can make a living of music will get less and less.
What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
J.J.: There are some people which are green with envy and grudge us our success. Go through the comments on our newest videos on youtube and you will see. I am fine with criticism, if it’s objective. But most of them aren’t, it’s just talking shit. If people don’t like a band, they should just stop listening to it. There are like 100000 bands out there. So if you think HFTS are gayfags, just listen to the 999999 bands left, that are heavier, straighter or whatever. But we also get good responses. I think there are a lot of people that look forward to listen our new album in full length. That’s cool, because I think it’s the best and most intense album we did so far.
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
J.J.: Last week I got a message from Byron of Numenorean, a band I look up to since I first heard their song home like two years ago. He wrote me a message as he wanted to congratulate me on my vocals on the new songs. That’s maybe not the big hit or rock star shit many would expect now, but it made me smile, that an artist which music I very appreciate also gives standing ovations to my own work.
Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
J.J.: Sometimes yeah. We surely met many individuals and other musicians we wouldn’t have met without being on tour with our band. And I for sure would have missed out traveling to all these countries I played with HFTS. That’s the best part of touring. Playing concerts and seeing new and foreign places.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
J.J.: Not inconclusively, but it surely helps. It makes everything easier of course. But look at bands like Abigor or Summoning, which never ever played life and a re famous as fuck. In the end you have to write exquisite albums, that’s still the most important part.
What plans do you have for the future?
J.J.: I don’t know. We are busy waiting till the album is finally out in February. Let’s see what follows next. But it looks like as we are touring asia this year and for sure we will play a lot here in Europe. Everying else is still in the balance. So let’s see.