HARM is something as odd as a Norwegian thrash band. Yeah, I know. How weird isn’t that? But they are really cool so you should check them out. Answers by Nicolay (Guitar). Anders Ekdahl ©2016
You have a new album out now. How would you like to describe it? What can we expect from it?
-Yep, we are very pleased with the result. It is a bit more advanced and complicated album than the preceding. Our previous record “Demonic Alliance” was more straight forward thrash/death metal, meanwhile “October Fire” has a more organic sound without losing the aggressivity in it which we are known for. In addition to death/black metal, it also includes the typical,” in your face” riffs, technique,groove, classy melodies and a solid dose of thrash. A complete album in my eyes.
Sweden seem to be an endless well of new bands, so does Finland but, and this could just be me, there seems to be a sort of stagnation in new Norwegian bands popping up. What is your opinion on this?
-In recent years, a band among others called “Kvelertak” has done very well in the world. Another band that has recently gained much publicity is the death metal band “Blood Red Throne”, which is also one of our many buddy-bands. Norway is mostly known for black metal, but if one looks for Norwegian bands in some other genres than black metal, there are a good bunch of bands oozing of good quality including HARM.
Norway isn’t like Finland, where metal is almost mainstream now. How far can you go nationally before you start banging your heads against the wall?
-Norway has never been known as a Thrash metal nation, so we concentrate most on getting us out in Europe and North / South America eventually. We were on a Norwegian tour this spring/summer to promote the October Fire in Norway, but unfortunately Norwegian metal isn’t so popular in Norway as it is international.
I guess it is easier for a Norwegian band to make it beyond the national border than for an Aussie band but what do you need to take the band out on the roads of Europe for example?
-It is not necessarily easier, but it’s very important to be well promoted in rock / metal magazines in the various parts of the world, something Battlegod Productions is very good at. Having music easy accessible through various streaming services, mass promotion, as well as delivering an album of high quality.
We live in a time when people download songs instead of albums. And from what I’ve gathered there are artists today that aren’t that bothered with presentation anymore. They simply don’t care for cover art work. What are your thoughts on this?
-Everything is supposed to be easily available now days, preferably so provided that you don’t have to move out of our living room window. Of course it’s easier to download music via the Internet, but much of the charm was having the physical format in hand and later in the CD shelf at home. I still buy CD’s and also I enjoyed going down to the local Music shop and watch / listen to new music there. In my teen years this was how we discovered new music and it was always the CD’s with the coolest album covers that drew my attention. I usually went out with three, four albums more in the bag than planned. Too bad it is not like that anymore. Sadly there are also many artists releasing only one album because they want to produce something as fast as possible, therefore the quality of the cover art works and often music recorded to the album is very weak and clearly reflects the effortlessness spent on it.
Something that scares me a bit is this I hear from more and more bands that they aren’t that bothered with art work anymore because people today download rather than buy physical. To me the whole point is to have art work that matches the music. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed by weak art work to an otherwise cool album. What’s your opinion on this subject?
-For new people it’s the album cover which gives the entire first impression, so a good cover art that matches the music is very important for HARM. We have used a Swedish artist named Pár Olofsson on both “Demonic Alliance Devil” (re-issue) and “October Fire”, something we are very pleased with. Steffan Schulze and Pár Olofsson have worked closely together throughout, which has resulted in a cover art of very high quality, which represents the music that HARM supplies.
I have a great fear that one day we will only be able to see the really big tours/festivals because people can’t be bothered to come out to see the smaller bands play live. What are your feelings on this matter?
-It is possible, but then people will have to pull themselves together (including myself) and get up off the couch and support the local scene!
If you were to decide how would you best promote the band live?
-Fling ourselves on tour with Slayer etc and play a bunch of live shows!
What lies in the future?
-We are planning on a possible trip throughout Europe and the UK to promote the newest album “October Fire “at least once in the near future. And then when the time is right, we will write a new album.