To me Viking metal is Enslaved but HELHEIM is a close second. I have on and off been tracking this band and with a recently released new record I thought it was time to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

I have a feeling of it being much more natural for the Norwegians to play folk/heathen/pagan metal because you guys always “går på tur” (hikes). You have a much more natural relationship with nature. What was it that shaped HELHEIM into being the band that you are?
-A hard one to answer. I guess we’ve always just progressed naturally but at the same time we never wanted to stagnate and become a band that releases the same album year after year. We always focus on the best parts of each album and try to perfectionate them for the next one.

How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-In the early days we went through a lot of different names, but when we realized that we wanted to have a pagan concept we landed on Helheim. We wanted to focus on the darker sides of the pagan and hence the name suited us well.

You guys have been at this for a long time now. What have been the highlights so far?
-There’ve been many highlights and it’s hard to pinpoint one actually. The most recent one must be all the positive feedback our latest album have received. It’s actually quite insane the amount of positive feedback we’ve got and we really appreciate it.

I might be very old and set in my ways but I somehow feel that there is a conflict in playing like for example folk metal and then promote it digitally. To me it loses its organic feel. Do you know what I am getting at or am I totally off the chart?
-I don’t understand, really. If that would be the case then to actually record stuff digitally would be wrong and to stretch it even further it would be wrong to use electric guitars and so forth. You get my point? Anyways, Helheim do NOT play any form of folk metal.

I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-I used to have those worries, but not anymore. The industry’s changing and at one point vinyl was dead, but just see what happened to that that format. It returned very strongly, so I don’t fear the demise of music.

What part does art work and lay out play? Any message that you want to bring forth with it?
-It’s of course important as it’s the visual representation of the band. We don’t have a message though, that may be found in the lyrics. We do stress that music and visuals should work together to fully express the complete expression.

Is it a whole different way to promote a band today with all these social media channels? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way? Playing live and word of mouth.
-We still play live as we love being on a stage. I still answer interviews and so forth. Personally i’m not on any social medias as I don’t wanna be a part of that “world”.

Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
-But of course. We’re part of what i’d like to call the metal scene on a global scale. No more, no less.

How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-We don’t play that much but we try to have one tour per year and also to play some festivals. It’s important for us to play live as we really enjoy it.

What will the future bring?
-A new album and tours and all that. The wheels keep turning.

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