The first time I heard HER DESPAIR is was knocked over. The music oozed of melancholy, so much that I instantly feel in love with them. Interview with J (vocals). Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
-People have responded really well to what we’re doing, and rest assured that the best is yet to come. It’s always deeply flattering when someone appreciates what you have created, and we get compliments from a wide range of people. Whilst we play a fairly niche style of music, it’s designed to have something in there for everyone.
How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?
-Our new EP entitled “Mournography” will be released on 20th July, and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it. Consider it to be an exploration into the mysteries of tragedy, blasphemy, death, and love; literally and figuratively. The mourning of some, the lust of others. The songs praise and pervert the Word of God simultaneously: providing a deeply unsettling spiritual experience set to a bleak backdrop of melancholia.
Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it ?
-Within the band there’s a vast array of influences and preferences, and we feel that is aptly demonstrated in the music. I’m not a huge fan of defining things as one singular genre, it’s such a subjective framework to use. As far as we’re concerned, there’s as much punk in our songs as there is gothic rock. It’s interesting though, how songwriting can naturally evolve. We’ve conjured up a few musical ideas for the future and they’re certainly heading in a different direction, whilst retaining the aspects we feel “makes” Her Despair.
Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-I don’t think there necessarily needs to be a world-altering message, but context plays a part in that. The main themes I tend to delve into when writing lyrics are religion and sex. There isn’t much else that interests me to be honest.
How important is the cover art work for you? Can a really cool cover still sell an album in this day and age of digital download?
-Cover art is crucial. You’re conveying part of the story behind the album with the cover, so it’s a very important part of the overall package. We went through several vastly different potential covers before settling on the art for “Mournography.” Some were far more complex, but ultimately we decided the final cover is an appropriate reflection of the music: it’s simple but effective.
Why is it so hard for bands that come from places not the US or UK/Sweden/Scandinavia to break big? What is success to you and is it something you’d like to achieve?
-expectations is important. Having said that, we’ve not set ourselves any restrictions on what we’d ultimately like to achieve. Heaven’s the limit. Or Hell, depending on which direction we go.
Today the competition is harder. You got plenty of digital platforms for new talent to display their music. How do you do to really stand out in a world where everything but the music is blind to the listener?
-Maintaining originality is undoubtedly one of the main factors. Nowadays so many bands sound and look the same, so doing something different will always provoke a reaction; whether positive or negative. That’s not to say we’re the most unique band in the cosmos, but we’re certainly different to a lot of what’s out there.
What is your local scene like? How important is a national scene for a band to be able to break out and make it international?
-Our local scene is mainly metal, so we often find ourselves to be the more sentimental act of the evening. A scene is important for helping a band develop and establish themselves, but if the imagination and determination is there, it’s not imperative for success.
Rock and metal has come a long way since the early 70s but still some people’s attitudes towards it seem to be left in the stone age. How accepted is metal in your area? Is it like in Finland where it seems to come with the mother’s milk?
-As with many things, I think it depends where you’re looking. Metal isn’t “mainstream” locally, but it draws a good crowd when you know what to look for, and there are some great people involved. That’s one of the best things about the scene; everyone has a genuine passion for what they do. Sadly music of that nature is not as widespread as in Finland, but then Finland has some of the best music ever created, so are in a far better position.
What does the future hold for you?
-As aforementioned we’ll be releasing “Mournography” on 20th July, and there will be a few surprises to compliment that. Some will come before, some after. Just like the Mystery of the Incarnation, all will be revealed. Beyond that we’ll be performing live, and doing everything we can to display Her Despair to a wider audience, before formally beginning on the next release. Heaven’s the limit…