HUKUTUS has a ring of strong, muscular warriors fighting bare-chested in the cold of the winter. Or is it just me overdosing on Conan, the Barbarian? Answers by vocalist – Aoghori. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
How hard was it to come up with a band name and how does the name fit the music?
-It was a pain in the ass. There are so many bands around and all the great names are taken. That’s probably why we ended up with a finnish name, it’s less likely to be in use. Hukutus means the act of drowning in finnish. I like the ambiguity of it, it’s not really specific what is being drowned and into what. It could be within one’s subconscious or a brutal act of baptism. The music is not strictly tied to a form and neither is water.
As I am new to your band perhaps a short introduction might be in order?
-We play metal that’s ridden with organic and dynamic shit, vomited through feedback and licked off the floor with a smile on our lips, while chasing inner dragons. If someone wants to call us black-, death-, or extreme metal or whatever rock, I won’t mind, but I’m not gonna do it myself.
As I am no musician I have no idea how it works, but how do you make your own music based on what influences you? What parts do you pick?
-The main songwriters in the band have a very diverse taste in music, so it’s not uncommon at all that one of us might get a totally different vibe from a riff or a melody that the other one brings in. I have an affinity to black metal and industrial, so that is certainly a direction that I tend to push the songs into. Usually the end result sounds nothing like we intended and that’s great.
When you are in a band does it feel like you are a part of a worldwide movement?
-I wouldn’t say so. It feels more like being a member of some weird backwoods cult.
How important is it that you look the part in promo shots and stuff? How important is the graphic side of the band?
-I’m an extremely visual person, so to me it’s very important. The way I like it, is you either have a stripped down look or you go a bit nuts with it. It has to compliment the music and the general themes somehow. And it has to come natural. To me, bands with a strong visual look have always been more appealing.
What would you say influences your lyrics? How important are they?
-Taboo things that interest me, exploring my dark side through various methods.There are connecting themes in the lyrics, such as the death of personality, reaching the netherworld through self-induced trances and transgressing my own ideal. That’s why we are naked in the music video and run into a dark forest. To be naked in the dark of your own mind. And facing whatever comes forth and uniting with it. There are archetypes that I’m fond of, like having an alter ego or a dark female version of yourself. Writing lyrics in finnish is hard as hell, so it took a while to find “my voice” with them. And yes, they are important to me.
Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
-I’d say it depends on the genre. The more underground you go, the less digital it looks. Generally speaking, it’s obvious it’s not as important, but I still listen to actual physical albums myself.
Where will the future of format end – digital verses physical verses whatever?
-That’s really hard to say. I feel we are living a transition period right now – towards what: I have no idea. The music industry has changed so much during my time that I’d need a crystal ball to make any prophecies.
How much of a touring entity are you guys? What is a live experience with you like?
-Well, we have played live only once, so I wouldn’t call us a touring entity just yet. We had to secure a new drummer, so it took us a while to even consider playing live again. But we have plans to do more gigs in the future, hopefully even some small tours. I can’t speak for the other guys, but I approach performing as a chance to lose myself. I attempt to make myself vulnerable and let the music take me where it wants. Most likely it looks confusing and noisy.
What lies in the future?
-We are getting more active with everything. Our debut album is recorded and in the final stages of mixing, so we’ll aim to find someone to release it and in the mean time do more gigs.