HULKOFF is a name that should be familiar to many. With a new album in the making it was time for an interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

When you look back and see how far you have come what do you think of this crazy journey so far and where the heck will it take you?
-Greetings Battle Helm. Inspiring and august, the name you have chosen.
I think it has been a remarkable ride. Not only career-wise, but looking at it all put together. I have always followed my heart, and it has taken me to strange places. Both great and horrible. Just like the music. I have a rather solid plan concerning what I want, need and have to achieve. But of course, sometimes there is a twist in the tale. One can never be completely certain.

I often wonder how people discover that they can do what they do. How did you discover that you can sing and play instruments?
-I was told from a young age that I had a special gift for it. But I don’t think so. I just have a special mindset. The things I really want to do, I overdo. I become obsessed. That particular mindset is what drove me to practice like a madman, and to begin composing early.

When did it become a revelation that you can do this and maybe get paid for having fun, instead of just putting out all the money?
-It took quite a while. We invested alot. Worked our day jobs and built our own studio. Played empty halls, and made zero money. But with the release of the first Raubtier single, things started to change. We started getting a crowd, we started filling clubs and we toured alot. Eventually, it paid off.

When you spend an amount of your life on a band does it ever feel like you have wasted time, that you have fought one too many windmills?
-Oh yes. That has happened. And putting a band to rest is a very tough decision. The bond of strife, sacrifice and determination is quite sensational. And once you realize that it will not work as planned, it will scar you. For certain. The chance of “making it” in this industry is insanely small. Only the ones who sacrifice all will do it. And the price of sacrifice is always high. It changes you. It changes your view of the world, and it changes how the world views you. Eventually, one learns to live with it. And comes to terms with it.

No matter how small or big you were as a band you will leave a legacy behind you. How do you want people to treat this legacy?
-I hope, that the tunes I’ve made will make people feel something. Be it anger, power, sorrow, whatever. Art is meant to move us. And I truly wish and hope that my music will continue to move people, across the generations.

Is digital taking away the mystery of waiting for a new album now that you can upload as soon as you have written a song?
-I am not sure. I still release singles, followed by a physical album. It is the only way that feels right to me. I feel bewildered and lost in the digital world.

How important is image in separating you from all the million different styles of metal there is out there?
-I don’t know. My image is that I have no image. But my way of life is apparently deviant in these meak and bleak times. I believe in the old ways. The warrior is born upon the path of the hunter. My life circles around hunting, archery, animals, woods and music. With my family first and foremost no matter what.

Do you deal in different topics lyrically or do you keep to one, just using different variations?
-That depends. On this particular release, focus is laid upon my cultural heritage. Ancient mysteries, history and the hunter/warrior codex. Through the years, many a topic has been abused by my pen.

Do you consider yourself a live artist or do you like to spend most of the time secluded in a studio?
-I would say a live artist. Although my greatest passion lies within the songwriting.

How much of a touring band are you? What memories do you take with you?
-This solo effort has already led to a number of bookings, so I will have a touring band for sure. With my bands, I have played such an amount of gigs, that it is impossible to recall them all. I remember the good shows, the bad shows and the burning buses. All my brothers who shared the stage, the burdens, the joys and the roads with me. All the supporting, kind hearted people who come to the shows and stick by me through the years.

What does the future hold?
-For now, the release of the next single. Then the album “Kven”. Then comes the tour, and festivals during the summer. I hope to be releasing and touring worldwide with this album, we’ll see what happens.

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