Melodic black metal might be an oxymoron to some but that is what you get from listening to Swedish ZORNHEYM. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
You have one of these names that do not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
Zorn: I think it’s far more interesting to have a name with a meaning and a concept behind it. Zornheym was my stage name in another band I used to play with and a German friend of mine actually suggested it. It means “home of anger”. The more I started to hear people calling me that, the more I liked the sound of it and when I started to plan to form this band I found myself with a concept that pretty much tells a story about a “home of anger”. So simply using that name felt natural. The story takes place in Germany so we decided to name the asylum “Zornheim” and the band “Zornheym”.
How hard was it for you guys to come up with a sound that you all could agree on?
Zorn: It really can be hard to agree on a certain sound or style to play.
So for this band I established a sound and style that I have been wanting to play for a long time and then I started looking for members who shared my vision. I wrote the first three songs and had pre-productions ready for them before any other member joined.
We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence?
Zorn: Well… A single influence is kind of hard to name, cause there are so many of them! I try and see our compositions as some sort of movies that tell a story full of dynamics and emotions. When it comes to the guitar riffs I would name Dissection as my single big influence. When it comes to lyrics, I take inspiration from urban myths, documentaries, movies or just an idea that’s born from my own inspiration. When it comes to the orchestral stuff I just try and create different musical rooms, so I guess all my years of consuming movies is something that’s guiding me here.
Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
Zorn: A local scene might help people to get together and get influenced by it to actually form a band. I remember when I grew up and I looked up to different bands in the local scene who really inspired me to form bands myself. If they, people who live in my town can do it, so can I! However, if you really have the passion and the drive to do it I think you can do it in a “vacuum” but a local scene will surely help speed up the process.
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
Zorn: Yeah that’s another reason for me to not go out that much anymore. I rather spend a night with Scucca or Bendler doing something creative for Zornheym. In 5 years what we did that night, if it turned out good, will still be there. Being a part of a band with members as good as we have is really awesome. I think Zornheym is the biggest “movement” thing I have been a part of since we are really trying to create some sort of syndicate feeling where we mix and match tons of different art forms.
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
Zorn: A great cover represents the music and the lyrical theme somehow. One of my favourite covers is Necrolord’s cover for Dissection’s “Storm of the Light’s bane”. I also think Andreas Marshall has done lots of cool covers for bands like Blind Guardian.
What is your opinion on digital versus physical? Is digital killing music?
Zorn: Personally I still collect albums so that’s why I really wanna do a lot of cool stuff with our release. That’s why it’s an A5 digipack filled with killer photos by Jens Rydén and we are making a graphic novel with the Finnish artist Anu Bring that will be included with the comic book edition of the release. I understand the convenience with digital; it’s extremely practical and I can’t say I don’t use it as well. But I do make the effort to buy the really good albums and listen to them on a physical format 85% of the time.
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
Zorn: I think there is a good scene for it. We haven’t finished working on our visual performance live yet, but that will be our focus once the album is mixed and done. Even though we only have two songs out we are booked for the Motocultor Festival in France and other people are trying to book us for more shows.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
Zorn: Well, the way I want to do things in the future is more like an event/happening, where we can exhibit the comic stuff, have our short movies running, let people taste the Zornheym beer that we are working on and then enjoy one hell of a theatrical performance.
What would you like to see the future bring?
Zorn: That our debut show at the Motocultor Festival in France on the 18th of August will be the beginning of the crusade that will make people discover Zornheym. I think we have a lot of interesting stuff to offer the dedicated listener, something fresh and new! I also hope that people will take the time to check out our debut album that will be out on the 15th of September via Non Serviam Records. It is a killer debut album forged with passion and a collection of great songs and effort from everyone involved!