I have to admit that I know nothing at all about ZORNHEYM. Thisswedish symphonic extreme metal band is all new to me. But that didn’t stop me from wanting to know more. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
You have one of these names that does 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”.
Could you give us a short introduction to the band?
Zorn: Zornheym is a symphonic extreme metal band based around the concept of an asylum called Zornheim. We aim to bring a whole new approach to making a concept album. We love the sound of real instruments and for our orchestrations we try and use as many real instruments as possible, without the support of a major label. So far we have released two singles “The Opposed” and “A Silent God”, that are available on iTunes, Spotify or whatever streaming platform you are using. The debut album, “Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns” is out in the beginning of 2017!
What would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
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.
What is the scene like in your area? Do you feel that you are a part of a scene?
Zorn: I think the scene in the Stockholm area is pretty strong and there are a bunch of interesting bands lurking here. To name drop a few I would totally check out Diabolical and their latest effort “Umbra”, Netherbird’s “The grander voyage”, Mist of misery’s latests album and also Hyperion… That should give your record collection a nice boost! I keep in contact with lots of band, but I don’t really get a chance to go out or check out shows that much at the moment. I’m too busy working on Zornheym stuff and being with my son. The social media platforms make it easy to keep track what’s going on anyway.
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. 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 people are already trying to set up shows for us.
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 the album gets a fair chance to be heard and that it breaks through the white noise of the average music released these days. I really just want people to give this band the chance I and the rest of the band believe it deserves. It is a very unique idea and the album is one hell of a release that should not go unheard by anyone.