Saturday, 14 September 2013

Hrossharsgrani interview in Possessed Magazin

Item: Transcript of a Hrossharsgrani interview with Possessed Magazin (sic) on 1 March 2003

Back in the annals of time - so long ago, in fact, that Hugin has forgotten all about this interview! - the online Possessed Magazin posted an interview with the Viking battle-machine that is Hrossharsgrani.  It's an interesting read for a couple of reasons: obviously, it's with Hugin and about one of his bands, and if you don't find that interesting by default then please leave the room.  It is also of note, however, as the Hrossharsgrani discography cited in the report contains releases that are as yet uncollected and in a few cases actually unknown before this interview came to light.  Finally, although some online interviews have been posted that continually recycle previously published material, this one does not and has some unique content.  Worthy enough, therefore, for republication.  

The issue of the 'new' demos will be covered in more detail at the end of this post, but before then let's get to the interview as undertaken back in 2003:

Please, tell us something about your band (history, members, recordings/releases, live gigs, label?)

In the cold winter of 1998 anno bastardi the battle-machine Hrossharsgrani gathered for their first strike, the rehearsal demo-CD "Blut". In these dark ages they still haunted the black realms of dark ambient music to tell their tales of those creatures who only come out by night: the undead, the vampires - a homage to the bloody heir of Lord Byron and Bram Stoker. More demo-CDs followed leaving this world behind and penetrating the battlefields of a barbaric world with as barbaric black metal hymns.

The first era of the band was completed with the bloodletting releases of "Der Pfad Zum Tor Der Toten" and "Ancient Tales". The year 2000 marked not only the beginning of a new millennium but also of a new era in band history. Hrossharsgrani entered the CCP studios to create "…Of Battles, Ravens And Fire" – a giant step forward. Battle sounds and choirs lead the listener through a long forgotten time full of myths and legends. For the originators Fylgja, Munin and Hugin this was indeed the start for a new chapter in their musical journey: a journey far off the well trodden and boring paths of the metallic art.

This fascinated the new label CCP, with which Hrossharsgrani signed a contract, an alliance that showed to be successful for Hrossharsgrani in all battles yet to come. In the beginning of the following year the battle force Hrossharsgrani started to compose for "The Secret Fire" – an epic tale based on J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings and Silmarillion. For the listener, who is troubled by the boring daily routine of our world, "The Secret Fire" is a mighty stronghold in a better world full of magic and wonder.  Classical melodies combined with the grim face of metal music built the soundtrack for a crusade through the worlds of Middle-earth. Fylgja, Munin and Hugin sang of mystic, enchanted forests, of fire-breathing dragons, whose wings conquer the clouds, of gleaming swords in the northern territories and of powers that unfold to an insurmountable force when baptised in dark battles.

In 2003 new grim battles had to be fought. Blood froze at the sound of the charging blades. Born from flesh and steel and tempered in fire and ice, the iron force of Hrossharsgrani rose to war in the land of the shadows: sealed was the way of the warrior. Symphonic metal hymns, mystic bombastic battle choirs accompany you through moors of death, that rise high into the air and hunt dark creatures through haunted woods. Mighty guitar riffs, war-drums, giant percussion and fanfares form a sound-adventure which can only compared to a ride with the Valkyrie.

Hrossharsgrani's third attack is a perfect union of heroic battle hymns and strong charismatic radio plays, an epic tale that burns all boundaries down to ashes, and takes you to a world where flesh, steel and heroism will no longer be hidden in the mist of fear.  "Schattenkrieger" is an ode to war, a new incarnation of the violence of the sword, an album with a hypnotising magic attracting every metal 'warrior of the world'.

The rehearsals and releases so far:

HROSSHARSGRANI – Blut (rehearsal demo CD)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Rehearsal CD 1 (rehearsal demo CD)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Rehearsal CD 2 (rehearsal demo CD)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Rehearsal CD 3 (rehearsal demo CD)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Rehearsal CD 4 (rehearsal demo CD)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Rehearsal CD 5 (rehearsal demo CD)
HROSSHARSGRANI - Rehearsal MC 1 (rehearsal demo tape)
HROSSHARSGRANI - Uruk-Hai (rehearsal demo tape)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Der Pfad Zum Tor Der Toten (demo CD and tape)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Ancient Tales (demo CD and tape)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Die Rueckkehr Zum Pfade… (demo CD)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Die Rueckkehr Zum Pfade…(promotional tape)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Sagen & Gedichte (rehearsal CD)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Lieder Aus Mittelerde (rehearsal demo tape)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Der Ring Der Macht (rehearsal demo tape)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Ewig Winter (rehearsal demo CD)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Kampf (rehearsal demo tape)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Krieg (promotional tape)
HROSSHARSGRANI – In The Mystic Forest (rehearsal demo tape)
HROSSHARSGRANI – In The Beginning…There Was Fight (promotional tape)
HROSSHARSGRANI – From The Dark Ages (demo tape)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Feuer & Eis (rehearsal tape)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Epische Gedanken (rehearsal tape)
HROSSHARSGRANI – …Of Battles, Ravens And Fire (professional CD)
HROSSHARSGRANI – The Secret Fire (professional CD)
HROSSHARSGRANI/ MITTWINTER – Split (picture disc vinyl)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Schattenkrieger (professional CD)

How would you describe your position in the wide-world metal scene? What do you think about the underground movement?

It doesn't matter about our position in the world-wide metal scene – we are the warlords – we destroy everything!  The underground gets bigger and bigger (stronger and stronger) - I don't know where the underground ends and the overground starts. I'm very interested in the eastern European underground PAGAN BM scene – their kind of music takes me back to the glorious ages of heroism and war! Hail the ancient gods!  The real METAL you can find only in the Underground!

Which 3 CDs would you take with you to a lonely island?

(a) BATHORY – Blood Fire Death
(b) MEKONG DELTA – Dances Of Death
(c) PINK FLOYD – Dark Side Of The Moon

If you had enough money to shoot a video, what would the clip look like?

Battles like in Braveheart
Brutal like Braindead
Fantastic like Lord Of The Rings

It's a dream to create a short movie with a Hrossharsgrani soundtrack. Some guys told us our music was the perfect soundtrack for a fantasy movie, in a review I wrote: '…the Soundtrack Battle Hymn Combo…'  Maybe far, far away the dream will come true

If you've the chance to change one day of your life, which would it be and why?

Hmm, every single day in the past forged my destiny – I don't want to change it, I like the way it goes…  maybe some girls in the past would be better changed than others :o)

Which song shall be played on your burial?

Richard Wagner – Der Walkuren Ritt

Drums and Trumpets shall take me to the other side!

If you had the chance to kill someone and to bring back one person in the same way, who would it be and why?

Kill: George W. Bush (The USA is not the world)
Bring Back: Gerald Decarli (my best friend, died by a gunshot, so many things I have to say…, see you on the other side)

What does 'Metal' mean to you?

100% Power
100% Spirit
100% Party
100% My Life

What is your opinion on political lyrics?

Hrossharsgrani doesn't give a f**k about politics!

What can we expect from your band in the future?

The new album “Schattenkrieger” will be out on 24 March 2003 at CCP Records: the first edition is a limited (1000) digipak version with different cover artwork. We are working on a war-page to present Hrossharsgrani online too.

Destroy the world – total war!

An interesting insight into the mind of Hugin, circa March 2003.  Now, the discography mentions a few interesting items, new to Nazgul and possibly to you too:

HROSSHARSGRANI – Rehearsal CD 1 (rehearsal demo CD)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Rehearsal CD 2 (rehearsal demo CD)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Rehearsal CD 3 (rehearsal demo CD)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Rehearsal CD 4 (rehearsal demo CD)
HROSSHARSGRANI – Rehearsal CD 5 (rehearsal demo CD)
HROSSHARSGRANI - Rehearsal MC 1 (rehearsal demo tape)

The first Rehearsal CD has been covered on Honour and Darkness historically, but the existence of a further four discs was news to Nazgul!  Similarly, whilst the odd early demo tape has been retrieved from the ages for the collection, the one referred to here is also a potentially new release.  Hugin thinks that early rehearsal CDs like these may have been sent out to various friends and labels back in the day, possibly in quantities of only 3-5 at a time, so the chances of finding any survivors now would seem to be nigh on impossible.  However, Nazgul has overcome such odds before, and with Hugin's hardcore fan base now aware of their existence let  us see what can be uncovered...

HROSSHARSGRANI – Epische Gedanken (rehearsal tape)

No trace of an "Epic Thoughts" tape release has yet been found, nor details of its content revealed, so was one ever actually released?  This interview would suggest so, and as a result antennae are now twitching worldwide as the hunt begins....!

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