Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Hugin interviewed in Total Commando War Zine

What's this then: An interview with Hugin, published in the Total Commando War Zine (Russia) back in the summer of 2013

As we know, the thoughts of Chairman Hugin are in demand the world over.  The interview below is one Hugin did with the Russian music zine Total Commando War in the middle of last year, so references a few things that have now come to pass in terms of forthcoming musical projects.  Nazgul thought you might find it an interesting read to kick off the new year, and assuming you don't habitually frequent the underground Russian music press it will be something new to you...and brings news of interesting releases yet to come...!

Q1. Salute, Hugin!  What news in the Uruk-Hai camp?

A1. Salute!  I'm close before to release my new opus "...And All The Magic & Might He Brought" on limited (300 copies only) digipak CD! This album features a lot of great guest musicians this time as they are Joe Matera (ex Geisha), Tony 'Demolition Man' Dolan (M:Pire Of Evil, Atomkraft, ex. Venom), Rich Davenport (Greyhound Bridge), Bart Piette (Dead Man's Hill), Teresa Chilcutt-Gutierrez (Vos Intereo), Trevor Sewell (ex Venom, ex Tygers Of Pan Tang, Tervor Sewell Band), Janos Krusenbaum (Seeking Raven) & Pr. Sergiy (Moloch). You can expect a lot of musical changes this time, many more (Metal-) Guitar parts and different vocals styles are on "...And All The Magic & Might He Brought". The limited first edition digipak contains also 4 epic bonus tracks!

I'm also working on a split album trilogy with mighty Ringbearer from Canada – it is entitled "Moments Of Mythic Grandeur Part 1 – Part 3" and the Uruk Hai tracks for this split series are a mix of Epic Metal and Ambient – I call it always Fantasy Metal Ambient.  I'm doing also a split tape with Valtiel from India and a split CD with Lousberg from Germany with ambient songs only and a split Cdr with When We Live from Russia with a mix once again of epic stuff and darkest ambient! I also plan to do a re-release of my debut album "A Night In The Forest" re-mastered and with a brand new artwork.

Q2. Uruk-Hai is the musical landscape of Middle-Earth, it shows dark sides of J.R.R Tolkien's personality. How did you find such ideas for your art?

A2. Tolkien's books have long been my favourites and as a Metal fan I always was fascinated by the dark side of things – in Tolkien's works you can find a lot of dark and mystical places and also evil creatures along with beauty and epic landscapes and mighty elves.  I was totally blasted away when I read first time about all those things and later in the 90's I started my project Hrossharsgrani and after several releases back in 1999 I created a demo rape called "Uruk-hai".  Only 6 copies where made for good friends of mine; these friends told me that after listening to that tape that they liked it very much so I decided to start a new project doing this kind of 'Battle Ambient' under the name of Uruk-Hai.  

At first I decided to do music only relating to Tolkien's world but later in 2004 I lost a bit of my fascination about it and I started to create Nordic mythology influenced music together with a concept album about the ancient Inca culture in South America. But the fascination about the wonderful world of Tolkien's books comes back to me stronger than ever. Up to today The Silmarillion is my favourite of his books, the story of 'Beren And Luthien' from it is my all time favourite, It's so sad and epic in my eyes, but there are stories about dragons, mystic mountains, orcs, elves,... plenty of stuff for serval other musical journeys in the future!

Q3. For what level of thinking your music is created? What do you expect from a potential audience?

A3. Hmmm, that's hard to say.  At first I try to expect nothing, I just start doing music to create my own Middle-Earth Soundtrack, like a radio-play journey to the world of Tolkien.  After the release of an album I always hope to find others who could be interested in my kind of music, and I'm always happy for positive feedback from fans and reviews in magazines; however, it's very good to get constructive critics too in order to learn from past errors and try to make it better next time. The best case always is if the audience try to listen to a full album at once and not only pick out some tracks of it.  It's an honour to me if a listener take its time and spent an hour with my kind of music because it's not often you can do that in our fast living age!

Q4. You're older than a large percentage of musicians in the current underground scene. It's really excellent, that you didn't lose inspiration and that you're always open for contact!  So the Uruk-Hai project was born when you were about 30 years old: what music experience did you have until that moment?

A4. Really, I don't feel so old :-)  My musical interests changed over the last 14 years. I formed Uruk-Hai as a response to the Black Metal I listened most in the past, also to the Melodic Rock and old school Metal that I listen to today, but over the years I always listened to Industrial and Folk too. Variety is the spice of life!

Ambient Music is one of my drugs I used to take since the middle 90s too. it's strange but it is Bathory who animated me to run my own ambient project because I loved Quorthon's Intros and Outros so much.  I recorded them together on one tape in a row and listened to it every night – a strange thing but one that led me to the idea to found my own ambient project. I still listen to ambient and I´m a huge fan of Vinterriket and Cz from Vinterriket is also a very good friend of mine – we both started our musical journey in the late 90's and sometimes I think we are very alike and sometimes you cannot compare us: that's what I really like, it's again variety that keeps everything interesting I think (and so we are!)

Q5. You have a lot of releases and you're working with many different labels. Can you name the most favourite your own releases and labels, that makes the best releases in your opinion?

A5. It's definitely the new album "..And all The Magic & Might He Brought" released through W.A.R. Productions, my very own label.  I worked on it from October 2011 till January 2013, with all the blood of my heart – deep friendships bonded me with all the other guest musicians over the time of one year, and it really means something special to me!

From the older releases I would say "Cirith Ungol" from 2010 is my favourite release from the musical point of few, released by Kristallblut Records, and from the label point of few I would say "Black Blood White Hand" at Sturmklang Records because it is my dear friend Max's (Sturmpercht, Rasthof Dachau) label!

Q6. Tell us, please, about the place where you live. What do you do in everyday life? Have you any activities apart from music?

A6: I live in Linz, the third biggest city of Austria.  It is an industrial city with a huge iron & steel company. I live on the border of that city more into the country side beside 2 lakes and the river Danube and a great forest. It is a beautiful place to stay, I can honestly say I enjoy my life here! I live from creating music with my projects Uruk Hai, Solid Grey, Elisabetha, Eismond, Hrossharsgrani, Hrefnesholt, C.O.I., Bonemachine and WACH and run my own small label W.A.R. Productions. My wife and my two kids support me very much too!  I love to do sports to free my mind, I do biking nearly every day as long as the weather is good enough. These kind of sports gives inspiration for my music too, without it I think I could not do that much music for such a long period of time!!!

Q7. What are your principles of life and creativity?

A7. My number one principle of live is respect - it is based in music, in private live and in each job too, without respect you are not able to exist!  Creativity is based in inspiration, and I take my inspiration from doing sports in the nature like biking, climbing a mountain or just walking through the nature.

Q8. What is the meaning of "ritual" for you in the modern world?

A8. I think the modern world co-exists with ancient rituals and without those ancient rituals our whole system would break down. We always try to reach to the future as far as possible but you should never forgot to keep one foot on the ground – that means you never can loose your contacts to that ancient ages too!  We have a lot of modern rituals like carrying our mobile phone to each place we go, but we also celebrate traditional things like Christmas in the same moment. The modern world is full of ancient rites but we simply forgot the origin of them, we just celebrate it because everyone does it!  Are we really living in a modern world or do we simply just have more technology!?

Q9. Do you support conspiracy theories about shadow governments and/or masons or do you think it's just a bad fiction? What do you think about the near future of Europe - will everything become much worse or can any happenings change the current position?

A9. These conspiracy theories are really interesting and a trend of our modern life I think – its hard to believe and its same hard to not believe it!  I'm the kind of guy that still believes in some of that theories but I try to keep distance from it a bit because that whole internet makes it so easy to spread wrong but very fantastic theories. Area 51, Twin Towers, Illuminati,..... conspiracy for the masses, believe it or not it has its very own charm and it's very hard to keep your distance and not to get fooled!

Q10. Are you interested in politics, religion, economics? What kind of relationship do you have with these behemoths of civilization?

A10. In recent years I am no longer interested in politics because I hate all these lairs around the world – each political vote is just a farce and totally worthless to me, the politicians have lost our confidence! Religions are different I think: yes I am interested in religions but no I don't believe it all. The basis of each religion I think is a good one and if you just take it by its very own roots than you still can trust in it!  I try to deal with the best of both worlds and so I can live my life together with my family in a very comfortable way!

Q11. What can you tell about industrial music and styles, like power electronics, harsh noise, military industrial? Do you have - or plan - albums in these styles?

A11. I did some industrial releases and also Noize albums with my projects Hrossharsgrani, Bonemachine (B-Machina) and WACH.  At the moment I'm working on new Martial Noize tracks with Bonemachine for a new split release with Kaelteeinbruch from Germany, it will be released in summer 2013 via Catgirl Records.  I like Industrial music since I discovered Laibach back in the middle 80's, I was more than blown away by their kind of music.  Today we have a really huge Industrial scene all over the world with a lot of great bands. Also Noize becomes more and more popular, yes there is also 'music' to hear when you listen to Noize, you just need to try it!

I also like to use some Industrial or Noize sounds for my project Uruk-Hai, its often good if I want to show the very dark side of Middle-Earth or the Orcs, these thematics fits perfectly with Industrial and Noize compared with Epic Ambient and Metal!  Everything is allowed and again you just need to try it! The most important in the whole underground scene from the musical point of few is to try something others have not tried before, and Industrial, Ambient, Metal, Noize, etc. builds the perfect basic to try it!

Q12. You used the concepts and fantasy of Robert Howard in your music. Do you like Conan the Barbarian? (If you know, Rob Darken is a big fan of him and he collects all related stuff - books, comics, posters, etc.)

A12.  I´m a huge Conan fan too since I saw it first time in the early 80's – it was a breathtaking moment! I know Rob and his passion to collect his stuff, but I don't collect it. My passion is to collect everything I can get from British Metal band Venom, I started to collect stuff from them back in 1983!!  I'm addicted to buy Venom stuff, often I spent days to search for stuff I don't have like CDs, vinyl, patches, shirts, tapes, posters, buttons,.... my wife calls me silly but its one of the passions I won't stop in my life!

Q13. Of course, I can't pass over a question about Peter Jackson's "Hobbit" film. What are your impressions from it?

A13.  Shame on me, I have not seen The Hobbit so far, I still wait for the Extended Cut on Blu Ray disc which will be released in December 2013 I think. But I already saw the new trailer of part two "The Desolation Of Smaug" and it was simply amazing!!  I don't know if I'm strong enough to myself to wait until December but I still try :-)

Q14. Tell us three adjectives, which you associate with Uruk-Hai music.

A14.  Epic, Mystic & Magical.  These came very fast into my mind and I will not change them – so take it like it is!

Q15. Thank you for interview! And a last some words for people, who read our zine and listen our music.

A15.  Thanks a lot for your great support! Keep the flame of true underground burning!  In 2014 Uruk-Hai will celebrate its 15th year anniversary – expect something special !!!

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