1. Please introduce Hrimthurs to our readers… when did you start the band and what were the reasons for it?
Many fond salutes to Metal Silvae and its readers all around the world, I am Siggeir Hrimthurs – of one piece ‘Norsk Black Metal’ outfit ‘Hrimthurs’ (formed in 2002). Who has recently released his debut independent double album ‘War of the Ages’.
Apart from wanting to create an escape for its listeners, for me the Hrimthurs project is a mission to not only help rekindle, but to keep the traditional flame of black metal, which was once incomparable in vehemence, alight and burning strong.
Hrimthurs is a revolt against the injustices and indignities of the world we live in today, and themes and philosophies – both theoretical and practical, which used to hold a very voiced and established black metal world in place.
2. The name Hrimthurs is taken from Norse mythology… Why do you find your inspiration in another country’s history and myths?
If I was to choose a name that perfectly suited the sound as well as incorporated all of the principle attributes of the project – there would be absolutely no accuracy that exceeded an important and fortified Norse based figure; and the character of Hrimthurs easily fulfilled all criterion.
But that’s not to say Hrimthurs (the band) can be scathed only by fantasy, Norse, Heathen, Pagan, Viking, Battle, Medieval, Folk black metal (themes) there is, and further more will be, much dimension to Hrimthurs. So to think it is just any of the above is a misconception (and frankly very discrediting to my work).
3. Do you identify yourself more as a Norse man, than an Australian guy?
Realistically I’d have to say neither. It would be cheating to identify myself as a Norseman because (although I am learning) I do not speak any of the languages, I am not accustomed to their way of life, and have no biological ties to them… regardless of what my plans are, how much I support and am in love with their culture or how much I do in favour of them or how well I fit in or even feel within myself – sadly I cannot be a ‘Norseman’. I cannot enter someone else’s country and say it is mine.
However from the same fair perspective, I do not feel Australian either – I think many people in Australia have this problem also, even the ones who were born and raised here like myself. This is due to the fact that there is no such thing as an ‘Australian’ – just because you have a piece of paper stating that you are Australian – it is not exactly something to make you content, especially given the way society is run here.
You do not have an identity being Australian, unless of course you are comfortable with it and I unfortunately am not.
4. Hrimthurs is the name of the giant who built the walls surrounding Asgard. Why have you chosen this name? It has some special meaning/s for you? Please present the history of Hrimthurs (the giant) and what happened with him after he was tricked by Loki…
Hrimthurs is a very strong and proud name and as I mentioned earlier it portrays the music and what may be lurking in the world of Hrimthurs (the music project), I also think that it is good on the imagination.
Briefly: the frost giant Hrimthurs was a skilled stone-mason appointed by Odin (Lord of the Aesir) to construct the walls around Asgard (stronghold of the Aesir). In payment of building these walls (unaware that Hrimthurs was a frost-giant – whom the gods bitterly despised) Odin offered Hrimthurs Freyja’s (the love goddess) hand in marriage and the name of the sun and the moon.
Hrimthurs was given eighteen months to complete the task but Loki (the fire god) would suggest to Odin that he should ask Hrimthurs to build the walls in only 6 months (which was seemingly impossible) and Hrimthurs was gifted Svadilfari (a strong and ruthless stallion) to help him with this job. Hrimthurs would finish three days before the due time, save a gateway. So Loki disguised as a horse beguiled Svadilfari – leaving Hrimthurs to expose himself as a frost-giant. Then Thor (god of thunder) broke Hrimthur’s skull with Mjollnir (his mighty hammer).
5. Please speak a little bit about the new line up and the future tour around Sweden and Europe.
the new line-up consists of some excellent Swedish musicians whom all have or have had death and black metal projects of their own.
However this line-up is only temporary. The agreement is that we will have some serious rehearsals and then record two separate albums, one in Hudiksvall and one in Stockholm, and then we are due to do some gigs in Stockholm, Orebro and Gothenburg – it may also carry on to Norway and Finland immediately after. Rehearsals start in September.
Following the final gigs I am not sure whether the line-up will have to change or not for the 2006 shows. It all depends on the commitments to their own bands.
Hrimthurs has been invited by some great BM bands, as well as doing shows on my own accord, to tour France, the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary and hopefully Romania, Portugal and Poland in early 2006. Also a promotional campaign will begin shortly; flyers will be sent and put up in all participating cities of Europe.
This will be Hrimthurs’ first ever tour so I am after all the European support possible; they will be great shows, I am very excited and privileged to play in such wonderful countries.
6. More conceptual than any of the other debut albums I’ve listen to in the past two years, is Hrimthurs going to take this path on its future albums?
Most definitely. I’ve mentioned in previous interviews that when writing I want to approach Hrimthurs as a world so the outcome is not so conventional and the final product is more ingested rather than just being listened to.
I want every album to be an experience for the listeners, each album a new explorational journey, I want the consumer to get completely lost and not be conscious of themselves – in practice this has had a much stronger effect on the listener. So overall for me it is much more satiating and for them more gripping. Expect to hear this epic grandeur in the future but on the same token expect nothing because although I promise all releases to be conceptual and elaborate – I do not expect people to listen to the same album over and over again.
7. Some parts on the 2nd CD seemed to be closer to Ambient music than the harsh paths of black metal. Do you find this statement true?
Yes. And that ambience was really important in getting the scale of the album to where it was needed. The folk and ambient parts made it so much darker and intense. There are legions of bands who use ambient sections in contrast to their black metal but I found that Hrimthurs is quite individualistic in that regard.
8. What are the main goals with Hrimthurs? Can we thing about money, profit? Have you had demands to sell the CD?
if you want to talk about Hrimthurs’ goals let’s not talk about money because my goals with Hrimthurs and money could not be further away from each other.
If you want to discuss goals with Hrimthurs let’s talk about might, unity, conquering, honour, absolution, dedication, elation; if money was important I wouldn’t release a 2 disc album, a 70 minute instrumental disc, I wouldn’t compose songs that go for 20+ minutes each, nor would I play old-school Black Metal and stand by it with such fervour.
As far as demand for ‘War of the Ages’ goes, it is very high and unfortunately a lot of people will miss out on a copy, as very limited copies are available through over sixteen mail-orders worldwide – so if you want a copy get one now! Check your closest online store to order.
9. Are you interested in any religion?
In theory there are some very valid philosophies and fundamental symbolisms and beliefs, and although Hrimthurs does not conform to any religious appropriation or identically established or organised forms there is always a dominance and ulterior respect for Paganism, Satanism, Atheism, and Agnosticism, but these are more so used as symbolic activisms and not at immediate face value – I think it is pretty much the same with most Black Metal bands and I think this is not about the religions themselves but what they stand for. It is more about Nihilism than anything else. The chance to stand against blind religious suppression. Because all who walk with open eyes know that the religions that dominate the world today are just another corporal holocaust. It is social engineering – a ploy to slaughter all the white wolves among the sheep and theoretically this is principal to the struggle of BM. But that’s all I will say about religion for now.
10. What’s your opinion on the Black Metal scene? Is there a difference between the European and the Australian BM scene?
which Australian BM scene are you talking about? I don’t mean to sound arrogant but I think people have to realise that there is no such thing as an Australian BM scene. I mean I admit to turning a blind eye from time to time and I’m sure that there are emerging band here and there, but I really see nothing here at all. I think it comes down to people’s perceptions of what BM is and correct me if I’m wrong but corpse paint and blast beats do not make a BM band – there is far more to it – that’s what has always separated BM from other dark of brutal styles of metal.
The Australian ‘Black Metal scene’ as it is insinuated as is a myth kept alive by people’s delusions. We have a very healthy and versatile death metal scene and other metal genre’s, and there have been some dark and conceptual bands who I highly respect such as Astriaal and Darklord, and by no means am I putting the talent of metal bands in Aus down – everyone knows that if there are serious and promising bands that they aim for Europe, this fact alone would leave the BM scene brittle if there was one.
11. There are not many bands who can actually release a 2 CD album… Well, you did that! Has this release reached its purpose?
Going by the reactions of others, musically I think the album has reached its purpose; it has really started to pave the way to Hrimthurs’ future. The album really touches people and whether t hey love it or hate it – ‘War of the Ages’ always has an effect on the listener, so I’m happy with that. And although reactions and interests have been pleasing, my expectations are very high; so considering my potential and promise as far as opportunism, I am far from content for I think given the chance, the album deserves to be exposed to a wider array of people.
12. From where did you get this amazing amount of inspiration to put on a double CD? Especially, this being your first release, I would have expected more of a 5-8 song CD…
I really knew that ‘War of the Ages’ would stand out – not for the sake of it being different, but because a lot of BM albums are very short in duration and unfulfilling (particularly the debut recordings).I really wanted to show that through my albums Hrimthurs cares about its fans and cares not about measuring itself against what I see as rules or norms. For some people (especially those in the business) 111 minutes of music is too much, but I wrote this album as an escape route – where limitations just for easy access and selling did not exist and I could not have done that recording 5-8 4 minute tracks. Every Hrimthurs album must be remembered, that’s how I look at it. It’s better for me that they remain epic for the Hrimthurs fans would remain true. I’d rather 10 fans who are connected to the music and all that comes with experiencing an album rather than 10,000 fans who just think that its cool – and that’s what we’re dealing with when it comes to Hrimthurs.
13. Do you plan to release another Hrimthurs album this year?
A 100% improvement from the last, the next album should be completed just before I leave to Sweden. In the process of creation this will be a self-financed album because I’ve not been advised or funded by any labels that I am in dealings with to proceed with this next album but I’m sure I will almost certainly have their back up when it comes to distributing it.
I can not yet reveal the title of the album but I will reveal that: it will be pressed in over 1000 (CD) copies minimum and depending on the outcome I will consider a repressing.
I am having some very talented classical and folk musicians from music conservatoriums around the country. But don’t be fooled the album is going to be true fucking old-school in essence.
I plan to have this next album make a seriously devastating impact in the BM underground. This should be my last Australian recording. And a few short weeks later, as I’ve mentioned before, Hrimthurs with its new Swedish line-up will commence recording another album or 2 between September and December.
14. Siggeir, tell me something about you: age, family, hobbies, religion… How’s a regular day of your life?
(Haha do you really want to know this stuff?)
- Well I’m currently 19 years of age
- My grandparents migrated to Australia in the 1950’s from a war torn Southern Europe
- My hobbies include – travelling, photography (if you look at the ‘War of the Ages’ booklet – the images are photographs taken by myself), I also love reading up on ancient and political history, the occult and literary works, I also am a beer connoisseur and a music fanatic.
- I pledge allegiance to the black arts and paganism but do not practice. I am more of an agnostic and am atheist – however I will unite and support all those opposed to today’s mainstream religion that ridiculously and undeservingly rule the world with an iron bible black fist. You know who you are!
- I spend everyday stressfully working on promotion etc for Hrimthurs and am extremely busy with the project at all times!
15. Where do you place yourself in the next 2 years?
This is all about Hrimthurs’ message through the music itself. One of my greatest aspirations is to unite Hrimthurs as a world community – a BM organisation, a support system for the fans, I want there to be direct interaction between me and the people as well as the people to each other, if this can be established the Hrimthurs hordes involved are devoted I think this could bring back the extreme BM support and make BM a force to be reckoned with, with the same prestige it had back in the early 90’s. It sounds like a big thing to say but if bands and supporters alike apply the effort and a union was made, it can be easily attainable, but it is up to the fans and the bands. I will do all in my power to see that this comes to pass, even if it is only within the Hrimthurs campus.
In two years I hope to be living in Denmark or Sweden – base myself with Hrimthurs there.
After the European tour 2006, second to Hrimthurs will be my label/distro which I plan to erect and take very seriously – I will invest as much money and time in this as I possibly can.
16. What albums have fascinated you lately? Movies?
fascinated is probably the best way to summarise… Not too long ago I purchased three albums which I wont let go of for a very long time:-
- original compositions form the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra (1976)
- Traditional Hungarian folk compilation,and ironically
- a Romanian folk album which was the first time I had ever heard REAL Romanian folk music and it was such a joyous listen…
Priceless albums I thought.
I’m very sceptical when it comes to movies, I only really watch European art house films but nothing of great interest has crossed my path in recent times.
17. If I was to visit Australia, what would you recommend to visit?
My house: where we could have a few beers and then straight to the airport so you could get the first flight back to your country. Hahahah or New Zealand if you feel adventurous.
18. I’ve read in another interview, that you want to leave Australia and move to Europe, why do you want to abandon your country?
You see every European I speak to always firmly refers to where they live as ‘their country’, in Australia you cant do that and if you think you can you are misleading yourself. For such a Westernised and pseudo-liberal country there is a dangerous shortage of artistic outlet and opportunity, acceptance and aid is little as well as the government does in no way work for its people – instead they would rather see our money go to those who are killing this country. I am not simply making whiny accusations or barking what would be considered prejudice idealism I think multiculturalism is fine, but it has actually become unliveable. Would you stay on a sinking ship?
Not only that but in any case Hrimthurs is very credible and I am going as far as possible with it – not only as a career but a life force and Europe is the best place for Hrimthurs to advance. I mean it is an absolutely necessary decision. Besides Europe is breathtaking and earth shattering to say the least.
19. How would you describe your music?
Well that’s quite a broad question to ask an artist to describe their own music so I will say early 90’s old school Nordic BM in a world of endless but structured atmospheres, having the ideologies of all true to BM expressed through relative themes of the music. I mean what can I say in one sentence! It would be interesting to ask the fans that question though.
20. The lyrical side of the album is quite interesting. Please speak a little bit about it.
As I said in my interview with Vampire Magazine – I don’t want to give too much away and if anyone has any specific questions regarding the lyrics they can email me: email@example.com.
The lyrics are archaic literary pieces with medieval figurative themes used metaphorically – basically theorising and questioning the human condition and confronting sociological issues.
21. Trickster G. (from Ulver), said in an interview that in his opinion Black Metal is dead. Why do you think he said that, considering the new wave of BM bands?
I do somewhat agree with that statement. Like the monolith that BM is, it shall arise from its slumber, it has suffered a long defeat yes, but certainly not a death. With the way things are going in the scene – sadly enough I don’t think the new wave of BM will bring it back; it’s just too different, quite dormant in my view.
I think what we’re looking at here, is that in order to keep the BM world an actual BM world and not this hybrid teeny pleasing excuse for anything solid, the leaders for the industry have changed shape over the last few years leaving the underground bands virtually with no voice, even if they wanted to bring it back.
So when you look at it, it is ‘dead’ because of those in power at the time of Black Metal’s demise let it down, they abandoned BM for more accessible commercial, electro, rock, more crystalline contraptions – it fell to greed.
By 1996 BM was spent and until today has been in miserable shadows.
Those bands who were given the power and the spotlight are the first to rubbish today’s BM world, but in my opinion they were the ones to cause it. These bands can say what they wish, but at the end of the day they are responsible and I’m not really speaking out against them it was just the path they decided to take.
It will take something almost miraculous to bring it back – I think that the fans just have to realise that they are strong. We are already seeing it creeping back into the German scene, which is a good start. There are people who want it back, I urge you all to take a stand, both bands and BM supporters…
22. You’ve said in an interview with Vampire Magazine that you were contacted by a label from Romania. How are the discussions working out?
Things are going well with every label who is interested in Hrimthurs – I was actually very excited when contacted by a Romanian label. It is a dream of mine to visit Romania – I want to take photographs of Bucharest as well as visit the Carpathian mountains/forest and Transylvania. So hopefully in 2006 I will tour Romania.
23. If your music and your ideas could be expressed through images, which kind of figures and colours could better describe it?
I’m sorry to disappoint but to be honest I can’t put it in words; it’s one of those things that you have to listen to the music for.
24. If tomorrow you were invited to play in a band, from somewhere in Europe, what would you do?
Well that depends on the band and the arrangements, I am always open to assisting other bands. But Hrimthurs is my number one priority. I would leave it for nothing!
25. What do you think about Varg Vickernes (Burzum)… about his music, his concepts, his Arian concepts…?
I think that Varg Vickernes is a very intelligent man, a very talented man. When I see Varg Vickernes I see a man who knows what he wants – I think his Aryan beliefs are not so shocking, I think there is great truths in them – unfortunately he has drawn negative and unnecessary publicity to himself which frankly he does not deserve, people in the masses do not like hearing the truth, particularly the media – they like things to be charming and smooth – they will always pick off and mis-portray those who displease the mainstream notions.
I haven’t read all of his interviews- but from what I have seen – I give a great amount of respect to the man for his views – people should stop fearing what the media injects as good or bad. We all have a problem because the media and things just a powerful are run by capitalist jews.
The only thing I do not agree with is his opinion on Black Metal (even the real shit).
The old BM music of Burzum is absolutely unparalleled; however I am not a fan of his keyboard works.
26. Do you see yourself as a pagan preacher? What do the old pagan myths mean to you?
No, not at all! Preachers are fucking stupid – and even more stupid are the people who heed to them – people need a leader to find that as a group they are strong, not a preacher to show them that they have no thoughts of their own.
To be a preacher of any kind I would have to believe in the concepts of mass organisations which only leads to being a shepherd, not only that, but it would justify the principles of the bastard pig-pens known as religion today.
The old pagan myths are fantastic – they convey qualities that are so apt to real BM – rebellion, darkness, heroism, valour and honour. What is so good about them is that they are so applicable to adapting them to everyday life – especially in a protocol system when trying to send a message across, through means of BM.
27. Thanks for this interview. I hope it isn’t too long or too boring for you. If you have any last words…
Thanks for the opportunity. I’d just like to say to the BM followers out there to please make your presence felt. Underground bands are really being short-handed; we can’t bring a thorough scene back if the fans don’t fight. I would also like to say that Hrimthurs works for its fans even more so than the fans will have to work for Hrimthurs. If you don’t make a stand soon, all the bands and the beautiful music will eventually be killed off, real black metal will be lost in the coming generations. Please we need your support in a major way. I say to the bands, you also share this responsibility.