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Interview

Deutsche VersionInterview mit Heljareyga (04.02.2011)

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HH: Hi Heri, how are you? I hope you're fine.

Heri: I'm very well, thanks for asking.

HH: What was the inspiration for founding Heljareyga?

Heri: I had some music I'd been writing over the last few years that I didn't see fit for Tır, at least not the direction Tır was taking, so the idea of a side project slowly matured in my head. When Amon filled in for Kari on drums in Tır I already asked him if he was interested in taking part in my project. He said yes, and from then on the course was set. The musical inspiration, this time not from the traditionals, were many and diverse, everything from Wintersun to ABBA, all good music that inspires me. And the lyrical material is quite personal, as opposed to the lyrics of Tır which is quite extroverted.

HH: Your debut got great feedback so far. Have you expected it in this way?

Heri: I had hoped for good reactions, naturally, but the reviews have been far better than I really expected. But then again, when I was writing and recording the music, and I don't meen to be pretentious here, I honestly had the feeling that I was doing the opus of my life. Maybe that, at least, should count for something.

HH: Musically Heljareyga is quite close to Tyr (even Heljareyga is more progressive), lyrically you are going a separate way. What are the main differences, in your point of view, between Heljareyga and Tyr? How do you decide which Song is a Heljareyga song and wich one belongs to Tyr? Aren't you afraid that Heljareyga will be compared with Tyr?

Heri: Heljareyga is more progressive, the songwriting is less focused on hooks and more on coherent progressive songs and musical landscapes. It's quite easy to decide which songs go where. If I have a musical idea that invites me to doodle long and winding elaborations then it's Heljareyga. If it's a short idea with a good hook that sounds like it might go down well in a live situation then it's Tır.
There was always the danger of being compared with Tır, which it naturally has been, I don't think there's any avoiding that, but that's nothing I think I need be afraid of.

HH: Your lyrics are in your native language, so not a lot of fans can understand their meaning. Could you please explain your lyrics a little bit?

Heri: I'm sorry, but I'd rather not get too deep into that. The lyrics are very personal and they are my reflections on a difficult moment in my life.

HH: You are responsible for the vocals in both bands, Tyr and Heljareyga. That's one of the reasons why Heljareyga is compared with Tyr. Should another vocalist be an option to avoid drawing comparisons to Tyr?

Heri: That would be an option, but you'll notice that I didn't do that. I'm not that afraid of the bands being compared. People may think it's 'the same' but it's just not. I sing the way I sing and I write the way I write, and Tır and Heljareyga are two different projects with similarities and connections.

HH: Writing songs for Heljareyga took a long time. How long will it take to write songs for the next album?

Heri: I'm already writing songs for the next album. I work constantly on separate projects and now as I am working on the music for the next Tır album I already have some ideas for the next Heljareyga album as well. How long that is going to take is hard to say precisely, but I'll get deeper into the work once we've recorded the next Tır album.

HH: How difficult was the search for the band members, except the drummer, which was already known?

Heri: Not very difficult. I had been keeping my ears out for suitable young lads for some time and the choices were quite easy. I went to a few metalgigs in the Faeroes to measure up the talents, and there were some outstanding musicians, and they are now members of Heljareyga.

HH: What can you tell us about the music/metal scene at Faroe Islands? What bands are worth to be mentioned?

Heri: I'm have been living in Germany for some time now, so I'm not that well connected to the Faeroese scene anymore, but I know a few good new bands like Hamferğ, gothic doom metal, The Dreams, punkish rock metal, Sic, harcore thrash, Synarchy, thrash. There are probably a few more which elude me at present.

HH: What inspires you? Aren't you afraid of losing your inspiration writing songs one day?

Heri: Never! Sometimes I'm afraid my head will explode from musical ideas. Of course I could run dry. Anything is possible, but I really can't see that happening. Just last night as I went to sleep I found that I have at least two more projects, for which I already have some of the music, that I would like to realize. Plus the continuation of the already existing two projects.

HH: Are you going to promote your debut also live? Will there be any shows in Germany? What can we expect on a live gig, especially because your songs are not the shortest.

Heri: There will be tours, gigs and festivals, yes. The live shows are very focused on the music, and not so much the showmanship so far, but that may come later. Performing new and difficult songs takes a lot of concentration and the 'entertaining' sort of slips into the backgroud. But I know from experience with Tır that as you grow more confident in the performance and as you get more acquainted with the other musicians and the material, you get more extroverted and have more energy to spare for the entertainment, so that will develop and be more apparent later.

HH: You're living now in Hamburg. So, what are the main differences between these two cultures, the Faroe and the German? What German mannerism is strange in your point of view?

Heri: Germans are very punctual and straight-forward, both feet on the ground and no bullshit. I like that. Historically the Faeroese have been very unpunctual, it used to be for meterological reasons, but that's just not a good excuse anymore. Also Faeroese people, maybe mainly musicians, tend to be mentally very high flying and have a lack of organisational skills. I don't mean to make the Faeroes sound all bad, not at all. Then again, I do prefer the Scandinavian style of humor and the mental loftiness, although it has it's deficits.

HH: Thank you for answering my questions, the famous last words are yours.

Heri: My pleasure to answer your questions, and I apologize for it taking so long. Please buy the Heljareyga album and come to our shows.

Ray

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