AT FIRST CONGRATULATIONS FOR YOUR NEW ALBUM. DID YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS DURING THE RECORDING OF THE ALBUM? HOW LONG DID YOU WORK ON “THE JOURNEYS AND THE EXPERIENCES OF DEATH“? Thanks. No, everything went pretty fine actually. It all started out as a pre-production, but we soon saw the potential in making it into a real recording. So then we did some drum tracks all over again. That’s why it maybe seemed that we used a lot of time. We worked for around 4 months on and off. YOU CHANGED FROM GERMAN MASSACRE TO UPCOMING DARK ESSENCE LABEL. WHAT HAVE BEEN THE REASONS BEHIND IT? DID YOU FULFILL YOUR CONTRACT WITH MASSACRE? ANY COMPLAINTS ABOUT THEIR PROMOTIONAL WORK? IS IT KIND OF COMING HOME NOW AFTER ARS METALLI AND MASSACRE? The deal with Massacre did end and none of the parties were satisfied, so a quite easy decision. Dark Essence is a local company which we believe in, so let’s see. Will HELHEIM ever get home? THE CONTENT OF THE NEW ALBUM SEEMS TO BE A LITTLE BIT UNUSUAL, 9 SONGS ABOUT DEATH IN THE NORDIC MYTHOLOGY. CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHY YOU’VE DECIDED TO MAKE A COMPLETE RECORD ABOUT THIS THEME? CAN YOU TELL OUR READERS MORE ABOUT THE CONCEPT? It kind of just struck my mind one day about 3 years ago. I felt that this was quite unexplored territory. It’s a really interesting topic which I felt suited our music well. To tell about it here is way too much I’m afraid, but I urge the readers to buy the album and check it out by themselves. It’s a rich and complex world. WHAT DOES THE TERM “DEATH” MEAN TO YOU PERSONALLY? DO YOU DEAL WITH IT IN A SPECIAL WAY, ARE YOU AWARE OF IT EVERY DAY/ MINUTE/ SECOND? I guess I have a fairly normal picture on death. No, I don’t think too much about it. But I did a lot when writing these lyrics though. AS IT WAS TYPICAL FOR YOUR LAST PUBLICATIONS ALSO ON THIS ONE YOU HAVE A TRACK NAMED “HELHEIM” – THIS TIME “HELHEIM 5”. IS THERE A DEEPER SENSE BEHIND THIS LIKE THE 9 LEVELS OF HELHEIM OR IS IT JUST A KIND OF “RUNNING GAG”? It’s both actually. But more of the concept that there are 9 levels of HELHEIM. We’ll terminate the band when we reach level 9, hehe. THE NEW TRACKS SEEM TO BE MORE EPIC TO ME. DID YOU HAVE THIS IDEA IN MIND WHEN ENTERING THE STUDIO? DID YOU WRITE THE SONGS UNDER THIS ALLEGATION OR WAS THIS JUST A KIND OF “SIDE-EFFECT”? This was intentional. We’ve paid much attention to the flow of the album. It was really important for us that the music followed the lyrics in its different moods. YOU ALSO HAVE A GREAT GUEST APPEARANCE (JIRI FROM ROOT). HOW DID IT COME TO THIS COOPERATION AND WHY DO YOU HAVE CHOSEN ESPECIALLY THIS PERSON? It was basically an idea that came up when listening to ROOT. I really like the band and Jiris voice, so we basically just asked him. I immediately knew which songs he should sing on, and man… what a fantastic job he did. YOU RECORDED “TJATEOD” IN THE “CONCLAVE MEDIA STUDIO”. WAS THERE A SPECIAL REASON FOR THIS RECORDING FACILITY? ARE YOU CONTENT WITH ALL ASPECTS OF SOUND? As I’ve said it was intended as a pre-production, but we saw that this young fellow could make it into something good, so we laid our trust in him. We’ll even maybe use him the next time also. LET’S TALK ABOUT HEATHENDOM AND ITS MEANING FOR YOU PERSONALLY AND THE BAND AS A WHOLE. HELHEIM STANDS FOR UNCOMPROMISING HEATHENDOM IN LIFE AND MUSIC. EVEN THE LAST SENTENCE IN THE BOOKLET OF YOUR ALBUM IS “HEATHENDOM IS RESISTANCE”. IN SOME COUNTRIES (ESPECIALLY GERMANY) HEATHENDOM OFTEN IS SEEN IN CONNECTION WITH FASCISM. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS UNLUCKY CONNECTION? WHAT WOULD YOU TELL MORALIZING CRITICS? It’s really easy to link it to fascism yes, but this doesn’t mean that this would be correct. Heathendom or paganism are words of treachery made by the Christians against all those who are opposed to Christianity. So the modern meaning of the word may, again, stand for religious treachery in the way of feeling disgust and being morally appalled by it. That’s at least how I see it, and fascism doesn’t, for me at least, fit into this picture. I couldn’t care less what people may think we stand for or not. Misunderstanding is almost a daily occurrence, one cannot almost never be direct enough. ACTUALLY AT METAL-FESTIVALS SOMETIMES BANDS PLAY UNDER THE CLOAK OF HEATHEN METAL TO BRING THEIR ANTIQUATED OPINIONS ON DARK GERMAN HISTORY. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT IT WHEN THE “GOOD” HEATHEN BANDS ARE BROUGHT IN CONNECTION WITH NSBM? DID YOU EVER REFUSE TO PLAY AT ANY GIG BECAUSE OF THESE REASONS? We haven’t had that occurrence yet, so I can’t answer. NOT ONLY FASCISTIC PEOPLE HURT THE SCENE AROUND HEATHENDOM. WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON PEOPLE WHO COMMIT CRIMES IN THE NAME OF THE OLD GODS? I REFER TO DESTROYING CHRISTIAN ARTEFACTS. IS IT RIGHT TO REPAY WITH THE SAME INSTRUMENTS CHRISTIANS USED FOR THEIR “CHRISTIANISATION”? For me this is a dead topic. Everything is relative concerning that matter. Some actions can be arguably correct, some not. REGARDING THESE TOPICS I THINK OF THE SONG “13 TO THE PERISHED”. AT THE END OF THIS TRACK YOU CAN “HEAR” AN EXECUTION BY CREMATION. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO EXPRESS WITH THIS PART? IS IT A DIRECT CRITICISM ON THE CRUSADES? No, not at all. It’s linked to the song that ends and the one to begin. People of the north had many belief systems, and one of them was human sacrifices. When a man of high ranks and wealth died, his thrall could voluntarily sacrifice herself by burning on the ship together with her master. This was seen as a highly respected deed, and the woman would earn respect in her afterlife. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT HEATHENDOM IS A ABOVE ALL A PERSONAL THING OF INNER BELIEVE AND STRENGTH OR MORE A GROUP/ COLLECTIVE THING/ EXPERIENCE? I see it as individuality. LET’S COME BACK TO YOUR MUSIC. YOU DID SOME VIDEOS IN THE PAST. THEY’VE ALWAYS SHOWED YOUR CONNECTION TO NATURE AND COUNTRY. ANY PLANS FOR DOING A NEW ONE? Yes, but who knows when. It won’t be easy to make. I’VE SEEN THAT YOU PLAN TO DO A NUMBER OF GIGS IN GERMANY. WILL YOU DO A HEADLINER TOUR OR “JUST” SOME FESTIVAL GIGS? Both festivals and a headliner tour is planned. ARE YOU IN CONTACT WITH SOME OF YOUR FELLOW NORWEGIAN BANDS SUCH AS ENSLAVED OR SOME OF THE BERGEN PEOPLE? ARE THEIR ANY TRADITIONAL CONNECTIONS OR DO YOU TEND TO STAY FOR YOURSELF? We know them all basically, but nothing more than that. We talk sometimes when drinking at the same pub. IN THE MOMENT THERE IS SOME KIND OF REVIVAL OF OLD SCHOOL BLACK AND VIKING METAL, WHERE DO YOU SEE THE REASONS BEHIND IT? WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF HELHEIM FOR THE NEAR FUTURE? Is there? I didn’t know. Well, we’re already rehearsing for the new album, and will try to play as much live as possible. AND NOW TO SOMETHING COMPLETE DIFFERENT: ARE YOU INTERESTED IN FOOTBALL? DO YOU WATCH THE SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS? IF SO, WHO WILL BE WORLD CHAMPION IN YOUR OPINION? Yes, I do. I follow the Norwegian league and Bergens team Brann. I don’t pay attention to the Norwegian team, they suck and are a bunch of overpaid wanckers. I watch the World Cup and think that either Germany or Argentina wins. Brazil can fuck off with their so called superstars. What a crappy team this far. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO KNOW IF YOU LIKE NEOFOLK MUSIC SUCH AS DEATH IN JUNE, OF THE WAND AND THE MOON AND SO ON AS THEY VERY OFTEN CARRY THE SAME MOOD OF NATURE SPIRIT AND HEATHENDOM. I’ve never heard those bands, but if the musicians are skilled enough it can be good. DO YOU LIKE THE WITCHES’ CLASSIC HORROR MOVIES SUCH AS “WITCHFINDER’S GENERAL” OR “THE BLOODY JUDGE”? WHICH ARE YOUR MOVIE FAVES ANYWAY? I’ve only seen “Witch…” but it didn’t amaze me the first time I saw it. I’m a huge Star Wars fan though. I also like The Omen and Bad Boy Bubby. Lord of the Rings are of course also great. FINALLY I THANK YOU FOR ANSWERING THIS INTERVIEW. I HOPE TO SEE YOU ON TOUR AND WISH SUCCESSFUL CONCERTS WITH FULL HOUSE. THE LAST WORDS BELONG TO YOU. Thanks a lot and remember: Heathendom IS Resistance!!!