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NEBELHEXE (ANDREA HAUGEN)

WHEN DID YOU START SINGING AND PLAYING MUSIC? I think it started in ’93 when I took singing and violin lessons…. I started to make music and tried to play in a band as well. Then I was asked by Cradle of Filth to do some guest vocals, because they were very interested in La Vey’s satanism and I was at that time a priestess of a „left hand path magic order“. After that I started with my own projects and released a CD with Aghast… HOW HAD YOUR INTEREST FOR PAGANDOM BEEN WAKEN? I always had the feeling within me, without knowing what it was. I always valued freedom of spirit, respected the natural world, communicated with animals, had magical abilities and did not fear the “dark”‘ aspects of life that society calls ‚”evil”. I always disliked the discriminating teachings of the patriarchal religions and thought they were wrong. But I did not become aware of the old pagan traditions before I was 19 or so. Then I started working on my abilities. When I lived in England I have been a part of different occult orders and was working with various forms of magic. To me being a pagan means to be free and natural, without being restricted by the boundries of dogmatic patriarchal religions. To be a magician or witch means to explore life, to communicate with the cosmos, to influence ones fate to the better and most of all to grow as a person. I see life as a journey, with always new possibilities and also many obstacles… there are always new beginnings in life… WHAT IS YOUR BOOK “THE FIRES OF MIDGARD” ABOUT? IS IT SOMEHOW A KIND OF “JOURNEY”? It is a book about the Germanic spirituality, the gods and goddesses, the magical traditions and how to understand the myths from a pagan view point, meaning a non-dogmatic viewpoint. I intensively display the many Pagan traditions which still are unknowingly a part of people’s folk soul. I also display the damage Christianity has done by supressing our natural behaviour and our natural spirituality with their stupid „good or evil“ morality. I discuss the feminine mysteries that were so cherised in pagan times, traditions and ceremonies, herbs and plants, the animal spirit, magic, self developpment, child-birth and so on…it is from a very personal view point… DO YOU HAVE A BOOK IN PROGRESS AT THE MOMENT? I work on short stories and comic stories… but I don’t know when I can publish those… WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT REINCARNATION? Possible… no one knows what happens after death, so we only can speculate… WHY AND WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO GO BACK TO THE ROOTS AND GO YOUR OWN SOLO WAY AS NEBELHEXE? After making three successful Hagalaz‘ Runedance albums, dedicated to the northern spirituality and in the style of folk/ medieval music, I felt the need to move on cause now I started to feel restricted by the music style and concept I had created with Hagalaz‘ Runedance. I had achieved what I wanted with the style of medieval- and folk music. With it and with my book „the Ancient Fires Of Midgard“ I kind of attracted a less alternative fan base and here got an image that was not me anymore. I felt like I became known as the respectable ‚forest wise woman‘ who ‚plays nice folk music‘, and it started to make me uncomfortable, because this image is not me really. I am much more of a bad girl… hehe, a person who explores life and who has experienced pretty many weird things in her life… I had a pretty wild life. My life has been shaped by trying to survive in the „urban jungle“, moving around between goths, punks, glam rockers, new agers and occultists. And I felt like showing who I really was and what I have experienced during my life. I wanted to focus more generally on my feelings, dreams, obscure experiences, parallel worlds and the magic that is surrounding me. I also felt the urge to explore the many possibilities of creating musical sounds and now I just want to create, express myself, without restricting and limiting myself to a specific genre anymore. Being an artist (and a pagan) I always seek to grow, to explore and to challenge. I also began working within other artistic areas; creating visual art and video concepts for example. I have revived my previous artist name Nebelhexe (meaning fog-witch), partly because I feel like going ‚back to basics‘, meaning back to the more dark and occult visions I originally had when I was living in London. But I also have disscovered new meanings to re-use this name… THERE ARE SOME 80IES “GOTH” INFLUENCES IN THE SOUND – ARE YOU A “CHILD” OF THE 80IES GOTHIC REVOLUTION? I am originally very inspired by gothic, wave and other alternative music, bands like Depeche Mode, Killing Joke, Bauhaus, Kate Bush, Dead Can Dance, Skinny Puppy etc., to name examples. I have always been an alternative person, part of the alternative music scene. I used to be a pretty extreme looking gothic person in my younger ‚wilder‘ days… I always had a fascination for decadence, gothic images and mystic atmospheres… As a tribute to this era I have made a cover song of Lene Lovich’s Bird Song, my most influential song. I was just a kid when I saw Lene Lovich sing this song on TV. The ghostly song and her gothic appearance… and I was mesmerised. I said to my mother „oh mum, look at this…when I grow up I want to look like her…“ WHAT IS FIRST IN YOUR SONGWRITING? MUSIC OR LYRICS? All my songs come from inside of me. I often hear them in my mind already with all arrangements. So the music comes very easy to me. It comes spontaniously. The lyrics however take me quite a long time to write. It takes time to write good lyrics that express what one really feels. WHAT DO THE TEXTS MEAN TO YOU? CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT THEY ARE ABOUT? The songs are very inspired by my childhood memories, bizarr occult experiences, wet dark streets of London, strange dreams, feelings of sadness, melancholy and lost love. I think I am the typical person who uses music and art as therapy. When I open myself to the emotions and visions of the past I can communicate with my inner self, work on myself and grow as a person. My music has always been personal and honest, yet with Hagalaz I focused entirely on the forgotten pagan mysteries and thus the songs had a message to the listener. The new songs have less a message and more a feeling I want to bring across. Except the song ”Reverse”, which is a bittersweet humoristic message: A dark goddess rises from the ground to remind abused women, of their forgotten preditor instinct, getting them to reverse and strike back… I think my dearest songs are “Totems”, “My Visual World” and “Touch Of Morpheus”. “Totems” is a vision of wolves disguised as dark men wandering, following me, seeking me… an image of other worlds and the decaying city. This is also a comic idea I am working on. Kind of in the same manner as the old black and white movie ‚Carnival of Souls‘. My Visual World is about myself… walking through endless streets…seeing and searching… Touch Of Morpheus is about a vision of decadence, opium, absinth, the sleeper god Morpheus… and a gothic experience of my own… WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE NORWEGIAN MUSIC SCENE NOWADAYS? DO YOU HAVE CONTACT WITH MANY BLACK METAL MUSICIANS? MAYBE MORTIIS WHO COULD BE A GOOD TOURING PARTNER FOR YOU IN MY EYES?! Mortiis and I are friends, we used to be neighbours (he was watching my dog a lot of times) and we have had very similar musical ways. We both started off being on the label Cold Meat Industry, playing dark atmospheric music and over the years changing and developping our music to more experimental sounds. We both are into alternative bands, enjoy bands like Nine Inch Nails for example. So yes I can see myself going on tour with him for sure… WOMEN IN ALTERNATIVE MUSIC HAVE BECOME “THE BIG THING” NOWADAYS (REGARDING WITHIN TEMPTATION, NIGHTWISH AND SO ON). DO YOU THINK THIS IS A NATURAL EVOLUTION OR JUST A TREND MADE BY MEN? First of all women have always been in alternative music, to name Danielle Dax, Nina Hagen, Lene Lovich, Siouxy and the Banshees, XMal Deutschland, Cat rapes Dog, PJ Harvey, Diamanda Galas… and there have always been interesting women in alternative music. What you are referring to is ‚metal‘ music. Yes here there are a lot of female singers now that get a lot of attention and photos printed everywhere, and they don’t even make any music. For me as a songwriter I really can’t respect these women who stand there and sing music and lyrics they did not make. When I look at todays music scene there are a lot of female singers and I appear to be one of the very few who actually writes music. This I find really annoying. I think it is embarrassing and it puts a lot of pressure on me. While the female singers of Nightwish, Lacuna Coil and so on are on the magazine covers and on inside pictures and get all the attention, it is the guy who made the music who actually does the interview. This means the women are just there for glamorous promotion of the band, not because they are an important part of the music making…I think this is discriminating! And what I don’t understand then is that people just take it without questioning it, „hey why don’t these women make any music, they just sing what the guy in the band tells them to“? As I have written in all my writings, the gift of creativity is a feminine quality, intuition is feminine, art itself is feminine, the muse is feminine, so women only have to open up to their inner self to create… WHAT WILL BE YOUR MAIN FOCUS IN MUSIC IN FUTURE? ARE THERE ANY OTHER PROJECTS – EXCEPT NEBELHEXE – PLANNED? Well, I cannot say anything concrete… except that I work on several artistic projects and I hope to succesfully release them soon. DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS TO GO ON TOUR? I hope to tour South America this year and play good festivals…I love to perform live, I love to bring across the atmosphere of my songs. Now that I have dropped the medieval instruments it was much more easy to find suitable interesting musicians who will enjoy playing on alternative festivals…So with my new band I hope to play great and visual shows, I really look forward to play the new songs live and perform on stage. ANY LAST – PAGAN – WORDS? I hope the listeners will enjoy and understand the atmosphere of my new songs. For more infos and details about my music, words and art please check out out www.nebelhexe.com

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