Interview with Heljarmaðr

Dark Funeral, Cursed 13, GRÁ

Hello Andreas, pleasure to talk to you thanks again for acepting my invitation 🙂 Not everybody knows about your band Cursed 13 and GRÁ so tell me few things about them.
Hello and thanks for your support and interest!
I started Cursed 13 back in the late 90’s as a side ordeal, my main priority back then was Diabolic Lust (which was put to rest in 2005) so I used Cursed 13 as my own place for experimenting. Years passed by and there was only demos and such until 2009 when I turned it into a band and we released the split with Domgård. Since then we have released a full length album (“Triumf”) and there’s a new vinyl single to be released later this year.
We woke Grá up in 2010 when we were working on the Cursed 13 album. Somehow we ended up with a writers block and needed something completely different to occupy ourselves with. After a couple if improvised rehearsals we recorded the four songs which were to become the Helfärd EP. When we had released that, we came to the conclusion that we had more to give and the framework for a theme of releases was created. The concept was to explore the journey from life until the point of death and beyond. The rites surrounding death, death wish, the very moment of leaving the body and so on. This was called the Charon suite (or the Helfärd suite). This far we have released an EP, a full length album, a MCD, a digital single and a split 7”. The second full lenght album (titled “Ending”) will be released later this year and with that we complete the suite and close that door.

You are also the new vocalist of Dark Funeral since 2014. How did you come to join the band? Recently you were in Romania at METALHEAD MEETING. Did you enjoy it since it was the first time for Dark Funeral in Romania ?
Yes I joined Dark Funeral in 2014. I got to know the Dark Funeral guys as Grá was selected as the exclusive support band for their 20 years anniversary show here in Stockholm. I noticed that they had some difficulties in finding a suitable frontman for the band since Caligula was leaving for good. After a couple of weeks in contact regarding the anniversary gig I decided (after doing a lot of thinking) to ask if they would be interested in giving me a shot at the vocalist position. They said “sure why not, let’s try and see how it sounds”, I learned a couple of songs and we met up at the rehearsal place. Everyone was happy about how I sounded and the personal chemistry worked really well so I was merged into the band after a couple of more rehearsals and several discussions.
We enjoyed the METALHEAD MEETING festival very much and was very well received by the fans so we would gladly come to Romania back for more!

Cursed 13 it was at first your own project (one man band) and after that the other members were recruited. Why this name? Means something for you? The band never went on the stage. Why? You were never invited to play for a festival or so?
In the beginning it was called Cursed 666 but the number 13 started showing up everywhere in an almost creepy way so I decided to change. There were too many coincidences to be a coincidence so to speak.
We HAVE been on stage with Cursed 13, both on club gigs but also on festivals. Only in Sweden though. We haven’t been searching very actively for gigs but we have accepted most invitations and enjoy playing live with Cursed 13.

Now tell me a bit about your other project Gra about the split released this year in April 27th Gnosis of the witch. Who writes the lyrics, what are the main themes and where does the inspiration come from?
Yes, we released a split 7” with the American band Gnosis of the Witch recently. The guys asked if we wanted to do it and we just happened to have a live recording lying around from when we did a small tour to support the “Necrology of the Witch” MCD some years before. The song is originally a part of the first EP and we translated it to Finnish for the Finnish dates of the tour as an interesting experiment. It was recorded and we are glad to finally get that version properly released.
As I mentioned earlier Grá, since the beginning, has had a specific theme around Death and the passage between this world and the next. I write most of the music and lyrics and the other guys comes with contributions and improvements. Dimman (drummer) also contribute with some lyrics. For the new album (titled “Ending”, to be released this autumn) I decided to get a new perspective on things so I invited a couple of friends to write lyrics and do some guest vocals too. Those who contributed were Grim Vindkall (Domgård), Eldur (Den Saakaldte, Fortid) and Krill (Panphage). So we are actually four different vocalists on the album.

Where do you see yourself in the near future? Any plans or visions for this band or is it the kind of side project where you let the inspiration and ideas flow and just watch where it takes you?
Well there’s been a lot on my plate lately. There was the new Dark Funeral single “Nail Them To The Cross” (we’re also working on the material for the next full length album), the new Cursed 13 single (titled “Into Ashes”) to be released after the summer, the new Grá album (“Ending”), also to be released after the summer. I’ve also been very busy with rehearsing and properly learning the Dark Funeral material for the live shows, improving my stage performance and so on. After the summer festivals we’re doing I suspect that we’ll put full focus on the new material so that’s as far as I am able to see at this moment.
With Grá and Cursed 13, what comes after the releases are still hidden in the future, time shall tell…

Do you listen to any music apart from Metal/Black Metal?
I listen to a vast selection of music. Everything from classical music to old rock music to country and blues. Whatever’s good is good, regardless of genre. Currently listening to “Riders on the Storm” by The Doors.

You recently signed a deal with CARNAL RECORDS what was the reason why you joined them and do you think they can help you out in the future?
We met up with Björn (the owner of Carnal Records) at a festival we were playing with Cursed 13 and he wanted to release the Cursed 13 full length album, we said yes and we’ve been sticking with him since. It’s a good label and we have good contact on both professional and personal levels so it’s a win for both parts. Carnal Records have a good history too with releases from bands like Craft and Arckanum to mention just a few.

What is your opinion on the black metal scene these days? Is there anything missing?
I really have no idea about what’s going on in the scene. I live under my rock, creating my own music and really don’t care about what everyone else is doing. The hunger to explore new bands died with the 90’s. Since then I’ve been more interested in what I create myself to be honest.

Thank you for your time. Was nice talking to you. Do you have something to say for Romanian fans?
Thank you for the support and interest as I initially said. To the Romanian fans I can only say that if you are interested in what I do then you’re up for a good year with releases from pretty much all bands that I’m involved with.

You can follow the progress on our facebook pages:

The official Dark Funeral page:
facebook
My personal “Heljarmadr – Dark Funeral” fanpage:
facebook
The official Grá page:
facebook
The official Cursed 13 page:
facebook
Thanks to all of you who supported Dark Funeral at the Metalhead Meeting festival and to those who couldn’t come, we will come back to Romania as soon as possible!
Horns up, heads high and Hail Satan!
/Heljarmadr

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