Interview with Juha Raivio

Hallatar, Swallow the Sun, Trees of Eternity

Hello Juha & first of all thank you for accepting my request to do this interview! What can you tell us about Hallatar which is clearily the best surprise for this year. How did came up the collaboration with Tomi from Amorphis?

Both Tomi and Gas Lipstick are good friends of mine and both being such amazing deep artists I really hoped to work with them and luckily they wanted to do this album with me too. Im very honoured that they did this album with me as it is one of the most important albums I had or have to do in my lifetime.

For the song “My mistake” you did also a collaboration, this time with Heike Langhans which has a similar voice as Aleah(especially on this song) … how was when you did the video and all the thing related to this?

Heike and Aleah were good friends and they are both originally from South-Africa and I know they wanted to do music together in the future, so it was very important for me that Heike was included on this album to in a way make her and Aleah still “do music” together as they would have done if things would go other way. I asked Heike if she would sing and do some poems of Aleah in the Hallatar album and she was honoured and proud to do it. Im very lucky to be able to work with these amazing people in this album.

I guess you’ve been asked before, but what is the most rewarding aspect in putting Hallatar together?

Most rewarding thing about Hallatar and Trees of Eternity albums are that I can release Aleah’s music and words to the world and let more and more people to know about this one of the most amazing lyricist and singer/songwriter that has been in this planet. So few people have had chance to hear of her and every album or her song I can release will make more people know about her. I also made a promise that I will bring as much of her music and words to the world as I can and this Hallatar album is second step on that promise after Trees of Eternity album. I will still do Aleah’s solo album in the future and maybe release an EP from the Trees of Eternity demos we did for the second album.

What is your musical background ?

I been playing guitar since I was 13 years old and I come from very musical family.

Is there a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning of your career?

There is many highlights with releasing each and every album and we have done many amazing shows and some good tours too. But there is also almost as many let downs with the music business and fucked up record labels and assholes around that have worked very well against the band and its road forward.

Swallow the Sun will play next month in Romania. Will you join ‘em?

Yes I will play in Romania.

I know it’s pretty soon to ask you this but we will expect more from Hallatar in the future? A possible coming to our country maybe?

Tomi, Gas and me we all hope to do more music in the future and maybe play few shows now and then, but next year Tomi will be very busy again with Amorphis and I have some plans with Swallow the Sun too, so it might take some time before or if there will be more music from Hallatar or live shows. But I really hope we could go and play some shows to celebrate the music and the words of Aleah Starbridge.

Thank you again for your time and for your answers. It was a pleasure. Last words belong to you…

Thank you for the interview and I hope to see many people at the concert in Romania as playing this music to the people who are not scared to take in this sorrowful and dark music is a honor to play to. Most of the people just want to listen fast metal with lots of guitar solos and lyrics about vikings and dragons and all that kind of shit. So everytime playing at the doom festivals it is a big honour to us as we know all the people in the festival are more sensitive for the deeper and darker side of the music that have come there. So hope to see lots of you in there.


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