Harald of Bloodthorn - Back
1. How did the band get started? How did you meet and how long have you been together?

Harald: Bloodthorn was initially a one-man project which Tom (guitar) started in 92, working on his own aided by computer and drum-machine. Then Krell (vox) came in and together they recorded the 96 demo "Natteskyggen" and later with the help of some session musicians they recorded Bloodthorn's first album "In the Shadow of your Black Wings" (1997). After the release of this album Bloodthorn was turned into a full band which was at the time I joined - about three and a half year ago. We went through some line-up changes over the following couple of years, but was finally stabilized with Alex from Agressor taking on lead guitars and Jehmod from Perished behind the drumkit. So the current line-up, which recorded "Under the Reign of Terror," has been together for about two years now.

2. How would you describe your music?

Harald: Somewhere on the fine line between Black and Death Metal. We are not especially concerned about putting a label on our music, but we definitely see that this often is needed. "Under the Reign of Terror" has the savageness and ugliness that is often connected to Black Metal and the heaviness and aggression most people recognize in Death Metal. I would say though that our sound is more akin to the bands of the late eighties/early nineties than most bands of the genres to day.

3. What are your biggest influences?

Harald: Musically Bathory has been the most important band in the shaping of Bloodthorn in it's early days. Although I wouldn't say they have so much direct influence or inspiration on our creations anymore. Personally I find this in the thrash and death metal of the eighties and early nineties. Also I have much respect for some of the current bands like Usurper, Diabolic, Abhorrence, Vomitory, Necrophagia, Mortem and the sadly defunct Angelcorpse, but I don't find these bands so much influental on my songwriting. Probably they inspire more in the way they bring total savagery and bloodsoaked Metal madness to the scene in this day and age, where that's something that's often missing.

4. What influence do you think your bands has in music and metal today?

Harald: I've seen some interviews with smaller bands who've found Bloodthorn's music influencing their material, but that was in particular the first album which was much more "atmospheric" and much more doomy. As our sound has changed quite much I don't know about that situation now as you can't exactly call "Under the Reign of Terror" a modern-sounding album and most younger bands seems to take after those acts that have a more up-to-date sound than we do. We never aimed to be the most original or whatever - we just make extreme metal the way we want it to be.

5. What made you want to be in the band? And if you weren't in the band what would you be doing now?

Harald: Well, as Tom and Krell wanted to make Bloodthorn a full band and were putting together a complete line-up, Krell asked me if I wanted to play bass as the guy who played on the first album wasn't the type they were looking for. I were already in another band with Krell which was rather primitive Thrash/Black Metal stuff, so that's how we knew eachother and how that happened. If I weren't with Bloodthorn I'd be in another band for sure. I don't know what, but something fairly similiar musically I guess.

6. Are any band members in side projects? If so what are they, and explain a little about them.

Harald: Alex has his own band Agressor which I'm sure some of your readers are familiar with, esp. their "License to Thrash" split Lp with Loudblast or their debut "Neverending Destiny" - truly a classic Death/Thrash LP! They released their fourth album "Medieval Rites" through Season of Mist some time back now and there's a new Mcd on the way as well as they're currently gigging and will do some fesitals during the summer.

Jehmod is still also playing in Perished which just have a new MLP entitled "Grim" out through Apocalyptic Empire and they'll play the Hole in the Sky festival in Bergen, Norway in late August. I think they're currently shopping for a new record deal as well and a 2nd full-length album shouldn't be too far in the future. Jehmod's also playing on the Gore Lord and Vurdulack albums which are coming out sometime later this year I think. Gore Lord is more or less a one-man project it seems - done by a guy called Frediablo which is now also in Necrophagia, while Vurdulack features the bassplayer from Immortal as well as Maniac of Mayhem and Killjoy from Necrophagia.

I'm in band called Maelström which is some kind of Death/Thrash/Doom metal or whatever. We just recorded our second demo a couple of weeks ago so that one should be available soon. Also I'm doing a metal/horror fanzine called From Beyond and the 7th issue should be out in September or so - it depends on what happens with Bloodthorn as far as touring goes.
Tom is occupied with his moonshine bottle and Krell is running stoned around in the forest with his fishing rod.

7. How would you feel if a band took their sound from yours and became very well known?

Harald: Good for them. As long as they didn't steal our songs and claim them their own I wouldn't care. I don't think it's gonna happen though. As I said we're not a band out to revolutionize the scene and we don't play a kind of music that's likely to create huge piles of money. The new material is even more extreme and brutal and with a few exceptions there's never been much fame to collect for extreme metal bands.

8. What current bands do you like or respect?

Harald: I touched on this in an earlier questions, and those are definitely some of the absolutely best band around today. Of course there're many other great bands, but there's not much use in listing them all I think. One common thing for most current bands I like is that their sound is akin to the early Death/Black metal bands and are pretty far from what's widley popular today. I respect bands who work hard and believe in what they're doing and who support the scene - both fans and other bands. It's often easy to feel the honesty in a bands music - that they do this out of love for extreme metal and that's the kind of bands I like and support.

9. How many demos/albums do you have? Tell me about them!!

Harald: I don't keep count of my albums and tapes but I guess around 700 or 800 Lps, 400 Cds maybe and even less tapes. I've never been into tape trading so my demo collection isn't so big, but I got some good stuff which I listen to and if I find something that I really like - be it new or old, I copy that as well. There's a lot of great demos out there and it's sad to think of how many good ones I've missed out on.

10. What demo/album do you like the best?

Harald: That's almost impossible to say, but "Reign in Blood" must be what comes closest to the "perfect" metal album. Autopsy's "Critical Madness" is one fuckin' great demo, that's for sure!

11. What is the meaning behind the songs?

Harald: If you mean the lyrics they deal with topics such as war, violent horror and death. I don't think many other subjects would fit for a Death/Black Metal band and these are the things I find interest in writing about. There's no particular meaning or message behind the songs, as they're ficitonal tales of horror and war more than anything. Of course some of them are "inspired" by the shit that's happened or are currently happening in this world, but we don't want to preach or tell anyone to do this or that.

12. What are the bands favorite songs?

Harald: Of our own? I guess we have different faves, but all from the new album are good. "Demonblood" is definitely a good one. Also, we're working on some new ones now, one of which Tom wrote the music for and that one's fuckin' raw and ugly. It'll definitely be one of our better ones I think. No title for it yet though.

13. What does the future hold for the band?

Harald: Well, the new album is just out now so we're really excited about that and how it's receieved by the press and fans. It's got a very good reception so far and the reviews have all been very good except one which was kind of luke-warm, so it looks good. I think that any band who says they don't care what people think of their music are liars. I mean, if people says our music sucks that's Ok, I'm not gonna loose any sleep of it, but whenever someone comes up to you and say that they like your music that's great - you know you've managed to accomplish something that means something even to others. And that's a great task. But, back to the future - we're working on getting some tours for the autumn both for the states and Europe and we have MLP coming sometime around X-mas I guess. This will consist of four songs recorded at the same time as "Under the Reign of Terror," but not so much like the new stuff and there's also a cover of "Call from the Grave" which is a song we used to do live. Also it'll feature a couple of new songs which we'll record sometime later this year which will show the direction of the next album. Apart from that I can see the future holding a cold beer with my name on it.

14. If you could play with any band who would it be and why?

Harald: Any of the bands I mentioned earlier would be great! Bolt Thrower would fuckin rule! They are such a great band and there won't ever be a band like them and unfortunately I never saw them live. To go on tour with them would kick fuckin' ass! Also going out with Mayhem would be very good cause they're really great guys and they're hard drinkers so I think it would be a wild trip.

15. Who writes the majority of the music?

Harald: For "Under the Reign of Terror" Tom and I wrote the majority and then Alex did one song and Krell did some riffs and separate parts. But we're all putting it together as a band and doing the final arrangements so it's definitely a group effort. One person might come up with the basic riffs or whatever and then we all put our "touch" to it and collectively work out the finished song. We try out different parts and arrangements together and while one of us occationally bring in a song which is more or less finished the end product is always a result of the whole band.

16. Who has been the favorite band you've played with and why?

Harald: We haven't played with so many bands, but Marduk was definitely one of the better ones. We played the Nuclear Festival in France with them a couple of years ago and they fuckin' shred! Of course, when we played at the Inferno festival in Oslo Cadaver was really great - definitely the best one of the weekend. But we've mostly had a great time with all the bands we've been playing with so I definitely have to mention Agressor and ...And Oceans too - really cool guys.

17. Where did you get the band name from?

Harald: That was somthing Tom came up with almost ten years ago. I asked him about but he can't remember really. Just something he picked out of the air I think. Of course it was later linked to the "Bloodthorn Saga" that we've dealt with on our albums, but initially it was just a good sounding name.

18. Describe what the band is like live?

Harald: It's hard for me to say as my view of our gigs is quite different from the audience. But I'd say, and we also keep hearing this, it's heavy, violent and aggressive. No gimmickry, no bullshit. Just pure aggression, headbanging and unrelenting Metal of Death straight in your face!

19. If you are gonna do any kind of video what would be in it?

Harald: Well, Jehmod came up with some good idea for a video but I won't reveal that in case someone else picks it up. Only thing I can say is that it will be fuckin' vile and blasphemous if we can pull it through. We want to add some live clips with the band and lots of bloodgushing violence and war! We want to do some kind of video for the next album but we're definitely not doing some half-assed shit, so it'll cost some money, and as always that's the main problem.

20. Are there any touring plans made; if so tell me about them?

Harald: We're working on that right now as I mentioned earlier, and hopefully it will happen sometime this autumn. We got a guy trying to get us on an European tour around October or something, and there's possiblilites that we can get something in the States for the late summer/early autumn. It's very much up in the air though at this point so I really don't want to say too much about it. But as of now, getting on tour is our main priority so something should definintely happen within the next few months.

21. Where do you think the band will be 20 years from now?

Harald: To be honest with you I don't think Bloodthorn will exist in 20 years from now. Not what I don't believe in what we're doing, but I just don't see Bloodthorn as band of 45 to 50 year olds. I don't think we can stand eachother for so long! But you never know, stranger things would've happened.