As a music journalist who has been in this world for more years than it seems, I have too many Grails in my ‘must have’ interviews list. Today I have the honor to bring to all of us, one of them: Dark Funeral, one of my favorite Balck Metal bands.

So, taking advantage of a little break in the band’s journey, I contacted to their vocalist Heljarmadr, who accepted the invitation to answer some questions for my VNMATW portal. So let’s see what he told us and enjoy it!

Kat S.F.: First of all, thank you for taking a few minutes to attend VALENCIA’N’METAL AROUND THE WORLD.

This year has been very intense in terms of live performances for Dark Funeral since you have toured practically the entire globe and have been to many festivals. Overall, has it been a fruitful year for the band or is there still something left for you to do?

Heljarmadr: Hello and thanks for your interest! Yes it has been brutal, we’ve done around 100 concerts since November 2022. And we have a few more to do before this year is ended. But as the globe is big and we still have a lot of ground to cover, we aim to be just as active during 2024.

Kat S.F: At the beginning of the tour, I read in a post by Lord Ahriman that you had not done a club tour in Europe for many years. Is there a difference between a tour like this and those of big stadiums? In which do you feel more comfortable?

Heljarmadr: Yeah. There is a difference between club gigs and festivals. On a tour you play frequently and kind of live the tour life in the tour bus, whereas during festvial season you have the constant flights and sometimes weeks between the gigs. There are pros and cons with both I guess, but I enjoy them all.

Kat S.F.: For this tour, which brought you to Spain and I was lucky enough to experience you live in Madrid last March, you have shared the stage with Death Gore Cannibal Corpse, a band due to its style, does not combine at all with a pure Black Metal like yours. How did the idea come about?

Heljarmadr: Well, I find it amusing that this seems to come as a surprise to a lot of people because the first time Dark Funeral and Cannibal Corpse toured together was in 1998!!! It is only in these later days everything has become so polarized. I think mixed tours are the best. Personally I love Cannibal Corpse and it is great to be able to expose our music to their core audience, as well as they are able to expose theirs to the Dark Funeral core fansbase. Last time we did a club tour in Europe was with Death Metal legends Krisiun.

Dark Funeral (photo by Fernando Serani)

Kat S.F.: Dark Funeral’s seventh and last studio album, ‘We Are The Apocalypse’, has been out for over a year now and its live reception has been fabulous. Did this album meet the expectations you expected or has it been better?

Heljarmadr: We are very proud of the album and we think it has been very well received.

Kat S.F.: This 2023 you celebrate thirty years within the extreme scene, not only at Swedish Blacker scene, but even worldwide. Do you have something specific in mind to celebrate it, such as reissues, a special show or a live CD/DVD…?

Heljarmadr: Time will tell… Some things are being planned in the background.

Kat S.F.: Although many of us know you as the vocalist of Dark Funeral, you are also in other bands like Grá (active since 2010). Can you introduce me the band a bit like musical style, what you sing about…

Heljarmadr: We sing about birds and lawnmowers and empty beer cans. No but seriously, a lot of the Grá lyrics are in Swedish and musically and lyrically we have a different vibe than Dark Funeral. There would be zero point in having two similar sounding bands. Check out our website and there you will find all links to social media, streaming and so on.

Kat S.F.: In Grá, if I not wrong you not only sing, you also play the guitar too. Did the two aptitudes arise at the same time or did one give way to the other?

Heljarmadr: Yes I am a guitarist, although we just recruited two new guitarists so I will mainly sing and do some percussion, as well as acoustic guitar, live. I’ve been a guitarist and vocalist since the mid 90’s so I don’t know if the chicken or the egg came first.

Grá (photo from their RRSS)

Kat S.F.: Your latest studio album came out last January 2023 entitled ‘Lyacon’. Can you tell me a bit about it? Did you performed live yet?

Heljarmadr: It’s the best album ever released, it sounds much better than all your favourite bands together and more evil than Satan himself.

If I was a salesman I would say that, but I’m not. I encourage everyone to go find out for themselves, it’s our 4th album and there’s an obvious development since the last album. We’ve did a few concerts but we would like to do more.

Kat S.F.: Apart from being in Dark Funeral and in Grá, are you in any other band? And it is easy for you to organize your activity in both?

Heljarmadr I have a lot going on. I’m working on my first album under the name Heljarmadr, I’m working on my second book. I do some studio work as well as help out sometimes during concerts. I’m not a lazy person and Netflix and video games never appealed to me, so I am always up to something artistic, in one way or another.

Kat S.F.: And finally, what is the most immediate duty’s you have in your more than hectic schedule?

Heljarmadr: Next up is a one off concert with my old band Cursed 13, we play a show at the festival Slaktmånad. Then we have six shows with Dark Funeral in Sweden. After that I will probably keep working on everything else that I mentioned until more gigs are being confirmed.

Kat S.F.: Thank you so much. And I hope to see you on stage very soon. Very appreciate.

Heljarmadr: Thanks for the time and support!



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