1. What about music makes you love it?
If we had to cover what makes us love metal in a single statement, we’d have to say it’s the energy in metal. If we broaden the answer, it would be how different how expansive music is, it goes beyond cultures, politics, and geographical boundaries, and is a common language that we all speak. It has the ability to change the emotional state of the listener and can enhance the enjoyment of activities.
2. When and how did the band form?
There is a funny story to this, well at least from our perspective. Aaron and I (Josh) had gotten together to explore the possibility of starting a band together. Back then I was playing guitar and more into the hardcore scene and not as technically proficient as Aaron while Aaron was rooted in the Scandinavian melodic death metal scene, so we didn’t really gel. About a year later (2006), we came back together to start Hämärä with myself (bass/vocals), Aaron (guitar), Kent (guitar), and my brother Luke on drums. About 6 months into starting the band we met Tony in one of Kent’s classes and brought him into the fold to round out the melodic death metal sound.
3. Could you see yourself ever doing anything else? Or is this your biggest passion?
Well, we all do other things as we have full time jobs, aside from Tony who makes a living teaching and performing music beyond Hamara. If we think about this question in the form of playing different music. Most of us play other genres, but they don’t bring the same level of satisfaction and joy as creating music for Hämärä does. Speaking for myself, I can’t imagine life without creating metal music with other musicians.
4. What do you think makes a song great?
It has to have captivating hooks that capture the listeners ear and stays with them long after listening to the song. The songs need the have the right progression of tension and release while emotionally affecting the listeners, whether it’s a typical emotion for the non-musician or the love of the music technically from musicians.
5. How has your experience been with Wormholedeath?
Before signing with WHD, we spoke to a few other labels and reviewed their contracts with our lawyer. We felt rushed by the first few labels while we tried to dial in the contracts where both parties were happy with the contract. With WHD, Carlo was extremely understanding of our due diligence approach, was very helpful when we spoke about the label and our vision, and was great to work with on the contract. Now that we’re on WHD, we’ve been stoked on the level of professional communications they’ve had as well as the promotional opportunities they have brought to the band.
6. Do you have any favorites on the Wormholedeath roster?
From what we’ve heard, we love the new addition of Snake Healer as we’ve been working with them via Metal Incorporated (a bands supporting bands community).
7. What are your plans for future releases?
We’ve completed recording a new single “Blackened Eyes” and plan on releasing singles about 2-3 months apart, eventually building up to a formal EP or album depending on how quickly we are able to write new songs. At this point, we are planning to continue the partnership with WHD to support these releases.
8. What's going through your mind after you finish a song?
That’s it! We have a long writing process to fully flesh out the songs which includes an intensive pre-production period, so it’s very exciting when we finalize all of the parts in the song.
9. Tell us about your release "hardly awake"
This song went through some major writing changes throughout it’s development. It really took the whole band to mold this song. Austen wrote the core riffs, Tony re-structured the song, Aaron wrote the first bridge and outro, and Josh wrote the bridges. An interesting fact about the song is that the chorus vocal lines that are on the recording were the ones that I (Josh) recorded during the writing period. I tried to reproduce the magic during the final recording process, but I couldn’t top my recording during the writing phase! Another interesting fact is that the solo was an accident! Aaron was just messing around while we were recording the song and started to solo over the last verse. We instantly recorded the first half of his noodling and built the solo off that initial idea. When I was writing the vocals I wanted to figure out a chorus that emotionally connected with our fans, which is not something I typically work towards being that I write from a more technical vs. emotional perspective.