HAT (Norway) Interview by www.lordsofmetal.nl

HAT (Norway) Interview

by http://www.lordsofmetal.nl

Boy, isn’t Norway a great country: a marvelous, almost untouched nature, and a lot of great music, especially if you are into black metal. I have written it before: whenever you think that the well of new great bands must be dried out in a nation with fewer than five million inhabitants, another great debut album is released. This year this already happened with great debut albums from bands like Svarttjern, Posthum and now Hat (Norwegian for hate). ‘The Demise Of Mankind’ is an album that will not be misplaced in someone’s yearlist of 2009, and so Lords of Metal contacted Nevresch and Undertrykker to talk about ‘The Demise Of Mankind’ and the band itself.

To introduce the band to our readers: I think a description of raw epic Norwegian black metal in the vein of Taake, old Gorgoroth (with singer Hat!) and the debut of Elite (‘Kampen’) is a nice way to picture what a listener can expect from “The Demise Of Mankind”. Now how do you describe your music when you talk to people?

Nevresch: We create music that has the presence of our demons, that is the main idea. I guess you could say we have failed if this does not come forth on our releases. A Hat song has its own life and will. We do not let fancy ideas destroy the nature of something that is bigger than us. If a song demands something we will apply it. We have been compared to old Gorgoroth, old Darkthrone and so on. Darkthrone was our first meeting with this kind of music. They are also the first ones, in my opinion, that managed to catch the Satanic presence and record it. There is something dark and powerful in their early works. I don’t talk to that many people about our music.
Undertrykker: I describe it as misanthropic Norwegian Black Metal.

Since the English word “hat” has a different meaning from the Norwegian word for hate: have you never considered of renaming the band into Evig Hat, eternal hate: your MySpace already uses that one, and with all due respect: the name “Hat” is not that much of a common house hold name in the scene yet…

Nevresch: When we started this band for the second time around, we wanted to start off with clean sheets. We chose the name Hat, and could not care less if people think it sounds silly. The name is perfect for the music we create. No fancy shit, straight to the point, Black Metal. We actually enjoy the stupid translation of the word. Anyway this music is not for the common pig, and if someone likes our stuff, that someone will spread the word. This way people who buy our albums buy it because of the music and nothing else.

Undertrykker: When we started Hat I don’t think we ever expected this to be a problem. We did not at the time even think about releasing an album that would be sold abroad. The name suits our music very well, and we both felt comfortable with it. So for the time being I don’t think we’ll change it..

One of the things that drew my attention was the original beginning of the album: not an obligate intro, but a choir in which the evil rasping vocals fall in: how did you get to that idea?

Nevresch: It was important to be very direct from start on. The choir is not a regular choir, but a recording of a “normal” congregation, praising their Lord. The vocals falling in say: Guds skitne avkom skal dø (Gods filthy offspring shall die). The idea was one of the last things we did on the album. At first there was no choir, but only the dry rasping vocals. But the song demanded something more.

It is hard to pinpoint favorites, since all songs have something special. How long has the band worked on the album, from writing the first tunes to mixing the final mix?

Undertrykker: I guess it took us about a year from start to finish. The first song on the album ‘Guds skitne avkom’ (Gods Filthy Offspring) was ready around the time the demo came out. So I think a year is a good estimate.

Going on about the album: any surprising reactions so far, either bad or good?

Undertrykker: I am a bit surprised that the reactions has been as good as they have. This is the first album I have been a part of so I did not really know what to expect. But I am generally happy with the overall sound and feel of the album, and it seems like a lot of people feel the same way.

Nevresch: I read a review in Norwegian saying: ‘The Demise of Mankind’ is a true black metal album that will fill people with joy. Now, that is disturbing.

Just wondering: once a band has recorded the album and did the mixing, it is a matter of giving things out of hand to the label. How did you experience that, was it exciting to release a debut after all those years, or was it more the fulfillment of a creative process?

Nevresch: I am a very result oriented guy. I created the artwork and the layout as well, so to receive the disease was liberating. But I am always looking forward, so new processes has been in focus after handing it over.

Undertrykker: It was such an amount of hard work put in to making the album, that by the time everything was finished I needed a break from it. But it was extremely fulfilling holding the finished record for the first time. Nevresch did an outstanding job on the layouts as well.

The black metal scene has pretty much become a normal scene, and so, like other scenes, it comes down to the few same bands dominating the scene, without much room for new acts. Does this feel frustrating to a talented young outfit like Hat?

Undertrykker: Not really, I have never been part of the “scene” anyway.

Nevresch: We do not belong in a scene at all. Group mentality and fame is something I keep great distance from.

It is hard to see where Hat is coming from, except that it concerns a little coastal place in Norway. Now that sure helps, since Norway has one of the biggest coast lines in the world. I compared you guys to bands from Bergen. Is a guess that your living place is somewhere in Hordaland an adequate one?

Undertrykker: We are actually from a place called Drøbak. It is about 30 km south of Oslo. I really don’t know why we sound like we come from Bergen??

Because of the epic yet nihilistic sound of the album… After doing some research I found out that you started in 1993 as Ravner, then called it a day in 1996 and restarted in 2006: if you had not stopped but released an album like ‘The Demise Of Mankind’ back in the nineties, Hat would not have been one of the many good Norwegian bands on a rather small label, but one of the pioneers. Has that thought ever crossed your mind or was the early Hat not comparable to the level of the band these days?

Nevresch: We were young and furious. I think the potential was there already, but the lack of will to believe in our own creation was not. No mystery was revealed to us either. We have learned to know some of the secrets in the dark. And through these mysteries Hat arised.

Even if Antichristian Front Records is not one of the biggest labels around, you have your distribution of the album not only covered across Europe, but also the two Americas and Australia: how important is it for a band that does not play live to have world coverage, and how are the reactions so far from those regions?

Undertrykker: I think it is important, because the underground is yet again growing. It’s pleasing to be able to spread our plague to the utmost corners of the world.

How big is the chance that we can see Hat on European stages outside of Norway: I read that you have no ambitions to play live, but hardly anything changes as much as a man’s mind…

Undertrykker: The chance of that ever happening is very, very slim. But as you say, you never know…

Any idea of what the world can expect from Hat in the near future?

We do have five-six songs ready, but we haven’t decided yet what to do with them. We signed for one album with Antichristian Front Recs. So if we get a deal that is pleasing in terms of distribution and such I hope there will be another Hat album on the way in not too distant future.

Any final words of hate from Hat for this interview?

Undertrykker: Thanks for some interesting questions. Check out our MySpace for samples of ‘The Demise Of Mankind’. Skål for faen!!

Interview link: http://www.lordsofmetal.nl/showinterview.php?id=2985&lang=en

Hat links:

Myspace: www.myspace.com/Evighat

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Hat/154439157951339

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/evighat

Last fm: www.last.fm/music/Hat

Abyss Records links:

Online Label & Online Music Store: www.officialabyssrecords.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/abyssrecordsofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Abyss-Records/164573050232055

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/label/abyssrecords

Last fm: www.last.fm/label/AbyssRecords

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/MinionfortheAbyss

Other links:

To purchase HAT “Vortex of Death” DIGI CD and other HAT merchandise go to: www.officialabyssrecords.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=hat+vortex

 

And to preview a song from their first release “The Demise of Mankind” go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJD28wHlPpU

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