Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wormlust Interview

In this interview with H.V Lyngdal of Wormlust, (parts of which are quoted in the prior article about Icelandic black metal) a bit of background context is helpful, since some of the questions and responses build on topics that he had discussed with others in awesome interviews in the past. In short, Hallucinogenesis is the upcoming album from Wormlust, The Feral Wisdom was the project's latest full-length from 2013 (which was noted to have been created during long periods of time without sleep). Also, the project Martröð, which he mentions later in the interview, is a pending project featuring H.V Lyngdal and members from bands such as Aosoth, Krieg, Leviathan, and Blut Aus Nord. See his thoughtful and expansive comments below:

Apteronotus: What is the current status of Hallucinogenesis and how much sleep deprivation has gone into working on it?

H.V Lyngdal: There were delays, some probably due to putting a time limit on the creative process. Most of it was that every last piece of gear broke down beyond repair and needed to be replaced. Finally the process of going through hours of musical ideas was slower this time around since the quality consciously went up. It is pretty much finished, I had to make a vow to myself that the version I am finishing up will be the last version. No more changing it around because of some idea of perfection. There have been sleepless periods, mostly this offering has been on my mind constantly since I began imagining what it could be 3 years ago. 

A: In terms of hours of music, how much material would you estimate that you have written over the past twelve months?

H.V Lyngdal: Past twelve months has been around 5 hours of riffs and maybe 3 of atmospheric stuff, but I started writing for the album back in 2013 and so everything summed up is around 20 hours, riffs and soundscapes. Some of it very thought out and (each progression) while others have a wider brush stroke that lead to being other themes and variations instead. The principle is that 99% of the effort is utter shit, but the energy going into it will leave 1% of material that is usable and perhaps
half of that is any good. Divide it up again and there is the music you can actually release. Then there is the question of how to compose those pieces together, maybe only one second of a riff was interesting so I will place it in the composition somewhere it challenges you. 

Wormlust - The Feral Wisdom (2013)

A: Why is it that you are so drawn to psychedelics and making chaotic music?

H.V Lyngdal: Saucerful of secrets clicked with me on a spiritual level and sent me on a journey that had me listening to the obscurest 60's rock bands a few years later. What it was is that drew me to it I can't say, but I remember getting really claustrophobic on that first listen of Saucerful, with images of universes being born and dying, Firelit tribes of antiquity worshiping the stars.

The chaos in music in the music can be thought in relation to chaos magic, both artforms are interconnected, the inner turmoil of the self manifested.

A: Which bands, if any, do you feel have had better success incorporating psychedelic music into metal?

 H.V Lyngdal: Mostly the bands that are not trying to be psychedelic, it's the old shamanistic tribal trance that every musician taps into on some level once or twice, through repetition. I could talk about Von in relation to krautrock bands like Neu! easily. That is the basis of the thing, but the other level would be musicians who are conscious of the label like myself. Being aware of the fact can have you playing with the idea of the "song", like in art. Is it still a song if you do this and that with it? Warp it. Destroy something integral to a tradition. Most bands seem to think buying a delay pedal is what makes a psychedelic band, but if you are aware of what you are trying to attain then you have to change your approach to the thing as a whole. By that I am talking of those that think, "I am going to make psychedelic music". It in itself has no defined style so the freedom to alter the music is vast. I haven't really heard many bands utilize the idea total creative freedom to that degree that use the label, but I can give a couple of  names to nail the point in. On these opposite spectrums are f.e Murmuure and Lurker of chalice. One is consciously making weird stuff while the other is made from instinct and emotion. Abigor is the quintessential psychedelic black black metal band for me, Negative Plane is also up there.

H.V Lyngdal Created the Cover Art for the Leviathan / Krieg Split
A: As someone who has studied art history, how do you feel that your education influences how you create music and visual artwork?

H.V Lyngdal:  I can relate it to the movements of happenings, duchamp, dada-ism, surreralism and ad nauseum. Its just like building a god-head and projecting your self unto it, its giving names ,symbols and power to a thing. What I do with music and visually is always a self portrait, that is how I view it. I alone create it and its a reflection of me, a singular entity. I have only done one commission artwork that was not truly from me and it turned out horribly, I am not credited with it. The most important thing I have learned from art is the importance of having your own voice, that is probably why I am not behind a Mayhem clone project.

A: On the topic of visual arts, are there any cover art projects that you are currently working on and can discuss?

H.V Lyngdal: No nothing, my mind does not handle working on music and images in the same time period.

A: Do you think that being an Icelander has an influence on what your music sounds like?

H.V Lyngdal:  Well, I could not really know. Hypothetically I could imagine not being born on Iceland and it is a nice thought. For me my music is just experience. Having played it and analyzed it long enough. Sociologically I can have the distinction of being an "old timer" within the black metal circle here, going back almost 15 years. Done dozens of random things.  I played drums on two rehearsals on what later in essence became Svartidauði, before that I was a member of the only active black metal band around 2000, failed horribly at playing keyboards for Potentiam. Later in 2003 I made 5 handmade copies of my first demos and sent I think 3 of those to labels, that until 2009 was my only effort into releasing my stuff and even then that was at someone else behest. All along I was playing in horrible bands on auto pilot, a band formed during every drinking binge. I was the only when in that situation, and when I think about it I can define how Iceland influenced my music: It gives no support! Want to release something/play abroad/get your efforts recognized? Forget it.

It is through our own efforts like hungry wolves that we are getting respect abroad. Even today for me personally there is not much support here, f.i "experts" like the zine Andfari etc. have never given me the time of day.

Usually the question is if the landscape is a influence on the music and I believe you are getting to that at another and less obnoxious angle. The answer is yes, every black metal project and band stares into the snowy horizon teary-eyed when they write and play their music.

Wormlust - Seven Paths (2009 Demo)

A: You’ve mentioned being unsatisfied with lyrics translations, citing a communication gap. Aren’t miscommunications inherent in lyrics anyways, or is language more fundamental for you?

H.V Lyngdal:  How I wrote those particular lyrics was basically untranslatable, I used Nordic compound words that would be incoherent when translated over to anything else. The loss of communication in lyrics comes mostly from not understanding the overall idea behind them is. You basically do not understand even though you can easily read it. Not being able to give people at least words so that they can try to decide on their own makes the whole idea of having lyrics useless. Trying to convey an idea, narrative etc. with a gag over your mouth. Placing such importance on words I derive from the orthodox side of myself where lyrics are transmuted into scripture.

A: Of all of the feedback you had heard or read about The Feral Wisdom, what has been the most memorable?

H.V Lyngdal: Getting to know other musical creators is the best thing to come as a result of that release,  I joined a project "Martröð" early last year. This project has been the impetus for getting better at my craft, I would write 1-10 things a day for it for a month and try to do better or at least differently on each try. It is a much needed construct of discipline. But I also enjoy hearing stories of people tripping to the album, using it as a table coaster to sniff things off of etc.

A: There has been a lot of press coverage about Iceland having its first pagan temple in a 1,000 years, with construction beginning in February 2015. How do you feel about this?

H.V Lyngdal: I did not know anything about it, I have been living in a cocoon basically, all our medias are owned by political parties now so I have stopped reading them. Things are going very wrong. My stance has always been the abolition of all religion basically. People tend to confuse the amazing Icelandic sagas with what the heathen religion of today is. For starters there are no reliable written records of anything concerning how heathen held their beliefs so there go the ties to tradition. What is there left then? Folk in costumes in opposition to the ruling religion that is Christianity. I can also take my favorite literature, marry it to my beliefs and give it a name - and I do. All within the comfort of my own home and definitely not inside a post-modern toilet-sculpture like the "heathens" seem to be doing.

A: Well that is all for questions, I appreciate your time. The last words are yours.

H.V Lyngdal: I would just like to acknowledge that this is one of the few interviews I have answered where the questions are well thought out.

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