Since the release of their critically-acclaimed second full-length album, 2011′s The World. The Flesh. The Devil, Swedish occult heavy metallers In Solitude have been busy taking their dark, yet melodic compositions to stages all over the world. Back in March, I caught them supporting Amon Amarth (a show which I reviewed here) – and after the show, I emailed In Solitude’s vocalist Hornper to find out more about the group. Here’s what he had to say;
OneMetalIt’s been almost a year since the release of ‘The World. The Flesh. The Devil’, and you seem to have spent most of the time since on tour. Has it been rewarding taking the material you poured so much of yourselves into all over the world?
HornperYes, it’s been extremely rewarding. Coming closer to the material and its underlying currents, seeing what it could do with us and where those currents could take us. Reaching such latent places (inner and outer), experiencing that great shattering that comes with it’s elevation and descent. Living my life with this album has been a very strange time, for many reasons, and I’ve contemplated the embers of it’s aftermath under many different night skies of the world by now.
OneMetalIn Solitude’s music and lyrics seem rooted in influences and experiences that are very personal to the band – does having such a close connection with the material affect how you deliver it in the live arena, and how you are affected by a crowd’s response to the music?
HornperWell, it’s an absolute necessity that a bands music and lyrics are rooted in personal experience and emotional life. And it’s very easy to figure out who’s who in the world of music these days. I see no reason for me whatsoever to be involved in music if it wasnt for the spiritual and emotive vocation that brought me here, what it does to me, where it takes me and what it gives me. I solely feed off these forces in music. It’s hard to put ones finger on the relations between the crowd and the group. They are obviously extremely important, and a part of it all. My sole interest in the audience is always, in whatever field of art I may express myself, to shake them out of their existence in one way or another. In a small degree or on the immense levels.
OneMetalYou’ve toured with a lot of acts who are quite sonically diverse, from your recent tour with Amon Amarth and Grand Magus to shows with Watain and Behemoth. How accepting have the audiences of more ‘extreme’ bands been to your brand of occult-inspired heavy metal?
HornperI prefer tours where bands are sonically diverse. However, I’ve really realized the importance of being, at least somewhat, on the same page when it comes to the heart of the music. A coherent comprehension of it’s reasons and message. We’ve played with people I personally don’t think we have anything to do with whatsoever. Thats okay, sure, we’ll still do what we do, but travelling and playing with people you respect and find inspiring is really worthwhile, to say the least.
OneMetal‘The World. The Flesh. The Devil’ is shrouded in a dark atmosphere that sets the record apart from other acts, providing an air of menace and grandeur. Were there any particular techniques or methods that you and producer Fred Estby came up with while recording at Gutterview to realise that atmosphere – or was it born organically from the material?
HornperThings are a bit blurred for me when looking back at the recording sessions. It was a perticulary strange and intense period of time in my life and I was in a very strange place personally. This was, however, something that contributed a lot for me. Where I was at the time was a direct result of what I had gone through with the lyrics and the experiences that laid the basis for their foundations. The blades of clarity are sharp and singular, and what I talk about above is definitely an elevation that was absolutely necessary for my contribution to the album. Anyhow, we all found a very perticular way of working with the material very early on in the process with the help of Fred Estby, who was/is one of the very few to understand what we want/wanteded with the album.
OneMetalAre there any plans as yet to begin work on a follow-up to ‘The World. The Flesh. The Devil’? Are riffs beginning to form, or lyrics beginning to take shape?
HornperBasically, it’s all fragments of music at this point. But this far I get the feeling that this new material will break a lot of new ground within the confines of In Solitude’s music. Lyrically, I write all the time. Constantly. In languages of this world and others. Maps and translations that’ll eventually fall apart in one way or another and form poems for coming material. It’s a very long and strange process.
OneMetalAre there any plans to record a promo video for any of the songs on ‘The World. The Flesh. The Devil’? Considering the band’s look both on-stage and in promotional photos and the album’s evocative cover artwork, I’d be intrigued to see what kind of visuals would accompany In Solitude’s music in a video format.
HornperWe did a video for “To her Darkness” quite recently actually. It was a completely new field of expression for us and it was a very rewarding experience. It’s basically an array of visual pieces portraying fragments of the vision and departure that is her blessing.
OneMetalFinally, do you have any particular message you’d like to send out to the OneMetal.com readership?
HornperGiven an urgent value
and an appalling and beautiful permission
In girum imus nocte ecce et consumimur igni
In Solitude’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/insolitudeofficial