HAT (Norway) Interview by DOA magazine
By David Horn
DOA: Tell me about growing up in Norway and the
inspiration you took from the natural splendour of your
Undertrykker: I grew up in Drobak, a little town about 30
miles south of Oslo (the capital of Norway) The sea is
close, and there are forests to hike in. The good thing about
Drobak, is that there is plenty of space for everyone. I don't
particularly like being around people, so this makes it an
ideal place for me to live.
Nevresch: Being maladaptive, depressed and hateful when
every person around has these great expectations, is a
trigger to go deeper into the puzzle of what that is real or
not. I personally don't think the nature surrounding me
has been inspiring but I may be wrong since the energies
of nature always have an impact on some level-
subconsciously maybe. I get inspired by being lost in my
own thoughts and philosophy, by digging deeper into the
shit I am stuck in, by feeling superior, and by knowing
exactly what I believe is my purpose.
DOA: What was your first exposure to the Norwegian
Black Metal acene?
Undertrykker: I can still remember the day I got ahold of
DARKTHRONE's A Blaze in the Northern Sky. That really
changed my world. I used to listen to METALLICA,
SLAYER, SEPULTURA and those kind of bands, but after
DARKTHRONE released this masterpiece everything
changed for me. The coldness of the album struck me as
perfect. The years from 1991 to 1994 were very inspiring -
a lot of great albums were released during that period. I
have never looked back and Black Metal is still a huge part
of my life today.
Nevresch: My second cousin who is a couple of years
older than me, was the first Black Metal maniac in our
hometown. I remember how the old ladies crossed the
street just to avoid having to pass him. He as a wolf
among sheep. Some time went by and I felt my own wolf
scratching beneath the surface.
DOA: How has the Norwegian Black Metal scene evolved
over the years from its turbulent beginnings?
Nevresch: To answer this question I had to dig into my
record collection and while I sat down listening to some of
the great records and demo tapes from those early days it
became clear to me that there has been no evolution. It
was and still is the most creative musical expression that I
know of. The answer why is truly simple as well; when you
have a genre that is based on breaking compositional rules,
being innovative and original to promote the destruction
of all that is written in stone is the only true way. True
Black Metal is essentially a spiritual experience more so
than a musical one.
DOA: Tell me about how the filthy hordes of HAT got
together and the musical background of your members.
Undertrykker: Well there are only two of us, so it's a
small horde (hehe). We met for the first time when we
were about 6-7 years old on the first day of school. We
started playing in a band back in 1993 called RAVNER
(Ravens), but this didn't amount to anything worth
mentioning. In 1997 we moved to different parts of
Norway because of school and other things, so RAVNER
was put to sleep so to speak. We had very little contact
with each other for about 9 years before we met up again
in 2006. We immediately started discussing music, and
soon we found that we both still had the same
interests. I had made some riffs that I showed to Nevresch.
He liked them and we decided to make some music
together. I have no musical backgound what so ever. I
started out with drums when I was young and when
RAVNER split up I bought a guitar and started to jam on it
until I was good enough to make the kind of Black Metal I
Nevresch: I started out playing acoustic guitar when I was
fourteen, bought an electric guitar some months later and
put together a Death Metal band called CALUMNIATION.
Undertrykker plyaed drums, I was on vocals, and three
other outcasts stood for the bass and guitars. After a while
the band ceased to exist because of different opinions on
our musical direction. Undertrykker and I started to
rehearse in my basement with a crap shock drum kit and a
borrowed Peavey amp. We called the RAVNER back
DOA: What were you looking to accomplish with HAT
from a musical standpoint in tose early days?
Nevresch: When the mind gets full you sometimes get
stuck in patterns that need to be broken in some way to
get further. This is where I write music, and I don't write if
there is no melody spun into the patterns of thought.
Luckily for me there often are. I can't exactly remember
how I wrote in the early nineties, but since time is
nonlinear I believe I used some of the same methods.
Undertrykker: My main goal with HAT has always been
to make the kind of Black Metal I like. I think a lot of the
bands have moved away from playing cold and
atmospheric Black Metal and have mixed in other genres
and that's fine - but that's not what I like. I strive to make
music with a cold feeling. There are so many bands out
there with brilliant musical skills but they are not able to
make music that makes me feel anything. You don't have to
play insanely fast, or have the most technical guitar lines to
make good music. As I mentioned before, Black Metal for
me is about feeling, nothing else. As for the lyrics, I tend to
write about my hatred towards the human race, and death.
HAT is a misanthropic Black Metal band, and our music fits
our name, HAT (Hatred in English)
DOA: What Norwegian and international bands served as
inspiration for HAT in the beginning?
Undertrykker: Well, for me I would have to say
DARKTHRONE of course, and the early BURZUM albums
are incredible in terms of feeling. Many great Norwegian
bands in the early 1990's though, GORGOROTH,
IMMORTAL, SATYRICON, EMPEROR to name a few.
International bands I liked include MASSACRA, SAMAEL,
ROTTING CHRIST, SEPULTURA, SLAYER, MORBID
ANGEL and many, many more.
Nevresch: ULVER's Vargnatt (demotape). That is some of
the best stuff I can remember from those days. That
inhuman guitar sound almost destroyed my ears when I
strolled around with my Walkman and cheap earplugs.
DARKTHRONE, Under a Funeral Moon, SATYRICON, Dark
Medieval Times, SAMAEL, Worship Him, ROTTING CHRIST
Thy Mighty Contract, DEICIDE, Deicide, GORGOROTH, A
Sorcery Written in Blood (demo tape), BEHERIT, Drawing
Down the Moon, and some others I can't rememebr at the
moment. Just by mentioning these releases I immediately
smell the stench of my basement lair. I fell the spiders
crawling on my skin and I get the feeling of being one with
the eternal darkness.
DOA: How did your music evolve from the Livet Ebber Ut
Demo (2007) to your debut full-length, The Demise of
Nevresch: Writing Livet Ebber Ut and The Demise of
Mankind have melted together in my memory. When
writing we are both so lost in the flux that I can't even tell
you how the songs came to life. Off course I remember the
recording of both the demo and the album, but if there is
development from the one to the other it has to have
something to do with the gear we used in the studio. The
evolution is as I mentioned before inside each track and it
DOA: Vortex of Death (2011) places HAT in the rarafied air
of bands such as WATAIN and DEATHSPELL OMEGA in
terms of crafting furious and uncompromising Black Metal
- tell me about the composing and recording of this
Nevresch: The birth of this album was truly painful, self-
destructive and developing, satanic and darker than I have
ever imagined darkness could get. It absorbed all light, life
and peace. At one point I thought I was writing an album
that would turn the wheel of existence. I was in touch with
my demon and one with my spiritual sides while writing.
We wrote the whole thing in just a couple of months. It was
actually all done by the time The Demise of Mankind was
released. When it comes to composition I have no clue why
stuff gets together as it does, it just fells natural I guess. It
is, as it has to be. Some of the songs on Vortex of Death
have a deeper meaning for me on a personal level; I know I
have created my truth, which is the only important
thing when it comes to the spiritual side of things. The first
touch of undiscovered knowledge is the beginning of
transformation, and while I transform I will drain the earth
and become one with chaos. I will never forget the extreme
powers and dark energies that were in play while
recording the album. We were both shivering, cold and
mentally out of balnce with the outside world. No one
understood what we were holding onto inside, we did not
talk much about it, but there has always been an
understanding on a higher level between Undertrykker
DOA: How did you hook up with the up-and-coming metal
powerhouse Abyss Records?
Undertrykker: We released our first album The Demise of
Mankind on a Spanish label called Antichristian Front
Records. Abyss Records liked the album and wanted to
release it in the United States. We really liked Abyss
Records' way of doing things and signed with them for the
release of Vortex of Death.
DOA: Tell me about the killer digipack design and what the
cover art on Vortex of Death means to you personally.
Nevresch: The design took quite some time as it always
does when I work with meaningful projects. I got a picture
in my head of this swirling mass of bodies going to the end
of all that is. Visually I wanted it to have a Gustave Dore
look, and in my search for something like this I came a
cross the picture by Francois Chifflart called Cholera
(1865). I fell in love immediately, but felt that something
was missing if we were to use it as an album cover. Than
came the only thing natural for this album - the Angel of
Death. Further I made "sigils" for each track that fulfills the
lyrics. The layout is inspired by old books and parchments.
DOA: Tell me about the meaning of the lyrics for the songs
"The Flesh I Wear" and "The Path to Immortality."
Undertrykker: "The Path to Immortality" is about my
journey through life, I don't fit in with the "normal" people
populating the earth. I have always been the most
important person in my life, and that hasn't always been
easy for some people to comprehend. So my "Path to
Immortality" is to do what makes me happy, without
considering what this does to others.Article appears in DOA magazine #3
Last fm: http://www.last.fm/music/Hat
Abyss Records links:
Online Label & Online Music Store: http://www.officialabyssrecords.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Abyss-Rec ... 3050232055
Last fm: http://www.last.fm/label/AbyssRecords
To purchase HAT - Vortex of Death DIGI CD and other HAT merchandise go to:http://www.officialabyssrecords.com/adv ... hat+vortex
To preview a song go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX-KoqPnUJY
And to preview a song from there first release "The Demise of Mankind" go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJD28wHlPpU