úterý 18. srpna 2020

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Interview - HENRY KANE - I really like gritty dark productions.

Interview with HENRY KANE - crust, grind, death metal from Sweden.

Answered  Jonny Pettersson, thank you!

Translated Petra, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - HENRY KANE - Age of the Idiot (2020):

Ave HENRY KANE! Hi Jonny, hello to Sweden. I hope everything is fine with you. I have to write you one thing right at the beginning. Your new album "The Age of Idiot," has settled in my head so much that I listen it every Friday when I leave work. I always need to clear my head. And the title of the album perfectly captures what has been going on all around in recent years. How do you perceive the album over time? Compared to the first "Den förstörda människans rike" (2017), the novelty seems to me more raw. 

Hello! All is good here, working loads, staying away from people and keeping busy with music as always. The first Henry Kane album was all about taking it as extreme as possible, but still with melodies and structures intact. For me there is always got to be some substance to the songs, and even with the abrasive production of the first album you can still hear the layers in each song. “Age of the idiot” was written in the same way, but this time around I wanted the production to give room for those dynamics, so when mixing the album my main goal was to find the balance between that raw harsh feeling of the first album and those layers of music styles within the songs.

HENRY KANE is your project, a band. You are the only member. How did the idea to start it come about? When I look at Metal Archives and your discography, you played in so many bands that it would be enough for someone's lifetime. Each is a little different, I actually have them all in my collection, but HENRY KANE is different, wilder, more combed, crazier. Please take us through the history of the band. 

The idea for a project like Henry Kane has always been on my mind, and I have even several unreleased demos under different names that would easily fit under the banner of Henry. But the actual project came to life in 2016 when I wanted to do something to celebrate 20 years as a recording musician. I wanted to gather all my influences through the year under one banner, from black and death to crust and thrash and even doom. With most of my other bands we are bound by a genre, even though I always try to add touches of different genres into my song, it’s a much more open book with Henry Kane, there’s no limitations. 

In HENRY KANE you combine styles like crust, grind, death metal, in darker moments you even touch doom. The novelty is like a tsunami, once it engulfs a person, it does not release him. I wonder how do you approach to the composing process? How are new songs created? 

I usually start off with a riff or a melody, and that then sets the tone for the rest of the song. Once I start working on something it goes pretty fast. My brain goes into hyper drive and I can’t focus on anything else until I have finished the song. It’s like the song itself is pulling me in and leading the way. And even playing the riff on my guitar, I can straight away hear in my head the full production of how I want it to sound with drums, vocals and bass. I get a certain feeling for each song when I start working on it, so the aim is to capture that feeling.

When I did an interview with Dave Ingram recently, he paid a big tribute to you, to your work, the sound from your studio. I have to agree with him absolutely. You mixed and mastered the new record yourself. Did you approach it differently than others? After all, doing work for yourself is a little different than for other bands. Did you have someone to advise you, to say his opinion? Someone who can be critical and you accept his notes? 

That is great to hear, Dave is a word class vocalist and a great friend. Mixing your own records is a double edged sword. On one hand you have the freedom to do whatever you want with the mix, at the same time you have the freedom to do whatever you want with the mix, which tend to lead to overworking the mix, fixing things that doesn’t need fixing. So not to get stuck in the loop of doing the mix over and over again which has happened to me many times, I give myself a deadline, after that deadline I won’t do any further major changes or “fixes”. And without that way of doing my sanity, creativity and productivity is gone. 

This year, the album is decorated with a cover from Turrk G. Rantanen. The theme is excellent! It stands out among other records, everyone immediately notices it and fits perfectly to the music. How did you get together with Turrk? Zombie, undead, sitting on a throne and destroyed land beneath it. This is exactly how I imagine the apocalypse! How do you perceive the motif on the cover in relation to the music? 

It was Kunal from Transcending Obscurity that got me in touch with Turkka. I explained the lyrical concept of a word in ruins a man made end and he captured it perfectly. I could not be happier with the result.

"Den förstörda människans rike" is all in Swedish, the new album have just a few songs in Swedish. Why? Swedish is your native language. You probably write better lyrics in it, but tell us where you get inspiration for lyrics and what they are about on "The Age of Idiot"? 

The first album dealt with some very personal subjects, and with Swedish being my native language, it felt natural to express those subjects in Swedish. On “Age of the idiot” it’s more anger and frustration about the state of the world which works just as well in English. 

"The Age of Idiot" is the name of the album, which suggests a lot. Personally, to me, the world today seems distorted in certain ways. When the internet started, I thought that people would finally come together, that internet will make it easier for them to make a lot of good things. For a while, it was also true, but then it became more affordable and actually everyone has internet in its pocket. Especially a dull crowd. Lately, it seems to me that there is a lot of hatred on the net, as if a lot of individuals went there just to get rid of their frustrations. The bad thing is that they are often listened to. What do you think about today's society and its development? 

We live in a world where stupid people on Youtube becomes stars and people follow their every word. And at the same time smart people scientists, Dr’s etc, people with actual facts, actual proof of things gets questioned. Stupidity, hate, ignorance rules the world, and the majority of people seem too occupied with reality shows, internet gossip. The internet is great, but it also gives a voice to all the morons. All of a sudden, the Karen’s of the world gets a voice to give medical advice, and thousands of people follow every word. Add to that all the righteousness junkies who will share anything as absolute fact without actually check the facts, just so at the end of the day they can pat themselves on the back and feel good about being a warrior for justice. But in realty they spread hate and make the world a worse place to live.

You are the exclusive composer of HENRY KANE, the singer, you are signed under all the instruments. I understand that you play guitar and bass, your vocals are also unmistakable, after all you have confirmed this in so many bands that no one doubts that you can do everything very well. But tell me, what about the drums? This is usually quite a problem with one-man projects. On "The Age of Idiot" they sound like they are alive! How is it actually? Can you play the drums? Or did you choose such a good program that I didn't recognize it? 

It's a mix of played and programmed drums. A lot of them are played but adjusted in the mix to make them sound as good as possible. I’m not a good drummer, so I don’t mind “cheating” getting them the way I want them. 

HENRY KANE is a rude, rough, raw wind that leaves behind only scorched earth. For me personally, it's exactly the type of band that should perform live! I see a spitty little club in front of me, you on the stage, a few friends around you who would help you with the tools and a cauldron of fans around. I think it would have to work great. Aren't you thinking about live concerts? Can we look forward to it? 

I was supposed to play at Pitfest in Holland this summer with the help of Doru Florin (Oncology), Håkan Stuvemark (Wombbath, Skineater) and Matt Davidson (Wombbath, Repulsive Vision). But due to the situation with Covid-19, it’s all been put on hold until 2021. But we will be hitting the stage, our ulitmate shows will be mid sized festivals and small gritty punk clubs.

WOMMBATH, URSINNE, HEAD FOR THE DEAD, ASHCLOUD, BERZEKER LEGION, JUST BEFORE DAWN, GODS FORSAKEN and HENRY KANE, these are randomly the best bands and records from the last time that appealed to me from your kitchen. What's next you preparing for us? And how do you actually choose where you play the guitar and where you sing? 

We are working on a very cool split with Nattravnen which will include a couple of Henry Kane songs, as well as the next Nattravnen album. A new Ursinne is in the making as well as an EP with Wombbath celebrating 30 years as a band. The next Heads for the Dead album is done and have been sent to the label for printing. We have a new album with Ashcloud as well in the making, but it’s been put on hold for a bit due to Covid. Oh I almost forgot, a new album with Pale King has been written as well, and it just waiting for some final touches. I also have a non-metal project called The Hangman’s Sorrow, with Lars from Scar Symmetry. It’s like a mix of old school hard rock and more modern stuff, far from my usual style. But I love all kinds of genres so I always look to expand my horizons, though death, crust and grind will always be my big passion.

Let's go back to your studio. You did a really great job. Gradually, you built a name, everyone talks about your projects with recognition. I can sign under that. But tell us, how do you choose the bands you make sound for them ? Do you have any restrictions? Did it happen to you that you rejected someone? Will you tell us why? And what does the band have to do if they want to record with you? 

Thank you! It’s always fun to see when hard work pays off. I really like gritty dark productions, so I prefer to work with bands who wants that sound. I think I’ve got a bit of a signature sound, so the band has to fit that sound. I have suggest other studios for bands as those studios have been a much better fit for their sound. I still work my normal job as an IT manager, so for music and studio work to be fun I have to be a bit eclectic with my choises. 

I had a good time, I am preparing questions at Friday morning. It won't take long and I will go home from work again, and I already know what I'm going to do. Of course – listen to "The Age of Idiot"! I'll clear my head so I can enjoy the weekend. So that I will not become crazy from the world around me. Thank you very much for this album. Just like for the interview. I wish you Jonny a lot of success, good ideas and good luck in your private life. 

Thank you for a great interview, and for your hard work in the underground scene, it means a lot us underground dwellers!


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Henry Kane Facebook

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