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For the starters
Who are you, what do you do and how are you doing?
Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long year
stole many a man’s soul and faith.
And I was ’round when Jesus Christ
had his moment of doubt and pain
made damn sure that Pilate
washed his hands and sealed his fate.
And i´m feeling great.
If this interview could take place anywhere, anytime, real or imaginary space, where would we be making this interview?
In Seili which is a island near town of Parainen. It worked as hospital for lepers (1619-1785), then it was a mental hospital (1785-1962). I´ve heard they used pretty rough methods in treatment for (female) patients.
What is music?
Music can be found (almost) from everywhere, but I have no idea what it actually is, do you know?
Is Halthan music?
Definetely yes. Same can be asked, if all these overproduced, overtly marketed Finnish/American idols, X-factors are music?
What are your main influences?
Con-Dom, Genocide Organ, Grey Wolves, S.P.K. etc, etc… Non-musical influences are way too long to list, but overall it´s about everything that this degenerated human race does.
How and when Halthan got started in the first place? How you came up with the name “Halthan”?
Halthan was born out of anger, curiosity & boredom. I had been many years in Finnish punk/hc-scene, but started to get annoyed with all it´s rules, dogmas, pc-attitude (+few personal conflicts) and I was thinking like if they (bands mentioned before) can do it, so can I. So I started toying around with all kinds of sounds, experimenting, learning different techniques and so on. This all was around 2001-2003. The name “Halthan” was/is ancient germanic word, and Finnish word “Hallita” (to govern, rule, reign) is derived from word “Halthan”. Original indoeuropean meaning was “to drive cattle” which I find suitable. Afterall, what humans are but tamed cattle?
How are you inclined politically and ideologically? Did you vote in the last presidential elections?
This is tough one. I´ve mostly considered myself a nihilist. Modern world is full of different moral/political ideologies which are, in the end, different sides of the same coin and all that leads to dead end. Halthan is political, but in other hand we also demand destruction/rejection of all politics/ideologies. And, no
I didn´t vote!
Halthan made a gig recently in a private setting in Helsinki. Where was it, what was it all like, how your gig went?
It was held at F&V headquarters in Mellunmäki (east-helsinki), middle of industrial area. I like these private gigs a lot, mainly ´cause it keeps the morons away, so the atmosphere is usually very friendly and you can do what ever you want. Besides it´s quite difficult to get our kinda bands into regular clubs. Halthan went quite well. Mr. Bizarre helped me with electronics. We had all kinda paraphernalia on the stage: printed propaganda, wooden cross with (USA, Israel, EU and Islam) flags stapled into it (and I smashed the whole fucker during the gig) and a box full of bloody syringes and coins which I handed over to people (seems like most of them didn´t get the allegory of it). It was 25 min full of hatred. Other performers were Umpio (from Turku) which was really good. Not so noisy as usual, more rhytm(?) oriented metaljunk abuse and contact mic mayhem. Roman Pilates (from Canada) was headlining and totally not my cup of tea. Unfocused hipsternoise with too low volume.
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I am your enemy
There is a new CD out from you, I am your enemy. Tell us something about it – How the new release differs from your earlier stuff or how is it similar to them? How you came up with the name for the CD?
It took pretty long to put together due some personal problems. Process was a bit different than before, basics were done in usual way which means recording all kind of sounds, samples, pulses etc..and then I tried to make something what could be called (even distantly) as music. But this time we (me and F&V) kinda re-recorded the whole shit and vocals through BIG amps so that added some extra pressure and aggression into it. Minus-side was that some details were buried under the massive wall of sound. Title just popped into my mind one day and it´s self-explanatory, ´nuff said.
The sound and atmosphere on the new CD is very intense, harsh and violent. How this was accomplished, what kind of equipment you used, etc.? Are you satisfied with the result?
Violence (mental and physical) has always been very essence of Halthan, so it came naturally and when recording something I let out my inner demons or something like that… In this record I mostly used field recordings and different kinda metal junk as a sound sources, and later I treated them via some effects PC-multitracker and result is very satisfying.
There are six very powerful tracks on the CD; Obliterate the nation, Saligia, Glorious perdition, Bloodline, Invisible war and Musta Saara. The last track is maybe the one that most stands out of the whole package. How you got inspired to make a track out of that old religious hymn?
I´ve heard it only once before I decided to Halthanize it and as a hymn it is pretty standard material, but the lyrics were excellent stuff, something I´d call “christian imperialism”. Hymn is quite old (at least 70years i guess) and it´s now banned here ´cause of racist content, hah.
“Ei taivahassa kuolon vaaraa,/No danger of death in heaven,
ei kyyneleitä, yötäkään”./no tears, no night”.
Näin lauloi kerran musta Saara,/So sang black Saara once,
pien’ neekerlapsi hyvillään./little nigger child, happy.
Taivaassa Herra tuskat poistaa/In heaven Lord removes pains
ja huokaukset kokonaan./and sights completely.
Siell’ Herran kasvot mulle loistaa,/Face of the Lord will shine for me there,
siell’ luonaan aina olla saan./I can always be with him there.
Hän kertovan on kuullut kerran/She has heard once
näin opettajan valkoisen./a white teacher to tell so.
Hän armosta sai kuulla Herran/She heard about mercy of the Lord
ja ystävästä lapsien./and of a friend of children.
Hän sai myös kaupungista kuulla,/She also heard of a city
joll’ ompi autuus muurinaan./that has a bliss as its wall.
Hän siellä kerran riemusuulla/She wishes that also she
myös tahtois kiittää Jeesustaan./could thank Jesus with joyful mouth there once.
Nyt riutuu raukka tuskissansa/Now she wretched suffers in pain
hän siinä olkivuoteellaan,/on her straw bed,
mutt’ rauha lepää kasvoillansa/but she has peace on her face
ja riemu loistaa katseestaan./and joy shines from her eyes.
Ja ystävää ei vierellänsä,/She has no friend beside her,
vaikk’ kova ompi vuoteensa./although her bed is hard
Hän tuskat kantaa yksinänsä/She bears her pains alone
niin onnellisna, iloisna./so glad, so happy.
Ei miettimästä voi hän laata/She can’t stop thinking
nyt noita ihmesanoja./about those words of wonder
Hän muistaa tuota “uutta maata”/She remembers that “new land”
ja “uuden taivaan” riemua./and joys of “new heaven”.
“Oi, kuolemaa ei taivahassa”,/”Oh, no death in heaven”,
hän laulaa aina hiljempään./she sings as her voice dims.
“Ei tuskaa niin kuin maailmassa,/”No pain there as in the world,
ei itkua, ei yötäkään.”/no crying, no night”.
Hän huokaa yhä heikommasti:/She sights even dimmer:
“Oi kaupunki, sä kultainen!/”Oh you golden city!
– Ei kuolemaa”, ja rauhaisasti/-No death”, and peacefully
hän vaipuu kuolon unehen./she fades into a sleep of death.
Nyt Jeesuksensa kunniaksi/Now for the glory of Jesus
hän soittaa siellä kanneltaan./she plays her kantele there.
Karitsan veri valkeaksi/The blood of lamb turned
sai mustan Saaran kokonaan./black Saara completely white.
Mesikämmen can translate this into english, I´m too lazy. [Done! – Mesikämmen].
Where to get a copy of your CD?
From me (halthan @ hotmail . com) or Filth & Violence-records.
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Romua, ruiskeita, rutinaa
You are featured in a short documentary about Finnish harsh noise and power electronics called Romua, Ruiskeita, Rutinaa that came out the last year. What do you think of the documentary? Did it paint a well representative picture of the genre here?
I´ve not even seen it.
A friend of mine made a comment immediately after seeing the documentary here in Turku that the genre has all the weirdest and freakest individuals in it – that there is not anything quite like that for example in the genre of black metal. Why do you think harsh noise and power electronics genre appeals to this kind of people?
I highly disagree with your friend and I wonder what he means by “weirdest and freakest”? People who I know from this genre, are very stable and sane personalities with realistic sense of what´s going on, unlike (for example) your mentioned BM, which is populated by people whose life is centered in fairytales, imaginary entities, etc… hah. People in HN/PE comes from all walks of life, so their interest is completly personal, or at least it´s the way i see it.
Is harsh noise and power electronics among the “most shocking” genres there are nowadays? Is any music genre anymore truly “dangerous”? Who you count among the most “dangerous”, “shocking” or potentially most challenging persons and artists to the Western consensus reality nowadays?
No, I don´t think so. Of course contents of it might appear as shocking for some people who are not familiar with this genre. I see the contents pretty much as a ultimate reality & grotesque side of humanity, of course it´s sometimes taken to the limits and beyond, but come on… can´t you take a little bit of irony? There´s nothing dangerous in music anymore. It´s all lame entertaintment. Sorry to disappoint you, but no matter how I try i can´t find anyone, not even potential ones.
What do you think of the state of harsh noise and power electronics nowadays – in Finland and worldwide? Where comes the most interesting stuff right now?
It seems to be better than ever, especially here in Finland. Whole “scene” (damn, i hate that word) is very active. Impossible to say any specific area for most interesting stuff, but here´s something I´ve enjoyed a lot lately; Pogrom (Lithunia), Iron Fist Of The Sun (UK), Wertham (Italy), Sick Seed (Finland), Alfarmania (Sweden), STAB Electronics (UK) and so on, and so on. Generally speaking all the good stuff comes from good old Europa, not US, hah!
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What the following things and persons bring to your mind? Short associations or comments, please.
Daydreamers without any clue of reality. Stench of weed & dirty clothes.
Not so important.
State approved murder.
Fairytale gone wrong.
Dresscodes & pseudo-fascism.
Genesis P. Orridge
Not for me. One trip gone shit was enough.
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End notes, future
You are a passionate chili-gardener. How long you’ve been doing that? What types of chilis are your favorites?
Heh, indeed it is my passion/obsession. Been doing that about 7 years now and more seriously about 3 years. I really enjoy the idea of growing your own food (even if it´s “only something” like chilis) and there is great amount of satisfaction when you eat first time your own crop, besides gardening is shitload of fun too. What comes to my personal taste, I prefer fruity, freshy type of chilis like Starfish, Aji Cristal, Habanero (and all varietes of it) and Poblano to name a few. Heat level is not that important for me, flavour comes always first. There are so many varietys, so it is sometimes difficult to choose something new for the next season… or what the fuck, I wanna try them all, heh.
What kind of plans you have for the future? Any confirmed gigs etc.?
No gigs in sight (if anyone wants to book us, drop me a line)
Do you already have ideas regarding new material? Pekka Siitoin theme album?
Yes, I´m planning Siitoin related stuff, but it´s all still open. It turned out to be more difficult task than I expected, I want to combine different elements in it and find the right balance between them. Idea is to make stuff that deals with his occult side, not with political side (that has been done several times already with bad results).
What makes you happy?
Quality time with my son… the rest is war…
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Thank you for the interview, Halthan!