Hellbutcher - Interview

One says that dogs that bark don't bite. Well, this is something that you can sometimes also transfer to the metal scene. Recently I had a chat via Skype with the legendary Hellbutcher. We talked about his new band with the same name but also about the past when he was involved in Nifelheim. Apart from this, he had a lot of other things to talk about and we had a lot of laughs. Enjoy this one and get his new album which should be out by the time you're reading this (read review here)!


Hails Hellbutcher, how are you doing?

I'm fine! I was totally occupied sitting and doing some new layout for merchandise stuff and forgot the time but luckily enough my girlfriend came down and told me that I had this interview now (laughs).

I guess everybody in the extreme metal scene knows you and your old band Nifelheim but maybe you can introduce Hellbutcher a little bit more to the readers?

Hellbutcher is the new band that I formed back in 2022 when I realized that Nifelheim was more or less falling apart. Whatever I was trying to do, it didn't help much so I was thinking that I really wanted to make some kind of band where I had a little bit more things to do on my own. I can decide how to run the band without having too many complications because that was the main reason Nifelheim fell apart. So this is the result of my own band. When I do something that I want to do exactly the way I wanna do it then it turns out to be Hellbutcher.

Well, I know that you recorded the album with a drummer who isn't your actual drummer, who is Perra Karlsson….

Yes, he is a session drummer because the real drummer is occupied with some different things right at the moment. So we decided that we will go with a session drummer at the moment. I don't know how many gigs he will be with us but the original drummer is supposed to still be in the band (laughs).

Your new self-titled album has become a hell of an album. How long did it take to write it and were some other people than the band involved in some songs?

It is all done by me and some songs are done by the guitarist Necrophiliac from Mordant. I did most of the songs and he did one song by himself, the last one called 'Inferno's Rage', which was his creation and I did the lyrics and also 'The Sword Of Wrath' he did most parts of this song as well. He is really good when it comes to making music. We had some collaboration before but never released anything. I knew he was a great guy to have in the band so we did it. And it didn't take too long, I was in the mood to write music. Sometimes, when you're in the mood for something you can come with like five songs in a day but then suddenly it stops and it takes months to come up with even one riff. So you have to do it while you have the inspiration and I actually did that (laughs). It was a quite fast process to write the album compared to the old band Nifelheim which took years. This took two or three months.

You are signed by Metal Blade which isn't too popular for black metal stuff – of course they always had extreme stuff but not really black metal. How did you get into their roster?

I don't really know why. I think they like the music and I wouldn't say that we are that black metal that people expect when they hear the term nowadays. We would have been a perfect metal band for Metal Blade back in 84 or 85 (laughs). I think all of us still like the first Slayer album which I consider to be black metal still today. I think that people would say that we are black-thrash maybe but I don't like that term so I use to call it black metal.

I heard it yesterday for the first time and since then I guess at least seven times and still I am totally blown away from the intensity. Was your goal to write the most extreme black metal album as possible?

Yeah, kind of. Whenever I have listened to stuff in my kind of genre I am playing in, I am always thinking why do they always have to have these slow filler songs. That is destroying the whole album (laughs). Nobody wants to hear them anyway. Time has proven that no one wants to hear this mid-tempo thrash shit stuff. I thought, just erase that stuff and just make good songs throughout the whole album (laughs). Then it turns out to be quite intense.

Compared to Nifelheim, there are much more thrash metal elements in the songs and despite its extremeness the sounds are more accessible, I guess. How much influence did the German thrash scene with the unholy trinity Sodom, Kreator and Destruction had on you while writing the songs? 'Perdition' sounds like something from "Pleasure To Kill" in some parts for example…

Yeah, there is more heavy metal, too, I think. But I grew up with these bands so they are rooted in my DNA more or less (laughs). All the German bands, even less popular or less known ones as well. I even had some inspiration from this old band called Mad Butcher (laughs). They released an album in 85 called "Metal Lightning Attack" and I was listening to that one and came up with some ideas for this album actually. The German thrash metal scene from the 80s is definitely something I'm inspired by, even if I don't think of it. It's the way of my thinking when it comes to music.

So, it's just inside of you….

Yeah, exactly. I've been listening to too much of this music so it's impossible to not be inspired by it I think.

Not only lyrically but also musically you go to extremes – this blasphemic, Satanic topic you deal with – don't you fear that there is a thin red line between real evilness and exaggeration that it turns out to be a little bit ridiculous?

It is a thin line from where people consider it to be ridiculous or whatever. But I want to be on the edge of what is not funny but probably some people will think it is stupid anyway but I can't do anything about it. I'm doing this totally seriously, to me it's not a joke or whatever. It's 100% serious.  But I am not so stupid and can understand that people can look at it that way when they don't understand it and just laugh at it or whatever. But it doesn't affect me because if it did I would have stopped doing this many years ago (laughs).

Yeah, but there are also some black metal bands in the scene I won't mention by name who consider all this more as a joke.

Yeah (laughs). I have humor but when I do music, I am very serious. And I want to be at the limits of where you can get without getting totally ridiculous. Talking about bands like Manowar or so, they are on the level of where you don't know what to think of them (laughs). I want to be really extreme but it's a thin line. I would say that I'm not really having perspectives of what I'm doing myself. I'm just doing what I'm doing and I'm not really concerned what other people think of me anyway (laughs).

Your countryman Gehennah had this song '666, Drunks And Rock n'Roll' which describes their music quite well – which song would be best to describe yours?

Ugh, that's a tough one. Sorry, I can't come up with a specific song.

Haha, no problem! Just a funny episode I remember when the first Nifelheim album came out, I had this track I always called 'Fast Witching Buttfuck' – of course this one didn't exist that way!

Haha, yeah, "Witchfuck"! I remember. It actually was a about a rite called "Osculum Obscenum" but we thought that would be totally pretentious and not cool enough so we changed the title to "Witchfuck" which I think is still today way better (laughs).

Lately I attended Nargaroth at a gig where the vocalist complained that the spikes are sometimes too heavy for his age. Do you think you will ever become too old for these essential accessories?

No, no, no! I had my chance to change the style and now I started a new band (laughs). My mind is set many years ago, it's just true and coming straight from the core of my soul. I've always liked this chains and leather and spikes and shit, so it's gonna be there for a long while (laughs).

Are there any plans to present "Hellbutcher" live?

Yes, we have plans. Actually we have a booking agency now so I hope they will do a good job and let us go on tour as soon as possible. Last year I've already been working on a Swedish tour, so at least there will be some gigs in Sweden in late 24. But there will be more, I guess. And for the first gig we had we already made a lot of stage equipment and stuff, so we are all prepared.

I know that you are a huge Iron Maiden fan and I remember stating in an interview that "X-Factor" was your most favorite album by them because it is the longest one…

Yeah, it's not my favorite one anymore because it isn't the longest one any more, haha!!

Yeah, that was my question…with "Book Of Souls" and "Senjutsu" they have two albums out that are even longer. Am I right with the conclusion that "X-Factor" switched onto #3?

Yeah, logically they are better then because there it is because you get more Iron Maiden out of them.

Do you really like them?

Oh yeah, I absolutely like them! I have been listening to Iron Maiden for many years and both "Book Of Souls" and "Senjutsu" are developing the same way as I do. I want more progressive songs and I'm not looking to listen to songs like "Run To The Hills" or so. I really enjoy the stuff they do nowadays. "The Parchment" for example is one of the best songs I ever heard. It's totally great if you ask me.

Hm, I guess I have to check it again, I found the whole "Senjutsu" album quite boring…

No, no, it's good, haha!!!

Do you know if they ever noticed you and Nifelheim?

Well, I have met them occasionally through the years so I think they're aware of that we are in a band but I never ever tried to get them into the stuff I do because I don't think it's their kind of music anyway. I would be kind of embarrassed at the same time (laughs). They are my idols and I'm just a fan!

I mean, Rob Halford is wearing Emperor and Dark Funeral shirts….

Yeah! Iron Maiden is a bit more old school I would say (laughs).

Finally, which five albums do you need to survive on a deserted island?

Yeah, it's the five longest records by Iron Maiden, of course, haha!

Haha, I've expected this answer!!!

Haha, I'm boring! You should ask questions like "what except the five longest albums " or so if you want other answers (laughs).

Last words are yours!

Well, I hope that you all are gonna check out the new Hellbutcher album! You can expect much more from this band in the future so just be prepared (laughs)!

Entered: 6/6/2024 2:04:27 PM

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