10 Nov
Interview with HELVETETS PORT


We had a conversation with Witchfinder (Vocals). Enjoy!

Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.

1. First of all congratulations for your new album ''From Life To Death''. Nine years have passed since the EP ''Man With The Chains''.
What happened to the band all those years?

Thanks! We're really glad to finally have it out. We've been back together for quite some time before this release actually.
We only really had a break from around 2012-2014. Then we played some shows, and writing and recording the album has been a long process.

2. You have cooperated with HIGH ROLLER RECORDS (one of the greatest Heavy Metal Labels probably worldwide) in the past and your new album was also released under the same label.
The album contains 14 songs. Why so many songs? Are all of them new songs?

Yeah, we're happy to be back with them. Feels like the home of heavy metal! We felt that after such a long absence on the album front we wanted to return with a massive offering.
Some parts of the songs were written long ago, some stuff even from before our first 7". Most of them were written after 2014 though.

3. Your new video ''Ruled With An Iron Hand'' has a very good atmosphere and, as always in your videos, you catch the 80s era feeling.
Do you think that a video clip helps nowdays the bands? Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)

Thank you. It feels like such a under-used thing nowadays to make music videos. I mean some bands record videos but they don't always put that much effort into it.
It's a lot better than nothing but we like to put our hearts into everything we do, and so the videos become ambitious. Economically a video like this isn't perhaps gonna pay itself, but I think it's very good for promotion.
It's also an easy field to stand out in, since there aren't that many interesting new videos for people to look at.

Our main influences would be Gotham City and Heavy Load, and also bands like Kim Sixx, Tyrant (UK), Krudewitch, Kraken (CAN). For people who aren't that into metal who ask what kind of music we play, I often name Judas Priest as an example.

4. Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?

Well nothing really beats vinyl, and that's mostly due to the feeling of "realness", and taking the inserts and lyric sheets out and reading them.
The difference between a CD and a CD-R isn't that big when all comes around, but for vinyl there's no substitute. But I have the utmost respect for the fact that people might not have a record player.

5. Label or DIY and why?

Well for practical reasons a label is a lot better. To release a record by yourself you would have to have band members with endless time and energy, and storage space.
Also, we have never felt influenced in any particular direction by a label.

6. You have been a band almost 20 years (first as BRUTE FORCE)! Are there any changes in the band as well as in the Swedish Heavy Metal Scene within all those years?

The band has changed quite a lot over those years, first just starting out with me and a man named Erik Sjödin on drums.
Then it was a one man band for a while, then Oscar joined in 2003, Philip in 2005, Kongo in 2007, David in 2015 and then Philip left and Rasmus joined in 2018.
To me the scene has largely seemed to be composed of the same bands for a long time. At least if you compare to the 80s where things changed so fast.
There's a somewhat new, big player in Lethal Steel, if you're talking straight heavy metal. However, there are a lot of bands who don't exactly play classic heavy metal, in fact very few (that I know of).

7. Describe your ideal live show as a performance Band. Have you already experienced that?

That's an area where we still have lots left to explore. Since we are a rather theatrical band we are looking for something a bit extra for the shows in the future.
Living far apart has made it a bit difficult to prepare for elaborate stage shows but we're definitely looking into it.

8. Which things, do you think, a Band should sacrifice in order to succeed?
Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future of your Band?

Personally I work part time to have more time and energy for the music, and I also make sure to have a rather ready-to-go lifestyle with not that many rigid undertakings except for music.
I believe one should make sacrifices such as band activities taking precedence over many other activities.
In this day and age and music climate it's of course hard to give up your day job to pursue a music career but I support those who give it a shot.

9. Tell us a few things about the New Underground Heavy Metal Scene in Sweden (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)

I believe we, with the knowledge we have, would not do the question justice. I only know a small percentage of current entities in the Swedish heavy metal scene. Our knowledge kind of follows our style of music ...

10. Which attributes, do you think, that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?

I think the most important thing is to put your heart into it, give it thought, attention to detail and a vision. And then, all of those things should of course show in the eyes of the beholder/ears of the listener.
Pay attention to what you are wearing, and to the visuals of your artworks and merchandise etc. Make a total package out of it all.

11. Do you believe that Bandcamp and other Digital Platforms help the new Heavy Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a Band to promote its work?

I/we don't really have any statistics at hand, and are perhaps not that in touch with the digital music landscape. A lot of people are asking if we are on Spotify etc so I guess that's an important platform.
Personally the digital platform I use for music the most is Youtube, without a doubt.
And I think that a music video on Youtube is a great way of promoting your work. Of course, if there were any music video channels on TV worth their name then that would be an awesome way.

12. Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?

If you mean the current scene, then it is as much of a blind spot for us as most countries unfortunately.
We listen almost exclusively to older music. Vice Human and Northwind are a couple of great bands from Greece.

13. What are the Future plans of HELVETETS PORT?

We have already written several new songs, so working on a new album shouldn't be too far away.
Our next booked show at the moment is Live Evil in London on January 19. We're just gonna roll on ahead now and have no plans of stopping!

14.. Thank you very much for your time & Keep up the good work! The closure is yours...

It was a pleasure! We have never played in Greece before and we would love to do it, and are open to suggestions.

By Steve the Filthy Dog.




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