The Austrian post-black metal band Harakiri for the Sky comprises of Matthias “Sollo” Sollack and V. Wahntraum (J.J.). They have released two albums overflowing from feelings, passion and deep melancholic atmospheres.
Harakiri for the Sky is coming for two live shows in Athens and Rethymno, on January 15 and 16 respectively. Shortly before their appearance on the scene of Death Disco in Athens, Matthias answered our questions.
Are you ready to cross the threshold of this world live?
You are a band with pure passion and deep melancholic atmosphere. What was the train of thought behind the name “Harakiri for the Sky”?
Our vocalist J.J. (Michael) came up with the idea. He used the name to describe a state of emotion, but can also be interpreted for everyone on its own. It stands for the urge to free yourself in a world full of rules and compulsion. It stands for the time during a fall when you feel like you are flying, even though you know there is an impact following. It stands for whatever you want it to stand for.
Matthias, according to various sources you are a multi-instrumentalist. Do you remember what your first musical stimulus was?
I got in touch with metal music quite early in my life, when I was around 9 years old. I was fascinated from the beginning and wanted to make music on my own; that’s where it all started. Later I had lessons in classical guitar, but soon switched to electrical guitar and gave in to my urge to create my own melodies and riffs. After playing in several other bands and projects I finally found the right way to express myself in Harakiri for the Sky.
In “Aokigahara”, your most recent album, you hosted many friends from various bands such as Torsen (Agrypnie), Eklatanz (Heretoir), Seuche (Faulnis) and Christiano (Whiskey Ritual). The result was exceptional, but how difficult was the process involving other artists amongst you guys?
It evolved quite naturally. When I wrote the songs I had certain kinds of vocals in my mind and I’m glad it turned out alright. The guest vocal parts are all quite short, but still add a special feeling to the songs. Besides that, those musicians are all close friends and so it was also an honour for us on a personal level.
I believe that you are moving into a new more-metal era. Is it possible that your next steps could alter your course and confuse you, or do you think that you are confident enough that the identity of your band will remain safe and unique?
To be honest, the thing that makes Harakiri for the Sky so special for us is that we are not bound to a certain genre, even though people like to label us. Therefore we will just continue the same way we started, by writing what comes to our mind without being scared to offend any listeners who are attached to a certain scene. I think giving in to what could bring maybe more success would destroy what keeps us being passionate about it.
What do you usually start with when working on a new track?
I need to be in the right mood, in the right emotional state of mind. Then, when I have an idea for a riff, I just loop it and play around with it, add melodies, extend it, etc. In the end I know, when it feels right, that I don’t have to worry about any typical structures. Most likely you won’t find Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus schemata in our songs.
If you could open up for any artist on tour right now, who would it be?
Difficult question. There are many bands that would be great to play with. But to keep it realistic, I think it would be nice to tour with Katatonia, for example.
Is there a song that creates a special moment for you when you play it live?
I couldn’t name one specific song. Somehow all have some moments where I just dive in completely.
Will you confide in us some music albums that you listen to lately, while on tour?
Well, it varies a lot depending on the mood, from classic rock to black metal. When it’s time to calm down a bit it’s nice to listen to Antimatter and God is an Astronaut, for example. The latest Daylight Dies output is also something I would recommend.
I always thought that the question “What people can expect to see at your live performance?” launches the thoughts of our imagination as audience to a specific path and this way, we waste a part of the surprise, so... My question is, how much passion do you expect to receive from the impact of your tracks to your audience?
We have no specific expectations. We do our best to put our passion and energy on stage and we are happy for anyone who feels that and joins in.
Thank you very much. We renew our date on January 15, in your live show in Athens!