Friday, January 09, 2015

The Inquisition: 028.Huldra

1. How did you came up with the name of the band? 

Scott: As with any good band, the name came before a fully functioning lineup, and so I wasn’t actually party to the selection process. I think Eric came up with it and there’s probably a fascinating story about our names’ inception, so I’ll let him tell it… 
Eric: I found the word Huldra on Wikipedia while searching for band names. I mulled it over for a good long while before we changed the name, but it's really quite perfect for our music style. 

2. Do you have a standard procedure of creating a song? Do you just jam around or is there a main riff and the track is build up on it? 

Levi: Occasionally we jam out a song, but for the most part someone in the band brings a finished, or nearly finished, song to practice and we all learn it and tweak it from there. 
Matt: Our earlier material like the Signals EP and some of the stuff on Monuments, Monoliths has some songs that were realized by jamming parts but it hasn't really been a big part of the creative process for us since then. Due to work, families, wives, girlfriends, and other life stuff, we have to use our practice time rather efficiently so it makes much more sense to bring in songs that are already structured. We'll add or modify parts from there but "just jamming" is not particularly practical for us anymore. I will say though that one of my favorite sections on Black Tides was born out of a "jam" when we were writing the song Black Tides - it's that marchy bit right before the final riff with the layered harmonized vocals. 
Scott: Seriously, I don’t know how people just “jam out” a song. There are five of us and we’re all extremely loud, so when we jam out it just turns into chaos. 

3. What are your influences and what kind of music do you hear when you are at home? 

Eric: Influences - Opeth, Neurosis, Cult of Luna, Giant Squid, Porcupine Tree. Recent listening - Kowloon Walled City, Mammiffer, Mastodon, Omega Massif, Fear Before... 
Chris: Heavily influenced by early classic rock, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple. John Bonham is and was my biggest influence on drums. Recently listening to My Morning Jacket, Rival Sons, Inter Arma. 
Levi: My current favorite bands are Cult of Luna, Neurosis, Old Man Gloom, and Pink Floyd. 
Scott: I’ll pretty much listen to anything, and sometimes idiots get on my case about it, cause I’m supposed to be grim all the time or something. Lately I’ve been jamming Want by Wreck and Reference, lots of These Arms are Snakes, 9 Songs by Kashiwa Daisuke, a ton of Miley Cyrus, Shostakovich’s late quartets, Children of the Iron Age by Wayfarer, the new This Will Destroy You and a bunch of 2Chainz and Kanye. 
Matt: Top influences for me as a bass player in the context of Huldra are definitely Brian Cook from Botch/These Arms Are Snakes/Russian Circles, Jeff Caxide from Isis/Palms, Justin Chancellor from Tool, Dan Briggs from Between the Buried and Me, and Eddie Breckenridge from Thrice. However, I absolutely love bass players like Victor Wooten, Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, Wojtek Pilichowski, Les Claypool, Larry Graham, and Marcus Miller because they all push the boundaries of the bass as an instrument and are incredible musicians. In fact, I saw Victor Wooten over the summer and it is probably one of the best shows I have ever seen. That guy blew my mind and turned it into shit he was so good. As far as recent listening, I have been listening a lot to Ólafur Arnalds, a local band called Great Interstate, Emma Ruth Rundle, These Arms Are Snakes, Cloudkicker, Intronaut, Between the Buried and Me, Caspian, Ef, and Circa Survive. 

4. Which is the one album you can't live without? 

Eric: Opeth - Blackwater Park. Favorite album is fucking tough. 
Levi: Maybe Dark Side of The Moon? I don't really have one favorite album. 
Scott: 808’s and Heartbreak… No contest. 
Chris: My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves or Pink Floyd - The Division Bell. 
Matt: My favorite album of all time is still Colors by Between the Buried and Me. That album is seriously insane. 

5. What’s the first record you've ever bought? 

Chris: First record I was given was Aerosmith - Pump. First record I remember buying Led Zeppelin - I 
Eric: Pretty sure it was Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory..... Yeah.... 
Levi: Rammstein - Sehnsucht. I was young and Du Hast was a popular song. 
Scott: I’m told it was Abba. I can’t really remember this event. 
Matt: I think the first album I ever bought was probably a Korn album, probably Issues, when I was in middle school. 

6. Name a band that you would like to share the stage or tour with ? 

Eric: Giant Squid. let's do it. 
Chris: I would love to play with Russian Circles, Latitudes, Inter Arma. 
Levi: Cult of Luna, Neurosis, or Old Man Gloom. 
Matt: Seconded on Cult of Luna and Giant Squid. It'd also be really cool to play with Between the Buried and Me, If These Trees Could Talk, Intronaut, and/or Cloudkicker (or I guess Nautkicker is the appropriate name for the live iteration of that band). 

7. Did the internet and specially the blogs helped to spread your music around the world? Name a place (country) that you were surprised to know your music has reached to? 

Eric: Yes, absolutely. The internet has helped me personally discover so many smaller acts and given me access to so much music, I think it's definitely helped us as a band as well. It has been crazy seeing the places our music has reached. We had a guy from Croatia request some merch pretty recently. 
Levi: Because we haven't played outside of Salt Lake City yet, very few people would know who we are without blogs and other music sites like Bandcamp and even YouTube. We were surprised that anyone outside of the USA listened to our music, but we were especially surprised when we got an email from a guy in Indonesia. We were so flattered that we ended up sending him some free CDs.
Matt: Without a doubt. In the digital age that music is in, having people that care enough to mention us in blogs is probably the only way we really get noticed. That and word-of-mouth. It seems that most of the merch orders we send out are bound for European countries which is very humbling to see that our music has reached so much farther than just Utah. 
Scott: Yes, massive shout out to Ade Haryana. If we ever get to Indonesia, we’re crashing on his couch. 

8. Do you support the idea of Bandcamp where fans can decide the price or services like Spotify?

Eric: I haven't used Spotify much, but Bandcamp is great. It's a great place for us as a local act and I listen to a lot of other bands in SLC on Bandcamp as well. 
Levi: We have our music on both Bandcamp and Spotify, but we prefer Bandcamp because we have had more exposure through them and they are setup better for DIY musicians like us. 
Matt: I think it's great and we've had a few people donate quite a bit more than the $5 or $10 we charge for physical copies which is incredibly humbling. The way I see it, if people want to get our music they'll get it - it's on torrent and download sites. I figure that it just makes more sense for them to get it directly from us and if they feel so inclined to throw us a few bucks, that's cool, but it's more important to us that people are just listening at all. 
Scott: Yeah, if Bandcamp didn’t exist we’d all still be trading tapes or something through the mail, and I absolutely hate going to the post office. 
Chris: Fully support Bandcamp. Have found great new bands through their services. 

9. Where do you see yourselves in 5 years? 

Levi: Hopefully we are still around writing music we enjoy and playing shows. Another goal of ours is to get out of state for some one-off shows or maybe even a short west coast tour. 
Eric: Levi ditto. 
Chris: 5 years, would like to continue to make music with Huldra, have a few road trips and tours under our belts. Possibly a new musical project or two in the works as well. 
Matt: Also Levi ditto. 
Scott: Get rich or die trying, so… dead? 

10. Is the artwork of an album important nowadays in the digital era? 

Chris: I think artwork sets a mood and tone for an album. I think artwork is very important. I used to only buy albums because of album artwork. Go look up Roxy Music - Country Life.

Eric: Yes and no. There are some albums that I can hardly think of without thinking of the artwork on the album and in my mind give a lot of character to the album. The artwork can be an extension to the album that gives it more depth. Though there are definitely other albums that I love and I don't care about the artwork and probably haven't seen it. I also think the artwork for the new Huldra album is sick and that Derek did an awesome job and for me , thinking the music conjures an image of the fiery sun on the water.
Scott: I think it all depends on the album and what the listener is trying to get from it. Perhaps I’m wrong, but most of the time I try to be extremely intentional with what I do, and having appropriate artwork only makes sense. Having the right artwork is another opportunity to try and explain what you’re doing, or trying to say.

11. What is your favorite album cover? 

Eric: Going to deflect on a favorite. Notable mentions Rosetta - Wake/Lift, Opeth - Still Life. Pretty much anything John Baizley from Baroness has done for numerous bands including his own.

Chris: Anything created by Storm Thorgerson 

Scott: Probably …Burn Piano Island Burn by The Blood Brothers. I really like all their artwork, and I think it matches their music and performance perfectly. Also, The Old Believers by The Atlas Moth had a cool concept that was executed really well. 

12. It seems that a lot of people are turning on vinyl again. Why do you think that is and which is your preferable media format? 

Levi: People still want a physical copy of their music even though everything is becoming digital and CDs are dying. Vinyl with a digital download seems to be the best of both worlds right now. I still prefer CDs, but it's just because I don't own a record player. 
Scott: I like to stream everything. Even if I own the record, in whatever format, I still stream stuff. Technology has made listening to music extremely convenient and no one makes 0.0015 cents when I play their song on my record player, but they do when I use Spotify. 
Chris: Vinyl is awesome. Love vinyl. Buy vinyl. 

13. What's the most vivid story or moment as a band? 

Levi: We have had a lot of good times in Huldra, most of which involve Eric attracting some really strange people or breaking his gear, and we have played a lot of cool shows, but the one that sticks out in my mind is from our recent album release show. After playing Black Tides in its entirety, we got our first real encore. It was a very special moment for me to realize that people cared about our music enough to want more. 
Chris: Black Tides CD release show was great. Slug Magazine localized show stood out. O'Brother show was fun as well as Mouth of the Architect show. 
Scott: Group hugs and standing around the parking lot outside our practice space. That’s what I’ll miss when an asteroid destroys the earth.

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