: Return to the Ancient Knowledges :
        : Interview done to Zahaah :
: Written by el dios perezoso :        
After two quite weak albums, in my point of view, and a long period of inactivity that also brought along the departure of Mathrien D., the past year of 2009 saw the unexpected return of one the bands with more personality from the pagan metal scene, the French Himinbjorg... more pagan, more sincere and innermost than before, we wanted to talk with Zahaah, now the sole survivor of the band, some aspects of their present and past...
Greetings Zahaah, a really pleasure to have you as guest in our old and decrepit castle, the Gallic hordes are always welcomed in the Tartessian lands... well, so much time has passed by since your previous work “Europa” was released, so much time with no notice from the Himinbjorg camp, in fact I personally thought that you were disbanded... tell us in a few words what has happened inside the band in this last years...
Actually, in 2005, Mathrien and I had been exhausted because of being so much involved in Himinbjorg for so many years. We definitely needed a break.
Time has gone and we got involved in our respective private lives. Then, Mathrien has gone on its own way for working on other projects.
Nowadays, I am more the ever happy of playing music and coming back with a new album!
Listening in detail your new work, and reading a while between the lines the info sheet that you sent us, I have the feeling that you are not satisfy a hundred per cent about how the things were done in the “Golden Age” / “Europa” period...
These albums are really interesting and are the exact reflect of these periods. I really love the energy carried out by this music. However, I agree that I am even more satisfied by the new album because I did it by my own (Mathrien has just recorded the drums track) and I have carried it out exactly how I planned.
I did not get influenced by the expectation of the public, neither by fashions of the moment… I have composed my music folk and metal with the sound that I wanted. I feel this album like fully accomplished and it has not happened since the first album “Where Ravens Fly”.
I have absolutely enjoyed with the change you have improved in “Chants d’hier, Chants de guerre, Chants de la Terre...”... I don’t know if call it “evolution” or “involution”, maybe there are a little from both, because I do not see it only as a continuation of “Haunted Shores”, there are so many elements, as much in musical as in emotive way, from all your eras... the fact is that we are probably in the presence of the most pagan version from Himinbjorg of all your career...
Actually, I have closed the loop with this album because it is linked with the first demo “Hedning” (1997) in its musical design. I come back to my basis: folk and sing of my soul. It is simple, I sing you what I live and what I feel...
Please, don’t disconcert with my next words... I personally have the perception that in Himinbjorg, from a musical point of view, until now your specific gravity maybe was minor that your trip partners... I see a first stage, “Where Ravens Fly” / “In The Raven’s Shadow”, leaded by the Elvan’s personality and ideas and, apart the apparently strange “Haunted Shores”, a new stage, “Golden Age” / “Europa”, more focused to the Mathriem D. musical tastes, so I think that with “Chants d’hier, Chants de guerre, Chants de la Terre...” we can finally hear how Zahaah conceives Himinbjorg...
No, I would say that Himinbjorg albums reflect what I am, at one moment, with some people.
“Where Ravens Fly”: I did the musical basis, Elvan did the orchestration.
“In the Raven’s Shadow”: I composed half of the tunes, the other half was composed by Elvan.
“Haunted Shore” was done the same way with Mathrien who composed half of the tunes.
I composed entirely “Golden Age” as well for “Europa” excepted one tune.
However, the new album seems to be the one that matches me the most, it is the more intimate...That is what my wife says!!! You where almost right but not for the right reasons, it is just because I become closer to my essence.
The band’s musical evolution in the course the years is clear, but what about the lyric concepts, an aspect in which maybe you have been the main responsible in all the albums? How your ideas have grown though the years, the foundations over your lyrics have been written?
I have always written about what I lived and felt.
In 1997, I was 22, I discovered spiritual realities. I have devoted years staying alone in the forest, meditating and transcribing it in my lyrics (first three albums). Along the time, I have been confronted with the social and ethnic reality of our occidental countries; my music has become more violent with “Golden Age” and “Europa”. Now, I am 34 years old, I am dad and I am determined to struggle for preserve my blood and my culture. This what I sing in the new album: virtues of the pagan mind and the fight for keeping them alive.
I’m sure that you will have to answer this question so many times this year, but I have to do it... after five albums singing in English, you have decided to use French this time, why? Honestly, I think that you would have to do it before, for me pagan metal must be singed in the mother tongue, over all when it speaks about the knowledge and traditions from a people, the message is deeply and more significant in this way...
French is like Spanish, a mostly Latin language, the Celtic and Germanic parts are rather small. There were too much mixing, I don’t feel French like my language. I am from Germanic roots, my family name is Guillermain. Latin is not the language of my ancestors.
I spent years at learning and using French, I think it comes from thoughts I am expressing in my songs are more than ever accurate today, French stay the language which I feel the most comfortable with, it helped me to be sharp in my ideas.
Moreover, there is another reason: I try to make people from my blood aware of the peril that is coming; I try to touch them with words that have a heavy sense as efficiently as I can with my language.
The statements that your have posted in your website about the ideals behind this new Himinbjorg period have deeply called my attention, also the link to the “Ethno-Politics” website, even it’s in French, I can see that speaks about how keep the traditions and the wisdom of our ancestors in the current society... tell us a little about all of this and how it is related with the band...
Yes I think that European paganism, our ancestral road allows us bearing daily difficulties. It is not past believes to show in museums. So I have launch this heading “ethno-politic” in order to bring my point of view on historical and topical problems, political and social questions. I think that there are large scope projects aiming at destroying traditional cultures, by the christian cultural integration and humanist ideologies, egalitarians and republicans, general organised miscegenation ethnical mixing... All these in order to serve interests of greedy and powerful persons. Authentic traditions are a barrier to their projects of transforming humans in stateless consumers and emptying their mind. Well, there are forces that want to destroy the humanity, we must struggle against.
If I’m not wrong, Mathrien D. has participated as technician in the “Chants d’hier, Chants de guerre, Chants de la Terre...” recording sessions... how are the things go with him? Is he currently working in any musical project? And do you think that he could come back to Himinbjorg in the future?
Mathrien does not belong any longer to the band; he has only recorded the drums in order to help me. We keep a good relationship and he is working on more private projects nowadays.
And what about the old Elvan/Corven? Are you keeping in touch with him yet? What do you think about the Nehëmah’s trajectory? I can’t wait to listen to their new album!!
We met together from time to time but we are not close any longer. I do not know what he is doing now.
After working with two quite notable labels such as Red Stream and Adipocere Records, for your new album you have decided to create your own label, European Tribes, why? Do you need to have more control of the album’s feedback and distribution, or maybe you are disillusioned about how the current metal scene works?
Editors do not have any more money, I had more interest in making my own entity and commercialise my music for myself. Red Stream and Adipocere are still friends and we still collaborate. By the way, Red Stream is re-editing all the past albums of Himinbjorg.
But the album is being distributed exclusively through your own website and the Adipocere Records website... honestly, I though that they totally stopped their activities a few years ago so, which is their actual situation, and what kind of relationship do you have with them?
Adipocere is still active! Christian, the leader, is a friend of mine and sometimes he brings me help. It is thru that like many labels, there is less activity than before. Illegal downloads have killed editors, it is a fact. People like Adipocere or Red Stream still survive because it a passion for them.
By the way, will European Tribes has continuity as label? Are you thinking to work with more bands, or it’s only opened for Himinbjorg albums?
I would like to produce pagan bands, not especially metal, but nowadays I cannot afford it. At the moment, European Tribes has only the vocation of producing albums of Himinbjorg.
I’m sure that you have a deep knowledge about the history and traditions of your Nation, so I would like you to recommend me a book, film or documentary to initiate me in the discovering of your vast culture... my only reference is the Christopher Lambert film “Druids” (I think that in France it was called “Vercingétorix, La Légende Du Druide Roi”), but I have heard that it gathered no very good reviews in you country, so maybe better a History Channel documentary...
Oh yes it is a very bad movie! The Gaul reality has been derided and repressed in our country for 60 years, all is done for erasing the celto-germanic side of the French people. There is no important business that supports our cause. Concerning readings, I suggest you to visit my web page at the “ethno-politic” headings where a list of books is available.
Whatever, each of us is a vector of truth, this truth is accessible by the labour of meditating during years, and it is a spiritual path.
Well, the end is near... I suppose that now as one-man band it would be impossible to gig, are you thinking in recruiting new members, or will you work in Himinbjorg only as studio project?
Recently I was proposed tours but my musician friends were not available. But I love playing in live, however I have to pay all my musicians, it supposes then that concerts must be paid enough.
Your plans in the short and medium terms...
Having fun with the marketing of this album, liberate myself from barriers raised by the System, a bit more day after day in order to live the most possible in agreement with my culture and traditions.
I leave so many things unsaid, but I suppose that’s enough for your first visit... I hope that the hymns from the proud Gallic tribes keep reaching high and clear our lands in many years from now, receive the best wishes from your brothers in the south... last words, as always, are yours...
Thanks for having taken time for this interesting and rich interview. Even if lyrics in the new album are in French, Let you carried by sounds and melodies… and listen to the spirit of the ancient.
: Band's website: www.himinbjorg.fr :
: Origin: France :
: Publishing date: 17.04.2010 :