Recently I contacted the guitarist of this band that is one of the surprises of Doom scene and they recentlyreleased their material where they have gotten great reviews. In this interview we talk about the band’s inception, the meaning behind the name, which involved designing the album Vilsta Síðsta Fet er, and a preview he gave us the metal scene of the Faroe Islands.
Give us a brief history from the formation to the recording Vilsta siðste er fet.
Theodor Kapnas – Hamferð was formed during the fall of 2008. The lineup was a bit different back then than it is now. The band performed two shows at The Global Battle Of The Bands in The Faroe Islands, one show in the first round and then one show in the final. After GBOB the band went into a bit of a hiatus. I(Theodor) joined the band even if I was at that time studying in Sweden, and Esmar, the keyboard player joined the band as well. At the first two shows we had a violinist, but she left the band.
Anyway, during the summer of 2009 we wrote a few songs, and we recorded our first demo in Sweden in the fall of 2009. At the start of 2010 Hamferð won a band competition in The Faroe Islands, even if half the band was abroad, and that worked as a springboard for us. We had very capable stand-in members. We won free studio time and the chance to perform at the big Faroese festivals, which was a great opportunity. We played a few festival gigs and other gigs with the full lineup in the summer of 2010 and got great reviews. We also started recording Vilst er síðsta fet during the summer of 2010. I produced and mixed the album myself, and we released it in December 2010. We’ve been getting great reviews so far, and we’re going to play our first shows abroad very soon as we’re going on tour of Iceland and The Faroe Islands with Icelandic band Skálmöld. So it’s exciting times for Hamferð at the moment.
And how did the name Hamferð? And What it Means?
Theodor Kapnas – I’m not sure who came up with the name, but it was decided upon before I joined the band. There are many old stories here of people who have seen loved ones as ghosts before those loved ones had actually died. A ghost like that is said to be “in hamferð”. This phenomenon was said to be a warning that the person in hamferð was going to die, but if anybody warned that person he/she would die as well.
How is the acceptance of doomsters for this work.
Theodor Kapnas – As I said, we’ve only been getting great reviews so far. Doom-metal.com even called the album debut album of the year, so we’re all pretty flattered. Doom metal fans seem to like it, but the interesting part is that a lot of people who aren’t normally into any metal have been enjoying some of the songs.
Despite not understanding a word, but we can feel something very personal in the lyrics. The letters form a conceptual work for this play, or are just poems?
Theodor Kapnas – The lyrics are part of a conceptual work. Jón, our singer, is the only one who really knows what all the songs are about. When we started discussing Vilst er síðsta fet we were talking about having a storyline to the album, but in the end that didn’t turn out to be what we were after. Still, as far as I’ve understood, Jón expanded on the storyline and picked out episodes from it which he describes with the lyrics to the album. They’re very poetic and don’t tell a straightforward story, but they’re all interconnected.
Looking for art booklet and listening to music, we can see the connection audio/visual work. Since the design for this play, already thought about the graphic work, or were things that came naturally.
Theodor Kapnas – Everything that we do in Hamferð is very conceptual. We try to make visual art, our clothes on stage, our lyrics and our music work together to form a concept rather than just being a normal band that only plays music. So the album artwork was always meant to be a part of the concept. Nevertheless, we gave the Lydia Hansen(photographer) and Uni Árting(layout designer) the freedom to do what they do best, and we’re all really happy with how it turned out.
Knowing that Doom festivals in Europe has already received an invitation to play inany of them?
Theodor Kapnas – We’ve not received any invitations to play a doom festival yet, no. It’s very expensive to travel from The Faroe Islands to Europe, so the best chance of catching us live on the continent will be when we eventually go on a full European tour. We’re playing the awesome Eistnaflug metal festival in Iceland in July, which will be our first festival performance abroad.
What are your plans for the band to the rest of the year 2011?
Theodor Kapnas – As I’ve already mentioned, we’re going on a two week tour in Iceland and The Faroe Islands with our Icelandic friends Skálmöld. We’ve also slowly started writing new material, so hopefully we’ll have enough material for a full length follow-up to Vilst er síðsta fet at the start of 2012. We’re looking into the possibility of maybe going on tour through Europe as soon as possible, but it’s not an easy thing to organize, so I won’t promise anything about when that’s going to happen.
For people who do not know the music scene in your country, give us an opinion of what happens and what bands you could highlight.
Theodor Kapnas – The metal scene here is really strong! Metal is probably the strongest music genre in The Faroe Islands at the moment. Týr is the most famous band from here, but they rarely ever play in The Faroes anymore since they’ve all moved abroad. Sic have toured Europe too and have just released an awesome album, Fighters They Bleed. Synarchy have been working on a new album with producer Lasse Lammert, and they’ve all been talking about how amazing it has turned out, so I can’t wait to hear it. Our good friends The Apocryphal Order have also just released a debut EP which is the most brutal stuff that has ever been released here, so definitely check them out! Then there is Heri Joensen’s(Týr) side project called Heljareyga, which also contains members from Synarchy and The Apocryphal Order, and our great friends Incurse also have a demo on their myspace page. Incurse is probably my favourite band over here at the moment, but they’re definitely a live band!
Thanks for this short interview and I wanted to let his final observations to the readersof Funeral Wedding.
Theodor Kapnas – Thanks a lot for reading the interview, go and check out the bands that I mentioned!