proofreading/translation to Greek: Vili Valo
Each and every trip is a unique experience let alone a combination of making new friends and listening to too much metal. Sometimes however there’s a need of passion and willingness to make interviews, record videos and work hard on a crowdfunding campaign. But let’s read what our “compangolos” from Croatia have told us.
Welcome to Metal Invader, Baja. Give us a small bio as we’d like to hear a few words about the band.
Hrmülja was formed in 2013 by a bunch of childhood friends. I have this garage, where we used to hang out and rehearse with our previous bands since we were kids. One day I walked in and found those three guys on two guitars and drums jamming a song. I just said; “I can play bass and vocals and we can start a band”. Then, the name came up and Hrmülja was born. Soon we made a couple of songs and had some shows around Croatia. We also released one studio single album called “Human” in this first lineup. Then, a change period for the lineup came, we made some new songs, developed the sound, played a couple of important shows and here we are.
How did you came up with the name and is it true that it means ugly dog or something?
-Haha well, literally it means a fool, but in our case we use it for an ugly stray dog. This is not a standard Croatian word, it comes from the rural area of our town, so basically no one knows what it means and we like it this way!
Don’t you think that using a Croatian name (that is not so easy to pronounce) makes things a little more difficult for the audience outside Croatia to listen to your music? I mean, which are your goals? Do you have any plans about touring outside your country?
-I don’t think the name is the problem; you can pronounce it on your own way. It’s actually interesting hearing someone breaking their tongue when pronouncing it. The music is international, that’s most important. After having released an album, we plan on having a few concerts in Croatia and then some weekend tours in other European countries. I personally dream of playing on metal festivals like “Brutal Assault” someday…
If someone has never listened to Hrmülja before, how would you describe your sound?
-I would say that it sounds like a dance between stoner and all the metal and non-metal genres which we have absorbed through our lives. The importance of making good metal music is not in listening too much metal!
How many songs are ready for your upcoming release? Are all of them written by the current lineup?
-There are nine songs ready to be recorded, although one of them called “Hades” is still in progress, but it will be ready for sure! Some of the old songs were not written by the current lineup, that is Dehi from the old-school black death metal band Bezdan used to play guitar in the first lineup of Hrmülja and he contributed in making some riffs and forming the band name as well.
Where do you draw your musical and non-musical influences from?
-Musical influence comes from absolutely everything we hear, but mostly our sense of making music comes from early Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin tunes to extreme metal music that we have discovered and listened to through our lives.
Generally speaking, do you compose music all together? If not, who writes it?
-Usually some of us come with an idea of a song and then we develop it together in the garage. Some other times, one of us comes with the idea of a whole song, but we influence each other when we rehearse on it. Despite that, I write all the lyrics and vocal parts. They just leave it on me and don’t care!
Where are your lyrical themes based on and what is the message you really want to convey?
-There is no thematical limits in my songs, but you can hear a lot of death and hell, thoughts about human race, feelings from certain moments of life and some historical themes that go well with our angry sound. The real message comes from the sound, lyrics are not so important here.
What are your thoughts on your country’s music scene? Why isn’t Croatia a soil ground for extreme sound or heavy metal?
– There is metal in Croatia, but I think it will stay underground. Croatian mainstream music scene is pretty much poisoned with the Balkan turbo folk influences. I think that music is no longer important. Boobs, ass, retarded music and lyrics; that’s what brings money and fame. We have some great rock bands and musicians, but it’s hard to push the quality music back to the scene.
The crowd funding idea is something really ambitious. Give us some details about your campaign.
-We really didn’t expect it. There was an Erasmus+ project going on in our small town. People from Poland, Romania, Turkey, Greece and Croatia worked on it and learnt how to make a crowdfunding campaign. They had to choose what to crowdfund and they decided to support the local music artists. Then, Hrmülja came as a subject of this project and we worked together on it. There is really a lot of work in this campaign and it’s exhausting. If we reach the half of the goal, we will manage to go to the studio and start recording, something which would make us really happy. The point of such campaign is to reach a massive number of people and collect a high number of small donations. We could prove that it’s possible and give an example to others.
How do you feel and what are your expectations about your first official release?
-We are excited because we will finally manage to share our music with people and it will be in the right form. For me it’s enough just to have my thoughts and feelings on a decent record and it makes me really satisfied if someone honestly likes it. All the critiques are more than welcomed, but whatever happens we will keep on making music and developing our sound the way we feel it’s right.
Thank you so much for your time. We wish you all the best for the record and the band. The epilogue is yours.
-Thank you for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to express myself. Ajde bok (=cheers)!