2015-03-30 Liturgy

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Hunter Hunt Hendrix, the main artist behind US-based black metal band LITURGY, is without a doubt one of the most interesting and controversial musicians of today's music scene. "The Ark Work", the new output of LITURGY, shows the band moving away from black metal. It's a record which is hard to comprehend, hard to listen to, hard to endure. Not sure what kind of answers to expect to from Hunter Hunt Hendrix, I grabbed the opportunity to send him a bunch of questions regarding LITURGY, the new record, and art in general.Interview

Your new album "The Ark Work" will be released very soon - are you still nervous prior to the release date of albums?

Yes, especially since past albums have elicited such strong reactions. It’s impossible not to be affected by those things. But I’m really happy with the way this album sounds, and I know that even if people don’t like it at first that it will find its audience eventually.

How long did you work on the album's songs? How much do they differ to "Aesthethica"?

I started working on this album as soon as Aesthethica was released. Most of the songs existed in some form during 2011 or 2012, but it took a long time to get the arrangements right. That’s obviously the big difference on this record – it is all about the arrangements. The songs sound harmonically and rhythmically just like old Liturgy songs, but they have unusual arrangements that link together different sound worlds.

Would you say that LITURGY has evolved with "The Ark Work"?

This is the way I imagine the band sounding; the other albums were leading up to this one. It is important to that there be an obvious post-internet quality to the music, combining rap, classical music and so on.

Do you still consider LITURGY to be a black metal band?

I consider Liturgy to be a transcendental black metal band, which is very different from black metal per se, though the names obviously sound similar. I hope that the sound of this album can retroactively inform the way I intend the previous albums to be heard.

Has the change in sound been a conscious one?

I wanted to make something unique and singular that goes beyond cliches, but makes perfect sense on its own terms. Conscious isn’t quite the right word. It’s more like I feel unconscious forces in my soul, guiding me.

How much influence does the band have on the songwriting of "The Ark Work"?

I write all the music on my own – but the band performs it amazingly and I am very grateful to have them on board.



What's the idea behind the album title?

The Ark Work is an adaptive eschatological enterprise to transcend fate through the use of music, art and philosophy.

Is there a connection between the album title and the artwork?

Sort of. I am actually unhappy with the artwork – I wanted to use a different album cover that fit the concept better but buckled under pressure from the label to use find an image that they thought would be less controversial. It’s my one big regret about the album. The logo on the cover represents “general tremolo”, which is a musical interpretation of the hermetic path of cosmic creation: as above, so below.

What is your tour plans for this year?

We’re touring the US in April/May and Europe in May/June

Do you enjoy playing live and touring?

There’s an art to enjoying being on the road, but yes I love to play live.

Do you attend shows of other bands in your spare time?

Not really, mostly just shows of friends.

What do you do besides LITURGY? How do you spend your free time?

I do other work with more of a fine art direction. The past two weeks I’ve been performing a piece commissioned by the performance artist Georgia Sagri for the suling, which is an Indonesian flute. I’m working towards a way of adapting the songwriting of Liturgy to fit an operatic structure with narrative. But right now Liturgy is my main focus.

Do you follow today's (black) metal scene? If yes, what is your opinion about it?

I don’t really follow it. I’m friends with members of Castevet and Krallice, and I love both of those bands. The main style of music I keep up with is electronic and noise music, stuff on Tri Angle like Haxan Cloak and Lotic

The final words are yours...

Thank you!