Interview with Harakiri for the Sky – "Life can’t step forward until all the old chapters are closed."

Founded in 2011 in Vienna, Austria, Harakiri For The Sky has created a unique mixture of melancholy and aggression, madness and meaning, and wrapped in alternately manic/mellow songs.
The band was initially begun as a studio project by multi-instrumentalist M. S. and vocalist/lyricist J. J., but has been expanded to a live lineup. The band recently performed in Helsinki at Metal Crane Festival and is about to release their new album “Arson” through AOP Records. We already had the chance to listening to the new album (read our review here!) And we had the pleasure to have a conversation about “Arson” with J.J. 

Hi J.J.! First of all, thank you for making time for Tuonela Magazine. Let’s dive into this interview already! We have been one month into the New Year, surely you must already have some plans. What does 2018 bring for Harakiri For The Sky? 

J.J. There are no specific plans. We are playing a lot of concerts and maybe going to Japan and China. And for sure we are waiting for the album to finally be released.

Talking about that new album. It’s called “Arson”, can you tell us a little bit more about it?

J.J. With these songs – and I especially with the attendant lyrics – we set our world on fire in some way. To bother with traumatizing happenings and to narrate and retell them is something I’d call arson. It creates a very destructive afterimage and leaves basically nothing but ashes. But like in burned down places, ash sows fertile soil. Only after everything is burned to the ground we can turn over a new leaf. Life can’t step forward until all the old chapters are closed.

By listening to the album, I felt that there was a huge difference with the previous release. In what aspect do you feel that “Arson” is different from your other releases? 

J.J. With “Arson” we kind of matured. The music is more conceived and thought-out. Lyrically as musically. In comparison to our first three records “Arson” is for sure the most eclectic one with very different musical influences. Also concerning to the production we made a big step. Now we sound like we always wanted to and made the best album we were able to at this point of life.

Arson Cover copy

You say that you feel like you sound now how you always wanted to sound. Was there anything different in the creative process of the album? Can you tell us a bit more about that? 

J.J. I strictly concentrate on my lyrics, and M.S. writes the songs. That’s it. Everybody in this place knows where it’s place is.

So talking more about the lyrics of the songs then. Where does your inspiration come from this time around?

J.J. I don’t know. When it comes to the lyrics I’d say life on a daily basis. Emotions like depression and melancholy. Estrangement, broken relationships and the feeling it’s impossible to find something like a place I’d call home. That are probably the most important.

Musically we have like all kinds of influences. Primarily I’d say Black Metal, Post Rock, Indie and other types of Metal and Rock.

The first single of the new album “Tomb Omnia” was released about 3 months ago in the beginning of November. How did people react on it?

J.J. The reactions were good I think. But they liked the 3rd single, “Heroin Waltz” most.

With every new release comes a new tour. Are you looking forward to be on the road again? What can people expect from your shows? 

J.J. It’s difficult to describe how our show looks like, as I’m the performer and have never seen HFTS from the audience’s eyes. I think it’s very intense and impulsive, depends on the day. Sometimes we freak out, sometimes we stay calm. I think people should check it out themselves if they want to know (winks).

Harakiri For The Skye has been around since 2011. Since then you have matured and achieved so much. Is there any moment of the journey that you feel most proud of? 

J.J. Maybe this album. And that we’ve seen so many cool cities I’d have never been without this band.

The road, however is still long. Is there anything you still want to achieve or are looking forward to happen with Harakiri For The Sky?

J.J. I don’t know. I really would love to play Down under or the USA.

Thank you for your time! Before we wrap this up, is there still anything you’d like to tell our Finnish readers?

J.J. Thanks for the interview, see you next time!