Hordak Interivew – Vocalist and Guitarist Autumn War
By Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
Whilst some bands are preoccupied with today, Hordak have cast their gaze back much further taking inspiration from their little-known cultural heritage, and in the process keeping this history alive.Elaborating on just what this brings to the band vocalist and guitarist Autumn War takes us into the wilderness…Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for me!
Autumn War: Hi there!! This is Autumn War of Hordak. No problem, thanks to you 😉
As a good place to start, just who are Hordak?
Autumn: Actually Hordak is formed by Autumn War: guitars and vocals, A. Mansilla: guitars, L. Mansilla: bass & J. Sierra: drums. Although he left the band as a live member, Winter War keeps collaborating with us in composition and other matters.
When you Google Hordak the first result is for the He-Man character – is this the band’s namesake, or just a coincidence?
Autumn: We chose Hordak as a tribute to that character, because we liked the name and it was related to our childhood, we liked very much.
How does Pagan Black Metal differ from the normal dark stuff?
Autumn: In my opinion black and pagan differs, on musically terms, on how much melody is added to the songs, the way you perform the chords, the aggression on the compositions…but there are bands of both styles which you could not say in what they differ from pagan or black. On the lyrics terms, pagan and black usually differ, because Black Metal bands talk more about dark matters and Pagan Metal bands talk more about epic matters, but for sure you will find bands on both styles mixing up that topics.
Do you think that your Spanish heritage has had a noticeable impact on your music?
Autumn: Yes, one of our main interesting is the Spanish heritage, that´s the reason why we describe our music as Celtiberian Pagan Metal. Celtiberian were the first tribes who landed these lands in the first millennium, so we could say our main forefathers. We know only a few part of their history because of the lack of testimonies in writing. The only data that survived the ages were what was written by the conquerors which landed Spain and wrote about them. Our forefathers and roots are one of our main influences.
To be more specific you refer to your music as Celtiberian Pagan Metal – would you hope to see other bands adopting the same label in the future?
Autumn: Of course, it would be great. Anyway we are not the firsts who have used the banner of Celtiberian Pagan Metal. Time before us it was used by such bands as Berserk, Numen, Cyhiriaeth, Wolfencross and in some cases is still being in use. It is a honour for us share this label, it means we are all branches from the same tree, like a brotherhood and we hope the flame keeps burning forever and ever.
Your new album Under The Sign Of The Wilderness appears to be garnering some very favourable reviews – what does this mean to the band?
Autumn: We feel full of pride and very glad when we see that the album is having such good reviews, we have work very much and everything has been made by ourselves, out of external influences, with no managers or producers, just knowing what we wanted to so for us it means very much that people like the album, which is not the most important because on other hand, the ones who should like above all is us, but is great to see that people enjoys it!
Where did the album title come from?
Autumn: “Under The Sign Of The Wilderness” is a title about the way we feel with ourselves, is something personal and hard to explain with words, something like a personal mood, the law we follow, and the way we live our lives or at least try to. For us wilderness means freedom, respect, natural environment, the truth essence of existence. We feel like wild ones.
This is your third full length album – do you feel that you’ve progressed a lot as a band over this time?
Autumn: Well, I think that we have improved in some things and of course there is a progression between the second album and this one, most of all because we were not a band as well in the second album, for there was only Winter and me. Now we are a whole band and that means every one of us contribute in something different which, in my opinion, makes music richer.
There was a noticeable gap between this and your previous release from 2006 – why was this? Was it a deliberate decision?
Autumn: There are quite reasons for that. We have passed through a lot of changes until we found a right line-up, some came and some went away…we always prefer to take our time to make things as good as possible because we don´t like to fill the albums up with songs that don´t really like us or convince us and the main reason is that even though we would spend all the time we could in band we have our works, studies, families and sometimes, these things need more attention than the band.
In terms of opportunities, do you think the industry is looking favourably on Black Metal at present?
Autumn: There are a lot of bands who are breaking through in the industry and deserve the attention and respect of all of us. Anyway, not always the best bands are on the top because sometimes music becomes a product and the propaganda gives more sells than the good musicians and the good works, so I couldn´t say if industry being interested in Black Metal is something favourable, it depends on the qualities of the products that industry is searching for.
On that note, what is next for Hordak? Where would you like to find yourselves in a year’s time?
Autumn: Future is something unknown, at least for us…but it would be great to play as many gigs as we can, take some time to make new songs and see what happens with this album. Thanks again for your time and support!!