Harpyie has released a new album ‘Freakshow’, their third album already, about time for us to have a chat with these German New Medieval Metallers.
Hello, congratulations with your new album ‘Freakshow’. Harpyie seems to be one of the less know Medieval bands outside Germany, can you tell us a bit about the band?
“Harpyie was founded in 2011 and has build up quite a name in the scene. We are 6 musicians playing drums, bass, guitar, bagpipe, violin and vocals. We describe our music as New-Medieval-Folk-Rock and we try to make our own genre with that, because our sound is somewhat different, compared with other bands in this genre. But because we’re something different, we polarize people as well. A lot of listeners don’t like the modern touch, which we have watermarked in our sound, that much.
Basically you can say about our music, we’re blending modern metal with medieval sounds.
Harpyie does indeed have a slightly different sound, with which bands you like to be compared with?
We would like to be compared with the big ones in this scene like In Extremo, Subway to Sally, Schandmaul and Saltatio Mortis, despite the fact we’re a bit heavier then these bands.”
And what makes Harpyie different from those bands, despite from being heavier?
“In Harpyie the focus is on metal in stead of rock and we use a modern touch by using influences form Metalcore, Nu-metal or modern metal in common. That’s the main difference from the other bands in the scene.”
There are so many bands out there, are there bands which Harpyie has a special relation with?
“We’re have friendships with a lot of bands and colleagues from the scene, Vogelfrey for instance, Metusa and Nachtgeschrei. We think this is important, because we can help each other and provide from them, we can help each other to conquer some barriers in the world of music. But there’s not one band at this moment with which we have an extreme close partnership.”
A lot of the German Medieval bands are playing at Medieval events like the Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum and other Medieval markets, is Harpyie doing the same thing, or are there only rockshows?
“In principle we’re only playing rockshows, but this doesn’t mean we’re not booked sometimes for one or the other Medieval-market. But we don’t have two separate shows with which we are touring. There’s only a rocky Harpyie.”
This genre seems the most popular in Germany, do you like to play outside your own country or do you prefer to play in Germany only?
“We would be very happy to play outside Germany. It’s a bit difficult, we’re only singing in German, so it isn’t easy to understand the lyrics in a lot of countries. But there are some bands, Rammstein for instance, which have proved, you can have international success with German lyrics.”
A lot of the venues ae very small and Harpyie is a large band with six members. I had the chance to see you in Helvete in Oberhausen once, isn’t it very difficult to play at small stages with so many bandmembers? Do you feel this limits you?
“Yes, is quite difficult. You don’t only have to cope with the limited space, but there’s the issue of the acoustics at the stage as well. You have the sounds of a lot of instruments all together. But, you can’t expect you have the chance to play on the big stages at once. You have to earn that and one of the things you have to do is playing on these small stages.
Basicly you can say, if a band doesn’t exist at a small stage, then you won’t make it at the bigger ones.”
Now the festival season is over, the booking for the new season starts, are there interesting festivals for 2016. Do you have a wish-list for the festivals?
“There are a few festivals, where we like to play some time. We can strike-through one on our wish-list with the invitation for RockHarz.
But we would love to play at MeraLuna, Summerbreeze and other big Festivals. A those festivals there’s always a very special atmosphere and it’s a lot of fun to party with so many people.”
With this new album ‘Freakshow’you have changed from label, what was the reason for this?
“We simply discovered there were different ideas about where the journey would go to and so we decided, it’s best for the band to make a change of label. We didn’t have a fight or annoyances. It was just a decision made of business level, where both parties agreed, this was the best thing to do.”
The new album seems to be a bit heavier, compared with the previous ones. Is this on purpose or did it just came up?
“A bit of both. We like to write a dark Album and it was obvious to us, it would be harder by doing that. But in the end, it was just the way it came out.
When you’re in a band, you often experience negative stuff, it makes you angry and all your experiences flow back into the music of course. We can throw a bit of our troubles aside in this way. It wasn’t all planned, but it was how all came out in the end.”
Do you have a line in which Harpyie should develop, or does this come naturally.
“Everything comes spontaneously. We have a masterplan, but when it comes to detail, we see what comes out when the time is ready.”
What music and other things are the inspiration for Harpyie?
“Basicly everything. In the first place other music of course, but movies, books, paintings and things from everyday life. Every little detail can bring the idea for the lyrics, a melody or for the mood.’
This albumtitle Freakshow is very peculiar, why this title? Does it fit the whole album, or is it just the titlesong?
‘Freakshow simply describes the whole album, it couldn’t be any other title. In talk about this theme ‘Freaks’ in one form of the other in every song.
On top op this, Freakshow was something which could be express visually. For us very important, the output should be a total piece of art, so it’s not only the music, but about the pictures which go with it as well. And for this the title Freakshow was a perfect one.’
You probably played some songs of the new album live, how does the fans react to the new songs?
“The fans celebrate the new material. There are few critical comments to the new songs and they do it very well live. On top of that, Freakshow has become louder than the first two albums, which is bringing a lot of energy.
Besides that we’re convinced of the strength of our new songs, and experience them totally different, because we have worked for 2 years on these songs. The fans in front of the stage notice this. Sparks are flying off”
Do you other things you would like to say to the world?
“Buy our new album Freakshow and follow us on facebook, twitter or our website and come to our shows, we are happy with every single one..