Finland’s Häive have returned from a long period of inactivity with a new full-length album entitled “Iätön” for their new label. Eisenwald. Due to be released on November 24th, “Iätön” crosses over into several genres along the way so there will be some major crossover appeal for sure.
Häive mastermind Janne Väätäinen was able to answer some questions for us regarding the new album, the new label and a few other things… check it out…
Congrats on your epic new upcoming album “Iätön” due to be released in November, have you gotten some early feedback on it at this point?
“Thanks. I’m glad to release an album after all these years! I have had just some individual reactions, so nothing comprehensive yet. We’ll see.”
So I’m sure many people are wondering where you were these last 7 years since your EP “Saimaata El Sanoilla Selitä”, could you give us some insight on why the project was on hold?
“Originally I was planning for the second album right after the “Saimaa..” MCD, but then I got invited to the “One and All, Together for Home” compilation by Drudkh guys, and decided to use some of the new material on that release. There were also other reasons for the delay, but mainly just too many things going on at the same time, and never really got time to continue working on the 2nd Häive album.”
Black, Dark and Folk
Stylistically, I would say you were black metal/dark folk, is this an accurate description or does another work better for you?
“There are elements of black, dark and folk metal, but also doom and even death metal in Häive’s music. I don’t know the perfect genre, I just call it pagan metal, as Häive is pagan at heart. Heavy metal is so diverse these days.”
How does your songwriting process work if you have one? Does it begin with an idea for lyrics or riff or both?
“I come up with some I idea, usually couple of riffs, and start working on that. When I get stuck, I go to my pile of old ideas. I always compile the lyrics last, but even before that, I usually have some rough idea of the vocal arrangements. Rhythm is very important in vocals too.”
Do you primarily write on guitar or do you use keys or another instrument to write? How comfortable are you with doing all the vocals and instrumentation?
“It depends. On “Saimaa…” MCD I did half of the composing with kantele, but usually I mostly write with a guitar. One riff on “Iätön” actually started with a drum beat. I do all instruments and clean vocals myself, but distorted vocals are done by session members, usually Noitavasara.”
Will you ever have an official lineup for recording, touring etc. or will you keep this as a studio project only?
“When I started Häive, it was normal for a band not to make gigs. Thy Serpent, Darkwoods My Betrothed, Falkenbach, Burzum etc. I enjoy studio work, but I must admit, that it would be interesting to at least try how it works live. I’m not actively working on it at the moment though, so it won’t happen any time soon, if ever.”
How does you work outside of Häive in your other projects like Auringon Hauta effect your approach towards writing and direction of the project?
“I try to keep projects separate, as there is no sense in having multiple similar bands and projects. It’s not always easy though. There are actually several riffs and even one whole song in “Iätön”, that was originally meant for the unfinished 2nd release of My Blood.”
How did the signing to Eisenwald come about?
“I very rarely send any promos to labels, so it was similar to other signings of Häive. I was contacted and told that there might be an interest to release new Häive material. I know Eisenwald releases high quality and special releases, so naturally I was interested. So far, everything has gone really well.”
What other bands or other media (books, movies, TV, etc) are your biggest influences?
“I would have to mention Thy Serpent and “Tales…” era Amorphis as some of the biggest influences. Also foreign bands, Falkenbach, early Ulver, Rotting Christ, among others.”
Finland has an amazing metal scene as everyone knows……could you give us a little insight of how amazing it is? Are there just tons of amazing shows to go to?
“I don’t have nothing to compare it with, but I’m pretty sure it’s still good compared to many other countries. The scene in where I live was surely great in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, but now this kind of music is not prominent. The scenes are mostly in the bigger cities now, but I don’t care, as I have always been more or less an outsider in the scene anyway.”
Now that the new album is about to come out, have you considered where the future lies for Häive?
“I’m planning for some smaller release after “Iätön”. I like shorter releases, as I can concentrate more on just a couple of tracks. I hate fillers, so full album is a lot of work. Anyway, all I know is, that I’ll start writing material soon, so there should not be another long delay between releases this time.”
How do you feel about the ease of downloading music for no compensation? Has your opinion changed at all over the years?
“It’s a double edged sword. To me, it seems stupid, that YouTube has become the usual way to listen music. It’s a video site, after all. Also, the equipment that people listen to music nowadays, is extremely crappy, when compared to even the basic stereo system, that was normal in the old days. Gladly metal fans are more fanatic, and still want to listen good music with good quality stereos, and often from physical media.”
“Keep the pagan flame burning, and visit Häive’s Facebook site. Yes, Häive finally has an official social media site! What strange times we are living…”