Harms Way

author PP date 10/11/06

We recently had a chance to send an email questionnaire towards Sweden's Harms Way, whose new record has been notoriously underrated within the press. The bands first guitarist Freddie took some of his time to answer our burning questions about the band, and while doing so praised Danish beer, criticized both pigeonholing bands into genres and major label politics, and revealed probably the most lucrative secret we've been told to date. Go on and read the entire interview with Freddie.

RF.net: Harms Way is a new band so most of our readers will not recognize you even by name. Can you give us a brief history of the band, what you sound like and the usual stuff?
Harms Way is a band from Stockholm, Sweden. I (Freddie) started the band with Dim after I broke up TERRA FIRMA. Dim and I have knowed each other since we were 12 years old or something. Erik and Stipen I knowed from time to time since 1987 or something. Erik and Stipen used to play together in Thrash metal band "MERCILESS". Stipen has also been in the bands DIA PSALMA and TRANSPORT LEGUE. Before Stipen we had an other Drummer Mike, who played on our 10"vinyl demo, but he didn't have the time that was needed so he had to go.

We sound like HARMS WAY, we got our own style, therefore some people might need a couple of listenings to get the music.

RF.net: You originate from Sweden, but yet the sound of Harms Way isn't the most common for Sweden. What inspired you to the 'stoner-rock' sound, and are you happy with that label?
I don't really wanna call us stoner rock. More kind of Hardrock/Metal. I don't like to label music more than metal or not metal, thats about it.

RF.net: Who are your biggest influences and why?
There are a couple. Just because you're influenced by a band doesn't have to mean you try to sound like them, they could be a great influence anyway. But the most important ones when it comes to music to me are: BLACK SABBATH, SLAYER, OLD MOTORHEAD, Lemmy's time in HAWKWIND and SAM GOPAL are one of my faves as well. Metallica with Cliff is also a very big influence. CAPTAIN BEYOND, MISFITS, etc etc.

RF.net: Considering your album has just been released, what kind of expectations do you have for it nationally and internationally? How difficult is it for a band sounding like you to make a breakthrough nationally let alone internationally when the "Swedish" sound is usually associated with Melodic Death Metal? Or is there a big underground 'stoner-rock' scene going on in Sweden that the world does not know about?
I don't know and I don't care. If people wasn't so god damn narrowed in their listening we should be doing well every where. I can just hope for the best. The album is not released in the states but they seems to like it alot over there according to mails. So we really need to get it released over there. But I don't play music to make it big, I play music because it's what I like doing the most.

RF.net: You decided to call your band Harms Way. Why did you decide on this name instead of "The Root Of All Evil", considering how Harms Way is the name of the last Terra Firma album, and what does it mean?
Root of all evil was a little bit to black metalish for us. Harms Way is like life itself, everything could happend whenever, you could be driven over by a car tomorrow, terrorist could strike or you could die from whatever. We are all living in Harms Way.

RF.net: Can you take us through the recording process of the album in detail? What were the highs and lows of the process?
We recorded the album in Stockholm Sweden at a studio called Ilektrik. The engineering, mixing and producing was made by a guy called Jo E and ourself. We recorded Oxytocin mostly on weekends between January - March. Most of the songs were recorded live except the vocals and the guitar solos. Everyting was ok during the recording process. The only low is that the drums are mixed way to low. I pointed at this several times in the studio but no one seemed to care.

RF.net: According to your website, you have only played three gigs as Harms Way in the past. Obviously, your live show hasn't shaped itself properly yet, but what kind of aspiration do you have for your live shows? What do you want them to be like? Describe the ideal Harms Way show.
Now we have done 4 shows, we played at our releaseparty yesterday and that was our best show so far, people went nuts. We are looking for an booking agency at the moment. The ideal show for Harms Way is when everything works and people are going nuts.

RF.net: What does the future look like for Harms Way? Can we expect to see the band in Denmark in the near future?
I really hope so. As I said, we are looking for an agency who can book a european tour, you have to go on tour to sell albums.

Unfortunately I heard that power metal seems to be the big thing in Denmark at the moment, is that true? We has also got the worst reviews in Denmark,haha maybe because we are from sweden. Denmark has the best beer in the world (Tuborg grön), you can buy it in Sweden but somehow it doesn't taste as good as the ones you drink in Denmark, it must be the water. So yes HARMS WAY should defently play in Denmark next year.

RF.net: What is the single most encouraging thing about the music industry today? What about the most discouraging?
Today almost every metal band wanna sound the same, very sterile and faked. A heavy and fat sound that doesn't even sound like guitars or drums anymore is more important than writing good songs, booooring. I like Slayers live album decade of aggression were you can actually hear them droppng a drumstick etc. It's not much "new" music I like. Maybe I'm getting old.

RF.net: Two of your tracks are on offer for free download at your website as unrestricted MP3s. What role, if any, do free-song releases play in the success of an album?
Yes we do. I don't know. I think it sucks that people don't seems to buy albums today as much as before. There is alot of hardwork behind an album and I think the artist should have some money out of it. But it's a good way to check a band out.

RF.net: This leads me to my next question. What is your stance on illegal downloading? Do you approve the try-before-you buy policy?
That is fine with me. I mean you don't have to go to the record store and pre listen to it there. You can do it from home.

But as I said before, the artist should get something out of it. The best part is that thoose megabig record companys are getting weaker who have been fucking bands in the ass since day one.

RF.net: And as a ‘mood-lifter’, our last question will be: If you could be any female rock/metal star today (such as Angela in Arch Enemy or Shirley in Garbage), who would you be and why?
None. But I wouldn't mind to work with Nina Persson of Cardigans, I think her voice is lovely.

RF.net: That’s all the questions we have. Thanks for the interview. The last words are yours, let our readers and your fans know any last comments or tell the world something nobody knows about you.
I am transexual I used to be a girl. Visit our websites: www.harmsway.se, http://www.myspace.com/harmswaysweden

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