Present yourself to the readers
Hundred Headless Horsemen is a psychedelic death metal band hailing from Helsinki Finland. We aim to blend together different subgenres from the past and present timeframes to create our own version of what death metal can also be.
The story of this band begins from a pre-apocalyptic heat wave in 2014 during which one of the members received a postal package containing a skull of a reindeer killed by a wolverine. This rotten skull seemed to be an amalgamation of an overwhelming stream of darkness that had long wanted to talk through us. The skull spoke about the forces that human minds were unable to fathom, in the dark forests just beyond our backyards. It made us lock ourselves into the pitchblack night of our hideout with no preconceptions or plans made beforehand and ultimately after a long path of discovery has brought us here.
What’s the story for APOKALEPSIA ?
We were interested in exploring how a large part of our perception of reality is actually forged by fictional stories or distorted perspectives and how much what we think of as “real” is in fact a concoction of our own brains. With enough power of persuasion, it is possible for a large number of us to fall under collective delusions regarding the nature of the reality surrounding us.
A particularly dangerous example of these delusions is the fact that as we are speeding towards an ecological disaster at a rate which should make us question the very foundation of our societies, it still seems easier for us to imagine the demise of the nature that created us, than a change in the economical system that is a creation of our own imagination.
Even with stakes this high, it seems impossible for us to tackle the persuasive power of the system we have internalised. What kind of counterforce could then shake us out of this illusion and to shift our perception? Did we need a warning to go off inside our own bodies to see what the larger biomass around us was already experiencing? As it happens, when we were working on this project, these questions, or at least some derivatives of them, were suddenly on the forefront of human minds everywhere.
What we are suggesting is that the change in perspectives could be happening already. Whether it is because of a virus or a paralysis caused by a failure to function in a world defined by disaster, the stories told today are not the same ones that have been told for the last couple of centuries. What Apokalepsia ultimately deals with is the imminent shift in the center of our universe, the shift away from anthropocentricity and the numerous pathways that can lead into it.
We prefer not to offer too literal explanations for the particular pieces or the concept around them because we feel that would just limit the imagination of the potential listener. The way we see it, our purpose is just to set the stage and we consider any interpretation of the works by anyone watching, reading or listening to be just as valuable as our own.
Who composes ?...How does it work in the band?
We tend to work together on everything, it seems like the most fruitful way of approaching any creative endeavour. We are firm believers in the hive mind method of working. Any one of us can bring the original idea, a riff or a section to the others but the only after trying them out together do they take on a life of their own find the voice of the Hundred Headless Horsemen. In a way, the process of “composing” is actually more a process of listening. Trying to go where the energy that we are channeling through our instruments is trying to take us. The first time we ever played together, before any of us had ever set aside any riffs or ideas for the band the song “Reindeer” on our first EP just came right through us. The vocals were added, but everything else was there right from the start. It is still one of the darkest songs that we have ever recorded and the way it was born was an affirmation to us that we must keep following this path. For there was a lot more of this energy to flow from where it came from.
Who writes the texts ?..What are they talking about ?..How does inspiration come ?
We all write the texts, but more often than not they come from the person who had the original idea for that given piece. All the songs on Apokalepsia are centered around the theme we discussed earlier but they take on real or imagined perspectives and the voices speaking the words in the songs are almost never our own.
Why the name HUNDRED HEADLESS HORSEMEN?
There is an Irish folklore tale about a headless horseman, the dullahan ("dark man"), a headless, demonic fairy riding a horse and carrying their head under their arm and carrying a whip made from a human corpse's spine. As the dullahan stops, a death occurs. This legend resonated in our minds with the motion of the circle of life that is kept in rotation by death, decay and darkness. The force by which this natural process works equals that of a hundred, or more demonic fairies that our minds are able to fathom. The concept of “headlessness” also brings up the subject of authorship: As a band we have sought to remain anonymous and when performing, we wear the black cloaks as our ritual talismans to disappear into the entity that we collectively form. This helps to strip away the ego that could sometimes hinder our abilities to present the energies that want to talk through us in their pure, unfiltered forms.
In studio, what was the atmosphere for your album ?...etc...
The atmosphere in general during the whole project was that of deep dedication. We all knew we were working on something that resonated with something deep inside us that we wanted to get to share with the world.
As for the technical side of things, we wanted to keep the raw energy of our live performances also on the studio album so we all played together in the same room when laying down the barebone tracks for every song. We had played the songs together for quite some time before recording them so we were able to get this done very quickly. Overdubs for guitars and additional elements were recorded for quite some time later, but the drums on the album are all from these first sessions.
How does it work for the design of the CD ? and why this title ?
As for the visual form around our main concept we were lucky enough to get to work with photographer and visual artist Karl Ketamo (http://www.karlketamo.com) who was able to distill the very essence of our work in his photos. We all feel that along with the music, the photographs really give you the chance to step into the world of Apokalepsia. To see the work and the reality around it through other eyes than your own.
With Management and booking, how do you work ? And with whom ?
We are releasing Apokalepsia through Inverse Records in collaboration with our own label Särö. This approach seems to be fruitful for us because we enjoy having total artistic freedom over our projects but benefit greatly from the professional approach provided by the crew at Inverse Records. As for bookings, currently the situation about anywhere seems to be very difficult concerning live shows. We have plans to set up a live streaming event, but other than that, for now, we can be contacted directly with any future booking prospects via email or through any of our social media channels.
What are your projects ?(for the band)
Naturally after releasing an album, in a “normal” situation we would be very much looking forward to playing live shows to support it, but as currently this does not seem likely. We have begun working on new material, but want to let it find its form and voice in due time and not force anything artificial on it that might be counterintuitive to the process.
What do you expect from the future ?
What we wish for most, in terms of our musical endeavours, is that we are able to maintain our ability for listening where the energies that have spoken through us so far want to take us. Although we cannot of course start taking them for granted, it seems they would still have quite a lot to speak of.
What's your motto ?
Death, decay and darkness are necessities for life and not its antitheses.
Website to remember
What would you like to say to the readers ?
We would like to encourage anyone who comes across this article or any of our work to always keep an open mind and challenge their perspective constantly. We are all here for changing endlessly, not for building fortresses. We would like nothing better than for the listener to take what we have created and make something entirely different out of it through their imagination than we could have ever come up with ourselves. To keep the circle in motion.
Thanks for the upkeep