Heathen Harvest: Greetings C.M.W. Thank you for accepting this interview for the mighty Hailstorm and it is a great and unique privelege to be interviewing you on the behalf of Heathen Harvest. Let me begin by asking you about the band's early days in the late 90's when the first two demos were recorded. How did the sound of the band back then differ from your current sound? Do copies of these demos still exist or are they more or less lost to time?
Cornelius Mikael Waldner:
Greetings Lord Lycan, and thank you for giving me the opportunity to express my words and opinions on the pages of Heathen Harvest. To answer your question - Hailstorm is continuing there where it stopped in 2000 era vulgaris - I am presently working on the arrangement of a number of old unfinished songs whose core riffs were composed between 1997 and 1999, and thus the material is pretty much in the vein of both the old demos and "Death. Defiance. Decadence.
", yet perhaps a bit more raw and grim. Regarding the availability of the old demos - as far as I am informed there is no mailorder that still distributes them, and thus they should be considered as sold out. "Demo 1998" was limited to 100 copies, while about 250 copies of "Endzeit" were spread.
HH: Were there any more early releases besides the 1998 demo and the Endzeit demo that people may not know about?
Not really. Occationally we spread a few rehearsal tapes to a bunch of close friends, and we also participated in a number of compilation tapes, but all of them are so to say "buried by time and dust" and not really worth to mention, apart from "Prometheus Unleashed", an excellent compilation-tape released by the Greek label Demonion Productions
in 1998, which as far as I know is still available.
HH: What led to many members of the band leaving in 2000? Do you still stay in contact with any of these past members?
It was no actual process of the other members leaving the band, but a total split. The recordings of "Death. Defiance. Decadence." were supposed to mark the end of Hailstorm as an active band, and all participants simply started to concentrate on Other Projects
- myself, as you know, on Sagittarius
. There is no regular contact to the former members from my side, but D.B. (who is living in the same town as they) is occationally keeping in touch with them.
HH: What have been the key evolutions in the band since the early days?
Nothing but my personal biography since 2000 era vulgaris, a growth of experience and knowledge, an improved musicianship and the loss of many illusions.
HH: What led you to keep the band at just two members, and why has D.B. stayed with you even when the rest of the members left?
Simply because it is far more effective to work with only one additional highly skilled musician (and dedicated session-musicians when needed) - any further core members would be superfluous human ballast, as it is my goal to fulfill my personal vision of what Black Metal should be, and not to socialize with unnecessary people. D.B. immediately accepted my request to re-join because he is a uniquely loyal character and a very close friend.
HH: How has your label Blutvergiessen Productions treated you since you signed to them?
Considering the fact that Heiko has been one of my best friends for many years, the answer should be obvious! Blutvergiessen is one of the last labels with the old and original "underground" attitude, it is absolutely dedicated, idealistic and dedicated to what it stands for, and Heiko did his best possible job to get "Death. Defiance. Decadence." released.
HH: What led to the band splitting with Black Serenade Productions? Are there any copies of the 10" version of Death. Defiance. Decadence. still available?
The MLP-version was actually never published. After having been sent out by the pressing plant, all copies were sacked by German thought police at the Czech/German border due to ridiculous and obscure reasons, and the release is being investigated for any "illegal" contents, at least this is what the officials have been claiming for more than two years. The name "Black Serenade Productions" was actually nothing but a monicker of a good friend who was interested in releasing "Death. Defiance. Decadence.", or to put it in other words, a sub-label started with the sole purpose of getting "Death. Defiance. Decadence." released. Do not expect any further releases published by this label.
HH: What are the main future plans for Hailstorm? Do you put as much energy into Hailstorm as your other project Sagittarius?
In a way I consider Hailstorm and Sagittarius to be two sides of the same coin, and each project will receive all energy and attention it deserves - although my focus on Sagittarius is stronger, and one might say that Sagittarius might be considered by others to be my "main project" (although I do feel rather uncomfortable with this term).
HH: Do you now have a drummer for Hailstorm? If not, are you currently on a search for members?
A good friend and very skilled drummer, whose name I will not reveal at this point, will be ready to help us out when his skills are needed.
HH: Will Hailstorm always remain your black metal outlet or do you see yourself incorporating neoclassical and neofolk elements into the music eventually, if not currently?
Due to the massive use of orchestral synthesizer and also the fact that much of Hailstorm's material was actually composed in the same way as the music for Sagittarius - by the use of a piano and traditional music theory, I think that neoclassical elements have - by instinct - always been an essential part of Hailstorm. Take "Todeskuss" for instance - it was a spontanous composition created when I had the unique opportunity to rehearse on a wonderful Steinway grand piano. There actually exists an alternate piano arrangement for that song that would perfectly fit on a Sagittarius-album, while "Cupio Dissolvi", a piano-composition that will appear on the upcoming Sagittarius-album "Songs from the Ivory Tower", was originally intended to be used as a black metal-song for Hailstorm. Neofolk however never really had any real impact on me, and I don't think
that such influences will ever have any importance in my musical work with Hailstorm.
HH: What are the core beliefs behind Hailstorm's lyrics?
I founded Hailstorm (just like Sagittarius a few years later) as a valve through which I could express my personal ideas, obsessions and feelings by musical and artistic means, and between 1996 and 1999, the years that were the most active ones in the band's history, I was affected above all by a nihilistic, decadent and misanthropic attitude, vivid visions of endtime and both spiritual and physical self-destruction as well as a faustic-luciferian urge to gain liberty and realization. I think the MCD's title "Death. Defiance. Decadence." is actually quite a fitting summarization of what Hailstorm's words are about.
HH: Does Hailstorm have any key political stances? What are your opinions on the current world situations, especially the growing nuclear capabilities of countries like North Korea and Iran? What are your main thoughts towards George Bush and his foreign policy with countries like Iraq?
In accordance with philosophers and thinkers like Julius Evola
and Oswald Spengler
I see the modern occidental civilization to be in a constant process of decline and involution, and the madness and absurdity that is seen in daily politics is nothing but symptoms of the progressing downfall. However, those topic you mentioned do not have the slightest impact on me in connection with Hailstorm - I keep distanced from them and do not see any sense in discussing them on the occation of this interview - please do not mix us up with Puissance
HH: How has neofolk affected you and your writing process? Does D.B. share many of the same core music ideologies as youself? Is he involved in any other projects?
As I am actually not that much interested into neofolk, apart from the musical work of a few friends and acquaintances from that genre, as well as a handful of bands whose music and philosophy I tend to find interesting, it should be obvious that the influential effect of neofolk on me is rather low. D.B. is musically quite a black metal head, but an open minded one - when meeting each other we always found music to listen that both of us appreciate.
HH: How have the different laws in Germany resulting from WW II situations affected how you write your music and/or express yourself, if at all? I realize that any sort of nazi-ism over there can get you easily arrested while skinheads and national socialists here run rampant freely.
Neither World War II, nor national-socialist ideas were ever influential on Hailstorm, and I do not really care about what skinheads and national socialists are doing in Germany or across the atlantic.
HH: Does Hailstorm have any close ties to any other bands in the scene? Are there any splits planned for the future or being talked about?
Taking any "scene" as a foundation for contacts, there are no ties, no friendships or even interests in maintaing such things. Hailstorm stands alone and isolated by decision and will. Black Metal (as I used to know it) is dead, and 99 per cent of the Black Metal "scene" in its present state is nothing but a disguise for weak human worms that have to hide their own weaknesses and lack of will behind a fake mask of childish and superficial "evilness", plus a nice portion of feigned and undeserved elitism. The original spirit of Black Metal, its sorrow, despair, hate and aggression, as well as its goals and purposes from the past seem to be forgotten, and all I can see is ridiculous morons. Young boys only caring for the length of their hair, the quantity of CDs, LPs and MP3s they
possess, and the amount of beer and women they consume, without any will, honour or spiritual approach towards their lifes. Female prostitutes with the sole desire, need, and obviously even use, at least when looking at their low rate of intelligence, of being laid by long haired jerks.
HH: Thank you very much for this interview. As always, it was a pleasure to speak with you my friend. There last words are yours, feel free to use them in any way you may wish.
Thank you for the interview and well-chosen questions, and sorry for the huge delay of my reply. "Death. Defiance. Decadence." is still available from both Blutvergiessen as well as myself. If you wish to gain a copy or other information, please use the contact details below:
PO Box 1808