High On Fire & Kvelertak Interview

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We’re still dreaming of the Kvelertak gig we went to a couple of months back and wish that their current tour with High On Fire was coming to Aus! Check out this interview of Matt Pike of High On Fire and Erlend Hjelvik of Kvelertak.

How did this tour come about?

Matt Pike: Kurt Ballou, the dude who records us from Converge, hooked us up with Kvelertak’s music, and we really liked what we heard. We’d them a few times, but we never got together and played. They’ve gone to our shows, and we’ve gone to their shows. I think it’s a really good pairing, and we’re taking a stab at having a really cool tour. I think it’ll be great.

Erlend Hjelvik: High On Fire is one of the best bands we could open up for. I think it’s a perfect match. We probably share a lot of the same fans too. It’s a great tour.

How did you both discover metal and what made you want to play it?

Erlend Hjelvik: It’s a bit embarrassing for me to talk about [Laughs]. I guess I’m a lot younger than Matt is. I got into metal when I was a teenager. I didn’t know too many other kids in the village where I was living. I got into nu metal when I was 14- or 15-years-old. Then, I got into some cheesy Norwegian black metal like Dimmu Borgir. When I turned 18 and moved to a city, I discovered more music and some better bands. That’s about it.

Matt Pike: I got to grow up in the era where my dad was listening to Black SabbathLed Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. I was turned on to that early on. I’ve been playing guitar since I was a little kid because my grandfather and my uncle would play to me. It picked up early. I got to watch MTV come out. Van Halen and ZZ Top were on it as well as AC/DC. I had early exposure to what you would call “rock ‘n’ roll metal”. I got a little older and got into Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Then, I had the chance to watch MetallicaExodusSlayer, and Anthrax all come out. At the same time, the punk scene was banging with Black Flag, The Circle Jerks, and Dead Kennedys. I grew up in all of that. I had the early influence. That was the big influence growing from a boy to a teenager to my twenties when death metal got really popular. I was doing my own thing then. It evolved from there. 

Is storytelling an important aspect of songwriting for both of you?

Matt Pike: For me, I have little daydreams and visuals in my head when I write lyrics. I’ll already have a movie shot in my head. The only way I can put it down is words and sounds. That’s what anybody else gets if they want to paint their own in there. No one can see inside my binoculars. I definitely have my own stage set when I’m playing and I write this. The whole band comes together, and it sounds a certain way. I always get these weird dreams.

Erlend Hjelvik: Lyrically, I think I’m inspired by a lot of the same things you are. I’m seeing a lot of Frank Frazetta from the covers and Conan influence as well as science fiction. That’s cool.

Check out the rest of the interview at Artist Direct

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