Recently the Spaniards Hordak released their new album „Under the Sign of the Wilderness“ (see also review in German). After a high-ranked review with a score of 14 out of 15 points we wanted to provide our readers with further information about the record. Autumn War founder and responsible for lyrics, vocals and guitars was so kind to take his time answering our questions.
Folkmetal.at: Hi! Congratulations for a superb album! But before we talk about „Under the Sign of the Wilderness“ I would like to ask a few questions in general. First of all, please introduce yourself and your band to our readers.
HORDAK: Hi there!! This is Autumn War from the Spanish band called Hordak. We play Celtiberian Pagan Metal with a lyrical concept which talks about our ancestors and Celtiberian heritage. Musically we try to be led to worlds beyond, epic reigns where the woods were vast and the people lived close to the nature, fought, and didn’t worry for tomorrow. We started ten years ago with this great adventure and it still keeps alive, so we are very glad and we will try to keep the flames burning even stronger for as long as we can.
Folkmetal.at: Hordak is a character from Masters of the Universe. You explained it once as a link between childhood and present ideals. Could you amplify this?
HORDAK: Well we really wouldn’t like to amplify that information because the things that need or have no explanation sometimes are the best things. We liked that name then and we still love it, it for sure represents our band, so there is no other explanation.
Folkmetal.at: Listening to your music and not knowing where your origin is, one’d bet you’re from Scandinavia. How comes that a Spanish band plays cold, Nordic metal?
HORDAK: We have grown up listening to very different music styles such as the Nordic Metal you mention, traditional heavy metal of course, rock, classical different styles and I think that this is something that remains within you forever, so once you start creating music, you just lead all of your influences to your musical point of view and way of creating songs. We don’t want to copy any band or style, not even ours, just create music with high levels of feeling.
Folkmetal.at: You describe your style as „Celtiberian Pagan Metal. What in your understanding does that exactly mean?
HORDAK: It means that we talk about our Celtiberian roots and heritage, our first ancestors here in Spain who lived near to the first millennium. We also are concerned about other historical matters from our country but this is our very main interest.
Folkmetal.at: Where do you find inspiration for your lyrics? Are there any specific legends or sagas? Maybe even local ones?
HORDAK: Depending on what music makes me feel I write about one thing or another. I try not to force it because I think it is better when you leave everything flow. History, woods, nature, loneliness, there are a lot of subjects that bring ideas to my mind, even other songs, of course.
Folkmetal.at: Does the song „722 refer to the battle of Covadonga where the Iberians repelled the invading Arabians? If so, what relevance has this event for you?
HORDAK: Yes it refers to. The Battle of Covadonga was the beginning of the Spanish reconquista, an uprising against the Arabian troops which invaded the Iberian lands from the south eleven years before. For us it is an important event because people fought and died in order to give back the land to those whom belonged.
Folkmetal.at: Your new album as well as the third track on it are called „Under the Sign of the Wilderness. Its topic are the Gods of nature. Is there any connection between what’s described in the song about offerings and sacrifices when the seasons change and your daily life? Do you practice any form of paganism?
HORDAK: The song describes the way the ancient Celtiberians lived with their rituals and their connection to nature. It is an ode to them. We praise and respect this way of living and of course we practise paganism in our lives by praising the nature, respecting our roots and „following the dark and forgotten past.
Folkmetal.at: Why did you choose for the Track „μόνολίθος (engl. monoliths) a Cyrillic title as the lyrics are in English and indicate no obvious connection to any country using Cyrillic scripture?
HORDAK: μόνολίθος is not Cyrillic, but Greek scripture and it was made this way because the word monoliths is an etymology of the words μόνο; which means one and λίθος; which means stone, so the correct translation is one-stone and it refers to the Menhirs, Cromlechs and stuff like that, the stones of power and its circles of energy. I am an enthusiastic follower of the Greek culture, scripture and mythology so I decided to do this way.
Folkmetal.at: The last track on the album is called „Lugar Entre Montañas. As it is the only Spanish entitled song and an instrumental as well, it arouses the question whether it is some kind of a traditional.
HORDAK: „Lugar Entre Montañas is an original song by Hordak, not a traditional one. We like to keep some tracks in Spanish language, as well as „El lago Enol for example and most of all, the instrumental songs, because this way, we can express ourselves much more better and so, describe with words what music inspires us.
Folkmetal.at: All of your album covers have been designed by Kris Verwimp. Did you choose the picture of „Under the Sign of the Wilderness or was it custom made? How was the collaboration with Kris Verwimp?
HORDAK: Yes, we always work with Kris because we are really glad with his work. We usually send him some stuff recorded as demos, and so, he can inspire himself to create their covers. We always leave him total freedom on the Hordak’s designs and in the end he manages very successful works.
Folkmetal.at: It took five years until „Under the Sign of the Wilderness had been released. What occurred in the meantime?
HORDAK: We are never going to be in a rush for making new stuff because it usually spoils the creation so we always prefer to do things only when everything is fixed. Also you can have in mind that we are not a band which can only dedicate to do it because we all need to work, some of us study and we all have our engagements.
Folkmetal.at: Besides the intro bagpipes are no longer heard in your songs. What’s the reason for this change?
HORDAK: Jose Luis Frías was our bagpiper for almost five years. We recorded some songs, shared gigs and great moments together, but he decided to leave the band for personal reasons and we decided to play no longer traditional instruments alive, because we really like the sound of the songs without them. Anyway we are still good friends and that’s why he appears on the album, besides he is a superb musician.
Folkmetal.at: What can we expect from Hordak in the (near) future? Are there already ideas for a new album?
HORDAK: There are some ideas, but as I told you before, we are not in a rush, so when the time has come, you will get some new stuff. We also would like to play as many gigs as we can.
Folkmetal.at: Will there be a tour? It would be good to see you again on stage!
HORDAK: We hope so, but no for the moment, because we have not been called for any promoters anyway we as soon as somebody call us we will be heading.
Folkmetal.at: Your homepage seems to be down. Instead there is kind of a cryptic message posted by the webmaster. What happened?
HORDAK: I am glad you ask me this question. We had some problems with this guy because of the web payments and his way of working. We had preferred to keep this kind of things as a private and personal matter, but as you can see, he prefers to run his mouth. We have had several problems with this guy, as for example sending some news to be uploaded on the web with
a deadline and been uploaded out of time or even not uploaded lack of work, lack of interest (but for charging, of course) and many things so we stopped the payments to him, because he had stopped working on the website and only when we noticed him we wanted to finish working together he came back to us to insult us and accuse us of false things. It’s the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. Anyway, we are now working with new people and a new website will be uploaded very soon.
Folkmetal.at: Now it’s time for the famous last words
HORDAK: We want to thank you for your interest and support. We stand as one, we stand alone and strong. Thanks and all the best!! Greetings 😉
Folkmetal.at: Thank you for taking time and hopefully we will see you soon on the road!
Interview was operated by Heimdalls Tochter – A member of Folkmetal.at. May 2012
Further informations about Hordak:
Offical Homepage: Hordak