Interview with Hatemoon done by Patrick
1.Hello please introduce yourselves to the readers? When did you two first meet?
Tohmar: We are Tohmar and Tuathail (ancient Norse spellings of our respective surnames). Both of us got involved in black metal in the early 2000's around the birth of "suicidal black metal" (later called "DSBM") and each had a solo project in this style. We got in contact because our bands were signed to a label from Texas called Desastrious Records and were scheduled to be on a scheduled 4 way split to be released by the label. Unfortunately, the split never saw the light of day, but throughou it we became longtime allies.
2.Was it long before you two decide to form Hate Moon? How did you choose Hate Moon as the name of the band?
Tuathail: As for the name Hate Moon, it was just something I came up with at the time of the first demo and it wasn't a solid name for the band but we decided it was a name we both liked anyway.
3. Hate Moon is a two man band would you like to add more musicians to make a full line-up or do you prefer to work as a two piece?
Tohmar: Things have been very efficient as they are and thus I'd be hesitant to make any changes. It would be cumbersome to rely on any additional parties that would likely have little to offer in playing instruments that we are perfectly capable of playing ourselves.
4.The Imprisoning War is the bands new release which will be released through Folkvangr, how did you all come in contact with this label?
Tohmar: I am a good friend of Itay Karen of the band "Afar." He sent me a copy of the tape that was released via Folkvangr and I really liked the presentation. I did some research on the label and believed that they would be a good fit for Hate Moon. Since this all came together just as we had completed the album I decided to reach out and see if they were interested in this release.
5.How long did it take to write the music for this release? Do you both work on the music or does one member usually write everything?
Tuathail: For this release, The Imprisoning War, I wrote all the music. But this does not mean that I will be the one solely writing all the music for the project in the future. The length of time that took me to write this album was probably around a week or so. I can't really remember since the album was written some time back ago.
6.Who usually takes care of writing the lyrics for the band and what are some subjects you wrote about on The Imprisoning War ?
Tohmar: I wrote all of the lyrics and was inspired by stories of the Norse Gales after a family member had traced our family back to Tomrair, an ancient Nordic viking king of Dublin. I had always been interested in ancient nordic romanticism in art, music, movies ect. Video games were also a major influence- specifically the Legend of Zelda series (from which the title of the album was lifted) and the Elder Scrolls series. I didn't publish the lyrics because I feel they can limit one's interpretation of the music- for example, the listener may want to appropriate the music to the theme of a fantasy novel they are reading while they listen.
7.Besides the new release does the band have any other releases or merchandise available for the readers? If yes what is available and where can the readers buy it?
Tohmar: This will be the first public release made by the band. We had traded our demos amongst friends via burned CDs but have never pressed any official material. There are no plans for any merch at this time.
Tuathail: We do hope to put out our demos at some point though.
8.What does black metal mean to you?
Tuathail: Black Metal is an art and a form of expression to me, personally. Overall I do think it is the sound of darkness and evil but I also think it can have a positive message too. It is the genre of music I became to adore since it feels like the music comes from one's soul or to tell a story.
Tohmar: It's the dark side of European music and culture that many seem to be strangely attracted to/afflicted with. Along with darkness and extremism it is also tradition, identity, courage, challenge and struggle. To me it's the musical equivalent of the joy I've found in video games, movies, and literature that portray villianess and authoritative characters in an exciting fashion.
9.Besides working in Hate Moon do either of the members currently work with any other bands or projects?If yes please tell the readers a little about them?
Tohmar: Yes- although I reserve the "Tohmar" pseudonym for Hate Moon alone. I'm excited to announce that I will be reviving my ambitious solo project "Wall of Water" and will be starting up a new band called "Deus Vult." In Wall of Water, I explore a contemporary/experimental metal path and Deus Vult will be reviving the most traditional of underground metal sounds. I aim to release an album with each band in 2018 and use both to promote my Christian views.
Tuathail: The only project I am in as of now is my band "Thy Vast Despair". This project was started in 2005 and also the project that lead me to meet Tohmar. I haven't released much under the name of Thy Vast Despair but I have been writing music for years for the project. I am in the process now of recording an album for the project and planning on putting out some unreleased material that was recorded in the passed. There were other bands I was in and the reason I put Thy Vast Despair on the side. Unfortunately these bands never lasted but the music that was recorded for these projects I hope to still release at some time. To be more personal, working with Tohmar on Hate Moon has been the only successful project I worked on with another person and it still will be successful.
10.Hate Moon comes out of the Pennsylvanian black metal scene what is your opinion of the scene in Pennsylvania these days?
Tuathail: There isn't much of a scene here. Like Tohmar said, there are a lot of crust punks or just punk fans in general that are in this "scene". But overall here in the area of Pennsylvania where I reside it is more of a fad of is popular. A few years ago and probably still true now, it was popular to overly obsessed with 80s "black metal" or "death metal" bands that released only one demo. By this I mean they would get shirts made of the this forgotten band and lamely attempt to dress "80s metal". I guess you can say the Pennsylvanian metal scene is a joke really which is a shame but I hope one day it will flourish again.
Tohmar: Although the band is based in Pennsylvania, I know little about what's happening there as I grew up in New Jersey and currently reside in Brooklyn. I've never cared much for PA bands as most of the musicians involved are crust punks with whom I have little in common.
11.Who are your all-time favorite bands coming out of Pennsylvania? Are their any new bands you feel the readers should check out soon?
Tuathail: I always really liked the Doom Metal band In Ruins from Pennsylvania and also Death Metal band Incantation. Also there are the classic Black Metal bands from Pennsylvania like Blood Storm and Crucifier. But personally I also always like the projects of my old friends, Everwinter/Plague. Very great projects till the one member died which ended the projects and Plague was going to be on the 4 way split with Tohmar and I mentioned earlier. The only newer band I like is Haethen but I think they are actually from New Jersey but they played a bulk of shows here in Pennsylvania and I think one point resided here. As far as other bands, they are usually junk and just worshipping (mimicking) classic bands. Then you have a bands like Woe that are fucking horrible and terribly uncreative. It seems like a common theme for newer bands here to make a mockery of Black Metal.
12.When not working on new music or band business what do you like to do in your free time?
Tohmar: I enjoy the pursuit of knowledge especially in regards to history, political theory, philosophy, faith, and culture. I avoid movies, enjoy (mostly older) video games, and spend much of my personal time with family, friends, and community. Lately I have been doing freelance writing for political/cultural publications and plan to do more of this in the future.
Tuathail: I enjoy art, both create it and go to museums, I like hiking through the forests or watching movies when I am not writing music. Writing music is a big hobby of mine really.
13.Thank you for taking the time to fill this interview out do you have any final words for the readers?
Tohmar: Tradition, heritage, family, culture, nature, faith, community, and collectivism are immensely important to the happiness and mental health of the individual. I cannot stress this enough. Thanks again for your time Patrick, its always a pleasure to a part of Winter Torment.
Tuathail: Only thing I have to say to the readers is stay true to yourself. I would also like to you thank you as well Patrick for your time and interviewing us. I hope to hear again from Winter Torment in the future.