Interviews: Hexenklad

We have had the opportunity to interview the Folk Metal/Black Metal band Hexenklad from Canada. Check out the interview and follow the band on their  FACEBOOK PAGE.

1.Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

John: Our band name is Hexenklad. The band name came from founder Michael Grund who escaped a corporate job and life in the city to live in the forests of Bancroft, Ontario. As he laid in a hammock by the fire on the land that had become his new home, he was deeply struck by the majesty and magical nature of his new surroundings and had an overwhelming sense of relief being freed from the city. “Hex” represents the magical nature of this forest as well as the curse of city life, while “klad” represents being completely enveloped and surrounded by it. 

2.Why did you want to play this genre?

Timothy: I have listened to Folk music for many years and always found a great depth in it, both musically and lyrically. Also, the genre allows for the music to be extremely varied and experimental in sound and that appealed to me. Beyond that, there was also a focus in it on beliefs that, in some ways, mirrored my own, and when Hexenklad needed a new vocalist, I knew this was where I was meant to be and where my lyrical ideas would best manifest themselves.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Timothy: Four of the members of Hexenklad are from bands that have previously performed together. Clare and I, as members of Eclipse Eternal, often performed with Pagan Ritual (where John and Andrew are from) and we did play one show with Battlesoul as well (where Michael is from). That is how we all know each other.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Timothy: Hard to say, as I do not believe I have a single favorite band. If the question was, what is my favorite Folk Metal band, I would say it’s a tossup between Primordial and Moonsorrow (though I know many would not consider either of them very Folky). If the question was what is my favorite Black Metal band, then I would say Marduk. If it was which is my favorite Death Metal band, I would say it’s a tossup between Deicide and Immolation. If it was which is my favorite Doom Metal band I would say My Dying Bride. Favorite Heavy Metal band, Iron Maiden.

John: I’m an old guy. I grew up on Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden and they still remain amongst my favorites. These days I tend to listen to more black metal. Emperor, Gorgoroth and Dissection. Also enjoying Uada, Gallowbraid, and new Borknagar as of late.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Timothy: For 15 years I was in a Black Metal band that I started called Eclipse Eternal, which focused on Death and Destruction. As that band ended, I realized that after destruction there is a hole where what was is missing, and if that hole is not filled with something better, then it will fill with something even worse than what was destroyed. I decided to focus my writing around Hagalaz. Creation through destruction. I started writing about what could be, what I found inspirational and worthy. I wanted to create lyrics and do vocals that focused more on my Heathen beliefs, but in a way that was not preaching or alienating to those who do not share my beliefs. When Hexenklad needed a new vocalist I knew this was where I could explore those writings and make them into lyrics.

6. Where was your last gig?

Timothy: Our last gig was in Oshawa, Ontario, last year on Devil’s Night. That was the last show that was allowed to happen before our Province went into lockdown, and it’s been lockdown ever since.

7. Where would you like to act? 

Timothy: Europe. I would love to bring our music to the Metal festivals in Europe. That is the goal. That is where I think our music would find its home.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Timothy: Moonsorrow, Falkenbach, Korpiklaani, Eluviete, Heidevolk, Arkona.

9. Whom not?

Timothy: While I respect all bands that put a huge amount of work and thought into their music, I think based solely on our musical style, I’d say if we were featured with a Grindcore or Brutal Death Metal band, that would leave listeners/readers the least inspired to listen/read more. When I’m at a Death metal show I’m not really interested in hearing a Folk Metal band and vice-versa. 

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Timothy: I don’t know about anyone else, but this is one thing I do not suffer from. We are a tight band and I trust my bandmates to make the best of any situation, and that gives me confidence when I am performing. Plus, I am usually in my own world when I’m on stage. The words and I are one, and the audience is witnessing. Here are my tips to beginners: Know that the audience wants to like you. They want you to be amazing. They want you to succeed. Practice with your bandmates until you can play a whole set with them blindfolded. Get used to messing up in practice, as it happens to everyone, and learn to bounce back quickly, so if something happens live, you know what to do. Once you know the music without having to think about it, then you can lose yourself in the words, in the ebb and flow of the music and become one with it. Once you do that, the audience will join you in the journey and that fear will fade to nothing.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Timothy: My inspirations are more based on my instrument, so Legion of Marduk, Arioch of Funeral Mist, Wrest of Leviathan, Alan of Primordial, Glen of Deicide, Jonas of Katatonia. For bands that have inspired Hexenklad the most overall, I’d say, Moonsorrow, Windir, Insomnium, Wintersun, and Amon Amarth.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Timothy: I got asked to sign a Pepto Bismol bottle once. And the guy was genuine. That was odd.

13. What do you think of your fans?

Timothy: I have a great appreciation for those who come to our shows, who spend their hard-earned money on our music and merch, who raise a horn to us on stage. These people, this pack of lone wolves who have decided to run with us, they keep us going. It is why the last song on the album is a song speaking directly to our fans. It is called “Raise a Horn” and the end it actually says: “We raise a horn to you, We raise a horn to your Ancestors too”.

14. What do you think of our site?

Timothy: I like the format. It’s very well put together, and everything is easy to find. Also, the writing is well done and there are questions asked that are not common.

15. Something to add?

Timothy: May you see every day as an opportunity, and may your actions become a symbol for all future generations. I raise a horn to you. Hail!

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