1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Herjan were born in Turin in the autumn of 2011 from the meeting between Plague (drums) and Azoth (bass) with the guitarist and later also vocals Flagellyon (already member of Schwarz Pest).
The Band, once decided influences and compositional style to follow, immediately began to work on the composition of its tracks.
Meanwhile, since 2013 also the live activity in the Turin area begins.
At the beginning of 2015, during first Demo recordings, Azoth decided to leave the band for personal reasons and the bass was recorded by Flagellyon.
In October of the same year was released "Astral Gates of Eternity" independently and Nigredum joined the band as bass player initially as session member for live performances and later as permanent member.
So Herjan could go back to work for the first Full-Length tracks’s; in February 2017 recordings began at the Magma Studio in Turin and at the end of the year was released under the Ukrainian label Vacula Productions, in collaboration with Narcoleptic Productions, "Nightfall of Humanity".
2. So far you have released a demo and a full length, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how they do differ from each other/
The Demo and Full-Lenght in question are respectively "Astral Gates of Eternity" released in October 2015 and "Nightfall of Humanity" released in December 2017. Composition’s style is very similar because most of the tracks have been composed and re-arranged, on the imprint of the current sound, before the recordings of both.
The basic idea is to propose a Black Metal without too many compromises or influences of other genres, so in both works the sound is mainly dominated by fast and violent atmospheres alternating, depending on the tracks, to other more melodic and introspective, sometimes even epic.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with your music?
Initially the songwriting was edited by Flagellyon and Azoth; but since the abandonment of the Band by the latter is entirely developed and edited by Flagellyon.
The topics covered in our songs are varied, the main themes are Misanthropy, hatred for the human race, war and death (both from a profound and spiritual point of view as well as inflicted punishment).
Other topics treated, for the moment in a minor part, are darkness, occultism, esotericism and mythology, all as introspective aspects and means of detachment and evolution of the man towards society. All these elements, are often enclosed in our texts in a more or less explicit way through metaphors or allegories, as to send a message that is in front of the eyes of all but only few have the ability to understand.
4. Some of your lyrics also cover Occultism and Mythology, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?
As already mentioned above, currently texts are written by Flagellyon.
Flagellyon: regarding Mythology from an historical point of view, I have always been fascinated by the culture of the Scandinavian peoples but this topic has never been treated in Herjan’s texts; it was, but in other way and not relevant to my interest, in the texts of the previous bassist from an esoteric point of view.
Instead with regarding with Occultis, it’s a topic that I learned to know better and to deepen with music but which was already part of my life. For personal reasons and certainly related to my character, I have always tried to estrange myself from this superficial and morally poor society creating my own world within which, thanks to the solitary approach to this subject also linked to others such as esotericism and magic, evolve my person to try to better understand what surrounds me, see beyond and search for what is hidden from the human eye.
During live performances, everything is symbolically taken on stage.
5. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Herjan'?
"Herjan" is one of the many names of Odin and was proposed to the Band by Azoth (bassist of the original formation); this name, in addition to its beauty and to underline a clear inspiration to the Scandinavian Black Metal, was chosen because it reflects our intention to evoke an idea of something ancient, noble and superior to the human race.
6. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Herjan are active on the stage since 2013, in these years we have performed about ten times, not many, both for line-up problems and for personal choice.
The performances have always been of a good level, always collecting the positive opinion from the public, and we had the honor to share the stage with famous names of the scene like Imago Mortis, Mortifera, The True Endless, Adversam, Black Flame, Stigmhate, Cadaveria, Enisum and Kult.
Each show is always prepared and performed with the utmost professionalism, trying to create both on stage and outside the right atmosphere and trying to convey our message to the public exclusively through music; coherently with the group's philosophy and with the themes expressed, with the public we have an approach detached and without dialogue with the will to create distance and to outline two well separated worlds.
7. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Soon we will try to organize some single date to promote the album just released, but at the moment there is no scheduled or planned Tour; we will evaluate the possibility of doing it on the basis of the feedback we will have from listeners and organizers of events abroad. Surely it would be a good opportunity to bring our live music beyond our borders and to crown all the work done so far.
8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
We have to admit that in the world it is very difficult to get ahead and have visibility among the myriad of valid underground Bands that are in circulation and certainly our non-commercial attitude doesn’t help. In any case, beyond our national borders, we found a fairly good interest in the Album in the United States and in South America, where it had already happened for the Demo, and in Eastern Europe where our labels operate.
9. What is going on with 'Schwarz Pest' these days?
Schwarz Pest is the parallel project in which Flagellyon (guitars, composer and backing vocals) and Plague (drummer) play; currently the Band is in studio where has just begun the recordings of its debut Full-Lenght that will be released in the coming months.
10. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Surely, due to the artistic evolution of the members and new influences, sound and style of the band in the future will inevitably evolve as it has already happened in the past.
Nevertheless soon we will start working on material for the next album and our intention, both for this work and for the next, is to remain as faithful as possible to the original intent and sonorities with which this project was born.
11. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
As you can perceive from listening to our tracks, even if we tried to create our own characteristic sound, it is evident a strong Scandinavian influence and especially from Norwegian and Finnish scenes, in particular we let ourselves to be influenced by bands like Behexen, Horna, Gorgoroth and in a minor way by Marduk and Satanic Warmaster.
Regarding the listenings are very varied and also depend on the parallel projects of the members; in addition to Black Metal in all its variants, they range from all Metal with its sub-genres up to genres like Dark Ambient, Hardcore Punk, Electronics, Sludg, Blues and much more.
13. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Before ending this interview, we would like to thank OccultBlackMetalZine for its interest in us and for giving us the opportunity to express ourselves; as well as for the beautiful and welcome review of our album in which it managed to capture the aspects and the main elements that we want to convey with our music.