God Dethroned are back with a blast and they delivered a hell of an album. So I took the chance and contacted Henri for an interview about the split, the reunion, touring, his guitar business and most urgently his work with God Dethroned and his other projects.
Styx: Hello Henri and thanks for taking your time for this interview. How are the things running on the front of God Dethroned?
Henri: Yeah pretty good I would say. We're very excited to have a new album out and the response so far has been really great !!
Styx: In 2011 the decision to split up God Dethroned was made. What have been the reason to revive the band in 2014?
Henri: I went to the funeral of our label boss of Metal Blade Europe and there I met a lot of people from the scene. I realised how much I missed those people. Then I knew I had to go on making music and so I did.
Styx: Out of nowhere we had the first life sign by a new song and video called "On the wrong side of the wire". Was this album written in silence?
Henri: No not really. I guess you must have missed the promotion that Metal Blade gave around our revival...
Styx: Nowadays it's interesting to see that Metal Blade releases classic video clips like "On the wrong side of the wire", "The World Ablaze" and "Annihilation Crusade" instead of a lyric video. How do you feel about the support you get from the label?
Henri: We are very happy with the support we get from Metal Blade. They support us so well that we have the possibility to do a proper album recording, work together with a great producer like Dan Swanö and have great artwork and make 3 videos before the album release. How could we not be happy about a thing like this?
Styx: Before the resurrection of God Dethroned you also have been announced as a member of the resurrected Soulburn but you and the band separated. Can you please tell us how it came to be that you joined the band and why you didn't stay?
Henri: It was a bit different. I was asked to join a project called To The Gallows. Then some guys decided they didn't want it as a project but as a proper band. They called it Soulburn instead. But I knew I didn't have the time to play in another band, so I told them I couldn't participate anymore. Then the originator of the original project, Rogga Johansson asked me if I was interested in finishing the project after all. We just did and so the To The Gallows will be released later this year.
Styx: You also have been part of the band "Dictated" and you are still with "Winter Of Sin". Will you still have time for "Winter Of Sin" with "God Dethroned" fully back on the map?
Henri: Yes I helped Dictated out for a while. It was fun because I just had to play songs and didn't have to worry about all the band matters which you normally have. Eventually I made space for a new bass player who had more time available than me. Winter of Sin was also just a project and not a band. They are ready for a new album too, but i'm not sure if I will be part of that again, because it's very difficult to combine with God Dethroned and Serpent King Guitars.
Styx: I guess you think from album to album but will you keep the lyrical content for the next albums or will you go back to the satanic/antireligious content?
Henri: Well we are ready with the WWI theme now, so I will definitely come up with something new. I have some thoughts about it, but i can't tell you anything yet. The music will most likely stay in the style as we present it now on “The World Ablaze”.
Styx: A lot of people (including me) think this could be the final studio album of God Dethroned, since The World War topic on the last albums was planned to be a trilogy. Are there more studio albums planned in the future and will you stick with the War topic?
Henri: We still have a contract with Metal Blade, so if they allow us to do another album then we will do so. It all depends if people are interested in the band or not. The shows we played so far have shown that people are very much interested in our band and if that stays like this then we will definitely make another album.
Styx: Any news on the front of Cold Blood Industries? The label is since quit awhile on hiatus and did you ever plan to revive it with your partners?
Henri: No man. It's just too difficult to make a living out of a record label anyway. I prefer to play my music and building guitars. That's enough for me.
Styx: If you look back in time and you listen nowadays "The Christhunt" and you compare it with all your later works how do you feel about this album nowadays?
Henri: Well the Christhunt is of course a very old album and we weren't a very good band back then. Still I meet people from time to time who tell me that it's still their favorite album! So emotion in music is a lot more important than your musical skills.
Styx: Can you also tell us why Shark Records wimped out and didn't wanted to release the original cover of "The Christhunt"?
Henri: Well I guess they saw a lot of problems coming up if they had to present an albums to the shops with a butchered rat on it, haha! They almost had to puke when they saw the original album cover. It was just something they couldn't handle.
Styx: Serpent King Guitars became a brand of its own in the last years and also very successful. You have a lot of big names in the death metal scene using these guitars (like Eric Cutler & Dennis Hartog etc.). What are your future plans with SKG?
Henri: We are trying to expand our line of guitars. We can also do a lot more customisation these days such as very beautiful but complicated inlays in the fingerboard. More luxury guitars as well, but also still the affordable guitars for the people with not that much money. So something for everybody basically.
Styx: Can you please give us a insight how you combine being a musician and working for Serpent King Guitars and what do you prefer more of both?
Henri: It's easy! I build guitars during the week and play live in the weekends. When I would go on tour then I could still make a good planning so people still would get their guitar in time. It's all about making good planning and thinking ahead. It's just nice to just do your own thing and don't have to listen to anybody else. I like my freedom, but the most important part is playing guitar for me. Playing live is good for the soul!
Styx: Thanks Henri for taking your time once more and the last words are yours.
Henri: Everybody check out “The World Ablaze”! It's a beauty! Ha!