Q&A with Hellflower

Hellflower released the EP ‘Orange’ in November last year to great critical acclaim (from those who discovered the beauty of ‘Orange’.) We really hope, and strongly recommend, that you listen to Hellflower and their flawless musicianship and great songs! Just click here and play the shit out of the four tracks that is ‘Orange’. Meanwhile, take your time to read this lengthy and cool interview we recently did with the guys in the band.

Who is Hellflower, and what is the story behind your band name?

Hellflower was founded on Andenes, Andøy in late 2014, by guitarist and vocalist Jon Egil Ellefsen, guitarist Kristoffer Haraldsvik and bass player Rikard Waltila Lanesskog. After some initial changes in the drum section, Haraldsvik picked up the drum sticks, and guitarist Michael Berglund was brought in, and this has been the lineup for some time now. Finding a name for the band was a struggle, and we went through a whole lot of names. Each of us would write down suggestions, and when we met we would go through them together. At the time, our bass player was playing a game called Heroes of Newerth, and that’s where he found Hellflower. We liked it, and haven’t looked back since.

Your EP is titled ‘Orange’ and consists of four tracks. In short, give us a presentation of each track: how it came about, lyrics etc.

Orange: The title track was built upon the main riff, which has followed our vocalist for a number of years. The name Orange comes from the fact that the aforementioned riff has the color orange (we know, sounds insane, and probably is). The lyrics are quite dreamy, with the message being that there is always hope, and sometimes making a hard decision is making the right decision.

Barrel of the Gun: The working title for this song was Doom Blues, for obvious reasons. Once again, the main riff came from our vocalist, and came together as a solid, gig friendly tune. A key word for the lyrics is schizophrenia, and the constant struggle that comes with it.

Life and Death: A collaboration between our lead guitarist and our drummer, that ended up pretty different than it originally was. For example, the bridge in the song was the verse in the early days of the song. It’s a story about a power-hungry person being completely thrown of his game by the actions of his subjects, and the following struggle to cope with it.

Just Like Me: Our straightforward rocker. When it comes to this song, think Fight Club. It was one of the first tracks that Hellflower made, and the only one with a guitar solo.

Yngvar Mehus has mixed and mastered your album. What is the story behind it?

We knew Yngvar’s work through our friends in Taliban Airways (where he played guitar) and Vederkast. It was an easy decision to choose him for our EP. Extremely talented and fun dude to work with. We trusted all our guitar and bass tones with him, and we were not disappointed. Not one second.

Tell us about the cover art? Who is Mona Finden Illustrasjon?

Ellefsen, Haraldsvik and Berglund played in a band called Grasping prior to Hellflower, and they used Mona’s services for their art work. Being very pleased with the result, it was no-brainer contacting Mona again when it was time to make the cover art for Orange. We had a clear vision of how we wanted the cover art to be, and it turned out better than we hoped it would. Mona is really good at what she does, and we wouldn’t hesitate to contact her again for our next release.

What’s in store for Hellflower the coming year? Any tours planned? New album on the horizon?

Due to educational and family reasons, we are sadly not as active as we would like to be. That being said, we are still making music, and this is only temporary. As of now, we have a gig planned this summer home at Andenes, but are looking for more chances to play live when the opportunity is there.

Can you tell us about your influences, bands you like?

We are four pretty different musical beings, and sometimes this can be quite the challenge. But we have some common ground, and that is the love for heavy music. In Flames and Insense has been an inspiration for all of us, and the diversity of our taste has led to us finding our unique sound.

Visit Hellflower here! And, be sure to check out this powerful quartet when they do a concert nearby.

Last, we were curious of their most-liked songs. Hellflower has chosen the following tracks to be on their ultimate mixtape.

Photo by Leni Terese Hansen

Hellflower – cover art!

Hellflower will release their debut 24th of November – a four track EP titled, ‘Orange’.

Track listing:

  1. Orange
  2. Barrel of the Gun
  3. Life and Death
  4. Just Like Me

Recorded at Lydproduksjon, Tromso. The cover art is made by Mona Finden Illustrasjon.