Interview with Haunted By Silhouettes

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Haunted By Silhouettes

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Interview with Stian Hoel Fossen
(guitarist)

Interview by Kira Levine


Hello and thank you for your time. Please state your name and role in Haunted By Silhouettes.

Hey Metal Rules! My name is Stian Hoel Fossen and I am one of the two guitarists of Haunted By Silhouettes.

How did HBS begin and what is the story behind the band name?

Before Haunted By Silhouettes ever was a project me and our vocalist, Mathias Jamtli Rye, played in a local metalcore band called “Waiting For Salvation”. After a year in the band me, Mathias and the bassist of “Waiting For Salvation” wanted to continue in another direction. We decided to leave the band and make something of our own that fitted our new vision. We wrote some songs together that later turned out to be our first EP. The band name came out of a list of ideas of names and words vocalist Mathias made and we felt that “Haunted By Silhouettes” had a nice swing to it. The band’s inception with three founding members came about in 2013 accompanied by the release of the aforementioned EP (The Final Mind Plague).

Were you involved in any other music projects before, or is this your first?

For me personally this is not my first band. All of us have been involved in several projects along the way, but Haunted By Silhouettes is our main focus now and have been for several years.

Do you remember what made you want to pursue a career in music?

For me it became clear quite early. I am a restless and creative person, so I wanted to create something. Metal was also the genre that interested me to play. It’s raw and pure with a lot of energy, so it suits my personality very well.

What would you say to someone wanting to become a musician or vocalist today?

Just start with what interests you. If it’s guitar, borrow a guitar and try it out. If it’s vocals, just sing your heart out. Then when you found your passion, you can try a band and play live.

How would you describe Haunted By Silhouette’s sound to prospective listeners?

Haunted By Silhouettes is a good blend of old school sounding riffs stuffed in a modern metal sound. We take inspiration from bands like In Flames, Soilwork and other Swedish melodic death metal bands. We also play with some elements from American metalcore, so you could say the sound is a good blend of those two styles of metal.

Your EP ‘No Man Isle’ will be out on the 6th of May, through Eclipse Records. Congratulations on being signed to their roster! What has it been like working with the US label so far?

Eclipse Records have been awesome. They have pushed us to make our product as good as we can get it, and directed us on how to promote it the best way possible. You can tell that it is run by pure metal and rock enthusiasts. They also work in a very professional manner, and use their reach and network to make us grow as much as possible. It’s been quite a big change in our way of working when we release music.

How did the writing and recording process go? Did you encounter any obstacles along the way, due to the ongoing pandemic situation?

Actually, the pandemic let us work better with the music this time. We used a lot of time making each song as good as we could get it. With no concerts and tours we could focus on writing and recording. We approached the writing process pretty much like any other of our albums and ep’s. We gathered a bunch of song ideas, went on a cabin trip and put the ideas together. Then we worked on the demos in the studio when we got back. We also hired Benjamin Dehli on keys to make the sound even bigger! He did an amazing job complimenting the songs with just the right synths and sounds. Per Kristian Grimsland (the other guitarist of Haunted By Silhouettes) recorded, mixed and mastered the songs and I think it sounds amazing, world-class! He did an amazing job.

The first single “Flock” has an accompanying music video and it looks like you all had a blast on set. Where were the open air scenes recorded?

We are really proud of the music video and really happy about the feedback from people who have seen it. We wanted to make a statement on the fact that we have taken this band several steps up in the production on both the music and the visuals. It was myself who edited the video.

The open air scenes was recorded on a beach 20-30 minutes outside of Trondheim, where we are located. Trondheim is the 3rd biggest city in Norway.

Vocalist Björn “Speed” Strid of Soilwork features on the song “Selkie”. How did this collaboration come about? Did you meet him in person?

We have wanted to collaborate with Björn for several years and have seen him doing stuff on other bands songs, so we reached out to him and asked if he was interested in doing a part on our song. He was, so we hired him to do the parts on the song “Selkie”. We never met in person, but maybe if the opportunity presents itself in the future.

 


No Man Isle
track-listing:
1. Departure
2. Flock
3. Selkie (feat. Björn “Speed” Strid)
4. Icon
5. No Man Isle

 

 

 

 

Would you ever consider writing a full-length with only Norwegian lyrics?

We have done a song called “Jakta” that is in Norwegian only, but I don’t see the band doing a full LP with only Norwegian songs.

Do you have a favourite Haunted By Silhouettes song?

For me personally the song “No Man Isle” on the new EP is a favorite, but from the older stuff I have to answer “Only You Know”. Such a big and melodic song with very deep lyrics. It was a song me and Mathias worked hard on for a long time before recording it.

Who illustrated the album cover for ‘No Man Isle’?

It was Niklas Sundin, another hero of mine. He was a founding member of the Swedish melodic death metal band Dark Tranquillity, where he played guitar from 1989 to 2020. He has a very cool style which suited this EP well. We are extremely proud of the artwork and Niklas was so easy to work with. It is perfect.

Are you currently a member of any other bands?


Not at the moment. I was, but I wanted to focus on Haunted By Silhouettes so I quit the band I played in.

Are there any melodeath groups from Norway that you particularly admire?

Norway does not have that many bands in this genre, but we have a lot of black metal bands which our country is known for.

Can you name some artists outside of metal that you listen to?

I listen to a lot of stuff outside of metal, and so does the other guys in the band. A couple of artists that comes to mind is Pink Floyd, Alan Jackson and the Swedish rapper Prop Dylan to name a few. Pink Floyd has been a big part of forming the sound of the sad melodies for Haunted By Silhouettes.

Where in the world would your dream tour take place?

For me the dream tour would be USA. As a car enthusiast it would be a perfect combination of the musical adventure of touring the US, but also the car culture that country has. It is amazing. So that is a dream of mine.

Other than making music, are there any other creative endeavours that you undertake?

The profession in my daily job is as a photographer, journalist and graphic designer in a car magazine here in Norway. So that is pretty creative and can be seen as somewhat a passion outside of music for me.

What else is in store for Haunted By Silhouettes after ‘No Man Isle’ drops in May?

We want to do a Norwegian tour and at some point tour outside of Norway. The touring life is just getting started again after Covid-19, so we’ll see when we do what. In 2023 we also mark the bands 10th anniversary, so we’ll have to do something fun then.

Thanks so much! Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thank you so much for showing interest in our band.