Interview: Herald K

I’m a big fan of the folk genre, so I was very excited to discover the artist Herald K and his amazing new record, Mythologies. It’s got quite a traditional folk sound, although there are a few other genres thrown in there too. If that sounds good, you can find a full stream at the end of this interview!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a new album titled Mythologies, which is simply stunning. What can you tell us about the album?

That album was my pandemic project. For me personally, the lockdowns and restrictions added a lot of time to the day. One time on my way from Austria to Norway, for instance, I had to quarantine alone in a mountain cabin for 10 days. I also took up running during this period. I got to read a lot of books I otherwise wouldn’t have got around to. And I found time to work on songs. Gradually, it became clear that I had been creating a bunch of songs that seemed to have some themes in common: They were inspired by old and ancient literature, they contained many descriptions of nature, and they all seemed to have something to do with mythology. So I picked 10 of the songs that I had, and started recording and producing. The project gradually grew, and I found some amazing collaborators who all helped bring the songs to a higher level.

Part of the reason they could all join was that they probably all had some extra time on their hands too. And this might seem weird now, but in the early stages of the pandemic when I had (like many others I guess) a slight fear that I might not make it through healthy, or even alive, I know I got some extra motivation to go and get this thing done, so that I at least would have something to show for all my creative efforts before it was too late!

How has the reception to Mythologies been so far, and where can it be purchased?

So far, we’ve had many nice reviews internationally for both the album and the singles from it. The songs have also featured in lots of playlists and radio stations. And we’re still spreading the word, and bringing these songs out there through concerts in Austria and other countries. The CD can be purchased at our live shows, but also at some web-shops. For British listeners, I guess Amazon would be the best place to get hold of it.

You’ve released five singles from the album so far. Do you plan to release any more singles from it?

The full album is now out, so all songs are now available. I won’t release any more singles, but maybe one or two lyric videos. There are already four lyric videos from this album to be found on YouTube.

You worked with Lina Louise on the track, Echo’s Song. How did the collaboration come about and is it something you’d like to do again?

I had worked with Lina before on a song on my first album. She did an amazing job then, so I decided to ask her to help me out on two songs on this new album, Echo’s Song and Arethusa. Luckily, she liked these new songs and agreed to join again. Lina has a special voice. She’s also a songwriter herself, and has a special feel for how to convey lyrics, so I feel privileged to have worked with her. We have since also performed live together a few times. I would of course love to record and perform more with her!

Have you started writing for your next EP/album, or is it too early?

That’s too early. I’m still busy trying to get these songs out to people. I hope to write some more lyrics soon though. Creating new songs is what I like most of all!

Your music has a traditional folk sound. What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

I try to be open to all genres, as I believe in taking inspiration from unlikely places. Yet I always seem to gravitate towards Americana music these days. Growing up, Dylan, Cohen and Springsteen were my favourites (and still are). Together with Hank Williams, they are probably my greatest influences. Lately, I’ve been listening pretty intensely to Birds Of Chicago and Colter Wall. I also take a lot of influence from old literature by poets like Homer, Ovid and Baudelaire.

You’re currently based in Norway – whereabouts are you from? What is the local music scene like with you at the moment?

I’m currently spending some time here in Norway, but my base is actually in Vienna. I live there most of the year. Vienna has quite a lively music scene, with lots of opportunities to play gigs in different pubs, cafes, bookshops, etc… But to attract larger audiences you have to take your live show also out of town, to more specialised music venues.

Do you have anything else exciting coming up this year?

This year and the next I’ll be focusing on getting out there and playing live. I expect by this time next year, I will have played some international dates in addition to the ones I will have played in Austria.

Do you have any tour dates lined up for the UK?

No. But it’s pretty high up on my to-do list! I would really like to book some dates in the UK. Hopefully that will happen in 2024. England is actually my old ‘home country’, as I lived there for 3 years as a student!

Any last words for the fans?

I’m very happy that you’re into this somewhat unusual thing we’re doing musically! It means a lot to know we’re really reaching someone out there with our songs… I’m looking forward to the continuation of this journey!