Discover more from Volatile Weekly
Interview with Hessdalen Light
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Like many other kids from my generation, my love and passion for music came from the video games Guitar Hero and Rock Band. These games introduced me to rock and metal music and the rest was history. I eventually picked up a real guitar around the time I was 17 and started writing songs for fun. Without music as a hobby, I’d probably have just spent more time playing video games, to be honest.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love doing anything active and outdoors whenever I’m not playing music. I think being out in nature has a special draw to it that keeps your body and mind refreshed and does wonders for creativity.
How long has your band been around?
Hessdalen Light started officially around 2015 when I wrote our first song, Degrees of Freedom, in my college dorm room at the University of Florida. It would remain a solo bedroom project until 2019 when I linked up with bassist Antonio Guzman in Dallas, TX to turn HL into a live project.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based out of Dallas, TX currently. There is a strong local prog and math rock scene that has accepted and supported us very well here.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
The Hessdalen Lights are these unexplained lights in the sky over the Hessdalen Valley in Norway. They only happen a few times a year, but scientists haven’t quite agreed on their cause. For a long period of time, UFOs were the main theory! I read about these one night and decided it was a fitting name for the project.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Our most recent show at Craft & Growler Brewery in Dallas was probably our best show to date. We were the headliners and it was our first time headlining. The turnout was fantastic, the energy was great, and we got to play through our entire catalog! We’re certainly hoping for more opportunities like that in the future!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Craft & Growler has to be our favorite because of the beer and burgers that they serve there! There’s truly nothing better in Dallas for burgers and craft beer and getting to be a part of the entertainment is always a treat!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
If we could play a show with CHON, The Fall of Troy, and any of Kurt Travis’s bands, it would be a dream come true. Those artists have all been huge influences on us and it would be an honor to support them.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
For anyone just getting started- I would advise not trying to target any specific sound in the beginning. Play what feels natural and what feels right and go from there. Also, consider playing to a click very early on. It will only tighten up your sound and pay dividends in the long run.
I would tell my younger self to be patient and always stick with it. It takes a long time to build a name for yourself and see any modicum of success with your music but it’s all part of the journey.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Maybe pick a band name that’s easier to pronounce. Ha
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Our song ‘Mr. Saturn’ is probably the most meaningful to me. My grandma used to come over to watch me practice guitar when I was younger and I wrote the outro to that song one day while she was spectating so anytime we play it live it always reminds me of her.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Gravity is by far my favorite song to play live because it’s basically all a guitar solo and the song keeps getting faster and faster throughout.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I usually start by coming up with a collection of riffs on guitar and then weaving them together until eventually, they form a song that I’m pleased with. After this, Tony and Zeph will write bass and drum parts, respectively. It’s worked pretty well for us doing things this way.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
With instrumental music, the message is totally left up to the interpretation of each listener! And we really like this concept for our music.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
One of the reasons we’ve been able to work together for so many years is that we all have the same goals and thoughts on most things. We rarely ever disagree on anything, to be honest.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We are working on writing a full-length album this year and we plan to record and release it sometime in 2024! So stay tuned!
music video for “Khajiit Has Wares, If You Have Coin” at