To say that HATARI are unlike anything you have ever experienced would only just begin to describe the amazing artistry and performance of the band, but where they excel most, is the characterisation of HATARI as a whole.
On stage HATARI are an aggressive, deadly serious Anti-Capitalist band laced with charm, intensity, and poignant apathy that enhances the experience. Their artistry really puts their work and live shows on to a very complex and intellectual plane of dance floor exploration of the self and the wider world.
This is then completely shattered off stage with their ridiculous humour, playing to capitalist stereotypes, and poking fun at everything and everyone, especially themselves!
This is humorous corruption and they demand we all dance the Spillingardans (Corruption dance) or die..
Back in 2020, I had arranged for a video interview with the band before their London show but then we all went in to lockdown. I was reminded of HATARI finally coming back to the U.K just a few days before their London show and made sure I didn't miss it. So although I did not have the time to reschedule our interview, Matthías was kind enough to agree to the following interview!
ALSO! Check out our 2020 written interview with the band HERE
Klemens, Einar, and Matthias
Q. We last spoke in 2020 shortly after you had to cancel your Europe must crumble tour, and it was worth the wait to see you in the U.K as that London performance was absolutely incredible. Since 2020, what changes and events has HATARI gone through and what were some of the high points and low points for you all?
A. The Icelandic gas station chain Olís went ahead and changed their logo and brand during this period. Not only was this a personal shock to us, the members of Hatari, but no less a national scandal. The new logo is such an affront to Icelandic design history that we have yet to recover personally.
We tried recording a reggae album but some members within the band felt that Matthias's distorted vocal style, or "shouting", didn't fit the vibe.
We started a Bitcoin mining operation during this period and at first things seemed to be working well. Using the profits, we invested heavily in Dogecoin and lost everything. We sold the Bitcoin-computers to break even.
We bought some lovely lazer-gloves and thought they were a good addition to the wardrobe and performance. We also bought a lazer-whip but Klemens doesn't feel confident enough with his lazer-whipping skills to use it on stage yet.
Q. You gave a great mid-show speech saying we are all the consumer and the consumed, and that we are all HATARI. For those who were not there to hear it, can you elaborate on that message for your fans and what HATARI continues to represent?
A. The message is deliberately vague and open to interpretation. This is mainly to avoid a potential clash with any potential sponsors who might be interested in working with us in the future. Q. How was it playing in the UK and did you all enjoy the experience? A. We were invited to an orgy in London but our sound guy had a bit of a tummy ache and an ear infection so we called it a night. Once we got to the hotel, Einar showed us a neat trick where you can poke something like a pin into the British sockets and that way you can still use our European plugs for telephone charging purposes. (Don't stick pins in to sockets! You will die - E.V) So yes, it was a lovely experience except for that time when Klemens fell off the stage and hurt his knee a bit in Manchester. We used an extended lunch break to visit the Pier in Brighton and went on some fun rides and created precious memories as friends and took a selfie to send home.
64 images of the London show to slide through! Full review just past the interview.
Q. Sólbjört and Ástrós were incredible as ever with their dancing, I noticed Andrean was not with you; How is his LGBTQIA+ activism progressing, and can we expect more backing vocals from Sólbjört and Ástrós in future releases? A. Ástrós was not with us this time. Instead, we introduced the world famous actress Íris Tanja Flygenring, as seen in award-winning TV series Katla, to the stage. We are not at liberty to discuss future vocal arrangements.
Q. I have often talked about how I see a strong connection between the modern day Gothic Industrial / Techno scene and strong Norse Pagan tribal music such as Heilung. In fact your performance in London almost put me on the same spiritual connection level with the Norse Gods as when I have witnessed Heilung; It was at that point I realised Einar's drum area was decorated with the Maður (Mannaz) rune which, to my knowledge represents the connection between man and Gods, especially in ritual practise. So was this a coincidence or precisely the reason the rune was shown so clearly? - And if so, can you tell us more about the bands connection to spirituality if any, as we also had an interesting moment with a chalice which seemed like two different extremes at once? A. Indeed, before every show we sacrifice a ram to our great protector Þór and of course the wise Óðinn the all-father. Also, Klemens does a ritualistic dance that his cousin Sven taught him. We don't quite know what it means. We love spirituality, it's our fourth favourite thing.
Q. Is there a new album or release in the works and can you tell us something about it and what we might expect? A. Well as we said before, listeners will not be expecting a reggae album for the reasons stated above. Nevertheless, there is more music expected. It will be even more spiritual and pagan than our earlier work and about six times more spiritual than Heilung. Q. For each member of Hatari, could you please describe yourself in one sentence, and each member's favourite quote please? Einar: A man's face is his autobiography. Klemens: I can resist everything but temptation. Matthías: True friends stab you in the front. Q. What is the band's favourite track to play live and why? A. Þamba drullu. In the English language that would be "Chugging Mud". We haven't played it in years but it's due for a comeback.
Q. What life advice can you each share from your experience over the years in the music and alternative scene? A. Travel your own journey, everyone else's is taken. Also, there is a neat trick where you can poke something like a pin into British sockets and that way you can still use your European plugs for telephone charging purposes. (Please DON'T -E.V) Lastly, when life gives you lemons, dance a freely interpreted ritualistic dance. Q. I asked this before but finally, is there anything any of you would like to say to your fans? A. Remember that life is a season of friendship. This might seem confusing but the explanation will be made apparent in our new TV-series which is now on the drawing board.
Thank you so much for your time Matthias! Full live review below
Ash Kenazi was an absolute joy to behold from start to finish. I didn't expect any support at the event so to be surprised by a drag performance was a real treat!
I will try not to give too much of the performance away but Ash started in the way of some very impressive operatic vocals, with humorous pauses for breath, followed by one hell of a great set of costumes as the show went on.
What I found particularly clever was when Ash's wig fell off, and there was also an apparent sound problem with the laptop at two separate points. However I genuinely could not tell if these really were things going wrong or that they had been part of the show all along. The mark of true stagecraft.! Either way Ash did a wonderful drag and kept us all smiling and joyous throughout.
When Ash asked if there were any fellow Queers in the audience, the house erupted with cheers and I think Ash and all the rest of us were deeply touched by that moment.
If you get a chance to see Ash Kenazi then please do so, they were an absolute joy!
Full image gallery in the interview section
Welcome to the 'Dance or Die' tour.
I'm struggling hard to think of when I've felt such electric excitement for a band from an indoor audience, even when I've stood amongst tens of thousands at open air music venues, I still don't think the air felt so charged with anticipation as it did with the audience at London Camden's Electric Ballroom.
A burst of text appeared on the screens speaking out about HATARI's message and poignancy, almost too quickly to appreciate and comprehend. Then.. Einar strolled on to stage to a rapturous applause, his ever silent, ever dangerous persona radiating so much power and style.
Forgive my quality of photos, I was stood a fair way back with only my phone!
Once Matthias and Klemens joined him, the built up tension detonated in to deafening cheers. There is clearly so much love for this band and they play well to this shower of love.
Klemens' erotic movements emphasise a sense of appreciation and acknowledgement of that love, whereas Matthias for the most part shows pure apathy and some anger; Einar watches on like a menacing voyeur, and the dancers seems to feed off of that love and passion, and twist it in to ritualistic magic on stage. Whether intentional or not, this seems to show the main range of the human experience towards love and devotion..
'You worship me and I love it!' or 'You worship me and I don't care.'
If that isn't art, what is?
HATARI are a living masterpiece of artistic expression in all forms of interpretation and vague representative meaning. Very few artists the world has ever seen can pull of such incredible juxtapositions of character and political satire.
HATARI are the dystopian band of our dreams. If we have to live in a crumbling world, at least the soundtrack is epic!
Each member of the band, as well as the songs, flowed so smoothly together and at one with each other with very little effort, like watching a master painter create a photo perfect sketch without even trying.
Several songs in, Matthias stopped to give a speech on who HATARI and by extension, the audience of HATARI are and that we are all HATARI, which then led perfectly in to us being told to join in the Spillingardans. It was at this point the dance and the music took over me, and as mentioned in the interview above, I found myself dancing on a spiritual level, losing my mind to the rhythm and sounds. It took me a good couple of songs to pull myself out of that trance; Making HATARI one of only four bands that have ever had such an effect on me.
HATARI as ever showcased an incredible fashion sense. From Klemens' battle vest, to Matthias' mic holding armour, the dancer's body suits and harnesses, to Einar's cyber warrior fit. Very few bands dress as industrial as this group do.
Nearer the end, the show slowed down for Nunquam Iterum, Op. 12 (Never again) A hymnal choir piece. Klemens and Matthias took it in turn to pour and drink from, and sprinkle the crowd with water from a chalice making for a beautiful change of pace before blasting us all to piece again with Klámstrákur. (That is, if I recall correctly)
Another great highlight of the show was the track Klefi featuring Bashar Murad. The sections of the music video with Bashar's face in were mixed in very well to the on stage screens and the overall colour scheme, which continued to change colour with each few tracks. (From a photography point of view, that's amazingly helpful!)
Were I to say more, I would only spoil the experience or repeat myself. If you are lucky enough to be in a country where the tour is yet to reach, then make sure you go and see HATARI because they are by far one of the most incredible acts live .ON. .THIS. .PLANET.!
Remaining tour dates:
✦ Mon 10 Oct ✦ Tallinn, Estonia HALL CLUB
✦ Tue 11 Oct ✦ Riga, Latvia MELNA PIEKTDIENA
✦ Thu 13 Oct ✦ Warsaw, Poland PRAGA CENTRUM
✦ Fri 14 Oct ✦ Kraków, Poland HYPE PARK
Updated ✦ DANCE OR DIE ✦ Tour 2022
As the continent rises from the ashes, HATARI, along with its global affiliates, hereby announce the re-rescheduled tour dates with HATARI.
Ticket holders are encouraged to hold on to their tickets.
Multi-award winning anti-capitalist performance art collective HATARI is renowned in the field of dystopian Euro-techno music performance and are devoted to finish their dance among the ruins of the continent.
Members of the group are blacklisted by respectable institutions the world over, including five national secret services.