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Hozier on His New Song for God of War: Ragnarök, Blood Upon the Snow: Exclusive

The hype has been constructed for God of War: Ragnarök out November 9th on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation four, the latest installment of the hit online game collection. Not best is it the primary new God of War recreation in four years, it marks the stop of the Norse series, which centers around Norse mythology and follows protagonist Kratos and his teenage son, Atreus.

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As thrilling as the new God of War is for fanatics, there’s something exclusive about this release than the standard fare: Irish singer and songwriter Hozier has teamed up with the sport’s composer, Bear McCreary, for a brand new song to accompany the professional Ragnarök soundtrack, out the identical day as the game. The track, titled Blood Upon the Snow, is a daring, cinematic variety that hits at all the thematic notes of God of War: Ragnarök, and finds Hozier the use his signature velvety tone to awaken each tenderness and awe.

It’s been a protracted few years for Hozier, who launched his sophomore LP, Wasteland, Baby, in 2019 to tremendous achievement, but has stayed extraordinarily quiet for the reason that sunrise of the pandemic. Aside from a collaboration with manufacturer Meduza last 12 months, Hozier has been keeping his head down and focused on his upcoming 1/3 album, freeing only one piece of music, Swan Upon Leda. Now comes Blood Upon the Snow, which you may hear now via its accompanying lyric video right here:

Needless to say, Hozier’s very excited for the collaboration to be released, and for the sport to reach audiences around the arena. I’m interested in the digital arts as a maturing medium, Hozier tells Consequence over Zoom. The previous release in that collection was some kind of a game-converting no pun supposed, cinematic achievement. And I become quite impressed with the imaginative and prescient that become going to take a story and perhaps 30 hours of adventure without one camera reduce.

He praised the collaborative spirit between him, Bear McCreary, and the game’s director, Eric Williams. And although Blood Upon the Snow features an extra dramatic, classical fashion, his new track gained’t necessarily echo the same sonics. We had been looking to hit the beats of sure topics and looking to make it paintings for the universe of the sport, to make it paintings in sympathy with Eric Williams’ vision and Bear’s imaginative and prescient as nicely, too, says Hozier, So it’s pleasant to sort of flex a one-of-a-kind muscle.

This can be Hozier’s first music for an online game, but his abilities as a storyteller and powerhouse vocalist have been on display due to the fact that his 2014 self-titled debut. As he hits a hovering high word in the climax of Blood Upon the Snow, it’s clear that the sector could use a few greater Hozier music in the future.

Ahead of the discharge of God of War: Ragnarök and the God of War: Ragnarök Original Soundtrack, Hozier sat down with Consequence to talk about crafting Blood Upon the Snow, the usage of the natural international and the sport’s narrative as inspiration, his love of the virtual arts, and the status of Hozier’s yet-to-be-introduced 1/3 LP. Read below for the total Q&A with Hozier, plus watch the back-of-the-scenes mini-document of the recording system that went into Blood Upon the Snow.

Well, I become familiar with the series God of War. I’m interested in the digital arts as a maturing medium. The previous release in that collection become some sort of a sport-changing no pun intended, cinematic achievement. And I turned quite inspired with a vision that changed into going to take a tale and perhaps 30 hours of a journey without one digital camera cut. So yeah, little such things as that drew me to the venture.

And as an infant of the ’90s, I had been interested in the virtual arts ever since my uncle gave me a Super Nintendo as a kid earlier than I ought examined, I become dodging turtles. And then I’m acquainted with Bear McCreary’s paintings, a huge fan of his paintings and his composing. So we simply kind of appeared into it kind of turned into thrown to me through Sony, I’m signed right here within the states to Sony Columbia. It changed into something I wanted to explore, and it’s something I’ve never performed before. So that was every other purpose.

When making a track for a video game in development, how tons did they give you to paint off of thematically? Were you allowed to play a piece of the game, see a lot of the paintings, or learn lots approximately the narrative?

I had sat down only for a talk with the sports director, Eric Williams. And so in this example, I clearly had pretty a bit to move on, which was top-notch beneficial, due to the fact it would have been kind of taking pictures in the dark without that. Sadly, I didn’t get a danger I would have loved to and didn’t get a threat to sit down and play the sport. So Eric type of talked me via the arc of the two predominant characters, Atreus and Kratos, their dating and how that grows, how that erodes, and the way that’s challenged, the rush and pull of that.

And then a number of the imagery one of the themes specifically that he became eager on leaning into, which turned into an assignment however a laughing challenge at the equal time, became this idea of disparate creatures, or two disparate animals, shifting collectively as a type of extraordinary %, that of a undergo and a wolf. That’s a topic that comes up during the sport. So yeah, I sat down for a good long chat with Eric at the beginning, after which he had a few ideas and things that he felt is probably thrilling and might paint to lean into. It helped as properly because I desired to ensure that it worked along with his imagination and prescient; it’s his infant on the give up of the day.

The tune seems to be absolutely stimulated via nature and the natural global. Have you been spending extra time outdoors at some stage in the pandemic?

I become a touch bit! During the pandemic, I changed into very fortunate that I spent that time in Ireland, so I was close to the seaside and close to a number of greenery and changed into capable of spending a chunk of time there. I wasn’t exactly in hiking mode or something like that, clearly not. Laughs

But I will say, sincerely, at some point during the pandemic, I was leaning into stuff that becomes finding its manner into my personal paintings. I became reading epic poetry and just kind of choosing up on a few classics, and it simply felt amusing maybe not amusing, just suitable and interesting timing. There’s an Irish poet referred to as Seamus Heaney who did an excellent translation of Beowulf. So I have been sitting with Beowulf, I have been sitting with some Ovid and stuff like that, numerous mythological subject matters. So I suppose that changed into a type of floating above my head a bit bit. And for the kind of natural issues, I wager I became just channeling the influence of the nation-state, and the sort of stark, and, at times, brutal nature of the natural international.

You collaborated on the track with the sport’s composer, Bear McCreary. What changed into it like participating with a person used to writing for a one-of-a-kind medium than you normally do?

In this instance, it was exceptional. I had genuinely accomplished some rounds of songs and I think it took us a second to nail down something that felt proper for all and sundry. It became trying to get that balance proper between it being now not too elegiac, no longer an excessive amount of an elegy, no longer too candy, no longer too lullaby-esque, no longer too outrageously doom and gloom, and no longer too in reality steel. So, what become exceptional about sitting down with Bear is that I had sort of a wealth of ideas. And it changed into extraordinary, due to the fact that turned into a pleasant focusing point.

We had gotten a few ideas that made feel, we sat down in Los Angeles, and we just kind of marked up a few ideas that he had. We have been capable of sitting down ultimately collectively and creating a shape of a chunk that he married in with the topics that he has mounted throughout the collection, just like the Kratos subject, and so on. So that changed into certainly superb because it changed into something that just came about obviously. It focused the entirety and it multiplied the whole thing, and I found that very, very smooth. He’s also been given a remarkable working relationship with Eric at this degree, having labored at the preceding recreation, so yeah, it changed into a completely nice enjoyment.

The tune may be very transferring and dramatic. Does it feel like a good representation of the form of tune you’re working on right now? Or does it exist extra independently from your new track?

Yeah, it’s quite independent. What I was seeking to reap with God of War, became seeking to hit the beats of positive topics and seeking to make it paintings for the universe of the game, making it work for in sympathy with Eric Williams’ vision and Bear’s vision as properly. So it’s great to kind of flex a one-of-a-kind muscle, I think. There is a few works of the approaching challenge that absolutely, to a degree, I could say, isn’t always too diverse in that it’s kind of like an elegy. But I’m always writing people songs, I’m always writing depressing tunes too.

Well, regardless of what you work on, your powerful voice continually makes it specific. I absolutely felt that while you hit that hovering excessive notice in the climax of Blood Upon the Snow.

That’s all Bear as properly. I got on that word with Bear because we were doing the choruses on the tracking day, and he turned into like, You know what dude, permits just cross there. It’s brilliant if you have a partnership where you’ve got one character you’re playing off, and you’re providing ideas to one another. So it was fantastic working with him. He was like, You got the one’s notes, just hand ’em over. I turned into like, Absolutely, permit’s do it.

He’s proper, in reality, do have the one’s notes! Do you ever pay attention lower back in your own discography and locate yourself amazed at your very own vocals?

Tough question. I honestly don’t. I desire I ought to say that I listened back to my discography with any feeling of marvel, but I just keep away from doing that. I do some bit maybe I’ll cultivate a higher dating with the work, I assume you usually have this component inside you that’s similar to, Okay, you’ve made it, you’ve made the factor. Don’t move forward, and don’t appear returned. Because in case you reflect too much upon what you’ve got performed, you’ll best reflect onconsideration on what you may have done otherwise and what you want you may enhance on now or wish you had regarded on the time, so maybe that’s no longer a necessary place to visit whilst you’re going into this self-important place. But the easiest manner to just pass that roundabout is to simply pressure over it and maintain shifting ahead.

But yeah, I’d like to get to that factor. I understand I’m form of 1/2 joking, but I absolutely would, because I think it’s a totally healthful region to be when you have a love for yourself and in all factors of your profession to just be like, Yeah, that was cool. That was a laugh. And I do have the one’s moments, but yeah, that is a cool factor. You hear of some artists actually just taking note of their own tracks just for the sake of entertainment, and that feels like a very great issue too.

Looking beforehand to the destiny and thinking about the cinematic nature of Blood Upon the Snow, have you idea about scoring movies or operating on songs for them?

I genuinely could. Yeah, I would love to at some point. I’m form of going into a launch cycle and a touring cycle, but I genuinely might. What it gives is simply very specific; you’re kind of portraying a different type of photograph. You’re provided more of a panorama to paint with. It’s fantastic within the manner of writing a song with a one-of-a-kind voice, to assume writing from a specific narrative vicinity or writing from a distinctive man or woman’s throat. It’s something I would like to do more of, to inspect, given the right time and given the right undertaking. I would like to.

You’ve cited that you’re working on your 1/3 album, and I understand that once that’s introduced, we’ll all be very excited. But even from a broader sense, how are you feeling artistically right now? What have you ever been interested in? What has been inspiring you?

Right now, I can handiest kind of communicate about the mission that I’m nevertheless working on. We’re just entering the integration ranges, or in some instances, finalizing the mixing. So I’m happy to be right here and it’s been remarkable. I’ve enjoyed the system a lot this round. I will say, in the meantime, I’ve continually avoided not collaborations and co-writing. That’s something I’ve frequently felt wasn’t proper, or it became difficult to find that proper associate.

So in this record, operating with some one-of-a-kind producers, and one in all which is able to jam, simply actually jam in a very vintage faculty sense of gambling music in a room and throwing ideas around. For me, writing had usually been a very remoted revel in, sitting down with a tool until you feel something and just following that vein, and chasing that vein if you strike it. But in this document, being capable of jamming with musicians, such proficient musicians that I’ve had the honor of working with on this round, has been awesome, super a laugh, and fulfilling. Its form of spread out a brand new window into a distinctive energy and a distinctive way of coming near introduction and coming near the enjoyment of making music, it’s a totally amusing and really fulfilling new revel in.

You stated gambling Super Nintendo, but what are some of your favorite video games to play or video game reminiscences which you have?

I assume this can show my age, but I leave out nearby co-ops sitting down with four pals, and both tackling something like Gauntlet or tackling the ones 4-player co-op games. I pass over that, and it’s tougher and tougher to get 4 buddies in an area and just play locally. And Golden Eye even though I don’t realize how the hell you play with a four-manner split display just like the way we used to, there’s something so horrible and excellent and I suggest horrible inside the satisfactory feel, with the intention to snicker at your friends after a few outrageous Golden Eye explosion that has taken vicinity, or you’ve got the Golden Gun and nobody can take you out. I love the memories. Having a Nintendo sixty-four as a child, gambling Mario Kart… I assume the ones are very golden reminiscences and very, very special. And I clearly miss that as a gaming enjoyer, it’s something that’s communal and something that’s within the space with your nearest and dearest. I assume that’s a virtually cool issue.

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