2010. február 11., csütörtök
Swedish Death Metal History - Grave with Jörgen Sandström
I think, I don't need to write any introductions. One of my favourite death metal groups.
So Jörgen, tell us please about at which point did you discover music and metal in particular? What made you turning into the realm of metal?
I have an older brother and he was listening to Motorhead, Deep Purple, Judas Priest etc so it was pretty early. My first tape was, as for most metalheads in my generation, a Kiss album and I was only 5 years old. But I guess when you are 5 it is hard to say that I was a complete metalhead, haha.. I was listening to all kinds of music, but mostly what my older brother played since he was and still are my hero. It wasnt until I was around 12-13 years old that I developed my own taste of music, which was metal, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, AC/DC, Motorhead, Judas Priest, Saxon etc etc..
Were you into brutal/extreme stuffs right away or did you get at death metal step by step?
I think that death metal just got invented when I was around that age when I started to like music. And where I lived, on a small island in the baltic sea called Gotland, it was hard to find other metal albums than the regular heavy metal scene. So to answer your question.. I started out listening to heavy metal then discovered thrash metal with Metallica, Anthrax and later Slayer and then from there me and my friends found out about death metal, maybe around 1986 or so.. With one exeption and that was Venom. We heard and listened to Venom earlier than we listened to Metallica, but we thought of them as a heavy metal band more or less...
Would you say that the birth of the extreme metal was around 1983/1984 with the likes of Slayer, Exodus, Metallica, Sodom, Kreator, Destruction, Bathory, Hellhammer, Death Strike/Master, Genocide/Repulsion, Slaughter (Canada) and the whole Florida death metal movement etc.?
Sure, and a few other bands of course but yeah, I guess many of those bands were really extreme for their time.
Have you taken part in the tapetrading scene? Were you into that fanzine/tapetrading network?
Yes, but I was not like the biggest trader in the world. I traded most with other bands, you know trade our demo for one of theirs.. But I had a few tape trading friends around the world that kept me updated on the scene.
When did you decide playing an instrument? How did your choice fall on guitar?
I started taking organ lessons when I was 10 or so but I just didnt like the instrument at all so I quit after a year or so.. Then when I met Ola Lindgren (Grave) back in 83-84 and we used to hang out at the local youth center we borrowed their accoustic guitars and just started to play other bands riffs and so on. So that is why I started to play guitar. Although, our first band together I only did vocals. It wasnt until maybe around 86 I started to play guitar in the band.
What were your influences to become guitarist? Were you self taught or…?
Anyone that could play guitar was an influence back in the day, haha.. Me and Ola would sit and play for hours together and it probably sounded anything but good. But we loved it, and the girls were impressed so... None of us took any lessons so we took the hard road and learned it all by ourselves.
Do you play other instruments by the way?
Well, nowadays I play bass for the most part, at least when I play in bands, at home I always play guitar.
Let’s cover your musical career, was Corpse the very first band that you were involved in or did you play in some outfits prior to Corpse?
Our very first band was called Rising Power. It was me, Ola, Jensa, Jörgen Olofsson and Fredrik. Fredrik dropped out after a year or so and we continued as a four piece and went through a few band names, Destroyer and Torture for example. Later we would recruit an guitar player and called ourselves Anguish, then we kicked him out and started Corpse.
Corpse started as Rising Power, as a classic student band, named after the AC/DC song „Flick Of The Switch” in 1984, how did you hook up with Ola Lindgren and Jensa Paulsson? What about their musical background?
Me and Jensa used to play in the same Ice Hockey team when we were around 10 maybe. And Jensa and Ola went to school together. So when we started in 7th grade I had to switch to their school and I ended up in the same class as Ola, Jörgen Olofsson and Fredrik. Jensa was in the same school but a different class. So we all hanged out since we were all into heavy metal such as AC/DC.
Did you know each other by sight or were you good friends? Did you take the band seriously right from the start?
Jörgen: When we started the band we all knew each other since we had spent maybe half a year or so in the same class. And our school had a rehersal room which we could use in the afternoons. And in the rehersalroom there was a guy who was there to teach us how to play so he helped us out with the basic stuff and we actually wrote a song on our own even back then. But mostly we destroyed other bands songs, haha.. But sure we took it seriously, we rehersed frequently and we had our vision.
What type of direction of the band had you opted for? Do you agree with, that Corpse was the very first Swedish death metal band and everything started with your appearance considering the great Swedish death metal boom at the late ’80s/early ’90s?
At the time when we had started Corpse we had already been through a bunch of line up changes as well as started to discover more extreme metal than the regular heavy metal that we were used to. We were really creative back then, actually we had nothing better to do than to hang out in the rehersal room at least 3 times a week. As soon as we discovered Destruction, Kreator etc we started to write more aggressive stuff. But as we were really young and not so good at our instruments at the time, Corpse turned out to be more death metal than thrash, and it was not deliberate. We just couldn't play as fast or write songs with the same intensity as the thrash bands. The vocals are not very death metal though I think. But as I said, we had just discovered the music, and the Corpse demo people have heard is probably 3 out of 5-6 songs that we made as Corpse, and they were all made in a couple of weeks if I remember it correct. I don't see Corpse as a pioneer death metal band in the swedish death metal scene as it wasn't really death metal we aimed for. I don't think Corpse was the first band in sweden either, but the only band we knew at the point was Bathory. But there was other bands in sweden that we didnt knew about at that time, such as Mefisto, Merciless, Obscurity...
Is it correct, that you changed your name to various other words such as „Destroyer” or „Anguish” before finally become Corpse in 1986?
Yes, we went through a bunch of names. Why I don't know, I think we just got fed up with them or found an other cool word in the dictionary, haha..
What about your rehearsals? Did you start writig originals right from the start or were you mainly jamming on covers?
We always tried to write our own stuff, even in the very beginning. But we also totally slaughtered other bands songs.
You came from Visby, was it a good place to be metal fan? Did the town have a strong background considering the metal scene?
Well, it was a two camp thing. You were either into metal or you were into pop. And it was war, not with everyone of course but with the ones who liked Depeche Mode, Limahl and crap like that. It was like that all over Sweden I think, cant remember the years but probably around 83-84. Visby was no exception. It was not a bad thing being a metal fan at that point coz alot of people had records and tapes that we played for each other and discovered new bands and so on. But while most of the metal fans so called “growed up” and left the thing behind them we just continued. And when we discovered the more extreme metal bands like Kreator, Sodom, Death, Slaughter etc other metal heads either continued to listen to their old stuff or abandoned the scene. So, at that time it sucked being a thrash/death metal fan in Visby. We were maybe 6 or 7 of us that liked the extreme stuff.
What were your views on the Stockholm and Gothenburg scene at this point? Were you familiar with bands, such as Obscurity, Mefisto, Nihilist, Morbid, Carnage, Treblinka, Therion etc. that started their career at the same time as you?
We had no idea that those bands existed, which is really fun looking back at it. I dont remember who in the band it was but someone came home with a few demo tapes that he bought at Heavy Sound. I think it was Merciless, Morbid and Nihilist tapes. We had just changed our name to Grave and had recorded 3 songs, or maybe we were about to record them, can't remember.. Anyway, when we saw that they sold their demo tapes at that store we saw the opportunity of spreading our name and next time one of us went to Stockholm we brought tapes with us. And the word was out, other bands got in contact and we traded tapes and whenever we came to a gig or visit to stockholm we hanged out with members of all these bands and it was so much more fun than to sit and get drunk on a fucking island.
Do you agree with, that unlike American death metal groups, the first Swedish bands were rooted in punk rock?
As far as I know, Slayer was very influenced by punk rock as well. The early days of any death metal, let it be American, English or Swedish, it has roots in punk rock. Maybe some bands didnt of course, but many many did. As for Corpse., not a chance. We did not like punk rock. BUT.. the truth is that punk influenced Iron Maiden and Motorhead who influenced Metallica and also Slayer is rooted in punk, so in the end, Corpse was influenced by punk either we wanted it or not, haha..
In 1986 you released your first demo titled „Black Dawn” featuring the title track, „Life In Disgrace” and „Rise Again”, were they the very first tunes that you had written?
Pretty far from the very first songs we ever wrote together, buy yes as the band Corpse they were among the first ones we did. We had maybe 5-6 songs in total with Corpse, maybe more when I think of it but a few of them were written with our previous bandnames Torture for example. Those three songs were most likely the three newest songs we had at the time.
Who was responsible for the lyrics and for the music? What about the songwriting as a whole?
We used to compose all our material at the rehearsal room. At that time we were a little bit too old to hang out in the youth center and a little bit too young to hang out in the pubs so we spent most of our time in the rehearsal room. It was located in the town center so we would sit there and get drunk before we got out in town and rumble. It was good times. At the same time we were really creative and all of us wrote music as well as lyrics. That rehearsal room was the best hangout ever.. The Yellow House.
Can you give us details regarding that demo?
Not really, it was too long ago. I haven't heard it in over 15 years or so. We recorded it on a 4 track at our rehearsal space. The thing was, The Yellow House had two rooms and an attic. At this point we had split with our Anguish guitarist, who was rehearsing with his new band in one of the rooms, so we decided to move up to the attic. It sucked, but at least we could stay in the house. It was all for free and we could be there at any time of night as long as we didn't make noise after 22.00 or something like that. That was violated more than 200 times I promise, and we got the police there a few times to shut us down...temporarly, haha.. Anyway, in the second room there was a band called Challenger, they played heavy metal and had all the gear a band could dream of, big size PA, light rig, and their bassplayer had build a wall and put a window in it and used it as a control room so they could record their rehearsals etc.. They were so professional I have never come across anything like it, and they had their visions and all. But they just never made it anywhere.. We borrowed some microphones etc from them and we recorded the songs on a 4 track that we also borrowed. I can't remember who helped us out or how long it took or nothing..
How do you view, that the production is extremely good and the fury is incredible with fast guitars, raw sounds and up tempo?
Hahaha, I don't have a fucking clue how we could get a decent sound out of the gear we used, haha..
The guitars are tuned down and the drums is total impact, the vocals are very guttural for the period but not too extreme, what would you say about it?
As I said earlier we had just started to write such material, but we did our best because we just loved it. It was our lifestyle. Maybe that is why it sounds good to you, cause it is honest.
Was it your first studio experience by the way or did you record the material at your rehearsal room?
It was made in the rehearsal room. We couldn't afford a real studio. We had to afford Tuborg Grön.
Did you feel the material enough strong and good to spread around? How did it find its way to the tapetrading scene?
Well, yeah, we were pretty ok with it. Although we never really spread it around until we did our first demo with Grave. It was just to show people what we were doing half a year ago.
Did the demo help you to build up a fanbase?
Have you ever gigged with Corpse?
We did a few local shows just to piss people off. Nobody liked us so we did it only to annoy them.
Until when did Corpse exist? Why did you change your name to Grave?
Can't really remember but I guess it was late summer 1987. We changed our name because we got rid of our bassplayer.
Was Grave the logical continuation of Corpse?
yes, 100 %.
As for Grave you have released a lot of demos before signing the deal with Century Media, can you sum up us the demos? Could you say some words about each of them?
I dont have them in front of me but I try the best I can to remember, haha.. The first one “Sick, disgust, eternal” demo was recorded sometime in 1987. It had three songs. We recorded that one on a 4 track portable Tascam I think. The second “Sexual Mutilation” shows a more death metal side of Grave than ever before. We recorded that one in a studio actually. Our first time in a somewhat decent studio. It had 4 songs, one of them, Morbid Way to die made it to our second album years later..
Is it correct, that „Promo 1989” was recorded at the Yellowhouse Studio during the „Anatomia Corporis Humani” sessions and released separately as compilation tracks and for label interest?
No, that promo was made later. Hell, I don't know why tapes were seperated back then into rehersals, demos and promos, haha, at the end of the day they were all demos. We recorded a whole bunch of new songs but decided to call it a promo as we didn't “officially” released it as a demo I guess.
The material included different versions of „Eroded”, „Hating Life” as well as an unreleased track „Autopsied”...
If you say so, I can't remember. I remember that we included a bassguitar solo with
tremolobar and a wah-wah pedal, haha.
Were there labels at all, that started showing an interest in Grave at this point?
There were a few underground labels interested. Mangled Beyond Recognition for example, they released the Anatomia demo on vinyl. Prophecy records released a split LP with Devolution, I think, and also I think Century Media was interested at this point but I might be wrong...
In 1989 you formed Putrefaction, which was a side project of Grave, what can you tell us about this outfit?
It was basically Jensa, Ola and Jonas Edvardsson that made 3 songs while getting drunk at the rehearsal room so the day after we decided to record them..
How did Jonas Edwardsson end up becoming the bassist?
Well, he was originally a drummer but was slowly getting into Death Metal and as I said they were getting drunk and wrote 3 songs that night. He just happened to pick up the bass that night, haha.. Actually, he was the bassplayer on the first Grave gig ever!
You released the „Painful Death” demo featuring „Severing Flesh”, „Putrefaction Remains” and „Painful Death”, what kind of purposes did this demo serve?
Back then we had a two different bands on the side, Putrefaction and Grinding Death. Why? I dont know. We were just very creative at that point.
The songs were shortly after integrated in the Grave set and so the project was ended, what has done Jonas Edwardsson after the demise of Putrefaction?
Well, not much musically I think. He went on a US tour as a roadie for Grave, but that was after I had left the band.
In 1991 Prophecy Records released a Grave/Deviated Instinct/Devolution split album, but the LP-version was released without the Deviated Instinct part, only the Grave/Devolution parts were on vinyl, correct?
It was the very first official Grave material, wasn’t it?
Depends on how you look at it. It was a recording we did for that release yes, but I consider the demos just as official as any album release.
Do you still remember when and how did you get in touch with Century Media, that signed the band at the end? Did you have also other labels interests besides them?
Can't really remember when it was but Robert from CM called us up and said that they were interested and invited us to Germany to meet up and to record a few songs in a profesional
In early 1991 you released a six tracks promo featuring „Tremendous Pain”, „Putrefaction Remains”, „Haunted”, „Day Of Mourning”, „Eroded” and „Inhuman”, was it the tape, that helped the band to be signed with Century Media? Was it done exclusively to attract label interests?
That was the songs that we recorded in Germany. It was Century Media who wanted us to do it, I guess to see if we could work in a studio at all, haha.. I thought the whole experience was a good thing for us. I also thought that the recording was terrible when we left, and did so for many years. But as I said, it made us realise that we did not wanna go to Germany to record something again. It was mainly the language barrier I think, and maybe also it had to do with the guys that recorded it, they were just not so familiar with the brutal sound that we looked for.
Two of the songs appeared on the „Tremendous Pain” 7”, correct? Was it a limited material by the way?
Correct, Tremendous Pain and Eroded I think. Then Haunted, Day of Mourning
and Inhuman were re-recorded for the Into the Grave album later.
As for the label, they seemed to be a cool death metal label with bands, such as Grave, Asphyx, Tiamat, Unleashed etc., did they cope with Earache, Roadrunner or Nuclear Blast, that were focusing on signing talented death metal bands at this point?
I think CM did a great job for Grave. I mean, they released the albums world wide and got us out on several tours as an opening act for bands like Massacre, Bolt Thrower, Morbid Angel, Malevolent Creation etc etc.. They spent shitloads on money on a small death metal band like Grave. I salute them!
How and when did bassist Jonas Torndal get in the picture exactly? Did you perhaps audition other bassists besides him?
He got in somewhere in between the Anatomia demo and the Promo 89 tape. He is a few
years older than us and had been in other metal bands. I cant remember how he ended up in the band but we used to get drunk together so I guess that was maybe the case..
How much role did he have in the songcomposing? Was the material ready and written when he joined the band?
Can't remember really, I am sure he had some ideas and contributed some stuff. I have a terrible memory when it comes to who did what riff and so on, we were a band and all of us contributed by just being in the band.
What about his musical background?
We used to watch him play with his band Special Forces.
During June 1991 you entered the famous Sunlight Studios to record your first opus called „Into The Grave”, do you think, that a very long road led to the first record? I mean, „Into The Grave” must have been released earlier…
Well, we could have recorded that album earlier for sure. But when CM offered us the record contract we decided to move to Stockholm and that took awhile before all of us actually got our asses to the capitol. I think it took us over a year in fact, and then when we were all here we had to find rehearsal space etc etc etc.. So it took us far to long before we entered the studio.
Was it unambiguous for you to go to Sunlight recording the material?
It was the only studio we knew that could record death metal properly, thats why we
Do you agree with, that Sunlight Studio (and Entombed) opened the doors for the Swedish bands? Why has it been a popular choice for Swedish death metal bands?
Agree 100%. I think it was popular for a few reasons, first of all the brutal fucking guitar sound, hahah.. then Tomas is a great guy and very down to earth and fun to work with and then also it had reasonably prices.
Was Sunlight for the Swedish groups the same studio that Morrisound for the US ones?
I would guess so yes.
Did the „Sunlight bands” have the same sound in your opinion or were they easily perceptible from each other?
Well, many bands came to the studio with the attitude that, give us the Entombed sound!!! Grave didn't, we brought our own gear and ideas and I think we differed a whole lot from Entombed. Of course you could hear the Sunlight Studio sound but in all honesty I think Grave sounded more raw than Entombed and other “Sunlight bands”
What about the recording sessions as a whole? Were you prepared to record the material?
Yes. We recorded and mixed the whole thing in 10 days I think.
„In Love”, „For Your God”, „Obscure Infinity” and „Banished To Live” were the new songs, were they written during the recording sessions or…?
Fuck no, haha, we could never afford that kind of shit, haha.. We wrote those and rehearsed them way before we entered the studio.
How was to work Tomas Skogsberg with? Did you get on well with him?
As I said, a very down to earth and funny guy. Great guy to record with.
„Into the Grave” is a 100% all-natural Swedish Death Metal album, right?
To the core!!
Do you agree with, that the classic Swedish Death Metal tradition of brutality through simplicity is typified in the instrumentalism and structure of „Into The Grave”?
Many have said it doesn't get more brutal than that album and I am close to agree, hahaha..
Did this method allow violent and dismaying moods to seep through the musical attack unimpeded by instrumental excess or compositional detours, and accents the dense tenacity of carnal rot?
That sentence is far more complicated than any Grave song ever recorded, haha..
„Into The Grave” is expert death metal in the prototypical intension of conveying the horror of death in its manifold forms, entertaining morbid fantasies in a nihilistic denouncement of life as a way to emphasize death’s superiority, what do you think about it?
Thank you. The album stinks of death for sure. IT is death metal, no doubt about it. Joakim Sterner from Necrophobic said once: “If aliens came to earth and asked what does death metal sound like? I would put on the Into the Grave album.” I think that is the best compliment I have got in my whole life.
Can it be easily considered your most brutal album during the band’s career?
The guitar sound is so rotten, low tuned and underground while the drum is always pounding, „Into The Grave” contains some of the most savage, and bloodthirsty Death Metal of all time, correct?
Did Grave create a sound and style which has been an inspiration on a number of the
genre’s more promising younger outfits?
I dont know about that but I like to think that we put our mark in the death metal books.
In 1991 Century Media released the „In The Eyes Of Death” compilation, but all tracks are demo-versions that the bands recorded 1989-91, before their first release on Century Media, so these versions are different from the album-versions, did this compilation help to draw more fans attention to the band and to expand the band’s popularity in the underground?
These are songs from that recording session in Germany we talked about earlier.
The songs, that appeared on that compilation were recorded October 1990 at Nobel Studios, Bielefeld/Germany, weren’t they?
Did „Into the Grave” establish Grave as one of death metal’s most brutal new hopefuls?
It established the band as one of the top bands in the world if you ask me, haha..
What about tourwise? What were the shows and tours in support of the record?
First tour we did was with Malevolent Creation, a month long tour through Europe. Then we got to support Massacre and Demolition Hammer in Europe, and after that we joined Massacre on a US tour for almost 2 months. After that I think we started to write songs for the new album..
June 1992 you entered the Sunlight Studios again, but this time as three piece since Jonas Torndal left the band several months earlier as a result of his increasing dislike for the touring lifestyle, correct? Were there also personal and musical differences among you?
No, he got fed up with the extensive touring and the result of having no money from it, haha..
Did you part ways with him on a friendly term at the end?
After unsuccessfully trying to fill the slot, the group made a collective decision to revert to their original three-man line-up, with you switching to bass, does it mean, that it was really hard to find a good bassplayer? Were there bassists in the picture becoming the new bassist by the way?
We had a few bassplayers in mind but ended up thinking it was better just to stay as a three piece for several reasons. It was easier for me to play bass and sing as well.
How did the recording sessions go with the album?
Smooth I think, but I can't really remember any of it, haha..
Do you agree with, that Grave followed their classic debut, „Into the Grave” with an equally fearsome „You’ll Never See...”?
No. Into the Grave is alot better. But I still like You’ll never see a lot as well.
What do you think about, that Grave play Swedish death metal in the vein of Entombed and Dismember, but with a heavier and more malevolent feel?
No, we didn't play in the vein of Entombed and Dismember. Sure, all three bands had
similar influences and that might show but I dont think we sound like each other.
Are the songs on „You’ll Never See...” constructed of simple riffs and relatively straightforward compositions?
That is what Grave is about, haha..
Every song is in fused with an all-consuming, yet organic heft and seething brutality, the tracks are a mix of mid-paced chugging, slow grooves and occasional bursts of speed, how do you explain this?
We always liked changes in the tempo, even back when we were called Torture or Anguish or Corpse etc etc.. We like the heavy stuff in metal like Black Sabbath, Trouble, Candlemass just as much as the fast stuff in metal like Sadus, Slayer or Death just to name a few.
As for myself, „Morbid Way To Die” is my favourite tune and I consider it as the best Grave one…
It is a great song indeed.
The vocals are a fairly deep, guttural growl, the drumming is simple but effective, the guitar solos are short, uncluttered affairs, competent and well placed, correct?
If you say so, hahaha..
How do you view, that what makes this album great is that Grave’s reach never exceeds their grasp and set out to create a brutally heavy, evil death metal record, and you succeed in spades?
It is maybe not as dirty and raw as the first record, and it has some slower parts and all to mix it up just as you say. But I still hold this album as the least best of the three I recorded with the band.
The album flows seamlessly from one thick slab of death to the next with unrelenting power, „You’ll Never See...” is a crushing classic…
Does this album combine brutally heavy guitar riffs, kick ass drumming, awesomely demonic sounding vocals, and a top notch production to form one of the best death metal albums ever recorded?
No. Well, yes it contains all that but it not one of the best death metal albums ever recorded, at least I dont think so.
Did the record showcase your growing musical talent with a cleaner, stronger sound appealing to a wider audience while retaining the group’s trademark heaviness?
Maybe a little, but a few of the songs were written even before the Into The Grave album.. for example Morbid way to die that was on our second demo already. And a Putrefaction song called Severing Flesh and also Brutally Deceased that was on our 3rd demo...
What about the shows in support of the record?
We did a few European tours if I remember correct. I think the one with Bolt Thrower and Vader was for this album. To be honest, my memory fails me way to often and I was stupid enough not to write down stuff like this, haha.. It is a good thing that Ola and Jonas have way better memory than me and can tell me road stories etc from this era..
Your next effort was the „…and Here I Die…Satisfied” EP in 1993, that originally should have only been sold on a tour in 1994 as 3 tracks MCD, limited to 666 copies, correct?
Sounds familiar, haha..
Later in 1994/1995, Century Media decided to release this as 6-tracks CD version regularly in shops, how did that happen? Were you aware of the decision of the label?
Probably it was their decision. One of these things to keep the band name busy in magazines etc while waiting for a proper album to come out. I don't like to production that much on either the and here I die recording or the demo songs so I don't care much for this release. That is why we recorded the songs ...and here I die and I need you for the “Soulless” album.
Your third album was „Soulless”, how did you view that record compared to the previous ones? Was it on the same level with the first two albums in terms of sound, songs, production etc.?
No, we wanted to slow things down a little with this release. It was more groovy but still very straigh forward and brutal. The production was better, maybe because Tomas really knew us by now.
Is this album accessible to those who don’t need their death at 2000mph, and love big breakdowns?
Do you think, that the album was featuring a more mature and musical direction than was the case with Grave’s past efforts and „Soulless” pleased the band’s longtime followers while expanding the group’s appeal to non-die hard death metal audiences, a point the trio attributed to their growth as musicians?
I remember our drummer didn't wanna play as fast as we did anymore, he wanted more groovy songs in the live set which we kinda lacked on our previous albums. And I think he was right, with many of the Soulless songs our live set got more dynamic so to say. I think the band sounded at the best at this era for sure.
Why and when did you leave the band? Was it a hard decision from your part to leave your long time friends?
Of course it was, we grew up together, started our career together and went through a whole bunch of good and bad things. The reason I left was basically cause I got bored with it, I needed a new challenge. Our musical influences started to stray away from each other and it was just hard for me to stay with the band when I didn't have fun anymore.
I believe you followed Grave’s career, what do you think about their other efforts including the newer ones as well?
I didnt like Hating Life that much but their later stuff I like a lot. And watching them live is awesome. We did a few shows together here in Stockholm where Vicious Art opened up for Grave. They are awesome live!
Would you vote Grave in the Hall Of Fame of death metal? Are you still in touch with Jensa and Ola these days?
Of course I would, haha.. and I am not the only one. I still have contact with Ola, but not Jensa, haven't seen him in many years now.
What about you after the Grave period? Can you tell us everything about your musical involvements?
When I decided to quit Grave I had just joined Leukemia. But also pretty much at the same time Entombed asked me to stand in for Lars on a festival show in Sweden. That ended up with me staying in Entombed for about 9 years. Then I got bored with it and left the band in 2004. In 1998 me and K from Leukemia started The Project Hate. Well, he started it and forced me to join in on vocals since he never found anyone that else that he liked. He runs the band full time still and I still do vocals. Another band we started while playing in Entombed is Krux. It is a doom metal band full of professional musicians. In that band I play guitar. We still have that band and plan to record something this year. In 2004 I joined forces on bassguitar with Vicious Art, a death metal band that includes ex members of Dark Funeral and Obscurity. And a few years ago K from TPH and Tobben from Vomitory asked me to join in on a new band, Torture Division. In that band I play bass and do vocals.
Didn’t you think about to rejoin Grave in 2002? How deeply were yo involved into the making of the re-released Grave materials, such as “Into The Grave” and “You’ll Never See”?
I think of them as cool releases, I had nothing to do with them. They asked me to do some liner notes for the sleeves and I gladly did some.
In your opinion, how much support did you get from Century Media? Did they help the band getting bigger? Did they hark to the band’s promotion, to the demands of the band members and stuff?
Now when I think back on the time I was with and have been through other bands I must say that Century Media did a killer job. Better than most labels I have been through. They spent shitloads of money on putting us on good tours like for example opening up for Massacre, Bolt Thrower, Morbid Angel and festival tours with Death etc. They arranged shitloads of interviews and got the album out worldwide. BUT when I was in the band I always thought they could do better. We were young and had nothing else to compare with. Almost every band we toured with or knew had issues with their label so we were not alone not appreciating what they actually did for us.
Being a long time (death) metal fan and musician you are, how much did the death metal scene change or develope compared to mid/late ’80s/early ’90s? Would you say, that death metal reached its peak pretty quickly and became oversaturated?
As with all new styles of music that get attention from the media there will be some sort of a hype. The scened just exploded and there was suddenly shitloads of bands coming out with albums etc etc. The biggest problem was that so many of them were just crap and made by people that had listened to DM for 6 months. But among all the bands there was always bands like Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Dismember, as well as new bands that came out and were really good like for example Krisiun. Lately there have been a revival and a lot of old death metal people have pícked it up again either reforming their old band like Desultory or creating new bands like for example Mr Death. But the interesting new bands are done by kids that barely were born in the late 80´s..
As for the Swedish death metal bands, Grave, Unleashed or Dismember remained loyal to their roots, while Tiamat and Entombed turned into a different approach compared to their past, right?
Both yes and no. I mean, Grave did change over the years from Into the grave to Soulless even. And so did Tiamat and Entombed and to a certain extent even Dismember did. But I concider all these above mentioned bands to play death metal, except for Tiamat who have developed their style something completely unique.
Do you still follow the death metal scene? How do you view present Swedish bands, such as Puteraeon, Insision, Visceral Bleeding etc.?
I try to follow as much as I can through Swedish metal mags, gigs etc. And the scene is alive still, although I don't think is as good as before. I do like a few bands like Insision, Tribulation and a few more..
Jörgen, thanks a lot for your answers, anything to add, what I forgot to cover?
Dude, I can't even remember the first question as I did this interview over a period of 6 months or so, hahah.. If there is anything to add just drop me a line or visit the forum for most of bands at www.globaldomination.se
Thanx for the interview!!
Bejegyezte: Leslie David dátum: 11:09