– Hello and first of all, thanks for taking the time. How is everything doing right now with GOD MACABRE?
“Hey there. All is good in camp GOD MACABRE. The shows for the summer is over and done and we’re preparing for some shows coming up in September right now.”
– First off I would like to review a little bit your history. You were formed during the late 80’s, first as MACABRE END. Under that name you did a demo and an EP. What kind of activity did you have during that time? And why did you change the band’s name to GOD MACABRE?
“Not much more activity than what you just mentioned really. We decided that the name GOD MACABRE suited the lyrical content much better than MACABRE END so we changed it. “
– So GOD MACABRE born during the early 90’s. Back then a lot of Swedish Death Metal bands that later became almost legends were starting their careers so, were those good moments for DM bands or rather the opposite, as competence was huge?
“Never felt like a competition to me. Sure there was lots of bands but I think there’s probably even more bands around these days. But it sure was a great time. To have been involved in the scene’s embryonic stages is something proud of and happy to have been apart of.”
– Not so many years later the band, as so many other from Sweden into the same style did during the same period, faded away. What caused its dissolution?
“Simply because we at the time after the album was recorded couldn’t find a new suitable drummer and bassplayer. Also the time time we realised it was gonna take to get the record out made us take the decision to fold the band.”
– After the GOD MACABRE’s split-up most members were and are still involved in some other projects, and most of them are into a pretty traditional kind of Death Metal too. After so many years, have your influences changed? Or maybe have you broaden them to newer ones?
“For me personally the death metal/metal in general influences are still pretty much the same as it was back then. But there’s a hell of alot of other styles of music that has influenced me over the years. I’m really into good songwriting and also not being afraid of experimenting with weird sounds and ideas. Old prog/psychedelic stuff is my main thing.”
– Some years ago you reunited, what prompted this? You reunited with some new members that aren’t newcomers at all into the scene. How and why did they get involved?
“Not some years ago it was just last year 2013 we got back together. Mainly because Relapse wanted to re-release the album again and I had the idea of recording an old song (“Life’s Verge”, written back in 1990) now since we never recorded it before. I got Tobias Gustafsson (TORTURE DIVISION, ex VOMITORY) involved to play the drums since we had close ties to VOMITORY back in the day and he felt like family anyway. Then it came up to support VOMITORY on their farewell show in Karlstad, Sweden and when that was made public the showoffers started coming in. To then have Björn Larsson play the bass was also an easy choice since he plays with singer Per in MORDBRAND and is a really great guy.
– In 1993 you released your debut and only full-length album, «The Winterlong». Why didn’t you have the chance of releasing any other material?
“Since we simply broke up the band that’s why.”
– Now have been over 20 years since that albume came out. Two decades later, how do you feel when listening to it? If the time comes to release new material, would it sound similar to what you did there?
“Still very proud of the album. Love playing the songs now in 2014 for sure. I doubt that there will be some new songs written or recorded but it it were it would maybe sound the same but with a lot of growth to the performance/writing I guess.”
– In fact the album has just been re-released by Relapse Records. How did the whole thing arise?
“Relapse had been asking about it for some time and we decided that the time was right for this year. Also in all fairness to Rodrigo of Blood Harvest Records
who did the first vinyl release a couple of years ago. Let him sell out his pressings first.”
– «The Winterlong» was already reissued in 2002 if I’m not mistaken, with the same label, but this time it featured a extended package. Were you involved in choosing what other stuff you wanted to have on it?
“I was involved all the way and sent them pictures etc that they could use re-packaging the record. Turned out great I think.”
– For instance, you have also included unreleased songs to the date in the form of bonus track. What could you comment on these songs?
“It’s just one song, “Life’s Verge”, that I mentioned earlier. The other 3 tracks are from the MACABRE END demo and they were on the last re-issue also.”
– And are there any other old songs by GOD MACABRE that have never been released?
“There are some short bits and pieces that were at least rehearsed but never recorded. Before the band broke up I had started writing new material and made home demos of 4-5 songs. Some riffs from these songs have resurfaced in a couple of BOMBS OF HADES songs though.”
– All songs have been remastered, is this how GOD MACABRE sounds nowadays? As you’ve kept the main essence but with an updated sound, clearer and powerful, still being organic and without corrupting what people relate to GOD MACABRE.
“A remaster doesn’t change the way we played back in 1991. It just makes it sound maybe a bit bigger. That song we recorded in 2013 is more of a way of saying how we sound now. Also since Tobias plays drums on that song it makes it different. Though he plays with old drummer Niklas style in mind.”
– I have always thought GOD MACABRE was a quite underrated band, you released a true classic that never got the deserved attention, also with a more unique sound than the average DM band from that period, bringing elements from Grindcore for instance. Do you think now, with this rerelease out and the Internet, the name of GOD MACABRE will reach more people? Even younger people that weren’t even born wen «The Winterlong» came out.
“Thank you very much. Though I have to disagree on the grindcore thing haha. There’s not a trace of grindcore on “The Winterlong” (sure there are 1 grindpart each in “Ceased to be” and “Spawn of flesh” but those are the demo versions under the MACABRE END. MACABRE END had a grindcore past. GOD MACABRE didn’t) since there are more elements of doom instead. It’s very nice that so many more people are finding and enjoying the record now so many years later.”
– And have you already noticed the impact tools as the Internet have had on the music in general? Specially with this late urge it seems to be for old school Death Metal. Is there now a bigger interest drawn at GM?
“The past 14 years the interest for the band has grown so much and the internet plays a big part in that for sure.”
– As I said earlier, you were formed in Sweden back in the late 80’s. At that time the Metal scene in Sweden was really strong, but is still quite healthy in several Metal subgenres, not just into Death Metal but, how do you see it as an insider? There are a lot of good bands but, how has it changed since the 80’s/90’s?
“As I’ve said the past years in interviews, the main difference is that there’s more recordlabels out there now so to release a record is much easier these days. Add that Swedish bands have had such a good reputation when it comes to creating metal. Ever since BATHORY and CANDLEMASS. But it’s hard to really come up with something new and revolutionary though.”
– And finally, what are now your future plans? Will there be a new full-length album by GM? Do you have any new song already written?
“A new album is not planned. I can’t say it will never happen because we used to say that we would never reform in any shape or form, but I don’t see it happening. We have other bands now you know, BOMBS OF HADES, MORDBRAND, SPACE PROBE TAURUS and TORTURE DIVISION. I don’t close the door to doing more shows though. It’s been a blast this past year.”
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
“Thank you very much for this interview and for the interest in GOD MACABRE. Stay clean! Cheers!”