BASTARD PRIEST (EN)

– Hello and, first of all, thanks for taking your time to answer to our questions. How’s everything going in the band’s camp?

Matt: Hey there! It’s good, a bit slow due to the worldwide pandemic, but good.

– There’s quite a bit to catch up on. Why did you disband in 2013? And what prompted you to get back together in 2019?

Matt: We kind of just put the band on ice back in 2013, I don’t think it was because of one single reason but more a combination of life circumstances, lack of time, inspiration etc. I haven’t really given it much thought to be honest.

– You are just a straight-forward, no-frills (old school sounding) punked up Death Metal band, not seeking for innovation or experiments but keeping some elements at the forefront, like the groove. What are the goals and aims when you first form a band like this? 

Matt: I guess kind of the things you just described, to put out some fast, hard songs. We have no goals with our music except to create stuff and record music and have a good time while doing that and you know also that eternal strive for that one killer riff!

-And what about your stage names? Any story? I see some TWISTED SISTER inspiration.

Matt: Yeah, you are absolutely right – my stage name is an homage to Mark “The Animal” Mendoza from Twisted Sister. I just love TS, that’s all. Inventors name is more shrouded in mystery and the unknown, I don’t know where it comes from, no one knows I think. 

-As I said your work, not just its sound, has a lot of Punk I believe. Would you say your crowd is a bit mixed? Are you embraced by both “worlds”?

Matt: I hope we’re embraced by anyone who’s into regular “mangel” as we call it here in Sweden. I draw inspiration from everything I listened to when I grew up and it’s both punk and death metal and everything in between. 

– What fuels the band? Booze? Horror? Filth? 

Matt: Not so much booze nowadays – I think other music and also movies, and the urge to mangla!

-I remember some years ago you had up on your website a recording from a rehearsal that never got released. Will it ever see the light of day in physical format?

Matt: No I don’t think so – we have loads of rehearsal recordings but honestly they’re just for me and Inventor to figure out and arrange songs. I have absolutely no intentions to release any of these to the public.

-On your first demo you made a cover for BOMBANFALL’S “En Hälsning Från Helvetet”. What a killer EP! Why did you choose that song?

Matt: Bombanfall falls into a group of bands that I’m kinda fascinated by – they kind of sound like half hardcore punk and half proto death metal. Like the vocals of the Bombanfall is ultra brutal but they were total anarchists and punks – it’s really a cool combination I think. We drew a lot of inspiration from that EP so it felt natural to play a song from it I think. 

-And if you had to do just one more cover song; which one would it be?

Matt: I love the dead by Alice Cooper

-After reuniting in 2019 last year you released your newest EP, “Vengeance… Of the Damned”. Being a band that doesn’t try to break new ground wich each release; how does this EP compare to your previous releases?

Matt: I’ve been doing riffs and songs during all these years between 2013 and 2019 so I had a couple of ideas I wanted to try together with Inventor. We also had 2-3 songs from 2012 that we hadn’t finished. So we talked about it, got together and started working on all those songs and did a rehearsal recording back in November/December 2019. The intentions was for it to be one of those recordings that was just for us but then came Covid 19 and we thought “fuck it – let’s do the best out of this recording and release it”. So I’ve been recording guitars and solos and vocals and stuff here in my living room to finish everything. We got it done and Electric Assault released it and we’re all happy with how it came out. 

I haven’t really compared it to our earlier releases, I think we had the idea that we were gonna work more on the songs – change stuff etc. but that never happened because of what I described above. I like it for what it is – some old songs, some new songs – recorded two days in November, that’s it.

-Early on in your career you managed to make a spot for your own in the underground and with this EP people already had some expectations. Did you ever feel any pressure or just don’t care?

Matt: No, I don’t feel any pressure. I take my duties and music making seriously for sure but the only pressure is from myself I think. 

-In fact you give the feeling of having fun doing your thing and not caring too much about external things so, what’s your music for you?

Matt: That’s a hard question to put into words. It’s a mixture of many things I guess but overall just a creative process where you try to make the kind of music you would like to hear yourself – that’s and also experimental process where you have no idea what’s gonna come out in the end. 

-As I said, you are not trying to break new ground or experiment but what did the experience from recording/writing your early material give you that you can now incorporate to your newer stuff? How were those early works important for the future or present of BASTARD PRIEST?

Matt: To be honest I don’t think many bands break any new ground nowadays either. The ones that aim to break new ground just sounds like old bands that tried to break new ground years ago. As for writing songs I always had problems with stacking riffs and ideas on top of each other, for me it’s gotta have a certain flow and I almost always think in traditional terms of intro, verse, choruses, bridges, solo parts etc. like punk songs kind of.

– In fact there’s now an obvious resurrection of old school Death Metal. How do you guys feel about it? Is it easier to get out there due to the growing interest or the fact that there’s a lot of bands doing this makes it harder?

Matt: I had no idea there was yet another wave of that, I’ve heard a couple of bands from the US so there seems to be something going on there. In Sweden I haven’t heard that many new death metal bands the last couple of years. I don’t really see Bastard Priest in any scene or think about other bands as competition – we’re not running a company, we just like to play fast music.  

-What about your local scene? Are there any bands, into any style, that you are specially enjoying lately?

Matt: No, not really. There’s one Swedish band that caught my eye lately that called Sarcator – check them out!

-On “Vengeance… Of the Damned” you follow most of the stereotypes in the style. I’m totally in for that, even though I know nowadays the word “stereotype” is often used as a derogatory term. Where does the tradition end and where does the mimic begin?

Matt: Haha, well you tell me – I have no idea to be honest. Aside from the cover being an obvious hint to the Unleashed Revenge EP I can’t really say that we tried to mimic anything on Vengeance from any certain band. We went for that demo-tape feeling though but that was due to the quality of the recording, the format for the release etc.

-How important do you think it is to stick to some of these stereotypes to make the genre what it is and to provide an entertaining and fun experience?

Matt: Not important at all – I believe that everyone and anyone should be able to create whatever music with whatever influences they want. I create mine and if someone out there doesn’t agree on my idea of how a good song is crafted I urge them to start their own band and do something different.

– Speaking of such, what’s to you the most important in an album of the genre? The overall feeling? The filthy sound? Or is it a mix of different elements?

Matt: The feeling first and foremost, then an accompanying sound and some sort of musical integrity.

-And what are some of the main inspirations behind your putrid, zombie-infested lyrics? Any favourite books, movies…?

Matt: Classic zombie movies and old metal – that’s it.

-All this about “Vengeance… Of the Damned” being said; how would you describe it in just 3 words?

Matt: Loud Fast Rules

-And finally, what are now your near-future plans? Being pretty much a studio band I guess the pandemic won’t be having a huge effect on BASTARD PRIEST.

Matt: Well, it’s not that easy I’m afraid – me and Inventor live in different cities now so we can’t meet and rehearse. I have a ton of riffs and ideas though so whenever this is over I hope we can get together and do something again.

– That’s all from our side, thanks again for your time. If you’d like to add some final words, feel free to do it.

Matt: Thanks for having us! Keep it heavy! 

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

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