DISRUPTED (EN)

– Hello, thanks for taking your time, how are you holding up during this pandemic, almost dystopian times? How’s everything going with the release of the new album?

Hello! It’s vocalist Mikael here answering your questions.

I suppose we’re not too much affected compared to other bands who are more active with touring and having a lot of gigs cancelled. We’ve done about 1-2 gigs per year so far and of course we hoped for more this year with a new release. But we shouldn’t complain, we’re healthy and the record is out.

The new album has gotten some attention and people seem to like it, which we’re very happy about. As of now(when I’m answering your questions) the first press of the vinyl is nearly sold out.

-It’s been seven years since “Morbid Death” came out. What have you been doing during this time? Have you been writing the new album during all these years?

To be honest we’ve been very lazy, but also busy with other things. Both in private and with other bands. We’ve hade a few songs completed for a few years, so the writing process has been pretty long. But we didn’t feel pressured to make another release and we’ve just waited for the right time when everyone’s been able to focus on the new album.

– You recently released your sophomore album, “Pure Death”. What significance does having this second album out hold to you? Is a second full-length a step further into your own personality and learning from the experience of making a debut album?

I suppose you can see it as us saying that we’re still active and capable. On “Morbid Death” we kind of defined what type of music we want to make and this follow up is just a step further in that direction. The things on our debut full-length that we didn’t like, mainly sound related, are stuff that we had in mind when recording this album and personally I’m a lot more satisfied with the result. But as always there’s room for improvement!

-What I first noticed on this album is the improvement in sound terms. How did you work on this part of the album?

We asked for help from someone who knows what he’s doing. When recording “Morbid Death”, it was basically me and Thomas(guitars) in the studio. So we did almost everything by ourselves without anyone being a real studio engineer. You don’t have to be an expert to realize that you won’t get the best sound if you go down that path, because we had no idea what we were doing.. But we learned a lot from it and I suppose you can hear that on the new album like you say.

-Going to your newest “Pure Death”; how does it compare to your previous releases?

It’s better in every aspect. Simple as that.  

– This is your first release as a four-piece. How did this come to be? What effect do you think has it had in the final outcome?

We haven’t been a full band when we’ve been in the studio until now. The two times before we’ve been kind of in between line-up changes. The effect of that is that the band feels more like a group now than before, when it was more or less me and Thomas with a couple of other guys. No disrespect intended!

– “Death” is a word present on the title of all your releases. What role does it play? Is it a hint to the style, a means of sticking to a traditional imagery…?

Well, we play Death Metal and all of our lyrics have the word “death” in them so why not? Its hard to be mistaken about what kind of music to expect when you see the names of our releases and if you’re into this kind of style of music it probalby catches your interest. And since we begun naming our releases the way we do it’s too late to stop since it’s kind of a tradition now, right?

– Your style is just OSDM (in the old Swedish style to be more precise), from the cover to the sound and approach. What’s to you the most important in an opus of the genre? The overall feeling? The filthy sound? Or is it a mix of different elements?

Besides the obvious HM-2 guitar tone it’s the unpolished and raw feeling of the music. For me personally a clean and “good” production can destroy an entire album, even with flawless songs. But a production that is killer, in my ears, can save an album with a few mediocre songs. It’s as always a matter of opinion, but we want to deliver a rotten and vile sound, rather than write amazing, epic songs. Which I think is obvious if you listen to our music.

– There’s now an obvious resurrection of old school Death Metal. Is it easier to get out there due to the growing interest or the fact that there are a lot of bands doing this makes it harder?

I think it’s harder. With loads of bands spewing out a lot of horrible, and a tiny portion of awesome, music it’s easy to miss the real good ones since it’s impossible to manage to listen to  everything. At least if you have a decent regular life with a job or family or whatever. We’ve been active for almost 9 years now so at least a few people know us and that helps in spreading the word. But if we were to start anew today I think it would’ve required more work to get to where we are now. And since we are a lazy bunch of dudes I don’t want to imagine how that would end up.

– Are there any new bands into the style (or similar) that have caught your attention lately?

Honesly I don’t look for new music that often anymore. But our friends in “Wretched Fate” are a pretty newly formed group that produce killer Bloodbath-esque Death Metal. Another band, who’s been around for a while but may have been overlooked, is “Pyre” from Russia. Great dudes and great music!

– I think we all already know Metal tends to be a quite nostalgic «community». When Simon Reynolds researched on the cult of retro on «Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past» he wondered if: “Is nostalgia stopping our culture’s ability to surge forward, or are we nostalgic precisely because our culture has stopped moving forward and so we inevitably look back to more momentous and dynamic times?”. Applied to the Metal world, what’s your opinion? Do we use to look back because we feel there’s something missing on most of today’s music?

I’d rather see this style of music as timeless instead of nostalgic. If something’s good and theres nothing wrong with it then why change? Of course I can appreciate bands that explore new ground and I do listen to some bands that might be considered to deviate from the standard of their genre. But music is not like science or religious/political views where progress forward is “needed” so to speak.

-All this about “Pure Death” being said; how would you describe it in just 3 words?

I’ll just use two words, in Swedish:
“Rena skiten.”

-And before we wrap this interview up; what are now your near-future plans? It may suck doing plans to promote a release during uncerrtain and pandemic times, though you have never played a lot live.

We had a release show planned, which for obvious reasons was cancelled. But we’ve been thinking about doing a streamed gig from our rehearshal space. Maybe we will and maybe not. But when it’s possible we’ll surely get out and play more shows than earlier, since we are a solid band now that(hopefully) sounds good.

– 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.

Thank you for interviewing us and supporting the scene. Keep washing your hands and stay safe until this horrible pandemic is over so we can go back to live shows and getting drunk together.

Cheers,

M

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

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