OVERTORTURE (Eng.)

– Hello, lots of thanks for answering our interview. How is everything going into the OVERTORTURE’s camp right now?

Hi and thank you for making this interview! Everything is just great over here.. It’s just freakin’ cold in the north! Haha.. It’s exciting times now with the release of our debut and we have some gigs coming up, so we’re doing great, thank you!

 

– Though the members involved are not new at all into the Death Metal scene, OVERTORTURE is a pretty young band, and I guess also unkown for most of our readers so, first off, could you please share some history of the band? How did an act like such get together?

Magnus Martinsson: Basically the idea started in the beginning of 2011 when I was home sick for a long time, recovering from fatigue syndrome. When I started to get better I got extremely creative and riffs, ideas and songs started pouring out of my hands like never before. But it didn’t really fit GRAVE, the band I played in at the time, so the thought of a new band was born, OVERTORTURE! The first person I contacted was Fredrik whom I got to know via Ola Englund when moving to Stockholm back in 2006. He’s a truly gifted drummer with both great technique and groove. I sent him some demo tracks and it didn’t take long before he said yes to the position as drummer. …. And then I contacted Jonas Torndal that joined shortly after Fredrik. But we needed a singer, and a good one So… One day at work I listened to a lot of different bands and came across COLDWORKER, and I was really blown away by the vocals! Exactly what I wanted for this band! So I took a real longshot and sent an email to the bands email address asking for Joel’s contact info. We clicked right away and Joel immediately started writing lyrics for the tracks I sent him. Andreas Hemmander joined the band shortly before the recording of “At the End the Dead Await”. He’s an old friend and former band mate of mine from the band BLOODRIDE which we started together back in the days. Our playing style and thinking musically is very alike, so when thinking of a possible second guitarist Andreas was an obvious choice and perfect match. Joakim Antman is our newest member which just joined the band. A great guy and bass player! He also plays with Fredrik in the band THE UGLY. He has replaced Jonas Torndal (ex-Grave) who recently quit due to he didn’t have the time needed for rehearsals, gigs etc.

 

– You will soon release your debut album, entitled “At the End the Dead Await”. How is everything going with it so far? How are the first reactions being?

So far the reactions have been overwhelmingly good from both fans and media and we’ve got really great reviews and reactions! People really seem to like what we do and the style of Death Metal that we like writing and playing. So we’re really satisfied!

 

– Blood, zombies, dead… By just seeing the cover artwork anyone could guess what is OVERTORTURE all about. In fact I think the artwork is a pretty accurate reflection of the musical content the album has. Was this something you were looking for? Who crafted such superb piece?

Joel Fornbrant: I’m glad you like the cover. You of course want it to represent the content of the album in the best way possible, but it should also be a cool picture by its own. When we settled for “As the End the Dead Await” as our album title, we started thinking about how that song could be represented visually, and came up with the idea of a guy living through his own funeral and having the funeral-goers being the dead ones. The cover was painted by Gustav Germann, who also designed our logo. A really talented guy who gave us exactly what we wanted.

 

– Taking a look at the band’s member, your music style (Death Metal) and the fact you guys are hailing from Sweden, I guess most people would be expecting hearing another revival band, with that typical old school Swedish sound. But I think you are doing your own thing. Was this something you had in mind when you started the band?

Joel Fornbrant: I don’t think we made an active choice as to exactly how we wanted to sound, but rather just tried to make the songs as good as possible. We like all kinds of death metal and don’t want to limit ourselves by only writing old school material for example. Death metal has a pretty long history by now, and we honor its legacy by drawing inspiration from a lot of different sources within the genre. I think that gives our music a somewhat timeless quality.

 

– In fact one of the things that I personally think manage to stand out is the quite clear and powerful production you’ve had. Isn’t really overproduced, but it’s not really raw, in fact we can hear easily all the instruments. If I’m not mistaken the own band took production duties with the help of Ola Englund during th mix so, would you mind to tell us how did you work on this?

Magnus Martinsson: Thank you!… That’s correct! We recorded and produced the album by ourselves, my wife who’s a sound engineer also helped me out during the guitar tracking, and Ola Englund (Six Feet Under) did a great job mixing and mastering the album. We never thought of doing a retro recording and use the classic and overexploited Boss HM-2 pedal which every new “old school” Death Metal band uses these days, even if I love that crushing tone. We wanted to do our own thing and had the vision of doing a modern but still a bit dirty and not too polished recording with a lot of punch.

 

– I have always thought producing your own albums can sometimes be a double-edged sword, as no one like yourself knows how the band is supposed to sound but, on the other hand, I guess it may also mean bonus pressure and work, not to say it’s not easy to be always 100% objective with your own stuff but, what are your thoughts on this? Do you think has had a positive effect for the final output and for the band or rather the opposite?

Joel Fornbrant: I think that, just like you say, it’s both good and bad. Good in the sense that you can take your time and not worry about spending a lot of money on a fancy studio, and the familiarity of recording more or less in a “home” environment takes away a lot of the stress involved in recording. On the other hand, it can be hard sometimes, when you’re working with your own songs, to know exactly when you have given the best possible perfomance or when something was slightly off. With the vocals for instance, there are a couple of places on the album where I feel that I could probably have done the job a little bit differently, which of course is annoying to say the least. Had we had an outside guy producing us, maybe he would have had an easier time spotting things like that. But in the end you’re bound to never feel 100 % satisfied, and I think the self-producing way of doing an album all in all is a relaxed and efficient way of getting things done. It’s also a production mode that I personally am very used to.

 

– As I said earlier, you are not a copy-cat or retro band, despite I personally think your musical basis is quite «traditional». You seem to mix different influences and periods of Death Metal but, what have been some of the most influential bands for OVERTORTURE?

Joel Fornbrant: I couldn’t agree more with that description. Talking vocal influences, I’ve always been a fan of Matti Kärki, Karl Willets, Brett Hoffman, Barney Greenway, 80’s Max Cavalera and David Vincent among others. Lately I’ve been listening a lot to Benediction, so I would throw Dave Ingram in there as well.

 

– In fact all of you have played in different DM acts so, could you say all of them have had its influence on you and on what you are currently doing with OVERTORTURE?

Joel Fornbrant: It’s probably an advantage of having everyone in the band adding their perspective to the music and ideally combining it into creating something that feels uniquely Overtorture. Although this will perhaps come more actively into play later in the band’s career rather than now, since all the songs on this album were already written before we had a full line-up. But I’m very excited to see what we can come up with as a full band in the future!

 

– Overall, still sounding traditional and classic, «At the End the Dead Await» sounds fresh, specially on songwriting terms. Due to this I would like to know how was the songwriting process like and if it’s a team effort.

Joel Fornbrant: Magnus wrote the music and I wrote the lyrics, so I had the luxury of putting words to shitloads of awesome riffs, which was very cool. Magnus har a firm grasp on what makes a great song, and I see it as a challenge to further the catchiness in the songs by writing fun vocal patterns and coming up with some memorable words to sing.

 

– The whole band’s musicianship is obvious, but one thing that specially caught my attention was the guitar work, mixing fast sharp riffs with some heavy and crunchy ones, and they also provide a lot of melody. This melody creates an intresting contrast with the whole brutality this record has. Is this balance something important for the band?

Magnus Martinsson: Thank you very much, I’m glad you like it! This balance between brutality and melody is what I personally like and I guess it reflects in my way/style of writing and arranging. Everyone in the band likes this direction and we’ll definitely continue this path. My way of playing and creating riffs has probably been formed by the metal I like + my musical experiences. I listen to a lot of Death Metal of course, old and new, but also non death metal bands like Candlemass, Nevermore, Pantera, King Diamond, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and so on.. And I guess that musical mix together with my fellow band mates style of playing and singing has become the music you hear on “At the End the Dead Await”.

 

– All this about «At the End the Dead Await» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Joel Fornbrant: Heavy. Catchy. Dödsmetall.

 

– As I said previously, you are not doing that revival thing that a lot of bands are doing nowadays so, what are your feelings on this late «hype» for old school Swedish Death Metal? Is it something positive both for the scene and for bands like you, so maybe due to this you get easily more attention from metal fans?

Joel Fornbrant: I like the old school stuff, so it’s cool to see it getting the recognition it deserves. I usually end up listening to the classic bands though. And yeah, I actually thought about recently that Overtorture sticks out by not adhering to any specific sound. Hopefully it makes the path we carve even more distinct from other bands.

 

– As 2012 is about to end; could you please tell us what are your 3 favourite albums of the year as well as the least favourite one?

Joel Fornbrant: Top three albums: 1. Tragedy – Darker Days Ahead (not death metal but awesome all the same), 2. Asphyx – Deathhammer, 3. Autopsy – All Tomorrow’s Funerals. Least favourite: Believe it or not, I don’t think I listened to any album last year that I really disliked.

 

– And finally; what are your near-future plans?

Joel Fornbrant: The album is releasing in just a few days, which is awesome, and after that I guess it’s out and play some gigs. We are doing our debut gig in Stockholm March 22, supporting Hypocrisy, which we are really excited about, and hopefully we can announce some more dates down the line!

 

– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Thanks for the interview! Overtorture is releasing its crushing debut album, “At the End the Dead Await”, january 25th on Apostasy Records. Be sure to pick it up! Check out our facebook page or overtorture.se for more info on the band and hopefully we’ll see you on the road in the future! Cheers!

 

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

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