– Hi Johan and thanks for taking the time. To start, what prompted you to put an end to CENTINEX and start DEMONICAL? As far as I know, with CENTINEX you had record label problems, etc. beside all the line-up changes. How did this affect the band?
There are many reasons for the split of CENTINEX, both musical and personal. Martins first thought about splitting the band came in the fall of 2005, after we had released «World Declension». Even if the album got great reviews and things seemed ok he was kind of fed up with the situation. We didn’t have any arguments within the band or anything but he felt that enough was enough, Martin felt that he had taken the band as far as he could. So he started to think about a new band and that was when the idea of DEMONICAL was spawned. But then it took until April 2006 before Martin really realized his plan and told it to me and the other CENTINEX guys.
– Though there are obvious differences between both bands and (I could say) a different approach, both bands’ style is not that different and I think CENTINEX didn’t get where it deserve. Are you achieving (or do you hope to achieve) with DEMONICAL the goals you didn’t get with CENTINEX?
Of course we try to achieve the goals, at least in the terms of the musical aspects. And we’re always striving to be better and developing ourselves in DEMONICAL.
– Maybe for this reason, sometimes is inevitable to compare both bands. Could you say DEMONICAL has been, at some point, a kind of CENTINEX’s progression?
The meaning with DEMONICAL is that we wanted to go more back to the simpler roots of Death Metal. CENTINEX was more and more developing to “technical” melodic Death metal which I had divided feelings about. I really like the last album “World Declension” because it’s both straight in your face and moderately technical. The album before, “Decadence – Prophecies of Cosmic Chaos” was too much for me, I was even thinking to leave the band before we recorded it…otherwise I like the stuff we did with them.
– What was your approach when you formed DEMONICAL? As it is in my eyes a more straight-forward and harsh band than CENTINEX was.
Like I said in the last question we wanted to play simpler and raw Death Metal and straight forward as you mention. Then I, Martin and Ronnie are on the same level when it comes to do tours and gigs etc.
– Your third album “Death Infernal” will be out soon and one of the first things that caught my attention was its title. How does that name fit you?
We decided to have something with “Death” in the title and the first suggestion was “Death Eternal” but of course it was already used by our fellows DEATHCHAIN from Finland, so we just change it to ”Death Infernal” that was even better hehe…
– Your previous albums got a totally amazing feedback. What are your expectations regarding this new release?
Yeah, of course I hope people will take a bigger notice on this album because this is our best album so far. We already have got killer reviews and high positions in magazines “Sound check”. In the new Legacy Mag #72 we got position #2 of total 70 albums, that’s very cool! We were only beaten by Primordial’s new album.
– This record has been, once more, recorded at Necromorbus Studios. All your albums so far have been recorded there. How does this studio fit you so good and what can you tell us about them? I think they can provide quite well that balance you show between harsh and modern sound at the same time.
It just was a coincidence that we choose Necromorbus studio when we recorded the “Bloodspell Divine” promo there for the first time. It was Martin who came up with the idea to record there and it appeared that we would continue to record our albums there hehe… Of course we have talked about to record somewhere else but we’ll see what happens.
– Moreover, Sverker is its co-owner. Does this make things easier?
Yes of course. It’s an advantage that Sverker runs a studio because he knows everything and how to reach the right sound etc. Then we also can spend more time in the studio and try more ideas and working on the lyrics during the night’s hehe…
– Composition in this album is just amazing; each track has its own identity, each instrument has a protagonist role in each moment, song structures and some new details. Has anything changed during this process? And how do you work on your compositions?
All songs have come natural but of course we have been trying to go a step further and find new musical paths. On this album it’s mainly Martin and Ronnie who have written the songs except of “Through Hellfire” that we did together in the rehearsal. The other songs were created by them on their boy-rooms at home and then we all make the structures and details in the rehearsal.
– I’m not afraid to say this is your best album so far and it has a unique essence but, what are your feelings regarding this new piece? Do you feel like you have now found your true personality or the sound you wanted to get?
Thanks! Yeah I agree that we have developed a bit and dared to try new paths. It’s more varied and heavier songs on the album I believe. I’m thinking of “March for Victory” and “All Will Perish” that both are more heavier and melodic tracks. The song “Black Inferno” is more Rock’N’Roll and “Return in Flesh” is simply a nasty knock in your face!
– It also seems like it is more well-cared, even every little detail, giving a more mature (still brutal and honest) result. Have you spent more time creating “Death Infernal”?
Well, for the two latest albums we only have rehearsed around a week together before we entered the studio. All the songs are more or less ready and it’s just to rehearse it together and to decide all details in the songs. Then in the studio we do the final details during the recording. The lyrics are always written in the last minute as usual. So that’s the way we’re working…
– In the digipack and vinyl version of the album we can find two bonus tracks. One of them is “From Northern Shores”. What can you tell us about that track? Is it a brand new song?
Yeah, it’s a brand new song that became the bonustrack. It’s a great heavy song that is a kind of celebration to old BATHORY.
– The other one is a cover for “Night of the Graveless Souls”, by EMPEROR. Why did you decide to include this concrete cover? I guess most people would expect any of their “hits” instead of a demo track.
We choose an old demo track because it was easier to cover. It’s not a good idea and reason for us to cover a track from “Anthems…” or a newer album because it’s really complicated songs and that Ihsahn and Co. does it better than any band except of themselves. The KING DIAMOND tribute is an excellent example of what I mean…
– And what changes have you done to that song? I think you have adapted it perfectly to your own style.
Exactly! We made it in our way, Swedish Death Metal sound with downtuned guitars of course but otherwise it’s similar to the
original. We rip it up in trve DEMONICAL’ish style…
– If I’m not wrong Johan, you have been working with Cyclone Empire for first time when you started DEMONICAL. Why did you choose them? Can we expect future albums via Cyclone Empire?
That’s correct! After we recorded the “Bloodspell Divine” promo we send it to a bunch of labels and one of them was Cyclone Empire that probably offered us the best deal. We have no plans to change label right now so you can expect more releases with us from them.
– Cyclone Empire is a relatively unknown record label. Is this a positive thing for the bands they work with? I mean in terms of communication, promotion… As they actually have a smaller rooster than “big” Metal labels.
Yeah, I believe so, but I think they are a well-known label nowadays. We have had an excellent relationship with them through the years. It’s an advantage that they have a small rooster because then they can concentrate more on the bands they have.
– Next May you’ll start a European tour with FERAL, ARROGANZ and GLORIA MORTI. What do you expect of it?
Well, I hope it will be a hell of a tour and that it will be killer shows of course! Too bad that Spain couldn’t be included this time. We have recently rehearsed with a second guitarist, Pablo Magallanes, who will join us on the upcoming tour and rest of the gigs this year to begin with. It feels fantastic and I hope he will be a permanent member because I have wanted a second guitarist since we began with DEMONICAL.
– And, beside this tour, what live-plans do you have? As I saw you’ll play in Spain in October (Barcelona and Zaragoza). Will any other Spanish dates be confirmed?
I think it could be one more date in Spain but it’s not confirmed yet. Otherwise we will play at the German Summer Breeze festival in August, a mini-tour in Asia early October and on the Rites of Darkness festival in the USA early December.
– I also read you will play in the US and Thailand. What does this mean to you?
Yeah, that’s right. It will be new territories for us and we’re really looking forward to it. It means a lot to us because we can reach new fans over there and hopes that we can do a longer tour in the US in the near future.
– That’s all, Johan. Thank you once more for your time. If you now want to add any last words to the interview, feel free to do it.
Thanx Tania for the interview and good luck with the Queens of Steel Magazine! Hope to see you when we will play in Spain in October this year. Meanwhile check out our websites for updates! Cheers to all underground Death Metal maniacs in Spain!
Cheers and bottom up!
/Johan & DEMONICAL