– Hi Carl, thanks for your time. Before getting into your new album, I would like you to start with some history of the band…
Diabolical has been around for 15 years. The band was founded by Sverker in Sundsvall, Sweden but we have recided in Stockholm for almost a decade. We have released three studio albums: «Synergy» in 2001, «A Thousand Deaths» in 2002 and «The Gallery of Bleeding Art» in 2008. The new release «Ars Vitae» is a compilation containing new studio tracks, a full live concert and the first EP «Deserts of Desolation». We’ve done plenty of touring throughout the years and we’ve just come back from a headline tour in Russia.
– And why did you change MISANTHROPIC ORCHESTRA for your current name?
Well, don’t you think «Diabolical» sounds a bit more cool? We do. I guess that’s why.
– We had to wait 6 years between «A Thousand Deaths» and «The Gallery of Bleeding Art»; what happened? And what was the band up to during those years?
Unfortunately we had lots of label problems during those years. That took a lot of time. We recorded «Gallery» on our own without any pressure from a label which was good because we could spend a lot of time on it making the album exactly the way we wanted it. But that also meant that it took much longer. But now we are on the right track and I hope we will never lose momentum again!
– I read you have had some problems with the different record labels you have worked with. Do you see your current relationship with Abyss Records as a more steady one?
Abyss Records are releasing «Ars Vitae» in USA. That is a new co-operation for us and I hope it will work out fine. Here in Sweden and in Europe our label is ViciSolum Productions which I am glad to say we have a very good relationship with.
– Since some years ago, Sverker is also in DEMONICAL and working a lot in his Necromorbus Studios. Does this slow down things a bit for DIABOLICAL?
I’d say it doesn’t. We plan things ahead for a long time so usually there are no conflicts. The fact that Sverker is working in Necromorus Studio is a huge benefit for the band. Me and Sverker live at walking distance from the studio and whenever ther is some spare time there we can work with stuff for Diabolical. Epic win.
– Now getting into your latest «Ars Vitae», how has been its feedback so far?
Mostly awesome I’d say. The thing that some critics find irritating is the lack of new material. I can respect that opinion, but the thing is that from the beginning we we’re only supposed to do some pre-production recordings of a couple of songs for the next full-length. But somewhere a long the way we decided to make it a new release on it’s own together with the live material we had. We had had those live tracks lying around for a while but we hadn’t come up with a good way of releasing them. Together with the new songs and the «Deserts of Desolation» we figured they’d be a great way to sum up our first 15 years as a band.
– It contains old tracks, 4 new ones and a full concert. Old tracks have been remastered, what changes have you done to them?
Sverker made some polishing in Necro, I don’t know exactly what he does there when he’s in the studio by himself. But I’m sure there are some nerdy and expensive studio equipment involved. And probably alcohol as well. In the end he made it sound better. But there are no «big» changes made, because we wanted to keep the spirit and sound of the original recording.
– And why did you decide «recovering» your «Deserts of Desolation» EP? I think it got a good feedback back in the day, but has been sold out for many years. Did you want, in any way, to give it a second chance or letting people having the chance of listening to it?
Since it has been sold out we thought this was a good way of getting new fans to get familliar with our old material.
– The new songs have been produced by Sverker and recorded at Necromorbus. Do you think these songs’ sound fit with the sound Necromorbus can provide? As I think they’re specially good in mixing old school vibe with a clear/modern production…
I think Necromorbus and Sverkers constantly improving skills as a sound engineer are perfect for Diabolical. What more could a band wish for than a top notch studio and a band member who knows how to get the best from it?
– And are these songs compeltely new or were already written?
Yes and no. We’ve had «Eye» for quite some time before we recorded it, which was good because we re-arranged it a couple of times and let it mature. «Sightless 6» was completed shortly before we went into the studio, while «Ortus» and «Infvitabile Fatvm» were pure in-the-studio-creations. I prefer being well prepared and have every song written in much detail before entering the studio. That makes things a lot easier and makes the recording less time consuming.
– So that makes me wonder, do you have any more tracks for a possible upcoming full-lenght album? Can we expect one soon?
Yes we certainly do! We have many tracks written for the next album, some of which we already perform when we play live. I am very excited about the next album and I am confident that we will give birth to a truly epic album this time. We will enter the studio later this year. We have plans, but I can’t tell you the exact dates yet.
– Talking of the new songs in the album, I noticed (specially guitars) have a more melodic sound. Did you have any new approach in terms of guitar or while the composing?
Yes, we were actually experimenting quite a bit on these songs trying to find something new for us. We have several new band members since «Gallery», even I was playing drums instead of guitar on that album, so it felt natural to try to experiment a bit and try to find our best way forward musically.
– This «new» sound contrasts the more «traditional» sound in «Deserts of Desolation», so the mix between them sounds great. Was this something planned? I mean to combine these two «different» (as your basis is pretty much the same) sides from DIABOLICAL?
«Ars Vitae» is summing up 15 years of musicianship so naturally there are great differences between the new stuff and the old stuff. So I think it gives the listener a good overview of our career.
– The CD also features a full live show. Please, tell us a bit about it; where was recorded, when, why did you choose that show, etc.
It was recorded in Diabolical’s birthplace – Sundsvall a few years ago. It is the best live recording we have so far and it shows the band at the peak we had with that line-up. So it was a good way to show how we used to sound like a few years ago and put it in contrast to where we are heading today.
– Have you done any arrangements to those live tracks? As they sound actually great, I’d dare say they even sound as they were recorded in a studio.
The circumstances during which they were recorded were really good, with many tracks and good microphones. That was the first reason why it sounds good. The second reason I’ve already mentioned – it’s hugely beneficial to have a band member working in a great studio with great knowledge how to mix things to sound awesome for us.
– Due to this and the good compilation from different periods in
you career; could you say «Ars Vitae» is a good way for newcomers to start with DIABOLICAL?
It’s a perfect start!
– You have recently come back home form your Ars Vitae Tour; how did it go? And how has been the reaction from your fans toward the new songs?
This was a truly amazing tour. The crowds in Russia are the craziest people I’ve ever seen. They were moshing like maniacs at every concert. They were literally pulling me off the stage and tossing me into the air after one show! And they showed huge interest in us off stage as well, we had to spend the good part of an hour after every show writing autographs and taking pictures with them.
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
We are going to focus on writing new material and then enter the studio to record our next album. However that won’t keep us away from the stage! We have some touring plans as well.
– That has been all, thank you once more for your time. If you now want to add any final words, last lines are yours.
Thanks for the interview, Tania! Everybody get your hands on «Ars Vitae» and follow us on the web at