-You are about to release your fourth album, which is quite a landmark. How are you feeling about it? Specially after these weird months.
It’s nice. It’s nice to finally have a new album out because it have been like 3 years since the last one. But it’s kind of frustrating because you can’t really do anything. You can’t go anywhere, you can’t play any shows… All you can do is just refresh your browser on YouTube and look at the views (laughs). Which is stupid. But it’s nice, with this day and age you can follow how many streams you have on Spotify and you can actually see what kind of people is listening to your music just from stuff like that. So that’s kind of rewarding in one way.
-Yeah, I guess.
But I really miss just, you know, being out there rocking people’s faces. ‘Cos that’s what it’s about.
-I agree. Anyway you kind of did that “show” at the Isolation Festival, on streaming. How do you feel doing something like this? You know, playing some kind of a show with no people and through the Internet. I mean it must be weird.
(laughs) It is, it is! It’s sad! It’s like not having any friends (laughs). It’s like you’re that guy who doesn’t have any friends but you use to do pretty good on your own. But at least you’re rocking out with your friends, but you get no feedback, so when the song it’s done all you can hear is the ringing in the ear. It’s awkward, but it’s something. It’s more fun when there’s people actually watching it. We’ve played these songs a thousand times, so if you don’t get any feedback, you know, someone yelling at your face, you don’t know if you’re doing it right or if you’re doing it wrong. So it’s weird.
-I can imagine. So well, the new album is “Surrender”. What’s the significance behind the album’s title?
There can be many. Maybe surrender to the rockness. Surrender to the depressing topics that I’m singing about. Surrender to that sadness that you feel whenever you think about the stupid things that you don’t like. Also it sounds cool. It’s always good to name your albums or your songs with titles that sound classic (laughs). It needs to sound good.
-And well, as you said the album is sad, is more hopeless both in the feeling as in the lyrics. But I believe that this creates some kind of contrast with the upbeat and catchy songs. Is this something you strive for, to build this kind of balance or contrast?
Yeah, I actually try to mix the songs; a bit snappy if they have… Like the songs with the most depressing topics they’re usually in major key, and then if it gets too hopeless, then maybe we sometimes kind of up the tempo a bit. I think about these things. If someone else asked me why do I write about these things, about you know, things that are terrible and bad, that make me angry, or sad songs… Maybe it has to do with me listening to Americana and sad grown men with guitars. I just like sad songs. And I try to make our sad songs at least not be depressing (laughs), so why not make it snappy?
-In fact it’s a pretty accesible album, and catchy as I said, as always. It’s really easy to listen to, so would you say it’s easy to write easy-listening songs?
I have a hard time writing songs nowadays. I do it with a sort of panic and frustration, and a lot of anxiety, so I don’t really know what the working process is apart from me just staying up really late, like the night before rehearsals or something. It’s just such a weird thing to come up with a melody and then a song… As a concept, because it’s abstract. If you paint a painting you can just look at the lines and tell “that’s not straight” or “that’s not yellow enough”, but if you’re doing a song you have to take in the whole thing with the length and the time and what just happened before… I don’t know. To me it’s just weird. I don’t know how I do it (laughs).
-It flows I guess.
Yeah, well, a lot of anxiety. It’s like an itch and you have to scratch it.
-Well, we were talking about the sad songs, and once again you deal with some social issues, and this time you touch certain themes that could have perfectly been written during these last months with this kind of dystopian feeling or somehow questioning authority. So you basically sing about things that are going wrong in the world. What are some of these things going wrong in the world right now that you touch on this album?
I think that what made me write the song “Authority” was that I saw people – and I still do all the time – that do not question authority, they just take for granted that someone in a position is authomatically right. Like a law is correct just because is the law. Or that a border is supposed to be there just because someone says so. And it’s so common for grown people to to not really question everything… Which I think it’s just some sort of laziness. Mental laziness. Because a lot of people I think were pissed off as kids and then they conform and just, you know, give in to this sort of convenient, passive well-being. And that’s frustrating. And also you know what was going on in Hong Kong? That was a big deal. And now it’s the same in America. South America was before that. Yeah, stuff like that really pisses me off. And if I get depressed from reading about it at least if I write a good song about it, something good came from it. So it’s sort of a mental well-being thing for me to just deal with all the things that are insane.
-So what’s DEAD LORD for you? I mean is it like a way to vent and let some of these things that piss you off out or…?
I would say it’s my voice you know, it’s my way of being able to just stand up and say “hey, look at this”. As long as one person has started to think about things from hearing a lyric it’d have been worth it. It started out as me wanting to vent things, but now it’s just like this thing that… You know it’s our fourth album and we have a kind of obligation to the people who showed up to every show since we started and to actually give them an album. So it’s like we created a sort of little cute monster and now that monster is just kicking our butts around. Which feels nice for the most part but it can be really exhausting making everything work with bandmates and play shows and whatnot. But it’s fun. Once it stops being fun I’d stop doing it.
-It’s fun but is it easy to form a band from scratch and keep it going forward for four albums? Or are there times when you feel like giving up?
Starting a band like a 20 years old – I was a kid -, I think it’s easier because then you just go for it. You’re convinced that you can take all the world and whatever you want to. I think you need that for starting a band, that sort of conquer the world vibe, and if you just enjoy yourself enough while doing everything that is supposed to be hard work, it doesn’t really feel like hard work. And if you actually can communicate and talk with the bandmates, like actually communicate, it’s way easier. It’s like with everything, the trick is always people, you can’t really tell who’s gonna work with who and who’s not gonna… You know, it’s like having 3 boyfriends.
-(laughs). In fact you now have new blood with Ryan in the band. How did everything go? How has he fitted in?
It’s been alright, we recorded some extra material for the CD version of the album with him. He isn’t on the album because he came here a bit late since he had been getting a passport, because he’s half Irish, so he wanted his European passport, and so did everyone else now that the UK exited the EU. So yeah, he showed up and everything was nice and we were super stoked, we started rehearsing and then the virus came (laughs), no shows… So he had to go back to Australia and he’s probably sitting there waiting for this thing to blow by so we can get out and play. Maybe we’ll do an Australian tour. I hope to. He’s a great guy and a kickass bass player. And it’s super nice to have someone from Australia in the band, because he has different views on things. And we just have a blast with him.
-That’s interesting. I read something, I think it was on the promo sheet of the album, and someone in the band stated that “the mission with Surrender was, and still is, to prove that we’re willing and capable to make the best album we have made to date”. Do you really think this is your best album to date? Because I mean, every band says about their new album that it’s the best. I guess when the album is just out or is about to be released you really think so but when times goes by, do you still regard the newest record as the best one?
(laughs) Yeah, well, that’s what you set out to do, right? You always wanna top the last album. But for some reason everyone always likes the first album the best when it comes to the fans. In my mind you know, it actually is the best we came up with. To me the songs are DEAD LORD songs but the production is on another level with this album. That’s what really stands out in my mind.
-So is this your favourite DEAD LORD album?
Yes, and it was the most anxiety feel to come up with, because we wanted it to be deeper and I had to figure out the bass playing and the guitar playing and Martin would switch back and forth between guitars and bass on different songs. So when we rehearsed we basically didn’t really know how the songs sounded because we would either play it with 1 guitar and 1 bass and drums or we’d played it with no bass, 2 guitars and drums. And also no vocals, because I tend to write the vocals – like the lyrics – just the night before we go into the studio (laughs). Some songs were finished when it was time to record them. So it’s like a running with a blindfold kind of process. But that made it even more rewarding when it was done because it was like an emotional rollercoaster; one day in the studio I’d think “what a sucky musician” and then the next day I’d be like “alright! This is coming together! Might actually rock someone’s face!”. So yeah.
-So the reharsals were different but was the songwriting process different too or was it the same?
It was nice that I wrote all the songs, which makes it for me a bit easier to come up with lyrics. It’s easier to write the lyrics if you write the songs yourself, or at least that’s how I feel about it. That gave me some sort of mental stability. But it’s just chaos. It’s just panic, chaos and anxiety when I write songs (laughs). It sounds really depressing but I don’t know, it’s like they write themselves the night before they need to be done.
-Anyway despite having sad songs I think sense of humour is one of the trademarks of the band so to speak. Is it like a way to bring some balance? Or is it just who you are and you just try to have fun?
It’s a way to cope. If you look at the world and at all the sadness that’s going on and you don’t have that sort of sense of humour that you can laugh with your friends about it or make something funny with it, then you just collapse and die. It’s fun. It’s nice to try have a big laugh at times. Also “Spinal Tap” is a big influence (laughs). Maybe it’s a bit of that too.
-(laughs) I could have guessed. Well, something that really caught my attention from the new album is the cover, since it’s quite different to the artworks you have had on your previous records. I would like you to explain a little bit the idea, the meaning or how did you work on it.
It was the night before deadline (laughs). I had been out buying a lot of colors, paint, etc. to actually draw something. I was sitting maybe for a week until that time trying to figure something out. And then for some reason it ended being a digital thing and that was what came out. In my mind it’s a dude with a suit that gave his mind up a long time ago and the substitute to that mind I thought smoke maybe would be cool. And why not make it green? Because that’s… cool, right? (laughs). It’s like shaking a box of ideas and then see what comes out. When it’s like 5 AM and you’re still up you don’t have much capacity to think about things, you just go in that sort of mental tramps. And then you send it to your bandmates and hopefully they like it. I usually have a rule that goes for songs too; if Adam likes it, then it’s probably enough.
-I think the cover turned out good, it’s very unsual, which makes it attention-grabbing, but it’s also open to interpretations.
Yes, and it also has something which is my golden rule when designing things; it should look like a classic album from the past. Classic.
-Yeah, it does. Well, this about your new album “Surrender” being said; how would you describe it with just 3 words?
Very fuckin’ rocking.
-(laugh). Great, great, pretty accurate. You are a band that has played live a lot. I’ve seen you live several times and you give the feeling of being a bunch of friends having fun and putting out a party on stage. Do you think DEAD LORD belongs to the stage?
Yeah, that’s why we started playing and that’s why it’s so frustrating now, like we set this thing looking into a camera and playing our songs… You don’t get anything from that as a band. We’re in it to have fun. And if you’re having fun and make people happy, then that’s great. So yeah, we really want to get out and play as soon as we can. Hopefully this fall. Let’s see. I wanna see sweaty drunk people yelling at my face for an hour.
-Do you have any ideas of maybe when will you be able to play perhaps in Sweden or something like that?
I don’t know, we’ll try to have a release party or something this fall, but the plans we had so far like some festivals have been postponed until next year as they were supposed to happen this year, as well as the tour with LUCIFER. I’ll try to book as much as we can, but there’ll probably be like a traffic jam with all bands coming out, but we’ll see how the venues…
-Everything is very uncertain at the moment.
-So what are your plans now? I mean not being able to tour and with the promotion of the album but… What can you do? Internet?
(laughs). Yeah, I guess write the next album. This would be a good time to actually write the next album (laughs). We’ll try to have something released before going on tour next year. We were thinking about maybe an EP of some sort. Maybe some more cover songs. Some tracks that didn’t make it in the album. We’ll try to keep it up with that. And also we have one more music video to finish. So we’re keeping somewhat busy. A lot of e-mails have been sent, which is a big part of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
-(laughs). Now that you said that, do you have any covers recorded? Or any covers in mind for a release?
We have the two covers on the bonus version of the CD, a Rory Gallagher one and Moon Martin. We also demoed some of the 70’s more progressive songs that we like. So we have some things recorded that we think we’d maybe do something with. Maybe a Blondie song would be nice.
-So that would be all, but if you’d like to add some final words, something you’d like to stress or something I forgot…
Just to all metalheads down there, wash your hands and bang your heads.