– Hello Rogga, thanks for taking your time and congrats on your new «Into the Catacombs». To start getting a bit into it; what are your expectations with this new album?
Really, I have no idea what to expect. As usual with Paganizer we´ve had memebr problems and been a bit on ice for a while and just lately we are back again. I hope this album will tell people that this we are back for real.
– And are you satisfied with the final outcome? I personally think you can be enormously proud of it as I think this is one of your best efforts since «Murder Death Kill» or «Dead Unburied». What are your thoughts on this?
We are very satisfied with the outcome! Im happy that you like it as much as some of our older efforts, those albums are my favourites too. especially Dead Unburied I think is a defining album for Paganizer, so that you think this new album is in the same class make me happy indeed.
– I’m curious about the album’s title and also the tune «Into the Catacombs», which was featured on your debut album «Deadbanger». Why did you pick that album’s title and to include that song? Is some kind of nod to the past?
Very much a way to pay homage to our own roots of the band, we love the song and decided to make sort of a cover on our own stuff and also the title was something we felt would be fitting. Its a good title I think, sounds classic and the connection to our own debut made it a bit more fun aswell.
– And does it have something to do with having again the original line-up (with the exception of bass player Anders Brisheim)?
Ofcorpse it does, we were very happy to be playing again and have been talöking memories a lot, so its all soemthing we had fun with and decided would be a cool theme for the new album.
– Honestly, this album has a quality not seen in you since some albums ago, do you know the reason for this? Maybe the line-up changes have had something to do with that?
Yes maybe, or atleast the return of Jocke on drums made it all a bit different than before so it surely made the material sound more exciting and fresh.
– Anyway, how did the return of both Jocke Ringdahl and Andreas Carlsson arise?
Andreas returned in 2009 when we got confirmed for Party San. After the festival though we had to let Fiebig and Patrik go because of some crap like they werent to interested in doing some already almost booked gigs. So then Paganizer as usual was on ice, even though Andreas didnt actually leave the band. After a year or so me and Jocke started to jam again, like we have done during the years now and then, just playing some crust/death stuff for fun. This time though we felt after a while that we maybe should make a new PAganizer album together, the material we had was starting to sound like Paganizer and we just went on and wrote the album and recorded it. After that was done Andreas satrted rehearsing with us again and just before that we also got Anders into the band on bass.
– And what could you say has Anders brought to PAGANIZER?
He plays bass very good haha. He doesnt write music, but hes a great guy and learns stuff faster than most people wich is soething thats very cool when showing him new material.
– I believe this is your most varied album so far; was this something you aimed for?
Not really, we just went ahead and recorded the stuff we had in the rehearsal room. Then in the studio we as usual spewed forth the more crust and grind based stuff. Thast how we have done almost all the times we goes to a studio.
– Did anything change during the songwriting process? Or was this versatility something that just came naturally?
Maybe we used some song idea that we would have not used some years back, or saved for some other project. A song like At the helm of Naglfar is more epic and a song like A bullet in the head for the undead is perhaps a bit different with its melody on the bridge riff. This time we thought, hey lets use these songs anyway and that ofcorpse made the album more full of different parts than maube whats usual for Paganizer.
– «Into the Catacombs» also has ciertan crust details; is this genre an influence to you? Beside this, I think, clear inspiration from bands as DISMEMBER, EDGE OF SANITY or GRAVE.
I have listened to crust as long as Ive listened to death metal, and also played in crust bands from time to time many years ago. So its something thats in my blood for sure, as much as metal is and I like to sue it now and then but in our own way.
– This latest album features less songs than previous «Scandinavian Warmachine» (which I personally think is really positive for the final result) and it also sounds more massive, with more lengthy songs than some of your previous pieces. Do you think this has given the album a more pleasant and entertaining result? Not only for your listener, but also for you as musician and composer.
Maybe you are right, that this time the amount of songs is very good and just about right for an album. On Scandinavian Warmachine we had so much stuff, and just used it all even if we maybe should have deleted a few of them. This time I dont think any of the songs shoudl be deleted, they all fit together and flows very well, and that feels cool for me as amusicians too ofcorpse.
– I also noticed it has more melody. How easy is to keep that balance between brutality and melody, between not loosing your essence but being more dynamic?
The melody in for instance A bullet in the head… is somethign we never use in Paganizer, so this time its a bit of a try out song for us. As for other more melodic parts I think its more a continuation of our usual sound, so it was never really a question that it wouldnt sound brutal enough. I think we managed to keep the Paganizer sound without making it much more melodic than before. we didnt try too hard either, so it came easily I would say.
– Though you have always had plenty distortion and you have always sounded quite thick, this time around I think you have gone a step forward and got a really crushing sound. Is easy to get that kind of sound? As it seems, somehow, Scandinavia’s trademark.
I dont know what to say, we have often just recorded stuff and it comes out this way. Ofcorpse the main sounds is down to the mixer and producer, but we havent in many years had any problem and needed to tell anyone on how to get our sound. This time it was Ronnie at EAP whos done the last few albums, and he managed to get it better than ever before really. I would say its a combination of the bands sound and that we have been working with great epople knowing their stuff when they mix and master our music.
– Artwork this time was crafted by a seasones artist into this matter, Axel Hermann, who has also done covers for bands as UNLEASHED, GRAVE, ASPHYX or MORGOTH among other. Could you please shed some light on this? Why him, what does the artwork represent, how did you work on it, etc.
It was our label Cyclone Empire that came up with the idea to sue Axel Hermann, and we were very happy about it needless to say haha. All he got was the album title and then he created this artwork for us, and its something of the coolest thats been made if you ask me. It toally fits the music, and enhances the listening pleasure aswell. I havent been this happy about an artwork in a while I can tell you haha.
– PAGANIZER, I guess some people by reading the band’s name could think you are a pagan band, both in musical or lyrical terms but, what are some of the lyrical ideas covered in «Into the Catacombs»?
Well we are not religious people, we are as any normal being against that crap. However paganism lays closer to where we are from than anything else really, and I think the band name fits us rather well. The lyrical ideas on the new album has a wide spread actually, but its all basically the usual metal cliches. Theres songs about zombies, heathen gods, post apocalypse and you name it. The usual hard and heavy stuff haha.
– You have played (and are still playing) in many different bands; is it easy to know which riff or structure you should use for each band? As, for example, DEMIURG and PAGANIZER (dispite lyrical ideas) are not that different actually.
All my bands are basically death metal, be it simple or more elaborated stuff. Usually its easy to know where a riff should be used, as I tend to sit down and decide what band Im writing for, but sometimes its hard haha. Lately Ive written a few songs i really dont know what they will end up for, Ribspreader or Paganizer or maybe Demiurg. Time will tell I guess.
– Finally, what are your near-future plans? What can we expect from PAGANIZER from now on? Has this great album recharged your battery?
Some gigs in Sweden have been booked, and some in Germany. we are hoping itll all go well, and then well take it from there. This album and the new old lineup has definetly recharged the old monster that is Paganizer.
– That has been all, thanks once more for your time. if you now want to add some final words, feel free to do it.
Check out the new album! Chances are you will like it : )