‘sweven the eternal resonance’

SWEVEN

¿Os acordáis de MORBUS CHRON? ¿Y de su segundo «Sweven»? Fue una obvia evolución hacia terrenos desconocidos en comparación con su debut, pero no tanto con el EP. Y, ¿os habéis preguntado alguna vez qué hubiera pasado si hubieran seguido? Pues seguramente habrían editado algo parecido a «The Eternal Resonance», el primer disco de SWEVEN (solo el nombre ya da pistas…). El nuevo proyecto de Robert Andersson retoma ese componente onírico y nos vuelve a sumir en un viaje con las raíces en el Death Metal pero indagando cada vez más en caminos inciertos, prácticamente inexplorados. ¿El objetivo? Despertar en el oyente una reacción visceral, a través de contrastes, estructuras singulares y esa sensación de que las cosas son más complejas de lo que realmente son que plasman con estructuras y tempos extraños. El propio Robert nos habla sobre el nacimiento de este nuevo proyecto y su álbum debut.

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SWEVEN (EN)

– Hello and first of all, thank you so much for answering to our interview. And tell us, how is the band currently doing being about to release your debut album?
After working on this album for such a long time it feels liberating. Happy that the cat’s out of the bag. There has been an extreme build up of frustration and anger throughout this project and it’s good to be able to relieve some of the pressure.

-How did you find and why did you choose Isak and Jesper to work with you in SWEVEN?
Isak played live guitar with Morbus Chron at the end. He’s a very dedicated person and a fantastic guitarist. I knew he would be more than capable to play the material. He’s a far better guitarist than I am and it’s been exciting to put that to good use. Jesper I’ve known for a longer time as well and it’s a joy to play with him. A natural talent when it comes to understanding the music and making it his own.

-«The Eternal Resonance» was going to be the third MORBUS CHRON’s album. Why didn’t it happen? In what moment do you decide you are going to do something with this material after several years?
Creative differences. The core of the band, Edvin and I, didn’t agree on the band’s future direction. At the time I didn’t have a clear picture of this album yet, but I knew that I wanted to go further into stranger territories. He felt he had reached his limits. There really was no bad blood, quite the opposite actually. Just two comrades realising that they didn’t share the same goal anymore. We were both very proud of the band and what we had accomplished. It was a good time to lay things to rest.
The material for this album was in the works for a long time. It’s not recently that I decided to do something with it. For different reasons things just took a lot longer than planned.

-In fact «Sweven» was the second album by MORBUS CHRON, an album that saw a huge music evolution if compared to «Sleepers in the Rift». What significance does naming your project like this hold?
I learned a lot about myself and my musical aspirations when dong that album. Things clicked in a way that they hadn’t before. Music became a much more serious endeavour. When the time came to form this new band there were no other names considered. In different ways the word describes a lot of my musical journey, personality and outlook on things.

-And what did that album mean to you?
Like I said, it had a big impact. It cemented the fact that I needed to make music in some form or another. At the time I had never before experienced such a, for the lack of a better word, spiritual payoff as when writing and recording Sweven.

-MORBUS CHRON always had a somehow dreamlike component that expands to this album. How do you represent this through SWEVEN’s sound and imagery?
I think it comes through naturally at this point. It’s not intentional. Music is a way for me to disembody myself and float away for a while. It then follows logically that the music takes the form of those themes. When I listen back to a riff or a melody I’m looking for a certain emotional response. If I find it, I know I’m on the right track. Raul has always been able to very closely replicate that same feeling in his artwork. Glad to have had him onboard for this project as well.

-This being said, what is SWEVEN and its music to you? Musically, is it still Death Metal or are you past that?
It’s the music that comes out when I allow myself to do exactly what I want. The album Sweven was a result of the same mentality. For each release the boundaries get pushed back further. In a way I still live under this impression that I play Death Metal. It’s just deeply rooted in me. But I realise that I’ve strayed far from the treaded path. It’s hard to call it anything at this point. Who cares at the end of the day?

-And what does inspire you? Not just musically.
What most inspires me is probably the creative process itself. Sometimes you’re struck by inspiration and the tap just opens. For me though, most of the time inspiration is something that I have to force a bit. Lure out if you will. You start doing something and it’s absolute garbage, but eventually things start sounding better. It also helps to be in an environment where you feel at ease. For me retreats into nature and to calmer places can become sparks of inspiration and aid in the process.

-«The Eternal Resonance» isn’t too different to «Sweven» (the album). Feels like a natural evolution, perfected in some ways, or more developed, broader. Is this the music that best defines you? The sound that really represents you? Or is this something impossible to obtain?
Yes, the two albums are related in many ways. The Eternal Resonance is the closest representation I’ve been able to muster, so far at least. The next album will hopefully come closer. I’ll never be satisfied, that I’m sure of. So it’s both a curse and a blessing. Anyone pursuing their passion knows the struggle.

-The vocal sound and usage reminds me to that album too. How do you approach your vocals and what role do they fulfill? They feel like another instrument. They’re just integrated in the sound and atmosphere rather than corrupting it.
I’m happy to hear that. My general approach to the vocals is to only add them in when I feel that the music benefits from it. So it’s really not that different from adding any other instrument. Still I see them as one of the strongest tools at my disposal. Mostly for the untamed and savage element they bring, but also of course having the option to tell a story through the lyrics is still important.

-You build here a very specifical imagery, turning «The Eternal Resonance» into a very visual album. How is this developed? Do you throw an idea and then build all the other elements (sound, lyrics, art…) around it? How is that process like?
As I said before, when I write music I’m after a certain visceral reaction. If we’re on the same wavelenght you might have a similar response. The music, lyrics and the visual concepts, they all come from at least neighbouring places in me. So there is a natural coherence born into each part. I think it’s a bit harder to achieve that if you have different wills and visions to take into consideration.

-Again the cover artwork was created by Raúl González and, as I said, feels like part of something bigger so would you mind to shed some light on what’s the link between the lyrics, sound and artwork and what do they deal with?
There is a poem in the album layout that laid as a foundation for the concept. It’s about a moment of creative bliss and diving into a state of flow. Becoming one with your task at hand and lose track of your surroundings. Resonating with something larger for a while. I wanted Raul to illustrate one of those occasions. Those flow states were of course important or there wouldn’t have been much music to talk about. But also on a personal level they’ve become absolutely necessary for my well being.

-In fact this album is coming out with Ván Records, a record label that always presents very well-cared packages. How did this cooperation born? Specially after having worked with a more «mainstream» label such as Century Media.
I was actually introduced to Sven and Ván Records by Philipp Schulte – our main contact at Century Media. I wrote to Philipp around the time that Morbus Chron called it quits and explained that I had plans on continuing in some form. He put Sven and I in contact and it felt like a good match from the start. It’s a smaller label which mean things are a bit simpler. It suits me well.

-All this about «The Eternal Resonance» being said; how would you describe it in just 3 words?
Very sincere music.

-And before we wrap this interview up, what are now your near-future plans? What’s the next step for SWEVEN?
We’ll see what comes up. Probably getting back in the saddle soon. The music won’t write itself.

That’s all from our side, thank you once more for answering our interview. If you’d like to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thanks for the interview! All the best to you.

Tania Giménez
tania@queensofsteel.com

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