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úterý 22. května 2018

Home » » Interview - WOMBBATH - Playing old school death metal falls naturally for us.

Interview - WOMBBATH - Playing old school death metal falls naturally for us.

Interview with legendary Swedish death metal band - WOMBBATH.

Answered Jonny and Håkan.

Translated by Duzl, thank you!

Ave WOMBBATH! I have been listening to your new album "The Freat Desolationl" for some time now and still I am discovering new and new pieces of darkness in it. I must admit that I expected good work from you but I didn´t expect that you were gonna kick so much ass. The album for me really did great. What are the reactions of fans, and what about their reviews? 

Jonny: The reactions has been great so far with stellar reviews, and praise from the fans for the 2 songs we have released from the album so far. 

The album has a classic Swedish sound. Oh, nice, I'll tell you! Still, But I still have to compare it with your first demos, where the sound was even dirtier. How has your created process changed? Time and technical possibilities are different than in the 1990s. 

Jonny: The writing process is bound evolve. Just look at the difference in circumstances, back in the 90s it was teenagers stuck in a sweaty rehearsal room, writing riffs and trying to make them into songs. But over 25 years has passed since and our skills has grown along with studio technology. These days you can make a demo at home, and make sure you have every song just the way you want it before you even enter the studio. Some people might think it takes the spirit out of it all, but I really don’t. When you have the technology to do so, why not make the best damned album you can. 

How does WOMBBATH make new songs? How is the process of creating new material itself? Who is the author of the music? 

Jonny: On “Downfall Rising” Hakan wrote all of the music except for one song that was written by Rickard the original guitarist. While on the new album we write about equal amounts each. We work really well together, and sometimes we think so alike that we almost write the same riff without hearing the other persons riff first. At the same time we add different elements to the songs, which creates a wider dynamic. 

You've always had the wonderful covers of your records. Does it matter a lot on how the album, the cover, look like? Who is the author of the new release "The Great Desolation"? 

Håkan: Nice to hear! Of course it matter in my personal opinion then. The author is there Mr. Sv Bell who aslo painted the cover for Internal Caustic Torments. Excellent man!

Who is the author of the texts and what they are discussing? Where do you get inspiration for themes?

Jonny: The lyrical themes for Wombbath are based on old Swedish folklore. Swedish folklore can be very different depending where in the country the lore originates from, especially ones that originate in Medelpad where I grew up. You can find a lot of these stories in Swedish folk music, and looking at where they found their inspiration, you can find an abundance to draw from. “Underneath the Rotten Soil”, for example, is based on a story about a man who fell in love with a being of the forest. The being tricks him into killing his wife and children, only to drown him in the river at the end. 

A quite common one that exists in all of Scandinavia and even Germany is “näcken” or “nøkk”, which tells the story of water spirits who play enchanted songs on the violin, luring women and children to drown in lakes or streams. As kids we were warned against näcken, as a way of keeping us away from lakes and rivers. My grandad was a “spelman”, which is a folk musician who would travel all over and play for food and drinks. He ignited my interest for old lore, as a lot of the songs he would play would tell a story of creatures both malevolent and helpful.I grew up quite far out in the countryside, so the busses were far apart, and a way to make time pass while waiting was to go to the local library to read about all these old stories. A lot of them were a way of warning people from going into the forest alone, or to go near rivers or moors. Or it could be a way to describe things like nightmares, which were said to be caused by mares — a wolf-like creature that would ride on a person’s chest while they are sleeping, or even take the sleeping’ s souls, to make leave their body at night to haunt the living. So, with Wombbath I try to tell these stories in my own way. I tend to lean towards the malevolent side of things, using fear, pain, and death as the main ingredients.

Only you Håkan remained from the original set. When I look at the Encyclopedia Metallum, the number of musicians who have gone through WOMBBATH is respectable. How do you explain that? 

Håkan: The original line up lost interest, hence the band loosing it's momentum, and when I resurrected the band in 2014, the aim was to record one album with some friends, so it was never intended as a steady lineup. But along the way we had so much fun that it became something much more, a band, something to bring to the stages of the world, and to do that you have to have a steady line up, which we have now. Not everyone is meant for a life of dedication to death metal, but you need it to be able to do what we do 

Like WOMBBATH, you were at the birth of a phenomenon called „Swedish death metal“! I'd ask you to remind us a little. In our country, democracy was born in the nineties, and you were creating something new. How was the 1990s in Sweden? Do you remember how you set up the band? Me and my readers would wonder what it was at the beginning. 

Jonny: Sweden has always been a good breeding ground for culture and music. In the late 70s and early 80s the government made it so that kids could borrow fully equipped rehearsal rooms for free. And I think this aided in creating the Swedish scene. You can actually get a grant for being in a band, and as long as you meet up at least 3 times a week and rehearse, you can get financial aid for equipment and studio time, something that’s been around since the 30s.

Between 1995 and 2014, you have interrupted your activities. Why actually? What was the reason? 

Håkan: In 94/95 or so everything ran out in the sand, keeping it short. After that I had In Thy Dreams til 2001. 2009 I created Skineater , felt like a comeback, writing on my own and it felt great and did come out great! 

In 2013 I recorded a ”modern version” of Silent As The Grave for Pulverised records reissue of ICT. 20 years anniversary and I named the song 20:13 Silence Unveiled. After that in 2014 quickly wrote a bunch of new songs for an ep/album to be released on Pulverised records which felt very good! Short story. I later chose between continuing Skineater or Wombbath. I chose Wombbath and I don’t regret it for a second though I have Skineater as a project now.

You play typical, classic Swedish death metal. You have never been driven from this path, you are "orthodox". Personally, this is one of the reasons why I liked your work, but did you think about to try to play something else, to make WOMBBATH sounds different? 

Jonny: Playing old school death metal falls naturally for us. Even if we draw inspiration from other genres and incorporate other elements to Wombbath, it will still sound old school. We write music that we like to listen to, and I think that is an important part to keep the flame burning. Wombbath will always sound like Wombbath even if we will never repeat the same album twice. 

I have at home your split album "Dragged into the Obscure" with the German REVEL IN FLESH. Both bands have shown a really perfect Swedish job! The record came out on vinyl. Vinyl as a medium has recently returned. The new "The Great Desolation" also comes out on vinyl? What's your relationship with vinyls? Do you collect them? Do you have a large collection? 

Jonny: I love vinyl, the format is very appealing to me. You get a larger format that gives more room to the artwork, and it is something special about owning an album on vinyl. My collection is not as big as I’d like it to be, currently I have about 800 vinyl’s.

We are approaching the end so I would try one more philosophical question. How would you define a style called Swedish death metal? What is this music for you and why did you choose this style? 

Jonny: Take equal parts Repulsion, Terrorizer, Autopsy and mix with Discharge, Napalm Death and throw in some Bolt Thrower and top it off with some Maiden harmonies and you got it. Tune it all down and run it through a Boss HM-2 pedal and you have the perfect foundation. Though Swedish death to me is ever evolving, ever growing. It doesn’t have to be a Dismember or Carnage clone, it can be so much more, and that is what I love about it, and why I think it is one the best subgenre is the world. 

What are the plans for WOMBBATH in the coming months? Will you support the news with a longer tour and also visit us in the Czech Republic? 

Håkan: May 21 we will play at Eradication Festival in Cardiff and the weekend after we are playing at Gamrocken here in Sweden. Those are actually the only booked shows at this time but it would be great to visit Czech for a lot of beer and some music! 

Thank you for your interview, and I wish you a great CD sales, hundreds of crazy fans, and a tons of good ideas. 

We will do our very best! Thanks!

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