čtvrtek 12. července 2018

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Interview - GUTTER INSTINCT - For every day that goes by I gradually lose faith in humanity.

Interview with Swedish death metal band GUTTER INSTINCT.

Answered Oscar Persson.

Translated and questions prepared by Petra, thank you!

Hello, GUTTER INSTINCT! How are you guys? I am listening to your fresh record „Heirs of Sysiphus“ almost tenth time and it is crushing my bones. After the first listening I was afraid whether I will be satisfied, because in comparison with the previous album “Age of the Fanatics” (which I really like) this one is let’s say different. Do you agree? 

OSCAR PERSSON: We are fine, thank you. Hope you are as well. Glad to hear that you like it. Yeah, we think it’s a bit different than Age of the Fanatics. The core old school death metal sound is still present, but now we have wandered even further down the blackened path, a journey we started at Age of the Fanatics, but then it was just an embryo. 

„Heirs of Sysiphus“ is darker, more sophisticated, includes more atmospheric parts, overall it is more “black”, more gloomy and I like it even more than debut right now. 

OSCAR PERSSON: Thanks! And yes, I agree with your description. We wanted to give the core sound a black nuance with the aim to make it darker and as you say, gloomy. 

Probably, it could have connection with a change that occurred at the post of the vocalist. I think Simon’s vocal is more suitable to your blackend part of musical personality. Why did you actually change the vocalist and are you satisfied with him? 

OSCAR PERSSON: Actually, it’s Thomas Ernemyr, our old singer, that growls on Heirs of Sisyphus. Simon joined the band after the recording was finished. I think this misconception is due to an error on Metal Archives because this is not the first time someone thinks that it’s Simon Fridlund on vocals on Heirs of Sisyphus. 

But to answer your question – Thomas simply didn’t have the time to make the effort that is required as a singer in Gutter Instinct, therefore he decided to leave the band. But it was all on good terms and a mutual decision, so there’s absolutely no bad blood between us and Thomas.

Yes, we are very satisfied with Simon Fridlund. He has a more shrieking sound to his voice, not the deep growl character. This will take our sound even deeper into the black metal dimension and I think many listeners will be surprised by how aggressive this will be. 

What inspires and encourages you to make such dark and gloomy music? Do you have to have a “bad state of mind” when composing music, does the emotional mood play some role in the process? 

OSCAR PERSSON: Simply put: The pain of life. And the state our world is in. For every day that goes by I gradually lose faith in humanity. I can’t watch the news, be on Facebook etc. without being angry with all the stupidity. If I’m going to make a list of things that pisses me off it would take up this whole interview but in general it’s corporate greed, capitalism, religion and politicians acting like children. 

And yes, this puts me in a bad state of mind. And one of the reasons I play in Gutter Instinct is to release all these feelings into the music, so I don’t have to be pissed off all the time. Gutter Instinct as a valve of hate and anger is the fuel that keeps Gutter Instinct going. 

Your inspiration by Swedish HM-2 death metal is obvious, partly also by some American death style. However, where do you take inspiration for your black/ritual side of music? Which black metal bands represent the black metal according to you. Raw Norwegian bands or Venom or for example Deathspell Omega?

OSCAR PERSSON: We draw a lot of inspiration from blackened Death Metal. Teitanblood, Black Witchery, Grave Miasma to mention a few examples. But also, bands that are pure Black Metal - Katharsis, Svartidauði and Marduk. Cult of Fire and Inferno from your country is also a huge inspiration. But since our core sound is Death Metal and we only use the inspiration from these bands to color the sound, not to change it completely, I think most listeners don’t notice this. Especially in the case of Cult of Fire, while it’s maybe more obvious in the case of Black Witchery. 

What about the title of the album. What do you mean by Heirs of Sysiphus? Are these heirs actually all people doing over and over again something futile? Tell our readers about the overall album concept. 

OSCAR PERSSON: Yes, we are all the heirs of Sisyphus. Just as Sisyphus was condemned to push that giant boulder up the hill, just to have it fall all the way back down again for all eternity, the human race is also condemned to make the same mistakes over and over again. History repeats itself, and it all goes in circles. That’s a basic summary of the concept. 

What about your cooperation with Dávid Glomba, our Slovak artist? Which his work has convinced you to pick exactly him? Concerning the new cover art, what was first? The painting or the title and concept of the album? Did you offer him some your ideas, concept, expectations or you provided him a “free hand”? 

OSCAR PERSSON: Since we are die hard fans of Cult of Fire and Inferno, we saw his artwork on their records and we were blown away. He really is a true artist. The concept came first. I sent him the lyrics and a few ideas of what we wanted, and he created the artwork and made his own interpretation from my ideas. So, it was a mixture of a finished concept and a “free hand”. We where very pleased with the result, as always. 

Ok guys, I think it was enough talking about the new record. Let’s switch to another topic. How do you remember your beginnings, when did you decide that you want to play some instrument and do music? Which your favorite bands were the biggest inspiration for this? 

OSCAR PERSSON: Like many kids of my generation (I was born in 1984) Metallica was the starting point. I listened to them a lot in my younger years and they were the reason I wanted to pick up the guitar. But since thrash was too advanced for me to play in the beginning, me and Hannes started out playing garage punk in our early teens. Then we discovered bands like Sepultura, Pantera and Cannibal Corpse and it all evolved to what you can hear today in Gutter Instinct. 

In your free time, do you prefer death metal or generally metal or do you like also other kind of music? What influences you the most?

OSCAR PERSSON: I prefer metal but I also like other genres. Mostly guitar-based music though. Old stuff like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix. But also alternative rock like Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead etc., and newer bands like Nothing (shoegaze, postrock). I also listen to early Pearl Jam, Nirvana and especially Alice in Chains. Other than that, I appreciate blues and every now and then I can listen to electronic music, but I’m very picky when it comes to this. I basically only like a few songs by The Prodigy and Aphex Twin. 

I am very curious, whether you have some unusual hobby in your free time? I am sure that you don’t play the instruments all the time. What are actually your jobs in a regular life?

OSCAR PERSSON: I like lifting weights at the gym but also go for long walks listening to podcasts. This is something I have really gotten into lately. Mostly music podcasts but also philosophical/intellectual podcasts like for example Waking Up with Sam Harris. Watching documentaries and reading is also another hobby of mine. 

For now, I work as a process operator at a chemical factory, but I have a background as a journalist and right now I’m studying to work with communication in some form in the near future. 

And what about concerts, are you planning a tour to support a new record? I really like to visit your concert.

OSCAR PERSSON: We would really like to tour, but it’s hard to get your foot into that world. We would like to work with a booking agency to book more shows. This is the main goal right now. If there are any promoters or booking agencies reading this, feel free to contact us at

We are going to play at a festival here in Sweden in Linköping in September called Roars From Below, where we are going to play alongside Nifelheim, This Gift Is A Curse, among others. 

Is some festival, specific place, where you would like to play or some favorite bands, with which you would like to play on the stage?

OSCAR PERSSON: There are a lot of underground festivals where we want to play. Netherland Deathfest, Killtown Deathfest in Denmark, Roadburn, Never Surrender Fest in Berlin are the ones I can come to think of at the top of my head, but there are a lot of great festivals of this kind around Europe. It would be an honor to share the stage with any of the bands I have mentioned previously in this interview. 

Thank you very much for the interview. I wish you many successful concerts, happy and satisfied fans and many sold albums. I am looking forward for one of your show; I hope you will also visit Czech Republic and Slovakia. 

OSCAR PERSSON: Thank you for your support!


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