pondělí 19. listopadu 2018

Home » » Interview - FERAL - We love death metal, and that is not going to change!

Interview - FERAL - We love death metal, and that is not going to change!

Interview with death metal band from Sweden - FERAL.

Answered by vocalist David Nilsson.

Translated by Petra, thank you!

Recenze/review - FERAL - Flesh For Funerals Eternal (2018)

Ave FERAL! I haven’t found any interview in the Czech language with you, yet. So please, first introduce the band to our readers who don’t know you. You could start from the early beginnings and describe the whole FERAL history. 

Hey Jakub! You might be right. I do believe we were interviewed once after a show in Prague, but I am not sure if it was ever published anywhere. Well, it all started off with me (David) and Viktor about 15 years ago. Back then we lived in a small town in the interior of northern Sweden, and being among the few who actually liked metal there we didn’t really have the means to form a “real” band. So we started playing around with a drum machine and recording a very rough, and bad, demo. We masked our bad playing with humor and didn’t really take anything serious. I would say things really got started when we moved to the town of Skellefteå and found a complete line-up so that we could start rehearsing, which we actually still did in the small town about and hours’ drive inland, in an old barn where had to keep a fire going in the winter in order to keep the heat. At this point we started playing local shows and recording more professional demos, I’d say we got our first boost when we were featured on the “Resurrected in Festering Slime” compilation LP and played the small festival in Stockholm that promoted its release, as well as the “House of Metal” festival in north Sweden in 2008. We were then offered to tour Europe for the first time in 2009 alongside Master, which was the first time we played in The Czech Republic actually. When we got back from that tour we recorded the “Welcome to the Graveyard” demo, which gave us another boost and all of those tracks ended up on our debut album as well. A lot of those songs are still popular at live shows. This demo caught the attention of John McEntee from Incantation, who offered to release our first album in 2011 on his label “Ibex Moon Records”. We followed that up with another European tour along with our mates in Demonical and Arroganz. The years between 2011 and 2015 were kind of slow though, as we had some problems with the lineup. We eventually found a new drummer in Roger Markström, who used to play with Armagedda back in the day and we decided to continue with Markus as the sole guitarist. Our second album, and following EP, was released through Cyclone Empire in 2015 and 2016, and things started picking up the pace again. We are now signed to Transcending Obscurity Records, and are very happy about it! Sebastian Lejon has joined our ranks as a second guitarist and the new album “Flesh for Funerals Eternal” should be a good testimony of where the band stands right now. 

I’m just listening to your new record „Flesh for Funerals Eternal,“ and I feel like as if I am closed in some tomb together with DISMEMBER, NIHILIST, ENTRAILS, and INTERMENT. The record has a great Swedish sound. Where did you record it and how satisfied you are with it? Did you have the "last word" concerning the resulting sound? 

Thanks! We recorded the drums along with our ex-guitarist Petter Nilsson, who owns and operates a studio in Gothenburg called “Sonner Produktion”. The actual recording was done up here in the north though. Bass, guitars and vocals were recorded in our own studio and then sent to Petter in Gothenburg for mixing and mastering, he really deserves all the credit for the sound. We are extremely happy about it, Petter did a great job! We wanted to mix the best parts of the sound on our previous albums and have it a bit dirtier and rawer, which I really think we pulled off. We had the final word in the mix. I guess that if the label would have thought that it sounded terrible they would have probably told us, but we have the right, and full control, to do whatever we feel is right. We will continue working with Petter as long as he is willing to, as we have a great work dynamic with him and the result is better each time, even when you think there is no improvement to be made. 

How was the new material for album „Flesh for Funerals Eternal“ created? How exactly FERAL writes the music? 

We always start off writing the material individually, or maybe in pairs in some cases. I might ask Viktor or Markus to help out finishing up a track that I’ve been working on if I get stuck myself, and they might ask me for help. But it is largely an individual process. We then record a rough demo of it, which we share with the rest of the band so that they can practice the track at home before we start working on it together in the rehearsal room. So the track is basically finished before all members have even heard it, but we make a lot of changes to it when we start playing it together. Most of the songs on the new album we have played for over a year before we felt that they are completely done. I’d say that tweaking and changing the track in the rehearsal room is probably the most important part of the process, because it is there where you come up with the small variations and stuff that makes the song really feel like something extra. There is a lot of that stuff on the new album, things going on in the background that you might not hear the first time listening to it. All members of the band has an input, and we are lucky that most of us write material as well. So there is a good mix of tracks from different viewpoints. 

„Flesh for Funerals Eternal“ has dark and morbid cover art. Who is an author? I really like his work. How did you actually choose the idea of the cover and what exactly illustrates? 

The art is done by Costin Chioreanu of Twilight13Media, a very talented guy indeed! He has worked with us since the release of our second album and really gets what we are looking for in cover art. We actually give him free hands to do whatever he sees right, after all he is the one who knows what he is doing. The best art is made without restrictions, and it wouldn’t make sense for us to dictate his work when he is the guys with the talent. As little as it would be for us to let someone dictate what kind of music we should write. What we do is that we send Costin a track that we would like to use as the concept of the album, along with the lyrics, in this instance “Flesh for Funerals Eternal” is a line from the track “Stygian Void”. He then uses this as a base for what to illustrate without any further guidance from us. I think he gets it spot-on each time, the twisted mass of flesh, faces, hands and gravestones embodies the title “Flesh for Funerals Eternal” perfectly. I just got our copies of the LP and it looks even better in real life! There are some extra illustrations on the inside of the cover as well that you won’t see until you have it in your hands, and the look just as good as well. 

Could you reveal us who is an author of the lyrics and what is their background? Where did you take inspiration for certain topics? 

90% of the lyrics are written by myself, with the exception this time being “Buried” which was written by Viktor. Most lyrics are usually from my own imagination, almost like my personal “ghost stories” you could say. Tracks like “Vaults of Undead Horror” and “Black Coven Secrets” are good examples of those. But there is some stuff in there that are based on history or mythology also, for example “Accursed” or “Stygian Void”, as well as the classic Lovecraft-topic in “Horrendous Sight”. If I am inspired by another authors work I usually thank them in the thanks-list in the booklet, this time I believe it was the aforementioned H.P. Lovecraft and also Maurice Druon, for his book series “The Accursed Kings”. I rarely get asked about the lyrics, so it’s fun for me to talk about! I am constantly on the lookout for weird stories or novels to be inspired by, and I am liking the historical themes a lot currently so there might be more of those in the future. As much as I like Lovecraft I am trying to reduce the number of lyrics inspired by him since I feel that there has always been a lot of bands doing that. 

The new album was released by Transcending Obscurity Records. This label has a very good name in the underground scene and does a very good job. However, didn't you want to release a record in some bigger label? Did you ask some other label? How you are actually satisfied with Transcending Obscurity Records? 

So far Transcending Obscurity Records have been great to us! I guess the real test comes now with the release of the album, but I have a lot of confidence in them doing a good job with the release. We were actually contacted by a couple of labels leading up to the release of this album, some that we ruled out straight away, but some that we had to take some real consideration to. We went with Transcending Obscurity because they came highly recommended by other bands and because there is a lot of freedom that comes along with working with a smaller label. Some of the other contracts we looked at from bigger labels had rules about how many years we were allowed to have between albums and rules regarding the sound. Meaning that we would have to put out an album we weren’t satisfied with just to fill a deadline, even if we felt that we needed another year to write stronger material. And something to that has to be said about Transcending Obscurity as well is that they are actually growing and improving, that’s not something that can be said about many underground labels at the moment. Most of them are struggling quite hard. 

You play typical, classical Swedish old school death metal. You have never changed the direction, you are let's say „orthodox“. Personally, this is one reason why I like your music so much. But, didn’t you think about try to play something different, somehow to make the FERAL music more unusual? 

I’d say were actually get a little less “typical” with each release, but of course we are still an unmistakable Swedish death metal band. I think we have really found our formula at this point, and found a way to incorporate all our influences in a way that still works with Feral’s musical concept. Beyond death metal we have a lot of influences from thrash, but also stuff like doom metal or even heavy metal and rock music. But when it’s all been put through our process it comes out as a Feral song. I wouldn’t change style just for the sole purpose of standing out, but we sure try to make our brand of Swedish death metal as interesting as possible by using a lot of different ideas. We fucking love death metal, and that is not going to change. 

When I look through your albums, you really made a long journey. It is obvious that you as a band are still working on yourself. How often do you rehearsal together? Are you a "hard-working" band, which practices regularly or are you more „punk“ in the rehearsal task? 

We actually try to rehearse once a week. That’s not always the case, but in general I would say that we rehearse three times a month at least. We’re all family men with fulltime jobs so it’s not always easy to get together for rehearsal, but as long as you are a bit flexible it usually works out quite well. As I said earlier, we rehearse a lot before entering the studio, and work on the songs in the rehearsal space, but also before shows we meet up and play through the setlist several times in order to be in such a good shape as possible. The guys in the band are some of my best friends as well, so it’s great to have a reason to meet regularly! 

In the case of your band, it is very good to see your development, each album is better, and you are also gradually better and better musicians. Do you have some goal, which you would like to achieve? Someone wants to release an album with a large label; other wants to play on one stage with some famous band. What about you? 

Thank a lot! My personal goal is for the band to continue to improve, hopefully our best album is still in the future. But what I hope to see that „Flesh for Funerals Eternal“ will open some new doors for us. Be it playing some larger shows or festivals abroad or just gaining a larger recogition would be really cool. Mainly I hope that we have long career in front of us. 

Can you recommend some new albums, which impressed you at the latest time? 

Revel in Flesh put out a great compilation of their splits and singles lately, it’s great to have all of them collected in one place. It’s really like a new full length album if you didn’t have all of them already. I’ve also heard very good things about Runemagicks comeback album “Evoked from Abysmal Sleep”, I’m hoping to receive my copy soon. But I really liked the tracks that were released beforehand. It would also be a shame if I didn’t mention our label mates in Crawl, their new album “Rituals” is fantastic! Pure d-beat crust death that really packs a punch, it’s short and very brutal. 

Do you know and listen to some metal bands from the Czech Republic? 

Mainly Master actually, I’ve been following them since we toured together in 2009, I know they are from the US originally but I think it counts as Czech at this point. Also Brutally Deceased opened for us at a show in Prague once and I really liked their stuff! 

We are slowly approaching the end of the interview so I would like to ask one more philosophical question. How would you define the Swedish death metal style? What represents this music for you and why did you choose exactly this genre? 

I’d describe Swedish death metal as a punkier, or rockier, form of death metal in my opinion. I think it is a whole lot freer than other forms of death metal, as in that you can get away with more variation with everything from grinding blastbeats to groovier parts. It’s raw, it’s untamed and there are less strict rules to it. The genre came to us quite naturally, we actually didn’t set out to play it in the beginning. We were more into old school black metal, like Bathory and Venom, but slowly grew into Swedish death metal without really knowing anything about it. 

What FERAL is planning for the next few months? 

Right now we’re hard at work with promoting the album. Interviews, reviews and all that stuff. In early December we are going to host a big release party in our hometown, where we will play the whole album from start to finish as well as and additional set with a couple of covers for fun. We did the same thing last time we released an album and it was great! After that we don’t really know what 2019 has in store for us, but we have been talking to a couple of promotors and hopefully we will have some cool shows to announce further on. 

Thank you for the interview and I wish you a lot of sold CDs, hundreds of crazy fans and tons of great ideas. 

Thank you very much as well, I hope we will return to Czech Republic soon!



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