pátek 18. prosince 2020

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Interview - DESOLATOR - Humanity and our lives are insignificant in the large universe we inhabit.

Interview with death metal band from Sweden - DESOLATOR.

Answered Jonas Bergkvist, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - DESOLATOR - Sermon of Apathy (2020):

Ave DESOLATOR! I’m just listening to your new record „Sermon of Apathy“, and I feel like as if I am closed in some tomb together with DISMEMBER, NIHILIST, ENTRAILS a INTERMENT, MORGOTH, SINISTER, IMMOLATION. The record has a great sound. Where did you record it and how satisfied you are with it? Did you have the "last word" concerning the resulting sound? 

Jonas: We recorded the drums at Wing Studios with Sverker Widgren. Getting a great sounding and high wuality drum recording is esential for any album to sound good so we went all out and recorded the drums in the best studio we could afford. The rest we recorded ourselves, the guitars, bass and vocals. The album was mixed and mastered by Jari Lindholm who me and Stefan has worked with before in Soliloquium with great result. So we knew he would make our album sound great. Jari is also very easy to work with and we had input and communication throughout the whole process. I think I can speak for all of us when I say we are extremely satisfied with this album. 

How was the new material for album „Sermon of Apathy“ created? How exactly DESOLATOR writes the music? 

Jonas: Stefan is the one who writes most of the music; the riffs, the leads etc. Then we often play around with his ideas in the rehersal space and work together on the song arrangements. The process is a little bit different from song to song but I would say it is a collaborative effort in the end because all of us have input and we try out alot of different ideas before deciding on a final version of a song. 

I have lost count of how many versions we did only of the song The Great Law of The Dead before we finally felt that one was perfect and even then we still ended up making a few changes to it while recording the album. 

„Sermon of Apathy“ 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? 

Jonas: The cover art is made by Alex Tartsus. It was mainly Joakim’s idea inspired by an art piece by our friend Oliver Palmqvist, from the band Phidion and who does additional vocals on the album. The cover art depicts the Lovecraftian god Yog-Sothoth. 

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

Jonas: Me and Stefan write the lyrics for the songs and we split the songs between us. I tend to focus more on Lovecraftian horror and anti-religious songs. Stefan tends to write lyrics that are observations and reflections about human nature and the society we live in. Our styles match really well I think. 

The core of the horror in the stories of H. P. Lovecraft is that humanity and our lives are insignificant in the large universe we inhabit. Stefans lyrics are in the same nihilistic and sometimes misanthropic style that much of what we do on a day to day basis as humans in our society is pointless and worthless so like I said our styles match and complement eachother really well. 

The new album was released by Black Lion 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 Black Lion Records? 

Jonas: We had a contract for this album with Black Lion Records and they did a great job I think. They also re-released our Ep Spawn of Misanthropy as well back in 2018. We are not in this to become famous and become rockstars. If a bigger label offers us a better deal we would of course be happy for it but our main goal is getting our music out to as many people as possible and Black Lion Records has done a good job at promoting our album so far I would say. 

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? 

Jonas: Every member of Desolator is involved in other bands as well so we do not need to rehearse as a band every week, we stay sharp and we keep evolving as musicians anyway. And now when we are unable to play concerts because of the covid-19 epidemic we do not reherse at all. But we have done this together for so many years at this point and everyone in the band is an excellent musician in their own right that knows their stuff so when we do show up for rehersal we show up prepared. 

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? 

Jonas: For me personally a dream come true would be to play some of the larger metal festivals in Europe like Brutal Assult that you have in Czech Republic. And also of course to be able to go on tours with bands that we in Desolator are inspired by and look up to like Nile or Immolation. 

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

Jonas: For some more Lovecraftian inspired death metal you guys should check out the album The Cthulian Pulse by Puteraeon. 

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

Jonas: Yes! I have albums by Root, Cult of Fire, Master’s Hammer, Törr and Crux. 

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

Jonas: When me, Joakim and Stefan started playing together back in 2009 the plan was to form a death/doom band but we very quickly decided to play death metal instead since that simply felt better and more fun for us. Today of course everyone in Desolator plays in some form of death/doom band as well. Joakim in Within the Fall, Victor in Hadriel and me and Stefan in Soliloquium. 

As for defining death metal that is a very large question but I’ll give it a go. Death metal to me is metal turned up to 11 basically. In many ways the ultimate form of metal because it has everything from catchy riffs and beautiful melodies to mind bending technicality and ultra brutal aggression and heaviness. And of course the inhuman growl vocals are essential as well. To the uninitiated death metal sounds scary and incomprehensible but once you get it nothing can compare. 

What DESOLATOR is planning for the next few months? 

Jonas: Our imidiate plans are simply to survive the Covid-19 epidemic but we have stuff in the works and once the epidemic is over we cannot wait to play concerts again! 

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

Jonas: Thank you for the support!

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