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pondělí 8. března 2021

Home » , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , » Interview - THE GENERALS - To have an old school feel to it was absolutely on purpose.

Interview - THE GENERALS - To have an old school feel to it was absolutely on purpose.

Interview with Swedish death´n´roll band THE GENERALS.

Answered Hednar (Vocals & Bass), thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Recenze/review - THE GENERALS - To Hell (2021):

Ave THE GENERALS! Greetings to the Swedish catacombs and cheers to health! There is something to celebrate, you are releasing a new album "To Hell" in February. After eight long years. Why did it actually take you so long? How did you feel about going to the studio and what can the fans look forward to?

Hi! Yes, finally. Well, after “Blood For Blood” we toured a lot and then life sneaked up on us all. We all had kids at the same time. Actually, my wife was 8 months pregnant when we toured 5 weeks in Europe 2013 with Annihilator and Rickards (guitar) daughter was born 2 weeks prior to that tour. So we decided to focus on our families and at the same time start to work on another album. And so we did. We also decided not to do any live shows at that time and really take our time to make the best album we could. The plan was obviously not to take 8 years between the albums but that’s what happened. It would have been only 6 if it would have worked out more to the original plan. After all we released the first single “Faith in Fire” 2019. We think that we have made the best record so far. The fans can look forward to a more straight forward death metal album but still with our signature rock n roll-vibes. Just not as clear as before maybe.


I've had an album at home for a review and I have to say that it is really good. Old honest Swedish death metal, lots of cold melodies, but also dirty rock´n´roll. I really like the sound. It literally breaks bones! Where did you record it, who mixed it and who signed the production?

Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. We recorded the album in three different studios. Drums at Dead Dog Farm, Guitar and vocals at Sunlight and bass, guitar solos and additional back up vocals at Black Zombie studio. Tomas Skogsberg at Sunlight together with Martin Svensson (drums) produced it. The mix and master however was made by Lawrence Mackrory at Dugout/Obey mastering.

New album has a simple classic name "To Hell". It suggests that even in terms of lyrics, these will be topics that often appear in death metal. What are they about on the new album? Who is their author. I ask, how do you actually feel about hell? What does it mean to you?

Thanks for asking. The title is not about going to the hell, it’s more like “to hell with it”, everything is shit and are going to hell kind of. I have written all lyrics on this album and the topics can differ very much but a theme that comes back is technology and the dark side of it. However, there´s a lot of different topics. For example one track is about a political standoff in Sweden a few years back and one is about the four stages of a decomposing body.


The cover is also traditional. There is an old burial ground on it, everything is bloody red and a gate above it. To hell? Who is the author of the cover and how should I perceive it in relation to music? It reminds me of the cover of old death metal bands from the nineties. Was that a purpose?

There’s a lot of thought behind the cover art and it was a long process before we reached the finish line. It is an oil painting by William Persson Öberg at Obscenum art, also guitarist in Swedish death metal band Creeping Flesh. We wanted to mix the metaphorical with the factual concept of “To Hell”. So the foreground with the burial ground is the actual path to hell and the majestic building represents something bigger than us that we can’t really touch or prepossess. Also the technology is present everywhere if you look closely. To have an old school feel to it was absolutely on purpose.


For me, THE GENERALS were and are a band belonging to a „smoky club“, where only real fans will come. I know you went through the world with the band. Do you like to perform often? What about the concerts in your country in Sweden due to the ongoing pandemic COVID 19? In Czech press they write you don't have any restriction there.

Yes, we love playing live. That’s what we are all about really. Right now there’s no concerts and the restaurants close at 8pm. We have a lot of restrictions, so there’s no truth to that at all. We’ve had a lot of shows cancelled due to corona both in Sweden and Norway.


Swedish death metal is still a big concept. With the fact that you have over ten million inhabitants, it occurs to me that a lot of people play this style there. This of course includes labels, clubs, festivals. But will your music even appear in TV, newspapers, etc.? You are actually an „export item“ of your country, does they support you in any way? And how do you perceived by the whole society?

Big question. Yes and no. We do appear in physical papers and commercial radio now and again but not like pop music. I don’t consider us an export item. I don’t think we sell nearly enough for that. The main citizen is still probably a bit baffled by our appearance and especially of our music style, but generally it’s probably better now than 10 years ago I guess since CEO:s and bosses all around are now our age and often metal heads. I know a few with skulls and Iron Maiden tattoos under their suits.

And what about the current Swedish underground? You are already a veteran, so you can compare the old times with the present. Do you notice any changes due to new technologies, internet, etc.? Are the fans different than before?

It’s different in so many ways now but not necesarily in a bad way. It is of course much easier to get your music out there and the labels are not essential anymore. But with that comes more competition. I don’t know what is best option really. The fans are the same if you refer to the old school nerds like me that still goes to concerts and buys merch and pre order records. The new generation is a little different though. Especially when it comes to their music cunsumption. New metal kids can’t place their favourite Metallica song on the right album. But it’s what it is with the streaming era. We have to adjust to the market.


A video was made for the song "To Hell". I like this kind of style. Where did you shoot? There is a lot of motorcycling in it. Are you a fan? Do you drive a lot? If I understood the story well, it's about a bunch of maniacs (about you) who come down to the rehearsal room to play good metal, right? How was the video created and who is its author?

Thanks. It’s shot in our home town Karlstad in various places and the playing scenes are from our rehearsal space. Yes, I drive a motorcycle. I have a Harley Davidson, 1200 Bobber, which can be seen in that music video. Also Rickard (guitar) and Martin (drums) both drive Harley choppers. Yes, pretty much. It’s a straight forward video. We had a lot more planned where a fifth person would be the one texting us and stray thru out the video but it had to be cut unfortunately. But it came out great anyway. Erik Engstrand from ES Music, also vocals in Eyes wide open shot the video and I together with Mats Lindström and Fredrik Vidhamre from our label (Black zombie records) directed it.

As I mentioned, you are an experienced musician. Please tell us how you got into death metal, what were your beginnings. What was the Swedish scene like in your youth, whom did you worship and who was your role model?

Oh well, thank you very much. I started of with bands like Life of agony, Biohazard, Clawfinger. These are the sort of bands that got me in to heavier music. Then my head turned to Swedish hardcore like Refused, Raised fist, Breach and 59 times the pain and now we’re somewhere 1995 and I started my first band. A few years later I discovered Entombed and Dismember and also Slayer. The Stockholm scene has always been my main inspiration after that, but my heart is still hardcore.


When the flu pandemic situation calms down and the borders open, are you planning a tour to promote the new album? I'd quite like to see you live somewhere and have fun in moshpit. I really miss live concerts. Can we look forward to it?

Yes, definitely. We have a lot in the pipeline but nothing confirmed yet, sorry. But we’re talking mostly 2022 in the works for now. You gonna have to keep an eye out in our channels for confirmed dates. They should start to pop up this spring.

Who to ask other than the most professional… How would you define Swedish death metal and what does it mean to you? Is it a lifestyle, an opinion, a direction for you? You can look at it from all sides.

Wow, Swedish death metal is a well respected phenonoma world wide I would say. To me personally it means alot, wether you talk about the Stockholm sound or the Gothenburg sound or the modern one. I feel a part of it and I feel I want to and need to administer the herritage well. I hope we do. It’s more than a scene really. It’s a way of life.


Thank you so much for the interview. I'm going to have a beer, really add volume to the player and enjoy your new album "To Hell". Really good album. Let it sell well and I hope to see you live somewhere soon. I wish you all the best in your personal lives! Cheers!

Sounds like a plan! We would love to come back to Czech Republic. It’s been way to long! Same to you. Cheers!

/Hednar

https://www.facebook.com/thegeneralsSWE
https://www.facebook.com/Blackzombierecords
https://www.blackzombierecords.se

Recenze/review - THE GENERALS - To Hell (2021):


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