pondělí 23. května 2022

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Interview - THORIUM - Death Metal must come from the heart. Otherwise makes no sense.

Interview with death metal band from Denmark - THORIUM.

Answered Jose Cruz, thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - THORIUM - Danmark (2022):

Ave THORIUM! Greetings Denmark. I hope you are doing well. I'm just listening to your new "Danmark" released this year and I'm wondering how great it is that even after so many years on stage, you can compose such fresh and interesting stuff. How the new record was created and with what feelings you went to the studio?

By the time we got hit by the pandemic in early 2020, the song writing process was already begun. The fact that we were restricted in so many levels from there, made difficult to meet and try to play the music together. For that reason, most of the instrumentation was created at home, where e.g. guitar layers and drum rhythms were mostly fixed. Final touches and details came at a later stage, after we were able to start rehearsing together again.

We arrived in the studio with the idea of recording all rhythmical instruments live, which went exceptionally well. The first day was used for setting up and forming the ground sound for the instruments as we wanted it to be. From the moment we started the actual recording sessions, the feeling was just right and didn’t take more than a couple of hours before we had the first song recorded. The whole process was a great experience and totally worthy, listening now to the results. Solos and vocals were added afterwards.

I am like every other fan. First, I listen to the album a few times and then I either return to it or not. However as far as your record is concerned, it was a little more complicated this year. It seems to me that the record has more layers and that some will stand out after a longer time. Sound contributes to this a lot. "Danmark" has a dark effect on me. Where did you record the album and who did the mastering? How do you perceive the shift in sound?

We recorded at Angioni Studios, located in a semi-remote little town in the north of Jutland. It was a quiet and peaceful place, compared to Copenhagen, which helped us keeping focus on what we were doing. Marco Angioni (studio engineer) gave exceptional inputs regarding sound and other technical aspects. We were able to capture the band with all the energy and brutality, we had at that moment. We even improvised an instrumental track while being there, that’s how inspired by the moment we were. The raw recording files were handled afterwards and mixed by Jacob Bredahl at Dead Rat Studio. He was respectful to our sound vision and gave it the perfect shape. The mastering was executed by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege.

Compared to “Blasphemy Awakes”, this album sounds more alive with great dynamics and rawness to it. “Danmark” feels just right when listening to it and without doubt, has set the future direction for the band, regarding sound and recording methods.

I buy a CD and a T-shirt right directly from my favourite bands. And the basis is good packaging. How was the cover created, who is author and how does it relate to the music itself? As for myself I have to say that it arouses restlessness in me, it is interesting.

The idea for the album cover came from our vocalist, Michael, where the map of Denmark integrated with Death Metal elements had been rounding his head for a while. We trusted Italian artist Roberto Toderico, who has been creating art for a fair amount of extreme metal bands during the last may years, to do the job. He succeeded very well, and we got blown away when we saw the results.

Hahaha… I can really understand you. It is something! 😊.

Please can you explain to us the lyrics on the new record? Who is the author and how did they come about? I would also like to know where you got your inspiration for the lyrics.

The lyrics are mostly written by Michael (I helped with “A Crown to Obscurity”). His lyrical universe is uncertain and provocative, very twisted, cynical, and dark. His writing process was using a day for each song, beginning writing in the morning, and recording it right after. Regarding his own inspiration, I cannot express myself about. For what it is me – and what I can imaging also works for him – life events or situations, maybe things from the past, disconformity with what happens around the world or around myself. I mean, inspiration comes from somewhere. It may not be there all the time, but when it shows up, it hits hard and effective.

You are rightly regarded as the Danish legend of death metal. I like you that even after all these years, I still feel enthusiastic about your music and some type of tremors which are difficult to describe. Your death metal has an old patina in it, but also energy and strength. How do you compose new material? What process must your song go through before it is considered final?

It is funny with this kind of labels, haha! I personally understand a “legend” as something or someone that now is gone. We are very much still here, so… But ok.

As a songwriter/composer, I relate to the genre. I understand it. I worship it. Often when sitting down for writing riffs, I dive into this world of aggression and brutality that allows me to detach from everything that is not music. In most situations, songs are written in their entirety in one session. With this album this has been the norm.

The songs have always a post-process, where the other members are involved. This may regard giving inputs to some parts, optimizing them, or simply acknowledging them as they are. There is always some personal touch brought into them from everyone, before being final versions.

THORIUM has undergone major line-up changes. Could you please tell us what and how you got together?

True! Well, I have been in the band as part of the latest line-up since end of 2018, I think. I know about some of the line-up issues in the past, in which I don’t want to get into details for not being mine to share, but generally has been loss of interest for the genre, other musical projects going on and of course, personal and familiar reasons. It is not uncommon that Danish bands lose members or even quit after some time. I think that, very often, people start playing metal music for the wrong reasons, not having their hearts into it, which have some effect in the end.

I personally got approached by Jens-Peter (guitarist), with whom I’ve been friends for quite some years. The idea of joining them was not to reject for me, not only because I always thought the music was great, but because I have known these guys for many years, already being friends of some of them and knowing the rest from the Danish metal scene very well.

THORIUM establishment dates back to 1992. Do you remember the beginnings of death metal in Denmark? What were they like? How do you remember the old days? Who was your role model in the beginning and how did the idea to play death metal come about? Please reminisce a little bit with us.

I was not around at that time, because I am originally from Spain, only living in Denmark since 2001. For that reason, I cannot explain about what inspired this band to start-up, or how it was around here back in those days. But I can imagine. Personally, I was attracted to the international wave of Death Metal in the beginning of the 90’s. Bands like Carcass, At the Gates, Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower, Gorefest and Sinister were between my favourites. I didn’t begin playing Death Metal until 1998 or so, more specifically Melodic Death Metal, but I have been turned more and more into the more classic form of the genre during the past 10 years. And here I am now!

A lot of my older friends (I also belong to the older generation of metal fans) complain about today. Music downloads, unfriendly attacks on the Internet, a lot of ballast, chaos, everything is faster, but also short-lived. How did these things affect you as a band? Did you have to adjust somehow?

Even though it doesn’t feel right, this is the way the industry has been needed to evolve into. The digital era has affected every aspect of this society, both in personal and business terms. For this reason, we all have been forced to make adjustments. All bands are very affected by these new ways, but we try to make the best out of it, no matter how. It is that or ceasing to exist. On the other side, nowadays there is more freedom for bands than previously, where there was more or less dictated how you as a band or musician “should” sound. Today musicians can release music freely if they want, without the necessity of being signed. The possibilities are limited, but some do a great work and make it into a success.

It's not just about the Internet, which has changed the whole world, but also about new technologies. Analogue versus digital. New procedures, facilities or studios look completely different than during my days. How do you perceive these things? Is it hard for you to keep up with these fast times? Or do you like to use various gadgets?

I/we enjoy the great advantages of the new era of technologies. The analogue/digital question is arguable, but from my point of view not that big an issue, specially when bands record in layers and quantify everything afterwards, hahaha! Seriously, the fact that now it’s possible to create music from home, by using tools of quite high quality, is an advantage that has made a huge difference. Music is created and shared around the world like never seen before. I love it!

I don't want to flatter you unnecessarily, but according to the promo photos you look like a bunch of nice guys. Your music provides a cool impression and there seems to be a, mutual chemistry between you as musicians. Is that really the case in real life? Do you go for a beer together sometimes, do you have fun together and to do you meet with your families, for example?

Don’t let photos fool you, hahaha! We are of course perfectly normal and nice to a considerable extent, depending on who you ask, of course. We agree in the music we play together and share most of the same musical influences. As I explained before, we know each other quite well from the past, which makes the journey more enjoyable that usual. Also, some of us have played together in other bands in the past, so the sort of cross-disciplinary chemistry and musicality is there, in a natural way. Socializing activities are not many of, due to personal life and other kind of responsibilities from our everyday, but we see each other occasionally on different levels. When it happens, I can assure you that it is fun!

Every time I do an interview with an older band, I have to ask. What does death metal mean to you, how do you perceive it and how would you define it? I mean in terms of his philosophy, mood, or atmosphere. For example, I think that death metal must always be played from the heart, otherwise it's not worth it.

I must say that choosing Death Metal as a musical path doesn’t differ from any other genre. It either touches your soul or not. It might be its energy, its tonal structure and composition, its aggressivity, or any other of its features. In my case, I think Death Metal has all the ingredients I consider important in music and in the right levels, in regards of intensity, melody, complexity, technical execution, all of that managed from a non-compromise mindset. Unfortunately, not everybody is able to recognize these qualities and often are people more attracted to other genres, more “digestible” or easier to assimilate for their brains (hahaha again).

As you say, Death Metal must come from the heart. Otherwise makes no sense.

Thank you so much for the interview. I firmly believe that I will see you playing live somewhere soon. I wish to your new record as many real fans as possible and good luck in your private life. And you know what? I'm going to play " Danmark" again!

It makes us happy to hear that. Reaching people that appreciates our music makes all what we do absolutely worth it!



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