14th, April 2013
by Elias Ryen-Rafstedt
Ladies and gentleman, this is DEATHEMBER
from Sweden, they plays "Swedish Groove Metal", as
called themselves, do you know want to get deeper on the
meaning of this? read this profound interview I had with
1. It have been passed about 5 years since your inception in 2008. Tell us a bit about the early days of DEATHEMBER and any difficulties you found in establishing yourselves in the Swedish scene.
In the early years of Deathember we had a bit different sound to our music. It was much more focused on the modern day kind of metalcore sound. We were young and thought that we could add something interesting to that genre.
Over the years we grew more and more as musicians and realized that we didn't want to make music that was "already written". We wanted to make our own sound and our own statement.
That's when we started to experiment more and more with our music and after a couple of years, we had developed the sound that we were looking for, and that's what we call the Swedish Groove Metal.
Being a band that didn't want to be a part of a mainstream metal scene, we've had to struggle a bit to get some recognition here in Sweden. It's hard to get the word out about your band if most of the people don't listen to the kind of music you're making.
But after three releases we finally feel that the word about the Swedish Groove Metal is reaching out, well beyond Sweden.
2. So you would prefer to be a Underground top band than a succesfull on the mainstream scene? What are your main achievements so far?
Absolutely. Some of our biggest influences are bands like SikTh, Protest The Hero and Strapping Young Lad. Those bands are not what you call mainstream, but they still do/did tours and had/has a very loyal fan base.
Our biggest achievement so far is definitely the fact that we've created a sound that we feel is something new and that brings something fresh to the modern metal scene.
3. What stands behind the bandname? Is there any special meaning behind it? Does this name in a way or another express the music that the band is delivering?
The name Deathember is just us putting Death and Ember together. It doesen't have a "deeper meaning" to it really, but we wanted the name to be a bit different, just like our music. So we came up with something that wasn't the usual "burial of the burial" stuff that most bands are named today.
The artwork for our new album ties together with our name as well.
4. Please tell us some detailed infos about the production and recording process of your coming album, and how much it differs from the previous "A Thousand Flatlines" EP?
We've had the same producer and used the same studio ever since our first release back in 2010, so when we decided to record our debut album the choice was easy. We went to studio Radionika with producer Dino Medanhodzic, for the third time, to record.
We've always had a great collaboration with him and he understands us as a band and the music we're doing. That really shows in the production as Dino really understands how we want to sound. How everything fits so well together in the mix, to really get the listener caught in what we're doing.
"A Thousand Flatlines" was written under a long period of almost a year, with some songs getting scrapped of course, but most of the songs were pretty "old" by the time the EP was released.
The writing process of "Going Postal" was much more efficient and intense. We basically wrote about 7-8 of the songs in a matter of months. We had a lot of ideas and songs done long before, but after our old singer left and Simon Tarasewicz joined the band, we felt that a lot of the already written material felt out dated and not "Deathember" anymore. So most of the songs were written at that short time between Simon joining the band and us going into the studio.
5. Ok then, this album is going to be released in about one week over the world, what can we expect on this?? Could you advance us about the cover artwork and the whole concept over the
10 songs included on it?
You can expect something fresh. Something that you probably already can relate slightly to, but isn't really what
you've heard before from other groove/modern metalbands.
The artwork made by Colin Marks of Rain Song Design really ties the name "Deathember" together with the artwork it self. The name is just us messing with "Death" and "Ember", and that's what the artwork also stands for, so to say.
The album includes 10 songs, 3 of which are a "trilogy". The songs are linked together both musically and story-wise within the lyrics. The album itself isn't really a concept album. It's just 10 songs packed with Swedish Groove Metal. But the trilogy itself stands for the more ambient oriented parts of the album, as well as dealing with the more political lyrics that we write.
6. It is the first time I listen about that so called "Groove Metal", pretty weird due do the fact you comes from Sweden where usually we should listen to talk about "Gothenburg Style" or so. Is there any solid scene with alot of representative bands on this genre? Please enlight us a bit more about this matter.
The fast answer is no, not really. I haven't head of any other band in Sweden that plays groove metal actually. Most of the newer/younger bands over here play Metalcore/Deathcore and different types of post-hardcore mostly. Even the so called Gothenburg Death Metal isn't really something that the kids listen to now a days, at least not the ones that represent the bigger crowd.
The groove metal bands that we most of our influences from are bands like Lamb Of God and Pantera. This genre doesn't seem to be that established in the modern metal scene at all, and that's where we think that we can contribute with something new and different sounding.
7. The metal underground is constantly changing. How do you think the underground will be in the..hmmmm..lets see, ten years to come?
I do really believe that the whole -core thing will die in a couple of years. The genre and all the bands are getting so alike each other that it's hard to tell the difference between some of the new bands. Djent is probably the most "up and coming" style that is really growing and getting a larger audience world wide. Some of the bands that
I listened to several years ago like Periphery are now on huge tours with bands like Dream Theater and such. I think that Djent will grow and get more and more recognition more and more bands playing the genre are starting to get the word out. Pioneers like FellSilent have huge cred now a days since they were one of the first bands to start messing with that genre in particular.
8. I guess DEATHEMBER has some experiences in performing live… so could you please share with us some memorable shows the band played in? Personally what/when was the best performance the band ever did? How important is a stage appearance for a band like you?
Our live show has always been something that we put a lot of emphasis on. In our early days we quickly got local recognition as "the band that had the most chaotic and energetic live show", and that is something that we've been carrying with us ever since. We want the live show to be something special and not just the regular "headbang,circlebang, crab" kind of stuff that's bein going on lately in the scene.
9. Pick a song from the new album, "Going Postal," that you feel to be the most interesting lyrically, musically or having a good story about it and tell me about it.
The song that we feel represent our sound, and what we're trying to do with this album is Quietly. It was also the first single we released from the album.
The song includes all the elements that is Deathember. Heavy grooves, fast blastbeats and lots of hooks. This song was one of the harder ones to write since it takes a lot of twists and turns musically with lots of very different type of riffs coming together in one song.
But when it all came together in the studio, we immediately felt that this was one of the best songs we'd ever written.
10. What can you tell us about the participation of Ralph Santolla as Guest guitarrist on this album? Do you think this will be a very good saleable resource?
We met Ralph earlier in 2012 at a venue here in Sweden where we played a show together with a band he was working with. We kept in touch afterwards and when the time was coming for us to start working on the details of the album, we thought that it would be a great idea to ask Ralph if he would be interesting in doing a guest appearance. Mainly because he's one of the greatest death metal guitarists of all time, and we worship him, but also the fact that it would benefit both us and him promotional wise.
The song "Hailing Down" which features Ralph's solo was also an easy choice. It is by far the most death metal influenced song we've ever written and Ralph's guitar solo really lifts the song.
11. Your Videoclip "Quietly" has reached over 15000 views in just 2 months, what is a huge succes. Can you tell us about the realization of this video (location, director, the concept, how many days
Yes! We're really stoked bout the fact that the video has gained so much recognition. 15 000+ views was really a huge step forward for us promotional wise.
The video was shot with a group called GG Media which is located in a small city called Västerås here in Sweden. The video was recorded in one day only! We basically let the guys at GG Media write the whole script and decide the location and everything, and we're really satisfied with what they came up with.
12. Are you a winter or summer man? Does Enviroment have an influence on you ? Do you have a favourite location within the world?
Here in Sweden we have winter for like a third of the year, so we really like the summer of course, the cold winter gets boring after a while...
I wouldn't say the environment affects our music that much, we don't do a lot of "deep" and "heavy" stories in our music. It's mostly about writing badass riffs with heavy hooks and upbeat drums.
13. What do you do for a living ? I guess that it isn't possible for you to earn a living as a musician?
We all have our day time jobs, living as a musician here in Sweden, especially working in a genre that no one outside the underground scene really have heard of, is not an option. We use all of our spare time to work on the band and hopefully someday we will be able to earn a living by doing this. That is of course our greatest goal. But being realistic as we are, there is not much chance of doing just that here in Sweden. All the bigger Swedish bands make their money by selling records in Asia or USA and such, and of course by touring A LOT.
14. What are you most proud of achieving as a band, and have there been any defining moments that stand out in your memories?
One of the most defining moments was definitely writing,recording and releasing our debut album, Going Postal. Getting Ralph Santolla of Deicide and Daniel Ädel of Vildhjarta to do guest appearances was a huge deal for us. We put our hearts and souls (and money) into this record and i really think it shows. I couldn't be more satisfied with how it turned out.
15. What's your opinion about downloading music and how does this affect the music industry and of course Deathember?
Now a days you really cant get by the fact that people don't want to buy physical CD's anymore, except for the hardcore fans. You just have to work with how the industry works at this time. We sell all our music both digitally and physically, and of course streamed through services like Spotify.
You don't earn any way near as much for each sold copy of a digital album, or each streamed song as you do by selling real CD's, but there's really not much you can do when people aren't buying CD's.
16. What do you think that is most important criterion for you assessing the value of the album? Is it your personal feeling and knowledge about the album, the press, the response of the audience etc?
Everything combined really. Of course we get really stoked if a lot of people like the album and if reviewers love it. But for us the most important thing is always writing music that we enjoy ourselves, and there isn't one thing we would do differently with this album. This is what Deathember sounds like.
17. Well, my friend, that´s all for now, thanks a lot for your co-operation. I hope you enjoy this interview.. Some words you like to add?
Thanks for a nice chat!
If you're into metal that stands out from the modern -core scene. Check out our new album "Going Postal". It's being released the 19th of April!