Thursday, January 31, 2013

OVERTORTURE






They don´t like it to be called supergroup, they are not another band from Sweden, that cares about local traditions too much, they profits from different musical backgrounds and have an awesome album ready for you. This is OVERTORTURE – listen to it and feel the pain!

Mazeltov to a wicked album, I suppose you are curious like a bow about the reactions of the crowd out there to the new album, right?

Joel Fornbrant: Thank you! As of answering this interview, the album release is only a few days away, and it's going to be very exciting to hear people's opinion on it. All the reactions we have had so far, from reviewers and people who've heard the album early, have believe it or not been positive. I'm sure there will be a couple of guys who hate the album, but so far it's been great reactions which of course feels awesome.

The press gives you (partially) the imprint of a super group. What’s your opinion of that?

Joel Fornbrant: I personally don't like that term. Super groups are usually boring as hell. Also, we are not THAT recognizable, even though some of us have played in bands that are well known in the scene. Sure, we're no newcomers either, but I'd much rather see us as just a regular band.

Why is the band walking on planet earth, and where did find each other? 

Magnus Martinsson: It all started in the beginning of 2011 when I was home sick for a long time, recovering from fatigue syndrome. When I started to get better I got extremely creative and riffs, ideas and songs started pouring out of my hands like crazy. But it didn’t really fit GRAVE, the band I played in at the time, so the thought of a new band was born. When I felt that I had some good tracks I sent them to Fredrik Widigs to see if he wanted to make reality of my ideas and it didn’t take long before he said yes…. Shortly after that I contacted Jonas Torndal that joined shortly after Fredrik. But we needed a singer.
One day at work I listened to a lot of different bands and came across COLDWORKER, and I was really blown away by the vocals! Exactly what I wanted for this band! So I took a real longshot and sent an email to the band’s email address asking for Joel’s contact info. We clicked right away and Joel immediately started writing lyrics for the tracks I sent him, and In October 2011 we layed down vocals on several demo tracks.. And that’s pretty much how it all started.

After this my old friend Andreas Hemmander joined shortly before the recording of the album, and Jonas quit in November 2012 and was replaced by Joakim Antman.

Who are the guys who are responsible for this new bloody Swedish butchery?

Magnus Martinsson: Just five Swedish guys born in the good old 80s who loves the art of Death Metal! We have all played music since we were teens and have played/plays in some known (and unknown haha) death metal bands like Grave, Coldworker, Demonical and Witchery prior to founding Overtorture.

Is it more than just a pastime?

Magnus Martinsson:Music is a way of life and a part of you, so it’s definitely more than just a pastime, but we’ll probably never be able to live and support our families by playing the music we love. But if we could do this fulltime we would!  Who wouldn’t… ;)

Tell me about the album. And are you releasing it just on a German label?  Is it because we have the biggest and best scene here in good old Germoney?

Joel Fornbrant: Overtorture was founded with the sole intention of only releasing music on German labels. No, just kidding, but you Germans have a great appreciation for most things metal so naturally a lot of the interest in the band has come from there. Swedish labels are few, and the next natural step is of course Germany. I'm very happy with Apostasy releasing our first album, and hopefully this opens up a lot of opportunities for us to play gigs on their home turf. 

You have produced it by yourself.  So you don ‘t like it when other degenerated brains fudge in your work, eh?

Magnus Martinsson: Haha!.. Basically we decided to do it this way because we realized that we had all the tools and equipment to do it by ourselves, so we wanted to try it out. It was actually never a question of doing it any other way when I think back, and it turned out very well! It’s a more relaxed way to record than in a studio you pay per hour, and cheaper *blink*.
Ola Englund (Six Feet Under) is a good friend of ours, and we really like his work! So we knew we’d be in safe hands when choosing him for mix and mastering, and we have many common musical references so we were on the same page from the start concerning the sound. We wanted to keep it raw with a lot of punch, and it really turned out great!

What about the “fun – factor” while the songwriting, rehearsing and recording is going on? Was it all serene and relaxed? Anyway, I can’t hear any pressure and cramped arses.

Magnus Martinsson: You won’t find any cramped arses even how deep into them you look haha… We’re all relaxed and easy going guys and we have fun when rehearsing etc. These tracks are very fun to play and they’re damn heavy live! So can’t wait until we hit the stage! During a normal rehearsal we drink a few beers, crank our amps and blast away.. But if someone does any mistakes I kick their balls so they won’t do it again… Hahaha.. Just kidding.

“At the end the dead await,” mhm not exactly Nobel Prize wisdom. What about the album title and the song?

Joel Fornbrant: Wisdom is boring and has no place on a death metal album. The song is about the murdered getting revenge on their killers in the afterlife. How's that for an intellectual subject? We thought it had a nice “albumy” ring to it, so it became the record title as well. And it also made for a good cover.

What is the album mostly about?  Are you fulfilling typical stereotypes, maybe you write lyrics because you just need them?  Is blood and pus flowing over the dance floor? Or is it more?

Joel Fornbrant: I like writing lyrics, so they are there is definitely more effort behind them than just having some cool words to grunt along to the songs with. I don't try to be overly smart with them though, so they deal with the typical death metal topics, like murder, insanity and general death and mayhem. I threw in a couple of science fiction-type lyrics as well, because that's always fun. I try to write them in a coherent way, so they fit together despite dealing with different subjects.

Musically, is it classic Swedish evils meet the sun-drenched Florida?

Joel Fornbrant: Yes, it's a little bit of both I guess, like wearing shorts and sandals to your Dismember shirt and leather jacket. We like all kinds of death metal which shows in the songs. And we should not forget good ol' England either, because Bolt Thrower is of course a big influence.

Is Overtorture a democratic construct? I mean with all the experience you guys have, no one can move in the foreground without getting a black eye.

Magnus Martinsson: It’s pretty much democraticJ.. I’m taking care of the most of the daily “business” and run every important thing by the rest of the guys.. But some less important things I take the decision by my own.  It’s a danger if everyone would be involved and have a saying in exactly everything, then you wouldn’t get anything done. But we listen to each other and we mostly have the same view on things.

Can you still learn from each other, or is this point already overstepped?

Magnus Martinsson : You never stop learning and especially if/when you play someone else’s riffs for example, because we all have our own style of playing and writing stuff, so there’s always something you can learn from each other I think.

As for the experience of Overtorture members being other bands, is this a bonus, or is it sometimes a challenge for pig heads?

Joel Fornbrant: I think it's mostly good, since everyone can use their experience do bring something different to the table. It will hopefully contribute to creating a unique synergy of ideas. All bands do things a little bit differently, but I don't think this has presented any difficulties for Overtorture so far. I think we are lucky to not have any really pig-headed people in the band!

Are the different styles you come from, or still play, an advantage for the band?

Joel Fornbrant: As I said in the above answer, it's probably an advantage of having everyone in the band adding their perspective to the music and ideally creating something that feels uniquely Overtorture. This will perhaps come more actively into play later in the band's career rather than now, since all the songs on this album were already written before we had a full line-up. But I'm very excited to see what we can come up with as a full band in the future!

With a well-stocked back catalog it is much easier for a real newcomer like you guys, right?

Joel Fornbrant: Of course. When you come from bands that have already made some impact it's much easier to raise eyebrows and get people interested in a new band. The downside to this is that everyone has very high expectations from the start, so you have a lot to live up to. I must note though that we are very far from a level where we can just be lazy, pick and choose among gigs and have all sorts of money thrown our way on a regular basis. We still have to work hard to get anywhere.

And another band from Sweden! Your scene must be bigger than ever. And there are only musicians, no fans who don´t play an instrument … or am I wrong. I mean, when you play shows, you play in front of your fellow musicians! That must be scary!

Joel Fornbrant: Haha! You are correct, there are shitloads of bands from here, so playing in a band certainly isn't as special as it used to be. There are people who just dig the music without playing it though, even if it's hard to believe. The scene is also very concentrated to the bigger cities like Stockholm and Gothenburg. In Örebro were I live there are maybe five bands total in the history of death metal... But yes, some gigs have A LOT of musicians and scene people in the crowd. But it's fun to play “spot the semi-celebrity” when you're at shows, so it's all good.

As your first bass player left the band, you had a replacement very quick. Is this a positive thing?

Magnus Martinsson:: It’s of course always sad when people leave, but we’re still friends with Jonas, no hard feelings there.. So this has been a very positive change, we got to know a new great guy and musician namely Joakim Antman who’s been a great addition to the band.

As the death metal plague flooded the putrid world in the end 80s, you were all still kids. What was it that brought you to the point where you are today?

Joel Fornbrant: I discovered death metal in the mid- to late nineties, when the scene was pretty much dead. There was I and maybe two other guys in my town who liked that kind of music, so we started playing together and a few years down the line peoples interest in this kind of music started coming back, which was great. But when I started listening to it, it absolutely felt shitty to have missed the glory days of death metal.

Thx to have you here on Fatalgrind, last spot is yours!

Thanks for the interview! Overtorture is releasing its crushing debut album, “At the End the Dead Await”, January 25th on Apostasy Records. Be sure to pick it up! Check out our facebook page or overtorture.se for more info on the band and hopefully we'll see you on the road in the future! Cheers!


Monday, January 28, 2013

MALIGNANCY






 In October last year, MALIGNANCY attacked the Death Metal world with a massive strike. “EUGENICS” convinced with controversial lyrics and sophisticated and also brutal music. I think, this is the greatest pile,  that the band has ever shitten, and I love its smell! Danny answered some questions for you.

After 2007 “Inhuman Grotesqueries” many people expected, Malignancy will have 1 or 2 cool Ep s´, but there’s been nothing. You needed 5 years for an new neck breaker, what’s happened?

Hey Jörg, cheers and Happy New Year! Well, after the release of Inhuman Grotesqueries we did a tour in the U.S. with label mates Impaled, Phobia, Illogicist and Maruta to support the album. The original plan was to write and record a 7” but that did not happen. I wanted to write a concept record and the guys liked the idea. We like to take our time with the writing process. After supporting Inhuman for a year we then started to write Eugenics. That took a better part of a year to complete. During the process we also parted ways with long time bassist Lance Snyder. We had an album's worth of material and no bass player, so we asked our old drummer, Roger Beaujard to do some session work for us. He agreed and had to learn all the material. 

With the new album  Eugenics  you pick up an controversial topic, at least in Germany. How profound you have engaged with it?

Eugenics has happened all around the World in one form or another. It has not only been used in a negative light. I thought it was a good concept that no other death metal band had tackled before. 

Tell me lyrically and musically about the concept of the album!

Lyrically the album is about a Eugenics experiment that the unwilling participates do not know about. A governmental secret if you will. There was a negative experiment here in the U.S. and my story takes place in our own time. End of the World stuff, 2012 it was supposed to end right? Hahahah. Well, we are still here like I knew we would be.

Musically the band tries to tie in the moods of the lyrics and marry it to the music. Again, another new approach that we took on this album.  

By your own admission you present on  Eugenics  in the past, the present and a little view into the future of the band. Would you say this is your most equilibrated opus?

Yes I do, I wanted the album to be a culmination of the total history of Malignancy from Intrauterine to Eugenics. I am glad that you picked up on that. 

Tell me about the radio intro. It seems the only broadcasted station with good radio reception is that one who plays Malignancy, ha, ha.

The radio intro was my drummer's idea and we ran with it and made it fun. Hhahah. The music and singing is all us. We did the vocals in one afternoon and had a blast. We do not like to take ourselves so seriously that we cannot have fun with our releases. 

The albums sounds quiet sophisticated, from harsh and catchy riffs to staggering twists. What are you, Picasso, or a Bob Ross? LOL

Perhaps a combination of both, hahaha. Instead of painting “happy little trees”, we painted angry mutants! Thank you the props on the music, we are all extremely proud of this album! 

In another interview you said, you have restrained from your technical aspiration, compared with “Inhuman…”. Was it necessary?

I think we needed to dial it back a little, Inhuman was a technical sickness on crack. Eugenics is the same technical sickness but with a more reserved approach. We didn't want to loose the intricate parts of the riffing or drums by overdoing it. We were concerned about the recording because our past efforts have almost always had a questionable production. So many key parts got lost in the final mix of a lot it. Eugenics is our best production to date and it will only get better from here. 

What do you think, how highbrow are your fans. How much they can take?

Our fans are usually fans for life and they mutant with us. I appreciate all of our true fans, it's an honor to write this insane music and have others love it. Eugenics has gained Malig more fans indeed. 

To pick up a single song and check closer seems almost not possible. All songs are pretty close together. Or have I earwax in my ears?

We wanted to keep the momentum of the record at a good pace, no time for an iced tea break. Hhaha.  

Well, there is “Monstrous Indifference” with classical and somehow harmonic solos at the end. Who smuggled them in?

Perhaps you mean Separatists? The track numbers were mixed up by the press plant. Track “1” is the intro and should be track “0”. Monstrous is the grind tune that we threw on there. The end of Separatists is more of an improv jazzy style jam going on. If we ever play that song live the end jam will always be different. 

Above all, the album is brutal, with deep growls and up tempo riffing seems to be essential, am I right?

The album is brutal, you are right. I always want to keep the vocals death metal, that's what Malignancy is, a death metal band. There are lots of different riffing going on throughout this one. 

The lead guitar changes the direction like a nervous deer on a highway, fast, slower, complicated, with knots in the fingers, sophisticated, rampant and even ambitious. Is it hard for the other musicians to keep the overview?

Wow! Awesome, Ron would love to hear that. Ronnie has always been a wizard on the guitar, the material he writes is insane. Mike and Ron wrote the majority of Eugenics together. They have a very good work ethic and can often feed off of each other when it comes to writing. 

I mean, if I hear that, the song writing process is probably not a matter of democracy?

The writing is very much a democracy, always has been. I am the tyrant that cracks the whip at times. But for Eugenics I took a back seat to the writing to let them go off. I want it to sound sick, different, technical and brutal. Haha. There are times when I need to be proven wrong. Sometimes I hate a riff by itself. Then I hear it with the band and I like it.  

Recorded in the US, mixed and mastered in Italy, one label at home, one in The Netherlands, are you children of the globalization now, ha, ha ? Having good contacts and a wide network has lots of advantages, right?

Indeed!!! Hhahaha! We were lucky to have all of the great people we worked with at our disposal. From tracking to mixing to mastering it was a tough recording but it got done and done right because we had the right people. 

How far do you have your merchandise in your own hands, or is it a job for Willowtip and Hammerheart?

Willowtip presses the CDs and makes some merch for their website. We make our own merch, like shirts, caps, beanies and shot glasses. \m/. The relationship with both labels has been great. Good communication and they are always there when we need them. Thanks guys! 

Are you influenced from anything, or are there times when you have to look left to right?

Musically? Yes! We all draw our influences from somewhere. We try to look at things in a different way, approach it from a different angle. 

20 years Malignancy, does it feel good, or does it come with the reality of, grey hair and painful knees? LOL

20 years!!! Yep!! We all party so we do not have knee pain yet, maybe liver pains after drinking in Germany at a festival!! Hhaha. It feels good to me that I have kept this band together all these years. Many bands broke up years ago and now they are back and more popular then ever. Maybe we should break up and then come back. Hhahah

Is the spirit of optimism of the early 90’s with all the enthusiasm given way to certain serenity? Or can you still feel it?

There is still enthusiasm with all that we do. When things are good, they are good. The 90's were a different time and quite difficult for us. So many line-up changes and the decline of death metal in the mid 90's hurt our signing chances. But it was a boat that we missed and do not care about. Intrauterine came out in 1999 and I am glad we got it out before 2000. 

Can you relate humor and aspiration? How serious do you take your work for Malignancy?

My stage presence is always full of humor. I aspire to be better and make people laugh and have a good time. After all it is a form of entertainment. My work in Malignancy is very serious as far as lyrics and my performance but I always try to throw a joke in to liven things up a bit!!

Ok, I´ll wait for a reasonable album presentation at the old continent, thx for being here on Fatalgrind!

Jörg, thank you again for the great interview, I really enjoyed these questions. Thanks to all our friends and fans in Germany that are reading this. Appreciate the support! Proost!! See you on tour! 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

GRUESOME STUFF RELISH




Spanish horror maniacs GRUESOME STUFF RELISH will have a new album entitled “Sempiternal Death Grind” out on FDA this month. I have talked with Noel Kemper and here are all relevant news about it.


Hi Noel, how are you? Are you nervous to have a new album soon, or is it just routine all in all?
Hi Jorg! Doing well and you? I´m not nervous but I want to play again with GSR. I haven´t listened to the album since we recorded it but I know we did a good work. Recording new albums is my favourite routine!!!
Your first album in almost 5 years – what are your listeners to expect? What has happened musically – the same left path or are you trying to break new ground?
Yes, a lot of time.....The new album is the sequel to "Horror..." and it´s faster, doomer and more death metal oriented. We want to follow the same path till the end of the band but it´s impossible to record the same album two times. This one is the next step in the GSR discography.
Is the vintage horror stuff still in your focus? Do you never get tired from Blind Dead and Black Cats?
Never!! I live in a closed loop of horror films and rock and roll music seasoned with german Weissbier. I need that to live!! And sex too!
I have seen your video clip for “Desecrated”. The black cat at the beginning shows you attraction to Argento and co, right?
It´s my cat Gangerito. Yes! It remembered me of the Argento´s film. I love that movie. It´s a classic!!
How is GSR answering to the permanent changes in Death & Grind, because the scene is always moving?
GSR answer doing old school death/grind in the way it has to be played!! Raw, dirty and noisy. We´re into Necrony, Carcass, Impetigo, Entombed, Dismember, General Surgery, Bolt Thrower, etc... we don´t listen to the new movements in the scene. We don´t like most of the subgenres in the "new school scene". I prefer the recordings made in the nineties but there are some cool new bands like Disma, Bombs of Hades or Cancer Spreading.
To let the lead guitar “weep” is a typical expression for morbid pleasures in GSR. I hope deeply that you will maintain that, can we expect more of this on the new album?
Yes! No doubt! Be sure you will not be disappointed!! I love that sound!
You run some other bands/projects. Has your emphasis changed back to GSR now? Or is GSR uninfluenced from that?
I do what I can for all the projects I´m involved in. Now I´m recording 12 songs with a new band called Boneyard and the new Broken Gravestones single too. Altar of Giallo is on hold because we´re waiting for the release of a split Cd with the Spanish band Destino/Entierro (with Antonio from Freakhate) and Gälerna is really active now playing live our first Cd  “The abyss” released through Horror Pain Gore Death. I´m also into punk rock with my band The Burning Lust (bandcamp/the burning lust) This year will be the year of GSR but I never forget my other bands.
Now you have a deal with FDA, an ambitious label from Germany. What came from that deal? What did you know of FDA previously?
We´re really happy with the label!!! I don´t know how it was but Pablo sent them the cd with the album and they did the best offer. We talked with Relapse, Willowtip, Hammerheart, Xtreem etc…but FDA won.
All the years you have released on many different labels. Maybe you don’t like to have a relationship with one label?
Yes we had many labels and we have good relationship with all except Razorback Recs.
You will release it in digital version too. Is this a concession to modern times?
FDA decided to do it that way. I don´t know how to download that… My middle finger is the best friend of modern times.
And you will have different versions of vinyl, tell me about that if you could?
There will be some copies en clear vinyl, some in red and the rest in normal version. Have you seen the cover? It´s  horroresque pop-art!! I´m really glad with the layout.
Being groovy and catchy - is this a requirement for your songs? Maybe you like it being chaotic and disharmonic too?
Yes both!! I write death/grind songs with the schemes of a rock song. Verse chorus verse chorus lead chorus….you know…
You have got a new guy in your line up. Tell me about the bass – slave!
It´s Joss Franco the drummer of the stoner band Space Coyote. He´s now playing bass in Galerna too!!!
Playing with 2 guitars opens new possibilities, more stage intensity for example, etc, etc.
Yes. I think it´s better for the band. 2 guitars let you create a sonic wall playing live. I tried to play guitars in the past but I was always drunk and I couldn´t play it in an adequately  way. Now I´m well and I´ve grabbed the guitar again!!
Is the new album title “Sempiternal Death Grind” to be understood as a statement?
Yes! Of course! We´re tired of wimps and posers!! I also love Sempiternal Deathreign´s "Spooky gloom" album!! A dutch death/doom underrated classic!!!
How much of your time was the production of it? And was it all to your satisfaction?
It took a lot of time. We spent months recording, mixing and mastering the album. I think we´re happy but I´m never satisfied with any of my recordings. I´m always looking for something I never find.
Is there anything that ties you to the old Repugnance times?

I played in Repugnance´s last line up. Circa 1999. I´m really proud of that. I love their second and third demo!! There are some good old songs there!
To what “riverside” are you closer – the pathological Carcass bloodbath or to the morbid toms of Swedish graveyards?
I love Carcass and it´s my all-time favourite band but being honest now we´re closer to the Swedish sound. Nihilist, Carnage, early Entombed....
Is the recollection of all the old school music & classic murder ballads from lots of young bands with old sounds nowadays maybe an advantage for you?
Maybe....but we´re a damned band and no one give a fuck about us. We got used to that.
Last spot is yours!
Thanks Jorg!!! Sex, drugs and grind!!!