Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Bombs of Hades - interview

BOMBS OF HADES interview!!!!!!!!!
BOMBS OF HADES… Man, first time I’ve heard this band, it just blew my head off! If you often visit my blog, then there’s a slight chance you might have read three reviews of this band’s releases I’ve already done... none of them is negative and I can really say my enthusiasm for the music BOMBS OF HADES plays gets only bigger and bigger. So I really wanted to ask Jonas few questions and the dream came true. It was a real pleasure to be able to interview someone like him, all in all this is the guy, whose many albums / bands I’ve got in my collection and which I’ve been listening to for years. Check the interview out then, check out also those reviews… And there’s also an article about UTUMNO somewhere on the blog I posted earlier last year, which is another band Jonas sang for. Let’s start!

Hi Jonas. I must say it’s a real pleasure to have a chance to ask few question someone, who recorded and played in so many bands that have been massacring me through the years. Tell me, do you feel like a death metal legend, a person, who has inspired many others? Also, weren’t you afraid to come back to the scene with new band, after so many years since the good old days?
Hi Marcin. I can’t really say I feel like a legend. That whole thing seems strange to me. I mean I have my heroes / legends and I don’t consider myself being in their league haha. But it’s still great that the music I make inspires others. I wasn’t really afraid to come back to it. The time was right and I’m still creative enough to make some good shit.

I want to start this interview by asking you about some excellent, recent news concerning BOMBS OF HADES. First I’ve heard that the band has signed a contract with PULVERISED Records, great Asian label, which releases quite few Swedish bands! How come you’ve changed the label? Weren’t you happy with BLOOD HARVEST or maybe they’ll take care of the vinyl only, while PULVERISED will do the CDs? Finally, the news say that the title of new album is going to be "The Serpent's Redemption"! I can’t wait to hear that, but maybe there’s a chance you can unveil some secrets about the second full length, at least few details?
Yeah the deal is that PULVERISED will release and promote the CD while BLOOD HARVEST will do the vinyl. We will probably always release our full-length vinyls through BLOOD HARVEST. Great label and Rodrigo is a great guy. Yes, the new album will be called “The Serpent’s Redemption”. The titletrack is a song we’ve had for like 2 years now and we’ve played it live a couple of times. I’ve more or less built the whole new album around that song. The album will be more like half of it doomier and half fastpaced / d-beat stuff.  It will only have 8 tracks, but some are a pretty long so the album will still be around 40-45 minutes long. Just booked the studiotime and it will be recorded the last week of February and is planned to be released in May 2012.

Arghhh, can’t wait! I think 2011 was pretty good year for BOMBS OF HADES. You’ve released three fantastic new materials: a 7” „Into the Eternal Pit of Fire” and two splits: one split 7” with USURPRESS and 10” with TORMENTED. How do you estimate that year and those three releases? Where did this idea for so many singles come from? Is vinyl an important format for BOMBS? I’ve seen a photo on your facebook with a huge (!) collection of records. Seems like you’re a real maniac of them!
It’s been a pretty productive year yeah. We did those three releases and our split 10” with MORDBRAND will be out in January 2012. My vision with BOMBS OF HADES is to try and release 1 album every 18 months and fill every year up with 3-5 ep’s, splits etc. I have loads of material / riffs / ideas so there’s no problem there. Also a reason for this is that we’re not kids anymore. We are all over and almost 40 years old, so it would be great to have a good body of work when we finally call it a day you know. A huge inspiration for doing lots of EPs and splits is THE HELLACOPTERS. Their first 5 or 6 years they did around 30 of them. And all those stuff we did this year is great I think. Good progression between the first album and the next. Yeah, I’m a big record collector. Been one my whole life. Forsberg and Söderback are also big collectors. Vinyl is the only thing that counts haha.

Split with TORMENTED is a damn killer release! I absolutely love “Ice Cold Grave”, which definitely belongs to my favourite songs of BOMBS OF HADES! But I was pretty surprised with your choice of the cover! I’ve never heard LOUD PIPES earlier and I suppose you’ve made that song more death metal than the original. Do you prefer to play covers of bands, which are not death metal, because that’s not what everyone would expect?
Nice to hear you like it. LOUD PIPES are an old favourite band of ours. Pretty cool band that featured Karlén from MERCILESS, Fredrik from UNLEASHED and Peter Stjärnvind (MERCILESS, UNANIMATED, ENTOMBED, NIFELHEIM etc). Loud obnoxious punk, just the way we like it. We’ve done covers of LOUD PIPES and MOTÖRHEAD but also MASTER, SATHANAS and CARNAGE. I like mixing it up and do a bit of both you know. Keep it interesting.

If LOUD PIPES (FUCK! What a killer line up they had!!) was surprising choice for the cover, then CARNAGE’s “The Day Man Lost” from „Into the Eternal Pit of Fire” is more obvious. But it was recorded with Per Boder from GOD MACABRE on vocals, what makes it really special. How is he doing nowadays? His vocals are great on that cover, I would love to hear some more stuff with him doing the vocals! How did you decide to have him on this song?
A total obvious one. I’ve been playing this one since 1989. Per is doing great with MORDBRAND and life in general. He did an amazing job on our CARNAGE cover and his voice is better than ever. It was a nobrainer for me to have him do it. We used to play this at almost every rehearsal with MACABRE END / GOD MACABRE.

Well, I must admit I didn’t know about his new band, MORDBRAND at the time of doing those questions, but I already putted my orders for their split with EVOKE and “Necropsychotic” MCD!!! And now „Into the Eternal Pit of Fire”… Well, I like most of DETEST Records releases, but this one is one of my truly favourite ones EVER! Amazing EP with three killer songs (although “Prologue (The Ecstacy Of Blood)” is sort of an intro, with great creepy horror atmosphere!)… The title song must be bringing a pure slaughter on gigs, I think, it’s another amazing song of yours! I sometimes wonder, don’t you regret using such excellent songs on singles, instead on the full lengths hehe? From the other hand I hope that once they’re on EPs, they won’t be re-recorded for the album, because it would make the EP pretty much worthless hehe.
Thanks. We often open our shows with this one nowdays. Great song to begin the slaughter with. I write most songs with a purpose. All of the EP or split songs are written for this particular reason, not an album. The only track that we ever might re-record is “Burn” from the forthcoming split with MORDBRAND. This one was meant for the next album and if I don’t come up with one that can replace it on the album, it will be recorded again for it.

Then the split with USURPRESS… Well, first of all, I love the artwork for it! Secondly, I never heard of USURPRESS earlier, but I was surprised this band features Daniel Ekeroth, although to be honest their music didn't convince me 100%. How did you end up sharing a 7” with them?
Yeah, Rafal does some amazing artwork! And USURPRESS, they are old friends of ours and we love doing stuff with our friends. As simple as that.

I know that BOMBS OF HADES has started as crust / punk band, which at first was kind of surprise for me, but after listening to your music I’ve found out that there are still some traces of this kind of playing in your music, only everything is spices with great dose of classic old school death metal in the vein of MANTAS, MASTER, AUTOPSY or NIHILIST. How did it happen that your music has evolved from crust into what we can hear on “Chambers of Annihilation” and other BOMBS recent recordings? I wonder how did “Apocalipsis Canibal” demo sound?
The Crust/D-beat influence has been with me ever since the ABHOTH / GOD MACABRE days. DISCHARGE was always quite big with the Death metal heads in Sweden in those days. And when me and Ekman formed BOMBS OF HADES it was in the beginning just meant for us to get drunk and play aggressive crust. That first demo isn’t at all the way we sound nowdays. Also I play drums on it and I’m not as good as Forsberg is. The way I see our music now is that is has some Crust, a lot of old school Death and some progressive elements and also some doom touches.

The break between BOMBS first official release, “Carnivores” and the previous bands you played in, like UTUMNO was really long. When you’ve left UTUMNO and GOD MACABRE, did you simply feel bored with death metal or what? I know you’ve played in some bands in the meantime, but they didn’t have anything to do with what you’ve been doing in the past! I’ve read somewhere that GOD MACABRE basically had enough material to do the album, if that so is true haven’t you thought about using some of it nowadays?
I was totally fed up with the death metal scene after GOD MACABRE and UTUMNO folded. I had become obsessed with progressive rock like KING CRIMSON, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and GENTLE GIANT and wanted to explore that more. It took me about 3 years to find a suitable drummer. He and I rehearsed a lot between 1997-98 and a lot of times we where joined by bassplayer Gustaf Hielm who also played with MESHUGGAH at the time. We started to record an album in 1998 but it was never finished for a lot of reasons. I actually plan to finish this album this year. Then I played organ and guitar in a psychedelic garage band between 2001-2007 called THE COLOMBOS. Well, I had almost enough finished songs for a second album with GOD MACABRE. Around 6 songs were finished and I had riffs / ideas for maybe 4-5 songs more. I’ve used some of those ideas for BOMBS OF HADES songs like “Godless”, “One With Hell” and “Corpse Holocaust” and for some new stuff coming. I have A LOT of ideas left from those days that I plan to use in BOMBS OF HADES.

“Chambers of Abomination” is an excellent album. "Bombs of Hades", "Corpse Holocaust", "Master Builder" and "Funeral" are definitely my favourite songs from it! But it all sounds awesome and just shreds with killer riffs and great, rotten atmosphere. From the recent bands, I put this album together with DEATH BREATH and BASTARD PRIEST – similar music and great performance in each! How do you personally see “Chambers of Abomination” now, so many months after the recording? Are you all happy with that album?
Thanks a lot. I’m pleased with it, but there is always stuff you would wanna change with a recording afterwards. I would wish the production to be a bit heavier and louder just.

I wonder whether you’re familiar with the recent DARKTHRONE albums? I ask about that, because they kind of started to take influences from similar bands as BOMBS OF HADES and there are parts of “Chambers of Abomination”, which do remind me the Norwegian band, like in "Corpse Holocaust" and “Funeral”.
I’m a big DARKTHRONE fan, yeah. Love all their stuff. Really like the way they have turned almost into a punkband nowdays. I guess you could say they’ve influenced me. Not as much as say AUTOPSY or ENTOMBED or TROUBLE, but yeah.

The B side of the vinyl seems to be a conceptual four track story… Would you mind telling me something more about it and about the Master Builder, whoever he is (Satan??)?
The whole B-side is based around CLIVE BARKER’s shortstory “Down Satan” about a rich man who builts hell on earth to make Satan show himself, but turns into Satan himself in the process. The Master Builder is the man who builds this hell on earth and goes mad doing it. The title was “stolen” from an old song by the British / French progband GONG.

In the old days you’ve been visiting (with your bands) SUNLIGHT Studio. Nowadays the BOMBS are recording all their releases in your hometown, Vasteras. So, two questions – how do you remember Skogsberg and the work in SUNLIGHT and two – are you happy with the sound you’ve been achieving with BOMBS and this kind of organic, but rotten and raw production, which feels like you’ve been playing 100% live?
Skogsberg was a great guy to work with. Very relaxed and worked fast. I really enjoyed recording with him back in those days. He taught me a lot. It’s been convenient and cheap for us to record here in Västerås now. We record one guitar and the drums “live” and the rest is overdubbed later. The next album though will be recorded in Gothenburg at a good friend’s studio. 

Magnus said in the interview that “we wouldn’t drop a cool riff / idea just because it didn’t sound murky and “old” enough”. Would you agree with him and if so, do you often come up with completely not death metal sounding riffs and ideas?
Some riffs are maybe not considered Death Metal when I first come up with them but they sort of always become it anyway after you put it in it’s right context.

Quite few old bands have returned recently, like DESULTORY who did absolutely amazing record, also EVOCATION, THE CROWN and GODDEFIED, and from the other countries there are ASPHYX, PESTILENCE, etc. Sooo many hehe. And few more like EXCRUCIATE and CRYPT OF KERBEROS have been announcing their come backs. How do you feel about that? Have you been tempted to resurrect GOD MACABRE or UTUMNO? Or maybe ABHOTH, although this band never got as much attention as the other bands you’ve played with in the past and you left them pretty quickly, but since you play with Butch Ekman…?
It’s great that a lot of bands / musicians come back to their roots and still deliver quality stuff. But the chance of getting any of my old bands back together is pretty slim. None of us are interested in doing it. Rather do the new stuff. Let the past stay in the past.

I absolutely love THE CROWN’s “Doomsday King” album you did with them (the best one in their discography, in my opinion!), but recently I’ve found out you left the band! How come and what’s the reason? Have you enjoyed the gigs and everything you did with THE CROWN? I know that Johan Lindstrand has returned to them, what makes me laugh a bit, but I do hope they won’t re-do the album with him on vocals, just as they did that with “Crowned In Terror” hehe!
Glad you like the album. I think I did a good job on it. The reason I’m not with THE CROWN anymore is pretty simple. Johan wanted to return to the band (why is up for speculation) and I can’t really stand in the way of that. I bet most of the fans prefer to see Johan at the front. I knew it would happen eventually, but it makes me laugh a bit too since the guy has been in and out of THE CROWN so many times haha. I have a very good relationship with all of them (including Johan) and we still talk all the time. Great guys. And I’ve told them that if they ever re-record “Doomsday King” with Johan I will hunt them down haha. They truly think that the re-recording of “Crowned in terror” was a big mistake.

I need to ask you one thing. Well, I wonder is something like an image for metal band – either for death metal or black metal – something important for you? I ask about that, because I remember UTUMNO had as un-death metal photos as it’s only possible! That must have annoyed a lot of orthodox maniacs, I think, especially that Madonna t-shirt one of you wore on the EP! And nowadays also BOMBS pretty much doesn’t have an image, you’re just four guys, who’re there to play some killer riffs and who doesn’t try to look either evil or like zombies or whatever else, but are just dudes from the neighbourhood…
Yeah, I’ve never been interested in having an image. I mean, the music should do the talking not what you wear or look like. The UTUMNO thing came more or less as a response to the brewing black metal scene back in 1991-92. We all liked a lot of the black metal that was coming out but none of us really cared for all of those trying to out-do each other with who was most satanic or evil etc. That’s why Dan wore a MADONNA shirt and we more or less just looked like normal dudes. With BOMBS OF HADES it’s the same thing. We wear just cool t-shirts, jeans and the occasional Bandoleer belts. Don’t need much more.

Ufff, we’re getting close to end of this interview… I just watched some raw sounding videos of BOMBS live performances and I must say you shred live also! How often do you have a chance to play? How does it feel to be on the scene again? I guess you see many things which have changed since the old days, but I hope it’s still a lot of fun for you?
I think we’re getting better and better live. We don’t do that many gigs, maybe around 5 a year. It looks like we’re finally doing our first gigs abroad next year also which will be great fun. It feels great to be back in the scene again. But none of us are strangers to playing live. Söderback and Forsberg did many European tours with their old band PUFFBALL.  And yeah, it’s a lot of fun.

And finally last question... but I don’t want it to be an easy one for you, so… maybe you’ll give us a list of your favourite death metal albums and demos? Ha, that will give you a headache! Take care Jonas and keep the great job with BOMBS OF HADES! It was a great pleasure to do this interview!
Ahh, OK. My fave demos are still the classic ones: CARNAGE (Swe): both demos, all the NIHILIST / ENTOMBED demos, DISMEMBER “Last Blasphemies”, the AUTOPSY demos, MORBID ANGEL “Thy Kingdom Come”, SATHANAS “Ripping Evil”, NECROVORE “Divus de Mortus”, IMMOLATION “Demo II”, INCUBUS “Demo 87”, POISON “Awakening of the dead”, DEVASTATION (Chicago) “A Creation of a Ripping Death”, SARCOFAGO “Black Vomit”, DARKTHRONE “Thulcandra” and lots lots more. Albums: everything by AUTOPSY, DARKTHRONE and ENTOMBED. MORBID ANGEL “Abominations of Desolation”. First two PARADISE LOST, both BASTARD PRIEST LP’s and tons more. Thanks for the interview and stay heavy!

No comments:

Post a Comment