Thursday, 26 January 2012

Entrails interview

I already showed my appreciation and enthusiasm towards the Swedish ENTRAILS in the review of their debut LP “Tales From the Morgue”, so I’m not going to repeat myself here. But I just need to recommend again this band to everyone, who’s into the old school Swedish death metal sound, this is a killer band and absolutely a must to have. I’m eagerly wait for the vinyl copy of the second Entrails LP, “The Tomb Awaits” and can’t wait for it… I haven’t heard an sounds from it yet, no mp3 or whatever as I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I’m sure it’s going to be a deadly album. But now I just want to invite everyone to read the interview I did with Mr Flesh a’ka Jimmy, leader of Entrails!

Hell-ooo Jimmy! How’s everything going? I hope you’re ready to answer few questions and don’t worry, we won’t be talking about your logo hehe!
Hello there yourself. Things are great here. Sure man, I am ready to bring some wise answers haha. And yeah. Let’s leave the shit about the Logo to the corpses.

I’ve been checking some reviews lately, of both Entrails albums. And you know what? I haven’t seen ANY negative opinions about them! Tell me, how does it feel to know that your music has found so many devotees? Do you feel pride, satisfaction or you just don’t care really he? Or maybe I’m wrong and your music actually got some negative feedback also?
Well, there are some bad reviews also but as I always say we cannot please every Justin Timberlake fans out there. Sad but true, but there are so many people that just think they know all about music and that their words are the law. But this bad shit is only a minor scale. And to me they´re dust. We have got full house on several reviews and to me personally that always read everything I can get and it’s very positive and brings me to do more and better stuff... 

What’s your secret to play this old school death metal and avoid repeating the riffs that already have been played and above all to make your music so bloody killer? Is it just a passion for that kind of playing, enthusiasm or maybe just plain fuckin luck hehe? I can see your band as sort of great tribute to one of the best death metal scenes ever, but at the same time for me it’s equally great, hmm, sometimes even better than some of the old bands.
Hmm. There are no secrets, we are not the only band that “repeats” what once have been played. Just listen to all bands using HM2 today, and also all them that says they play old school. Everyone does something from back then. In my own history I just made riffs back then in a more similar and a more heavy style than the “bands” that played faster and more brutal. In my opinion a sort of mix between good old thrash like early Metallica and Slayer among others combined with my own view in how Swedish death metal sounded, so I would say that Entrails plays a sort of simplified Swedish old school death metal with thrash influences and some other styles and with the typical classic Swedish sound. And it seems that this style have been a minor success to those that likes heavy riffing and headbanging without losing your head. And as always it’s cool that fans of music and styles find us better than the bands before, but it’s obvious that people blame us for being a tribute / clone / copy because of the more detailed sound of Sunlight sound we have and of corpse the logo - that´s the first thing you see on our stuff. And now the latest album we get blamed for copying “Left Hand Path” cover, OK the tombstone are there and the threes and the blue atmosphere. And then what??? There are many covers with tombstones and threes and blue theme. Damn, are people so fucked up in their brains that they just have to chase bands and telling them in what’s wrong and what’s right? They are like 15 years old molested retards with asphalt in their sandbox.. arggh.  

Are you personally surprised with the present resurrection of the old school death metal, of Autopsy, Incantation, Asphyx and Dismember styles and the amount of bands that play it nowadays? And also of their quality, because not just Entrails, but also Morbus Chron, Maim, Facebreaker, Revolting, Demonical, Bombs of Hades, Bastard Priest – to stay just in Sweden - and many more have unleashed just killer recordings! You know, I’ve been listening to this music since about 1991, always loved Swedish sound, so even if there was just Dismember left on the war field with their “Death Metal” and “Hate Campaign” albums, I even then loved it. But to see so many great bands nowadays, I must say I’m very happy about that. What’s your opinion on that?
No, not at all. The styles will rise once again. The same was for the 80´s music some years ago... I think it’s awesome as well that so many bands keep the Swedish steel harder than ever. There are many good upcoming bands standing to front the Swedish DM. And will bring the veins into the next era.

I was quite surprised when I’ve read that the real beginning of Entrails goes back to 1990. Tell me then what exactly happened that the band never went any further than the rehearsal room? Have you recorded anything back then or you just had few riffs, but mainly focused on drinking beers hehe? What was the line up? Are the other members from that time known to us, or they all just disappeared right after the split up of Entrails?
Yeah man, that’s a long time ago. Well, we had the songs to make a demo but no money to record it in a serious way. We were always ending up in the studio with terrible results and we never made the songs good enough in the studio because we didn’t have any time for that. We just got to borrow the studio on some spare hours for free. So in the end we all get tired of it all and some of us moved to another place and it was only I left playing, so I quit playing in 1997-98 something and did other things in almost 10 years. The guys in Entrails back then was Fredde on drums, Tobbe on guitar and Billy on bass then I did the vocals and lead guitar. It’s only Tobbe that have continued playing in different bands (Leukemia, Jigsore Terror, The Scams, Witchgrave and more).

Finally the question is how important was it for you to bring those old riffs / songs of Entrails back to the rehearsal room and play them again, eventually record them? What did you feel at first, did it feel like an unfinished chapter of some sort? Have you been playing in any bands in the meantime or just stayed close as a fan?
When I was listening to my old tapes with my riffs and the bad songs from studio I just said to myself that this shit deserves a better destiny. And with that I bought a guitar and a computer and some recording programs and began to learn how it works and record them again. And at that time I also listened much on 80´s and 90´s metal and of corpse the Swedish death metal that I thought have become worse in my ears. And also the thrash was gone. It was only Dismember that still had IT and still delivered good music, so for me I just felt that “damn I just got to record my songs to its best and see where it will lead me to”. So 100% nostalgia was the reason to bring it all back to life again..  

How big part of “Reborn” and “Human Decay” demos has been written back in the early 90’s? Have all of it been composed then or did you put also some new parts into those songs? Eventually the same question goes for the debut album of Entrails, although I know that it is composed of the chosen demo tracks, only they’ve all been recorded again (with the drummer, etc). How much have you been rearranging things during the past few years? And what about those demo songs, which haven’t end up on “Tales From the Morgue”?
That’s right; the “Tales From the Morgue” album is based on the demos without the last song that I added in last minute. I would say all songs have been made in 1990-97, when I’ve been active doing songs. And on demos I used some of them that I liked the most. The differences from back then and now are some changes on some parts and few new lyrics here and there. And those changes I did in the time I was learning them again. There are few that didn’t fit on “Tales From the Morgue” like the doomish “Depression” and “Midnight Death” and “Your Dead Dog Smile”. “Depression” will soon be on a 7” or a 10”split. The two other are on “Tomb Awaits” album but with new lyrics and new titles.

I would love to add those two demos to my collection, so tell me, do you still spread them to those, who’re interested and maybe record a CDR for them with Xeroxed booklet, or you don’t care about spreading those demos anymore? All in all, “Human Decay” was limited to 100 copies, what’s a crime! Or maybe you’re thinking about releasing them on CD, although I must admit it wouldn’t be the same, speaking of the collecting value.
You´re not the only one who wants both demos. The whole idea when I did them was to see the response out there. So for now they´re sold out but I am thinking of doing a small homemade repress in 2012. And by that they will look the same as the once I did a few years ago. And hell, why not doing them all in one CD? I haven’t had that idea. Hmm, I was also thinking of doing a remix on them because when I did them I was a rookie in how to mix but now I think I could do a better work. Maybe a special edition hehe.

Hmm, would be cool to get that re-press edition, anyway, even without the remixing etc, let me know when they’re available!
Right then… Entrails have only just released the new album, “The Tomb Awaits”. I haven’t actually heard it yet, I’m waiting for the vinyl and then I’ll slaughter it. But tell me, after the success of the debut, was it difficult for you to compose new tracks, new riffs, etc, to make sure that the new material will not only be equally good, but even better? Was it sort of a challenge for you, did you struggle or maybe everything went very smoothly? And was it more of a band’s cooperation this time, since you’ve wrote the entire music from “Tales From the Morgue” by yourself?
Not at all. The songs were sort of already done and ready but we did a more massive work to re- arrange the songs and make them more aggressive and not so long and boring. And it also inspired me to try making new songs so we have some new shit on the new one as well. A good mix between old material and new.

When I was listening to “Tales From the Morgue” I was just thrilled how great riffs you’ve made there. I mean – and I do believe that “The Tomb Awaits” will be equally great – they’ve got some killer melodies, many headbanging moments, are aggressive and have the proper dark atmosphere… and of course there’s the proper guitar sound, which reminds the Sunlight Studio recordings. For my taste, these are the ingredients necessary for a winning album. I only complained about the drums sound in my review… So, how would you compare both Entrails albums?
Yeah, that’s what I mean. Back then (and still is) my vision was to make such riffs / songs. And it was important that it has to be easy to follow what’s going on in the songs and for that you can bang your head more easily hehe. To me it’s more important to have a listenable riff instead of full speed and not be able to hear what happens. Yeah the drums sound a bit too much trigged but the drums are much better in the new one. And if I shall compare the albums it’s darker, the sound is maybe a bit more like earlier Sunlight this time. Exactly as we want it. Otherwise it’s up to the listener to decide and compare.

Since I haven’t listened to “The Tomb Awaits” yet, tell me which are the prime tracks on that album? I’m asking about those real headbanger’s favourites, like “Voices” or “Entrails” from the debut!
Well,, there are many headbanging moments in that album. “Crawling Death”, “Eaten by the Dead” for an example will get your head moving around, trust me hehe.

Oh, I do Jimmy, I do! I guess many bands would love to work with Dan Swano, so maybe you can unveil is he easy to work with or maybe too demanding sometimes or whatever? Have you knows him earlier and are you Edge of Sanity fan, especially “Crimson” album, which I think is epic, as well as “Dawn of Dreams” from Pan Thy Monium… Fuckin weird, but so sweet hehe!
Swano is a great guy and very easy to work with. I mean he just did the mix and mastering and for that I think he have to listen to the bands instead in how they want it. He didn’t give us a tip or nothing. And this time I think even Swano got in the mood when we came with such cool songs. We got massive feedback from him on the new album and with his guest vocals on a small part in one song I was really pleased. Hm, I am not a big fan (Of the albums I asked for – Astus) but hell, I listen to them, but maybe I’m more into the “Purgatory Afterglow” album.

Both intros from the debut and the second piece are amazing, both different but still good. Was it an important thing to have them at the beginning? For me it’s like some kind of announcement: "don't be afraid, we are just Entrails and we came to rip off your every limb with our grisly and horrifying tunes", haha :)
Haha, exactly that was my vision of it as well. For me an intro is important to get the listener into a mood that will bring hell when the music starts hehe.

I guess you must have been told that several times already, but the atmosphere of the music – as a whole, including the intro I’ve mentioned, lyrics, artwork, etc - of Entrails just reminds me watching some old horror movies. When I read the lyrics like “Voices” (in the head of a sadistic killer) or “Entrails” (great cannibalistic lyrics) such pictures just come to my head straight away. How big fan of those old movies then are you? Which are your favourites? Did you like also some of the remakes, like “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” or “Hills Have Eyes”, these two were pretty cook I think, but some other were just bad. By the way, I do recommend watching “The Walking Dead” new TV series, really cool story!
Yepp, I’m a total horror fan, but I can’t say I watch so many movies for that reason but I got my favourites in “Braindead”, “Bad Taste”, Evil Dead” trilogy and some ““bla” of the Dead” movies like the “New Dawn of the Dead”. So, some re-makes are good. “Friday the 13th“ for an example was way better than the first two original movies. But I hate the new wave of horror like “Paranormal Activity” and such crap. When I watch a movie I want some action as well and of corpse raw and brutal humour. “The Walking Dead” series are damn good but it happens nothing too often, only talking and shit hehe.

Yeah, some may say that there’s not enough action, but that’s the thing, to show the life of people who try to escape from the dead and get somewhere safe. It would be maybe too boring also just to watch the action all the time, that would last maybe for 2-3 episodes and that’s it, everyone’s dead hehe, don’t you think?
Imagine now that you wake up one morning and notice that everybody in Vaxjo is dead… and the dead are walking on the streets! What would you do? If you would find other band members, then you could make some pictures and that would be the most horrifying and real photo session about zombies in the history hehe!
Well, they´re already dead in that town. More stupid assholes than them is impossible to find hehe. They are so fucking trendy and follow what’s hot in the radio. But I´ll see your point and doing that would have been awesome haha!

But speaking of the movie remakes… The Americans have just done the remake of the “Män som hatar kvinnor” with Daniel Craig. I must say that I’ve read the whole trilogy of Stieg Larsson and absolutely loved it; it’s one of the best thrillers I’ve read. And the Swedish movies were also very good. I wonder then whether the Swedes like the fact that Hollywood has putted their hands on “Millenium” and how famous the trilogy is in your country?
Well, I can’t answer this one because it takes a shotgun pointed at me to see a Swedish movie. They´re all silly to watch.

In “Män som hatar kvinnor” there’s a history of a wealthy Swedish family, whose some members has been active in nazi groups. I know that quite a lot of Swedes have joined the Waffen SS troops during the II World War. Sweden was not only helping the Germans, but also Finland during the Winter War in 1939. I wonder are those facts kind of a shameful part of Swedish history which no one tells about during the history lessons? Is it like in Russia, when they’d say that Stalin was good, but no one will say that during and after the war he killed millions of people or that the Russian soldiers have raped thousands of women (not just German, but also those which they’ve freed from the concentration camps, like Ravensbruck!)? You know, people usually try to forget their mistakes from the past… and Germans for example state in their history books that there are Polish concentration camps, not Nazi German camps, which is just bloody ridiculous.
I am terrible on history and especially world wars and nazis and shit so I have to pass this one as well.

Hmm, that’s bloody shame Jimmy, as these were my special questions for this interview hehe! I will need to ask those some other Swedish bands then! Wealthy countries like Sweden and Norway have a big number of immigrants coming. That always creates some misunderstandings and strong nationalistic feelings, especially among the right wing parties. I wonder then what was the reaction of Sweden on Anders Breivik’s terroristic attack in Norway? Don’t you have an impression that the same thing might have happened in Sweden?
Well, that can happen everywhere but impossible to know in advance. It’s so damn boring that it does happen. I mean, what kind of a lowlife will do such thing as kill everyone in sight. (And you call that boring hehe!!!!??? – Astus) That belongs into movies, but I think Sweden showed their compassion to Norway when it happened.

OK, back to the band. You’ve played several festivals in the recent months, tell me what are your best memories from them and what was the reaction to Entrails from the maniacs that gathered on those events? Are these some touring plans also for the 2012?
Yepp. In 2011 we played at some great festivals and we had a good feedback from the crowd and it was awesome to be there and play. For 2012 we have in this moment only one confirmed festival to play at, (Summer Breeze open air) but we are hunting more places. A tour could be done if we have someone that could handle four metalheads travelling around in a bus doing shows hehe. I think that our biggest weakness is to get us some gigs, but perhaps in 2012 will be a better year

Would you consider making a video for one of your songs and if so how would you imagine it to be, if it was for “Entrails” for instance, with all the cannibalism, or “Voices” which could be similar to Insidious Disease’s “Boundless” video?
We are talking about it and we will see what happens during this year in making a video. But I think if we will do a video there will be a video that will be easy to make hehe

What can you tell me about some other bands from Vaxjo, like Deformed, Dethronement, Devilry? I really like some other bands from your town – I always liked Hypnosia for instance (“Extreme Hatred” is brilliant), there also was Temperance, but I’ve never been fond of them that much. And Furbowl of course, they were bloody good. I wonder whether you know Johan Liiva? Tell me, how come there were so many good bands in such a small town?!
Also Carnage was from Vaxjo but they said they were from Stockholm but it was only Fred Estby that lived there. And of corpse Birdflesh and Jigsore Terror. I really don’t know why this town is so damn good in making music, must be the hate for this town. I do not have the connections to this town until now when we do Entrails, but I have heard the bands and many more demo bands. I prefer the silence away from the traffic and all shit, so that’s why I live in a small village with 800 people.

I know that “The Tomb Awaits” has only just been released, but I wonder what would be your next recording plans, maybe EP or some splits (I’ve heard some rumours about the split with Ominous Crucifix)? Are here any old riffs left or there will be new material only?
Yepp. A split is coming very soon. Don’t know when but hopefully very soon. We had 2 leftovers from the demos that we didn’t think would fit on any Entrails album so “Depression” and “Human Decay” will join that split. One song from each demo with a more fresh sound. Otherwise we will begin with album number 3 soon. The songs are made in a prototype version and from that we create the songs and even on this new one there will be old 90´s riffing hehe. And I think also that it will be even more heavy this time. Me like mucho hehe .

I should also ask now how far do you hope to go with Entrails? And I mean it not necessarily about the sales, but more in the musical aspect. Hmm, many bands in the past started to change after one or two albums… There are many such examples… Entombed, the most obvious, we’ve talked about them in e-mails and of course you’re not so fond of their death’n’roll stuff. But also Desultory, Wombbath, as well as Morgoth, Disgrace, Amorphis… Uff, so many. Would you imagine Entrails changing the style and exploring different musical directions?
That’s something I will not do. If I feel that I cannot do any songs with the old veins I will quit. And for that it’s impossible to say how long it will bring us. I mean we ain’t getting younger hehe. For those bands you mentioned they were already too big to lose that much of their fans but for us I think that would kill us. Also take Metallica for an example. They created the thrash style in 82-83 but they also killed it a few years after. Also for the Swedes Cemetary and their first album “An Evil Shade of Grey”; that was to me a damn good album but on the year after they were totally fucked up.

What was your reaction for the Dismember statement that they are done with music and they gonna hang their guitars on the stick? Be a man and confess that you cried a little when nobody could see you, haha! Seriously, beyond doubt it was a great band - do you have any relevant memories with them?
Well, I just couldn’t believe it. They still delivered good music all the way to the day they decided to quit. And it’s a big lost for Swedish death metal but you´ll never know. Morgoth have had a reunion and why not Dismember in a few years. It’s a big shame but I haven’t been able to see them live, not even once. I even missed them in my hometown Vaxjo because of other things, so the memories from and with them is their good music and that I couldn’t see them live hehe .

Uff, I guess we’re nearing towards the end of that long interview! But unlike in horrors, there will be a happy ending… and that is your music, for which as a fan I thank you a lot! But enough of ass kissing. Thanks for the answers and all the best in 2012!
Ha thanks dude. These were some hours spent to answer this one but it was fun. See ya in 2012!! Cheers!!

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