Greetings, Matte! Are there any new events, concerning both your bands, that you'd like to tell me about?
- Hello Kai,
I got some news for you about GODGORY - right now we are only 2 members;
that's me and the drummer Erik, who also writes the songs. We thought it
was better to let three others go, since Micke, Fredric and Thomas are
involved with WORLD OF SILENCE, which is their first priority and there
was something about they didn't have the permission to record with any
other band for their label Black Mark. Stefan left the band cause he study's
to be a teacher and will be in school for 4,5 years, so he's got no time
left for GODGORY. I got some good news too, GODGORY are now signed to Nuclear
Blast and we will record our third CD in October 1998 in studio Abyss.
I don't have much news about GRAVE FLOWERS right now, I'm concentrating
on GODGORY, I was meant to do a full length CD with GRAVE FLOWERS for Teutonic
Existence Recs. but I guess it will take a while since I'm so low on cash
and I have to pay the studio costs by my self,
but see what happens in the future. We will try to get members to GODGORY, if we don't we will be using session musicians in the studio.
Describe your first steps on musical field... How did you get interested in music altogether, in metal and doom / death specifically? What urged you on becoming a singer / musician / composer?
- I have always been interested in music since I was an ugly little kid. My first idol was Elvis Presley, but then I was very young, when I came up to the age of 9-10 I started to listen to punk and KISS and then it just came naturally to continue to listen to heavy metal. To be a musician is also a dream that I have had for a long time and I think it's funny to write songs and rehearse it feels like something is missing in my life if I don't deal with music. I started out as an drummer in a band called MASTER JOKERS but it was mostly on hobby basis, we only made one gig. It all started more serious in the beginning of 1992 when I joined a band called UNBLESSED to sing with them, Erik was the drummer in that band but me and Erik have known each other for 15 years, so we didn't met each other through that band. UNBLESSED did also only made one gig and in August 1992 we split up mostly because Erik and I wanted to start GODGORY and Jens (the bass player) in UNBLESSED was also a member of GODGORY for a while. The thing that urged me to be a musician is that it's fun and it would be a dream if I could make a living on my music - that's the things that keeps me struggling on.
What were you guided by, choosing a name for your main band (GODGORY)? It sounds a bit ridiculous and doesn't fit your music too much...
- Thanks for the compliment, HA-HA. I sat one day with a dictionary and I saw the word Gory and I thought if we put God in front of that it could be a cool band name and the chance of somebody else having the same name was not so big. I came up with the name long before we have started GODGORY and before we had made a demo we played covers and both me and Erik thought it was a good name, so we decided to call our band GODGORY. I can agree with you that it doesn't fit our music, but it's stupid to change name now, since we have a recognition with that name and it's not the most important thing your band name in the end - it's the music that counts.
very first steps of GODGORY and even till now, some critics
compare you to EDGE OF SANITY... Is there any truth in such kind of
- Since both me and Erik listens much to EDGE OF SANITY, I guess it comes pretty naturally that we sound a bit like EDGE but it's not something that we strive after. It's only that we like their style of death metal and we have the good Dan Swano engineering for us and he also does that for EDGE OF SANITY, maybe much depends on that too.
some line-up changes before the release of "Shadow's Dance" -
Stefan Olsson (guitar) was replaced by Stefan Grundel, and Thomas Heder joined the band as permanent keyboardist...
- Stefan Olsson
and Stefan Grundel is the same person only with a
different lastname. He changed his surname from Olsson to Grundel, I don't know why but he did. Yeah, we also took in Thomas as a permanent keyboardist but now he's not with us anymore.
If I'm not mistaken, you've used programmed drum-set on "Shadows..." Is that right? What roused you to this decision?
- Yes we use programmed drums on "Shadow's Dance". We did that to save tracks in the studio and to get a perfect sound. It doesn't matter much to me, cause Erik can play all things on the CD so it's no cheating to get Erik to sound like a super drummer. If he couldn't play the things, then I don't know if I had agreed letting him use a drum machine, but now when he can then it's no problem for me.
You've recorded both CD's at Unisound with that famous Mr. I-Am-Everywhere Dan Swano... Did this studio and it's equipment satisfied you at 100%? It's non-existent now, so where are you going to create a new GODGORY's piece of extreme art?
- Yes we are very pleased with Dan and his equipment, but we don't like the guitar sound on "Shadow's Dance" we have noticed that afterwards but that's not Dan's fault cause we liked it in the studio. We will record in Abyss October 1998 with Peter Tagtgren. I'm looking forward to that cause I think it's very good to change studio and see how other people are working, and just listen to the DIMMU BORGIR CD which is recorded in the Abyss - it's so much atmosphere so it can't be bad.
"Religious Fantasy", "God's Punishment"... It seems that your lyrics are quite often broaching religious topics, why? What are your personal beliefs and opinion of religion in the whole?
- I don't have any religion, I only think it's sad that people can be so fanatic and try to persuade other people to believe the same religion as they do. If they could believe in their thing and shut up and don't talk about it, it's all right with me. I don't try to make anyone believe my lyrics - it's just my point of view. Music is my religion, that's the only religion I need.
some old hard-rock and even progressive music elements /
influences on "Shadows Dance", especially when it comes to keyboards and (magnificent) guitar solos...
- It's Erik who writes all the music and Micke does all the solos and both of them is very inspired by DREAM THEATER and Yngwie Malmsteen. Thomas (the keyboard player) is also inspired by DREAM THEATER I guess that could have some affect on our music.
Why did you decide to start doom / death metal bands? Some people hold the opinion that this music exhausted itself and slowly degenerates now... (I'd recommend these wimps to listen to your bands - they'll think in a different way after it!)
- We chose to play this sort of music cause we like it, we don't care if it's popular or outdying. We can't make music that we don't like cause we want to sell records. We do the music we are satisfied with and then if it's wimpy in someone's eyes, we can't help it, we like it and that's the main thing then if many others also do that it's great.
Sweden produces enormous number of black and death metal bands, there're even such labels as "Swedish death metal" and "Swedish black metal"... What are your views upon these music styles and it's most famous representatives?
- I'm not much for black metal but I like bands as: THERION, IN FLAMES, KATATONIA , DARK TRANQUILLITY, old TIAMAT and of course EDGE OF SANITY, CEMETARY, ENTOMBED. I think it's very high quality on Swedish bands and it's cool that they get appreciated outside their own country.
Have you ever thought about getting a deal with bigger label, like Century Media or Nuclear Blast? What about DISSECTION, DIMMU BORGIR and HYPOCRISY, how can they cooperate with the same label, which promotes such shitty christian "bands" as HORDE and MORTIFICATION??
- As I wrote in the first question we are now signed to Nuclear Blast and they will release our third CD. I'm not the right person to ask about why these bands are on the same label as christian band, but maybe it's something they have to take if they wants to be on a good and big label as Nuclear Blast. You got to see what's good for your own band, for GODGORY there is no problem which bands that are signed to Nuclear Blast, the thing that matters is that we could have a professional cooperation with the label. But like I said, I'm not the right one to answer this question.
Any comments about other bands, signed to Invasion Records?
- Some bands are good on Invasion, like DEFLESHED, GOLEM and GATES OF ISHTAR...
Can you describe both, GODGORY and GRAVE FLOWERS in a few words? What were these bands formed for, what are the main differences between them and what do you want to achieve with them, each separately?
- power death with melody and mighty keyboard and beautiful
acoustic parts. GRAVE FLOWERS - heavy, sad, melodic doom metal with
mournful vocals. The main differences between these two bands is that GRAVE FLOWERS is my one man project and plays a totally different music style than GODGORY. GRAVE FLOWERS songs are more basic and not so complicated as GODGORY's. The things I want to achieve with them is to make records and go on tours and make a living out of it.
How are the things going with GRAVE FLOWERS? Is there any possibility for us to hear new "official" recordings from this band in the near future?
- That has
to do with money which I don't have lot of, but Twan from
Teutonic Existence Recs. offered me to record a full length for his label but there is only one problem he wanted me to pay the studio costs and it's pretty hard for me. Maybe I will record 3 songs when I can afford that and next time I get money I record 3 new songs and after a while I got a record, but that can be a little dumd also. But Twan seems to be a very good guy, there no pressure from his side he just wrote to me send me the material when you have it and that's good I think. Only time can tell what happens to GRAVE FLOWERS debut CD.
is a one-man band, with you as the only vocalist and
musician, right? Then why you're only singing in GODGORY, letting others to play the instruments? Don't you think that it causes some problems and misunderstandings?
- No it doesn't
cause any problems cause I don't write any songs for
GODGORY. I only do the lyrics. Why should it be problems and misunderstanding if you let someone else play things you have done, it's only to tell show him and tell him play like this. The musicians in GODGORY are so much better than me to play guitar and bass so misunderstanding is out of the question.
The title track of your second CD appears as the most epic song GODGORY ever composed... Did you want it to be a kind of quintessence of all previous creations, a something special, which has been never done before, or it's just another (perfect) song?
- It's Erik who has done it, but I guess it's just another "perfect" song and since it is so good we decided to baptize the CD "Shadow's Dance". I don't think you can persuade yourself that you are going to do the best song of your life, you just sit and play and after a while it loses and you have a song. Then one song can be better than another but that's a matter of taste.
Do you (or other musicians) play in any bands, besides GODGORY? (and GRAVE FLOWERS, of course)
- Micke, Fredric
and Thomas (who're no longer with us) play in a band
called WORLD OF SILENCE.
Do you have songs featured on various video / audio compilations? Have you done any video yet?
- No GODGORY has not done a video, but we been on the Nuclear Blast CD "Soundcheck Series Vol. 7-96". GRAVE FLOWERS have been included on a comp CD entitled "And The Ravens Left The Tower" released by Teutonic Existence Recs. We hope to do a video for a song from our third CD when it's released.
What do you know about Russia? Russian extreme bands? Would you like to comment events, which took place in my country some time ago? What is your opinion of Russian people and country, as it is now, and as it was before?
- I don't know much about Russia more, than it's a pretty poor country and big. Russian extreme bands those of whom I know are AGGRESSION, MENTAL HOME, CUMDEO, GORESLEEPS and SIEGED MIND. My opinion about Russian people is that they are very supportive and interested in music at least the ones that wrote to me. They are very helpful and want to spread your band's name in their country. It has become better now than it was a while ago before you split up, I have the feeling you're not so controlled anymore at least not as much as it used to be, or maybe I'm wrong.
A lot of people become vegetarians / "nature defenders" / "Greenpeace" activists nowadays; do you share their views? Isn't it a bit late for us to wake up from "mangod" dream and start to protect nature from ourselves?
- I'm not so into this sort of things, I'm not a vegetarian but I don't see anything wrong in being one as long as you don't destroy animal transportation, fast foods stands cause it strikes us (tax payer). I guess it's a little bit too late to start caring about our nature now, we should have thought about that a while ago, but otherwise if you can choose between 2 things - one is bad the other is good for our environment, it doesn't hurt if you choose the one which is good.
Anything you want the VAE SOLIS readers to know about your ordinary life?
- No, not that I can think of, I'm a pretty boring person I guess. It's hard, I don't know what to answer.
Ok, let's end it with two FAQ's: future plans and final words...
- Our nearest future plans is to record our third album in October 1998 for Nuclear Blast and looking for members. Thanks to you Kai for this great interview - it was very long and interesting, good luck with your zine and have it great.
Mellqvistgatan 1 B
652 19 Karlstad Sweden