- Existence After Arch Enemy
Interviewed by Luxi
sort of associations do bands like Carnage, Furbowl and Arch Enemy bring
in your mind? Think again. Fine Swedish Death Metal may be the correct
answer to all of them, but what about specifying your answer a bit more?
Yes, thatīs right, a proper yet very accurate answer is that Johan
Liiva has once been a part of all these bands. In fact, the first two
mentioned bands can well be considered HIS bands while in Arch Enemy he
may have been only a charismatic frontman and vocalist for the band
according to how Michael Amott (ex-Carnage, ex-Carcass, Spiritual
Beggars, etc.) thinks as this topic goes
Anyway, after Johanīs departure from īthe arch enemiesī and
putting all his efforts to a new deathly creation called NonExist with
another Johan (Reinholdz, a guitar wizard and song writer in a
progressive metal band named Andromeda, too!), it was time to ask about
his feelings of the new band, today's metal scene, music business in
general and so forth. Read on what else you are about to find out as
Johan spoke out the most honest and sincere way what he had in his both
mind and heart
C-YA AROUND... īTHE ARCH ENEMIES...ī
Johan, I guess one important question that needs to be asked is why on
earth did you leave Arch Enemy in the first place?! For many, that
announcement came like a bolt from a crystal-clear sky īcoz at that
time, Arch Enemy was going really well and you already had a huge
fan-base created around the whole world. So what indeed happened? I know
itīs just hypothetical speculations, but rumors were telling that you
didnīt get along with Michael Amott too well in the very end before
your departure from īarch enemies... ī?
Well, one day I got a letter from Mike that said like "We are
going to try out a new vocalist, youīre now free to do whatever you
!?". I tried to call him but there was no answer, but
finally I managed to reach him and then he told me about the situation
and thatīs about it. The thing was that during this time I was about to
get out of my printing company that was nothing but a sinking ship and I
felt 98% burnt-out (yīknow, that modern national disease) and
depressed. I decided to focus on the music (i.e. Arch Enemy), but
destiny had some surprises left in stock for me, so... guess one gets
used to it? As for Mike and me, we never had any disputes. We got along
very well. The same goes for the other guys as well as all of the
previous members that went in and out of the band. You know, Iīm a
really nice guy, or at least thatīs what they say... (HAHA!!)
Are you saying that he - I mean, Mike, really didnīt hold
anything against you when he let you know through letters that you
should really step aside and start looking for another band for
yourself? Wasnīt he maybe even a bit afraid of a tiny possibility that
as many consider Arch Enemy as HIS band, there still was a bunch of
people that thought Johan Liiva is THE Arch Enemy - and not Michael?
Like in the public's eye your name would have been connected to Arch
Enemy more than Mike was able to swallow at one go?
No, I guess he didnīt have any problem at all with getting rid of me
- otherwise it would most likely never happen. I mean, you donīt just
fire a vocalist like that. It wasnīt like I was "the fifth
wheel" or anything. I guess itīs more to it than that. A lot of
people said it was because of envy, but I donīt know... And being
replaced by a vocalist that is both mediocre and self-confident at the
same time just doesnīt make sense to me. Maybe itīs a big secret...yīknow?
As for my "come back", well, I guess it came as a surprise to
"the Enemies". Theyīre not comfortable about it. Thatīs my
"revenge", HAHA!! They can slander and backbite me all they
want in the media, but I donīt care. I feel OK with my vocals, my
personality and what Iīm doing, so... There will always be like 2
different camps: One for Arch Enemy and one for me. Still, no hard
feelings from my side really. Daniel is a super-nice guy and if it
wasnīt for the situation Iīm sure that weīd stay in touch, but
unfortunately we donīt, so...thatīs life.
BREEDING A NEW LIFE
Talking about your current metallic incarnation NonExist next...
You have just finished your recordings for your debut album titled DEUS
DECEPTOR at Abyss Studios; Tommy Tägtgren and your guitarist Johan
Reinholdz (also in Andromeda) being the main guys responsible for the
production for it. So, would you enlighten us, how were those twelve
days at Abyss Studios you spent recording the album? Was it merely like
a normal routine experience for you? Or did you become more than excited
about how the recordings might turn out...keeping some crucial facts in
our minds, this was your 1st ALBUM under Nonexistīs moniker anyway?
Sure, it was intense and exciting to be back in the studio with such
strong material and to work with such a nice, down-to-earth guy like
Tommy Tägtgren. The atmosphere was extremely relaxed and inspiring.
Itīs kinda cool, to be back in business. We went there with those
tunes, began with the drums (Matte was flawless, finished in less than 2
days!) and went step by step towards the final result. All that time
putting the pieces of the puzzle together. One could feel that this was
going to be a really heavy and intense album once we were finished. And
it all went so smooth - no bullshit, just pure efficiency all the way!
So, as for me, I was never worried or uncertain about the way it turned
out...and I truly am proud of every second on it.
You make it sound like there were no problems, whatsoever - at
Abyss Studio at all as far as the actual recording and things like that
for the whole process are all concerned. Well, thereīs no band that
wouldnīt have any kind of problems while they are captured to that
process, so could you kindly just stop lying there (he!) and hell us
what was (or were) - notwithstanding all of your plausible explanations,
the HARDEST part or parts, to get some things done for DEUS DECEPTOR;
being it some different effects, single vocal parts, whatsoever
There just HAD to be something that wasnīt that easy to be accomplished
as far as some certain studio techniques were something to be a little
worried about, so just kill our curiosity once and for all
HA-HAH..., - well, OK! Of course it wasnīt completely without
problems to deal with, no way! It never is. There was stuff like finding
a suitable snare drum-sound, so Tommy had to try different solutions for
that, replacing the microphone and stuff like that. It took a few hours,
but what the hell? Itīs quite normal. What else? Well, of course I got
some shit in my throat after a few songs, but it was eliminated easily
by drinking a lot of water and some "vocal cord-siesta". As
for Johan Reinholdz, it was like all these leads and soloīs that he
really wanted to get top-notch perfect, as the perfectionist that he is.
He was like playing guitar all night and went to bed like 8-9 in the
morning! So, "unfortunately" it all worked out very smooth in
general. It was fucking great actually!
By looking at the songs on DEUS DECEPTOR, you have even three
instrumental songs on the album and actually DEUS... is opened up by an
instrumental tune called "Entrance". Hmmm
īunusualī way to kick an album in the air if you ask me. Is there any
reason why you decided to start the album with this instrumental song?
And why did you record 3 instrumental songs all in all just for this
album? To have 3 songs as instrumentals out 12 songs recorded for
DEUS..., well, ainīt it pretty
īunusualī as well?
Yeah, I guess it might occur kinda "unusual", but then
again, Johan (Reinholdz) is very determined to do exactly as he wishes,
yet keeping it as original / innovative as possible. Heīs that kind of
musician who tries to avoid copying others and repeating himself and
instead try to find other, new and unexplored ways of writing and
The good thing about instrumental and acoustic songs in my opinion is
that you allow things to sort of calm down and then explode again. I
think we got a fine balance on the album as for the essential
ingredients of brutality, heaviness, intensity and melody.
What have pre-reviews of some medias been saying about having 3
instrumentals (out of 12 songs) recorded for this particular album? Have
none of these pre-reviews been somehow īrudeī and even some way
īidioticī by saying that those instrumental songs there on your debut,
only are sort of an ego-trip of one skilled musician who only tries to
prove to the whole world that without him this band probably wouldnīt
be anything; like bringing in a bit of this topic about an "Yngwie
Malmsteen" syndrome, kind of?!
No, I havenīt heard anything like that from anyone. Most people who've
heard it is more like "Shit, I canīt believe how heavy this
is!", "Itīs technical, but still very brutal!" etc. So
far no-one's complained or had any negative things to say about it. This
may sound pathetic, but this album is a creation straight from the
heart. Weīre 100% behind every second of the tape and every inch of the
finished product. Itīs like Johan Rīs songs and his ideas - but Matte
put his unique style of drumming there and I arranged my lyrics to fit
each song the way I wanted to. We "decorated" it our own way
and ended up with something that we really stand up to. So, itīs
natural to have these instrumental tunes there as a part of the
"artistic freedom of expression". It gives you some time to
catch your breath, so I think itīs cool.
What could you tell us about the songs on this release? Obviously
you have written most of them, but I bet some of the other guysī
involvements can be traced down for some of these songs as well. Well,
you as the father of these songs, could continue from this on
Well, for example the drum lines were programmed, so it was kinda
impossible at times for Matte to do EXACTLY the same. He kinda replaced
some "rhythms" and made, what he called "a Vader"
(grind aīla Doc, HA-HAH!!) or something instead. As for the vocal
lines, Johan and me had gone through the basic way of singing the
lyrics, but I guess I had some "aces up my sleeve" that came
as a surprise for him while we were in the studio. Then as for
everything else, it was totally thanks to Johanīs talent, hard work and
stubbornness that made the music what it is. I came up with 2 riffs (for
the song "Faith") and 95% of the lyrics. The rest is all
(!), that fact I did not know at all; - eh, I mean that
itīs Mr. Reinholdz whoīs almost 100% behind all that how NonExist
sounds like. Just wondering why havenīt you shared your song writing
process a bit more between each of the band members īcoz I strongly
believe both Matte and you might be such killer wizards on this
particular department. As well, you are both experienced musicians with
all of your previous bands (Carnage, Furbowl, Defleshed, Arch Enemy,
etc.)? Do you believe that itīs just easier and clearer for your band
if only one guy takes all the responsibility to create a musical concept
around the band?
Well, it just came naturally in a way. Johan got all these songs and
was just practically flooded with riffs, so there was just not any need
for any further contribution as for the song-writing. It looks like as
if Iīll be bringing more of "my riffs" into NonExist in the
future though as heīs quite occupied with Andromeda at the moment and
all what that means as for song-writing etc. All this to say, I wouldn't
mind if for example Matte came up with all what heīs capable of and put
even more of his style into the music. That would be killer, for sure!
You recorded DEUS DECEPTOR with the following line-up: You handled
all the vocals, Johan Reinholdz took care of both guitars and bass and
Matte Modin (known also for his duties for both Defleshed and Dark
Funeral) was behind the drum kit. How was it to record the album with
these two insane musicians as they are known for their killer
instrumental mastery? How does their influence show on DEUS DECEPTOR?
Did Johan R. bring some of his more progressive elements out of his
another band Andromeda into the sound of NonExist whereas Matte provided
some of those more aggressive vibes for this album of which Defleshed
has become know for?
First of all, it was an honor to get together with these guys in the
first place. I mean, Matte Modin is a mastermind when it comes to groove
while doing a 180 km/h! Not many drummers are able, or have the talent
(guts?) to play the way that he does. Itīs just amazing!!! As for Mr.
Reinholdz, well, what can I say? Heīs a young and extremely musically
talented guy. I think the combination of the people involved in NonExist,
ranging from Wez (the spider in this web) to Tommy Tägtgren, makes the
band to what it is. Thereīs also an influential meaning in everything
that later pops up from the subconscious to become, hopefully, a good
and satisfying result. I think DEUS DECEPTOR is a proof of all this -
itīs very varied, yet with a consequent structure and not just a
mish-mash of riffs and beats.
How did you find these dudes anyway for the band? Were they
recommendations of some of your friends or was there a longer period of
friendship between you and the rest of the guys in the band already?
Well, I had never met any of the guys before when I was in Arch
Enemy. I knew that Matte was an extraordinary drummer since I headbanged
to the rhythms of Defleshedīs UNDER THE BLADE in the bus during the
tour with In Flames, Bodom and Dark Tranquillity back in `99 - he was
like THE drummer! As for Johan R., I didnīt know anything about him
until I got in touch with Wez (NHR, formerly War Music) and got
acquainted with him and his skills as a guitarist. I felt and knew as
soon as I heard his demo that he was the right guy to work with. And
when I finally got to meet him I even liked him as a person, HA-HA!!
As it can be read from the homepage of New Hawen Records (http://www.newhawenrecords.com/nhr/frameset.htm),
you are now auditioning another guitarist to play in NonExist and also
bass playerīs position is still open on that same "Wanted!"
list as well. So, how have things been developing as far as those
additional musicians are concerned; is the search over yet? Are those
guys mainly meant to be play gigs for NonExist or are they going to be
permanent members of the NonExist line-up? What kind of qualities should
they fulfill in order to get hired for those jobs anyway? Are you
looking for the most professional guitarist you could possibly get; who
could be some sort of an ace pupil of the Yngwie Malmsten school and
know how to play those goddamn catchy yet effective solos without faking
a second - and a true bass virtuosity who even could be able to play
without having any ideas of how to read notes?
Weīve had a few promising auditions, yet the search continues. Itīs
not like the end of the world, weīre in no real immediate hurry to find
the right musicians, so itīll just have to take the time it takes. As
for qualities, well, obviously it would be great if they are somewhat
used to play on stage in front of a crowd, to sort of have a routine
that you know - "anything can happen!". Skilled on their
instruments. Some kind of "laid back" attitude (who needs an
asshole anyway?). Long hair maybe? HA-HA-HA!! It doesnīt matter really,
just as long as thereīs a pleasant chemistry within the band to prevent
any risk of negative energy or whatever to break the unit down, itīs
fine with me. To be a 5-piece is not like just "the more the merrier!",
itīs to make it as powerful and impressive as possible LIVE. At the
studio on the other hand, itīs far easier being only 3 people. Well,
thatīs easy for me to say as I just have to focus on the vocals, but I
guess you get my point...
how would define a concept for "a pleasant
chemistry" between each of you in the band? Do you think that you
could go out, hang around and have those a couple of beers together even
outside of the band activities as well - just like constantly keeping in
touch to each other; having like a real tight bond of friendship
somewhere in-between the mandatory band activity and each of your own
private spare time?
Iīd more like to go for the "give and take". I mean,
weīre 3 totally different personalities. Johan R is more like playing
the guitar and work out at the gym, Matte is "Mr.
Party-All-Night-Long" and Iīm more like "philosophical",
stay cool and relax at home or whatever... but it works! Itīs all about
showing consideration. Weīre all determined to "rock this
place", HA-HAH!! Yet at the same time we have our own space where
we can just go our own way. Itīs gonna be quite interesting to try this
out while stuck on a tour-bus together for letīs say, 3-4 weeks. For
example, Matte must think Iīm pretty boring as I didnīt join him at
the Garage-club while in the studio to party until dawn. My excuse was
to finish my lyrics (as the environment in Abyss was very inspiring) and
that Iīd get tired already around 1 or 2 AM. It was true really. I had
to work on it, but at the same time I really wanted to go out and get
totally "fucked-up"...guess itīs a question of priority or
something. Also the fact that we live quite far from each other makes it
a bit more "disconnected", but we stay in touch easily anyway
as thereīs the internet, SMS or simply pick up the phone to just like,
As we know DEUS DECEPTOR was released in Japan first rather than
in the rest of the world. Have you been informed yet what kind of
reactions it has already received in the land of īRising Sunī? Any
idea how many copies has been sold so far and are you at least a bit
surprised regarding to those selling numbers? Does that Japanese version
contain any extra song(+s) ?
By the time you read this itīll most likely be out on Toyīs Factory
in Japan, yes. The release date is set on the 21st of March 2002, but
itīs already been reviewed in Burrn! Magazine where we got 84 (out of
100) which was very good I think. Also, some Japanese friends of mine
who heard it say that they really dig it, and thatīs cool! Later on
itīll be released in Korea, America and Europe - no definite release
dates, but I guess around May/June (Luxi: Sorry for a bit out-dated
info in the interview!). Of course the Japanese version features a
bonus-track. Itīs an old Carnage song called "Carnage Bloody
Carnage." It was recorded for THE DAY MAN LOST demo back in 1989,
but due to some problems to get it tight it was never finished in the
studio back then. I wrote most of it, so I decided to give it a 2nd
chance (HA-HA!!) and put it on DEUS DECEPTOR. Itīs been well-spread in
the Death Metal underground via tape trading as we had quite a few
rehearsals recorded, so some people will recognize it for sure. Itīs a
killer version, amazingly fast and incredibly heavy, piercing through
like a dum-dum bullet - just the way it should be.
CARNAGE BLOODY CARNAGE
So, how on Earth can we Europeans - or the rest of the world, get
a hold of that tune - some other more reasonable way than ordering it
straight from some distributor from Japan, as it sounds like
" īs new version simply fuckinī R-I-P-S
Maybe you might put it in the net as mp3 -format later on
Yeah, well - itīs always like this with Japan that they ask for a
bonus track. I think itīs OK. I understand why they need something
"extra" for their own market. I guess anyone whoīs interested
in hearing a really cruel version of this old Carnage classic (thatīs
only been known via tape-trading in the underground as a rehearsal)
should get a copy of the Japanese CD as soon as possible! But sooner or
later itīll end up as an MP3, available to everyone in the net I
What kind of expectations do you have towards this release? Would
you like to see people understanding that Arch Enemy, once and for all,
has now been left in your past as a part of your long lasting musical
history - and not caring for a general opinion, what somebody might
think of it as you will certainly keep things going on for NonExist as
your main priority from now on? Like thereīs no looking back if you can
take my īhint
Yeah, what the hell!! I mean, Arch Enemy and me went separate ways,
but I wasnīt finished. Now Iīm back to kick some serious ass with a
new band and I donīt have any problem whatsoever with the fact that AE
got a new vocalist and are aiming for the big league. Probably we wonīt
sell as many copies of the album, doing 6-7 shows in Japan or end up on
the same management as Megadeth. Thatīs fine with me, Iīm not that
desperate. I have my integrity and feel for whatīs right or whatīs
wrong - and Iīm free to do what I want. Iīm very grateful for the time
in AE, but one canīt hang on to the past - no one else does it so why
No, I think you shouldnīt - and guess the wisest thing to do is
just to move on and not looking back that much any longer. The past is
the past, so just accept it and deal with it, right?! Anyway, I bet
youīve heard Arch Enemyīs new CD called WAGES OF SIN with Angela doing
the vocals on it. Sheīs, however, pretty damn impressive, isnīt she?
What are your thoughts of the new Arch Enemy album in the first place?
Do you think they have, more or less, topped all their previous albums
by its now more īfemalesque energyī (saying THAT, in the positive tone
of the word, of course!) and having also been capable of maintaining
pretty much that famous ībig soundī of which Arch Enemy have indeed
always been known for in their music?
Well, itīs a really good album. It was almost just as I had expected
it to be, except for the vocals that I thought would be more
"normal" now when they wanted to go major or whatever. The
drumming is fantastic, most of the songs are quite catchy as always.
Some songs tend to be a bit "uninspired", like "Weīve
been working so long on the arrangements now, so letīs just get this
shit together". If itīs THE Arch Enemy album? No. But of course,
if Iīd be in the band still, I wouldīve been very satisfied I guess.
For me, itīs still a battle between BLACK EARTH and BURNING BRIDGES,
but I guess the debut will always be extremely special to me. It meant a
lot to me as it nearly blew my head off - and Iīm glad it didnīt,
Moving on to your new incarnation up next, what pleases you
personally in this band most? Is it the fact that now you can now have a
much better control over things than you probably used to have in Arch
Enemy - and youīre able to come up with exactly that kind of stuff for
NonExist like you want to and you just donīt accept any īnousī from
the other guys in terms of your own musical exploration?
Most of all, I like the whole idea about this band. Itīs perfect!!
Also the fact that Iīve got full control over the things in general
makes it even better than any of my previous bands in the past. It
doesnīt necessarily have to be a "democrazy", but just the
feeling of control and participation makes NonExist so different to any
other band that Iīve been part of. Once again, itīs the chemistry and
combination of people that makes this so special. Also important is that
I now work for New Hawen Records together with Wez, and that is totally
killer! This means one helluva lot - it couldnīt have been much better
than it is right now.
NEW HAWEN RECORDS
Yeah, you just brought nicely an interesting subject up, namely
this new Swedish label named New Hawen Records. Now when youīre working
with Wez there with a bunch of some other guys as I assume, what kind of
profile would you like to build up for the label? How would you like
people to see it as far as all the bands you have already signed for it;
and are about to sign in the future - and some of the labelīs releases
are concerned? I honestly have to spit it out as for starters that your
web pages are really neat and cool that definitely have a very positive
impact on anybody who finds his/her way into these professional-looking
pages, so obviously coming up with N.H.Records isnīt by no means any
The motto is to "not rush fast"! Itīs of the utmost
importance that each and every release feels true and correct to us.
That we really love the music that we can talk to the band on a kind of
a "friend-to-friend"-basis that we can release an album and
say "This is fucking great and you will love it no matter
what!" and so on... Weīre honest. If we donīt like it - no deal.
If we really get into it, thereīs like no doubt! Weīve got 3 bands at
the moment: Andromeda, Naglfar and NonExist. More to come of course, but
itīs a good start. We feel that the bands have a lot of potential,
therefore we just "go for it". Itīs a matter of quality - all
According to the site of N.H.Records, youīre also working with
some gigs for NonExist for this Summer. Are these mainly going to happen
in your home country of Sweden and nearby your home town, or do you
already have far greater plans for touring existing somewhere?
As for gigs we plan to do some shows around here, maybe a weekend
trip in Europe somewhere. WHEN, we do not know yet, but sooner or later
itīs "show-time"! Weīve already been offered some festivals,
so it looks bright as far as live performances are concerned.
So what ībout Finland? It would be extremely cool to see you guys
over here and possibly share a couple of īliquid power dropsī both
before - and after your gig, maybe? I would offer the first round for
you for sure, so how ībout it?!
Well, you know, weīre kinda straight edge so we donīt drink or have
fun at all...HA-HA! Yeah, thatīd be fuckinī awesome! Iīve never
played in, or even been to Finland before, so that would be great! First
roundīs on you? Well, OK - Iīm going! HA-HAH!! But only if you promise
to place me in a Sauna with AT LEAST 2 Finnish babes, Tarja and...hmm -
(Alright, you be my guest
anything you say dear Johan
So, what can people expect from your live show? A lot of
bone-hard, violentīnīhot METALLL into vein of goodīnīolī thrashing
and bashing performed by 5 long-haired īdinosaursī onstage, -eh?!
Yeah, something like that, HAHA!! Nah, but I guess itīs gonna be
wild and intense - like it should be! With the right people in the band,
anything is possible. It could be a once in a lifetime experience if
everything synchs, something extraordinary that is value for money. But
it depends on a lot of things how something like a show turns out in the
end. Weīll just have to work on it and see what happens.
IT WAS EASIER IN THE PAST...
Is it easy to get gigs for metal bands in Sweden nowadays? Some
Swedish metal bands have complained that it has become pretty hard for
them during these past couple of years or so
? Is that the truth? What
I guess itīs become harder for bands in general - and of course
especially for metal bands when it comes to gigs and so on. Isnīt it a
bit like this all over the world, or am I wrong? Holy shit, there are so
many bands around and a wide variety of individuals. Mainly I feel that
the kinda "D.I.Y" -thing hardly exists anymore, donīt know
what happened. Musicians today, even without a record deal sometimes
expect to be treated as kings. Thereīs this band for example with 1 or
2 CDīs out who were asked to come and play here in Helsingborg. They
wanted 15.000 SEK (approx. 1.500 $US) for a show, the venue had a budget
for 1.500 SEK. The band turned it down... at first! Then they get back
to the venue and ask "Do you still want us to play for 1.500, cause
we really wanna play!". Well, that kinda says a lot what is going
on. Itīs kinda freaky. As a band youīll just have to do your
"shit tours" to harden yourself and build up a solid fanbase,
a myth or whatever. Itīs not easy, but who said it would be easy? Iīve
been there, too, so I know. Guess itīs the attitude (of the bands) that
has changed the most along with the overall development in the music
industry. Well, one could go on forever - I better stop here.
Talking about the music industry a bit more - thanx for the hint
again, by the way, he! Anyway, how would you say itīs changed since you
started your splendid career in the mighty Carnage, right up to these
days? Like over 10 years ago, there were less (professional) labels,
less (professional) bands, less truly professional music organizations
behind gigs and big open air festivals - and less greedy bastards and
morons and less everything really!! Surviving amongst all these things
nowadays has become much tougher and you really should have a business
manīs eyes in order to make a decent living out of this all by trying
to find īa product (or products)ī that could have a real potentially
good chance to hit it relatively big if you know what Iīm saying?
Besides, a possibility to get ripped off is more present today than it
used to be in the past in my opinion īcoz people in this business have
also become pretty darn clever and more greedy when money comes into the
Less greedy bastards?! Hmmm... well, I dunno. Guess everybody wants
to make a living out of what they really "burn" for!? Anyway,
itīs all changed quite a bit since I got into this particular
music-scene and I guess that if you want to continue and live from the
music you have to be quite smart and calculating - like a businessman.
Itīs not so underground anymore, so one better watch ones back. Anyway,
itīs still a "privilege" to be part of this weird machinery,
but a bit more of that thing called honesty (say what?) wouldnīt do any
Do you demand more from yourself nowadays than you did in the
distant past as far as all this song/lyric writing thing is concerned?
And what kind of topics do set your mind on fire nowadays anyway if we
stick with a lyrical side of yours?
I look at things more seriously now than I did "back then"
I guess. Itīs much more like you have to deliver something that really
means something, maybe even sacrifice a part of your personal sphere.
Maybe itīs just me and my imagination? The last years Iīve felt that I
just have to open myself up, and if itīs too personal or not - I donīt
care. I just have to write about it, to sort of get it out of my system.
My previous lyrics arenīt that personal, itīs more like "this is
expected from me - war and destruction" or whatever. Now I write
from the heart and soul, because I have to. Most of the lyrics on DEUS
DECEPTOR is very personal, and I couldnīt stop it. Itīs like it just
had to come out. Itīs a prediction of a broken heart, the dark
emptiness of lost love, religion and war (that really gets on my nerves
sometimes), the end of friendship, the feeling of being in love but at
the same time aware of the unavoidable end of it... you know, stuff like
that. Nowadays I simply canīt write about things thatīs not inside of
me, that really bugs or torments me. Maybe it wonīt be like that on the
next album, but where I am right now itīs like natural.
What ībout musically then; what kind of explorations have you
been doing musically lately if we take a look at your own music library
in your living room, for example? Has any of that stuff been an
influence for DEUS DECEPTOR possibly when talking about some single
riffs or melodies or vocals and so on
Oh shit, I listen to a lot of stuff nowadays, not just BLACK EARTH
like I used to, HA-HAH!! As for pure influential sources Iīd mention
Dimmu Borgir PURITANICAL EUPHORIC MISANTHROPIA, At The Gates SLAUGHTER
OF THE SOUL and Carcass SWANSONGS. But as a direct influence on the
album, Iīm not sure... maybe I just kinda brought what I had with me
and "did my thing", I donīt know!? I wanted to aim for a more
"screaming" approach with my vocals than I did before, which
was more kind of dark and growling with some twisted deviations within
it. I tried to find a level that felt comfortable, yet at the same time
aggressive and kinda "evil witch". I like it so Iīll work
more on it in the future. As for vocal-influences, I donīt think there
is any that I know of at least. Maybe subconsciously, but I donīt try
to imitate anyone on purpose anyway. The same goes for the song-writing.
It wouldnīt make sense to say that it wouldnīt have been influenced by
this or that or sounding similar to something else - just as long as
itīs not obvious enough to deserve the accusation of pure and simple
You just must have some sort of expectations towards this album if
the albumīs sales come in question at some point in the coming months.
How many sold copies would honestly please you; Would you be pleased,
letīs say, with 10.000 sold copies worldwide? Oor do you think it just
has to be more; otherwise you have failed and 1) should be sent out to
the Alcatraz Island to practice harder... or 2) meet your ultimate
destiny there; becoming monks and lecturing to the whole world that
Heavy Metal is the Devilīs music, HA!
I would be lying if I said "It doesnīt matter if we sell just
3.000 copies". Of course Iīd be in some way disappointed, because
itīs a really good album! But at the same time itīs not like the end
of the world. Just as long as we ourselves are pleased with it and can
stand behind it a 100%, itīs OK. I try not to have any expectations at
all as far as the sales are concerned. Weīll just have to wait and see.
If itīs not "enough", weīll just have to work on it and give
it another shot!
Well, first off Iīd like to thank you Johan again for sharing
some of your precious time with me and politely answering to my
questions. Also, I wanna thank YOU for all the GREAT music which youīve
been doing in the past and present and hopefully your metal will be
flowing as effortlessly in the future as itīs been doing thus far. Now,
just take my advice and bless us with those obligatory īlast ritesī of
First of all, A THOUSAND THANKS TO YOU LUXI for being such a cool
guy. I really appreciate your support and it was great doing this
interview. To all you reading this, check out our debut album DEUS
DECEPTOR thatīs out on the 28th of May (States) and mid-June (Europe).
Also I wish to go out on at least one more tour before I die, so hope to
see you all then! And remember: Just be yourself at all times.
Official Site: www.nonexist.tk