Heart of Steel: Interviews


Interview With Defleshed
Interview By Anders Sandvall
Special thanks to Regain Records for the promotional pictures of the band!

The following is an interview with Defleshed singer and bassist, Gustaf Jorde, about the brilliant new album, Royal Straight Flesh.

Why did it take three years to finish Royal Straight Flesh?

We needed a long break between the albums for recovery of our power resources. We’re like a used and empty battery after each album session - in need for recharge - since we put all our energy into that particular album we’re doing. The other reason is the death of our last label, which didn’t exactly speed up things, nor motivate us in new efforts.




Why did you choose to record at Berno Studios in Malmö, Sweden?

The two albums before were recorded there, and we figured Berno is a part of our sound, so there were never alternatives actually. Besides, Malmö is close to the Danish border were the grass is greener and the beer is cheaper. You see, we have to take vacation from our jobs to record an album, and when having vacation it’s rather boring being in the same old town every day, so we try to combine recording with having fun. However, for the next recording we’ll stay at home recording with Daniel Bergstrand in full, since we can record with him at night and during the day. While mixing “RSF” he proved himself to be the right man for the job!



How is the album different from your previous one?

It’s more varied with more “heavy metallish” parts, while defining it as a mixture between “Fast Forward” and “Under the Blade." With ”Fast Forward” it was a bit one dimensional with focus upon speed. Now as we’ve done an album like that, we wanted to focus more upon variation in and between the songs. This gained us a more solid foundation throughout the album.



Why did it take only three weeks to record it?

Three years to gather power, three months to prepare, and yes ­ three weeks to record. (Correction: two weeks for the recording and one week for the initial mixing, which later used one more week to be re-mixed in Dug Out.)



Why is it so short? It´s only 33 minutes.

Three years to gather power, three months to prepare, three weeks to record = 33 minutes of raw intensive power! But seriously, we try to deliver a musically fist in the face, with raw, intense and therefore short songs. If we’d have done a 40 minute long album I think much of the audience would have gotten tired and dizzied with the album. Better 33 minutes of quality energy than 40 minutes of lame bloodlessness.




Do you have any favorite tracks on it? In so, which one?

I like “Back for the Attack” (ed. note: no not a cover of a Dokken song ha!) since it’s the essence of what I just talked about. It’s a short and very aggressive track yet with a tremendous groove to it. I reckon that’s the fastest song we’ve ever done, but I also like the title track, “Hand Over Fist”, “Feed on the Fallen” and it may be arrogant to say so, but I really like all the tracks. Perhaps “Pick the Poison” and “Dangerous when Dead” could have been used a bit more work, but those are nevertheless good tunes in my ears.



The album received a very warm welcome in Germany. How did that feel?

It always feels great to hear that other people appreciate what we've done, no matter if it’s media, other bands, or the guy who just bought the CD. Germany has always been very kind to us and our music, and now it actually seems like the rest of Europe has paid attention as well. It's a strange, strange thing to tour and discover people at a total different location enjoying the stuff we’ve composed at home in our dark, moist rehearsal room mainly for our own joy. When making music, it feels like a couple of guys in our close surrounding will hear the result and perhaps like it, but to actually understand that somebody a thousand miles from home buys the album and listens to it while driving, is very difficult. We are happy that we have the privilege to entertain a worldwide audience.



Was it released in any other countries besides Germany during 2002?

Japan released it first in late October through a license deal (Soundholic Co Ltd), and they sold 1400 copies in a week, I was told. That may not sound like much, but we sold 1300 total of “Fast Forward” over there. And again, to comprehend that 1400 people actually paid for a copy each of our music is huge to us.



Who wrote the music/lyrics on the album?

This is how it works (with minor exceptions): Lars comes up with some riffs which he puts together with Matte, who adds his ideas mainly rhythmically. When the music for one song is done, I get it to contribute with vocal patterns and the lyrics of course. If however, a new cool idea comes up along the way, we adapt. This is the way we’ve done things since the “Under the Blade” album, and it’s the best way of working for us.



How was it to produce your own album?

A producer is of no use since we’ve done all the arrangements when entering the studio. Therefore we’ve produced the material already. The studio tech mainly adjusts the sound and engineer. This is why we can record and album in two weeks and mix it in one. In this sense, producing is natural and essential to us. We wouldn’t want anyone to interfere too much I guess.



Did you have anything special in mind when you recorded it?

We were very focused upon doing an album rich of variations and aggression. We discovered a grinding part can be much more effective when coming after a heavy and groovy part. Again, this was already though of when recording, but personally I tried to think of variations when putting the vocals on tape, that¹s easier to affect in the recording period, than recording the guitars I guess. Now, I don’t have a voice to variate much with, but I really try not to use the same style all throughout the album.



Why did you choose Daniel Bergstrand at DugOut Studios to mix it?

It was his own idea when receiving the tapes for mastering. He had a week off and offered us to do an alternative mix for free and we said sure. It turned out brilliant so we compensated him money-wise in the end, but he proved himself to be the perfect person to work with us in the future. He's a true fire-soul and it seems like he’s enjoying our music, so next time we’ll do a full product with him. It’s in our hometown as well, so we don’t need to take vacation for the next recording.



Are Defleshed going on tour with this album? If so, are you going on tour in Sweden?

Yes, we’ll do a 10 show headline tour in Belgium, Holland and Germany in February, and in April a full European tour with Grave which will reach Sweden as well. Before May is over we will have done something like 45 shows from now, and that is much in our perspective. Here's the dates:

2003.02.07 (BE) Gent, Frontline
2003.02.08 (DE) TBA
2003.02.09 (DE) Münster near Frankfurt, Live - Arena
2003.02.10 (DE) Berlin, K17
2003.02.11 (DE) TBA
2003.02.12 (DE) Magdeburg, Action Gröninger Bad
2003.02.13 (DE) Ingolstadt, Paradox
2003.02.14 (DE) Hannover, Labor
2003.02.15 (DE) Stavenhagen, Tankhaus
2003.02.16 (NL) Hengelo, Metropool Battle Royal Tour (with Grave)
2003.03.28 (SE) Uppsala
2003.03.29 (SE) Malmö
2003.03.30 (DK) TBA
2003.03.31 (DE) Hamburg
2003.04.01 (DE) Bremen
2003.04.02 (NL) Rotterdam
2003.04.03 (NL) Eindhoven
2003.04.04 (BE) Gent
2003.04.05 (FR) TBA
2003.04.06 (FR) TBA
2003.04.07 day off
2003.04.08 (ES) Irun
2003.04.09 (ES) Barcelona
2003.04.10 (FR) TBA
2003.04.11 (FR) TBA
2003.04.12 (CH) TBA
2003.04.13 (IT) Mailand
2003.04.14 (SL) Ljubljana
2003.04.15 (AU) Graz
2003.04.16 (AU) Insbruck
2003.04.17 (DE) Ingolstadt
2003.04.18 (DE) Jena
2003.04.19 (DE) Zittau
2003.04.20 (DE) Berlin
2003.04.21 (DE) Hannover
2003.04.22 day off
2003.04.23 (SE) Falkenberg *
2003.04.24 (DK) Aarhus*
2003.04.25 (DK) Copenhagen*
2003.04.26 (DE) TBA*
2003.04.27 (NL) Hoogeveen*
2003.04.28 TBA*
2003.04.29 TBA*
2003.04.30 TBA*
2003.05.01 TBA*
2003.05.02 TBA*
2003.05.03 TBA*
2003.05.04 TBA*

*without Grave, but with Taetre and Nail Within. We'll also do Wacken this year I heard.


When is the album going to be released worldwide? The release has been so delayed.

It’s released everywhere except in North America. The reason for that is because it wasn’t determined which label was going to put it out until recently. The End Records has accepted the burden, and we are very pleased with that decision, since they seem to be very serious and quality-minded.



Why did you call it, "Royal Straight Flesh?" Does it mean anything special?

No, not really. It’s more a play with words which I personally dig a lot. My view upon the word “flesh,” and why I use it so much, is because to me it symbolizes the opposite of religion, which I’ve always seen as a tool for weak people. The only thing one can affect is your own mind and flesh; there is no god or fate to blame. Things can only happen when putting your mind and flesh to it. Some have to work harder for it than others, but destiny is still self-controlled. But this is all in my perspective, of course.



Some people don't know who Defleshed are. Would you like to tell these people a little bit about the group?

We exist of three beings (ugly and nasty I might add) for the sole purpose of delivering high-octanic metal with attitude and aggression, from the core of our bodies, and we’ve done so for more than ten years.




How did you end up at Regain Records? How does the cooperation with Regain work?

Regain asked us if we were free for a deal when they sent a copy of the Dimesion Zero LP to me on Jesper's request. We worked out a good deal and so far they've done more for us than anybody before. Regain is a clever record label, and it’s a joy working together with them. In fact, I think we’ll do an album sooner than in three years because of the energy Regain feeds us with.



You are also a member of the Danish band Illdisposed. Are you a full-out member? Is that going to effect Defleshed in any way?

No, Illdisposed never happened to me. I was supposed to join them for a week long tour in Germany, but in the end they brought a Danish bass player instead. I’m sure it would have been a great trip for me, but I understand them of course. I’ve been a true Illdisposed fan since we participated on the same compilation CD many, many years ago, and they just seem to get better with every record.



What do you think about Mattes involvement in other bands?

Matte is a natural born talent and it would have been a waste to only use him for Defleshed, since we’re not that active and are not doing the band full-time. He loves to perform and has found other media for his desire. However, this doesn't affect Defleshed in a major way, as Dark Funeral is not exactly mass-producing themselves.



If you should describe your music, how would you describe it?

It’s a mixture between Thrash, Grind and Death Metal with energy, aggression and a whole lot of attitude. I wouldn’t simply say Death Metal or Thrash Metal. It’s more complex. Once we tried saying Solid Metal, since it really felt like a fitting label. But why using a description nobody understands anyway?



Which one of your albums are you most satisfied with?

The new one without doubt. I think “Under the Blade” has very strong songs as well, but the new one is so much better, well-thought and well performed. “Fast Forward” I like much as well, but it had a slightly different approach. We wanted to make that one very straight forward and aggressive, but for this one we didn't want to make a sequel as “Fast Forward” was already done.



Do you own the rights to your earlier recordings and material?

Today I think we do. At least in Europe. We’ll re-release “Fast Forward” on Regain, which will be a special edition since there is no way to get that album today.



Why is there only three people in the band?

Less quarrel and more beer! As a three piece we stand very solid, and that is our belief.



What do you think about the metal/hard rock of today? Does it have a future?

Yes, definitely! There are a lot of good bands out there and bands are no longer trapped in genres which is a great phenomena. Today's bands are not afraid of experimenting, which is essential for metal to survive. I discovered a new band named Leech, from our hometown this weekend when buying a demo (today's demos tend to be on CD-format sadly. Demo-cassettes are highly missed!)  Very, very promising. I wish them all luck in the world.



Is there anything you would like to say to your fans out there?

Stay put and check out our website for information on when it’s the best time to leave your town he, he! Thanks to everybody who supports us and share our fascination for things extreme, aggressive and raw!



Thanks for taking the time to answering my questions.

Thank YOU, and sorry for the time it took.

Band Website: www.defleshed.com
Label Website: www.regainrecords.com

Pas Interviews:
Lars Löfven of Defleshed (2000)

CD Reviews:
Fast Forward
Royal Straight Flesh
Royal Straight Flesh
 Under The Blade (Promo CD)