Interview with Lars Löfven of Defleshed
Defleshed are one of the few newer EXTREME metal bands
that I've gotten into recently. Their two CD's that I've had the
pleasure to hear - "Under the Blade" and the newest,
"Fast Forward" combine thrash and blackened death metal. This
is quite the potent mixture and is not for those searching for
"happy" music or "melodic" metal. This is pure
brutality played tightly and with riffs that would make even Slayer
start at the beginning. You formed the band in 1991. Can you tell me
about what you were doing musically up until that point and what
"vision" you had in mind for Defleshed.
I used to be in a band called Convulsion and we played
bad-ass thrash. Suddenly, one day the other guys in the band decided
that they were going to go off doing some kind of progressive
symphonical metal. Well, I thought, fuck this, I quit!!!! Then later on
I formed Defleshed and my "vision" was to play brutal, aggressive,
There were a number of line-up changes in the
first few years but the line-up since 1996 has been Lars Löfven, Gustaf
Jorde and Matte Modin. Are you hoping that this is the
"permanent" line-up (well as permanent as anything can be in
This feels like the final line-up. If someone quits or
we just get bored of each other it's probably the end of the flesh as we
In your bio you state Angus Young as your favorite
guitarist - I would have never guessed that from listening to your
music! So what bands have influenced your writing?
My absolute favorite band is AC/DC, they stand above
all! Others that have inspired me are bands like Dio, Autopsy, Carcass,
Ozzy, Saxon, Death, Judas Priest, Kreator, Macabre, Helloween, W.a.s.p.,
Motörhead, Anthrax, Metallica, Annihilator, Exodus, Nuclear Assault,
Mercyful Fate, Manowar, I could go on forever...
Were any of your main influences bands like
Kreator, Sodom and Destruction or was the 80's bay area thrash scene
with bands like Testament, Violence, Death Angel, Forbidden, Exodus,
etc. more influential on your style?
In our music you can find the aggression of Kreator or
Sodom, the technicality of Forbidden or Exodus. So I would say that both
influence me 50/50 because I listen to all of those bands.
Your stated future goal is "to quit
work" haha... I assume that is the plan if Defleshed gets the
No, it hasn't got anything to do with us getting famous
and making a million bucks, I hate work! You have to get up in the
morning, spend like eight or nine hours doing stuff that sucks when you
could have spent that time rehearsing with the band or just relaxing. I
just have got to win the lottery so my misery will end!!!!!!
What do you and the rest of Defleshed do when you
are not writing/playing/recording?
usually hang out in our spare time listening to metal, looking
deep down the bottle..."
We all have regular jobs to attend. Matte works at a
company who develop film, Gustaf works at a large medical corporation
with computers and I work as a turner in a factory. We usually hang out
in our spare time listening to metal, looking deep down the bottle and
harassing the local metalpub.
How has "Under the Blade" and now your
new release "Fast Forward" been received, and has reaction
been what you expected it would be?
For "Under the Blade" we didn't have any
expectations at all and the reaction was huge, almost overwhelming. You
could say that it was our breakthrough album though we have released one
MCD called "Ma belle scalpelle" and a full-length called
"Abrah kadavrah" before that. We didn't feel any pressure
following up "Under the Blade" and "Fast Forward"
has been well received but with small complaints like it's to fast, but
hey speed rules!!!!
You are mentioned on the MetalBlade website
regarding "Under the Blade" being your first release for
MetalBlade. However, your new release is being distributed in North
America by Pavement. What's up with this?
After "Under the Blade" we had no deal with
any label and MetalBlade were interested to sign us. They told us that
they would send over a contract for us to check out but they never sent
it, I don't know if they wanted us to beg for a deal? Anyway, we
had a lot of offers form other interesting labels and we choose Pavement
for Australia, England, North and South America and it has been working
What's your relationship with WAR records?
WAR is our European label. They also license us for
Japan on Soundoholic records. The guy who runs WAR (Fet Bengt) is Swedish
so it's easy to communicate and so far everything has been working fine
except that he might be a bit lazy.
It seems as if the guys in Witchery (Jenson and
Sharlee in particular) have been dropping your name in interviews a fair
bit. What is your relationship with the band? Have you opened for them
or toured with them?
Hehehehe... There is a dark pact between our bands that
we should promote each other... No, I know Jensen a bit and I like
Witchery and they seem to enjoy our music as well so that's about it.
Maybe we will do some shows in the future, who knows.
[Note from Defleshed's Gustaf - It might have something
to do with me hugging Mr. Jensen's leg while these whores had to
over-sleep at my apartment after a show in our home-town.]
Where have you toured and what countries will you
be invading for the "Fast Forward" tour?
We recently did a European tour whit Cannibal Corpse and
that was a killer. We have been offered some tours in the U.S. but the
arrangements haven't suited us yet but hopefully we will go there before
this year ends. We also are working on some gigs in Japan and a few
festivals, so we will see.
Do you have any problems re-creating the Defleshed
BRUTAL sound live because you are a three-piece?
Maybe we loose some heaviness but the aggression, speed
and tightness - there's no problem with. I recently bought a seven
stringed guitar cause I broke the neck on my Gibson SG (R.I.P) so it's
going to be more down-tuned. Hopefully it will fill out the lack of
heaviness in the sound.
Have you entertained the idea of adding another
guitarist or are you happy as a three-piece?
Yes, we have tried out some guitarists in the past. But
with more people in the band there's always going to be more arguments
and stuff. So we will stay as a three-piece because we know all what we
want and all of us has a certain place in the band. We are a well oiled
metal war machine.
What are you or your label doing to promote
Defleshed outside of Sweden and Europe?
WAR covers Europe and Japan. Pavement deals with the
rest of the world so that pretty much covers it.
There are so many cool bands coming out of Sweden
that play slightly "similar" music to Defleshed. Bands like
Arch Enemy, In Flames and Soilwork spring to mind. What do you think of
We have done a European tour whit In flames back in '98
but I don't like their style pretty much, too melodic. Soilwork played a
few gigs with us during the European tour last year with Cannibal Corpse
but I really haven't got a chance to hear them so much. I like Arch
Enemy, they play a bit harder.
I think that Defleshed is not so much a part of
this "Gothenburg" sound or the "New wave of Swedish death
metal" as SOME people call it. How do you see yourself in this
larger picture of things?
Here in Sweden the west coast (Gothenburg) consists with
a lot of melodic metal and where we come from, the east coast
(Stockholm, Uppsala) there's a lot more harder, aggressive metal and in
the north there's hardcore. This is my opinion but I could be wrong.
How would you describe the Defleshed sound? Would
you call it death metal or maybe thrash metal with death metal vocals?
It's hard to describe, we play hard metal I will refer
it to SOLID METAL.
the CD "Under the Blade" there are not an over-abundance of
guitar solos - is this something deliberate? Do you think that your
riffs are complex and brutal enough so that solos are unnecessary?
Solos for me is like just an excuse to fill up space to
make songs longer. With the kind of music we play I feel it's
unnecessary to press something like that into the songs cause they
already have all the power, aggression that they need. Or perhaps it all
depends on that I suck on solos, who knows?
[Note from Defleshed's Gustaf: I know...]
You do know that Twisted Sister had an album
entitled "Under the Blade" in 1982 right? Do you think there
are any similarities between the two bands? Haha! . (Twisted Sister's
"Under the Blade" referred to surgery - your blade however, is
a Viking sword!)
Twisted sister rules!!! Yeah, we knew that TS had done
an album with that name but the title just fit our music, you know.
Hard, fast, brutal fucking metal under the blade.
me about the artwork for "Under the Blade" - what does this
pensive looking Viking have on his mind?
Just wake me up and I will give you a taste of my metal
sword. The Viking suits the title perfectly. By the way, his name is
Holger Danske and is a warrior-legend statued on Jylland, Denmark.
How has the Defleshed sound evolved from the early
days to now or even from "Under the Blade" to "Fast
From the beginning we played old-school death metal. We
rehearsed, made some recordings and along the way we developed this
style we have now. The difference between "Under the Blade"
and "Fast Forward" is manly technical skills improving and
What does the title "Fast Forward" refer
Straight ahead, no bullshit, just fill up the
four-wheeled jewel and rock your ass off!!!!!!!!
long of a recording and writing process was it for "Fast
The mixing and recording took about two weeks. I think
there's really no point to be in a studio for several weeks cause then
you might overdo everything, you especially loose the rawness. The
process of making songs and lyrics took about one and a half year.
Are you constantly writing new material?
On and off, we usually make songs and work on ideas when
we rehearse. Sometimes we might rehearse like four or five times a week
and then we can have a break for a month. It's important to be in the
right mood and not to do everything in a hurry cause then it usually
tends to sound like shit.
What is your future plans for Defleshed?
Do some festivals, probably a U.S. tour and write new
material for the next album which we probably will record in the
beginning of next year.
In closing, would you agree that "metal does
rule" and if so why?
Yeah, metal totally rules. It's not so hard to explain,
what else could you possible listen to... Spice girls... I don't think
so!!!! Just put a good metal record in your stereo, pump the volume up,
drink some beer. Nothing could ever beat that feeling.
Band Website: www.defleshed.com
The Blade (Promo CD)