Heart of Steel: Interviews

Denata_logo.jpg (12466 bytes)
Interview With Tomas Andersson of Denata
Interview By Anders Sandvall

Interview with the singer/guitarist Tomas Andersson from the Swedish thrash/heavy metal act Denata about their new album, ”Art of the Insane," which is due to be released soon, and about the band in general.

Would you please tell us a bit about Denata?

Denata where formed back 1998 as a “for fun” project by me and Pontus Sjösten. What we formed was something just for pleasure and as a tribute to the old school scene. The first years where really freaked out and I don’t even want to think about the fucked up lyrics we wrote, but we had a awesome time together and laughed our asses off most of the time. Roger Blomberg joined us on bass some months before we recorded the debut CD. So what we started for fun had just become more and more serious for each day, and today Denata is as much serious as any other bands. After the second studio album Pontus had to leave the ship because of damage to his ears and the replacement was Åke Danielsson, who has become a full worthy member really fast. Now the new album has been released, and this is where we are today.


denata-pic4.jpg (32745 bytes)


How many albums have you released?

We have released three CD albums and one vinyl EP.


denata-pic2.jpg (28989 bytes)


Did the previous albums sell a lot?

The vinyl EP and the first CD release where really underground stuff and I don’t know how many we have sold, but a few thousand, I believe. For the two latest releases I don’t have any numbers, but I don’t think there are millions if you know what I mean.



Do you think that you have developed as a band through the years? If so, how?

Yes, we surely have, and I think you got the point when you read the introduction.


denata-pic7.jpg (41974 bytes)


How would you describe what kind of music you play?

It’s hard today because if you say black metal to a 30 year old person he will think about stuff like Bathory and Venom, and if you say it to a 15 year old person he will probably think about Dimmu Borgir. By my opinion we play old school thrash metal, but some think its pure death and some say its pure thrash. The listener can decide cause for me it doesn’t matter as long it’s about real metal.



Why did Pontus quit the band?

Pontus has always been having problems with his ears but it worked out ok as long he protected his ears at the rehearsals. In late 2002 he came to a point where he couldn’t stand it anymore so he had no choice than leave. Today he stays away from high frequencies as much possible and that’s the only thing he can do.



How did you get hold of Åke who replaced Pontus? Has Åke played in other bands before?

Åke is an old friend to Roger and he came up with the idea of trying him out when Pontus leaved and it worked excellent. Åke was in some local acts during the 80’s and 90’s but nothing he really wants to mention. It took him a while to get it going again since he had not touched a drum kit for 10 years, but now he’s back in business again.


denata-pic5.jpg (32644 bytes)


Have you and Roger played in other bands before Denata? If so, which ones?

No, Roger and I haven’t played together before but Pontus and he did. Pontus and Roger played in a local band named Total Death that was killer. Total Death also featured Toxine, Mique and Bino.



You and Pontus shared the singing. How does it feel to sing by yourself now?

It feels good actually. Not that I mind singing together with Pontus, but now when I do all the arrangements my self it’s somehow easier. I love switching between my scream and dark voice so sometimes it almost feels like there is two singers.



Who writes the music and lyrics in the band?

When Pontus still was in Denata, we used to share the lyrics but since he left I took the responsible for the lyrics. I have done almost all guitar riffs during the years but all arrangements are made together with the whole band.


denata-pic8.jpg (28784 bytes)


In which town in Sweden are you based in?

In Linköping, 20 miles from Stockholm, 30 miles from Gothenburg.



Why have you chosen to record the album in Linköping? Are all of your albums recorded there?

You’re right. They are recorded in Linköping and that’s because it’s our hometown. As we know the engineers at the studios it makes everything much smoother. They know what we want, we can relax and we aren’t bound to time. If something fucks up we can just take a break for a week and get back when everyone is able to make it. When you travel away with a tight budget you are just forced to make it during that time and why do it when you can do it where you live.



How big are you in Sweden and the rest of the world?

Ugh, what a question, hehe … I think many people know about Denata since we have been around for a while, but we are still an underground band and we don’t sell millions of records if you know what I mean.


denata-pic6.jpg (32705 bytes)


What label are you on? How does the cooperation with them work?

We are signed on Arctic Music Records and we are more than satisfied with them. We have really good connection with the label, even that they are located in Florida.



What do you think of your new album “Art of the Insane” compared to previous ones?

Art of the Insane is a milestone for Denata. This is the first release where we have been serious from the beginning to the end, both in songwriting and performance. Don’t take me wrong here, as I love the older albums as well. I believe I could say that if you get our older releases you will get a metal party album and a good laugh but if you get the new album you will get something you can listen to anytime.



Do you have any favourite songs on the album?

I can’t really decide if it’s, “Marionettes of Death” or “Art of the Insane.” I really like those two songs.



Is there any song you aren't as satisfied with?

Not really, but I think “Born in Sin” is the weakest on this album. I like the chorus as hell, but the verse became more nagging that I had expecting.



Are the lyrics about anything special?

Most of the lyrics are from my imaginations and inspirations from books and movies. I have always been fascinated by darkness, death and occult stuff but not in that way that I practice it. Also, there’s an undertone of my hate of society I think, like in the track “World of Lies”. In one way everything is just lyrics, but some parts are really deep and I try to write the lyrics so the listener will get an own picture and construe after his experiences. Like the track, “Below the Surface” you could read it and think it’s about drowning oneself, but if you think a step further it could be about sinking mentally below in this world of lies.


denata-pic9.jpg (24430 bytes)


It’s produced by Mique and Toxine. How was it to work with them? Have you worked with them before?

Mique and Toxine are two of my closest friends, so it was like it uses to be - a real pleasure spending the time with them. No pressure at all, just a fucking awesome time and a good laugh down in Hellsmell.



When is your new album going to be released?

It has already been released, but because of some distributing problems in some European countries it has popped up here and there month after month. It was official released in August but now it's showed up in Sweden. It’s sick, but you know it’s the record industry we are talking about, so I guess it’s pretty normal, hehe.


denata-pic1.jpg (42131 bytes)


Is it going to be released worldwide?

Arctic Music Group has all their releases distributed in Japan, Europe and North America, so not everywhere - but almost.



Why have you chosen to put a cover on the album?

We felt for doing something different and made a cover of Morbid Tales, which is a classic we love. We’re really happy with the result and it is killer to play some Celtic Frost the Denata way. We sent Tom Warrior a copy of the album but we have not heard anything yet, maybe he didn’t like it, hehe.



I think that you and Åke are impressive. What is your comment on that?

Thanks as hell for those words, Anders. When you have put that much energy as we did on this release it’s more then welcome when someone says things like this.



Have you read any reviews on the album yet?

We have read a few this far and they have been good. I hope it will continue.



Are you going to tour on the new album?

No tour has been planned thus far.



What are the plans for Denata during 2004?

We are going on like always, rehearsing some old material to keep it up. Continue doing new material for another release and just have a fucking good time together! Everything else is a bonus!


denata-pic3.jpg (27314 bytes)


Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of metal-rules.com?

You neck crushers out there remember to check out our latest release. It’s a real lesson in violence and you won’t be disappointed! Five victims of total madness, this is the ART OF THE INSANE!



Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

Thanx for your support Anders, you rule! Metal!!!!


Band Website: www.denata.com