Dan Swan? of Bloodbath
I had the pleasure to interview the legendary Dan Swan? from the band/project Bloodbath about their upcoming album NIGHTMARES MADE FLESH and about the band in general. I?ve also asked Dan about what they are up to right know, about the line-up changes, and if he was content with how the new album has turned out, read on to get his thoughts on these and other topics.
Interview By Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Century media for the promo pictures of the band.
Thanks to Jenny at Bleech Box Promotion for the help to do this interview.
For those who are unaware, tell me how did the story of Bloodbath began?
I invited the guys (Mike of Opeth and Anders+Jonas from Katatonia) over for a party and while they were at it, we recorded some old school death in my demostudio and thought nothing more of it. Then the rumour of our unholy alliance spread like the plague and three big labels where fighting about us, so we signed to Century Media and released a minialbum and the rest is history…
Where in Sweden do the members live?
I live in ?rebro, Martin in Link?ping, Peter near Ludvika and Anders and Jonas in Stockholm.
Why the name Bloodbath, is there any special reason for that?
It was a name that Jonas and Anders had for a “make believe” death metal project back in the early 90?s. The name is raw and brutal and pretty free to take, so we used it…
Is Bloodbath a band or a project?
Definitely a project..
Why did it take so long to release the EP “BREEDING DEATH” (-00) until the release of the album “RESURRECTION THROUGH CARNAGE” (-02)?
Much because I didn?t feel like doing a full length. I was in and out of the project like a jo-jo for a few months, but once we agreed to do a tribute album to the Sthlm sound of the 90?s..I was all fueled up and wrote a bunch of tracks real fast and set the ball rolling!!!
What do you think of the EP and debut today?
I think it?s fucking amazing, considering the songs were written by all of us in a few hours time!!!
How did the press receive it?
There loooved it to death. Pretty much called us the saviors of death metal as we know it!!!
How did the fans greet the debut?
As far as I have seen, real great. The magazine reviews have been the sickest!! 10 out of 10 almost everywhere!!! The mail and guestbook correspondance have been overwhelmingly positive to all our stuff…so I thing we have a reason to celebrate with some choclatepudding!!!
What do you think of Bloodbath being refered to as a retro project?
We used to be incredibly retro. I only like old Death. The first Death albums are the only inspiration I need, they?re flawless!! I also like the stuff I custom-made for my music taste with Edge Of Sanity. Unorthodox and bits of the first and third album, and a few tracks here and there are really good death metal!!!
You have some of the high profiles within the metal scene today as members of Bloodbath, do you consider the band being a metal all star band?
To me it?s just a bunch of good musicians. Some of us are well known, yes. But that is not what makes us tick. None of us was that hip around the we started…but since Opeth broke and Katatonia became bigger, there?s been a boost for BB too of course…
Have you done any live shows yet? If so when and where?
Nope. We might do so in the summertime…
How would you describe what kind of music you play?
Do you think that Bloodbath have developed musicwise through the years?
A lot. The new album is in many ways the kind of stuff we dreamt of doing for the minialbum, but none of us could play that good back then. Once we got Martin behind the drumkit and I could do my own riffing, shit really happened!!!
All the members have their ordinary bands that they play in too, how do you find the time to play in Bloodbath?
It just to book two weeks out of your life 2 years in advance. Piece of cake!!!
Why have you chosen to call the album “NIGHTMARES MADE FLESH”?
It?s stolen from a line “The Master” speaks in BTVS episode called Nightimares. He said many cool lines. He also inspired me to write “The Ascension” and “Brave new hell”
Have you read any reviews from the media yet? How have they responded on the album?
They all love it. Amazing!!
Why have Micke ?kerfeldt (Opeth) left Bloodbath?
You have to ask him for exact details. But I guess we were just the one thing he didn?t have time for. Opeth is pretty active and he?s become a father, and having yet another band to (maybe) tour with is too much then know…I?ve been there. It?s hard to change diapers over the internet!!!
How did Peter T?gtgren (Hypocrisy, Pain) end up with you guys? Did you knew him, from before?
I have known him a little since 1993. But since I sold some gear to him though my dayjob, we got to know each other a bit better. He felt like a natural choice. A bit “expected” maybe, since he?s done “famous-death metal projects” before like War, The Abyss and Lock Up….but he was the guy we needed and he wasn?t too expensive!!!
What are the differences between Micke?s and Peter?s singing style? If there are any I mean.
Mike is better!! But Peter is goddamned close!! They both rule, but Mike just happen to be my all time fave. His vocals on “Orchid” is disgustingly good!!!
How come you have switched from playing drums to guitar on this album?
I sucked at playing drums and had such a hard time keeping up appearances on RTC that I said “Never again” and I kept my word, haven?t played drums professionally since….
You have recruited a new drummer in Martin Axenrot, how did he end up in Bloodbath?
Through a friend at work. I asked if he knew any talented drummers and he did…Martin was playing in his band (+ a band with Jensen from The Haunted, and I knew he?s a picky bastard!!! So it felt safe) We never met before recording…he just showed up and amazed us beyond belief!!!
How many instruments can you play and which one do you enjoy playing the most?
I am a decent guitar player, keyboard player, singer and drummer. I am OK at bass. I do not consider myself to be very good at anything. It may sound like that once I am done with all the edits, but to me a good musician just nails a fine track without cheating for weeks!!!
How long has it take to record the new album?
Two weeks of recording and mixing.
How long has the writing process taken?
The songwriting process started half a year before the recording. I spent a few days on my tracks, the other guys a bit more (I think, it sounds like that anyway!!! Far more complex than my shit)
Who has written the music and lyrics? What are the lyrics about, any special matter or topic?
I wrote 4 songs, Anders 4 and Jonas 4. My lyrics deal with the death of mother earth and about cannibalism!!! The other guys I don?t know….ask them !!!???
Which studio and producer have you used this time?
Jens Bogren at Fascination Street (Ex Kuling) Great, raw talent!!! www.studiokuling.se
Were you well rehearsed when you went into the studio?
Are you joking?? Not rehearsed at all….we don?t work that way, we record the bass and guitars on the stuff that we write and direct the drumming and the vocals. Then we just hang out and watch and listen to the other guy doing his stuff.
How much do you rehearse with thought of that you are members of other bands too?
Like I said…never….we will though. It?s pretty much a must once you decide to play live!!!
The cover on the debut was really nice and brutal, are the new cover going to be in the same style?
Brutal death only!!!
How big fanbase do you think Bloodbath have today compared to the first album? Are you getting a lot of e-mail from fans?
Not an absurd amount. I guess we sell about 20.000 copies of an album or something???? Hopefully some of them enjoys it!!!
Are there any plans on going out on tour?
Plans only…some festivals maybe???
How does the co-operation with your label work?
Two words. FUCKIN GREAT!!!
Do you have plans on doing more albums under the name Bloodbath?
Absolutely. We won?t stop for a long time!!!
Are we going to have to wait just as long on the third album as we had to wait on this?
Yep!! Maybe longer depending on the success of various other releases
Have you started to work on any new material yet?
Nope. I have a few ideas in my head though, but mostly lyrical themes.
2004 is soon going to end, what are your plans for the rest of the year and for ?05?
Mix THIS HAVEN and NOVEMBERS DOOM. That?s it for me…Play live with Nightingale and hang out with my son.
Is there anything you would like to say to the readers out there?
Thanx for reading!!!
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
You?re more than welcome…
Read the reviews of Bloodbath?s CD?s here.
More info about the band: