Freevil is possibly a new name for you but you might recognize the name Tomas Andersson from Denata. Andersson and Co are now releasing new material with their brand new act Freevil and do I say that they will not make any fans of thrash/death/heavy metal with a satanic twist un-happy. Andersson has been interviewed earlier in metal-rules.com when the Freevil teaser was unleashed this summer but here comes a more in-depth and personal interview.
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
All pictures are from the bands home page
Hi Tomas, how are you today? Ready to answer some questions?
Hey Anders! Hell yeah always a pleasure speaking to you!
Well let’s take it all from the beginning, you were formally involved in a band called Denata and that was a sad day when I get the press release about that but the band was put to rest, why?
Ponta left the band after Deathtrain because of permanent damage to his ears and I got more responsible for both vocals and song writing, Roger and I felt that “magic sick fucking concept” for Denata was gone and we just felt for doing something else but of course still together. The drummer Åke which replace Ponta is great guy but we couldn’t get that magic sick atmosphere back after Ponta left. He was the real maniac in Denata. The music got better when he left but it got hell much more boring ha ha! Sorry Ponta
When was the thought of starting a new band born?
I don’t remember exactly… I always have ideas of doing things. I don’t like just standing around doing the same shit year after year so I guess it was a natural opening to create a new band (Freevil) after Ponta left … I started to think about it already then but still Denata was and still are very important for us so it took years to finally take this big decision for us/me.
You and Roger Blomberg from Denata hooked up with Mique Flesh to form Freevil; did you know Flesh from earlier?
Yes we have been friends for a long time and Roger played with him back in the 80’s as well! We understand each other so well and that’s why it was obvious to do something together since he left the drum stool in Witchery. He had the time and we wanted new Flesh so we talked to Mique Flesh!
Was it hard to convince Flesh to join Freevil?
We never convinced him to join us. It was a three man idea that grew bigger and finally got going. So maybe you should ask him if it was hard to convince us instead he he …. Honestly it was something we all wanted not one mans idea!
The last Denata album came in 2003, what were you up to in the gap between that album and the start of Freevil?
Can’t remember but we played all the time between that gap. I think we went on with Denata for like 3-4-5-6 months more… Then we laid it for rest a few months and then we got Freevil up! It takes hell of time before the first release! Draw the lines for concept, logos, style and create the sound if you know what I mean. We don’t rush into things so it was all about Denata and Freevil during these years even thou we was not rehearsing and writing music 7 days a week! Some gaps, taking it easy in between and just thinking to get inspiration for the new band!
When exactly was Freevil born?
You normally sing but now it’s Flesh that is handling the vocals, why don’t you sing this time?
I started to do the vocals but we felt very fast it was too much death/thrash to fit this music. I can more or less just growl and scream in beats but we wanted some tones in the screaming as well! So we said hell what should we do now? Then Mique tried more or less for fun to sing and it blew us away totally! It fit the music so damn well so he was our obvious vocalist! Mique had never sung before so it’s damn cool to hear his voice. I never thought he had so many demons inside to unleash behind the microphone!
And Flesh is normally playing the drums, why does he do both? And how are you gonna solve that when you’re going out on tour? Is he gonna do both?
Yeah he’s do it both just like Ponta did back in Denata. Don’t know why I always play with singing drummers hehe … For touring we will take a session drummer so he can do a good fucking show and front the stage! Would not be fun to see a singing drummer with this kind of music!
When I listened to the Freevil album I was stroked by how alike Flesh and the old Witchery singer Toxine sounds, do you agree or what do you think?
Sometimes they sound very similar. Could be because they are brothers… I wonder if they’re sister sound like this as well! We need to try her for the next album he he.
For how long did you work on the material for the Freevil debut? Who wrote the music and lyrics?
For 1-2-3 years but not only writing music! We tried new studio equipment, re-recording to get the sound we wanted, tried out tons of ideas, did design/homepages, rebuild the studio and tons of other things! We do everything our self except the mastering and first release took a lot of time… We’re not like a regular band “just” writing the music and enter a studio for 2 weeks and go out and are “free or touring” so it took a long time but it was not 100% focus on song writing during this time! Then I had to be home drawing artwork for a long time! I guess you know what I mean! Next release will go much faster since we have most done now in the studio! When the new material is final we can just record it and then it’s done! So all those years we spent are not only on the writing process. It’s like raising a demon child that finally can take care of him self now!
We wrote all lyrics and music together. Some did more and some did less but we’re a band and do their thing to contribute to the Freevil sound!
What are the lyrics about?
Mostly about horror concept and deranged and mentally aspects of living in a real hell, agony, depression and the dark side we all have inside. It’s a combination of pure fiction with real life experience that comes out in a wicked horror/psyche mix.
How long did it take to record the album and where is the HellSmell studio located, that’s where you recorded it?
I have memory like a goldfish so I don’t remember how long it took! HellSmell studio is our own studio and rehearsal! Mique is the engineer king! Mique also use it to drag ladies down and get them drunk. Rehearsal/studio/porno club! The ultimate place he he.
The name Freevil, where does it come from? Does it have any special meaning for you in the band?
It started out as a word game from the mighty Judas “Freewheel Burning”. Our meaning is to FREE EVIL but when you say it fast it sound like freewheel! So it have not a deep meaning more than it’s a name we like, have a nice meaning and also a fun tribute to the old Judas!
You have moved away from the old school thrash metal you executed in Denata, how would you like to describe what kind of music Freevil plays?
I can’t describe it. I have tried many times but it’s so hard cause it have a little of everything. All from Accept, Old sleaze metal to death metal! Many say we sound a bit like Children of Bodom but I have honestly not heard them so I can’t tell…. I mostly listen to old thrash and death! Most press says it’s hard to describe it as well! But if you’re an open minded extreme metal fan it’s a high chance you will enjoy what we do!
I think your music has similarities with Witchery in some ways, what do you think of that?
I can’t agree on that! We heard it before and maybe Mique’s drumming style and just that people know he had been in Witchery could get that feeling somehow? But we cannot hear any similarity at all except maybe the voices on some part but same parents will probably create similar voices! So at least we can’t hear it but maybe we’re blinded?
You sent out a three track teaser to magazines and labels during 2007, what did the labels etc think of the teaser?
That release was only sent to press while labels got the full-length for consideration! We got very good reaction on that teaser and it was fun as hell! A new band and such high interest and good words… It was fun!
FREEVIL BURNING is a self-financed album and you have also done all of the promotion etc by yourselves. Has it been hard or has it only been fun to do that?
I run another label back in the 90’s as well! Sometimes you just want to vomit on everything because you get too overloaded with same band and same stuff all the time but mostly it’s a pleasure! Best thing is that you have total control and know what happens all the time. Worst part is that the music writing of course gets less focus in between when it’s hard promotion, new release or whatever. So that’s the worst I think! The hunger of playing but needing to sit home pushing what you just released!
Why haven’t you signed on for a label?
We got about 10 midsize to small label that wanted us but none was willing to even pay our budget so after a few months we said let’s cut the crap and release it on a own label. It’s so insane but the music biz is not healthy these days… It’s sad both for bands and labels, it’s hard times now and not many can survive on the music and even many bands even have to pay from their own pocket for a studio when they’re on a label which is totally insane in my eyes… So that’s the reason! We will never give away something for free that we have worked hard with and also paid a lot of money for. The least a label can do is pay the studio budget!
Where does the title FREEVIL BURNING come from?
From the brain of Mique =) He came up with this title for our album and then we just had to name the band it self FREEVIL as well … So it’s still a word game with Judas he he …
You are responsible for the cover art-work and the layout of the album, how did you come up with the idea for the cover?
I had a rough old idea saved on my computer which we didn’t own the rights for. I showed it for the other guys and they liked it as hell and thought it fit our music and concept very well!
Who’s the woman that’s on the cover?
She’s our friend and lives in our hometown! She’s artist name is actually Feevil so we got a bit confused when we said do you want to be on the new Freevil album eeerrrhummm my artist name is Feevil ha ha … Couldn’t have been better! She has done and still does other Goth modeling and similar …
Freevil is a trio, isn’t Phanatos on synths and FX a steady member of the band?
We offered him to join the band as a permanent member but Phanatos is Phanatos and he likes to work on his own. He’s always open to do guest and session things but don’t really like “commitments” and that’s why he choose to be a session member. If nothing really strange happens he will be on our upcoming releases as well so you could say he’s a permanent member but want less exposure and stand with one foot on his own and one in Freevil… that’s why he’s stated as session and means he can do whatever he wants but we decide which ideas that gets on the album in the end!
In what parts of the world are the album released at the moment?
Worldwide just that we don’t have ultra good distro in all territories. But Megarock, Plastic Head Export and Plastic Head Canada do an incredible work worldwide even that we’re not listed in that many stores as Nuclear Blasts releases! So you can find our new album everywhere unless Tibet I guess!
Is Freevil a project or a band?
From our view we’re a band! We’re permanent, we work hard with our music and that how I define a band. I don’t know if other more would like to call Freevil a project and we don’t really care but we’re not a full lineup but still I define us as a band! It’s not a onetime for fun thing we’re doing.
I have read the reviews of the album and you have got some great respond, congratulations to that, could you ever believe that you were gonna get such great reviews?
Thanks! We also had some really bad reviews but overall it’s a lot of good words. No we didn’t expect it would receive that good press as it has done. BUT at the same time we never thought so many editors out there could take what we do so damn wrong. We notice many don’t have a clue about what we do and what Freevil is about, sometimes it’s funny to see their reaction cause they don’t understand what we do at all… Some complained about the cover which I think is awesome! If you don’t like a naked chick cover in blood you must be gay!!! But yeah we’re hellish satisfied with the press this far!
Do you think you’re going out on the roads now that the album is out?
Not for this release. We have talked about it and unless it’s a killer show someone want us to play at we will focus on another album and after that release we’ll see how it feels and how much fans and response we have gained! If there are crowd enough to make it fun go out and play we will probably do it!
When can we expect the next Freevil album being out in the stores?
Can’t say any dates or anything right now, we’re writing new material and we never rush into things. It could be final in 6 months or 18 months. Also it can depend on if a label want to offer us something nice for our second release … they sometimes hold back final releases for a while to get it out on a good date which can make it delayed. The regular biz stuff … But I hope we will have another full-length final within 12 months then when the release it self will be on out on the market I can’t say.
Are you happy with the outcome of FREEVIL BURNING?
Yeah this far it has been damn fucking great!
How often do you guys rehearse?
We only rehearse when we’re writing material. So it could be never or seven days a week! It all depends on which period of song writing process we’re in!
Give me three reasons why I should buy the album?
1. You want to be Freevilized and reign in hell forever.
2. You want something fresh that don’t sound like a copycat of 2000 other bands.
3. You support US (the band) not a label when you buy the album, it’s a huge difference!
Questions of the old band Denata
Let’s talk a little about Denata, what are drummer Åke Danielsson and Ponta Sjösten doing today? Do you have any contact with them?
I don’t know what Åke is doing these days, we have no contact at all. Ponta moved away to a house a few miles from here and have 2 kids now! I know both Åke and Ponta have regular works but I don’t think they do any “official” music these days… Ponta use to come by here once or twice a year and say HELL-O for a cup of blood!
According to the Denata myspace you’re going to release a compilation album, what’s the current status on that project?
We where told it should have been release this autumn but it never happen. Then early 2008 and then I haven’t heard anything more so I don’t know when it will be out. I have the artwork and track list ready here so I hope it will be out soooon!
You have also re-released the Denata debut with a new booklet and bonus tracks, what can you tell us about this re-release?
Maybe you got it wrong because it’s only a digital re-release with new artwork! The original disc was sold out a long time ago so we added it for digital download with 2 left over studio tracks and new front cover. This album is not out as a physical disc! But at least something for those that wants it as hell and can’t find it!
Do you think that Denata will ever re-unite or is that band a closed chapter?
I think it can happen but I don’t want to say too much! But if the time and mood is right it could happen! But if it happens it will only be me and Roger with a session drummer! We prefer keep it as few possible!
Do you get a lot of mails from fans wanting Denata to come back?
In between! Sometimes it’s dead silent and then we can get a bunch of letters screaming about Denata. It’s sick cause we get better words about Denata now than we ever got while we where active! Maybe it’s better to be dead than alive he he…
What’s your current relation with Denata’s old label Arctic Music Group today?
If we would do another album they want us and we still have 2 more options to get from them so it’s good to know we have them in our back with budget and support if we raise the band from the grave again!
Finally let’s talk about you Tomas, what have you been doing when you weren’t member in a band, or have you always been in a band?
I have always been a member in a band, at least since I was 14 or something like that!
I know you have always written many songs, have you done that when you have been in between bands?
No I’m not that guy that has tons of recorded ideas home that I can use in different bands. I always start writing material when I get involved with a new band. But still I do “for fun” things home that never get released …
2007 is soon coming to an end, how do you sum up this Freevil year, are you happy with what the band have achieved so far?
Yes this far it has been great. I hope 2008 will increase the sales and that we can get another killer release out!
What are the plans for Freevil and Tomas Andersson for 2008?
Have too much things I want to do all the time! So the main focus will be on Freevil of course and then I hope I can afford and get the time to build out my fucking house because I need a big room to just sit a look in wall in between…
Do you have any words of wisdom for the fans and readers out there?
I don’t want to give them my wisdom cause it will drag them down into hell he he … Just kidding! I want to say check us out, all support is welcome! If you like what we do we like you! Without support it’s not fun to do what we do! Now get Freevilized!!!!!
Thanks a lot for taking the time to talking with me Tomas; it’s always a pleasure…
Thanks to you as well Anders, you rules! Hope you will have an amazing 2008 with a lot of metal shows and large boobs!
All the best and kill a häst! (=horse in Swedish, a play with words)
Read the CD review of the new fresh album here
Read the CD reviews of the Denata albums here
More info about the band