SYN:drom – drummer Daniel Mikaelsson
Interview by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Thomas Hörnkvist at ViciSolum Produtions for making the interview possible.
Thanks to Henrik Karlsson at Sound Pollution for all the help.
Promo pictures of the band are taken from the bands website.
SYN:drom is a Swedish death metal act that released their debut album WITH FLESH UNBOUND earlier this year. I really liked the band’s brutal death metal and decided to hook up with drummer Daniel Mikaelsson in order to know a little bit more about the band’s past, present and future. If you are in the neighbourhood when the band is performing live, be sure to catch them in action! This interview is dedicated to all fans of brutal death metal.
Hi, how are you today? It’s really nice of you to take the time to do this interview with me and metal-rules.com.
Hey what’s up? I am thrilled to talk to metal-rules and your readers! I’m great just got back from a two hour band rehearsal and it was epic! Lets kick this interview off!
For how long have you worked on your debut album WITH FLESH UNBOUND?
The writing was probably about a year and recording mix and master about three months!
I know that you prior to the album have recorded two demos. Did any of the songs on the demos end up on the album?
Yeah there are actually a couple of older songs that was re arranged to fit the album, but most of the song have not been recorded before!
Who in the band writes the material?
It depends really, sometimes we just go for and a good old jam and come up with cool ideas that we start working on. Sometimes it can be just a small riff or a cool drum part that gets us going. We try to work a lot with pre-prods sand record the songs prior to the actual recording. That way we can be more effective in the studio!
And what are your lyrics about?
Mostly anti religion but not really satanic, it’s more like a reflection on all of the shit that goes on in the world. A lot of misery and violence is directly connected to religious beliefs!
How would you like to describe what kind of music Syndrome plays?
Face kicking brutal death metal! I think that we have managed to create an interesting mix of American and European death metal. On one side we have Behemoth Decapitated and Aeon, and on the other Nile Hate Eternal and Deeds Of Flesh!
We to pick up influences from both sides and add our own ideas and make our sound out of that!
Do you think that your music have gone through any developments if you compare the music on your previous demos to the music on the new album?
Yes there has been a lot of development in this band! The very first recordings we did sounded very “swedish” with the typical “gothenburg sound” but that was never really what we was aiming for and over the years we have developed into exactly what we want! And that is what you’ll hear when you listen to “with flesh unbound”!
In your biography the quote “The songs are best describes as brutal death metal with finesse” can be read. Do you agree with those words?
Absolutely! Our songs are brutal as hell with a lot of blasts and high tempos but with “hooks” and groovy parts that keeps the listener interested!
Are you happy with the outcome of the debut? Do you feel that you should have done anything in a different way?
We are extremely happy with the outcome! I honestly don’t think that we could have got a better start! The album sound just the way we wanted it to and the over all dynamics of the album is great!
But since we recorded and mixed and even mastered it by our selves there are a few small things that we would like to change, but that’s all about small details and I honestly don’t think that it would be noticeable for the listeners!
Where does the title WITH FLESH UNBOUND come from?
We actually had a hard time to come up with a name for the album! It wasn’t until we started recording the vocals that I read one of Jonny’s (vocals) lines on one of his text sheets saying “with flesh unbound” that we got it!
Who has done the cover artwork of the album and does it symbolize anything special to the band?
Jon Zig of skingraver tattoo did the artwork! He is one hell of an artist and very easy to work with! I think the cover reflects what you hear when you listen to the album!
The fans could follow your work on the album on MySpace and on your website. What respond have you gotten from fans?
The response on this album has been overwhelming and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you guys out there that has supported us during the making of the album and for all of you who has given us such great response after the release!
You did put out two songs on MySpace what did your fans think of the songs?
The overall impression is that people really dig our stuff! That’s what keeps us inspired!
Did you throw a release party for the album? If so when and where did it take place and did you play any of the songs?
The official release party was held at a local rock club called Pipeline here in Sundsvall on May 29th and it was an amazing evening! A lot of people showed up and we had killer opening acts! The entire set was filmed by multiple cameras and we will let all you out there have a look at a few songs from the show soon! So stay tuned to our website, MySpace etc!
The album has been out for a while now. Have you read any reviews of it? What have the critics to say about the disc?
Yes, there have been a lot of reviews and the critics have been overwhelming! The album has been praised in almost every review so far so the critics seems to love it!
Where did you record the album and how long did the process take?
We recorded the entire album at Nevo studios here in Sundsvall for obvious reasons! Roger (guitar) is a co-owner of Nevo Studios and I also work there as engineer.
Nevo is a fantastic studio with great acoustics and gear so the choice was easy!
Most of the recordings was made by Roger and me but the other guys did their share by the console as well haha! Man, I cant remember exactly but we probably worked for about three months or so including the final master!
Who did produce the album?
We produced, recorded, mixed and mastered it all by our selves!
What other acts has he produced? Any well known acts maybe?
Both Roger and I have recorded a lot of bands together and by ourselves!
When and where was the mixing/mastering done and did any of the band members take part in that process?
Everything was made at Nevo studios by the band members! That is a fantastic way to make a record if you have a professional recording studio where you can take the time you need!
Was it hard to land a record deal?
Yeah it took quite some time, We have been sending demos to most of the interesting labels out there for a couple of years! So it was quite a relief when we finally got it! We ended up having a couple of labels wanting to sign us and there were “bigger” labels than ViciSolum that was interested but they didn’t offer us the deal that we wanted!
How come you inked a deal with ViciSolum Productions?
Thomas at ViciSolum had already heard our demos when we contacted him and he really liked us! So he was interested in working with us and gave us a deal that we liked! And the fact that ViciSolum is a Swedish label just made everything so much easier! So the choice was easy!
Are you happy with the work the label have put into the album when it comes to promotion etc?
Yes we are very happy working with Thomas and ViciSolum! He has done a fantastic job with promotion and distribution! We will definitely release more albums on ViciSolum!
ViciSolum Productions do work with the promotion label Sound Pollution how is it working with them?
Sound Pollution is great and a strong name in distribution! and they really like our record!
They also work with Sony/ATV so it’s definitely a benefit to have them on board!
Is the album released world wide today? If not are there any thoughts of launching it world wide?
The album is as we speak released in all of Europe, USA, and Canada as cd. You can also order it on Amazon worldwide! And worldwide in downloadable digital formats such as Itunes and spotify etc!
Do your label co-operate with any distribution label outside of Sweden?
Yes ViciSolum works with a lot of distributors around the globe and a few would be: season of mist, rough trade, PHD, suburban just to mention a few!
Do you co-operate with any booking management?
We are not signed to any management yet, but we will be soon!
Who is the founder of the band and when was the band formed?
Me and David (lead guitar) started jamming on some new stuff and needed more musicians in 2002 and that’s what eventually became Syn:drom! All of the original members are still in the band!
You come from a town located in the middle of Sweden called Sundsvall. Does all of the members live there today?
Jonny (vocals) Now lives in Dublin but except from that the rest of us lives in Sundsvall!
Was it given from the start that SYN:drom were gonna play this kind of music?
We have been experimenting a lot to get where we are today! Our first recordings was nothing like what you hear today! But we have been aiming towards the more brutal sound. It just takes some time to develop it!
Have any of the members been a part of any other act before joining SYN:drom?
Yeah, all of us have been playing in a lot of different bands and I think all of that experience have made us what we are!
Where does the band name come from?
It doesn’t mean anything really it is just easy to remember and makes a cool logo! According to me anyway haha! But seriously, it’s a good name because everyone asks about it!
Does the band member have any common musical idol or artists that you are inspired or influenced by?
The most common would be above mentioned Nile, Hate eternal an Behemoth. But we all listen to a lot of different music from Jazz to classic rock and black/death metal.
Have you done a lot of touring and live shows yet?
No not really, our main focus have been writing and recording to find our sound and make a kick ass debut album! But we are eager to take the album out to the clubs and festivals soon! So I hope to see you guys out there!
I read somewhere that the band are influenced by both the American thrash scene as well as the European thrash scene. Can you develop that?
Not that much of the trash scene but more of the death metal scene! You get a nice mix from European and American death metal!
Your previous two demos got great reviews in media. How did that feel?
Well it felt great of course, it is very inspiring to get nice critics and it makes you work even harder to reach your goals!
There’s another band that has the same band name as you but with another spelling. Aren’t you afraid to get mixed up with them?
I wasn’t familiar with that! I know that a band called Corpus released an album called Syn:drom though!
Does the band have any motto or philosophy that you try to live up to?
Yeah, making face crushing death metal and never let go of the quality!
The band has got a nice MySpace site as well as a great website. Who runs the sites?
We run the sites ourselves so far! It is easiest that way. Daniel our bass player work as a web designer and made our website, it is great for press and fans and you can easily find a lot of info and songs and videos there!
Besides MySpace are you also active on Twitter. Is it important for the band to active on the internet?
Yeas very important! This is where you connect with fans and press and labels booking agency’s etc.
We are active on Myspace, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Youtube, Last.fm, reverbnation and more!
Do you get a lot of mail from fans? What’s the most common question you get from fans?
We do get mail from fans on MySpace and Facebook and so, most common is that they like our album and that they want to know if we are going to play in their town! ..and hopefully we will!
I saw that you have got two gigs booked in September but are you gonna do more shows in the fall?
Yeah we will play a couple of shows with Aeon this fall and we are awaiting confirmation for more gigs!
And are you gonna do any festival shows during the summer?
Sorry no festivals this summer. We would love to but we didn’t make it in time!
If you’re going out on tour later this year are you gonna go out as support act or headline act?
We are planning to tour Sweden this fall with a couple of other cool acts but I cant tell you more than that right now! We got a couple interesting offers for European tour as support act to a couple of bigger bands but nothing is booked yet! Hopefully we will get to tour Europe soon!:
What territory is your main priority Scandinavia or the rest of Europe?
Europe if we can get a nice opening slot for a cool band!
Do you have any plans on trying to conquer the North American market any time soon?
Hell yeah! We would love to play North America! But being a small European band its pretty hard get there on the first record! But we definitely will some day!
Could you give the readers three great reasons why they should buy WITH FLESH UNBOUND?
If you want:
1: well written
2: Face crushing
3: Brutal fucking death metal
GO BUY IT!
I read that you been compared to great Swedish acts like Torture Division and Vicious Art. How does that feel?
Those are both great bands so of course it feels very nice to be compared with them, even though we never really tried to sound like them!
Well, that was all I had for now. Thank you for delivering such an ass-kicking and brutal album as WITH FLESH UNBOUND are. I wish you guys all the best in the future and I really hope to see you live on stage soon. Do you have any final words to say to the readers and fans?
Thank YOU for your interest in SYN:DROM and for this extremely well written interview! It’s been a pleasure answering your questions! I hope to see you to soon and keep up the great work with metal rules!
And finally a big hail to our fans out there! If anyone checks us out and like what you hear, help us spread the word about SYN:DROM!