Conducted by: Carlos M. Llanas
It’s not very often that you find a band that you enjoy so much, and incites good ol’ memories of a time when thrash was raw, nasty, real, and in-your-face; Entrench is that kind of band. Their influences have clearly helped shape the bands sound and style. Many thrash bands of today do not appeal to me anymore, but Entrench is different. They sound like if Kreator’s "Pleasure to Kill" and Slayer’s "Show no Mercy" had a love child. Their "Germanic Thrash" style belongs amongst some of the most revered thrash bands the likes of Sodom, Destruction, and as I mentioned earlier, Kreator. With their debut album "Inevitable Decay" already out; it is a must buy for fans of the thrash era that took us by storm back in ’85. I had the chance to speak with the Swedish thrashers about their debut album, and their plans for the future. Here they are…..ENTRENCH.
You created the band in 2005, and so far you’ve released five demos and your first ever full-length album titled "Inevitable Decay" was released on Septermber 20th. Obviously, you must be excited about it. I was wondering, Why did you wait so long before releasing your first album?
We don’t want to put out music we’re not satisfied with, we put a lot of effort into the songwriting and hopefully it shows. We do not just slam together three songs in the rehearsal, if you know what I mean. First, we got in contact with the label "Iron Fist Records" in 2009 but we were later transferred to "Abyss Records" when "Iron Fist" folded. The album was recorded during the autumn of 2010 and now it can finally be released, so yes we’re very excited. It has been a long wait but we’re glad things are starting to roll again.
Victor, I noticed you left the band in 2008 for a few years before making your triumphant return. Joel Gustafsson filled in on drums for the upcoming album and stuck around for a few years before leaving the band. What did you do on your time off from Entrench? Were you actively seeking other bands?
Victor: I left to work in Norway and spend time with my family. No I did not search for new bands, I started a project with my fellow mates but it fell apart due to lack of interest and no clear direction.
Fredrik, You play lead guitar and you are also lead vocalist. After Hannes Lindkvist, you remained the only guitar player in the band. Has there been any thought of bringing another shredder into the mix of things?
Fredrik: Yeah, we did search for a new guitarist but there is a lack of good guitarists with the same musical preferences around here and we had to have someone who fits in with us both musically and personally, and that just did not happen. To be honest, our search wasn’t much of a search either, just some adds on popular sites. We’ve all been good friends for years and it can be a little intimidating to introduce someone new, so for now it’s just easier to go on as a three-piece.
Is it still too early to start thinking about your next album? Or are you already in the writing process?
Actually, we already have some new songs and we are indeed working on it. We’ve recorded four songs for a pre-production demo and its worked out fine so far. We’ve got more songs ready and coming. It’s going to be a blast to record and release some new material!
I had the opportunity to listen to your upcoming release; It sounds great. Your style reminds me a lot of Possessed and early Kreator. What kind of influences helped you write this album? Any particular band(s) that you were listening to during the writing process?
Thanks, glad you like it. We listen to the music we normally do, we recognize our sound and the music we want to play when we write it. It’s definitely influenced by the bands you mentioned and the likes, but we also listen to a lot of metal genres and not all of them have an impact on our sound.
What are you planning to do promotion-wise o get your album heard? Any string of shows or a tour to promote your work?
We’re planning to do some shows here in Sweden and hope to reach out abroad too, we’re rehearsing some new songs and a couple from the new album right now, so we’re ready to play when the album is released.
How do you like being part of the Abyss Records family? Any particular bands from Abyss Records that you would like to play a few shows with?
We like "Abyss Records" because, with our experience, it’s a label who has confidence in their bands and really supports them. We may not sound like many of the other bands but we think it’s a possibility for us to stand out amongst the others. We’ve already played with like, four?(signs alot of swedish bands) of the bands in their roster, Torture Division, Dead Awaken, Corrosive Carcass, and Die hard, always fun to play gigs with bands on the same label and trade experiences.
Is there a way that fans could get a hold of your demos? Where could your fans order merchandise from?
Our demos are all sold out unfortunately. T-shirts and the new album will soon be available through email and on myspace.
Joel, you also have another release in 2011 with your other band Cethegus titled "Moribundus". It seems like you’ve been busy this year! Do you find it difficult to be in both bands? The music difference is pretty obvious between Cethegus and Entrench.
Joel: No, not busy at all. "Inevitable Decay" was recorded in 2010 and "Moribundus" is a re-release of our demo recorded in 2007. I haven’t met with the guys from Cethegus in almost three years so I don’t think the band should be considered "Active". To me, it wasn’t really that serious, "Moribundus" was recorded one late night when Robin Jonsson and I got some time over in the studio recording our third demo with our (long dead) Death Metal band so we thought; "what the heck, lets do something creative" and came up with the idea of improvising a doom/drone demo.
Many new bands try to pull off the old school thrash metal sound, but to no avail. Yet, Entrench does it very well. What bands influenced you to start playing the way you do?
We first were, in the beginning, very influenced by older power/speed bands such as Running Wild and Blind Guardian, but the sound soon evolved into a more thrash style due to lack of any good vocalist who could pull off the high notes. We just did the music we liked and could handle at the time. We’re still finding new ways to explore our musical abilities and write better songs.
What are you looking forward to next? Any big plans for next year?
We’re going to record our new album and hopefully get unemployed so we have the time to write and record it.
The most important question of the night is…what’s your favorite beer? Don’t say wine or you can forget about this interview.
Fredrik: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, too bad I’m cheap.
Joel: I don’t know.. But I’m going to buy Åbro today, it’s a good beer.
Well guys thank you so much for taking the time to have some words about metal. Any last words for the readers at home?
No, not really. Buy the record if you’re into thrash metal, otherwise leave it be.