Interview by Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Regain records for the promo pictures of the band.
It?s time to talk to the guitar player and founder of the Swedish death/thrash act Defleshed. Every fan of extreme metal should know about this band. The last time I did an interview with them I talked to the singer and bass player Gustaf Jord? but now it?s time to get to know Lars.
Hi Lars, what?s up? You are the founder of Defleshed, how do you think that the band have developed musicwise through the years?
When we started we were basically pure death-metal but along the way we kind of found our sound. We constantly try to improve our music and the ability to use our instruments. Musicwise I think we have found our sound and are gonna stick to it, never going to go soft or so.
Was it already made up from the beginning what kind of music Defleshed was going to play, weren?t there any alternative?
We knew that we wanted to play hard music but we weren?t exactly certain how it should sound. All of us were into death-thrash metal so I guess that was our aim. There were certainly no other options than that!
Why did you chose to call the band Defleshed?
We had some names on a list and that was simply the coolest one. I think we found it in some lyrics with Carcass.
You have had some bad luck with labels but now you?re on Regain Records, what do you think of the labels promotion of the band, have they done a good job?
They are improving all the time. They are doing a great job promoting us. Regain is a upcoming label and are getting more people involved to work with all the bands.
You signed on for Regain in 02 and released the same year ROYAL STRAIGHT FLESH, how did media greet that album?
What I can remember there were mostly good reviews but that really means nothing since it?s the record buyers opinion that counts. Of course a good review is always better than a bad one.
Did you do any live shows or tour on that album?
Yeah! We did a couple of small headlining tours in Europe, lot of one off gigs and a Scandinavian tour together with Rotten sound.
Why have you been so cheap with doing shows in Scandinavia, what?s the reason for that?
We don?t use a booking agency that fixes shows for us. It?s simply to get in touch with us and we will come and play. So that?s probably the reason why we have been playing so few shows in Scandinavia. It?s up to the arrangers to contact us if they want us to play.
How many albums have you released? On one place in the bio it says that you have released 6 albums and on another place it says 7, how many are there?
One mini album, one live album, five full-length albums and some various re-releases.
You re-released the 99 release FAST FORWARD in 03 and added a few bonus track, how come you wanted to do a re-release of that album?
Simply because you could not get a hold of that record in the stores anymore. A lot of people contacted us and asked us if we had any left, which we obviously didn?t have. So, that?s the reason for the re-release.
Are your older albums still available in the stores, I mean the older ones before you joined Regain?
Fast forward is at least. Hammerheart have also done re-releases of our albums before Fast forward but I don?t know if you can get a hold of those anymore.
Do you own the rights to your old albums? If not who own the legal rights?
Invasion records sold the rights for our older albums to Hammerheart. I think they had the rights to make re-releases for a period of three years. That period is over now and the rights for those albums are ours now. The worst part of it was we had the rights for those albums right from the start but the asshole on Invasion sold them behind our backs by forgery of our signatures.
Usually when you?re recording albums you travel to Malm? and Berno Studios but this time you have chosen to stay in Uppsala and use Dug-Out Studio, how come this sudden change?
We recorded Royal straight flesh in Berno and when we got home Danne listen to it and told us he wanted to do an alternative mix. It was like night and day, he really brought out like 100% of the recording. So for Reclaim the beat we decided to record with Danne and also for the convenience of doing it in our hometown.
Why have you chosed to call your latest album RECLAIM THE BEAT?
At first we were gonna call it ?May the flesh be with you? but then decided to call it Reclaim the beat because it simply had a better sound to it. Reclaim the beat from the worthless fucks that abuses it for money profiting ass music!
How long did it take to write the new album and who has written the music and lyrics?
I make all music and Gustaf does all the lyrics. It took about four months for me to do all music.
What are the lyrics about, judging by the titles it seems like you?ve played with words quite a lot?
?Gustaf?: I personally feel lyrics and especially titles has more impact when brutalizing an already familiar phrase as for ex. Royal Straight Flesh, Reclaim the Street, May the Force be with You and so on...I collect thousands of them, delete 99 % and carrying on with the ones I like. When writing lyrics I brainstorm upon the title and/ or the music to find a suitable "story" with the above mentioned. It can be anything from crashing in tremendous speed, extreme weather phenomena?s or the essence of war. It all depends upon the character or the riffs...
You have also done a cover of the M?tley Cr?e song ?Red Hot? how come, are maybe M?tley a favorite band?
We all like M?tley but its not my absolute favorite band. Red hot suited us perfectly cause you could easy make it work as a Defleshed song.
How was it to work with the infamous producer Daniel Bergstrand? Do know him from before?
Everything worked out well. It was easy to work with Daniel since he had an good idea about how we wanted to sound. We know him from way back and it was great to be able to do this together.
What the difference between Bernos way of producing compared to Daniels way?
Its like two different worlds. Berno uses the old fashion way while Danne uses the latest technology. Danne also know more about our kind of music than compared to Berno.
What do you think of the cover art-work? Who?s done it and what the thought behind it?
I like the cover. Its made by Gustaf and represents Thor beating the crap out of those who are trying to steal the beat for useless purposes!
Is there anything you feel that you could have done different on the album now that you look back on it?
No, not at the moment. The album still feels very fresh but I guess I will find bits and pieces in the future that would like to have done different.
Have you read any reviews of RECLAIM THE BEAT yet? What have the media to say about it?
I have read a couple of reviews and like half of them hate us and the other half really likes what we do.
Does your fanbase grow with every album you release? Do you have a big fanbase at the moment?
I really don?t know how big our fanbase is but I would like to think that its expanding with every album we do.
In which country do you think you have gained the most success? In Sweden you?re still quite underground or?
I say Germany is the country that really has taken us under their wings. I cant- I really say if were still underground or not in Sweden.
I know you had a release party in Stockholm where you also played live, you were also supposed to have a release party in Malm? but that was cancelled, why?
Don?t know why, I didn?t even know that we were supposed to have one.
Now that the album is out are there any plans on going out on tour?
Yeah, we definitely will do some touring for this album. We don?t have any offers right now but are gonna do some festivals this summer.
If you?re going out on the road is it going to be as a headline or support act?
That depends. In the states I guess that we have to go as an support act while in Europe we probably could do a small headline tour.
You are booked for Sweden Rock Festival this summer, is it the first time you enter that stage how is that feel to play there?
Its our first time and we are really excited to do this show. Its probably not our kind of festival since the main aim is old geezers.
Of all the albums you have released which one are you most proud of and why?
I would have to say Reclaim the beat. I like most of our old ones too but this is Defleshed up to date and it shows how far we been traveling with this outfit.
I?d say your music as brutal thrash/death metal, how would you describe it?
Something like that. Its hard to say.
Why are all your albums so short, RECLAIM THE BEAT ends at about 36 minutes?
Our albums are definitely not short, they are just compressed into a nice small explosive bomb aiming to blow your brains out! If we would have played the way Candlemass do then our albums would reach far over 80 minutes. But then again we don?t.
You have managed to create your own sound and a unique style, are you aware of that there?s no band that sounds like you, how have you managed to create that?
I?ve never heard a band sounding exactly like us. We kind of found our sound on Under the blade and since then we have been improving our recipe. I would say that someone who is familiar whit our music would instantly recognize a new Defleshed song if they heard it for the first time.
Are you guys involved in other bands besides Defleshed?
Matte is the only one currently playing in another band, Dark funeral.
Why has it taken you so long to follow up your last album that came 02? What have you been doing in between the albums?
Not much. We did some small tours and a lot of one off gigs. This is our hobby so we don?t make that much money out of it and we simply have to take dayjobs to support our selves. Maybe that?s why it takes so long for us to do a new record cause we only do it for the fun and not the money.
What?s the reason behind you haven?t got any guitar solos on your albums?
Never practiced on solos so I simply cant do any. Besides, we don?t want any cheesy shit in our songs.
Do you have any dates when RECLAIM THE BEAT are going to be released in the U.S. or Asia?
In Japan its been released since march this year. The release date for the US is 31 may.
Have you got any numbers on how much your last album sold?
Do you think it?s gonna take as long time again until we can expect a new album by Defleshed?
Probably! We have to recharge our batteries now and figure out were we want to do for the next one. We don?t want it to sound exactly the same so a break will do us good I think.
Do you think you can take the band any further musicwise?
I still think we can develop the music a bit further and when we cant we simply have to make a choice if we should continue or not. We definitely have ideas for at least one more record.
Which label is releasing you albums in the U.S.?
I?m not really sure but I think its Candlelight.
Are you going to release more re-recordings like FAST FORWARD in the future you think?
Don?t know. There?s no plan for such right now.
13 songs was featured on RECLAIM THE BEAT but were there a lot of material that didn?t make it on to the album?
No. We never record more songs than necessary. Why record a bunch of shitty songs that you never will release? If you record 20 songs and then choose like 10 of them something?s gotta be wrong. What you get on a Defleshed album is everything we have recorded.
What do think, and do you agree, with the statement that Matte are one of the fastest drummers in Sweden and maybe in the world?
He?s fast alright! But you?ll never know, there might be a faster one, say like in Afghanistan.?.
Are the band a democracy where you all make decisions or do you have a bandleader?
Mostly we are a democracy but when it comes to making music I probably dictate a lot to Gustaf when it comes to lyrics. Otherwise we are one fucking happy family.
Finally, is there anything you would like to say to the readers of metal-rules.com?
If you like it fast and hard then you simply have to check out Defleshed.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
Thanks to you Anders and thanks for the interview.
Read the CD review?s on the band here in metal-rules.com
More info about the band.