Bandleader/singer/guitarist Uffe Cederlund – Haystack
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Johan Haller at Sound Pollution for setting up the interview.
Thanks to Threeman Recordings for the promo pictures of the band.
Additional live pictures taken from the archives of Anders Sandvall
Stockholm Swedens’ Haystack was originally active from 1994 – 1998. The stoner metal group eventually called it quits but in 2018 but were led by Uffe Cederlund from Entombed, Murder Squad, Disfear etc. and included Backyard Babies’ Johan Blomqvist in the group back in the days.
Cederlund decided to re-unite the band in 2018 with both new and old members joining forces with him. Today, Jonas Lundberg and new bass player Patrik Thorngren form the core trio with Cederlund.
The band has a new album out titled THE SACRIFICE, which was released in October 2019. I had the pleasure of talking to Cederlund about the band and the new album, along with some questions about Entombed’s status as well. We also spoke about the pending re-release of the two older albums.
Hi Uffe it’s really nice to talk to you again, are you ready to kick off this interview with me and Metal-Rules.com?
Uffe: Hey Anders! Yea, nice and ready!
What made you re-form Haystack again after a 20-year hiatus?
Uffe: I’ve thought of it many times since I left Entombed but it never happened until now. I had a band called Swarm (of Souls) that ran out in the end; that band was in the same vein as Haystack. I missed playing that kind of music and had songs and ideas.
I read an interview with you saying you wanted to bring Alpha Safari back to life but instead you woke up Haystack, why not Alpha Safari?
Uffe: I don’t remember me saying that but maybe I did. That band feels far away from where I am today and have been for many years but it was a cool time. I don’t really hang out with Olle (drums) and Patrik (vocals).
Was it hard to get the old drummer (Lundberg) along for another ride with Haystack?
Uffe: No, I guess we would have started the band sooner if we met earlier or if the idea came up. I guess I didn’t know if he wanted to play with me again, ha ha. I’m glad we play together again.
On RIGHT AT YOU from 1998 and SLAVE ME from 1998 is Johan Blomquist from Backyard Babies playing bass guitar? Wasn’t he interested in teaming up again?
Uffe: Johan was actually the one who rolled the dice. There was a show he said we could do but me and Jonas didn’t just want to do one show, we wanted to hang out in the rehearsal room, practise, and so on. Johan lives in another town, plus he has family and Backyard Babies.
Instead, Alpha Safari bassist Patrik Thorngren is handling the bass. Was he the first choice that came to mind when you wanted a bass player?
Uffe: Yea! Me and Patrik have talked every now and again over the years. We wanted to do something, he tried to make me start up Haystack when we were doing Alpha S. It’s fun to play with him, I can relate to him musically, and he knows a lot about movies.
How was it to do the first show in Stockholm last year?
Uffe: It was a very down to earth happening. It was at Kafe 44. I’ve played that place so many times and it feels like my “home stage”.
Did you play any new songs for the audience and did you get a warm response from the fans?
Uffe: We didn’t have any new songs when we played the first reunion show but yeah, it was pretty friendly.
What have you been up to since you left Entombed? I know you been involved with Disfear but they haven’t been very active since the tragic loss of their bass player Henke Frykman back in 2011.
Uffe: Well, I’ve got a kid, been living at a couple of different places. I read books. I don’t know what active means, it’s not that I’m doing tours all the time but I had bands/projects going, mostly things that not many people knows about, maybe the projects were boring, I don’t really care.
We rehearse, write for a new album and do shows every now and again with Disfear.
New album THE SACRIFICE
How long did it take to write all of the material to the new album?
Uffe: I guess we put everything together in five or six rehearsals
You have written the lyrics; what are the lyrics about this time, what inspires you to begin writing a song?
Uffe: I just need a couple of words that I think look good together and sound good with the music. I can’t exactly say what they are about besides that a lot of things are shit in the world. They all go through me, a filter and that’s what binds them together. They are very personal and I mean every word of them.
Are all of the songs newly written or did you use any older material that’s been lying around?
Uffe: Most of the songs are new, I think there are three that have been around a few years.
How come you wanted to feature a cover of the Dead Can Dance song “Mermerism” on the 10 track album?
Uffe: Jonas had a riff for a song and we were looking for a drum rhythm…I put on “Mesmerism” because I thought something like the rhythm of that would fit his riff, one thing led to another, we needed one more song and it was easier and more interesting playing that song.
What did fans and media think of the single “Sun Never Shine” which was released in March?
Uffe: That song was recorded at Sunlight Studios back in 1997 along with seven other songs.
“Sun Never Shines” was a song that never got released, the other seven songs ended up on SLAVE ME, but recorded somewhere else. We’ll probably record it again on our next album. I did not hear anything about the song. It’s me and Orvar Säfström singing on it.
The album is pretty short and clocks in at about 33 minutes, was it your intention of making a shorter release?
Uffe: We didn’t think of minutes, we thought ten songs would do it. If our songs were longer there would have been eight songs on the album like our next album will have.
What are the songs “The Sacrifice” (4.06) and “Take It Home” (3.52) about?
Uffe: “The Sacrifice” is about creativity and “Take It Home” are monologues of regular people, like what the Angels are listening to in Wings of Desire, hopelessness and hope.
Who came up with the name THE SACRIFICE and does the title have any special meaning to the band?
Uffe: We called the song “The Sacrifice” and the song is kind of what it is, it felt like it represents us, it sounded like a simple title and it can mean a lot of things. For me it’s about creativity.
The artwork is made by Alex, Isabella and Dylan Hellid, what does the cover symbolize? Were they given free hands to create a cover?
Uffe: For me it’s the end of the world (the lyrics are also about things on that topic), two planets colliding. The front cover is a painting Joakim Haidwall (Patrik Thorngrens friend) who kindly let us use it. It’s called “Sub”. Alex came up with the rest.
How would you like to describe what kind of music Haystack plays?
Uffe: Fucked Up Rock In a Blood Atmophere
The bio states that the album contains 10 new songs, no bullshit, no trends, honesty, in your face, anarchy and hope. Can you sign under on that?
Uffe: Almost every day I can. Sometimes I wonder what I am doing and that I should move somewhere silent, where I can read and grow tomatoes.
Since I’ve got you on the line, I have to ask some Entombed related questions if that’s OK. What’s the status with Entombed today? Who own legal rights to the band name?
Uffe: I’m not sure but I’m fine as long as LG and XXX AD don’t have the legal rights.
You, Nicke Andersson and Alex Hellid did a show together with the Malmo Symphonic Orchestra back in 2016, tell us about that show. What did it contain and how was it to perform with an orchestra?
Uffe: I wondered what we were doing on stage with the orchestra thing. Today I think it would have been better if we only played as a band. We finally made it together and it was fun to hang out and play. I guess Alex put a lot of work in it.
The show, which was a celebration of the 25th birthday of the epic album CLANDESTINE, was recorded and released as a CD/DVD in 2017 and earlier this year the second act of the show was released on vinyl/CD. How involved were you in the making of the album? Who orchestrated the release; I guess it was Alex?
Uffe: I hung out with Alex when mastering the show, checked the cover as it was created. There’s not really any point for me to get involved more, Alex sends me stuff to check and I do, sometimes I have an opinion, put something in it.
Will the first act from the Malmo show come out on CD/vinyl anytime soon?
I think the first act will come out sometime, it’s more paperwork that’s the problem, you have to deal with 100 people instead of five.
How come the three of you didn’t add more shows to celebrate CLANDESTINE? I saw the show in Malmo and it was pure magic to see you, Nicke and Alex back together on stage again!
Uffe: I guess everybody didn’t have time or the vibes. Maybe in the future.
Are you and L-G Petrov friends today?
Uffe: I wouldn’t say so. I would probably say “Hi” if I met him, but we are not friends.
Do you have any contact with Lars Rosenberg, Jörgen Sandström or Peter Stjärnvind, all former members of Entombed, today?
Uffe: Not really. I would talk, hang out and such when I see them, but it’s not that often unfortunately.
What are your thoughts on L-G Petrov and his Entombed A.D?
Uffe: I have no thoughts about him or them.
Any plans on releasing any new material for you and Nicke and Alex under the Entombed name?
Uffe: We have talked about it, that it would be fun but I don’t know if it’s going to happen. Who knows?
Why doesn’t Haystack have a proper website?
Uffe: Because we are not interested in computer stuff; we watch movies instead. Maybe someone, sometime can help us with that.
Who runs the band’s Facebook?
Uffe: The band does, Alex also has the authority to fuck things up, ha ha
Are you active on any other social forums besides Facebook?
Uffe: Well, we have Instagram and some other stuff, we put up a photo when something interesting happens, like we do on FB.
At the end of October, the same day as the release of the new album, the band performed at Kafè 44 in Stockholm Sweden, was that a kind of release party?
Uffe: It was a show but we had our new album there for sale. Maybe it was a party but I’d rather see it as a normal show.
What did you think of the Malmo show the band did on the 1st of November?
Uffe: It is a long drive down there, we were tired, it was hard to get into the “rock mood”, I had some problems with my guitar. The show could have been better but we did what we could that night, it was totally alright, we would love to come back.
Are there any plans on touring next year or do you have any festival shows booked?
Uffe: At the moment we have nothing booked but a show in Stockholm with Pyramido. We need to find someone that could help us with shows.
Is Haystack here to stay?
Uffe: As long as we have fun and creativity is flowing. We are probably going to record a new album not in the very far away distance.
RIGHT AT YOU and SLAVE ME are about to be re-released, when is that going to happen and are they going to be available on both CD and vinyl?
Uffe: I don’t know when it’s going to happen but hopefully during the first part of 2020.
You’re involved in Disfear, Entombed and Murder Squad, how many of these acts are active today?
Uffe: One, Disfear
Haystack was really big at the beginning of the ’90’s and I read you said that the band was bigger in Europe compared to Scandinavia. Where in the world do you think you have the biggest fan base today?
Uffe: Ha ha. No, Haystack where never a band people knew of, I talked about people here and there who liked us, some people in Sweden knew about our first album, people outside of Sweden knew about the second album. We have never played a show outside of Sweden. Maybe we will, someday.
What would you like to say to the ones that haven’t heard the music of Haystack yet?
Uffe: Check us out if you’re a lost soul, don’t like what you’re listening to today, if you wanna keep bands for yourself or listen to bands no one else is listening to, ha ha. Just check us out, you might like us.
Could you give them three reasons why they should buy THE SACRIFICE?
1: Someone payed to print the album, I don’t want them to lose money, so help them out by buying it and maybe they will print another album or albums.
2: You might like the album.
3: You do already like the album but you don’t own it materially.
Well, that was all for me this time around, thanks a lot for taking the time to talk. I wish you and the band all the best in the future, and it has been an honor to interview a legend like you! Do you have any words of wisdom to share with readers and fans out there?
Uffe: Thanks a lot if you’re reading this, for the time and hopefully your ears!