INTERVIEW WITH SVEND KARLSSON OF BAEST
Baest hailing fron Denmark have released three albums in a row presenting the old school death metal. The third and newest title Necro Sapiens presents the spirit of the old school death metal. Baest, formed in 2015, have been super busy since then, by being on tours or working on the new material for the next album. Metal-Rules.Com talked to the guitarist of Baest, Svend Karlsson, who appeared to truly excited about an upcoming with Phil Anselmo.
Interview and live pics by Arto Lehtinen
How’s it going in Denmark and the Baest camp ?!
Hi man, Svend from BAEST here! It’s going great! We are working hard in the rehearsal space and just started shipping all of our merch ourselves. It’s a big job, but we have fun doing it! also, we are working on different stuff to release soon, stuff to support the Necro Sapiens release.
BAEST – CLASSIC DEATH METAL
Baest is a relatively new outfit emerging from Denmark. As far as I know, you started in 2015. Frankly, could you shed a little bit more light on how everything started in the first place ?!
Everything started with a night of heavy drinking, where Svend and Lasse met in the wee hours of the morning. We had relatively blurred vision. So we quickly agreed on starting a classic death metal band. Had the vision been better, we might not have put our faith in each other, but that’s another story!
Baest is without any doubt influenced by the old-school Death Metal. Which bands basically inspired and had an impact on you and the sounds when you formed Baest in 2015 ?
Both Lasse and Svend were heavily influenced by Bloodbath in the beginning and are now inspired by a wider range of artists such as Carcass, Rush, Morgoth, Bolt Thrower, Hate, Decapitated, etc., etc.
In my opinion, musically, you seem to have musical influences more from the Swedish extreme Death Metal like the old school Sunlight releases, i.e., Entombed/Dismember. Do you share my view of the Swedish Death Metal having a more place in your metal passion ?!
We heavily agree! We were lucky to tour with Entombed AD before LGs passing (RIP) and this was a big dream come true.
How did Century Media Records come into the picture to release the debut?
They saw us at Copenhell Freezes Over (a showcase festival in Copenhagen) and immediately sought out our manager Jens, to do a deal after our show.
Were there other labels showing their interest toward Baest or what made you ink a deal with Century Media after all ?
Century Media made a great offer, and we went to visit them in Dortmund. They seemed genuinely interested in us and our take on death metal, and we felt it was the perfect partner for us, a decision we have not regretted ever!
The debut album titled Danse Macabre was released in 2018 and gained a lot of attention and feedback in the extreme metal music genre. Are you still satisfied with the album?
Yes, we love that album. It was the result of our first years together, and we think stands its own ground, and we still enjoy playing those songs! Among the songs on that album are some of our greatest songs to do live.
As for the band’s second album, Venenum followed in 2019 on Century Media as well. You didn’t spend that much time resting on laurels, instead of working and touring all the time. Putting the second album a year after the first one. Did you have a creative mood when composing the material for the second album? Or did you feel getting the second album was the best way to forge the iron when it was hot ?!
We were ready to make the second album months before the first release, so we figured we would just rock on and write some more riffs! it was a stressful time, and we aren’t sure we’ll do it like that ever again, but Venenum is still an album we love and enjoy, and we think it was released at a good time for us.
THE THIRD OUTBURST – NECRO SAPIENS
The latest and third album Necro Sapiens came out earlier this year. Did the on-going and raging pandemic make you change the plans in a way or another ?!
We had already planned to make a release when the pandemic broke out, so we actually just ended up having more time to write it! So, that’s one thing that was “good” about the pandemic. We ended up rehearsing so much that we decided to record the whole album live.
How did you start working on songs for the third album? Did you work on your own and then gathered to your rehearsal place to finish songs or how ?!
We meet up every Monday morning to rehearse, and Lasse and I always bring some fresh riffs for the guys to listen to. Then we slowly build the songs, everyone learning and changing the riffs up, bit by bit.
Do you have certain roles in the band as far as your songwriting and composing are concerned or How do you share different opinions if someone disagrees ?!
Everyone participates in writing and arranging the songs, and the song is finished when we all feel happy about the song. Lasse and I play the guitars, which makes it our job to make the riffs, but Sebastian has an even bigger role in mapping out all the songs’ drums and feel. Muddi (bass) has an amazing ability to listen and hear potential riffs and is a master at arranging. Simon is a death and growling machine, and he brings a lot to the process, as he always has great ideas, enthusiasm, and an ability to make us sound sick, even though the rest of us are playing poorly. What a frontman.
What was it like to work on the album and do you believe that you basically took everything on the next level artistically with this album?
It was amazing to work on NS, and yes, we do feel we took everything to the next level. Everyone is comfortable in our companionship, making it easy to be creative and open when writing. All the rules of how a BAEST song should sound wiped off the table, and we wrote what we felt was right. Basically, everyone was laughing and enjoying the new songs when they were done, which is somewhat how we decide when a song is done now; if you see all the guys grinning and ripping when we play it in the rehearsal space, it’s practically done!
What kind of aspects make you totally satisfied with the album?
The production is big on this one – and we played it all live, and that really does make you proud when you listen to it now.
Are you pleased with the reviews regarding the new album?
Yes, we are! There are many different reviews, but almost all of them agree that we created something that really sums up the sound of BAEST. And that’s what we wanted.
What about the album artwork on Necro Sapiens – could you tell who created it ? Did you give some hints to an artist or did he have free hands to carry out the art for the cover ?!
Mitchell Nolte did the cover, and he basically received an email, where our concept of the album was described and what character we wanted the cover to contain. He nailed it in 5-6 sketches. SICK work, mate!
RAGING LIVE ON STAGE
I have witnessed Baest once when supporting LG Petrov fronted Entombed A.D. a year ago. Baest’s gig was full of intensive energy from the beginning to the end. Obviously that tour brought more attention for Baest ?
It surely did, with 30 shows of pure mayhem and fun onstage. We love it!
Which bands have you toured and played and what kind of response have you got from the audience ?!
We toured some bigger tours with, of course, Entombed AD and Aborted. We did a big EU and UK tour with Decapitated and a smaller tour with Abbath. The audience seems to enjoy our energy and enthusiasm when we play – and that’s lucky, cause we can’t help it! We are waiting to do a tour with Phil Anselmo and the Illegals. THAT’S ALSO GONNA BE PRETTY SICK.
As for the future of Baest on a wider scale, where do you see Baest going forward – do you view playing big festivals and touring with big-name bands could open more doors for Baest to increase the fanbase?
As said, we are gonna tour with Phil A, and he’s a fucking legend. That’s a pretty good start to our future, and we want it to move in that direction. More touring, more records, bigger shows, more shows, bigger venues (and smaller, those are the funniest to play), and more fans. If you are already a fan btw, join our fan group Necro Sapiens on Facebook. There’s more news, more content and stories and such. Come and join, meet the family!
I for one thank you for your time for doing the interview for Metal-Rules.Com. But spit your last words …Thanks for supporting upcoming bands. Keep doing what you do! Keep in touch, and the next time we play anywhere near you (and your readers), come by the merch booth, say hi, and enjoy some rock’n’roll. Cheers, BAEST
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