The Breakup and Return of PERSUADER!

Interviewed by EvilG
(Sept. 2001)

Persuader's CD, THE HUNTER was selected by a number of us here as a "Best of 2000" release. The band was also chosen by a number of us as "Best NEW band" for 2000. Therefore, it was quite disappointing, in early 2001, when we learned the band had broken up. Just a few weeks ago I received an e-mail from Emil Norberg - who informed me the band had reformed and he was their new guitarist!! So here is an interview to bring you all up to speed on one of Sweden's great heavy metal hopes...PERSUADER!!

New PERSUADER line-upI want to start out by getting this out of the way. I remember getting an e-mail from Pekka with the very sad news that Persuader were no more. If I remember correctly it was partly due to musical differences. Please explain (in detail I hope!!) exactly what happened that lead to the band splitting up.

Basically, it happened because of personal and musical differences. Allot of bad feelings were involved, it was sometimes hard to get along with Pekka, and in the end it led to the departure of Jens, which was shortly followed by Efraim.


Your album "The Hunter" showed such promise and such hope. Why did you guys decide to split at all rather then just immediately reform with a line-up change?

At first we didn´t have any plans to continue at all. But after a while Jens asked Emil if he would like to start the band over with him filling Pekka´s spot. He was interested, auditioned, and it worked out fine.


Were you thinking about dropping the name "Persuader"? (I'm glad you've kept it!)

No, we never considered that. It would just have been a big waste to change the name since it has become quite established. And the line-up change wasn´t that drastic, two of the main-songwriters are still in the band, so the style of the music will probably stay the same as before.


The shut-down of your label "Loud 'N Proud" must of been upsetting. Did that play any part in the break-up of the band?

It was upsetting indeed! We kept waiting and waiting for the album to be released, but nothing happened. It was hard to get hold of the LNP guys, and they kept on moving the release date further and further. Then finally, when we thought they had solved their problems, we found out that they're going out of business. However, this had nothing to do with our breakup. As soon we found out about LNP we made plans to get a deal with some other label.


Who's idea was it to reform Persuader?

5. Jens made the initial contacts, but it was a mutual decision. We had come a long way with the band, and since Emil was interested there was no reason not to try again.


How long "down time" did you have before deciding to resurrect Persuader and were all the remaining members up for it or was some convincing needed to bring the former members back?

About 3 or 4 months. It wasn´t very hard to convince the remaining members once they had thought it through.


PERSUADER: album cover for THE HUNTERDo you own the rights to the album "The Hunter" and would you re-release it on a label if one offered you the opportunity to properly put it out and distribute it for you?

No, LNP own the rights for now. We could buy the rights and release it ourselves if only we had the money, but we don´t. We´re checking out different labels that can buy and release "The Hunter" properly. So far, the album has only been released on license in France by NTS (Nothing to say).


Pekka has since begun work on his own band. Have you guys stayed friends with him and wish him well with his new musical endeavors?

No, we don´t have any contact with him. He can become a rock star or burn in the eternal depths of his trailer. We don´t care, he´s history.


Tell me about your new guitarist Emil and where you found him!

Well, Emil is 20 years old and so the youngest member in the band… He's played the guitar about 8 years or so. He was attending the same school as Jens and that is where they met. They had some mutual friends as well…


What influences or styles does Emil bring to the band or how will his presence affect the sound that fans know from the previous material?

I (Emil) am very influenced by allot of different stuff, like lots of instrumental music like jazz fusion, bebop, blues and fusion and also by folklore and stuff…. As far as the guitar playing it will be a mix of fast melodic strange mystic and groovy solos. The difference in my riffs to the old songs is, I tend to let the guitar do more melodies within the song opposed to the old stuff were the song were the center… Of course it will be in the new songs to but with a more "interesting" twist!


What does you (Emil) think of the lead playing on Persuader's earlier material and will you be playing this stuff live note for note like the original recording?

I think the original solos on the previous material suck horse dick… Magnus, who played on the hunter CD, is a really good guitarist but he hadn't really heard the songs very much before he did the solos… I will improvise new solos every time we play a song, I'm not really into playing the same solo exactly as before. I think it becomes a lot more interesting then…. Otherwise I think all the stuff we have now is just killer material… and as soon as we've recorded some promo stuff I'll see you an mp3 clip!


Speaking of playing live...has the new line-up played any shows in Sweden or are their plans to?

No not yet, but we´re very excited to get out and play as soon as possible! We´ll probably do some local gigs in September.


You mentioned to me earlier that you had 4-5 songs written. Do they have titles yet? What do the songs sound like? Does it compare to the style on "The Hunter"? If not, what is different about it in terms of sound, style, vocals, etc...

Yeah, we´re working on new songs, but they´re all in the making so it´s kind of hard to tell how they will turn out. A bit more aggressive perhaps, we´ll probably include more harsh vocals compared to "The Hunter". Have no fear, it will still be pure metal, just with a few new elements. We don´t have any titles yet since the lyrics are under construction.


When do you hope to have an album's worth of material written and when do you hope to have the album out?

We´ll probably have enough material for an album sometime around Christmas. If all goes well with a new label and all, we´ll hopefully record a new album early 2002. We´ll just have to wait a little longer and see how things develop.


Are you recording the songs as you write them, or are you writing them all before recording?

Usually we record some basic ideas at home and then try it out on rehearsals. We´ll most likely record some sort of promo before the next actual album-recording takes place, just to get a better picture, what to change etc.


Have you sent anything to the labels yet?

We´ve been kind of slow at that, but we´re just about to ship a load of promo-packages. We also have contact with a few labels, so things will probably turn out for the better from here.


Will you release the next album independently if there doesn't seem to be immediate label interest?

 No, that would be difficult since we don´t have the financials.


Will you be letting fans hear new material or clips of the new material before the CD is done? (If so we would be happy to post some clips!!)

Maybe, if the recordings hold an acceptable quality.


What happened to your website / Will the site also be put back online and if so when?

The old website was created and maintained by Pekka, and he deleted the whole thing the same day we split up. We´re now looking for a person skilled and dedicated enough to make a new professional one. If anyone out there is interested, mail us ( ! We might put up a temporary site just to let everyone know we´re alive. We´ll keep you informed!


How is the scene in your local area for metal?

Well, since our city Umea isn´t that big, most bands know each other one way or another. There´s alot of good bands, but not that many good gig opportunities. People only seem to drag their asses to concerts if there´s an established band playing, which is sad. But there´s a new generation of kids discovering metal, now since power metal got so big and all, so it might get better in the future.


Do you know what the ex-members of the band Freternia are doing?? They were on a split-CD with you guys and I believe they are from the same area....their demise was also a sad day for metal!!!

No idea, we haven´t had that much contact with them. They live in southern Sweden and we are located up in the north, so...


If there is ANYTHING else you'd like us to let people know about please include it here.

If you can´t get hold of "The Hunter" then check out! It´s the only place we´ve found where you can order it. Thanks for your support, it means allot! We´ll keep you updated on everything concerning the band. Bye for now!

Persuader Reviews
The Hunter
Visions And Dreams (ep)

Previous Interviews
Persuader Guitarist, Pekka Kiviaho (Sept. 2000)

Official Site: Persuader

©2001 Metal Rules!!

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Saturday, November 17, 2001