Heart of Steel: Interviews

Interview With Reclusion
Interview By Arto


When being at the Swedenrock festival last summer, I got a pleasant and surprising opportunity of finding out an entirely new combo called Reclusion. I became familiar with the band damn well. When checking out their Shell Of Pain release, I was utterly blown away by their aggressive and tight and excellent played technical thrash with the modern elements tied up. It was more than reasonable to get the touch to the band’s drummer to find out more about the band.

Hi! What’s up there in Sweden? Has it been snowing a lot there?

Has it ever stopped snowing you mean? [laugh] No, actually we had an incredible summer this year. It hasn’t been this hot ever since they started recording the temperatures, and that was the beginning of 1900 sometime. Global warming?



Reclusion may be an entire unknown outfit for most of readers, even though the band has been together for about 4 years. Despite a great deal of gigs done all around in Europe and the killer release Shell Of Pain has been out for over a year, I was entire unaware of the band’s existence until seeing you on the stage at the SwedenRock festival. Could you shed a little bit light on how everything started out in the first place ?

reclusion-pic3.jpg (8232 bytes)All of us have played together previously in different bands and settings. The fact that led to the start of Reclusion was that the band that Rune and me previously played in broke up. We felt the need to start a new band where all of the members shared the same musical goals and ambitions. So in 1998 Reclusion was formed, but then under a different name. Drowned. Toni joined soon after that and then Pasi. Both of them where available at the moment and we knew they would have the right ambition.



Although being a Swedish band, you guys are basically not pure blood Swedes at all as all of you have roots to either Finland, Norway and Poland ?

Yes that is true. I’m Polish, Rune is Norwegian and Pasi and Toni are from Finland. I personally think that is a cool aspect to us being a Swedish band. Maybe we should promote us as a Scandinavian Metal band with a twist of Eastern Europe. [laugh] It has an advantage when we do interviews in those countries. One thing stinks though, that is when Pasi and Toni always start to speak Finnish after a few beers. haha



The first demo of Reclusion called ”A Force Of One” was carried out at the Los Angered studio with Andy la Rocque doing the production job. Were you satisfied with the working methods of Rocque for the debut demo? Did he give a lot of tips what to do and how the stuff should sound?

reclusion-pic1.jpg (16633 bytes)We have been always recording our stuff with Andy, even with our previous bands, so we knew how he works and what to expect. I think that “A Force of One” turned out very good. It is always an asset to work with people that have been around in the business when you record your first demo as a band. He did produce the demo. Andy has an enormous ability to squeeze the best out of each musician, even when you feel like shit and everything is working against you in the studio.



The demo led you to have a deal with Loud And Proud records. First off, what is that label anyway, because as far as I can remember I have never heard of them before?

Loud nī Proud was a Swedish label that had bands like Morifade, Freternia, Satanic Slaughter and Persuader among others on their roster.



Loud And Proud unleashed a mini-CD "A Force Of One" having two tracks taken directly from the demo. Did you re-record both the tracks all over again for the mini-CD, or were those tracks released with the same approach as on the demo?

It was actually a vinyl single with the same recording as for the demo. We decided that since the quality was so good we might as well release it prior to the album.. The label would use it as a promotional tool to the distributors and for us it was a dream come true being recorded on vinyl for the first time.



reclusion-pic4.jpg (39110 bytes)What sort of deal did you sign with them? Did they just give you a certain amount of CDs for free in order to cover all the costs? How did you work with them?

The deal was that we didn’t get any money for the single since we used it for promotion. As for the record the deal was really good, regarding royalties and recoupable money. We had offers from a few American labels that were interested as well. But their deal was not as good. Also we felt that being on a Swedish label would be better for us. It is always easier dealing with people face to face that over email or phone. But we didn’t know how it would turn out by that time.



After the mini-CD you entrenched the Los Angered studio to work with La Rocque for the full length album Shell Of Pain consisting of nine tracks with a tight and aggressive grip with some attitude metal elements popping up here and there. How would you characterize the stuff on the cd?

“Shell of pain” is a sheer dose of brutal thrash. Combining the 80’s bay-area thrash metal sound with the modern clean edge.



After listening to the stuff you recorded a year and a half ago, do you think that you succeeded in doing everything perfectly, or are you capable of finding some unexpected failures and mistakes which could have been done better?

There is always room for improvement. One should never be 100 percent satisfied, because you’ll never improve and develop. You need to find a balance between the amount of time given to you in the studio and how high you set the standard. I believe we achieved that on “Shell of Pain”. We learned a lot and gained experience during the “Shell of Pain” recording sessions.



The album was about to be released by Loud And Proud, then something got fucked up and the whole plan went up in smoke?

Well yes, the label didn’t play it fair with us. They promised a lot but were never capable of living up to their promises. Eventually they went bankrupt. So we ended up having a newly recorded album and no label to release it on.



The releasing of the album was obviously delayed more or less as you started looking for a new label. How did you get hooked up by Listenable records, which is more dedicated to the more brutal death metal stuff?

Actually we had been in contact with Listenable before, regarding a previous band, so we knew of each other from back then. We sent them a sample and they provided the best deal. I guess they wanted a wider spectrum of bands on their roster. They signed Pale Forest shortly after us. Their rumor was very good regarding being honest and fair. Having fresh in mind our recent experience with labels we valued that fact really high. So we signed with them.



The whole album had to be re-mixed to gain the more aggressive sound quality. I can’t help asking if the chief of Listenable suggested the new mixing of the album, or did you just decide to re-mix the whole release?

He suggested the re-mix and we felt that it gave us an opportunity to freshen the album up a bit. Clean start with a new label so to speak.



Has Listenable given the more needed support for promoting the album in Europe? Have you been satisfied with Listenable, so that the next Reclusion album will be put by them?

Listenable has been very good for us overall. I believe that they did everything they could regarding promotion. However we are a very “demanding” band. So there has been times our ideas and visions regarding our development didn’t equal the label’s. We feel at this point in time that the next Reclusion album should be released at a label that equals our development. Therefore we are currently looking for a new one.



Reclusion has done a bunch of gigs in Central European countries, Holland, Belgium, and Germany. How have you managed to get those gigs arranged? Has Listenable been helping out you getting Reclusion booked, or have you picked up your stuff and drove through Europe and asked the local gig organizators for having a chance to play?

We rented a van and got a big sign saying “GIGS WANTED” and honked the horn and just drove through Europe. [Laugh]. Sven from Aborted arranged the first mini tour. Since they are on Listenable that is how the contact was made. For the second one we got an offer from the guy who arranged gigs for 013 in Tilburg, Holland.



What sort of places have you been in and have you mainly supported some local and obviously bigger names there?

reclusion-pic5.jpg (32573 bytes)First tour we went as support for Aborted, playing in France, Belgium and Germany. On the Holland mini-tour we went as headliners. We’ve done support gigs with The Haunted and Evergrey in Sweden and recently played a festival in Denmark with was very cool. And of course our appearance on Sweden Rock festival this summer was a great happening for Reclusion. In December, we and Transport League are doing a 3 gig tour in Sweden. We hope however to do a bigger tour supporting a major band for the next record.



Speaking of The SwedenRock festival; Reclusion happened to be the only  extreme metal band on the bill. Did you have to pay some certain amount of cash to get a chance to play there?

We played on the Orange stage, which was the showcase stage. That means that the label pays some money to promote themselves and their bands. In our case we did all of that. We represented Listenable on the festival. We were selling merchandise for the other bands, taking demos from unsigned bands and so on. We were both artists and label those days. We had a great time during the whole festival and the gig went good as well so we are very happy with the whole deal.



Have you done any other big festival dates in either Sweden or elsewhere?

No, Sweden Rock Festival is up to date the biggest event for us.



As for the newer material, how much have you got finished and does the newer material differ a lot from the Shell Of Pain album?

We have about 8 or 9 songs finished with the ambition to have 11 songs ready for the album. The new stuff is a bit more aggressive and powerful.


reclusion-pic6.jpg (13406 bytes)


Can you reveal some tracks and a possible album title?

The working title of the album is “Inventory of the Morgue.” It will be a concept album dealing with different ways of dying and the events surrounding it. Some track names are Five Clicks (And You’re Dead) and Eaten From Within.



I am pretty much sure you will be recording the new album at Los Angered, or have you been thinking of getting to another studio? When will you start working on the follow up to Shell Of Pain?

The sessions are set to begin in mid February and we’ll record at Los Angered recording again. So hopefully by late spring or early fall the album will hit the stands. It all depends on when we find a new label.



I for one thank you for this short and rapid interview about Reclusion for www.metal-rules.com, and I guess you may have something to add to conclude the interview?

You’re welcome my friend. For all of you not familiar with Reclusion go to www.reclusion.nu and check us out. See you out there.


Band Website: www.reclusion.nu

Label Website: www.listenable.net