Saturday, July 11, 2009

Interview with David Parland (July 2009)

David Parland (aka Blackmoon) should be no stranger to fans of the Swedish Black and Death Metal scene of the early-to-mid 90s. He was a founding member and driving force behind such bands as Necrophobic and Dark Funeral, both of which are still going today. It doesn't take a genius to notice the drastic change in both bands, following his departure from each. After some time away, he has returned to resurrect the band Infernal, which is poised to take the underground by storm with the same type of brilliant melodies that made The Nocturnal Silence and The Secrets of the Black Arts such classics. So, in preparation for the coming apocalypse, I took some time to speak with the master of such eerie, nocturnal riffs: David Parland.

You are currently working on new material for the INFERNAL demo, with an upcoming full-length planned as well. How did it come about that you crawled out from your tomb, so to speak, and began writing music once more?

Well, that's something that was a long process, really. I didn't really wake up one day and say, "Now I'm gonna start INFERNAL again, or start a band again". It's basically happened in a period of 6-7 months where, after a longer break, I started to play a lot of guitar again. This with my crappy Tokai LES paul clone, but it has a good flow so I continued playing on that guitar for hours and hours everyday and, all of a sudden, all these more old style riffs came up and they continued to do so. (I recorded the riffs - actually all of them on my Nokia mobile phone. Since it has a crappy video player, but still enough good to capture a riff you come up with fast,and need to "nail it" fast it's a actually a good thing to capture riffs with.)

Anyway, when I had the first basic riffs for "Seven Gates" and "Godforsaken", I sent then over by the net to Tomas, who could lay drums easily on it, since we use the same recording program "Cubase SX" and since we record with click track all the time, we continued to work like that. It's a very easy process. The only times I've been to the rehearsal studio (Tomas's rehearsal place/Monolith Studio) is for doing the vocals, and when we need to sit an figure out certain arrangements. but those two first mentioned songs were arranged before he (Tomas) laid down drums on it. He just followed the click track and the flow of the riffs, and it worked out exactly as I wanted and envisioned it. Actually almost better. The same procedure for "Godforsaken". All riffs were arranged in the correct order before he did any drums... He follows my main directives but might apply some extra things here and there, which mostly is only for the good.

Well, that's how it started, with me starting playing and put those two "Seven Gates" and "Godforsaken" tracks together, and then contacting Tomas and well, the you have the beginning. At that time we're not sure of calling this project/band INFERNAL, since it's a little different, more melodic and so on... but the Satanic themes and there's still some good dark riffs there, so in the end we decided to call it INFERNAL, but from the beginning proclaim that this really is a new version of the band.

So this begins a new chapter in your musical career; however, it remains firmly entrenched in the same dark realm that your work has existed in since the very beginning. And to speak of those earliest times, what was your primary inspiration to start playing music, and then making your own?

As for as when I started out, 13 - 14 years old, I was already a metalhead and all those early albums had an effect on me...Even though I for sure would not have called me satanist at that age, but the more I got into this music from Heavy to Thrash and Speed and then Death and Black Metal , already at that time had a pretty dark and gloomy outlook on the world, I 'd went from calling myself mainly atheist/anti-christian to Satanist. Although I in high school and later had friends, I felt like no one really understand me and I kind of developed an "outsiderhood" so to speak, At around 20, I had already had some half-traumatizing happenings that made me even more like this. Of course, I could be social at times and basically like anyone else, but that's to me is mainly theatre. I don't let anyone really know me unless I am pretty certain i can trust that person. And statistically - It hasn't looked to good. as well, just because I've had a half-miserable life, it's not the reason for me getting interested in all this Dark Music and why I label myself Satanist. In fact, I am NOT a Satanist in the orthodox theistic sense, meaning you worship the devil and you believe in his existence. My hatred lies with humanity. So In reality, I am more of a misanthrope hating humankind, and then of course as well hating their creator - meaning God, Jehova. (according to that crap book called "The Bible"). Satan literally means fiend, adversary, and enemy, and that is what I pretty much feel myself as: an enemy of mankind. So if am actually a real "satanist" or not I do not care. but worshiping something that doesn't exist, i am sorry but I don't find it very smart. I can get attracted to dark atmospheres, evil surroundings, and a lot of Satanic things like books, films and other physical things etc. but to tell the absolute truth, I am first and foremost a musician who likes to create evil and atmospheric sounding music. I am not religious. But I have a hatred for religion and people.

Were you always drawn to the dark side, or was there a catalyst that directed you toward the path that you have followed all these years? What does the Satanic concept, that has been present in all of your bands, mean to you?

Yeah ,well as far as the Satanic aspect of the band, it's pretty much back to basics, more lyrically actually what I did with NECROPHOBIC than with DARK FUNERAL and INFERNAL. Of course all bands had its roots in the hatred for Christianity and mankind. That's what it was for me, other members of these bands might describe it differently....but personally I had the feeling of hatred for mankind. (Okay, not including exactly everyone on the planet, but for me, people only means problems.) And as for the state of this world, I truly believe some really bad is going to happen, if not Armageddon, something at least close to it. just turn on the TV, wars everywhere, people dying in front of the camera, That there will be a World War 3, I am 100 percent sure of. I hope not in my lifetime, but it could easily happen. The Arab world against the US and European world if we generalize things. Yes, I believe things are going to go truly to HELL, on which scale I do not know though.

I can certainly agree with your sentiments. You brought up NECROPHOBIC. Was this the very first band that you played with? How exactly did this band materialize and what was the primary goal of that which you created?

As a serious musician, yes, NECROPHOBIC was the real first one. There were earlier versions of the band with a lot of different stupid names (so stupid - I wont tell ya...) back in high school, One particularly funny memory was when we me, Joakim Sterner and Stefan Zander (first NECRO vocalist) rehearsed in this big music room, and we played the infamous track that a lot of bands have begun rehearsing with - Metallica's "For Whom The Bell Tolls" and this old principal came by to complain that we played to loud, and we just ignored him and continued playing. Don't remember actually, but I think we got thrown out of that music room and wasn't allowed any more rehearsals...

What can you remember from those earliest times, back when NECROPHOBIC was still putting out demos and working toward making the first record? How was the Swedish Black and Death Metal scene back then?
As far as those old times, there where good times and bad times too. Some rehearsals wasn't always funny, since you argue about riffs, arrangements and stuff, but when things were ready and recorded it of course felt good. Although I cannot really listen to that old stuff now (guess I soon have to as Regain now has said that special Satanic Blasphemies box shall be out in September...finally! ) if not they must be seriously punished. They have now had a year. and I was never even asked about the whole thing.---

The early Swedish Death/Black Metal scene was very special. Now, everyone in basically every band knows each other, but things was a little different back then, but the incredible thing is that so many of the bands that started the whole thing still are around, maybe in different constellations, but all the old Stockholm bands now exist again. anyway, when INFERNAL is coming back the circle will be sealed.... (I feel I have my rightly earned place in the history of the Stockholm Death/Black Metal scene, regardless of which bands I have played with.)

As for the first NECROPHOBIC album, even though we were not one of the most popular underground Death Metal bands at the time, when we recorded The Nocturnal Silence at Sunlight studios, we had the record in having " most friends" there. Something like 30 people in this little studio. Fucking insane. I had a hard time concentrating when we should mix or whatever it was...

What was the response like for The Nocturnal Silence? Did you go on tour to support the record, or did Black Mark even make this an option?

The response was mainly very good. Rock Hard, Terrorizer and some other bigger magazine gave it quite high quite high scores; no 5/5 BUT several 4/5's.... I actually can't remember any really bad words about that album.

I can surely remember a couple bad reviews of the DARK FUNERAL albums, but hehe in retrospect what can you say???

The The Secrets of the Black Arts has sold until today more than 40,000 copies. The mini-CD/E.P. is today above 20.000 copies with it's all different formats. Only one "mini-CD" (if we talk Black/Death Metal) has sold more, and that's the split L.P./CD with EMPEROR, but that's not a real MCD since it has two bands on it.

As for NECROPHOBIC The Nocturnal Silence, it might be something in between 10.000 and 15.000. It was about ten thousand when Black Mark stopped selling it. Then, I guess Hammerheart re-released the first three NECROPHOBIC albums. Even a vinyl version exists. It's pretty cool, done by Painkiller Records.

As for any touring, no, we did not go on support for that album; only gigs here and there. We could have, if we absolutely wanted, but it was a tour with, I think, LAKE IN TEARS and INVOCATOR. They just weren't very cool bands, but to be honest, I didn't feel like going. Okay, if there was better bands, but actually I felt somewhat tired of the other guys at the time, and simply didn't want to spend a month ,or if it was three weeks, on tour with them. I felt like I wouldn't be able to stand them for that long 24/7... Anyway, gigging with 'PHOBIC was cool, and we mostly got a good response. I think all in all I did 16 gigs with them..

It was not long before you created another band, DARK FUNERAL. What led to this decision; i.e. was there any thought that your musical vision could not be achieved through the boundaries established by NECROPHOBIC?

Regarding the creation of DARK FUNERAL, it happened because of two things: I wasn't satisfied with some parts of NECROPHOBIC, for example the drumming, and at the time, and some other things that made me see that there wasn't that much future for the band. Then I met Ahriman and well, we were both going for the idea to create some very extreme Black Metal, and with both our minds united, things just rolled on very very fast, and 3 years going from nowhere we had created one of the top Black Metal bands here in Sweden.

Did DARK FUNERAL become your primary focus, during this period? There seemed to be quite a lapse of time between The Nocturnal Silence and Spawned By Evil. Was this a direct result of your involvement with DARK FUNERAL or was there a lack of creativity within NECROPHOBIC?

Yeah there was both a lack of creativity in NECROPHOBIC and the total opposite at the time for DARK FUNERAL. So leaving NECROPHOBIC was just a question of time. It was a little irritating though that most of the tracks on Darkside are mine. Even the cover idea was mine; I called Necrolord and told him how I wanted it to look. But, well, a small revenge is coming as far as that record goes. (You know what I'm talking about...)

Indeed. So once you guys put together a full line-up, for DARK FUNERAL you did the MCD at Hellspawn/Unisound, with Dan Swanö. Many people don't remember or never knew that the early 90s Black Metal scene wasn't always looked upon too kindly. Only in later years it was accepted and became highly regarded. How was it going from Death Metal to Black Metal and what was the response like for the MCD?

The early years, like 91-95/96 , were very very special; I really must state that. Back then there were not a million bands and labels, and a lot of the bands knew each other at least a little, since there wasn't so many bands at that time. Back in 94-95, the big three Black/Death Metal bands were DISSECTION, MARDUK, and DARK FUNERAL (excluding the more regular Death Metal like ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER and UNLEASHED). Those were very special times, since the Black Metal scene hadn't yet been exploited and was still pretty much a very underground thing. Black Metal was something people actually were scared of, with all the church burnings and murders up in Norway. Nowadays, not that many Black Metal bands are very scary... the extremity and the feeling of belonging to something forbidden, special in those old times were very strong. It was a kind of magic that most likely never can be recaptured again.

The response for the MCD was good from the start, when we sold the first 100 we felt very proud, then it became 500, and so on and so on. We never imagined we could sell so much of that MCD. but it came at the right time.

Hellspawn/Unisound seemed to be notorious for producing a flat sound, when it came to Black Metal. The only ones that escaped this fate were the early DISSECTION records; however, one can hear other albums recorded there, such as Those of the Unlight or Opus Nocturne, by MARDUK, to see the poor results. In speaking with Themgoroth, a couple years back, he explained that the DARK FUNERAL full-length was originally recorded in the same studio, but that the sound was less than desirable. What was the main problem, in your opinion, and how did you make the decision to go to Abyss Studio?

As said, I made the decision to go to Abyss Studio, because of the shit sound we got on that first Secrets... session. Marduk's Opus Nocturne is another good example that suffered from that flat crappy sound. They used the same gear as we used on that session, and those recordings have the same flat crap sound. That's because Swanö changed mixing tables (a digital one - which was supposed to be so good - but was really shit) and some other equipment that wasn't too good either. The early recordings in Unisound, like the first DISSECTION album, the DARK FUNERAL MCD and a lot more, were pretty good sounding ,until he changed basically all the equipment.

What was the main difference between working with Peter Tägtgren as opposed to Dan Swanö? Also, rumor has it that you recorded most of the guitars, yourself, for The Secrets of the Black Arts. What led to this development?
The difference with working with Swanö and Tägtgren was day and night. From the day we arrived at Unisound studios for The Secrets... recording, everything felt stressed. Swanö was apparently stressed and simply burned out, and as well he had got some new gear that sounded like shit (mixing table and new microphones and shit). To make a long story short, that recording ended up being very bad, sound-wise and performance-wise. I knew directly that we had to re-record it, or DARK FUNERAL would most likely be over. The other members did not understand this, of course, but when we went to Sunlight some weeks later, to try to re-record some vocals, Tomas Skogsberg made a call to Swanö that basically saved the band. He phoned him up and asked him (Swanö), "Well, what the hell do you think I can do with this??? This record I can not save, regardless if we re-do the vocals and re-mix it." Then, Swanö, like a little mouse, said to Skogsberg, "Okay, I have fucked up totally. I will let the next band on No Fashion record for free, and the money No Fashion are/were going to use for that, they simply take for DARK FUNERAL to go and re-record the album." Without that call from Skogsberg, our ships would have been burned.

Two months after that Unisound crap recording session we went to Abyss (actually as one of the first bands there; only THE ABYSS, ALGAION and early HYPOCRISY had recorded there before). The recordings sessions went pretty good, but it was actually quite boring being out there in the countryside, in the middle of nowhere. There wasn't much to do. but compared to Unisound, it was 10 times better at least.

The only thing I regret is the guitar sound. Peter had just started the studio and used a Marshall Valvestate as the main amplifier and that's one of the reasons the guitar sound is pretty weak. but Peter wasn't as experienced back in those days as he is now - the "metal guru" of Sweden. If one thing, I like to hear those compositions with a thicker and overall better sound. The songs are still really great, but would need real Marshall JCM 800 stacks (I am a complete Marshall fanatic) and then use Metal Zone distortion boxes. Anyway, it sounds like it sounds, but the sound really doesn't do some of the songs justice. For sure, they are several times better than on that Unisound session, but could have turned out better with some different gear and more experience from Peter. Anyway, as a whole, I am quite satisfied with that album. However, every album has it's faults, and you can never be 100 percent satisfied. Actually, INFERNAL might, sometime in the future, re-record "Bloodfrozen", since that song is basically 100 percent mine, and could have been done much better. we might record it as some bonus stuff, or just for free for downloading sometime. That one isn't a blast song so much, so it would fit in with the "new" INFERNAL concept.

Finally, that rumour that I recorded more of the guitars is partially true. Ahriman recorded however 90 % percent of his guitars, but couldn't do some riffs, because he had an hangover. Those where some riffs in "When Angels Forever Die" and two riffs in "The Dawn No More Rises." Maybe some more riffs, but those are the ones I clearly remember. It's not like I recorded a loads of more riffs than him.

By 1996, a relatively short time after the DARK FUNERAL L.P. was released, there were already line-up changes. First, Themgoroth left the band and was replaced by Masse Broberg of HYPOCRISY. How much longer did it take before you left as well and why was the band falling apart when it had achieved so much success?

Masse/Emperor Magus Caligula came into the band in the summer of 1995. Themgoroth had already done the vocals then for The Secrets of the Black Arts but he simply didn't cut it live. As well he showed little motivation even though the band was getting immensely popular... I left a year later, in the summer of 1996. That wasn't planned, of course, but the tensions between me and Ahriman were just too big to be able to continue together at the time. He got physical (fistfights) two times with me, and since then I felt I could never work with him again. Actually, just right before I left, we talked about kicking Ahriman out of the band. Then it was him and Masse who had some disagreements. I left, but not really to leave for good. I had some hope that, “Okay, we take some time out now, and later try to talk through things”.

Anyway, that never happened. The band went on tour a week after I left, and the backstabbing from them was simply horrible. The saw me as the enemy, whereas I hadn't done shit other than building the band from scratch. Actually I still did a few rehearsals with Tomas/Alzazmon, but when Masse and Ahriman heard that, they told Tomas to choose sides. He wasn't allowed to play with me, since I was the "enemy". Then, I took my equipment from the rehearsal place (same studio/Tomas rehearsal place) and got into my car and said, "Well, never see you again..."

That he (Tomas) really chose sides with those two idiots is beyond comprehension, and I know he badly regret it now, as he left the band himself, less than two years later, because of the exact same reasons reasons that I left. For a long time he was my enemy, (since taking sides with those idiots is unforgivable). but after some years, in 2001, I started to talk with him a little bit again and the "ice" in between us melted away quite fast. And here I am with him as the INFERNAL drummer.

So, after establishing DARK FUNERAL as one of the top Black Metal bands in Sweden, you turned your attention back to NECROPHOBIC and did the Spawned By Evil E.P. and then left the band not too long after. You already touched upon reasons for exiting the band, but why did you not remain long enough to record Darkside? The album was filled with your lyrics and songwriting, according to the credits, yet you only made a short guest appearance.

I left then exactly when the Spawned By Evil MCD was finished in January 1996, I think, simultaneously with the release of The Secrets Of The Black Arts. I felt I had to choose, because things were really starting to happen for DARK FUNERAL, and in NECROPHOBIC, it didn't happen much ...of course I could have made the decision to stay in the band and record Darkside, but if that was to happen we had to do something with the band, like changing guitarist, or drummer. Martin who plays in INFERNAL now, wasn't really as good in the beginning, but he got better the longer he was stayed in the band. But, I have always wanted to play with a guitarist who is either better than me or in at least on my level, and say if we would have taken in Sebastian instead on Darkside, it might would have been worth to stay. But I can´t say for sure, but then I would have had a guitarist that gave me some serious competition. Martin worked well live, but was at least at the time a lesser good guitarist than me. As well, at the time I left we were all pretty tired of each other as persons. Anyway, Martin is one of my few friends I have left, and he isas said in INFERNAL now. But I generally demand high standards both for myself and from others, so being in a band with me - you have to work hard. Sebastian, now the main writer of NECROPHOBIC would have made me stay if we have had him in the band at that time. Yes, in retrospect, it feels pretty meaningless to have done 70 % of an album an not play on it (okay, one solo), but well , as YOU know, we will (INFERNAL) do some thing very special that has to do with Darkside for the INFERNAL album...

I'm certainly looking forward to it. The next band that you were involved in was WAR. What was the story with this and did you have aspirations for it to become more than it did, or was it simply a side-project?

WAR was originally intended to be a one off project, but then we talked some more, as we received good reviews on the Total War MCD, so we thought, why not doing a whole album. so we booked time in the Abyss for it, and Peter was going to drum and It was going to be on it to, but as most people know It didn't turn out that way. Peter was occupied with too many projects and album productions at the time, and It all off a sudden sold all his things, (half his record collection to me) and according to rumors, moved, to Finland. I don't know if this is true, but I've also heard that he traveled around the world for some time, like Asia and stuff. but that's just rumors. He moved/left Sweden because his True Satanist Horde was basically falling apart and some other personal problems. He just simply left in late 1997 and since then I have heard absolutely nothing of/from him.

Anyway, since we still had that studio time booked, me and All were going to cancel it, but in the eleventh hour, we said, "Let's go for it anyway, even without the other guys". That was a pretty bad decision, me and all was over at my place for a weekend or so recording riffs, collecting ideas for the We Are War album, but fuck what can I say, it didn't turn out that very well. We had to take in HYPOCRISY drummer Lars Szöke and he was by no means the right man for the job. He did kind of a Cannibal Corpse blast or something, not the type of blast that Peter did, and the songs suffer pretty much because of that. The production was not very good either, since Mikael Hedlund (HYPOCRISY bassist) did the whole shit in a few days, and it sucks pretty much. Had Peter and It been there, and Peter done the production, I'm sure we would have done a pretty good album... A few of the songs are cool though and those are re-released on the We Are Total War CD that I released myself on Hellspawn. It was the "Total War" MCD/CD and seven of the best tracks from that We Are War crap session. it's passable, but not much more.

Also, in 1997, you created INFERNAL, recruiting former DARK FUNERAL vocalist Themgoroth. The 1999 self-titled E.P. completely killed the material that your former band mates released following your departure. Did you guys have a goal in mind of proving a point to them or were you simply carrying on with your vision? How was the E.P. received in the underground, at that point?

The vision we had with INFERNAL back then was to create something even more sinister and brutal than DARK FUNERAL. That was basically the one and only goal. We (or rather I) had high expectations on INFERNAL back then but, as usual, Themgoroth jumped off the ship, and left me pretty much alone without any other members. Matte Modin (who played on the first INFERNAL MCD/E.P.) was more of a session guy, but very serious. I think me and him rehearsed more together than me and Themgoroth (and Matte). He left in the summer of 98, if I remember right, and I didn't have a clue what to do at that moment. But, as times passed by and I talked to Themgoroth some more, I encouraged him to go up to Abyss Studio over a weekend and lay down the vocals, so the shit could finally be completed. That was in summer 99, so a whole year passed, having a record without any vocals. So, he was already out of the band when he completed the MCD/E.P.

The MCD got very good reviews (almost too good, because actually it is good, but not that bloody good), even though was basically grind/blast stuff all the time, people love it, or at least liked it a lot. We got a 10/10 in the Swedish magazine SLAVESTATE (very flattering, as said I don't really agree, A 9/10 would have been more right). Anyway. generally it got good reviews everywhere, despite its lack of anything else than extremely brutal and Satanic blast!

Some time after the first INFERNAL MCD, you rejoined NECROPHOBIC, presumably to replace Martin Halfdan. Was this a different experience than being in the band years earlier? Were you there long enough to do any shows or work on any new material?

Hmm, I was hoping this question wasn't going to come up, since it all ended up in nothing really...

Anyway, the thing was that I had talked to Sebastian a couple of times on some metal Clubs/pubs, and he told me Martin had left and they wanted me back in the band. I don't know if he said that literally, but he implied on it.

Then all of a sudden I got a call in 2000 from Joakim Sterner (NECRO drummer) and he simply asked me if I wanted to re-join the band again. I was taken aback slightly at first, since I didn't expect this, and initially I said no. I thought, "Why the hell would it work now when it didn't work that good last time" (or the last 2 years rather), but he called me up again some weeks later, and since I didn't had much musically going on, and the first line-up of INFERNAL was split up, and I didn't do much else than running Hellspawn, I thought, "Okay, let's give it a try".

There's now Sebastian on guitar and not Martin and I thought it could be cool to play with a really great guitarist for once. Anyway, we rehearsed about 8-10 times, and it went pretty okay, but honestly, I didn't like the material they were doing so much. This was the Bloodhymns era, and it was going to be recorded in Sunlight once again, and I was against that. As well, the rehearsals were like sometimes only 45 minutes once a week or maybe an hour at best, but that's how they worked. I never got the feel for the new songs like "Dreams Shall Flesh" and I don't remember the name of the other I learned during this time. Although, I liked some of the songs from The Third Antichrist. Those felt cool to play.

However, I said that I wasn't 100% sure about the new material, but I will do my best and be part of this album and play live and everything. When Joakim heard that I didn't say I am joining for a longer time, since I said "I'll play on this album and we try to make the best of it, and for the future we'll see",he didn't seem to accept that I said that, that I would join for this album, and then we'll see.

A week later I got a call from Joakim that they didn't want me in the band. Anyway, things would have worked, but maybe I would only do that album with them. The musical direction was more Thrash/Death, than the Death/Black they are doing now. their last albums are way better than Bloodhymns. Another thing was that I never felt really part of the "new" NECROPHOBIC. There wasn't much communication between us, except on these short rehearsals. There was no team feeling, at least for me, but the others seemed quite tight together. Anyway, it was the best that happened; I think me and Joakim just can't be in the same band for any longer time, and we didn't get along too well. I mean no calls from the guys if I want to go out for some beers or so, there was no good team feeling simply. I don't want to be in any band that I haven't got that much in common with. Tobbe is a great guy though, he's basically the only one I occasionally talk to from that band.

By the end of that year, you released Summon Forth the Beast. This featured two original songs and a few covers (I think the VON cover surpasses the original). Was this E.P. always planned or was this the material that had been prepared for the full-length? What was going on with the band around this time?

Actually, what the sole purpose of the MCD was to see how well this new line-up would work. Those songs, and the covers, are okay, but I felt that the other material we had was not going in the right direction. The other guys, Tomas/Alzazmon and Typhos liked the stuff, stuff that mainly were written by Typhos, and I really didn't like it. It was not at all the original Satanic Holocaust feeling that we did earlier, neither was it something in the vein of what we are doing now. Just not good enough riffs really. As well, Typhos had the habit of never showing up or canceling about every second rehearsal, and sometimes he drove me nuts. He still a good friend, but I never want to play with him again. That line-up just didn't have any future. The MCD was cool though, but a full-length with the other stuff "we" had would have meant the end for the band. Typhos never sang on rehearsals either so if you're gonna take the front man role, you at least have to work at it.

Anyway, when Tomas joined DISSECTION full-time, everything fell apart and I was actually relieved. Even though Typhos was/is a good friend, we're not good band partners. so I was almost happy that line-up ended.

Now, it is 2009, and INFERNAL has returned. You've recruited Tomas on drums and Martin on guitar and you're handling vocals, guitar and bass. The songs that are available online definitely have an old school vibe. Is this indicative of what fans can expect for the upcoming full-length?

Yes, absolutely. those tracks on the official INFERNAL myspace site, shows pretty well the direction we are going in. There will be some other stuff too, some track that has a definite SLAYER vibe and one a definite MORBID ANGEL vibe. Also there will be a few riffs that really are simple metal riffs, little bit like JUDAS PRIEST or MAIDEN. As a whole, the album will be slightly diverse, but not meaning any fucking jazz and fusion shit. It's simply heavy and hard catchy and pretty simple and also brutal music. going from fast to slow, melodic to pretty brutal. We are in no way going into fusion/avantgarde style. This is Metal, Satanic Death Black Metal.

As you look at the Swedish Black and Death Metal scene today, do you feel that there's something missing and will INFERNAL be the final piece of the puzzle to complete this?

Well , you're pretty much laying out the answer in my hands, but yes, there is a missing piece of the Swedish Death/Black metal puzzle that we are filling in. Dissection is no more, we take a little bit of inspiration from them, and are also taking influences from metal bands like I earlier said like MAIDEN ad PRIEST. As well, since the old "Nocturnal Silence" NECROPHOBIC is no more, (well they try to copy it, but only I can do those types of riffs) as well, there will be a little bit Funeral maybe (but not very much) and a little bit of the old Infernal (but just a little bit). Anyway it will be very orthodox metal, easy listened stuff, but melodic, brutal and evil at the same time. Strange enough, I haven't heard a band doing what we do, although it's pretty damn simple stuff. As well, we bring back the vibe of the 90s, I would definitely say. I hate most music done after the year 2000.

As for the upcoming album, do you already have a basic vision of how you want it to turn out? Do you think you might work with Necrolord again, for the cover art?

Hahaha - we have had the cover art for ten years, no joke. and it's a Necrolord painting, yes. We were supposed to have done an album with the first INFERNAL line-up in about 2000 and I talked to Necrolord back then (for the fifth or sixth time) and what he has done is simply amazing... Comparing it to the The Secrets of the Black Arts cover, this one is even better. It's very simple and evil... you'll see for yourself. It will definitely make a great digipak and a Picture disc.....

Before wrapping this up, I just wanted to get your thoughts on some bands in the Swedish scene.


Very good - with one of the best guitarists that ever was. but I like the second album most.


Funny guys - cool music, but really, I don't know if I really think they're that very evil. The do not scare me, they are pretty nice guys.


Hmm, what shall I say? yes the new album is good, but they are definitely lesser good than the hype around them.


Never liked that much and never will.


Good in the old days, and good again now with Rosten (Arioch/Mortuus) as a vocalist. he's really good actually.

Next question please. What the hell shall I say, not good, not bad.


I liked the first album, and then pretty much hadn't heard much since a couple of year ago when they restarted, recently heard a song/video that was really good called "Black Horizon"...

Alright, thanks for your time. Any final words?

I am pretty worthless at doing those cheesy final words, like "keep heavy" or "stay metal" or "fuck off" or whatever, but, well, keep the infernal flame burning. This time we are coming back for real. Fear the Infernal Return!