Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Sweden's Vanhelgd interview is now up done by Patrick on 8-7-16‏

Hello
Here  is  a  new  interview   with  Sweden's   Vanhelgd  who  have  just  released their  fourth  cd,lp  "Temple  Of  Phobos   through the  mighty  Dark  Descent  Rec.  so  if you  liked  the  bands  previous  releases   be  sure  to  pick  up  this  release  today.
 If   anyone   is  looking  for  artists  to  work  with  on their  releases  etc...  be sure  to  check  out   Mattias  web-site{web-address  is  in the  first  question}
Regards
Patrick
fiendformetal@live.com







Interview   with   Mattias Frisk of Vanhelgd   done   by   Patrick 









1.Hello  how   are  things  going  in  Sweden these days? When  did  you  first   meet  the  other   members  of  the  band?

Hi, busy days here in Sweden with the new album coming, interviews and a lot of artwork and illustrations to do for other bands (www.mattiasfrisk.com) , so no vacation for me this summer! It’s the reality for most people working with art and illustrators in Sweden... No fun, just work if you want to make a living from it...

I have known the others in the band for eons. Me (Mattias vocals guitar) and Jimmy (guitar vocals) goes back over 30 years... Björn (drums) and I about 18 years I guess and Jonas (Jonas) and I have known each other for almost 15+ years now...


2.How  did  you  all  choose the  name  Vanhelgd   as  the  band  name?  Does it have a special  meaning?  And what  is  the  current   line-up  for the  band?

All names in English we came up with were already taken so we went for the old Swedish form of “vanhelgad” which means desecrated. It was of course a bad decision since almost no one can pronounce it or knows what it means.  



3.Vanhelgd   is  getting  ready  to  release  the  bands  fourth  album  "Temple  Of  Phobos"   how  long  did  it  take  the  band  to  write the  music  for  this  release?  Does  the  whole  band   work  on  the  music  together  or  does  one  member  usually  write  everything?


I write the most material but I really must stress that the songs wouldn’t be the same without our mutual input in the process of arrangement. For us songwriting is often an uphill battle with ideas that won’t fit together but at some point we can all agree that the song is done and it’s time to go to the next one. We rework everything until it´s the way we like it, so we usually don’t have any extra material for bonus tracks, compilations and B-sides. We started to work with the songs for Temple of Phobos in the summer of 2014 and recorded the album in November/ December 2015.
4.Who  usually  writes  the  lyrics  for  Vanhelgd    and  where  do  you  all  draw  inspiration  for  the   lyrics?

I write all of our lyrics but sometimes I get a line or two suggested by Jonas. I think it’s natural that I write them since I have to sort the vocals out; it would be so much harder if I had to work with someone else’s lyrics. Most often I have a line or two, maybe a verse or a chorus on my phone or in Word.  The inspiration comes from the daily news, art and literature. I usually don’t care much for lyrics but this time I decided to challenge myself and write something better than before. On our previous records there are 1-3 songs on each that I think have lyrics that are ok, but on Temple of Phobos I am happy with most of them. The Swedish lyrics are often better since it´s my native tongue. I can experiment and put more nuances and emotion into them. The English ones are often more "meat and potatoes" generic death metal stuff.





5.As  mentioned   in  a   previous  question  "Temple  Of  Phobos"   is  the   bands  fourth  cd  to  date. How  do you  feel  the  music  has  evolved   and  changed   over  the  years?

When we started the band we had much more of a punk approach towards the music. Our first album was quite diverse with a lot of inconsistency within each song. On our second album “Church of Death” we did a better job with the songs but the album was still quite shattered. “Relics of Sulphur salvation” was the first one we recorded in a proper studio, we stepped up a bit in terms of songwriting and came to understand more how the band worked, what kind of stuff we are good at and so on. Basically I think that “Temple of Phobos” is based upon songs like "Ett liv i träldom" and "Where all flesh is soil", both from "Relics…", we just refined that aspect of Vanhelgd on this album.
But I also think that we did stuff back on both “Church of Death” and even “Cult of Lazarus” that would fit on “Temple of Phobos”. Take "Avlad i synd" from "Cult of Lazarus" for example, it’s a slow piece with some folkish tunes and a lot of emotions... We still play it live and it would have fit good on "Temple.. " so I guess when people say we evolved, taken a new direction or so, I disagree, they don’t see that we been doing songs like this all the time. But now we have more of them on one album. I think our Paradise Lost and My Dying bride influences have become a bit more obvious, they have been there all the time but maybe more in atmosphere than in the actual riffs…












6.Besides  the  newest  cd  "Temple  Of  Phobos"   are  any  of  the  bands  past  releases  still  available   and  if  yes   where  can  the  readers  buy them  from?
 Cult of Lazarus from 2008 can be hard to get these days. We still have a few copies of Church of Death on vinyl at www.vanhelgd.com , and Nuclear War Now! might have them as well. “Relics of Sulphur Salvation” is still available from 20 Buck Spin and Pulverised. The EP that we released on Nuclear War Now! In 250 copies is probably really hard to get your hands on. It’s just two songs from me and Jimmy’s former band Ceremonial Execution that we reworked for Vanhelgd.





7.Does  Vanhelgd   play  "live"  very  often  or  do  you  prefer  to  work  in  the  studio? What  have  been  some  of  the  bands  most  memorable  shows  over the  years?

We are definitely more of a studio and rehearsal oriented band than a live act. We did a couple of shows throughout the years, the NWN! show at Blacklands were great, Party-san open air was interesting since we never played a big sage or in the middle of the day or in 36 degrees C…  Nordfest in Sundsvall was cool and Mörkaste Småland is a great festival in Hultsfred that was a blast. When we played Truckstop Alaska the lights went out for a couple of songs… that was an interesting experience. Kill-town was a great festival too but I fucked up quite a lot on that one...

 






8.In  your   opinion  what  does  underground   metal  mean  to  you?

I’m not really sure what is to be considered underground these days... trends come and go faster and faster, sub cultures are global and small death metal bands are bigger globally than some of our national mainstream pop-artist that are big here in Sweden. So... mainstream metal, mainstream death metal, underground death metal... Is death metal in its widest notion to be considered underground metal? I don’t think so. A lot of bands I consider as “big” seem quite underground in comparison to the scene at large. If you can buy a shirt from a band at a random major online cd store I think it’s hard to talk about underground as “unknown” to the metal audience…  or does underground mean just to be on a small label doing interviews with paper zines and releasing demos on tape?

We were recently played on Swedish Public Service Radio, in a program that most often airs trendy current music, sometimes metal and on rare occasions even Death Metal, punk, HC and Black Metal. They played our song “Gravens Lovsång” just before some stuff with Beyoncé.  I didn’t believe it at first and had to check the playlist online… are we to be considered mainstream death metal suddenly because of some good reviews and radio spins? I think it’s typical for mainstream media here in Sweden to pick up something more or less underground , just one band at the time, trying to be relevant, to show that they know what’s going on, to show off. But most often they have no idea what it’s all about and it feels more like a joke when you´re the only band on the rock side of music being played on the program. It’s like when At the Gates released their recent album, it was all over the main stream media music news, and it was almost the only metal band mentioned in media that year, same thing with, Entombed, Watain, The Haunted and Ghost, like it’s just one metal band releasing an album every year. Considering this metal is always underground, it really depends on which level you are looking and in which context. The results you have are depending on what you are measuring and in which context. But at least we have two good magazines in Swedish that covers a lot: Sweden Rock and Close-Up Magazine.

I think that the underground should not be praised for the sake of being underground, what I think is most important is that you as an artist is honest to yourself and do what you believe is the right path for expressing yourself. Personally I despite most mainstream culture and I´m not a fan of a “Metal Community” at large, I fucking hate those “festival metal heads” running around in plastic Viking hats and kilts making fools of them self... I have nothing in common with them except from that we might both enjoy “Ace of Spades”, I like red wine too and so did probably Jesus, Stalin and UB40... Or  on the other hand those who are there just because it’s cool to listen to death or black metal, like if it’s some sort of fashion, but have no idea about the music at large. But when it comes to dedication, to honesty, pride for the music and understanding the roots I enjoy the underground... 



9.Vanhelgd   comes   out  of  the  Swedish  death  metal  scene   what  is  your  opinion  of  Sweden's  metal scene?

I don’t know many people in the metal scene in Sweden... I don’t live in Stockholm or Gothenburg... there is quite many non-mainstream bands around in our region but not many of them are Death Metal bands, just Maim, Throne of heresy and Tormented. Sweden has a lot of band but there is not much of a scene, at least not here in our part of the country.




10. Who   are  your  all-time  favorite  Swedish bands? And  are  their  any  new  bands  you  feel  the  readers  should  check  out   soon?

Old stuff: Edge of sanity, Entombed, Dismember, Grave, At the Gates, God Macabre…

New Swedish stuff to check out: Maim, Miasmal Throne of heresy, Tormented, Entrails, Skogen, Bombs of hades, Snake tongue, Siberian, Tid…
But I think Finland has a lot of really interesting stuff these days that needs to mentioned:  Desolate Shrine,Lie in ruins, Krypts, Corpsessed, Maveth ( rip), Lantern, Profetus.
 




11.Besides  bands  are  their  any  good  Swedish  labels  or  distro's  you feel  the readers  should  check  out  soon?  And  are their   any  good  fan  or  web-zines  you    could  recommend  to  the  readers?


 Gaphals/the sign records, I hate records, To the death records, Blood harvest.



12.When  not  working   with   Vanhelgd    do  any  of  the  members  work  and  play  in  other  bands  or  solo  projects?  If  yes  please  tell  the  readers  a  little  about  them?
Jonas  is also in King of Asgard and Björn in Ocean Chief.

Jonas: King of Asgard is some sort of viking history tinged blackened death metal blended with folkish tunes.

Björn: Ehh spaced doom… sort of.





13.What  do  you  all  enjoy  doing  in  your  free  time Any  hobbies?

I don’t think anyone us have any hobbies besides playing music except for Jimmy who is sort of a collector… mainly of vinyls…


14.Thank  you  for  taking  the  time  to  fill  this  interview  out  do  you  all  have   any  words  to  end  the   interview?


Aryist

/ Mattias Frisk

                                            Band    Contact
                                        https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/temple-of-phobos
                                         https://www.facebook.com/vanhelgd/

                                                     Label   Contact
                                                  http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/
                                                https://www.facebook.com/DarkDescentRecords/



 

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