Interview conducted September 10 2008
Interview published September 20 2008
It is well documented that the music
business can be precarious, with various ups and downs, and progress could
quickly change into setbacks. Sweden's black metallers Apostasy are certainly
aware of this. After years of effort and several line-up changes, they
were signed to Black Mark Records, releasing two critically acclaimed
albums on the label: Cell 666 in 2003 and Devilution in 2005. Then in
April 2006, tragedy struck when guitarist Henrik Johansson was stabbed
to death in his home. The band managed to continue, and with a new line-up
they made a triumphant appearance at 2006's Summer Breeze Festival in
Apostasy have kept the momentum
going and recently were offered a slot as one of the support acts on Lord
Belial's Black Crusade tour, which will span over some three weeks and
nine European countries. Vocalist Fredric Edin
took the time to sit down with Metal Covenant to talk about the tour,
new material and other topics.
Mozzy: So Fredric, what are your feelings
about the upcoming tour?
Mozzy: What are your thoughts about the
response you will get?
Fredric: Well, that's difficult to say. But
judging by people writing at our MySpace page there seems at least
to be a big interest in Eastern Europe, in countries such as Slovenia,
Bulgaria, Romania and so on. It will be interesting to see how we
are received, I'm hopeful.
Describe how you were chosen for this tour.
Fredric: Well, Metal Masters, Lord Belial's
management contacted us via our MySpace page. It was just a random
thing really. One of us, I don't remember who, added them as a contact
and just after a day or two they made contact and asked if we were
interested in being part of the tour. We are certainly very grateful
of them giving us this chance.
Mozzy: I can imagine. So how does it feel
to be sharing the stage with Lord Belial and Graveworm, two established
Fredric: In a way that feels comforting, since
we haven't toured that extensively but mostly done shows here and
there, like at festivals. I have talked to Thomas in Lord Belial a
lot so that is cool. We'll do our best to destroy them on stage (laughter).
Mozzy: Focusing on these two bigger bands
- the tour also includes The Cold Existence and Eastern Front - are these
bands that you have listened to a lot yourself?
Fredric: Oh yeah. I have listened a lot to
Graveworm, especially the 2, 3 latest releases. But also Lord Belial
of course, mostly their older stuff.
Mozzy: How about new material; can we expect
a new album anytime soon?
Fredric: Sure, we will begin the recording
pretty soon, after we come back from the tour. Almost everything is
written for the next album. Our aim is to spend a few weeks after
we get back finishing the writing and begin recording. We will record
ourselves this time.
Mozzy: Interesting. That was my next query
actually; which studio and producer you have in mind. So you will produce
How would you describe the direction of the upcoming album?
Fredric: Well, I think that there is a significant
difference compared to the two other albums. The keyboards will be
less prominent in the sound, but will still be important. The guitars
and drums will be more dominant in the mix, and it will be fatter
sound-wise. Moreover, this material is probably more technical, but
at the same time rawer and more straightforward and in-your-face.
Since this is our third record, we wanted it to be kind of a statement
so to speak. We are determined to make the best album possible, we
will not be satisfied until every one of us think that it is great.
There will be no compromises, that's for sure.
Mozzy: Who has been the main composer of
the music this time?
Fredric: Mattias (Edin, guitar) has written
a large portion of the album, but I and Ludwig (Johansson, guitar)
have also contributed on a couple of songs.
Mozzy: Will you play any new songs on this
Fredric: We will, actually. We will play Parasite
Swarm, God's Assassin plus one more tune which does not have title
at the moment. The work title is Sorken Arne (translation in English:
the field mouse Arne). In fact, we have used quite a number of animal
names as work titles. Other examples include (translated into English
here) The Ermine and The Lemming (laughter). No, my mistake, it's
The Neurotic Lemming even (laughter). We will perform three new songs,
and it will be interesting to see the reception.
Mozzy: As regards to record companies, what
is your situation on that front?
Fredric: We don't have a record contract at
the moment. When the time has come to release the album we have to
wait and see if we are offered a good deal, otherwise we will release
it ourselves and get someone to distribute it. Sound Pollution distributed
our first two releases so that would work, for example. But obviously
it would be preferable to be signed to a record company; it would
also enable us to get tours. If everything works out fine with Metal
Masters on this trek it is possible that we will consider a management
deal with them. They have expressed an interest in us and have even
mentioned that they want to have us on future tours as well. That
is great to hear. Our impression of them is very positive, they have
been very cooperative.
What happened with Black Mark Records? After two albums you went separate
Fredric: Well, we just didn't think that it
worked as well as it should. It was nothing personal; we just thought
that there was not enough activity and progress. We felt that they
could have showed more commitment. At the same time we have some understanding
as well, because of what happened within the family (Black Mark boss
Börje Forsberg's son died in 2004). Prior to this period we were
happy with Black Mark; they released both of the albums in 35 countries.
I spoke to Börje recently, and he was interested in catching
up with what we were doing. But the priority for us at the moment
is not to release the album but rather to play live. That's what you
want to do, and I really believe that we need to do that as well.
It is a way to catch people's attention; it's just a small fraction
which discovers us via the internet. You know when you watch a gig;
if you see a support act you haven't heard before and think that they
are good it awakens your interest.
Mozzy: The sad event accounted for above
lead us into my next topic: following the tragic loss of Henrik in 2006,
what were the thoughts among the band members? Anyone could understand
that you must have gone through a lot of grief as persons, but did you
at any time consider quitting the band?
Fredric: No, I don't think so. We all felt
that we had been fighting for this for a long time, and Henrik would
also have wanted us move forward. Then we were blessed with finding
top guys (Ludwig Johansson replaced Henrik on guitar and David Ekevärn
was recruited as the new drummer); Ludwig and David are amazing, both
as people and musicians. They are highly accomplished players; the
music is their life, that's all they do really (laughter). Then again,
no one can replace Henrik in that sense, but things turned out really
well after all. And now it feels like we have a good thing going.
For example, a great deal of people are checking out our MySpace site
and listening to our songs on there, which is pleasing. And being
part of this tour is very nice, especially since we don't have a record
deal and the fact that they (Metal Masters) contacted us. That must
be quite uncommon; we probably have had some luck. We have also signed
a merchandise deal with True Metal Merch, who will sell our shirts
on the homepage. That is also positive. Overall, the situation feels
very good and genuine at the moment. We are very dedicated and fired
up for the task ahead. Also, you sacrifice a lot when you take leave
off work and so on, so we are determined to succeed.
Mozzy: Regarding the lineup, you seem to
have found two suitable new members in David and Ludwig. But you have
also just recently made a switch in bass players. What happened there?
Fredric: Well, Johan Edlund quit, due to a
combination of a lack of interest and a lack of time. He also plays
ice hockey on his spare time which is quite time consuming, so he
stepped aside volunteerily since there was no time to spare for rehearsal
and so on.
Please tell us a little bit
about the new
guy on the
bass position, Patrik Wall.
Fredric: Ok, he is a really cool guy. He has
lived in Umeå for a long time but is originally from Stockholm.
He is just great and really dedicated to the music. He has been involved
in bands before in the Stockholm area. He is a nice guy and easy-going.
In addition, he has the right look too, with his long hair. Nowadays
when I have cut off mine it fits good. It remains to be seen if there
will be people wondering if it's Björn Strid (Soilwork) on vocals
Mozzy: If we try to
look ahead into
the future, do
you have a particular vision
for the band?
Fredric: Hmm, well, one thing we aim for is
a tour in USA, no doubt about it. That aside, it feels like we have
already accomplished most things we dreamt about when starting with
this. We have always believed in ourselves and thought that what we
do is good, but perhaps we didn't think that we would reach this level
we are at now. It started at home in the garage, went on via various
small rehearsal rooms to a two album record deal. We also got to play
at a big festival, being Summer Breeze. And now a european tour is
coming up. We have actually reached many goals we set up in the beginning,
but we are not satisfied yet.
Mozzy: To round this
off, do you
have a last
comment to your
Fredric: Well, I don't know. That would be:
continue to buy our albums and come see us live. Also check out our
MySpace-site. During the tour we will have a blog there. You will
be able to check out videos, which sometimes can turn out to be a
bit twisted (laughter). There are among other things plans of a section
called "Dagens Lavett", where anyone who deserves it will
recieve a punch (laughter).