translated by Markéta, thank you!
Ave SORCERY! I have been listening to your new album “Garden of Bones” for a while now and I still find new pieces of darkness in it. Honestly I was expecting a good job from you but I was not expecting that you are going to smash me with your alum. The album is very good. How are the fans´ reactions, how about reviews?
Hi there. Great that you like the album. So far the response to it from both fans and critics has been overwhelming. It of course very nice to realize that people actually like something you have worked both long and hard with.
Have you already played some of your new songs on concerts? How do they work with fans? Do you have any possible hit? For me it would probably be “Hellstorm”.
Yeah, we played about five songs from it on when we went down to Germany and Denmark in May and then we played almost the whole album on a show in our hometown. We made it like a sort of releaseparty and presented the most of it. It seems like the new material goes well with the crowd. Hellstorm is a very good song and we played it live but I think my absolute faves are Holy Ground and The New Armageddon, along with Hellstorm and some others of course.
The cover of this album is great. The author of this cover is Juanio Castellano. Why him? I have to say – this cover absolutely expresses what is happening on the album. It is cold, raw, and rustic just like the music on “Garden of Bones”. How did you choose the motive of the cover? Was it from already prepared works or did Juanjo hear your music and then did the cover? Last album´s cover was made by Daniel Devlisih. Why the change?
We really wanted to work with Daniel Devilish again. He made an absolutely stunning job with the Legacy of blood and Arrival at six covers. I contacted him but he didn’t had the time to do it right then. We asked Xtreem if they could recommend someone and Juanio´s name came up. We had it a go and the result was far better than we ever could have asked for. The cover is made especially for the album and not anything that he had pre-made or so. I had this idea in my head for a cover based on the lyrics for the song Garden of Bones and Juanio drew my thoughts spot on. He is a very talented guy.
Death metal bands sometimes forget that this music is also about lyrics. You sing about darkness, death, anti-Christianity. What are your new lyrics about? Who is the author? Do you want to express some message with your lyrics?
It is more like anti-religion nowadays more than just slugging down on Christianity. I feel like they are all equally bad and there is no way anyone should be oppressed and persecuted because you choose not to believe or even chose to believe in something that someone else doesn’t believe in. In my opinion you can have your own thoughts and believes as long as you don’t force them upon others. Religion is by far the biggest killer in the world; the most evil and oppressive force and I fucking hate it. As it is me who writes all the lyrics it is natural that many of them deals with this topic. We have also some songs that are more traditional deathish with topics like death, blood, guts and Satan. You must have that ingredient too to make a good soup.
The new album has a very dark and sharp sound. The author is Andreas “Jonsson” Westholm. This album sounds a little bit different than the last one (Tomas Skogsberg). I feel that this one is “dirtier” and rawer. Was it intentional? How did you work on the new album – how was it born? Were you present while mixing, did you talk about the final sound?
We knew when we went with Jonsson that it wouldn’t be the same sound as on the Arrival at six album. At first it was decided that Jonsson only should record it but in the end he mixed the whole thing as well and we are very pleased with the result. We started to mix it when we recorded it but Jonsson laid his hands to the final mix and mastering by his own. Of course we were very much present anyway as files with the latest mixes were sent back and forth several times a day. Jonsson had this idea to record the band exactly as the band sound and not try to overproduce it so much. The result became the rawer, colder sound. It fits in with the songs and makes the album to a compact product.
“Garden of Bones” is published by Xtreem Music again – on CD and vinyl. It seems that vinyl is more and more popular in these days. Don´t you think? Do you sell more CDs or vinyl on concerts? What about you and gram disks? Do you collect them, buy them?
Yeah, Vinyl is very much the thing again these days. Our vinyl’s sell out quite quickly but as we still have more CDs than vinyl’s we sell still sell more CDs. I have been collection music all my life and I have several thousand records. For me as a fan of vinyl’s the new vinyl hype is just splendid. Cd is of course practical but so is also toilet paper. Vinyl is the thing, you know.
From the original band members are just Ola and Paul. I was wondering if the composing process has changed since the beginning of the band. For example Paul played guitar, drums and in the end he has the bass. How does SORCERY compose?
Paul is actually back on guitar again since the last five years. Yes it has changed. Before we all met up and tried to write new songs at rehearsals. Nowadays it is more that we come up with ideas individually and sometimes even with whole songs. Everyone in the band can contribute and also have their saying in the final song. If someone don’t like a part of the song we change it until we all are pleased.
You are going to have 30years anniversary in 2016. Do you want to do some reedition, T-shirts, unusual concerts?
We have no plans to make something special about it at all actually. We will try to play as much as possible and looking forward to the next 30 years.
Today, you are like veterans. If you compared the beginnings of your band and your band today, how different would it be? Is there a big change? I mean the attitude of fans, labels, promoters, and so on. I often hear the “it is not the same as it used to be” kind of mumbling. What do you think?
The main difference is that we are so much more experienced now than we were back in the days. Those times were times of learning and experimentation. Now we reap the fruits of the past years. It has formed us like humans, band members and musicians. We know how to make songs the way we want them to be, we know how to use our instruments to get the most out of them. I don’t know which of the times that have been best. It was really thrilling in the late 80th, early 90th but so much good things have happened to the band these last year’s so it is thrilling too but in a different way. I think there must be a larger fanbase now than it was back then and there are a lot more places to play, opportunities to make your music heard and reach out to people. The golden years was really golden but work was very much harder for most of us.
Your band was born in 1986. There was deep socialism in Czechoslovakia in that year. So first time I hear about our band was in 1993 – that was the time when I bought one of my first CDs “Bloodchilling Tales”. We had everything in years behind. How do you feel about 90ths? How was it – to be in the beginning of the Swedish death metal? Tell us something about the past please.
As I mentioned, it was athrilling time. You made a lot of friends and to see a really small underground thing grow into an international movement was just insane. We were just kids, just releasing a demo that we recorded and copied ourselves, getting mail from every part of the world. You couldn’t believe it at first but it just grew bigger and bigger. Soon enough labels understood what was going on and it really exploded in the early 90th.
Unfortunately, your band was frozen for a long time. Until the 2013 you published only a few demo records and one compilation. Why? What was the reason? We didn´t hear about you and I just remembered you only when I was going thru my CD collection. And of course when the Internet came.
Yeah, we had our ups and downs. We started to get through some line-up changes quite right after the release of Bloodchilling tales in 1991 and they never stopped. We were spending most of the time to teach new guys our songs and we got quite fed of it. In the end there were three of us in the band and we hired different persons as soon as we played gigs. It all just faded away, Paul had other bands that were on the uprising and I just quit. We spoke about take the band up so many times through the years but it wasn’t until 2009 that it would be really happening again. We were planning to make a new album right away but again, some personnel changes in the band made that it took four more years.
The today´s phenomenon is the Internet. Sometimes I think that some people just do not live outside of the internet. What is SORCERY´s relationship to music downloading? There is a lot of fans who just download music and they do not go to concerts. They watch YouTube videos instead of listen to an album. CDs are old case for “old dads”. I am curious, what do you think about this “phenomenon”?
We are of course more interested that people should buy our stuff; it really would help us making another album. But again, Internet has been a great place to spread your stuff. It is like the early tapetrading. You never got paid when hundreds of people made copies of your cassettes and now you don’t get paid when people download. But think about i. If it weren’t for all those people who made their own copies of the tapes and spread them all those years ago most of us would have become nothing. The Death metal scene as we know it would have been very different and probably would have been too small to survive. Sure I download myself but as a collector of music I also spend a lot of money to buy records too.
Nowadays, a lot of young band begins to play the “old school death metal”. Some of them are not very successful, however there are some good new bands which figured out what is this music about. Do you have any favourite band which can bring those “old good days” back to life?
I don’t know anyone in particular to mention. Some of them do it better than others of course. I like bands that are making themselves their own music rather than trying to copy the sound and songs from others but in the end the new bands brings new fans that soon discover old fossils like us. So I guess in general it is healthy for the scene.
In the Czech Republic, there is a low attendance in concerts – at least I have heard that. I want to know what your experiences from Sweden are. For us you are a big country with a lot of bands, promoters. You have a lot of concerts by bands which often skip the Czech Republic. Do people go to death metal concerts in your country? Do you prefer smaller clubs or bigger festivals?
The attendance to concert here is quite good I think. Of course there are exceptions sometimes but we have a strong metal tradition here and a lot of fans for the music. I think I prefer smaller clubs. There can be a great atmosphere in smaller venues and the symbiosis between band and crow is often stronger.
What about SOCRECY and concerts? I was looking around the Internet and you are not the exact kind of band who would always be on a tour. Why is that? Do you want to do a Europe tour by the new album? And if so, do you want to include the Czech Republic?
We try to play as much as we can but it can be hard to get away on longer tours when we all need to work and so. We did a short minitour recently and we have some gigs booked. Of course we would like to play in the Czech republic of we ever got the chance. You just need to book us.
Are there any albums which you like from a past few months?
Actually, I am sorry I have none that I could think about…..
Do you know and listen some Czech bands?
No, not really.
What are SORCERY´s plans for the next few months?
We are playing some festivals. One in Finland, a couple of more in Sweden and we will hopefully return to Europe before the end of this year
Thank you so much for the interview. I wish you a lot of sold music, full concerts, crazy fans and I am looking forward to seeing you!
Thank you so very much you too and I hope I will see you all down the roads sometime soon.