quinta-feira, 24 de setembro de 2009

Entrevista : Moloken

Moloken.São suecos, tocam algo que fica entre o sludge, o doom e o post-metal. Estrearam-se nestas lides com o belo EP "We all face the dark alone", em 2008. Lentos,sujos e feios,os 15 minutos que compõem o EP são do melhor que já ouvi dentro do género. Agora, em Setembro de 2009, a banda lança o LP "Our Astral Circle". Que melhor desculpa podia eu querer para falar com a banda?

Pereira - Please introduce yourself, your band and explain to us what Moloken is all about.

Jakob - I’m Jakob, the drummer in Moloken. The band represents a mix of different influences and ideas from the early 90’s death/doom scene, the progressive rock from the 70’s, the alternative hardcore scene and many other things. I guess what defines us is that we use the bass in an unconventional way in how Nicklas plays, and how we intertwine that with minimalist guitar stems and our usage of pounding heaviness of controlled chaos.

P-You guys released recently your debut LP, "Our
Astral Circle". Can you tell us about the recording process and the thoughts behind the songs?

J-We entered the XL studio the day after the gig at House of Metal 2009 was done, and continued to work there for eight more days, after which the recording was finished the material was sent once again to Sven Engdahl to do his magic thing in the mixing process. Musically the record has a variation of songs, some being very slow and perhaps soft, another one being fast and violent, and another one being introspect and dark. The common link behind these compositions is our notion that nothing is to be given a certain value unless we want it so. In other words: We tend to play with our own expectations – what might seem to be a good intro or a good verse might turn out to be something completely different in the end. It all depends on how we approach the material and how we play it together, as Moloken by nature is a collective effort. The lyrical themes of Moloken have a broad variation of expressions and thoughts. What unite them is the mixture of human fear and fascination of the unknown and different negative impressions that surrounds life and the world we live in.

P- What are your plans for the rest of 2009?

J - We’re going to have a release party in Umeå the 3rd of October on Droskan, and between the 17th till 31th October we’re on our Europe tour, which visits Belgium, Germany and Sweden. In November we’re going to arrange a festival in a small town outside of Umeå, the Holmsund Deathfest festival.

P - How is it going for a young band like yourselves; is it easy to "survive" nowadays in Sweden, playing Doom/Sludge?

J -If you mean survive as in terms of living off your music, then no, it’s certainly not easy. It’s not even possible. If you mean survive as in terms of managing to get gigs and support, then sure. Almost anything is possible, as long as you’re willing to work for it. There are many bands in Scandinavia that creates excellent music but never gets anywhere due to their own lack of interest or peoples nature of having multiple projects going on at the same time, which results in less focus on their supposed-to-be main band. That’s my opinion, anyway.

P - What are the main differences between your EP "We All Face The Dark Alone" and "Our
Astral Circle"?

J- When we recorded Our Astral Circle we had a clear picture of what we wanted to do. The sound is more raw and natural, which meant a big step away from the sound we had on the EP. The guitars and drums sound much better than on our EP (which we recorded on a weekend) plus that the Bäckström brothers really performed excellent vocals on the album. We’re all very proud of this album and how it sounds!

P-I know that there were some line-up changes in the past. What happened?

J-A couple of weeks before our gig at House of Metal 2009 Johan Öman announced that he was planning on leaving the band after the recording of the album were done. We accepted his decision and were glad that he stayed and did his guitar lines in the recording process, and not left us “high and dry”. Luckily we found a replacement guitarist in the eminent Patrik Ylmefors just a couple of weeks after Johan’s departure.

P- You have toured in the past; how was it? Have you ever played outside Sweden? If no, can we expect that in the near future?

J-We did a two weeks tour last fall, which took us to Norway and Sweden. This was our first tour, and we really enjoyed it, at least most of it. Besides the normal problems of logistics and provisions we met all sorts of people, in which some later on has helped us with gigs and support, and for that we’re very grateful. In the future we’d love to come and visit other countries besides the northern regions of Europe, and also visit other continents!

P-Your sound has some unique and fresh characteristics, like the role of the bass guitar, the dual vocals... What inspires, what influences you to write a Moloken song?

J-For my own part, I’m always in search of new ways of expressing myself both musically and lyrically, and if I’ve accomplished that through my contribution in the band, then I’m as happy as ever. But I’m also trying to develop my understanding of other music styles and ideas alien to me, so playing in a band, which encases many music styles, has its advantages. But in terms of music, I think that the common feelings I personally want to create is mental darkness, madness, confusion and alienation of things that is considered to surround your world. I think it’s mainly because of my own musical preferences, but also because of my state of mind, affected by long years of exposure to horror literature. J And off course all of these artistic visions gets filtered and analysed by the band. We might be a group of individuals, but we work as a collective.

P-What have you been watching/reading/listening lately?

J-I’ve had the opportunity of reading Michael Focault’s Discipline and Punish, which describes the elder traditions of corporal punishments and later on the development of rehabilitation penalties that was formed by social paradigms in the 19th century, but especially the ideas behind The All-Seeing Eye and its effect on the prison system and society in general. I’m also an elder-culture-geek, which is why I read a book about the creation of the city-state Assyria, Gudens Skygge by Mogens Trolle Larsen, and how the administration and organisation changed this society. When it comes to movies then I’ve seen Der Baader-Meinhof Komplex, a German movie about the creation of The Red Army Faction in West Germany and its development during the 70’s and the 80’s. Musically I’ve been enjoying Virus’ latest album The Black Flux. It has become one of my personal favourites, maybe of all times. Besides that I’ve also been listening to Sleepytime Gorilla Museum’s In Glorious Times. It’s not very rhythmic oriented, at least not as the percussions were on the album before, Of Natural History, and it’s not as polyphonic as on the before-mentioned album or on the debut, Grand Opening And Closing. But it’s still very dark and weird music and I like it.

P-The Post-Metal/Sludge/Doom scene is becoming a bigger scene, with bands like
Isis and Neurosis getting more and more recognition and drawing attention to the genre as a whole. What do you think of this?

J-The majority of this attention might be good. For example the creation of bigger networks, bigger institutions, that hopefully will be flexible and appreciative of new ideas and ways of corporation between borders and scenes. The downside can be that commercial interests might want to interfere in the musical creative process, or that marketing deliberately mislabels a musical product, like a boost-effect created by hard marketing rather than based on the consumers’ preferences.

P-What is the origin of the name "Moloken"?

J-Kristoffer came up with the name of Moloken, which is an old Swedish word for gloomy, or downhearted.

P-When can we expect you to play in

J-As soon as we can come in contact with someone interested in booking us for a gig there, hopefully next year.

Take care and thanks a lot for your time!

Cheers for the interview!

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