Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Interview with Devourer done by Patrick posted on 9-5-17

1. Hails, please introduce yourselves to the readers! When did you two first meet each other?
H: We got to know each other around the time Devourer formed. I wasn't involved in the band at the time, it was Falk and a guy named Kvist who started it and released the first demo, "Malignant". After the demo was released Kvist left Devourer and they both got involved in other projects so Falk put Devourer on hold. A couple of years later Falk and I played in a band called Panzerschreck and we started talking about playing black metal together so Falk decided to pick up Devourer again with me on vocals.
2. You two formed Devourer in 2002, what gave you the idea to start this band?
F: I didn't play in any other black metal band at the time but wanted to create the sort of black metal that I want to play and listen to so I had to start Devourer to do that. It still serves that purpose. Kvist started to get into black metal at the time and wanted to learn more about composing black metal so he sort of tagged along on the first demo, writing a couple of riffs and so but let me lead the project. Not that long after we released "Malignant" he asked me to join the grindcore band Radioskugga on guitar, which I did, and by doing so I later met Håf which was a perfect fit for both me and Devourer.
3. I believe Devourer is a two-man band, would you like to add more musicians to make a full line-up or do you prefer to stay a two person band?
H: We've talked about adding more band members to be able to do live performances and have some guys we could work with. It isn't planed at the moment though.
F: I can be a bit anal about my compositions sometimes so I prefer to play all the instruments myself when we're composing and recording but as Håf says we've talked to some guys about playing with us for live performances. It seems a bit pointless to rehearse for some local show performing for a crowd who don't really know Devourer but if a proper label supported us so we could go on tour that would be a different matter.

4. Across The Empty Plains is the bands newest release which will be released through Iron Blood & Death Corp. records. How did you come in contact with this great label?
H: They contacted us after we released the album online on our website, Bandcamp, YouTube and so on. Historically we've only released our stuff online without doing much PR at all since Falk and I used Devourer mainly as an experimental platform and a creative output in between other bands we've played in. This time was different though and Falk did a massive PR job to get some attention for the album.
5. How long did it take you to write the music for this release and do both members work on the music or do one member usually write everything?
H: This album took a very long time to complete because it was a turbulent time, I think I'll pass this over to Falk to elaborate.
F: I write almost everything but Håf's advice and musical ear is invaluable to me and his lyrics and vocal arrangements define Devourer as much as my riffs do. I also confide in a friend outside Devourer whose advice is also very valuable to me when I delve deep into my own musical world. I started writing the songs for Across The Empty Plains shortly after returning home after a lengthy stay in drug rehab. Eventually they gave up so now I get my drugs prescribed to me and get them from the pharmacy. It actually didn't take that long to write the music, a couple of months maybe, but when Håf was working on his contribution to the album I relapsed a few times and got so depressed that I had to stay in a psyche ward about one-third of the entire year of 2016. I had electroconvulsive therapy seven times or something like that and at one point my brain was so fucked up that I couldn't remember where I lived or who Håf was. I recognized his voice on the phone but that was it. My memories slowly came back to me and now I can at least take care of myself, stay at home by myself and write music, which is what I want to do. I've written about half an album now so it won't take as long until the next one is ready.
6. Who usually takes care of writing the lyrics for the band what are some topics written on Across The Empty Plains?
H: I write most of the lyrics and do the vocal arrangements. Falk writes some lyrics and sometimes we co-write songs, "Nexus Of Evil" and "Throne Of Agony" are two examples of that. Most of the lyrics revolves around death, the human psyche, a misanthropic view of the human collective along with occult and esoteric topics.
7. Besides the upcoming release do the band have any past releases still available to buy? Besides the new release do the band have any other merchandise available?
H: We haven't planned anything like that but if a label shows interest we're open for suggestions. We do not have any physical copies or other merchandise of earlier releases at the moment.
8. What does black metal mean to you all?
H: I think I'm speaking for the both of us when I say that black metal is important to us. Devourer isn't just black metal though, we have a lot of influences from other genres too and we don't want to limit ourselves by staying within a single genre.
9. Besides working in Devourer do either of you work in other bands or solo projects?
H: I play with Patronymicon and Sordid Flesh.
F: The last band I played with before totally fucking up my life and being forced into drug rehab was Sorcery. We've had a lot of good times together and we're still friends but in 2014 I was in too bad shape to continue playing with them so they asked me to leave the band. When I finally got my shit together a couple of years later and felt the need to start creating music again I saw an opportunity to put all my focus and energy on Devourer, and so I did and continue to do.
10. Devourer comes out of Sweden's black metal scene, what is your opinion on the Swedish black metal scene?
H: Sweden always had a strong scene and have been a part of shaping the sound but being one of the countries with the most metal bands per capita there is a lot of shit too.
11. Who are your all-time favorite Swedish bands? And are there any new bands you feel the readers should watch out for?
H: I can't answer that question since I don't keep an absolute favorite.
F: In my early teens I listened mostly to death metal but when Marduk released Opus Nocturne in 1994 that changed to black metal instead so they do have a special place in my record collection so to speak.
12. Besides bands are there any honest and reliable Swedish labels or distros you could recommend? And are there any good fan or web-zines you could recommend to the readers?
H: I can vouch for Cryptorian, Bifrost and Carnal records.
13: Thank you for taking the time to answering this interview, do you have any final comments for the readers?
H: Pick up a copy of Across The Empty Plains, you never know when the opportunity comes again.

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