Dying echoes of humanity
Miasmal is another band from Gothenburg who recently had only a demo and EP, but finally it got dark and the band ejected pretty decent "Miasmal" debut with a great dose of old unclean Death Metal full of madness, darkness, morbidity... This fact confirms the fact the new Swedish Death Metal scene expands into large scales. I believe Miasma will be among the strongest names of the new era. Music for orthodox maniacs who don’t care of all the precision around the music, here only the roughness, horror and primitive brutality rules. The interview was done with Pontus (vox, guit).
Hello, you've just returned from U.S. tour, you have been playing many gigs and you even performed show at the legendary Maryland Death Fest. What are your impressions from USA? Which bands have you toured with? Have you been playing beyond the Atlantic first time?
Yes, I just got back 3 days ago now. Slowly starting to get to grips with reality again. The tour has been awesome and we had the best time ever. Lots of fun and lots of good music. The USA has treated us well, most of the shows were great and people have been supportive, friendly and enthusiastic. 1st half of the tour we toured with The Impalers from Texas. Great band with people from Mammoth Grinder and Hatred Surge. 2nd half we did with our label mates Bone Sickness from Washington. Great band too, check out their 7” on Detest Records. I have personally been on tour in the US before with other bands but this was the first time Miasmal crossed the ocean. We hope to return as soon as possible!
Have you been aware you are far from your country while playing gigs in the U.S.? Have you felt a big difference between these live shows and your usual shows in Sweden? How did you get on this tour? Have you consider it or you have agreed immediately as you have got an offer to go there?
I wouldn't say there that much of a difference. Music has no boundaries, you know! Though I guess people might be even more into it since we came all the way from Sweden. We were contacted by Timmy who is in charge of the Chaos in Tejas Fest. He asked us if we wanted to play Chaos and also do a show at Maryland Death Fest. We said yes and it evolved into a full tour. No hesitations on our part, we really wanted to do it and it was as said, a great time.
Can you remember any funny stories or other stories from your US tour? Would you prove to imagine living in the States?
It was quite weird when we ended up staying at a house in Beverly Hills just down the street from Brad Pitt. This was just after playing in South Central in LA where we heard gunfire from a block away. Both sides of the spectrum, to say the least! We saw some great places in the US for sure. I don't feel a desire to move that far away, but there are some nice places on the west coast especially where I wouldn't mind spending some time.
This tour was supportive for your new "Miasmal" album. Do people in the U.S. know your band at all? What are the general reactions to your debut?
Yes, I believe there were a bunch of people who knew about us, and there certainly are more know. General reactions have been really good, reviews mostly been great and I haven't heard anyone complaining about it in person either. So I'm happy.
Before the debut you have released one demo and EP with the same name as band name and debut name. Where have you recorded the demo and EP? How can you see these two recordings now? Were they very important for you?
Everything's been recorded by me in our rehearsal room pretty much. Yes, they were just as important as the new recording. I still think they are great. We don't really want to progress too much with Miasmal in terms of our style.
As you began to write new stuff after demo and EP, did you know it will be stuff for a full-length CD? How did it feel to release a debut album? Was it something great or just another ordinal recording for you?
Yes, it was specifically written for the full-length format, down to track-sequencing and variations etc. I really enjoy working on songs in a greater context. It of course felt great doing the record, since it was Miasmal's debut album. I wouldn't call any recording ordinary, they're all different and you're always very focused on the current. It can be tiresome hard work but it's always worth it.
Did you know which label will release this stuff even before the debut recording? How did you get to Dark Descent Records? CD contains basically all your material you have ever officially recorded. Why have you decided to take this step?
When we recorded the demo, we didn't have a band name yet. It was just for ourselves in the beginning, we played no shows or anything. Anyway Jerry/Detest got to hear it on our Myspace I believe and from there it rolled on. We've been working with Jerry since day one pretty much. Dark Descent came into the picture for the CD version of the new full-length. We're happy to work with such dedicated labels as we do. The demo and 7” has only been released on vinyl and cassette, so instead of making it a separate CD release we thought that we should just tack it on the CD as bonus tracks and use up the space the CD format offers.
I believe you are big fans of vinyls as evidenced by the debut LP edition under Detest Records. Which debut version do you prefer?
Personally, vinyl all the time. It's the only format I buy these days.
Do you think all the bands should first make some demos, EPs, splits and then to pounce on debut album? Many bands now release the first CD to be not worth a lot, of course there are exceptions as well. What is your view?
Not necessarily. I guess it's just the usual way to go when you're starting out. Record a few songs for a demo and see what happens and how it sounds. But if a band has got their shit together enough to debut with a full-length, then why not?
Your creation is like a spill-over of Scandinavian and American old school Death Metal. I do not think you're absolutely true band in the way of ENTOMBED, CARNAGE, NIHILIST, GRAVE or DISMEMBER style.
Yes, I agree! We've never sought out to copy the Sunlight style, especially not production-wise. No buzzing HM-2's for us, that's already been done to perfection. I am personally a big fan of Autopsy for example, for their dirty and groovy approach to Death Metal, and I think that kind of murk seeps into Miasmal as well.
I have noticed in Sweden recently emerge a number of great old school DM formations linking the American and Swedish schools, e.g. MORBUS CHRON, GRAVELESS, VANHELGD, VETERNUS, DEGIAL, REPUGNANT, TRIBULATION etc. Would you name it as a new wave of old school Swedish Death Metal?
I get the point in calling it that even if I wouldn't use the term myself. A lot of good bands are popping up lately seemingly tired of modern metal's tendencies toward clean, technical, triggered-drum productions.
You play great rhythm Death Metal using Punk or Crust elements, but in addition it will retain a dark aspect, engrossing atmosphere, dirty sound... Did you exactly know how to sound just from your first rehearse?
Yes, pretty much. We knew what we wanted to do. The first track from the demo was the first we ever wrote, even before our first rehearsal.
What method of writing are you using? Who does bring the most ideas and to what extent has helped rest of the band to complete the songs? What is most important to you at writing process? Can you estimate at writing process if the song will be strong enough? Have you sometimes written a song that you didn’t like and you blew it out?
I've written almost everything so far. I write it all at home, then make rough demos with programmed drums and stuff. Then we ”Miasmal-ize” it with our own styles of playing, perhaps re-arrange something a bit. But usually not too much. We don't really do much work on the songs in the rehearsal room. All songs written have been used so far. I can usually tell if a riff or a part doesn't cut it, then it gets canned before the song is finished.
I know your official website contains your songs lyrics, but certainly this interview will be read also by fans who do not know your band. What therefore generally your lyrics speak about? Do you write classic Death Metal lyrics themes or you have processed also something unusual? What is e.g. Equinox 432 song lyric about?
I tend to write in the abstract, then the lyric might take on a new meaning when it's finished or during writing. For the full-length, several of the songs have a theme of both apocalypse and survival. Equinox 432 is about this person who finds a way to fortify his mortal life and human capabilities by parasiting on other humans life energy. His goals are unclear but he has a huge contempt for humanity and this is his revenge. 432 has a double meaning, the guy is 432 years old, but 432 is a also a number that is of interest to numerologists; some believe the number is re-occuring in time cycles as well as other aspects of nature, therefore the word ”equinox” in the title.
Many Death Metal bands take the lyrics rather as joy, or these morbid and dark themes just fit into this kind of music. How much do you take your lyrics seriously? Is there something deeper?
I don't have a message that I'm trying to convey with lyrics, even though I do take the lyrics seriously. How deep they are is up to the listener and what he/she can perceive from them in connection to the music.
Where do you draw inspiration for music as well as for lyrics from? What music is listening most in your band? Do you even listen to some progressive things or you are only orthodox old school supporters
I listen to lots and lots of music. I don't care about the genres, that would for me be very frustrating and boring. For Miasmal, we of course have some somewhat obvious influences musically. I can get inspired to write a lyric from a line in a book or movie, but often I can't tell. I do believe though that you're always influenced by something, but it's not always you can tell by what or why.
Your debut cover subject is very interesting, the pit looks rather ominous. Who have invented the subject? Can you write something more about the author? Have you ever thought about what may be hiding in a pit?
We contacted Viral Graphics who are responsible for all the artwork and the layout on the full-length, and they were awesome in every respect. We had a great communication about the feels and meanings of the artwork. The idea of the hole as a focal point came from me (actually from the line ”black hole that swallows all” in one of our earlier lyrics), everything else was Viral's talent and imagination. I think the hole is an all-consuming void.
What are your current plans after a debut and U.S. tour? Will you also play at some European festivals? What about a new stuff? Are you writing some new songs already?
We want to do a European tour this fall, but it's still just plans. We haven't really gotten around to work on new stuff yet, but when the time is right it will happen and we'll record again.
Ok, that would be all on my part, hope I didn’t forget anything important, if so, you have the space. Thank you for answering my questions. Wish MIASMAL exactly what you want to achieve for the future, Horns up!
Thanks a lot for the interview and interesting questions!
Check out http://miasmal.net
Pontus 5. 7. 2011 Mortuary