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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

This Gift Is A Curse Interview

Questions answered by J.A Holmberg (vocalist) on behalf of THIS GIFT IS A CVRSE
1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

A: We are currently writing new songs and are lying a bit low since
some of our members are preoccupied with other stuff at the moment,
such as trying to get new day jobs since one of us had to quit his old
one to be able to tag along on the tour we made last month. One of our
members is in Namibia as we speak, doing field research/collecting
rocks(?). We are going on a mini-tour now in December here in Sweden
together with the band BLESSINGS from Gothenburg (Side project by
members of hardcore outfit ANCHOR and post-post rockers SCRAPS OF
TAPES). We also have new, exciting plans for the spring that we
unfortunately cannot announce just yet.

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the newer material and
how it differs from previous releases?

A: After our CDEP was released, a lot of writers/blogs described our
music as post-metal or even drone-metal, but our intension was  never
to only focus on writing “slow epic”-songs - it just happened to turn
out that the songs we were most satisfied with and chose to record at that time
fell into that category. When we wrote songs for “I, Guilt Bearer” we
were really keen on exploring more sides to our song writing than just
making slow parts. We wanted to play fast songs as well as slow heavy
stuff. We didn't want to get stuck in just one lane, so to say,
therefore we allowed ourselves to experiment a lot more with the
songwriting concerning the full-length album.  Another thing that felt
important was to make sure the recording felt “transparent” and raw in
its sound, so we worked hard to get the right vibe on every instrument
and detail in the sound. Maybe the best thing about the recording
session was that we didn't really have any time limits, thus we could
record for as long as we wanted at any time during the day or night.
We didn't record in an actual studio; instead we got our producer (M.
Björk) to put up his recording-contraptions at a location of our
choice (A secret bomb shelter north of Stockholm).  This was a great
help for us since we could work more intensely and still not have to
worry about the studio hours just ticking away.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores
with the new release?

A: If you compare the CDEP to our album “I, Guilt Bearer”, the work on
certain themes and subjects are clearer on the album. The CDEP was
just four songs we choose to record from many others we had at that
time. “I, Guilt Bearer” is a theme-album about the clash between human
nature and human social culture and structures. “Us”, as carriers of
the agony that gets created when trying to fill the gaps of these two
classical fronts of human duality. We have just started to lay out the
themes for song lyrics and general themes for next coming album but
it's not totally clear to us what it will concern at this moment

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the band’s name?

A: Everything and nothing… Everyone seems to have their own theories
and ideas. So let it be.

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and
how would you describe your stage performance?

A: We had a bunch of great shows on our last tour together with our
buddies in HEXIS (Denmark). I really like to visit countries I've
never been playing in before, such as Spain and Portugal. I think the
whole band agreed to that it was great coming there after two rainy
weeks on the British Isles. The organizers as well as the audiences
were great in Spain and Portugal as well; they really seemed to be
into our stuff.  I also enjoyed playing in France since, after Sweden,
it is the country where we sell most records and merch (By
mail-order). We also got a bunch of good reviews from France
concerning both our releases, and it seems that we have a small, but
genuine fan base there. Switzerland was also a blast, as well as a
country I never got the pleasure to visit before this tour. I also
fancied Ireland a lot. But I guess it's foremost not about the
specific countries in general, more about certain venues and good
organizers, as well as a good crowd turning up at the shows.

6. Do you have any touring plans for the future?

A: We have some plans for the spring, but we are working with
them as we speak, so we cannot leave any further details about them at
this time. If everything works out as intended it will be a blast,

7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by
fans of underground metal?

A: Fairly good, I would say. They bad reviews have been from
people/journalists/writers that don’t know where to place us. The
discussion often sounds as following: “Are they really black metal?”
or “Are they hardcore?” and etc. The nice thing about that is that we
get booked at many different types of shows and that they write about
us in many different forums, so frankly we really don't care about
that categorization-thingy…

8. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?

A: The new stuff that we’ve made so far is, seems to me anyway, rawer and
maybe a bit more direct and simple in its “form”. But since it’s still
pretty early in the process we might over-fuck ourselves in the end
anyway. Usually when we think things sound a certain way while people
tend to tell us the very opposite… Here is a new song that we tried
out on our last tour:
decide for yourself.

9.What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your
music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

A: We all come from different musical backgrounds and thus listen to a
lot of various things, as well as we share the same kind of things
when it comes to certain music. Myself, I come from a more
hardcore/punk oriented background whilst our drummer Johnny comes from
an old school black metal-heading-into-shoegaze/postrock-kind of
background. Johnny in general despises all heavy music that is made
after the 1990s, just for the very sake of it. And he hates all “punk”
bands I listen to. He’s really into synth ridden proto-symphonic-black
metal bands, which only sings about walking in the snow. Don´t get me
wrong, ‘cause I’m really into black metal, just not all the bands he
started listen to as a kid. Lars (bass) and Pace (guitar) both comes ironically enough
from a marching band background and then started playing in various
death and thrash metal underground acts in and around Stockholm in
their late teens. Now days Lars mostly listens to “suicide blackmetal”, Man´O´War, Frank Zappa or Swedish old school hippie proggmusic. Pace listen to most stuff but recently have been most into Swedish d-beat bands, 70-rock and really technical metal stuff.  It´s quite a mix but we have some bands we all share… The idea of THIS GIFT
started out as a d-beat punk rock-project but we all really didn´t click
until we started playing our songs in half pace and when I really got
into certain proto-satanic text and some sociological/psychological thinkers which I started to link to what we were doing in the band.

10. How would you describe your views on Occultism?

A: First of all I just have to make clear I´m more or less atheist.
That counts for everyone in the band as well, except for one member
that is semi-practicing Buddhism for “cultural reasons”. The thing
that drew me to the “occult field” in the beginning was an attraction
of “powers” beyond my comprehension or understanding. If it´s “real”
or not I really don´t care about. The occult awareness and
consciousness is really interesting and can be a very interesting way
to question your understanding of your world, both on the inside as
well as outside. The meta-physical-state. A lot of the things in this
field are hard for me to relate to and I can merely understand it at
all, but I was always drawn do the dualism between man and its nature.
It really didn’t become real for me/us in the band until we started to
make out our own symbolic “language” with our on “rites” connected to
the symbols of our choosing. Instead of just take things from
Occultism we made them “ours”. We defined what were our “temples” and
our “symbols”. In this way things got “real” to us and the way we from
now own interpreted the “world” and it´s phenomenon - through our
lyrics, music and art connected to the band. We try to think holistic in all we do as a band. Sometimes I feel that we actually did not become THIS GIFT IS A CVRSE until we found these “things” and managed to connect them to the “art” we are making.
Things get even more “real” when “the others”, the audience, sees
these “symbols” and have their own interpretation of what we do with
THS GIFT IS A CVRSE. What that might be is not that important I think,
is more of an individual thing. This is what I really like with Occult
communication on a subconscious level. It speaks differently to each
mind. It´s very anarchistic and egocentric but still not cause it´s a
“mass thing” – this really fascinates me.  At the moment I´m very
influenced by chaos gnosis-understanding and the 218-current, I´m not
really sure what it will take me/us.

11. Outside of music what are some of your interests?

A: Music and trying to get by with work and school takes up most of
our time. I do some designs for bands and indie record labels. The
other band members are involved in various music projects. The bass
player for instant has a sleeping-cell grindcore project with the
Sheriff in HEXIS and the drummer from AGRIMONIA/MIASMAL.

12. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview

A: Thanks for the attention you are willing to give this band. 
thanks for your support and interest.

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