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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Svederna Interview

 1. Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

We recorded the album quite some time ago, and we have been going through some changes within the band since then. We all live in different areas of Sweden, and our guitarist Erik have been out at sea working as an engineer being away for months at a time, which made it hard to rehearse regularly. He decided that he didn't want to play live, but he's still very much part of the band. So we have been spending quite some time finding new members for our live setup, and finally we found the ultimate members and we've been rehearsing for our live shows and completed our first tour recently, in Spain and Portugal. Also we've started working on new material, and hopefully it won't take that long to record and release a new album.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

I would describe it as Nordic black metal at its core, with strong bearings of heavy metal and rock 'n roll, with some DIY punk energy and thrash metal thrown into the mix. These elements have been part of Svedernas sound since our inception, but came to life more organically and naturally this time around. The first album ('Äntra') had acoustic interludes and was a little more ambitious in terms of feel and structure. When we started working on the material for 'Svedjeland' it became obvious to us from the get-go that we wanted to hit hard and let the riffs speak for themselves. No bullshit - just great riffs, raw honest vocals and heavy pounding drums all the way through. 4 tracks on each side like a classic 80's heavy metal vinyl - that's what we aimed for, and that's what we got.

3.When I listen to your music I can hear plenty of different non black metal influences, do you feel this makes the music stand out a lot more?

I agree that it stands out a bit from your standard black metal releases of today, however it's not a goal in itself to mix these elements just to stand out. What you hear is a true reflection of who we are and we simply believe in great riffs, and if a riff is good enough we'll keep it, and we really don't analyze that much if it sounds different or stands out too much, if it sounds good to us that's all that counts. But yes, I clearly feel our music stands out.

4.This is your first album in 4 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?

Actually it's close to five years since we released our debut album 'Äntra'. After spreading that album and landing the distribution deal with Carnal Records we started writing new material for what became the new album. Like I mentioned before it has been hard finding time for us to get together because of our different lives, but Svederna has still during all this time been a big part of our everyday lives, and even if it took us a lot of time to get the record out we were always confident in the material and knew that the album was timeless. So instead of rushing it we took our time to land the deal with Carnal records, which we strongly believe in as a label, and to make sure they also could get fully behind the release, which is what is happening right now.

5.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores on the new album?

The lyrics vary a lot from song to song, with personal freedom being the constant topic. Svederna is a vehicle for true freedom. Some lyrics are more abstract dealing with how we function as a unit and operate in our realm, some lyrics are very in-your-face dealing with the hypocrisy and oppression of the commercialization of Western society, and how to break free from those chains and follow your own path. Our vocalist Jonatan writes all the lyrics, with some input from us others, and some of the lyrics are also personal reflections of his everyday life and struggles. I personally feel that all the lyrics are empowering and inspiring.

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Svederna'?

The original inspiration for the name derives from a farm where I was living at the time when we formed the band. It's very old Swedish meaning to burn the forest to the ground to be able to plant new life. This allegory has proved meaningful to us over and over - burn the old, seed the new.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

When we hit the stage it's no mercy - full blast from the start. We put a lot of passion and energy in our live shows, otherwise it wouldn't really be any point in doing them. The live show is a continuation of what you hear on the records. We have nothing to hide and let the music speak for itself, we don't need any stage show, rituals or props to deliver what we do. Bare chests and lots of sweat, that's what you can expect. Since we just recently started playing live we feel that we've just begun and there's no stopping us, but to mention one gig that stands out it was the finale of our Iberian tour in Porto, Portugal. Everything came together and we could really feel the energy and connection with the audience. Great vibe.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

We will embark on a mini tour in the middle of May together with fellow metal band Grift, where we will hit Gothenburg, Malmö and also put up our own show in the forest kingdom of Tiveden, where I'm stationed. We will also play the Swedish metal festival Gamrocken just after that. Then we have plans to continue touring more abroad after the summer, and we'll likely go back to Spain/Portugal where we now have found a loyal fanbase, and hit more Scandinavian cities and basically any place in the world that wants us. We're ready - hit us up!

9.The new album was released on 'Carnal Records', how did you get in contact with this label?

Our vocalist Jonatan got in contact with the label through Björn of the Swedish death metal band Mordbrand, who are on the label, and he highly recommended it. Shortly after that Carnal Records started distributing the cassette of our first album, which was originally done independently by us. When we were done recording 'Svedjeland' there was really no doubt from us that we had found a good home, and Carnal was up for it. It's a great label with lots of history, and a perfect fit for Svederna.

10.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork on the new album?

The artwork is done by Elias Kukkola Settervik, a really talented friend of ours. He draws everything by hand, and then edit it digitally. We basically give him some ideas of what we're after, and then he has free hands to interpret our ideas, and we discuss back and forth until he completes our vision. This time we strongly felt that we needed an iconic cover, once again inspired by timeless records of the 80's. The skull with the vortex eyes represents the lost and confused human of the modern world, with the flames being the three core members of the band, and the swords the added power of our new members. We wanted something simple and powerful which reflects where we are as a band.

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

So far, people seem to really get what we're doing, and we appreciate that basically everyone can hear that we're doing something different and unique. We weren't sure how people would react, but now even black metal purists have been impressed, and we seem to be a breath of fresh air in a stagnated metal climate where bands either try to hard to stand out or are too afraid to get away from safe formulas. So it's great to hear the reactions, and it's flattering that a band who goes their own way with lyrics in Swedish can connect so well with people from all over the world.

12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

At this point, the music can take us anywhere. We will always be about the riff, and we'll always have blast beats in our songs, but we really don't have a specific agenda on where to go next. The new material that has been flowing to me lately seems to bring a bit more Nordic melodies, but the rawness remains, and there is also some very catchy riffs coming up. We might try out new formats, but I believe we have found our core sound as Svederna. Also with our new members we have new musical inputs and it's exciting to see what combinations can come out of three guitarists/songwriters with different influences.

13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

We started out being directly influenced by bands like Taake and Gorgoroth, but the more we have moved forward I think a lot of various influences have shined through. Our passion for classic heavy metal and Manowar in particular early became part of our sound, and the more time that has passed the more I realize our musical backgrounds from the past have played a major part in forming the bands sound. Jonatan and Erik come from a hardcore background, and I come from a more rock 'n roll background, and I have also played a lot of psychedelic music throughout the years. We have a broad range of musical taste and can appreciate all kinds of music, with reggae being the only genre that should be totally annihilated. Me personally I listen to a lot of ZZ Top and southern rock nowadays, and I'm also very into soundtracks and arabic/eastern folk music and I'm still discovering lots of early heavy metal and proto-metal. Black metal is obviously the best genre in the world, but I can really appreciate music from all ages and parts of the world.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thanks for taking your time to do this interview. Spread the word of Svederna, we're here to stay and ready to take on the world. Hail!

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