My very first live interview with a band was with DAWN OF OBLIVION in 1995. Some odd 21 years later it is time again. So much has happened since then. ©2016 Anders Ekdahl
What is this band really all about?
-With Dawn of Oblivion we’re trying to build musical landscapes around dark and occult topics. We’re often labeled gothic metal and we can perfectly understand that. We love the beauty in the darkness as we grew up here in Sweden with the long, cold winters. With such a fundament in place there is a strong palette to start writing songs and we haven’t been short of ideas yet.
Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
-No, absolutely not. Our Swedish heritage is more playing in our favour I would say. There is always some kind of curiosity when we play outside Sweden and people often ask us how this cold and rough country up in the north have been able to deliver so much great music over the last 4 decades. I believe that it’s a great combination of the Swedish traditional music that is often very sad and melancholic and the sometimes cold, harsh weather.
When you release an album that get pretty good reviews how do you follow up on that?
-We try to spread the word as much as we can after a good review, to build on some possible new listeners. We are aware of the limits of being on a small independent label, so there is always a lot of work to do to create a larger fan base. We’ve been very fortunate so far to receive great reviews on our albums.
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album, to write the songs or to come up with really good songs?
-Ah, none of that is really a challenge. I’ve never experienced (yet) to have struggled in writing the songs or coming up with good songs. The challenge for us is more to always develop as a band and explore new territories. When we write new songs that really pushes the limits of what Dawn of Oblivion is all about we always listen and decide if we should go on with this song or not. It can be everything from the chord structure to soundscape. Most of the time we actually decide to continue with the song, but there have been some songs that have been rejected after we’ve thought that they were just too far off.
Do you prefer working digitally or is physical still cooler?
-We like the combination of both. We try not to limit ourselves just because we think something is cooler. We go for what we believe is most efficient or best for every specific situation.
With a sound that is being described as both this and that by fans how do you view your sound?
-It’s always very interesting to hear what others think of our sound. You know, we have been living around the songs for more than a year before they are released and at that time you don’t really know any more what they sound like. You are so biased by the recording and mixing procedures that it’s kind of hard so hear the big picture anymore. The fans and reviews sometimes take you back and remember the initial idea. The Dawn of Oblivion sound is to me very atmospheric, dark and cold. There is not much warmth in our music. Listening to a Dawn of Oblivion album works much better in a small cabin on a Scandinavian midwinter night than on a beach with surfers on a warm Caribbean beach.
How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
-The lyrics play just as big part of the song as the music. I never write the lyrics first. I have tried, but it never worked out well as I believed the lyrics became just too poetic. After we have a musical idea and some kind of structure of the song I begin to write the lyrics based on what I feel that the song is trying to tell me. The topics can be whatever between the earth and the sky, but some very common themes are mysticism, occultism, religion, paganism and sometimes personal reflections on what is fed through the news. I really try not to write on peoples nose, so I use metaphor techniques so that the listener can tailor the lyrics and base it into their own experiences. The important thing is that we feel that the music and lyrics are glued together as one.
What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
-They play a big part for every band. The artwork is the first thing your senses will receive. The artwork should tell a possible listener or buyer what they are about to hear. I have listened and then bought records myself, just because of an intriguing and tempting artwork.
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
-I believe so, yes. I feel that the fans we’ve gained in each town comes back for the next show and that new ones arrive. You start to recognize the faces of people that have been there on shows year in and year out. We always try to spend time after the gigs to chat. We love to keep in touch with our fans.
What do you see in the future?
-As we speak we’re just about to get back in the studio to record eight new songs that will be released through two new EP’s during 2016. The first one will see the light of day in late spring and the second will probably be available in September or October. It’ll be interesting to follow up on the success from our latest album ‘Phoenix Rising’ and continue releasing new material. This will also be the first recording with our new drummer, Fredrik Eriksson, who joined the band shortly after the last release. We have a lot of activities in the pipeline for 2016 and forward!
Live photos courtesy of Helenas Photos ©2015 Helena Sulce