Another Swedish thrash metal band releasing another thrash metal album. Need I say anything more to get you interested? Interview with Joel Sundin. Anders Ekdahl ©2011

How important is the communal feeling of being part of something like a group in generating the creation of a band? Why does anybody want to form a band?
-Why do you want to have friends? The reason why I started playing music in the first place was because I couldn’t just listen to heavy metal, I had to live it, feel it. And I think that’s the case for most people that are into heavy metal, either you start a band or you start a label, a fanzine, arrange gigs and festivals etc… If you’re into heavy metal you have to be involved in the scene somehow.

When thrash metal broke big it didn’t really make it big in Sweden in the 80s. Black and death had a greater hold on us, pushing thrash metal aside. So why do you play thrash metal?
-Because it’s fast and brutal and rips the shit out of posers. Why shouldn’t we play thrash metal? Yes, most of the thrash metal acts in ancient Sweden wasn’t that great. Actually most sucked. But that has nothing to do with our choice to play it. When starting a band you do not pick genre having in mind what your country is most famous for (hopefully), you pick it because you like it! We have always been into thrash metal so naturally that was what we all ended up playing. But remember, we had bands like MERCILESS and later on HYPNOSIA here in Sweden in the 90s, and those two bands was greater than many other thrash bands around at that time, so in the end we win as always.
Today we have a very interesting thrash metal scene growing in Sweden which kicked off in 2003-2005 with great bands such as CORRUPT, RAGING STEEL, TYRANEX, ELIMINATION, LETHAL, IMMACULATE and EVOLVATOR among many others, so you could say that today’s youth is repairing the wounds of the faint Swedish thrash scene in the 80s.

When it comes to thrash metal it isn’t just one style. Within the boundaries of thrash we see a hell of a lot of different styles. Which style is in your opinion the best?
-Very true. But I like all kinds of thrash – primitive, plain aggressive, speed with falsetto, technical.. Doesn’t really matter, it all comes to how good the band work their art. But off course I have a soft spot for old hard fist-in-your-face thrash, evil speed that eats the heart out of the untrue. Thrash should be a lesson in violence like Exodus kindly enough ones told us. I don’t like groovy mid tempo crap, especially not if they deal with lyrics like; partying, thrashing or meaningless humor. Talk about waste of time and (sometimes) useful riffing!

With “Inevitable Decay” out now, does it feel that your work is done now or have it just begun?
-Oh it has just begun… There will be more albums, each more bone crushing then the other… or at least equally. Like I said, we do this because this is what we like to do, so there isn’t any good excuse to quit, right? I will never stop playing as long as I’m into metal, so that means forever.

When you picked the artwork for the CD was there a specific plan behind the way it had to look?
-Yes, in a way. I really like real paintings and not computer modified ones. They doesn’t have to be “perfect”, I like covers a little bit rough. Ugly but good looking. The concept was made up by Fredrik and I painted it. It fits our lyrics very well, they are not so positive. It portraits a aftermath, maybe the last after the final war?

How important is it that things look the right way for the band? Is there a specific aesthetic to the look of the band?
-Yes and no. There is no image involved in ENTRENCH, we are just people playing music and loving the scene. We do not demand members to grow their hair (or maybe just a little). When it comes to artwork and layout concepts, we just want it to look good and talk to the fan/buyer in a way that makes him/her understand at ones what the record is all about. We just do what we think looks great and everything was perfect in the early scene of metal so there is no point to be “original”.

Some Swedish towns have a great history of metal bands, others don’t. How important is it that there are bands from your hometown that have made it somewhat big for inspiration to continue struggling?
-Haha, why would that matter? Sweden isn’t that big so naturally our biggest towns have some sort of history in metal. There are more people living in does cities – which generates more bands. You’re probably thinking of Stockholm and Gothenburg? It’s not important at all. But back in 80s/90s there did exist some great death/thrash demo bands here in Västerås, listen to ABHOTH for example. Active metal bands around these days worth mention is BOMBS OF HADES, DEAD AWAKEN, VILEFUCK and GODHATE, extremely nice people and good musicians.

Would you say that Västerås is a good city for a metal band? Are there a lot of metal heads ready to support their bands?
-I would say no. There aren’t too many people here that are into metal but who gives a shit, really? It’s a nice town to live in, not too exciting thou, but calm. We do have supporters here and to the fact that they are few they stay true so in a way it’s positive. Metal is something that needs to be obscure so I’m very happy here. For example, not too long ago me and Fredrik went to the cinema to watch a new documentary about Swedish metal, we were six people in the whole room, isn’t that great?

Does having released an album immediately mean that you get more offers to play live or do you still have to struggle getting heard and noticed?
-The album isn’t out. It will be released in November, I think (which means a whole year after it was recorded), so I do not have any good answer to that question. But I think it will help a lot. We do not have any urge to play at the biggest places or festivals, we like it small and personal. The place should be well know to all the real die hard metal crusaders so it is the right people at the show who appreciate the old days of metal and wishes a big fuck off to the modern scene that is trying to destroy the good name of Heavy Metal. Die.

What are your intentions now that the album is out?
-We will play shows to support the record and print some new shirts featuring the cover. Our intentions is just to put the record out there, straight into the history of metal and into the hands of those who will appreciate it and “deserves” it. We are also currently writing new material for our second album that hopefully will be finished next year; it’s going to be really great.

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