For somebody that totally likes the Swedish death metal sound EVOCATION are the perfect band to listen to. Answers from Marko Palmén (Guitars). Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
-I feel huge pride and satisfaction in the accomplishment we did this time around. There is just so much blood, sweat and tears invested into the tracks of “The Shadow Archetype” and I think people that listen to the album can hear the passion behind it. In my opinion this is the most important album we have ever released.
I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
-The band name came up soon after we started in 1991. We didn’t have a band name and after some weeks after a night out partying with the boys in the band I was just set on finding a cool band name when I got home. So when I got home I instantly started to look through my album collection to see if I could find a cool title somewhere that we could use as a band name. And after a while I found it on the Asphyx album “The Rack” “Evocation” just stood out among the track titles and I couldn’t remember that I had ever heard of another band calling themselves “Evocation”. The day after I checked with the boys and they liked it and the rest is history…
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
-I would say that it is the most important thing for us and that keeps us going as a band. We are not a band that lives off the music so our reward is to hear people say that our music matters in their lives. In a way it’s a bit strange when people say that the stuff Evocation makes really means something to them. I mean we are just a bunch of ordinary guys that share the same passion for Death Metal. There is indeed 100 % passion in the tracks on each and every album, so maybe it’s perhaps not that strange after all that people like the stuff we do, but it’s a bit difficult to get used to…
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-I’m not sure if we strategically aim for an image but if there is one then it is that we are 100 % serious about the music that we do. Death Metal is no joke to us… I can’t stand bands that have humorous or “funny” band names or track titles when it comes to Death Metal. If I want to be amused or have fun I can go to a circus and watch clowns instead. Death Metal for me and Evocation is dead serious business.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-I’m also a huge fan of artwork for albums and for me the album artwork and all the pieces of the album are important. I remember back in the early 90s when I still was buying albums I could sometimes buy an album just because the album artwork looked great. Dan Seagrave was the man back in the days when it came to album artworks. I still live by that; the album artwork, photos of the band and the layout has to be flawless in order for me to release the album. We work until we are 100 % satisfied.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on YouTube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
-I’m not a huge fan of social media. If there would have been a possibility to only have the band page on Facebook and not a personal page in order to run the band page then I wouldn’t be on Facebook. I prefer to interact with people in real life. Social media is all about getting likes on your posts.
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
-Sometimes I would say yes to that but sometimes also no. Death Metal is a pure passion for me and I could definitely say that it is a great bonus in life when we are out on the road and meet great people that share the same passion for Death Metal. But at the moment there is something else that also gives me meaning to my life. Well first of all my family gives me most meaning to my life but I also recently picked up an old hobby I practiced when I was younger – Karate! Me and my two kids are training together and I just love doing it together with them. I love to learn more about the martial arts and to challenge myself and keep pushing the boundaries of what I can achieve from lesson to lesson.
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
-I would say that the Death Metal scene is at the moment quite healthy although there are also worrying signs. The regrowth of new bands is quite strong however I doubt any of the newer bands will be able to grow to a level where they can be able to live off their music. In the digital era the record sales have gone down so much that making records is merely a way to promote the band. Record sales don’t generate any substantial income for the bands which in the end makes it more difficult for the bands to tour and grow as a band. So in the future I doubt we will see any of the newer generation of bands growing as big as the classic Death Metal bands from the 90s. In that perspective the future looks a bit somber for the Death Metal scene especially when you consider that some of the classic bands are starting to retire like for instance Bolt Thrower. For me it’s a bit sad since I have been a part of the Death Metal scene ever since it started.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-At the moment we are not really a touring band anymore. We all have daytime jobs and families to support etc. So it becomes quite difficult to stay away from our homes on longer runs. However shorter periods are no problems and if the “right” touring opportunity would come then we would of course do all that is possible to make it happen.
When it comes to doing shows outside of Sweden I’m not really sure on how the situation is at the moment. We did our last show outside of Sweden in 2014 which is three years ago and we haven’t really worked on getting shows outside of Sweden yet. On our previous albums I don’t think there were any problems getting shows outside of Sweden.
What will the future bring?
-I hope the future will bring us a tour on the Bahamas!
Cheerz and thanx a lot for the interview, hope to meet you all on the road!