EXECRATION is yet another Norwegian band that I had no clue existed but hey, I’m glad that I got to know of them. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
You have one of these names that do not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
-It might not give away the sub genre, but I would be surprised if anyone mistook us for anything but a metal band by that name. I don’t remember it as specifically hard to come up with. When we first started out, we tinkered with the name Berserkr, but it was left behind to find a more appropriate name. At some point I discovered this word and really liked the meaning behind it, and so did the other guys, and it just stuck.
As I am sure of we are quite a few that are rather new to you guys could you give us a short introduction to the band?
-Execration is a metal band from Oslo, Norway. We’re typically labeled a death metal band, but our music is more than “just” death metal – there’s a death metal base, and then there are strong influences from black metal, thrash, and prog. We’ve been a band for 13 years, 11 of which with the current lineup. We’ve become somewhat known for our style of songwriting, which mixes the aforementioned genres, and includes more-than-average shifts in tempo and mood. Our focus in songwriting is on groove, feeling, and atmosphere over technical playing and sheer wall of brutality.
We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-Oh, that’s getting harder and harder to answer. Had you asked me this early in our career, I possibly would’ve said “Suffocation and Autopsy”, but in 2017, there is barely any Suffocation influences left in our sound. Had you asked our drummer, Cato, prior to our second album, “Odes of the Occult”, he might have said Teitanblood. Had you asked our guitar player and vocalist Jørgen, he might have cited Beatles as the reason he picked up the guitar in the first place. For our bass player it would’ve been Guns’n’Roses. I think our sound today is what it is because there is no single greatest influence – we all contribute in the songwriting process, and we all have our own influences. And over the years, we’ve become more and more liberal in what kinds of influences we’re open to bringing into our own sound.
What is the scene like in your area? Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
-We get asked this a lot, and truth be told, I don’t feel strongly connected to a specific scene. During our early years, there was a good death metal scene in Oslo, including bands such as ours, Diskord, Obliteration, Lobotomized, and many others that aren’t around any longer. These days we no longer play Oslo as often as we used to, and I generally don’t get around to gigs as much as I used to. So I can’t really say I have a good take on what “our scene” is like any more, unfortunately. I definitely think an active scene is a good platform for emerging bands, and I appreciate the time we were part of that.
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-I certainly feel like part of something bigger when on stage with Execration. Being on stage really is a situation where the four people in the band come together and become something more than the sum of its parts, and it is a great feeling. Outside that though, I don’t feel like I’m part of a movement.
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-To me, there are several things that can make for a great album cover. Evoking some kind of feeling in the listener is always a plus, but I rarely get impressed with shock value type covers. Covers that connects with the music and/or lyrics on the album in some meaningful way can be really great. When the visuals of the cover brings about roughly the same state of mind that the music on the album does, it stays with you. Finally, some album covers have an iconic look, and become immortal for just that reason.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-I don’t think so. Digital is probably changing music, though, and that’s especially true for commercial music. Maybe digital will downplay the importance of the album as the go to unit of music to release. It’s interesting to see what kind of releases flourish with different types of media. The CD single was a huge thing in the nineties, but is all but gone now, both as a physical medium (obviously), but also as a concept. Today’s digital singles are more often just a single track, the live versions and b-sides are less frequent.
In any case, I think music as we know and love it will live on in the smaller genres, like ours. I mean, 12″ vinyl records are still the main format for new releases in our corner of the music universe. Personally, I think an album is so much more than just a collection of songs – or at least, it can be. That’s how we approach it, and that’s how my most favorite albums are made as well. So while I don’t doubt digital will change music, I’m not worried it will kill music or even kill the parts of it I like.
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-As with most other kinds of bands out there, there are lots of festivals to play. Especially in our part of the world, festivals abound, even for such a niche thing as we’re doing. Additionally there are lots of clubs that have good attendance on metal gigs, and people who go to these are typically a dedicated lot.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-I’m honestly not sure what the difference between a happening and a party is. I have however, noticed that there is a big difference in whether you treat a gig as work or a party. We play relatively infrequently, as we’re not able to live off the band. We’ve played with professionally touring bands many times, and I’ve often thought that there’s a difference in how these bands are “at work” when playing, while we’re out partying. That is not to say we don’t take the gigs seriously – we definitely do, but as we’re not playing 150 gigs a year, we can enjoy some beers and make it a more fun event than those who are constantly on the road, without falling flat on our faces. This certainly makes it more enjoyable for us.
What would you like to see the future bring?
-As most other bands I hope to reach a bigger audience, making us able to play bigger gigs and festivals more often. Standing on stage in front of a packed, big room is an experience of its own, and I hope to experience that more often.