When two of death metal’s greats get together you can bet your sweet ass that it is going to be something special. So say hello to a new JOHANSSON/SPECKMANN collaboration. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
When did you two decide that it would be a wise choice to join forces? When was it decided that you’d do an album under your own names?
-I asked Paul to be on a song for the first Megascavenger album, wich he happily agreed to. After that, as it sounded great and worked so smooth, we decided that it maybe would be a good idea to write and record a whole album together.
The music that comes out of your meeting is being described as true old school death metal but what is that exactly?
-I don’t know what the word true would mean really, we just do what we usually do I guess. Basic and simple heavy music based on how it sounded many years ago, when music was best, if you ask me. I guess it’s like that for everyone though, you always love the music you grow up with, and we have been doing this sound for so many years now, and Paul is one of the very first musicians in the whole death metal scene, so I think it was rather easy to decide that we should just do what we like really.
You have now collaborated for some time. How would you like to describe your collaboration?
-It goes very easy, we talk from time to time about everything, and then after a while time comes when we decide to start some music together again. It’s all very simple and easy going really, we just start writing stuff, and then record it and that’s that. We know what we like and what we want I guess, so it’s easy to work together.
Modern technology is great but how do you maintain that feel in the music that really great music has?
-You tell me haha, does it sound like it has feeling? For us it’s no problem, compared to writing and recording music in a rehearsal room. This is just the way it works for us, as we are members in three countries and in this scene there is no money almost, so it would be impossible to travel around to each other to meet up to play and record. This way of working works for us, and I think it sounds good too.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
-I think it’s really important, as important as always. I am not interested in releasing music online, for me music should be on cassette cd or vinyl, with a cover and something you could put in your collection, not some files on a harddrive. I guess people dont feel the same ofcorpse, but thats how it is for me and I think for many many people into this sorta music. I guess Im just old in that way haha, but to me you haven’t released an album just because you recorded it and then put it on some websites. THats like making a demo to me, not a real album. But that’s just how I feel.
You both are active in bands (Paganizer/Master) that are considered cult. And that are very much active. How much of these bands do spill over to what you are doing as a pair?
-I guess very much, not that I feel it’s a problem though. My riffs will always be my riffs, but I can say that in Johansson & Speckmann I think I manage to write riffs that maybe sounds more like Master. Not that I do it like a rip off, but I feel that I get some ideas from especially the later Master stuff, as those sorta riffs fits so good with Paul’s vocals. As for Paul, I don’t know but I think he could use the same lyrics in this band as in Master too. we are the ones we are, and there’s no point in trying to change it either. What you get from us is something that sounds like Master with hints of Paganizer, and if that’s something you like to hear then its a good thing haha.
Is there a creative freedom in knowing that you most probably will not perform these songs live. Can you try out stuff that you otherwise might have to scrap?
-Well not really, as the sound is so basic and sounds like our other main bands. So I don’t think we really have any weird or hard stuff just because we are a studio only band. We could do that ofcorpse, but I don’t think it would really fit us, we have this very ugly hard sound, and that fits us and that’s what we like as well.
How important is the art work? Is there such a thing as death metal aesthetics?
-To a certain degree it’s very important, but maybe to me it’s more important if there’s a concept. If it’s just a collection of songs, then it can be more open and might not be so important as to what it looks like really. As long as it’s looking good and fits the sound of the music. And ofcorpse there’s a death metal way of doing artworks, it needs to be on the same level as the music, it needs to fit it well enough, personally I don’t like artworks that are slapped onto albums that sound nothing like the art when you listen to it. So all in all, it’s an important thing.
What state is the death metal scene in today?
-I would say it’s in a great state, lots of bands, lots of good bands too. And loads of festivals during summer and the rest of the year, if you are into this music I don’t think there could be a better scene really. THen I guess there will always be people thinki9ng that it was better years and years ago also, and in many ways it was, there’s no real feeling of teenage excitement anymore, but that’s not because the bands are not good it’s just because you get older I think haha.
Is there a future?
-Fuck yes, loads of good bands coming out, and so many of the old bands are still among the best still. So there’s a future, and it stinks of rot and decay haha.