PAGANIZER really don’t need an introduction if you’ve followed the death metal scene the last 10 – 15 years. But don’t let that stop you from reading this interview with Rogga. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
Looking at your discography I get a feeling that you are overly productive. How do you find time to do all the things you do?
-Yes it might seem that way haha… I don’t know really, I like to write music and I tend to record most stuff I write too, and not throw away so much stuff. Actually I’m not spending all days and weeks on doing music, but when I sit down to write or record I usually end up with quite a bunch of stuff, and that ends up like an album often too I guess.
Is it important to PAGANIZER to evolve? Is progress a bad word?
-It’s not important to evolve for us, no. but I don’t dislike progress either. I think we have progressed through the years, and then maybe taken a few steps back here and there too. But really, we know what we like to play and try our best and there’s no real need then to throw in new stuff into mix if you ask me. I can do that in other projects if I like too.
How pleased are you with this new album? What did the previous album do and what do you want this new one to do?
-I’m very pleased with it actually. Andreas wrote music this time too and also Dennis, our new bassplayer, wrote a couple of songs. I always feel that the albums come out more interesting when I don’t write everything myself, so I’m very happy with how it all came together. The previous album “Into the catacombs” marked the return of the (almost) old lineup of the band again getting together, and that we again after a few years on ice could do shows and tours. So that was a great thing, that the previous album got our name out there more again, and this new album will hopefully keep doing that work this and next year.
For a band that has been old school even before old school was the new thing how annoying is it to be described as old school?
I don’t think it’s annoying, not too much anyways. People always need labels to put on things, it’s been like that forever. And if its describing us easier for people, then it’s a good enough thing I guess. We never set out to play old school music though, when we started in ´94 it wasn’t old school haha.
What is old school really?
-I don’t know really, I guess it’s just a word to describe bands that doesn’t use too much technical stuff in the music. I mean sure there were technical bands back then too, but I think the term these days describes mostly bands that grew up listening to the early 90s death metal scene, mainly the Scandinavian one. I never come across a band described as old school and then they sound like Pestilence or Obituary, it’s always Entombed or Nihilist or something like that riddled though their sound.
With you being so productive as you are and with you playing in other bands to do you ever get to enjoy the rewards of PAGANIZER?
-Well the rewards for me with Paganizer is that it’s the only band I actually play live and tour with. So that for me is the big paycheck, I get to travel and hang out with my best friends and drink free beer and meet good people. I think that’s just about the coolest thing one could ask for, to get to do ten times a year or so.
Does it ever feel that other people reap the rewards of the band, that you being PAGANIZER and having a reputation does more for the others you work with than it does for you?
-No I don’t feel like that at all. And I don’t feel like I’m a known person at all either, I am surprised when people send mails or messages with all sorts of flattery and good words on my music. It’s a weird thing really, but also cool of corpse.
Having been around a while and playing Swedish death metal have you noticed that there is a renewed interest in bands like Nihilist and the likes?
-Haha yes I have noticed that, I think anyone has. My fave music isn’t the old Swedish bands actually, so I don’t listen to any of the new old school bands, but I come across them all the time of corpse online and in magazines. It’s a rather large resurgence right now, but I’m sure it’ll be something different in a few years as usual.
Why do you think that Swedish death metal has survived for 25 odd years?
-It’s a very good style of music, it has everything from melody to ugliness. I don’t think the sound will ever go away completely, as it’s something rather fantastic really.
What does the future hold for you guys?
-A few minitours and festivals in Europe during spring summer and fall, and after that I guess we will do mostly gigs in Sweden during winter and start work on new album sometime next year.