Old school Swedish death metal has once again reared its ugly head lately. Not all bands have been Swedish but SMOTHERED sure are. Anders Ekdahl @2014
Where does the band name come from? Who are the fallen?
-The name Smothered comes from uncovered evidence of catholic nuns smothering unwanted or abandoned children that they couldn’t take care of. I basically just thought of a horrible way to die and what is worse than killing something small, innocent and young that cannot defend itself? Oh the irony of the catholic church. “Abortion is wrong”… “Be fruitful”… “All life is Gods creation”… And yet, they kill day old infants.
When you start a band do you do so with a clear intention of where you want to go both artistically as well as musically or does that come with time?
-Well, Smothered was born of the love for old school Swedish Death Metal and we’re not going to claim anything else. But from the start I had a few ideas in mind that I wanted to do differently from other OSDM bands, both new and old. As for instance incorporate more atmospheric dark melodies like Marduk and Watain use but still keep the OSDM blueprint. I’ve also tried to implement more thrashy parts in the songs instead of having Autopsy-like “porridge” as we like to call it. A more refined yet aggressive sound with the Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal as the main colourer for the guitar sound.
How did the members of SMOTHERED come together? How tough is it to get the right people together?
-I just started to look for people through different social networks and advertised in guitar and music shops about that I was starting a band and was seeking like-minded musicians. And I didn’t stop until I was satisfied with the skill of their musical instrument, personal chemistry and mind-set.
In forming a band is it important that there is a strong local scene? How has the internet changed the feeling of community in being a local band playing local shows? Does it still feel that you are a product of your surrounding area?
-Well, no not really. At least I don’t think the local scene is important. We happen to be very influenced by bands from Stockholm but I would be equally influenced by them even if I lived in another city and even in another country. The internet has brought the scene closer together. People have started to share their interest in the music with each other more and I feel like there are hardly any closed groups of people worshiping a certain genre any more. It’s more open. Which is a good thing.
What cool bands are there in your region that you’d like to push for? Is competition a good or bad thing in your area?
-We hang out with a couple of bands that sound nothing like we do. I’ll mention two of them. One of them is a thrash/death quintet called Phidion who have been around for a while but never really were on a stable course until now. And then there’s the guys in Desolator who have a more American and Dutch vibe to their death metal… Even though most reviewers label them as “just another OSDM” which is completely wrong.
When you record your first songs do you do that as a sort of showcase just to make your name known or do you do that with a grander intent of becoming world famous?
-Music to me is a journey. A journey we’ve set out on to discover where it leads us. It will never be our intention to try and become famous. Thats just stupid. Music should come from the heart. Not the fuckin’ wallet. For one it’s not the right genre to become famous. How many death metal bands do you know about that anyone on the street knows about? You can probably count them on one hand. Nah, we do this just for the fun of making music we love.
Is it important that the band has both a musical style that is its own as well as a graphic look that can easily be identified?
-Yeah, a great design standard both when it comes to the songwriting and the visual stuff like album artwork, band logo and merch is very important and it’s a good indication that a band is very creative and probably a lot of fun to listen to if they have that great audio/visual combination. I don’t care how bands look on stage though. Thats not important. What is important is the music.
What kind of reactions have you had to the band and its music so far? What is the furthest away response that you have had?
We’ve had great response so far. I think people make no mistake that we are an OSDM band. Nobody has accused us as jumping on the band wagon and surfing on the newly revived interest from the underground scene of OSDM. And why would they. It’s pretty clear that we want to carry on the lagacy of bands like Entombed and Dismember and NOT copy it. We’re doing our own thing of a genre that we love. And I really feel that (most) people get that about us. It is appreciated and it feels great to actually be understood.
Do you agree that digital is killing the music scene as we know it now?
-No, I don’t agree with that. If anything it’s helping bands reach out to people that probably wouldn’t have heard them if it weren’t for digital distribution. Also, a lot more people are embracing having their record collection as digital only either on iTunes or Spotify… Why not just use that to your advantage as a band instead of being a technophobe?
What future is there?
-Our second album probably won’t be ready for another 1½ years but until then we’d like to do a small tour of Europe and play some festivals and shows all over the place. We’ll see. We haven’t really thought about something special or what the future will hold for Smothered. We just go along for the ride and see where we end up.