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?
– Not really hard at all, the thing is just that our name for the band is a Danish word. When we started out we didn’t really expect that there’d be much more interest in us than from our local circle of friends so having a Danish word for a name seemed like a logical decision. UNDERGANG means something like ruin or downfall; to me it was always the downfall/end of the world kind of meaning the name presented as we found that to be a fitting word for the band.
What kind of challenges does a new album bring with it? What do you want to happen with this new album?
– I don’t see a new album bringing along challenges, more really new options and possibilities. With a new album out you can push the band full force again with promotion, because you have a new product out and go touring on it and such. We hope that “Misantropologi” will bring us some new listeners, ground the band more as a death metal force to be familiar with and that it can take us out to new cities and countries we can play in that we haven’t done in the past. And then that Dark Descent Records and Me Saco Un Ojo Records can/will keep it available in print as long as there’s an interest in it. I do the cassette versions of our albums myself through Extremely Rotten Productions and try to keep all albums available on that format at least, I sure do hope to be better at it now, haha.
Whenever UNDERGANG is mentioned a whole host of different acts keep popping up. 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?
– Ugh, pointing out one single thing as a greater influence is hard, so I’ll just say that everyone who paved the way for death metal back in the late 80’s and early 90’s are the reason for what we do and how we sound.
What is the Danish scene like today? Full of Volbeat wannabes? 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?
– It’s doing OK it seems, death metal isn’t exactly the biggest thing in our country but there’s a decent interest in it and some cool new bands coming out in recent years like DEIQUISITOR, TAPHOS and PHRENELITH (which of course is a bit lame to add as it’s another band I play in, but… Hype!). It seems like the national interest in more on more modern/mainstream sounding metal in general and there’s a few forest/atmospheric “black metal” bands out there right now getting a good bit of recognition in our country, which is not really my thing or has my interest. My partner, Daniel, from the Kill-Town Death Fest days, started up a booking agency called Killtown Bookings that does a lot of local metal shows and European tours, which has opened up for a lot more bands to come up through Denmark and Copenhagen on tours, which is both cool but also negative as in people getting spoiled on not attending all the shows we suddenly have available to be a part of. After all, not a lot of us can find the time and money to attend several shows a week, but it’s still a luxury problem, haha. We have somewhat of a local scene, but it all various a lot. At our local shows there can be either 15 people or 150 people attending, one never really knows.
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 can definitely understand that way of thinking as I for one certainly do feel like we in UNDERGANG are a part of a worldwide underground death metal scene, which is really kind of small when you break it down, but we are all over. That death metal family to me includes people creating music, the people releasing it, people like you doing zines and promotion of the things moving around all over, artists proving the gruesome and imaginative visuals for the death metal movement and everyone who comes out to the shows and help make it a real thing for all mentioned here. In my opinion we’re all equals and we’re a part of this exclusive club of creeps who loves death metal and that bond is something special where you can meet someone you’ve never dealt with before and immediately hang out, relax and talk about all the different bands, labels, zines and artists that you like and who’s activities and release you’re following. I love death metal and I love the community we have internationally, I wouldn’t be the same person today if this world hadn’t unwrapped itself in front of me and embraced me when I was a teenager.
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?
– A great album cover to me should be the visual presentation of the music and mood of the album it represents. Since we’re speaking death metal here, I do find a gross and gory album cover fitting for most degenerate brutal and dark death metal, but at the same time I do find it fitting with a more sci-fi approach if that’s what the band calls for, like we saw with Nocturnus and now with Blood Incantation. At the same time the disgust of humankind and all of our atrocities and terrible ways of treating each other has been presented well in album covers by bands a bit more “political” like Terrorizer and Napalm Death to name a few. So the content of an album cover can vary a lot and still have me thinking it’s great, as long as it’s well executed and fitting for music on the album it wraps, you’ve got a perfect fit!
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
– In the way of how bands and labels were able to make money from record sales, then yes, downloading is killing music. But at the same time the whole digital world has also opened up for it to be easier to get your music out there and for people to easier “shop” between new music and check out new bands and releases. So I have kind of mixed feelings about it, but as there are a request for it I also do believe that it must be available. When we noticed that you could find our albums for free download from all sorts of various places online, in whatever quality those rips might have been, we decided to do a bandcamp page and put our albums up there for download on donation. At least that way we can have a little bit of control on what quality our music is in out there, since it’s going to be out there anyway. It also gives people the option of supporting is with a euro/dollar or two if they want to, which we hope but do not demand. Originally we had Max from Metalbandcamp get in touch with us about it and he uploaded our first two albums to our site, so he kind of helped point out to me there was is an interest in it and that it should be available like that. You even see a lot of metal labels doing bandcamp pages where you can pay for the album as a download too, so I guess it’s the future. For better and for worse.
Personally I use digital music played from my computer when I work with layout or reply to emails/interviews at home usually, but I still use my walkman when I travel or when I ride to work and I think that the LP is the perfect format for album releasing, because of the sound and visual presentation. CD’s are fine, but never really stuck with me, I lost most of everything I had from a failed relationship a good 13 years ago and never cared to fill it up again and therefore only own about 100 CD’s right now which only really gets played in the bus when we tour.
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
– A decently supportive underground scene that we ourselves also try to help promote and take care of in return that it does to us. We’re still able to go tour almost all over the world and I like trying to help out bands that I like with shows in Copenhagen on tours and even bring some around to help out with a few shows where I can. Networking is really to word of importance here. You’ll have some person helping you out with a show in his city in whatever country he’s from and if things goes well, you try to help his/hers band out with a show in your city when needed in return. At stated above also, the international scene is small but very supportive when it comes down to it. I don’t feel it AS much in Europe at the moment, but we’re currently touring the US and people are still rather supportive to touring underground bands over here it seems. Which is also why we keep coming back over here and not do as many long-ass tours in Europe as we’d really like to. The market (for us) is just not as good in Europe as in the US to my experience. I hope for it to change though.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
– Death metal in a love setting can be the best thing ever, some bands sound even better live than on recordings; others suck live compared to on recording… To me it’s where the bands make it or fails. A live death metal show is where dedicated fiends get together to celebrate the importance to death metal in their lives and hang out with friends, meet new ones, make new discoveries of bands either from the live setting or word of mouth. The Death Metal shows are important to me and I try to go out to them locally when I can and even travel for them to other countries occasionally when I have time and money for it. I guess it can become a party sometimes too, haha.
What would you like to see the future bring?
– On a selfish note then more awareness and options for us to go out and do cool shit, like touring new places and be able to still work with good and supportive labels to push our music. We’re always brewing on new music, planning new releases and tours and are open to offers for most things within reason. And then eventually the destruction of mankind for our lameness and ignorance.
Thank you for the interview and thank you to everyone out there who spend their time reading this. If you haven’t already, then check out our new album “Misantropologi”, it’s proper nasty, I swear! If you’d want to get in touch, feel free to do so through undergangktdm (a) gmail.com, we always stock merch and are open to interviews and booking.
Support underground death metal and enjoy life, it’s over before you know it.
Lynched in intestines,