Being a Swede from Skåne I have no problem understanding Danish but I?m in the minority of folks outside of Denmark understanding Danish. Why have you chosen to use Danish as the chosen language?
– The decision to keep all the lyrics in Danish was made after we chose a Danish word for the name of our band. From that choice it seemed only natural to keep everything in a our native tongue. Besides that, in all honesty, when we started out the band we never had any idea that as many people would give us the recognition as we have now gained. We just set out to play what we consider real Death Metal and never expected more than some appreciation from the people around us here in Copenhagen. But fun to hear from someone who actually understand our lyrics outside of Denmark, we don’t get a lot of attention from other Scandinavian people in general actually.
I get an old school Bolt Thrower/Carcass feel when I see the artwork and hear the music. What is it that influences you?
– Sounds sick man, not too bad of a start, haha. CARCASS is definitely a band that has inspired us in several ways when it comes to writing music for UNDERGANG. Besides that I’d name bands like AUTOPSY, WINTER, PUNGENT STENCH, CREMATORY (sweden!), IMPETIGO, MORTICIAN and tons of other disgusting older bands. As for atmosphere we also get influenced by tons of horror movies and personally some music of GOBLIN as well. Artwork wise I’m a big fan of 70’s and 80’s horror comics and as I’m responsible for almost all of the artwork used for UNDERGANG it has taken its place in our visuals.
Danish metal has always been of the highest quality but for most of the time lived a life far away from the limelight of the international metal scene. What is your opinion on why we see so few Danish bands really making it like fx the Swedish ones have done?
– Well, maybe because most of the Danish bands since MERCYFUL FATE has sucked! I’m definitely not a fan of Danish metal in general as there’s always something “Danish” sounding to them. Something I really don’t like. A lot of the bands tend to over polish everything during studio sessions and live they’re just basic goofballs. I might be over saturating a slight bit, but this is just my 5 cents. We do however have some cool newer bands like CEREKLOTH, PUSTULATION, STRYCHNOS, MOLD, BONE, CHURCH BIZARRE, DEUS OTIOSUS etc.
What is the current diagnosis of the Danish metal scene? Any really good bands that might make it all the way?
– It depends on how you look at it, I guess. I mentioned some bands above that I think delivers deadly metal these days, but if you talk about making it big, I really don’t know. Probably some boring shit like DAWN OF DEMISE (Dawn of the mice, hehe), even though they suck. At least down here, the Danish bands that gets the attention of most of the crowd are gay, modern-sounding, plastic, core shit. We besides the more “mainstream” sounding bands we do have another sub-scene where we try to present the more honest, or “real”, metal band around. I’m a part of the group organizing the annual Kill-Town Death Fest, a DIY underground death metal festival held in Copenhagen’s North West quarter. We offer some of the sickest death metal bands around these days to the public, with the strongest focus on the Scandinavian death metal scene. in 2012 we arrange the 3rd edition of this celebration of the current underground death metal scene, the bands and all the people involved. Check out our website www.killtowndeathfest.dk for more info!
I remember from the 80s/90s that there was a pretty strong DIY-ethics in the Danish youth culture. What is the status of that whole scene today? Is the DIY-ethic still as strong today?
– Oh yeah, I definitely think so. Gain, it depends on where you look, but I think that in the underground movement of the scene there’s definitely more of a DIY feel to it than on the surface. F.ex. the Kill-Town Death Fest I just mentioned is completely DIY and run by volunteers. We have around 100 volunteers working their asses of a day, when we do the festival. Also in general when it comes to shows there absolutely still the DIY ethics behind a lot of them. But again, depends on where you look.
How much of a difference is there between Copenhagen and places like Helsingör or Odense or Roskilde in terms of public responses and places to play and the local scenes in general?
– Copenhagen is the place to be when it comes to getting chances to play more shows in Denmark, I’d say. We have a lot of clubs and venues that take in most bands looking for shows. I grew up in a small town a little more than 10 km away from Helsingør, called Espergærde, and up there we pretty much only had one place where we went to shows. It still exist too, but it’s not really a place lots of bands visit or probably even know of. I honestly don’t know much about Odense, but I see that they currently have some upcoming Brutal Death Metal shows there. Not really anything for me, so I don’t pay that much attention to it. In Jylland there’s several places for shows, mainly in the bigger cities as Aarhus, Fredericia, Aalborg and such. The scene is slightly different though and some of the people how different opinions of things than people here on “Djævle-Øen”. I guess there’ still kind of a “fight” between the two places, with people from Copenhagen thinking that the others are nothing but a bunch of hicks and the people from Jylland thinking that all people Copenhagen are “pseudo”-swedes and what not. No offense man, you probably know the drill and have some of the same things going on in Sweden. UNDERGANG haven’t played many places inside Denmark. Tons of times in Copenhagen and then we’ve visited Roskilde, Aalborg, Fredericia and Svendborg.
How are you going to take Undergang out of Denmark and unto the international meal scene?
– By touring of course! We’ve already done a West Coast tour in the US with 17 dates and we just returned from a 16 date European tour with FUNEBRARUM. We’ve played varied places in Europe already and are working on some shows around New York with our friends in FUNEBRARUM and DISMA right now, besides another US tour, this time on the East Coast. Besides that our music gets published by Xtreem Music (Spain), Me Saco Un Ojo records (U.K.), Dark Descent records (U.S.) and we’ve been featured on a compilation released by Baphometal records (Argentina). So the language barrier isn’t such a big deal as you might think!
With a couple of albums to your name this is starting to get serious. How do you maximize the output in order to take it as far as possible?
– We just do whatever we feel like, actually. Luckily we know quite a few people from net-working for years and we get a lot of support from our labels when it comes to promotion to. We don’t have any wish to be the next METALLICA, we just do things in order of what feels right for us and then do it. We get a good amount of offers to release our music, we have labels run by people we know and like as persons as well and the same goes when it comes to getting shows or getting help with having a tour booked. We’re a very lucky band indeed dude!
When you are a small band how important is playing live? Can you make a name for yourself just by touring?
– I think it’s very important to play a good amount of shows a year, especially as a rather young band! Of course you shouldn’t play ALL the fucking time in your hometown (though we did it for starters, which I think have only been a good thing), but enough for people to know who you are and what your all about. Besides that, playing live give you way more experience as a musician than just playing in your rehearsal place. Touring is also a good way to get your name out there even further, but I think the best recognition you’ll get is by net-working and with the help a good label can provide you with.
Do you see a future for Undergang and what will it hold?
– More records, more touring, more boozing, smoking more weed and totally kicking ass! We’re just going to continue what we’ve already created and enjoy every single bit of it. You never know if you might get run over by a car tomorrow, do all you can do when you have the possibility to do so or weep later! Thanks for the interest in our band for the interview. Hopefully we’ll play somewhere nearby in Sweden some day!