In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with WORMWOOD. Answered by Nine – Vocals. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
We all come into music with our own baggage. We want different things from the music. How does the vision you had for the band when you started compare to the vision you have for the band today? What is this band really all about? What do you want with your music?
-Our vision from the beginning was that we wanted to create something different. Everyone in the band comes from different musically backgrounds, and we wanted to incorporate a plethora of things without sounding avant-garde. So when we first started to jam we actually took melodies from the guitarist and our then bass player previous band, so we had folk, rock and a bit of punk actually, but we were using harsh vocals. This was all fun and games until we started to feel that it lacked something. A spirit, a soul, something which would challenge us. Fast forward a few months and the line-up was more or complete. That’s when we started to use black metal as base-line in our music. From there we implemented folk, rock’n roll, atmospheric soundscapes and a heavy dose of Swedish vemod (which is a Swedish word for melancholia, more or less).
With this this mind we created our first full-length, ‘Ghostlands – Wounds From a Bleeding Earth’ which we are very proud of, but it didn’t have the essence of our goal. Actually, we didn’t really know our goal, but we knew it was more than we had already created. So we sat down and took a bit more than a year off from pursing gigs, sure we did take a few ones but not too many, and focused on something which would have this illustrious essence we were searching for.
And here we are now. Soon our second full-length album ‘Nattarvet’, which means Night’s Heritage , will be released and it has that thing which we thought the previous one lacked. We upped the vemod, focused more on stories which felt personal to those who grew up in Sweden and so much more. We’re beyond proud and we know that henceforward our coming released will me monumental.
Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
-You have one the musical lottery if you’re from Sweden, or any of the Nordic countries for that matter, and play extreme music. But coming from such extraordinary country, there are bound to come some arbitrary rules, therein lays the problem. Just because you’re from one of these places the rest of the world thinks you need to sound like A or B, and that puts unnecessary pressure for some bands. We try not to think about it and do our own thing, which intrinsically sounds very Nordic. But that’s also a good thing. The Nordic countries generate superior music.
When you release an album that get pretty good feedback, how do you follow up on that? How important is that I as a fan can identify album to album?
-For us we take read all positive and negative feedback. It all means a lot for us, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we will alter our coming release. We’re very happy that our fans love the song Tidh ok Ödhe from Ghostlands. It’s a very jolly folky song which is easy to sing along with, but we also don’t want to write another song like that. We know it would be immensely popular but it wouldn’t be true to us. On the flip side, if someone hated the harsh and fast song What We Lost in The Mist, we wouldn’t cater to them in that sense we’d make the new album softer. But nonetheless it’s important to read the feedback.
We’d be very happy if people from all walks of life can relate to our music and lyrics. We try to keep a red-thread, some kind of consistency but without making the album sound too alike. After 15 years we want someone to be able to play our first album and our seventh album and think “These guys sure did change over time but the essence has always remained”.
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album? How do you write the really cool songs?
-As the lyricist I don’t write music in that sense. Our main composer and guitarist T.Rydsheim have many different way of finding inspiration. It can be anything from a long lost old folk tune, to KISS riff, or it can be a text that I wrote or maybe an article we discovered together.
In the end, we all help to puzzle the song together and sift out whatever doesn’t work.
I saw Dave Grohl’s documentary about Sound City and it made me wonder what it is about analogue recording that you don’t get with digital? Have you ever recorded analogue?
-I’m paraphrasing T.Rydsheim here, but you really get nothing. It’s one of the most enduring myths in music. To record on analogue is way more expensive, complicated, problematicand It’s not really beneficial from the music.
What is it like to sit there with a finished album? Do you think much what people will think of it?
-When the album is finished and you’re just waiting for the label to release it. You’re just waiting for that date, which is the 26th of July for us mind you, wondering if the fans will like it, if the magazines and reviewers like it. That will dissipate as when you’re closing in on that date, because inspiration is still flowing though you. You have new lyrics, riffs just wanting to materialize.
It’s a mix of feeling. One part of you just want to relax and await the release of the album hit the world like a tsunami, another part of you just want to write more, come up with new cool concepts and explore things you didn’t do on the previous album. All in all it is a nice feeling though.
How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
-For me the lyrics are immensely important. I think most bands think their lyrics are good or important, but the difference lies with how you express yourself and why. No song that we have written we have felt that the lyrics are secondary, not the music either for that matter. Both are equally entwined with each other and should convey the same feeling.
I find the inspiration from a myriad of different avenues. It can be a book, a movie, an article, something historic, a feeling, a sighting in the forest, a memory from a vacation, or a dream, or a random title I thought about walking somewhere. There isn’t a single thing which gives me more inspiration from another.
Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
-Sometimes the cover art can be more difficult to conceptualize than the music you’re writing. A song needs to be true to itselfand hopefully have some kind of reference to the other song, while the artwork need to encompass all songs, lyrics and emotions. I will not disclose the meaning behind our art because that will ruin it. The artwork means whatever it means to you, as long as it’s true to your imagination it’s correct.
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
Yes, for better or worse.
What do you see in the future?
-I see our unbreakable line-up continuing to march throughout the world. Showing each country why we are the best.
We’ll play on bigger and bigger stages, and as we progress as humans and musically, we’ll continue to stay true to ourselves and create music that we burn for and the fans love.
We will persevere in an ever changing world.