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maandag 10 maart 2008
Degradead: Stockholm guys with a soft spot for Gothenburg

Interview with Degradead by Vera on January 23rd, 2008

Degradead is a young band from Stockholm that recently released their first album ‘Til Death Do Us Apart’. Because this powerful blend of melodic death metal with some thrash influences pleased us, we had an interview with them. Their sound will surely appeal to fans of Children Of Bodom, In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. That night three members gathered round the telephone: David Szücs (guitars), Kenneth Helgesson (drums) and Michel Bärzén (bass). It is not the most talkative interview I ever had, but well, these lads were enthusiastic and speak through their music let’s say…

Your life must have been changed during these last weeks…
Yeah we are very busy: release parties, interviews and so on.

How long are you in the running now as a band?
With this line-up we started about 2004, but the real start of the band was 2000. We changed name last summer. We started under the moniker Septima.

Why did you choose the name Degradead?
It was the record label in Stockholm who suggested changing the name, because it is something that nobody had, something of our own. Why we chose Degradead? I don’t know, we thought it sounded good and quite original. We spelled it with a in the end and made it our own word.

The members of In Flames were impressed by your music, especially Jesper Strömblad. Can you tell me how that happened?
We are friends of Jesper because we know his girlfriend before. We gave him our demos ‘Rest In Pieces’ and ‘Death Row’ and then he got interested in producing our album. But Daniel Svensson and Björn Gelotte and Peter Iwers of In Flames were there too, they all helped us. They were always around.

It must have been quite impressive the first time in a huge studio…
Oh yeah! We have been in other smaller studios in Stockholm before, but this was amazing, quite an experience for us. For them it was also the first time they recorded a band there, cause you know it is a new studio (the studio of In Flames is called IF Studios – Vera). But they want to continue with us and will do our next album as well. If the time is right for them, we hope it will be this way.

I see that the release party is already sold out…
(enthusiastic) Yeah!

And… what are the expectations?
It’s going to be great! A lot of beer! (laughs)

You wind off with a nice acoustic track, completely different from the rest. Why an instrumental one? And why an acoustic one?
We were done with the recordings of the songs and we had some spare time. Our guitar player Michel had a song he played before and I thought it would be cool to use it on the record too. He recorded it on his own and it is an extra song. It is a spontaneous move.

Who were your heroes when you started in metal?
(laughing on the other side of the phone and this is what we get)
Starting when I was eleven I think and this was Metallica…
Same here, Metallica, Lamb Of God…
At The Gates is also a pretty good band…

You are from Stockholm but went to Gothenburg to record the album, what about this experience?
Yeah, it is a nice town. Great, nice people, nice clubs…
We had a very nice time there. When we were there during the recording we also went out in Gothenburg and enjoyed the scene, like having a beer on a boat, some nice food as well. It was nice to do something else in between because you have to perform so good all the time and play well and have to be focused.

Can you tell anything about the lyrics?
Lyrics are very hard because Mikael, the singer writes all the lyrics. He has his own thoughts about everything. I think that everyone can have their own opinion of those lyrics. There is something for everybody to relate to.

Vocals are done by Mikael, but in some of the songs I hear some proper backing vocals. Who did it?
When we play live, I do backing vocals, but on the record it is Mikael doing all the vocal parts.

The guitar player who is not with us now, Anders Nyström, has exactly the same name as the Katatonia guy…
(laughing on the other side of the telephone) Yeah, we got some reactions about this, asking us if Anders left Katatonia, no we are all around twenty-three, I am actually having my birthday now and it will be celebrated at the release party. We are all between twenty-one and twenty-four.

Another important event to me seems that you were on the Swedish metal Expo…
It was great, a lot of people… I think people liked what they saw and it was pretty cool… Other record labels even said they liked the concert. Very good.

And is it there you made contact with Dockyard1?
No, it was at in Berlin. We gave them our CD and we did not hear from those guys for a while but then we got this mail from them and we started working together. It was a dream come true. Everything is working out fine with them.

I read that there are several tour plans…
Well, maybe… we are discussing a lot of things but nothing is fixed at the moment. We’ll have to see after the release.
We have to see after summer, but we are very focused on the release itself right now. We hope to get some gigs anyway.

Are there plans to make some videoclips?
Yeah, we actually talked about it yesterday. But we have to come up with a nice video and talk it over with Dockyard1. Discuss the whole thing. So perhaps after summer…

Do you have some reactions in your home country Sweden until now?
Yeah we have some reactions, but not in Swedish I think. Mostly in Germany. Rock Hard and so. We have a really good response, very nice to hear.

You guys are coming from Huddinge…
We practise in Huddinge, but we live a few kilometres from there.

In normal life you have lots of contacts with the In Flames guys as well I guess…
Some of them, they are very busy people you know.

Do you have any contact with other bands in Sweden?
Not so much. We met Amon Amarth once. They are a huge influence of us as well. And Dimension Zero. This summer I was the driver for them. It was a cool experience. I was on the new EP with someone of The Haunted as well. And we hope to get on tour with Dimension Zero in Europe pretty soon.

Any last words from you guys…
Well, all your readers should check out ‘Til Death Do Us Apart’ because we put our soul in it!

That was the final chord of these debonair guys. This is straight forward death/thrash, so no philosophic thoughts like usual, just put the record on and have a good time!

Geplaatst door Vera op maandag 10 maart 2008 - 11:51:10
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