Patrick Rennick of MetalReview.com recently conducted an interview with Anders "Blackheim" Nyström of KATATONIA. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
MetalReview.com: Do you still consider yourselves a "metal" band?
Anders: Yeah sure, we see ourselves as a metal band, but without boundaries and limitations to our sound. We do not necessarily belong to a certain subgenre within metal. We're just playing dark and heavy music and keeping an open mind to evolve and being true to ourselves. I'm proud to say that I believe KATATONIA sounds like no other band. We have eloquently avoided the gothic metal genre most bands tend to fall in when changing their sound from doom/death metal to something more rocking and melodic. We're leaning towards more of a contemporary alternative sound, free of all cheese and clichés.
MetalReview.com: BLOODBATH seemed to begin as a tribute to old-school death metal but now seems to have become something much bigger. What are your hopes for the band in the future?
Anders: Yeah, the initial idea was to pay 100% tribute. We actually thought of doing a classic old-school death metal demo and even to have it released as a cassette complete with the cult fashioned illegible artwork/logo, just like it was back in the days of the underground years. But when we later cranked the finished thing on loud volume we were blown away by the power and brutal simplicity. A demo cassette release was no longer going to be enough. Sure it'd be charming, but this needed to come out and be heard properly, so we decided to shop for a deal. The people from Century Media were fast putting their claws on it. So the demo changed format into a mini-CD affair and that was it — Stockholm had its bloodbath revived! After focusing on the U.S. death metal style on the mini-CD, we went for the Swedish sound for our debut full-length, "Resurrection Through Carnage". It had this total Sunlight studio, Stockholm scene vibe to it. Bands like ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER, and CARNAGE were major inspirations and we were all into that shit when we were young blokes. Now we had brought it back into 2003 to show that the sound shall never die! We wanted to show what real death metal sounded like in the beginning in a time before there were only happy melodies with harmonies on every note and acoustic guitars and clean vocals saturating each release! We focused on the old-school death metal from the 1989-92 era; dissonant, brutal, simple! That is a style that is to evolve with care.
"Most people seemed to believe BLOODBATH was going to be a super-classy, progressive, original, and complex metal band because Mike [Åkerfeldt] and Dan [Swanö] were involved, but they were in for a real disappointment. This had nothing to do with our other bands. Then came "Nightmares Made Flesh", which was a very fresh cut of blood! The sound was heavy, raw, and professionally combined. We tried to keep the riffs and melodies pretty simplistic, but I think some of the beats are a bit more technical than what we had done before. This came naturally as we got more space to move in and more talent to play with. We took the opportunity to go a bit more modern than before and a little more varied. If we created a "Resurrection Through Carnage" retro sound album over and over it would be in danger of becoming a parody instead of a tribute. This time we felt it was more vital and important to let BLOODBATH itself show what we're about, our capacity as three different composers with our own styles and desires, and two new talented musicians showing what elite death metal efforts are about. A meeting of old-school values and modern capabilities is where we still stand today.
"The future of BLOODBATH is quite uncertain at the moment. We still haven't found a suitable replacement for the vocalist despite the heavy audition. Our drummer [Martin] Axe [nrot] has also permanently joined OPETH and their schedule is very tight all year around. [Dan] Swanö has also expressed that he won't be able to commit to gigs/touring with BLOODBATH, so there's probably going to be a few changes ahead if BLOODBATH continues. We're looking at either an entirely new line-up with the ability to tour and bring the band to a higher level, or the old line-up (plus a session singer). We're all looking to find a gap in our schedules where we can record another studio album, but unfortunately with zero gigs and tours to follow. We shall see.
MetalReview.com: After working with Dan Swanö in the studio on your other projects including KATATONIA and DIABOLICAL MASQUERADE, what has led to the decision to remove him from BLOODBATH? I noticed that he posted on the BLOODBATH forum expressing confusion over an idea that you expressed stating that he wished to take the band in a direction that was at opposition to the other members. Could you explain what happened here?
Anders: The main reason why Swanö is no longer part of BLOODBATH is the same I stated earlier in the interview; he's expressed that he won't be able to commit to gigs/touring with BLOODBATH. Obviously that halts the entire project to play live and get on tours and bring the whole machinery to a higher level. Also, as far as taking the band in different directions... Swanö has stated too many times he's not into an evolution heading for a more brutal sound.
Read the entire interview at MetalReview.com.