Things have been going quick from Swedish technical death metal formation Spawn Of Possession. In 2003 they released their debut "Cabinet" through Unique Leader Records and would spent the next year touring Europe several times with many genre veterans including Cannibal Corpse, Hypocrisy, Vile, Severed Savior, Vomitory and Hate Eternal. May 31st saw the release of "Noctambulant", Spawn Of Possession's second offering to date and debut for Neurotic Records. After a few quick mails up and down to Neurotic Records head honcho Ruud Lemmen, I was able to get a hold of drummer Dennis Röndum. As always, Röndum is a pleasure to interview and he's no stranger to elaborate on the questions I had prepared for him.Hi! Thanks for taking time out to talk to us. How's everything for the band as of late?
Right now things are pretty calm. We did the Hate Eternal tour right before the summer but after that we haven't played any shows.
Congratulations on "Noctambulant". Your new album has been out for quite some time now, how would you describe the reactions it has been getting in the specialized press so far?
I've seen nothing but great reactions so far. The press and the fans really seem to appreciate the album and that feels really good.
The record is a pretty dense affair with increased levels of technicality on about every aspect. Musically, how would you say you've progressed compared to the previous album?
I think we've progressed on every musical aspect since "Cabinet". Not only in the technical field but also as song writers in general! I think we've added more groove to our sound and also taken a step further into being more diversified than before. For this album we felt more experimental than ever and didn't really hold back on anything.
I think you've succeed in giving the music some identity, a sound and style that people will recognize as Spawn of Possession. Do you feel you've found the right style and image for the band?
We've found the right style for now, but I'd like to think of Spawn as a band that always digs deeper into the sonic realms so therefore I'm not sure if the band will sound like this in the future. I guess there will always be some sort of red thread connecting us between the albums. We're always on the lookout for new ideas that excites us, so I'm pretty sure we will take what we have and continue to progress.
Spawn of Possession is one of those bands that keep the leads alive in their music. How important are leads in general terms for a band like your self?
For this band I think they are essential but, I mean, some bands do fine without them and sound great either way. We all like good solid leads and that's why we have them. I think they add a little extra dimension to the songs that makes it more interesting to the listener.
The album is graced with an incredible pristine production that is very easy to listen to. I take it you are satisfied with the studios you've worked with to produce and mix this record?
Absolutely! I think the production on "Noctambulant" is the best one we've had yet and it goes very much hand in hand with the songs. We wanted it a bit darker this time but still with a lot of clarity and I think that's exactly what we got. Of course, a lot of the credit goes to our producer Mankan Sedenberg who did an amazing job mixing it down at Pama Studios.
"Noctambulant" also features a couple of well-known guest contributions, including Dusty (Severed Savior), Robbe (Disavowed) and Pat (Cannibal Corpse). How did those come about? Was it difficult, logistically, to get everyone to the studio in time?
Those guys are all friends of the band and we've toured with them in the past, so we felt it would be a good treat to invite them to our album. We realized early on that flying them in would be too much trouble, so instead they all recorded their pieces where they live and had it sent to us. Pat recorded his solo with Erik Rutan at Mana Studios, Dusty recorded his vocals with Matt Sotelo at Legion Studio and Bob recorded his vocals at his own studio so everything worked out great! I think it's an honour to have those guys on the album; they're all really cool people!
Which bands have had a huge impact on your playing and writing?
I'd say that early on we were hooked on bands like Suffocation, Gorguts, Morbid Angel, Death a.o. but for this album I don't think we had that many influences. We were more secure on what we were capable of and we kinda knew what we wanted, so we didn't really pay that much attention to what other bands was doing. But, of course, without the above mentioned bands we wouldn't have started Spawn in the first place; they've all had a major impact on us.
Death metal is often associated with rather superficial and misogynist lyrics. How important are lyrics in the overall picture for a band like Spawn of Possession?
I think they are just as important as the music and it's always been crucial to me that the lyrics are as convincing and solid as the rest of what the band encompass. I see death metal as a very spiritual form of music and that's why I think many bands write about superficial things as this is something that goes very well with the music.
What kind of topics do the lyrics deal with and do they have a specific meaning for you?
To me it's always been about creating an escape for the listener. I am in no way a preacher that tries to make people believe what I believe. I want the listener to step into the world I create and get more involved with the atmosphere of the music. The lyrics for "Noctambulant" are one long story that takes you on a journey away from all the mundane affairs. It's basically about the conflict between good and evil and it all manifests itself into a certain individual that is torn between these sides of choice.
There's a track on the new record called ‘Dead and Grotesque' - is this the same track as on your 2000 demo "The Forbidden"?
Yes, that's right! Before "Cabinet" we had done two demos and we felt the material on those demos was so good that we recorded all of those songs except one for "Cabinet". The one that got left out was ‘Dead and Grotesque' so we kept it for this album instead and I think it came out great.
The album also features some great cover art by Pär Olofsson. How was it working with him different than working with George Prasinis for your debut?
It was basically the same kind of deal where we would have the artist send us sketches of his progress and let us have our input on it. I think they are both extremely talented and the reason we went with Pär on this album was that we wanted to try something different.
Since "Cabinet" Jonas Renvaktar has joined as fulltime vocalist. I guess it was only sort of natural to have him become a permanent member after all the tours he did?
Yeah, we felt it would be a good opportunity to break the news by putting that on the album. However, I don't think there were that many reactions because most people including ourselves have viewed him as a fulltime member for years now anyway.
"Cabinet" was released through Unique Leader and this album comes to us by way of Neurotic Records. Have you noticed any differences between both labels so far?
I think they have different ways of working and both are good. I do think Neurotic is more suitable for us as a label.
Do you have any live activities scheduled for the coming months in support of this incredible new album?
Actually, no! Things have been pretty slow so there's nothing on the agenda right now.
Recently you dropped off a Skinless tour due to some family problems. I take it everything is safe and sound again?
Yeah, more or less! It was a total bummer that we had to cancel that tour because we were all really hyped to do it but things just didn't work out at home so we had to pass.
Besides touring, what else is on the platter for Spawn of Possession for the remainder of the year?
Right now, we're just taking it day-by-day. "Noctambulant" was a little bit of a burn-out to write and record because of the almost inhuman standards sometimes, so we've decided not to stress anything that concerns the band.
Thanks a lot for your time. The closing comment is up to you...
Thanx a lot for all your nice comments in this interview! I also want to thank our Polish fans out there who are absolutely phenomenal and have supported us a great deal. Last I want to give horns up to our brothers in Shadowsland. Cheers!
Na nowej płycie znajdziecie numer "Krasnodar Kitchen", opowiada on o zakochanych ptaszkach – Dmitry i Natalii Baksheevy z Rosji. Para przyznała się do kilkunastu morderstw od 1999. Podczas przeszukania znaleziono zdjęcia przedstawiające świąteczną kolację, gdzie dekoracjami stołu były ludzkie części ciała.
Czy damy radę wpasować się w panujące dzisiaj trendy tego nie wiem. Mam nadzieję, że tak i płyta zdoła troszkę namieszać i odbije się to echem w środowisku. Mam też nadzieję, że będziemy w stanie pokazać, że scena ma się dobrze i zachęcić innych do tego że warto coś robić mimo tego, że się mieszka daleko od siebie.
Jest old school, bo nie zagraliśmy ani jednego oryginalnego dźwięku, kawałki są krótkie, jest w nich mnóstwo thrashu i punka, szczypta death metalu – to dla wielu będzie właśnie przepisem na grindcore, zmieniają się tylko proporcje. Nie boli nas ta łata, nie chce nam się też szukać innej.