Sweden has always played a key role in the evolution of death metal in its various forms and incarnations. Hailing from Sundsvall, Sweden technical death metallers Soreption come from the same region as Demonical, Diabolical, In Battle and Setherial their style seems to be a continuation of the sounds created by Theory In Practice and Spawn Of Possession, respectively. After a commendable EP a couple of years ago early this year Soreption debuted with their first full length "Deterioration Of Minds" through Swedish label Ninetone Records, who also manage the band. Masterful Magazine arranged a talk with drummer Tony Westermark about the formation of the band, their first recording sessions and the creation of their impressive debut album.Hello Tony! Thanks for doing this interview with us. Your new album is out for a little while now, and I must say, it is absolutely crushing! I guess you are knee-deep into promoting this new album in the metal press. Is Ninetone Records setting you up with a lot of promotion work, interviews and such?
Thanks for your kind words! We are very pleased with the finished result. The album has been out for a while now, since March, and the promotion work for it has cooled down a bit. It's almost two years ago we entered the studio to record it and our focus is now in the next Soreption album, yet untitled. We're in writing mode for the moment and also rehearsing some of the new songs.
Since this is your first interview for Masterful Magazine, could you briefly introduce the band and its members? A short history, so to speak, to get our readers up to speed with Soreption. So, the name Soreption, who came up with that? What does it stand for, an eruption of sores?
We started out in late 2005 and from in beginning we decided to record a MCD with good, pure sound for promotional purposes: finding a label and skip the "demo-stage". The result turned out great and Cube1 Records wanted to release it worldwide with distribution via Listenable Records. When it was time to record the full length 2008/2009, we felt that we had come up with better material, had more experience from studio recording and we all had ideas on how we could make the album better. The finished result became "Deterioration of Minds".
Fredrik Söderberg - vocals
Anton Svedin - guitars
Rickard Persson - bass
Tony Westermark - drums
I came up with the name. I wanted a one-word name and not a word that existed. The combination of words you've already figured out!
In 2007 you released the EP "Illuminate the Excessive", which was later picked up by French label Listenable Records for wider release. What are the progressions from the EP to this album that you are most proud of?
I would say almost everything is a level higher on DoM if you compare the two.
The EP was recorded and produced by Chris and Tommy Rehn from symphonic metal band Angtoria. For "Deterioration Of Minds" you once again teamed up with Rehn – what make his studio and expertise ideal for a band like Soreption?
He's a master engineer and we speak the same language when it comes to sounds. We're also having a blast when were working in the studio together.
Influences from Necrophagist, Spawn Of Possession and Meshuggah are easily recognizable, but also Death, Atheist and Watchtower can be heard throughout. Is there anybody in particular that you look up to, musically?
It's funny that Death seems to be mentioned from time to time in reviews and interviews since none of us are really listening to them. I like the classics like 'The Philosopher' and 'Spirit Crusher' but I can't find any similarities with Soreption. There are tons of great bands out there and we never want to try to copy anything. I think the inspiration comes unconsciously. One thing to mention is that all of us are listening to all kinds of music and we are pretty different to each other when it comes to name favourite bands. I believe that you can find something good in almost all styles, cool arrangements, fills, details you name it.
The leads/solos on guitars and bass are simply amazing. Is doing leads/solos becoming something of a lost art, you think? A lot of the classic bands excelled at it – but the last years have seen not too many bands keeping this tradition alive. What makes a good solo, in your opinion?
I can only speak from my perspective as a drummer. Most of the time when I listening to music I can't even hear the solos. I'm just listening to the background unconsciously. But, the times it happens that my mind pay attention to the solo, I know it's a good one. The important things is that it is in the right place, tastefully played and the melody has to have some meaning. Not just put in there to show off skills or whatever, even though I like to hear skills
The level of skill on display is of a stunningly high technical level within Soreption. How much do you guys practice, individually, as well as collectively, to keep the individual playing fluent and the collective performance so incredibly tight?
The practice is a little bit up and down depending on what we have to focus on. Before gigs or entering the studio it's a lot of individual practise and rehearsals. In writing mode it's mostly individual when there's time, just to keep up with the tempos and endurance.
As far as songwriting and the creative process is concerned, is that a collaborative effort or does somebody take the lead over the other and writes the majority of the material? Are songs born from traditional rehearsals – or do you guys write a lot individually as well?
It's pretty backward what we do. Starting off with complete drum tracks for the songs and then we put the riffs on. And last, the vocals. When the pre-productions are done, we listen to it all, learn how the fuck to play it and then change details on all instruments to get everything to work together as a unit.
For the worldwide release through Ninetone Records the cover artwork was supplied by Raphael Santos. Why was that? The original artwork by pretty neat!
We had just done the first printing of the new album when Raphael contacted us and asked if he could do a t-shirt design for it. We got the version of it and we thought it was spot on with the title and it looked amazing so we just had to change it. The first 1000 copies is with the original cover.
This album is your first for digital label Ninetone Records, who seem to be a relatively new Swedish label. How did you hook up with Ninetone Records, were there any other labels interested and what made you sign with them in the end? Are you happy the way Ninetone Records has been pushing and promoting its bands and releases so far?
Ninetone is a Swedish label and the thing that happened was that it kind of merged together with our previous label, Cube1 Records. We have had offers ever since the beginning but we found it very suitable to have a label, studio and management near us, to have a kind of face-to-face connection.
The sales of physical CDs is down across the board over the last couple of years due to piracy and illegal downloading. Smaller record stores and decent small labels are closing down every day because kids no longer want to shell out money for the complete package that a CD or LP offers. What's your take on all that?
It is, of course, a pretty sad story for the musicians and labels, but what can you do about it? The technology goes forward all the time so you just have to adjust to it. Soreption wasn't around before this, so we don't know the difference so to speak. Horns up though to all of those who still want the real shit and buy the albums! Nevertheless, fans will always come to the shows and I don't think there will be no way to download a t-shirt anytime soon.
With the combined sales of physical CDs, digital sales and merchandise – are you able to finance any touring possibilities for Soreption? What are the plans on taking "Deterioration Of Minds" on the road – first Sweden and then the rest of Europe, if the demand and interest of promoters is there?
All we want to do is to get out on the road as soon as possible. We are starting off with shows in Sweden until we get a good offer. You can't just take whatever you can get, in that case we could have been out since the release of Illuminate. The circumstances must be acceptable.
Thanks for the interview! Good luck with all your future endeavours. I would like to extend my praise for your killer debut album. The last words are yours.
Thanks again for all your kind words. We would like to greet all the awesome Soreption supporters out there, will see you on tour soon! Unity For The Unique.
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.
Może dzięki uwielbieniu Dissection jest na Heading Below więcej melodii? Może za sprawą Testimony of Ancients znalazły się klawiszowe podkłady? Być może dlatego, że kochamy Autopsy jest więcej tłustych zwolnień? Jakoś tak to wszystko naturalnie przyszło.