the old mausoleum it shall awake… Again!
Hi! Well it is quite a few years since we were active, so it’s not like we have been thinking a lot about Crematory… but for some reason people have started contacting us about releasing the demos and stuff like that, so it seems there is a growing interest in Swedish bands from that era, which feels cool.
2. CREMATORY was obviously influenced by CARCASS, your style being quite different from other Swedish bands of the time... More disjoncted, sickened, and more morbid in a way... How did you use to qualify your style back then ? Death metal, Swedish Death metal, or did you already have the gore in mind (Gore death metal ?) Where you only in it for the music, or felt quite convenient into other putrid activities like gore, subterranean occultism, do-it-yourself alcohol brewing, fanzine editing; cemetery tourism… I mean was there something special apart from the fact of playing music?
Yes, Carcass was my favourite band back then, but I was also a lot influenced by Napalm Death even though we were playing death metal. We tried to differentiate our self from all the swedish bands wanting to sound like Entombed. We decided that we would never record in Sunlight Studios where Entombed got that “typical” swedish sound and we also tried to tune a bit lower and play a bit more brutal music than the other swedish bands.
3. Do you remember who found the CREMATORY name and why it was chosen ? Maybe there was a special meaning at the time (Such as a band member working in, or living next to a… Crematory!). Did the band use another name before, or maybe it existed under other incarnations? CREMATORY might as well have been the child of two other bands dissolving into consanguineous fornication, or was it the very first outfit of you all?
The banded started out in ’89 with one guitarist (not me – so I don’t know where the name came from :-) . Some members had previously been playing in Afflicted Convulsion… but I am not sure what led them forming Crematory. They made one songs which was more thrash metal oriented and didn’t really sound like the stuff to come. They decided to add another guitarist and asked me because I knew some of the members from before. When we started writing more songs we made the decision to get a bit more brutal, since we all were pretty much Carcass influenced… this led to the original guitarist quitting the band to play other types of music, so the band was beck to being a one guitarist band again.
4. Which other bands did you feel musically close to at the time? Some bands often have contacts and traded friendship with other musicians who are close on a musical or spirit point of view... It's quite motivating and interesting... And did you share the rehearsal room with other bands ?
We did share a rehearsal room with Afflicted Convulsion and they were friends of us, but you often met the other Stockholm bands playing the same music. As it happens I am now playing in a death metal band (Crucifyre) with the old Afflicted Convulsion drummer Yasse.
5. Did you send your released to some CARCASS musicians back then? It would have been fun to know their opinion...
No, we didn’t, so I don’t know what they would have thought… don’t think they would have been very impressed.
6. Do you feel CREMATORY suffered from not being in the exact Swedish Death metal mould at the time? Do you think you could have been much bigger and get a decent deal if you originated from another country? And quote another old Swedish band you feel is also fucking under-rated, it wouldn’t solve the problem but at least few souls would know…
I think all the bigger record companies was looking for the next Entombed after Earache released their first album, so it would maybe have been easier landing a record deal if we had sounded a bit more like them. There were loads of Death Metal bands in Sweden at that time… but no band really comes to mind as being an undiscovered gem so to speak – a lot of them did record albums etc.
7. Who was composing most of CREMATORY's music? Was this a mutual effort, or did some soul show more investment on riffing point of view? Was there some kind of leader into the band, someone who had a vision of the way it should be, or did it naturally come from some death-metallers hanging out during the week end?
After the first thrash metal song it was me writing the music at home, but the arrangement was sometimes changed when we started rehearsing the songs… the lyrics would be added when the song was finished. I don’t think we had any leader or any vision really … but we wanted to be heavier than the other swedish bands at the time. No sure if we succeeded, but we tried our best!
8. Was there a special way of composing music for CREMATORY, for example taking some CARCASS riffs and playing them inside out, slower, or faster, until you have something with a special vibration of gore… Or maybe you spent hours watching horror movies until your body was totally haunted and thrilling and transformed like a livid zombie who sadistically played toxic riffs on the guitars ? (At least, I know ASPHYX kinda did that in their early days, they spend many hours watching horror movies, and it can be heard in some songs’ introductions at least)
Actually I would often get inspiration or at least find the right writing mood by watching horror movies… I wasn’t really listening to other bands to get inspiration… but Carcass could have the same effect as a good horror movie, especially Reek of Putrefaction. When I was in the right mood I would just sit with my guitar improvising and think about what kind of song I would like to hear at the moment … and just try to play the song I was hearing in my head. But the idea would normally be something vague like I wanted to hear some fast song with a certain beginning … and I would just try to write that song.
9. A discography CD of the band is scheduled on NECROHARMONIC records since about 4 or 5 years, but nothing came out... I hope the release wasn't deleted, but is only slowed down for some reasons... Can you tell us more about it? What will/should it contain? Did you hear about the MASTERCULT Records bootleg that contained every CREMATORY demos? Will the NECROHARMONIC release contain something more on a musical point of view? (I'm thinking about rehearsals, live recordings and maybe never released songs... Obviously the booklet should contain a lot of photos, pictures and a cool biography!)
Actually I think Necroharmonic might have released something by now… but we weren’t actually all that involved. The reason for the delay was mainly our laziness, so… but we would like to do a release with some rehearsal tracks and stuff like that, but I am not sure what will happen with this release. I have heard of several more or less serious bootlegs, but I haven’t seen them myself.
10. Was the band well received into fanzines? Did you answer a lot of interviews? Which countries were the most receptive to your music? Where did most of the fan-mail come?
Sort of… we weren’t really featured in a lot of fanzines… at least not that I remember now. I think a lot of the tape trading were with England and the US back then… and inside Sweden of course.
11. If CREMATORY could have played in a big festival of your hottest dreams, what would have been the best line up? Which would be the coolest bands to play with in your opinion? I guess CARCASS would surely have been there, but one could wonder about outfits such as the strange DEMILICH, the quite heavy ROTTREVORE...
Demilich would have been cool, but a lot of the Earache bands back then were favourites – Carcass, Napalm Death, Unseen Terror, Bolt Thrower, Morbid Angel… playing with Bathory would have been cool!
12. Did you ever think about reforming CREMATORY? Some Death metallic traces contained in some REGURGITATE songs show your heart still has something in there... At least in small quantities :)
I am only in contact with Joppe, the bass player so starting up the band with the old line up isn’t really anything to consider and I have been more interested in playing grind core for many years, but now I would really like to play more death metal oriented music, but reforming Crematory without the old members seems pointless.
13. Why did the guitars come back to a normal tuning on the "Denial" MCD? Suddenly the riffs became easier to understand, but some obscurity also left... Was it a choice resulting from too many complains from the scene, or you were a little too rushed during the recording? (Or had to face guitar problems, and so was forced to use guitars from someone else?) Did it show the way CREMATORY would evolve later if more recordings occurred, or was it only a kind of test?
We only intended to tune up a little so that the riffs could be heard, but we have always been disappointed with the production… because it was recorded in a more professional studio (compared to the demos) it got a bit too clean… and lame. So we tuned down again after recording it. We actually asked the studio to remix it because we didn’t like the way it sounded when we got home and heard it, but they wouldn’t do it unless we payed for a full day which we couldn’t afford. It was really rushed as well – we only had 2 days in the studio.
14. Maybe you even own a recording of these 4 songs with the real CREMATORY downtuning? It would be great to hear these...(Ok, two songs were from the demos, but...) It could even turn out in a killer release! (INCANTATION quite recently released a rough mix of some early album, it sounds more heavy in a way... I guess the same good thing could happen to CREMATORY!)
We don’t have any other recording of those those two songs… maybe someone has a rehearsal, but I can’t remember if I heard any rehearsal… we have to go through all our old cassettes some day!
15. What did the lyrics of the band deal with? According to the song titles, we can expect something very obscure, but I never had the opportunity to read it… Could you speak about it and develop the concepts, if you keep enough remembrances from this? Who wrote these lyrics by the way?
I only took care of the music side of it while our vocalist Stefan and later our bass player Joppe handled the lyrical duties, so I can’t really speak about the lyrical content more than that it was pretty horror oriented with some Lovecraft touches.
16. Do you know if some bands played, or even recorded, some CREMATORY cover song? It would be a really curious thing.
I don’t think so… most our songs would be impossible to play because you can’t hear the riffs!
17. As far as I know, CREMATORY often had a different logo every two new releases, which was a quite cool thing! Each of these logos being cool as fuck, it shew more creativity and morbidity each time! Was it a conscious choice to change, or were you simply bored with the last logo and felt like drawing a new cooler one each time?
Joppe did the logos… and I think he just liked doing new ones that suited the music better.
18. Some peoples might have been disappointed because a logo is some kind of "trademark" someone can rely to, but I think it was always great to see bands come out with new great logos (AUTOPSY did that on many releases... And it was total coolness!). It's a quite famous fact the one who drawn your logos, also did the one of UNLEASHED... But since me and my readers are into drawings we would like to know certain things such as: Can you build a quite "complete" list of the logos he drawn? Did he also create some cover artworks? And does he keep on making new logos? Maybe he's still doing something into the fields of art these days?
We only had two different logos really, but there were some variations on the first one, like we had it with more or less “gore stuff” around the letters – basically he refined it in a few steps. Then Joppe made a completely new one for the Denial mCD because it really didn’t sound like the gory mess the music was on the demos. He also did the Unleashed logo like you said and Unanimated, Necrophobic, Dawn… and probably a few more.
19. Now some time has gone... Through the years, we all saw many Death metal bands evolved, to smaller or bigger extents, and some finally played something very different from their initial style... I'm thinking about CARCASS, DEATH, MORGOTH, PESTILENCE, ENTOMBED and others... It's clear a smallest bit of evolution can't be restrained if your music is quite alive, but some changes where quite surprising Ah Ah... Did you ever wonder what the style of CREMATORY could have evolved into if you kept on playing and brewing the morbid? Do you think it might have become more technical and complex (Something like DEMILICH or simply CARCASS-Necroticism era), or at the opposite more simple and doomier? Do you think CREMATORY could have slowly evolved in a more Death metal oriented REGURGITATE? Maybe the second band was some kind of "continuation" from the first since you had to stop it; or are these two bands really totally different entities?
I think we were going towards a bit more technical stuff before we quit… a lot of bands at that time went in that direction so I think we might have too… turning into something similar to Regurgitate would never have happened though. We were always playing death metal and anything else would have been out of the question.
20. Did you ever get in touch with one of the other CREMATORYs? Maybe you have written some letters to some of them for example... Do you know if the German band listened to the Swedish one, and maybe you ever know their opinion about your sounds? (Well, feel free to give your opinion about their anyway ahahah)
Not to my knowledge… the german band played a totally different music so I don’t think they would have cared about us, but we heard of them of course… and thought they sucked!
21. I guess you're aware about the come back of an old school and morbid death metal wave, there are more and more bands embracing the vile morbidity, the way it used to be, and it seems Sweden offers more and more new bands into the old way every month. Some are very old school, so old school that sometimes it's not even real Death metal, but some kind of morbid thrash and could really remind of the very beginnings... There are also many oldsters who embrace the old ways again, many peoples create myspace pages in the honor of old quite forgotten bands, and some peoples even do some impressive works, such as Daniel from INSISION who wrote a massive book about old Swedish Death metal! How do you feel about this phenomenon? It might be great to live again all these memories, and see some old bands reform and play gigs as if it was 1991, and meet peoples who remember so much things from your youth... (But maybe some peoples tend to glorify a bit too much the past and deform things, and make cults from bands who were good but not sooo killer?). Were you able to read the SWEDISH DEATH METAL book? It seems the first Swedish edition was something special...
I have the book and I have read it.. great fun to read it! It seems to be selling fairly well so there is a bigger interest now to find out more about the more obscure bands of the swedish scene. Since Daniel was a part of the scene and also interviewed a lot of the people that played in those bands I think this book is very accurate… but after all it was 20 years ago, so there will always be glorifications and stuff like that. A lot of bands are also trying to find that old school sound that was mainly caused by the inferior recording equipment available to the death metal bands back then. Now everyone can get a descent recording equipment, so you have to make an effort to get the rawness of the recordings from the eighties.
22. Do you listen to newer bands who play this kind of Death metal? There are quite many... You might probably have listened to REPUGNANT, KAAMOS or VERMINOUS because I guess you couldn't make without them if you live in Sweden... But maybe you feel close to some newer fresh bands? There might even be manifestations of evil death right in your area?
Sure I listed
to those bands… I still love that style of music. But I am also
listening a lot more to the old death and thrash metal stuff lately
and not so much to grindcore or newer bands.
23. At the time, you were one of the bands to downtune your guitars the most... But now, other bands downtune their guitars even more… Being Death metal fans, we are all conscious about the 7 chords guitars and stuffs like that, it can taste good… But there’s something even more down tuned, the style of music is different, its more doom, it's more hypnotic, it's the sounds of the earth... It's drone. Do you like this kind of music? Or is it too much of "nothingness" into a record?
I do listen to some drone stuff like Sunn 0))) but it isn’t more favourite type of music. I think it gets boring after a while, but if I am in the right mood it can be really enjoyable. But generally down tuned music is something I like, but not the nu metal type of down tuned guitars. It should sound really sloppy and menacing if you do it right.
24. It might be an hard question, but do you remember which bands you knew from France in the 80's to beginning 90's? Were you aware of something really good? And what do you know of my country right now, in 2009, and do you prefer it in comparison to the old days?
Old french bands… not too many… finding music back then wasn’t as easy as it is today with the Internet. Massacra I guess… but I can’t really think of and french bands I listened to back then. I’ve been to France a couple of times but always on tour so I haven’t had any time exploring the country. Mainly what I know comes from articles in swedish news magazines and that is usually bad news (like riots and farmer blocades) or the big political things like elections (have to keep track of the president at least :-) and stuff like that. And the more historical stuff like the revolution etc that I learned in school.
25. Are you a collector? Maybe you're quite original in that matter, since you collect something quite abstract like... riffs!? I easily imagine your house filled with dozen and dozen of tapes with riffs ideas, and riffs ideas! Did the use of computers help you a lot for working on riffs, songs and morbid stuffs, or do you like as much an old 4/8 tracks recorder?
I did record a lot of riffs on cassette and when I was doing music for Crematory I started recording demos with two guitars and drum machine by just bouncing the tracks between two cassettes. Nowadays I do the same thing with a computer and some nifty software, so I have always been recording riffs to remember them. Most of the guitar playing I do would be improvising new riffs and trying out new ideas, but I will forget anything I don’t record right away.
26. Do you currently play in other subprojects, or is REGURGITATE make you busy enough? If you had time, which kind of musical project would you like to do? Maybe something a bit… Different ?
Actually I just started playing death metal again with the old Afflicted Convulsion drummer Yasse in his band Crucifyre, but so far I only rehearsed with them a few times. Great fun playing death metal again! I haven’t really started writing any death metal music yet, but I think I will pretty soon…
27. I read you’re working as a teacher… But what do you actually teach ? And is it a quite cool job ? Which aspects from this job do you like the most… And did it help in some extents to develop some aspects of your personal activities in music ? (Maybe ?). Are your students aware of your musical band, and how do they react ? (Do some of them listen to Death metal?… It might be quite funny, or maybe embarrassing, since you’re their teacher…). How would you feel if you saw one of your student with a shitty deathcore tshirt ? What would you do to influence him in the right way ? Ahah
I was working as a math and physics teacher (teaching ages 16-18) but I am working with computer support stuff right now. Teaching was a lot of fun though, and the students thought it was pretty cool that I playing in a band. Being a teacher takes a lot of time unfortunately so you don’t have so much free time as you would like if you also want to play some music. I am not all that serious with the music – I am not trying to make a living playing music – but I still want to do it a lot since it is my main interest.
28. Just by pure curiosity, how do you say "Crematory" and "Regurgitate" in Swedish?
Most people would say it with the english pronunciation… this is true for most bands with english names, but with a swedish touch… hard to explain exactly, but I think you know what I mean… sort of “swenglish” pronunciation so it sticks out too much in a swedish sentence.
29. What should CREMATORY worshippers expect in the future? Thanx for your answers, tell us more about what you want, and keep on living in peace ;-)
Thanks for the interview! I hope we can manage to do an ultimate release of all the old demo stuff with all the old photos, flyers, rehearsals etc we have laying around. I hope we can do it on vinyl as well.
Fan page: http://www.myspace.com/crematoryswe