DEATH METAL THE BURNING WAY
1. Hello! What's up in the realms of SMOTHERED? You released one of the coolest Swedish-styled Death metal album of 2013, so we might send you something like "cavern congrats"!
Stoffe Eriksson: Hey, thanks a lot for the congrats. We are very proud and satisfied with our debut album. Right now we’re writing new material for our next opus are getting ready for our first show outside of Sweden and are looking to get booked for gigs around Europe and for festivals in 2015.
2. This album was released a couple of months ago, and you probably finished the recording and mixing at the beginning of 2013 or something... With a bit of distance, do you see the content with the same eye? What are the highs and very highs in your morbid opinion? How were the feedbacks: Was it all rather satisfying or did you read some surprising reviews, comparisons and love-mails?
S: I think the album was received well by the majority and we got some nice reviews and some great expositor from Terrorizer (UK) and Sweden Rock Magazine. We’re generally really happy with the outcome of the sound and mixing, however I might agree when people who know the scene say it’s got a “Necromorbus” sound. Which is what we paid for and what we got. We love it but we might go for a bit of a different sound next time around. The majority loved the album but some thought it was just another SweDeath album… Which it is. This is what we wanted. But the people with the ability to hear details in music understood what we were trying to do while the “meh”-sayers just didn’t understand and probably didn’t want to understand either.
3. The band was formed in 2009. Could we say your first album took something like four years to be composed? (Perhaps you need to be fully in the winter to be able to write good Death metal songs, so in reality these four years represent a full year of winter? AhAh)
S: Well, the
band actually formed in 2010. I had only started making some songs
with the band name Smothered in mind in late 2009. However, at the
time it was not even supposed to be a full-fledged band but just
a home project of mine. By summer 2010 I had found some like-minded
musicians and had started making music for real. Come scorching
summer, come deep cold winter, every season is great season to write
death metal if you live in Sweden.
4. Is it safe to say SMOTHERED wasn't influenced by REPUGNANT? In your music I feel no influence from the "newer" necro death metal (Or genres sometimes stickered as "Death metal' but finally equally close to black metal)... All your influences seem to come from the 90's and this is a good burning point in my humble macerating opinion! My favorite Death metal albums were all released in the 80's and 90's!
S: I really like Repugnant and while we’re not going for the same visual style as they or say for instance, Tribulation or Morbus Chron, is going for I can’t say I wasn’t entirely un-inspired by Repugnant. Our main focus from the start was to produce a great tribute to the SweDeath bands of the early 90’s and add or own little twist to it and not be afraid to insert other genres that influence us… And that would be thrash and black metal.
5. In some of your songs I also feel an EDGE OF SANITY influence, for some atmospheres, melodic touches and some vocals... This can't only be a coincidence, right?
S: Actually, I, or any of the other guys involved with the writing process of ‘The Inevitable End’ have never been huge Edge of Sanity fans. I like some of their stuff but I can’t say they’ve played a huge part in forming our sound.
6. If SMOTHERED was a fruit, what could it be? Maybe a rotten apple that would look very sweet on the outside, but reek very badly in the inside? Ahah. (Wait, your band-name means something like "Suffocated", so I would have to find one that suffocates the eater... A better idea?)
would probably be one of those flesh eating plants that smells like
a sweet fruit and then when you take a taste… WE DEVOURE YOU WHOLE!
S: Me and Staffan were just in grade school when the 90’s hit. The other guys in the band were even younger. But yes. Of course the grim bitter and awesome details of some of the sci-fi, horror and fantasy games, movies and comic books have shaped us to the form we are today since we’re all helpless NERDS! I [Stoffe] am however the only one who reads horror novels from Lovecraft, Poe and King. And that has very much influenced me on what kind of lyrics I like to write. The cold war-era movies that reek of fear of atomic annihilation have also been a huge influence on what kind of lyrical themes to go for in the writing process. ‘The Inevitable End’ is a mix of both fantasy and realistic apocalyptic themes.
8. I'm afraid the ENTOMBED-alike, Swedish-styled death metal, might have to face the same problem than brutal death metal few years ago: A lot of brutal music, a lot of big brutal production, a lot of brutal sounding beats, with a lot of everything sounding "brutal" (In another way)... But finally with a not too passionating or interesting music... Have you got an idea of how to solve the problem?
S: Not exactly sure what you mean but I can tell you this that whatever “trends” come and go and whatever the “elite” might say about a genre, we don’t give a flying fuck. We make music we like and if people like it, then that’s a bonus of course, but we do this mainly for ourselves. Death Metal has never been about trends for us. We have a word for those who think Death Metal music is trendy: Posers… Or better yet: Hipsters. Fuck ‘em. Fuck ‘em all.
9. Do you think SMOTHERED is a good live band? What do your gigs consist of, and are some cover-songs played in front of the beheaded audience?
S: Yeah, I think we do a good live show even though some elitist and dumbass reviewers apparently want us to jump and dance around like metal core/death core alternative kids. Death metal is like all other good metal just about head banging. I think we deliver our music live in a way that suits us and does the music justice.
10. In May 2011 you released a first demo whose 3 tracks were re-recorded for the album. Is there something cool to hunt for Death metal maniacs, or could we say these are the same songs in not so corpse-appealing versions?
S: “in a not so corpse-appealing versions”? I don’t even understand that remark. It sounds elitist. I don’t like elitist remarks. Jokes aside though. we’ve had a lot of fans asking if the old 2011 demo is still available and sadly it is not. We might do a re-release just for fun in the future but nothing planned. The 2011 demo was something we gave away for free at our shows and it’s also what landed us a record deal with Dutch label Soulseller Records.
11. Tell us more about your playlist from the last weeks... Is this mostly old albums, or did some good things reach your mental cavern in the beginning of 2014?
S: Right now I’m listening a lot to Abigail Williams’s album from 2012 called “Becoming” great atmospheric black metal. I really like it. Another band I can really recommend and that I am listening to daily is Whiskey Ritual and their album “Narconomicon” (also from 2012) who have their own genre, so to say. It’s a mix of Rock n Roll and Black Metal, and now you might think of Kvelertak from Norway? I say NO! Not even close. Whiskey Ritual knows what rock n roll is and they know what black metal is and they create their own unique sound. Other than that, “Mercenary” from Bolt Thrower and the latest Cannibal Corpse album “Torture” is on repeat right now.
12. What's to come from SMOTHERED in the following months? Will there be merchandising or something else? Did you already gather enough body parts to re-compose new delicious stereo corpses quite soon? Thanks for the cavernous answers.
a show in Hilversum, just outside Amsterdam in The Netherlands on
May 9th which will be our first show outside Sweden and after that
we’ll continue to write material for our next album during the summer
and autumn and hopefully we’ll hit the recording studio again in
late 2014/early 2015. We might do a show here and there in the meantime
but what we’re really looking forward to are the festivals of 2015
with MONO GOES METAL in Aarhus, Denmark as our first festival show.
As for merch, we’re talking to a couple of artists now and will
have a couple of cool t-shirt/hoodie designs coming up in the near
future which will be available directly from us. Lastly, I’d just
like to say thanks for featuring Smothered in your zine! I really
enjoyed this interview. Drink, fuck and kill all hipsters.