3/22/17

WACKY SWEDISH UNDERGROUNDERS HORROR METAL MANIACS!

Written by: Ron Cole.

Last year I followed a pod-station called "Killing Time With Hatewar" where he interviewed these two guys from Hordes of the Apocalypse. I listened to some songs from their debut "Now They Are Here! There Is No Escape!" and became totally sold, so I started to follow their journey through 2016, and that's also how I became a part of Goregasmic as well, since both Greigh and Thomas are working here.

This duo doesn't follow any musical rules at all, but doing exactly what they feel during the heat of the moment. They will always stay underground and don't give a shit what others think about them. This has resulted in 25 kinds of albums/ eps in various levels, four labels and a live-performance in just one year and their productivity is still running. Their interest lies in horror- and cult movies, where they draw inspirations from genres that mixes old school thrash, death, doom, black and speed metal with hardcore and crust punk

Ron Cole:
Hey guys, could you tell us a little about who you are, how you came in contact with each other and how you came up as a band?

Thomas Nyholm: - I had an urge to create a pretty basic old school thrash band in the vein of Toxic Holocaust so I did a song called 'Night of the Cult' and sent it to Greigh and pretty much asked him straight out if he wanted to be a part of this band. However things didn't turn out basic at all. We pretty much went in every direction which really became our uniqueness as a band. So we pretty much did our first album 'Now they are everywhere - there is no escape' in very short time. Then it got released on CD through a collaboration between a Swedish (Fila Sophiae) and a Russian (Symbol of Domination, a sublabel to Satanath Records) label. 

Greigh Johanson: - In the beginning, I didn't even know Thomas by name, he was very anonymous during that time and worked very carefully with his one-man project Islandrocks. I was fond of his work and chose to grab him up for an interview, but actually I expected no response from him. Two years later we started this project together.


Isn't it hard to live so far apart but still manage to synchronize and drop as much as you have done in just one year? And how do you have time to be this super-productive?

TN: - It would seem really hard, yes, but if we weren't so compatible as people as we are it wouldn't have worked. I would never have asked Greigh to join the band too if it wasn't for my gut feeling telling me this was the right guy for the job. Because when we get to work, we get to work. 

GJ: - We are also very spontaneous in our execution. I personally work full-time, have my own family while working with Goregasmic Magazine. This takes up a lot of my time, of course. But I just have to put up a proper structure of the work so that nothing feels awkward or uncomfortable.

Your debut album was written and recorded in just two weeks in the end of 2015. Can you tell us a little about the underlying way of thinking about the album, as well as the technical; how you went about it, and what equipment you had access to during this time?

TN: - At that time we only had the basic program Garageband to a Mac laptop. So we recorded everything through that. We didn't have a microphone so we had to use the one in the laptop. Everything, recording-wise, was against us. But we kind of went around it and all in all the circumstances gave it a different touch. Like it or not.



GJ: - We don't think about what we're doing too often, we do what feels best during the process. Regarding the debut we had no plans at all, we picked up what was there, and the logo was a spontaneous work performed by Tim Nordstedt and the cover was made by Richard Molander in just a few hours on the night of Christmas Eve. Everything happened so quickly. The only inspiration I went after was Umberto Lenzi's movie Nightmare City.

I've started this interview by reading some previous reviews and I understand that there are people who have problems with your different genres. Personally, I think it's both exciting, interesting and, not least, inspiring. One can't really know what's behind each title-track, you have no thread to follow. How come that you choose this form of cross-over targeting?

TN: - Because it become tedious to keep a certain concept. It's much more fun and daring to not play by any rules at all. Surely this will put some people off. But hey, makes no difference to us, really. We do what we want to do. 

Something that I have responded to is that much of what you do has previously been called Moldova Hardcore / Punk. What does it mean? I've never heard of that term before.

TN: - I have no idea!

GJ: - Nor do I, acutally. I made a re-search for the music style after having read these comments and I find no parables. Our inspiration is closest to Swedish and American hardcore punk. If anyone can hear any Moldovan hardcore in the track below, please write to us and explain what it's all about:


In September 2016 your debut where released on physical CD via File Sophiae and Symbol of Domination. In an earlier radio interview with Killing Time With Hatewar you told us the disc would already have been out in stores in March / April? Why did it take so long to get it released?

GJ: - You can never predict how things ends up. We had problems with a co-worker that we decided to leave after several months of hassles. We simply had to look for another company and it went out much smoother.

Between January and February 2016 you wrote and recorded 19 songs in 16 days. This resulted in three EP-albums that you later released in a limited CD edition via Black Lion Records. Why did you choose to make three discs instead of an entire album? Hadn't that been cheaper for you in financial terms?

TN: - I guess it's because we wanted to be diverse so each EP has a different sound and concept. 

GJ: - We made our first EP as a crowdfunding project to afford to buy a real microphone. That was my only thought with that EP. Everything else was outside the box, we had the opportunity to borrow three drawings made by Tim Nordstedt so everything would become completed as soon as possible. The cover of the EP has really nothing to do with the actual theme. We made the other two albums while we collected money to the microphone, so the conclusion had to be a self-contained EP trilogy-collection.

Already on the first EP I can hear huge differences from the onset, it's something with the drums and its production has set a new tone and you've gone from a more widespread genres to a fixed Thrash Metal-act. Why did you do such a sudden turnaround?

TN: - I don't know. Greigh? 

GJ: - The only difference was that we switched the drum-settings from metallic to organic. Otherwise, I think we were on the same track all the time? We used block-flute, acoustic guitars, bongos, cowbell and tambourine in some tracks, but it doesn't change the genre we play.

When I read your lyrics, I find a lot of grammatical typos, and when I analyzed your third EP, there's a pretty catchy song called "Just A World Of Horror Figures" where you clearly points out about your grammar. Tell us a little about this? Is it all just something provocative fabrications?

GJ: - We don't really care about grammar, and this is something that many of our former listeners have interfered in (there have also arisen comments about this in previous reviews). Since we are working at a furious pace, it's sometimes difficult to focus on the language because English is not our first language. We wrote and recorded more than two songs per day, which of course resulted in small grammatical errors. But who are they to judge? We wrote that song to the critics who condemned us, with a completely flawless grammatical form to show that we can if we want, but we do really not care how it ends.


After four albums in just three months you bet on a second album. This one has a slightly better quality and a little more swing and genres changes from Psychobilly, Doom, Gothic, Folk and Melodic Punk/Metal. But something that I absolutely have noticed is that you use alternative instruments. In this set I can hear everything from banjo to accordion and flutes. Do you have more musicians as guests on these disc?

TN: - The more instruments we can use the better!





GJ: - We wanted to do something new that we hadn't tried before. In this album we have two guests: Filip Lönnqvist (Rave the Reqviem) on banjo and Pontus Bergqvist (Vittervärja) on a homemade flute in the form of a Wolfcross, and accordion. We would like to work with more instruments in the future.

You also have a firmer theme here that focuses on a former French film director. Is it a tribute to Jean Rollin? If so, why did you choose this man? He's not very well known in any way?

TN: - Jean Rollin was a great artist. I like almost every single film he put out. He was unique and did his thing, no matter what the audience wanted.

GJ: - I have always had difficulties with Jean Rollin. Sure, I like one or two films in his directing. But it really was a challenge that I have laid the foundation for and Thomas loved that idea because of his view of Jean. It also received the emphasis that it deserves, and it was received with positive praise from many Jean Rollin fans out there.

The first song is written and sung in French. Is this a language that has a close relationship with any of you? It's pretty unique though.

TN: - I have been to France more times than I can count for different reasons so sure there is a relation. 

I'm looking forward to keep a physical copy since this is my favorite album. Will it ever to get a CD release?

GJ: - File Sophiae mentioned that he will release it together with Symbol of Domination in the future. I don't know when, it remains to be seen.


Then we leave these gothic cemeteries with the adorable and sexy vampires, and enters wrestlers and bestial transgorillas over southern waters and climbs Mexico. Haha. MEXICO !! How where you thinking here? And first, why such an ugly cover artwork?

TN: - I like the cover. It is what it is. Just totally different. So it suits us. I have the original painting framed at home.

GJ: - You may ask our artist Tim, it was his view on my description and I think it was unique. We like it when things don't match the actual. It just have to be corked, screwed and unpredictable. I think everyone who seen it gets a good laugh and that makes us happy too.

What the heck is a TransGorilla??

TN: - Greigh should answer this. The only thing I know is that when we performed this song live the audience did like a dance, of some sort, I really can't explain it. Everybody did the 'TransGorilla' (?).

GJ: - I was mainly inspired by the movie "Night of the Bloody Apes" when I wrote this lyric, which is a remake of Cardona's "Doctor of Doom" (1963). The plot concerns a mad scientist who transplants a gorillas heart into his dying son, saving his life but transforming him into a monstrous, ape-like creature who embarks on a rape and murder spree before being brought to justice by a female-wrestler. I got a funny sight of this and twisted the whole story to my own. 


Again, you have translated a song into foreign languages (Spanish), and sing in it. Please explain, I love the internationality you expose your listeners to.

GJ: - I thought that when we're experimental with international themes, we can also try to sing in Spanish. So I asked my friend Wilhelm Valencia if he wanted to translate a lyric that I had written. He even came with the proposal to read up on how to pronounce the Spanish words, and he was satisfied with the end result:



Production-wise, this sounds much worse, out of sync vowels, almost out of step and a much cloudier sound. Do you have any explanation? I think it's quite fascinating to make this kind of major shift from professionalism to dysfunctional aural, or how to describe it.


TN: - What is out of sync isn't so much. It is just some small parts that were hard to get on the right track though our collaboration sending files between each other. The sound is weird, but well, everything we do is. 

GJ: - If I remember it correctly, we had lots of technical problems during this EP. The battery for the bass guitar was about to run out, and the computer and its program was generally tough and didn't follow up with the pace. Also my vocal performance was very out of sync because I had no audible when I sang.

After this under moderated EP you made a further tribute of any kind, namely, an album of Troma Entertainment. Whose idea was this?

GJ: - It was my idea. We are many who like Troma, so it just came naturally. This EP is mostly a tribute to Lloyd Kaufman, because we just have songs based upon movies he has written and directed together with Michael Hertz and Oliver Stone. I don't count all titles from their distributions as real Troma movies.

From here you start to play in a different way with the music. There is for example a part of the Radioactive Marijuana where someone scratches. Is it just any programmed setting or do you have the potential for such technology too?

GJ: - It was my friend Richard Forsström (LPA) who made that scratch-part. It's performed with a real DJ-set. And even there we hope for more cooperation in the future.

Now you are beginning to come back to the debut think again, offering everything from speedy Motörhead-riffs and "Moldovan" hardcore. Was that sentence, or was it just something that felt right in time?

TN: - The only thing I can say is that there is never really any planning. If it feels right at the time, it is right. That is all that is needed to get an album started.


You continue in the same spirit with the EP "Invasion of the Flesh Hunters", did you miss any inspiration or you just floated further away from where you finished?

TN: - Here we changed to the music program Logic so it felt fresh to start something new. 

GJ: - We also tried to focus on the traditional 80's Cannibal/Zombie-genrer here, which can be seen quite easy with help of Sigge Karlssons cover-artwork. 



I discovered a new genre, namely Swedish Melodic Death Metal "In Flames/ Dark Tranquaillity" in the songtitle "A New Sort Of Evolution". Is this a genre that you both appreciate the common sense?

TN: - No, not really. Fun to play, not so fun to listen to, in my opinion.

GJ: - What to say? Well, I liked In Flames debut album "Lunar Strain" and At the Gates four albums in the 90s. More than that, don't extend my interest in the Swedish melodic death metal-scene. In my neighboring municipality where I grew up, we had a pretty okay band named "Eternal Lies". They disbanded after their debut in 2002, but last year I was able to see their reunion gig together with Chromlec, Eucharist, Ablaze My Sorrow and Ancients Rebirth. It was a fun experience.



Next EP is probably the one that I find at least linked to, namely, "The Curse of this Observed Melting Phenomenon". It is totally freaked out on all levels, but tell us a little more detail about it?

TN: - This one has some of our most bizarre songs, in a good way. At the same time it has an old school Anthrax feel but with more wackiness. 

GJ: - The artwork for this one is really splendid. It's made by Australian artist Jennie Murray from Silent Goat Production. This EP wasn't meant to be made at all actually, we were doing a full-length album but noticed quite quickly how everything freaked out. It did not fit the concept we had imagined at the beginning, so we decided to save all the songs and make an EP of it instead.


And the next step is your third album that seems to go in the vein of "The Curse" though it seems a little more spacy of any kind. The cover is not particularly appealing if I may say so.

GJ: - That album has probably some of our best songs ever made, so even if the cover is misleading, I still think you should listen to it. The cover is illustrated by Adam Jones and I think he had some communication problems during this time. It had clearly been able to get better, but we had a deadline to keep to. Anyway, this is a stand-alone sequel to our second EP, "The Melting Body Horror Experience"



And so yet another EP, a tribute to Peter Jackson which has an intro reminiscent of the Finnish band Finntroll, but if I understand it correctly it shall appear to Lord of the Ring, which after moving foreward to mixed genres as SKA, Eurovision, Country, Melodic Punk and Hip Hop or something. Tell me more?

TN: - The best song on this album is "We will surely melt your brain" that is like a piano driven swing, big band black metal song. I have never heard anything like that before.

GJ: - I think Thomas also had Woods of Infinity in mind. The whole album is very melancholic and disgusting in a good way. My favorite song has to be "Ferocious Cooperation With These Abnormal Strangers" since it's kind of funky and reminds me of the Ghostbusters theme.


It also contains an alternative version of Bad Taste which already are included in A.I.D.S., why did you remade it?

GJ: - I actually wanted to do a complete remake of the A.I.D.S. version, but Thomas was not united with that. He wanted to do something that was linked to what we did right in time, so we just recycled its lyric to not make it so complicated.


Punky Funky Kentucky, your fourth album - even one of your album that is closest to my heart. When I read the information about this, I was completely set against the wall. That you even could manage to come through such a loss. You recorded this album twice, because the first time all the tracks disappeared, right?

TN: - Yeah and the first recording that got deleted was a totally different album. However, as I don't even remember how they sounded I think it was good as "Punky Funky Kentucky" is one of my favorite albums of ours, despite being written and recorded in two hours.


GJ: - It was really a loss, but what is already being said, it is absolutely one of our best albums.


And then you record everything again from the beginning only for two hours. I don't understand where the energy comes from?

TN: - I guess there is something wrong with us. Or right. 


This album sounds like a clean out old school punk / hardcore album, brimming with a cover of the Beastie Boys - Tough Guy, and then it continues in the same aggressive spirit and that's probably what I love about it. Why did you choose such a sudden transition?

TN: - I really can't recall.

GJ: - It started one morning when Thomas sent Tough Guy to me, it was as good as done already, and then we came up with the idea of ​​doing a whole album of the same punk twist. It was as simple as that.


The fourth full-length album feels like a standalone sequel to Punky, but with a different and mechanical touch. This sounds completely crazy and far from expectations. Album title sounds like Black Metal magnificent but is totally misleading from its actual content. Tell me more?

TN: - Here we wanted to take on the grindcore genre but at the same time being very old school. Bathory, Venom and bands like that.. then tapped into something like power violence. 



It happens some stuff outside the studio now I see. You come in contact with two other musicians to play live? Who are they?

GJ: - Tore and Hans is two friends of me and Thomas who later became our session members. At first it started as a joke, because we never thought we would perform live, but when Tore said he had contacts with the live stage, things began to happen. 


You released an EP with a recording of a rehearsal room. Why do you choose to publish it? It does not sound particularly good!

TN: - It was unique to us. 

GJ: - We borrowed an old mixing desk by Tore, which we would use to record our live gig. Therefore, we needed to test how everything sounded with settings etc. 
It was not even supposed to get a release, we did it as a fun thing only.



And later you where going to Smygehuk in Trelleborg. Who organized this show? and how many were there who really showed up? It's still a good distance for a gig.

GJ: - As I told you before, everything was Tores idea. He kept in contact, and we simply followed. I was really nervous during this time, but since both Thomas, Hans and Tore has the habit to perform live, I thought that maybe it would be easier for me too.
I don't know exactly how many people showed up, but the marketing was nothing to celebrate and I suppose it was only the district's residents who came. Perhaps 25-30 persons at most?


You played with C.U.N.T, who are they?

GJ: - They is a he. A one-man Grindcore-project from Stockholm who hooked up with us. We didn't played with him, he opened up for us with some noisy radiohits.


This live show was thus recorded. How has the response been after?

TN: - The people I have spoken to was pleasantly surprised. They want that we do more gigs. So we will see. Anything can happen really. At the show we also had free hot dogs.

GJ: - I hadn't played on stage for over 12 years, so I was really nervous. The result of recording in other hand, was surprisingly good. I didn't think there would be anything at all, even though my singing was a bit missplaced on the final mastering.



And you returned home, completely worn out I suppose, from one to two months of tough abrasive and traveling and you sit prompt and record one for me absolutely incredible melodic album that makes me think of Misfits, Offspring and Millencolin. Just like that as well? Completely unconcerned? What did you think of really, it can not have been much rest?

TN: - No rest for the wicked. 

GJ: - Honestly, I was totally burned out. It took over a month to get back mentally and I had to stay home from work for a week. So it was not entirely free of risk.


Just one week after you where out with another EP and this time in the same style, but to leave the classic horror theme, you have instead begun to focus on children's programming?

GJ: - Not completely beyond the horror theme, but of course the focus was primarily on children's programs. It was mainly about nostalgia, and again; that we can if we want, and we did what we wanted right then.





And for Halloween you made something similar again and dropped even more childish songs. Where do we have you? Everything seems completely chipped.

TN: - I don't know if there is any explanation for this.

GJ: - That one was just a simple bonus-EP for upcoming Halloween of 2016. We just had some fun about it. We draw some inspiration of Ghost, Misfits and Merciful Fate/King Diamond. Nothing more to say about it.


And what have we to expect in the future? Do you have more stuff in the garage to come out?

GJ: - We have already recorded two full-length albums, one EP and one single since the beginning of this year. No one knows what's happen in the nearest future. We'll see.


This journey must have been extremely satisfactory, but at the same time frustrating. You have done 25 different forms of releases in only 14 months. What about marketing?

GJ: - Yes, it hasn't been easy so to speak. But it has been fun, and none of us regret it. It has gone too fast to even have reached the market actually. I do not think there are many who even know who we are, but after all there's some reviews and previous interviews out on internet, so we are waiting on the to be recognized some day. Nothing shall be served on a silver platter, you have to work to get anywhere.


I hope everything goes well for you in the future. You are a fabulous and interesting project which I hope will continue for as long as possible. Do you have anything more to add?

TN: - Thank you for taking the time with us. All the best to you!

GJ: - Just keep following us, because no one knows when the next album is released. It could be today, tomorrow or in a month or three. Thanks for this interview and have a great coming weekend.



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