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DEMIURG of today doesn't sound like any other band

DEMIURG of today doesn't sound like any other band
BANDS : Demiurg

We talked with Rogga Johansson (vocals, guitar) and Ed Warby (drums) about the third album of their band Demiurg, namely Slakthus Gamleby, released at the end of July via Cyclone Empire Records.





Metalfan: Hello. Since it’s our first discussion, could you please provide us with what you think are the highlights of Demiurg’s musical activity?

Rogga: This new album is by far the best Demiurg work to date. Each and every track on the new album really stands out with its own little things, I think everyone in the band thinks that too. For me the debut is special too, it really has a eerie atmosphere to it wich I love.
Ed: for me a definite highlight was being asked to play on The Hate Chamber.  bought Breath Of The Demiurg when it came out and thought it would be awesome to one day play drums on a real Swedish death metal album, and my wish was granted! And while I was and still am very satisfied with The Hate Chamber I feel we've outdone it on every level with Slakthus Gamleby.

Metalfan: Every member of Demiurg has been or is presently involved in other bands and projects. Where do you get the time and inspiration to do that? Is your love for death metal so strong?
Rogga: Music is fun, and if its what you wanna do then all the free time you have is spent on it pretty much. For me personally brutal music has always been what I liked most, and death metal is the perfect outlet, theres no other music that can compete really.
Ed: I agree. Time is sometimes hard to find, but inspiration never is. If it was I'd quit, but it doesn't seem like that will happen soon. I love playing death and doom metal and while I also play different kinds of music I'd say this is definitely the style that suits me best.

Metalfan: Apart from being able to make albums and going touring, what other satisfactions does your musical activity bring to you? Would it be exaggerated to say that metal music is your life?
Rogga: That would not be to exaggerate haha, music is prety much what keeps me going. Sure I have other hobbies too, like horror flicks and beer but I guess that doesnt categorize as anything even slightly productive haha.
Ed: Same here, not a day goes by for me without working on music in one way or another. My head is filled with riffs almost continuously and I'm always thinking about drum patterns and stuff like that. I also devour music, both old and new.

Metalfan: There are plenty of good bands on the metal scene of today for the listeners to choose from. Why was there need for another one? What do you think your band has to offer to the fans and where does Demiurg stand in the actual death metal scene?
Rogga: If you would have asked that before the new album I wouldnt have had a good answer for you. Now though I think we have a firm right to take place in the scene, simply becuase the new album is something I think many people would love if they gave it a listen. Demiurg of today doesnt sound like any other band, thats not something many bands can say these days.
Ed: There's so much bad (i.e. over-complicated, formulaic and simply boring) death metal being made these days and I think Demiurg is  a great antidote for people that love the old school groove but are openminded enough to welcome some more adventurous elements to the mix. It's not overly technical, but the songs are catchy and memorable and the sound, while familiar, is indeed unlike any other band I can think of. Dan's totally uninhibited contributions play a great part in that I think.





Metalfan: Some of the cult bands of the Swedish death metal have stopped playing death metal or have disbanded, but the most important ones are still active (Unleashed, Grave, Dismember, Hypocrisy)? What is your relationship with these bands? Is there any friendly competition between you? Do you have the time to meet and spend time with any of them?
Rogga: Those guys are older than me, and their music is already classic so I dont think we have much in common besides that we play death metal. So theres o real competition, theyre alrwady firmly set in the scene while Demiurg is a new band.

Metalfan: Your previous albums have been more or less confined within the borders of old school death metal and I guess no one imagined that Demiurg would ever stray from this path. I sure didn’t, haha, yet Slakthus Gamleby, your most recent effort, surprised everyone with an unexpected, fresh and bold take on death metal. Where did this sudden change of heart come from?
Rogga: I don’t know really haha. I guess the basic songs were easier this time to load with the other guys influences, they all played what they wanted and changed the songs into what they are now. I was surprised myself with some stuff the other guys did, and I love it.
Ed: Rogga delivered the framework for the songs and me, Johan and Dan just went nuts with it. That's probably why it works so well, we didn't plan to make something "interesting". we just did what we felt would be cool within the songs and that yielded some very cool and unusual results.

Metalfan: The change that Slakthus Gamleby has brought on is quite significant, some of your fans might not be willing to follow, was that one of your concerns at any point during the production of the album?
Rogga: In this day and age there are no huge masses following a band, not like it was before. So I am sure that the ones not liking it will just listen to something else, and we will also get new listeners I hope. So far I havent heard anything negative besides a few classic retarded remarks about female vocals not being suited for the music.
Ed: when Rogga said he wanted female vocals this time I kinda frowned because if there's anything I  can't stand it's "female-fronted/gothic" crap. Fortunately we got Marjan to deliver some absolutely beautiful vocals and there's not a hint of "gothic" to it, she somehow even darkens the mood I think. But that was a small worry, there's always people that read "female vocals" and tune out without listening first. I know, because I'm like that myself, haha!





Metalfan: Your music is at times reminiscent of the good old Edge of Sanity, and that is not a surprise, since both Dan Swano and you were part of that band in the past. Who is the main composer in Demiurg?
Rogga: I write the music, basically just a skeleton songs with riffs. Then all the other guys do their stuff on it, and thats when the Demiurg sound really happens. And that it might remind at times of Edge of Sanity isnt weird, after all its Dan Swanö doing the solos and melodies the only way he can. The man has his own sound for sure.

Metalfan: What are your influences (musical and non-musical)?
Rogga: Just about any groovy and brutal death metal, overly melodic or overly technical stuff isnt my thing though. I also love old metal and doom, all that stuff influences me and then I try to make something of my own with it really.

Metalfan: What is your opinion about your first two albums, looking back on them today? Would you do something different about them?
Rogga: As mentioned I really love the atmosphere on the debut, and the second one really stepped up the brutality when Ed Warby joined. I think what could have been done different is that we could have used more melodic and eerie parts on the second album already. That would have been cool and some song would have benefited with clean vocals besides just the last song too.
Ed: I got involved with Demiurg because of my admiration for Rogga's stuff in general and Breath Of The Demiurg in particular. Haven't listened to it in a while though... The Hate Chamber was a milestone for me personally and I still love that album to pieces.

Metalfan: About Slakthus Gamleby, could you please give us some information about its lyrical concept? As far as I know, it is a story about some crimes that took place in Sweden some time ago, the term Slakthus meaning slaughterhouse in English. What else is there to know?
Rogga: Gamleby is the town where I live ctually, and the name Slakthus Gamleby was just something I thought ws cool. The lyrics are pretty much on the same topics as on previous albums, personal horrors mixed with Lovecraftian cosmic horror.

Metalfan: Taking into account that your album deals with a subject like serial/multiple killing, do you think that people are essentially good or evil? What is your opinion about concepts such as good and evil, god and satan? Are you a religious person?
Rogga: I am not religious, and as most other sane people I think religion is the root of lots of evil. As for good and evil I dont know really, I guess everyone has their own concepts and own morality of sorts. For me cruelty to animals is the worst thing I know, it sickens me. On the other hand I dont care about humanity, probably because we are the root of all that is wrong, so disasters and such never bother me. If it was up to me mankind should be deleted, this place would sure be better off without all our shit.





Metalfan: Could you please describe in a few words every track on Slakthus Gamleby?
Rogga: Life is a Coma is pretty much a song that has everything if you ask me, its brutal and catchy and groovy.
Death Grasp Oblivion is more uptempo and more meoldic, pretty much like the material on the second album.
Travellers of the Vortex is a doom death song wich is one of my faves, its utterly heavy and epic.
The Cold Hand of Death is more the usual style I do, oldschool and groovy with a nice crusty feeling in the verses.
Cold Skin is one of the oldest Demiurg songs, written before the first album actually. It has Marjan on vocals and is a bit of a homage to Satyricons later stuff, groovy and cold.
From Laughter to Retching is more uptempo and melody, and Slakthus Gamleby is a heavy thing full of groove.
The last song World Burial is full on death, a bit inspired by acts like Bolt Thrower I would say.

Metalfan: Cyclone Empire Records is not a big label. Are they doing enough for you, especially in terms of promotion? Was it the only contract offer you have received after terminating your deal with Mascot Records?
Rogga: So far Cyclone has been great and they have surely managed the promotion excellent, so I dont think they are doing anything different from a bigger label really. I wasnt really planning a 3rd Demiurg album so we never really searched for labels, the offer from Cyclone came as I simply told them Demiurg was not on any label when we were discussing another of my bands wich are signed to them.
Ed: Mascot did zero promotion for The Hate Chamber, so anything after that would be an improvement. But Cyclone really went out of their way to promote this one, they're very passionate about the stuff they release and that makes up for their relative small size. I was heartbroken when The Hate Chamber was just dropped into a void without any promotion or distribution, but so far the Slakthus seems to be doing very well.

Metalfan: It is common knowledge that metal does not sell so many albums. Do you still have to keep regular jobs or you manage to make a decent living out of music?
Rogga: Yes, regular jobs are needed for sure. We dont make anything from Demiurg, besides the fun of it all. Wich is what matters really.

Ed: yep, me too. I don't work full time but believing you can be a full time musician in 2010 takes a brain the size of a wallnut. There's some bands that try it still, but they're sturggling whereas I'm just doing the stuff I love without any pressure for it to make me enough money to get to the end of the month. There is good money to be made still (shows, merch etc.), but I'm not dependent on it so anything I make is a bonus.

Metalfan: Was the feedback from the media and fans satisfying so far?
Rogga: So far it has been just great, high scores and praise all around really, we couldnt be more happy!
Ed: the reviews are through the roof on this one, with scores hovering around 9/10 mostly. We've collected all reviews on our MySpace and it's a virtually uninterrupted line of praise, very nice!

Metalfan: Almost every band has a MySpace account and offers some of its music via internet, for free listening, but how do you feel about illegal downloads? Are they promotion, too?
Rogga: For me illegal downloads hasnt made any difference, as I never have played in a band selling huge numbers of albums. For the labels though its worse, and that means smaller budgets for the recording for the bands, and that is really crappy. In a way downloads are promotion, atleast for live shows. But I dont think many people that download go and buy the album after a while, they simply keep the download and that is ofcorpse shitty for the labels and the bands in the end.
Ed: Plain and simple, no. Illegal downloading is the main reason for the current malaise, no matter how many people like to say it isn't. Record sales have gone down dranatically because most kids these days don't understand the concept of paying for something they can so easily get for free. Ok, so it doesn't come with a booklet/cover, big deal. They put it on their iPod and shuffle the hell out of it anyway. It makes me pretty sad, but it's irreversible.

Metalfan: What are you future plans? Is it hard for an interested promoter to get Demiurg on stage?
Rogga: It would be very hard yes, haha. everyone i the band are busy with their main work and bands so getting together for rehearsals would be impossible. Also we live in different countries wich makes it even harder. The amount of money it would take to cover everything needed is to huge to be of interest to any festival or prootor I guess. Demiurg is a album only band if you ask me.
Ed: Well, who knows... it would be difficult but not impossible, so I at least would be up for it. We're all seasoned professionals (...) so we wouldn't need to rehearse that much. C'mon Rogga, let's do it! hahaha

Metalfan: Thanks for your time and interest in making this interview. Could you please say something to the Romanian metalfans?
Demiurg: Thanx for the interview! I would like to urge the Romanian metalheads to check out the new album, I think they would like it if they gave it a chance!
Autor: Sake
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Demiurg

   September 14, 2010  | 0 Comments  | 6543 Views « BACK

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