NECROPHOBIC – We do not stand on the side of light
NECROPHOBIC hails from Sweden, plays blackish death metal, and released their debut album The Nocturnal Silence through Black Mark back in 1993. The album was recorded and mixed in now legendary Sunlight Studio. In 2006 NECROPHOBIC released their fifth full length album called Hrimthursum and I wanted to know more about what is going on within and around the band.
E-T: Thank you for making such a strong "comeback". Personally I view Hrimthursum as the very late follow-up to the classic debut The Nocturnal Silence. Do you see the comparison?
Joakim: Not the musical comparison, but I can see how big impact those two albums have created on the scene. Saying it like that, you get the feeling that all our other albums are to be considered crap, but crap they are not. It is only lack of attention.
E-T: What is your favourite song from Hrimthursum?
Joakim: All 12 of them. I don't say that to sound like a total ego, but that's truly how I feel. I see nothing wrong with liking our own creation. That just means that we have done something really great. The intro is majestic and then the entire album is blowing you away and I guess that's why this album is getting so much attention.
E-T: Could you describe the evolution from The Call (first EP) up to Hrimthursum?
Joakim: From that day up ‘til now, we've been on a long journey and we have learned so much about everything being in a band. Both good stuff and not so good stuff. We have all developed as musicians and composers and we have also developed our style, which was quite blurry and undecided, if you know what I mean, and today we know exactly how we want things to be like. Yet, we have always had the same vision and goal and worked for it, so you cannot say anything else, that we have tried to be different things.
E-T: How old were you when you recorded The Nocturnal Silence?
Joakim: I was 22.
E-T: The satanic scene was just starting up around that time, was there a strong feeling of building up and belonging, or did everything suddenly happen with the church burning and the bad press?
Joakim: Most of that stuff happened in your country, actually. I said most, because it was happening here in Sweden as well. Necrophobic was not part of that sort of happenings, to create headliners in magazines of actions outside the music. In my case, I turned my back against religion in school, long before I started a band. My religion teacher was a religious freak and to me, he seemed a little bit too brain washed, so I hated religion from that moment on. It was easy to have this anti-Christian image when Necrophobic started, because our idols and influences had the same views.
E-T: Necrophobic has always played the satanic card, is it just an image or do you believe and put your faith in Satan?
Joakim: Call us what you want, but we do not stand on the side of light.
E-T: If I'm not much mistaken Hrimthursum is the Icelandic word for the Ice Giants from Norse mythology; does this mean that you will be toning down the satanic appearance?
Joakim: Hell, no. The things brought from the Norse mythology into our lyrics on "Hrimthursum" do not mean we're something else now. We just brought in a new dimension in our lyrics this time, things that fit, things that share the same ideology, things that go hand in hand with the rest of what we are. The dark parts. We are not Unleashed or Amon Amarth, a Viking band.
E-T: What is your view on organised religion?
Joakim: In a way, it's fucking evil, what they're trying to do, but I get so fucking upset when I see and/or hear about that on TV or other media. Kill religions!!! Let people's minds free.
E-T: Could you sum up and rate the albums in your own words?
The Nocturnal Silence: Debut album. Strong impact. Satanic. 5/5
Darkside: Dark, raw and evil. The Necrophobic "Killers"-album (Iron Maiden). Satanic. 4/5
The Third Antichrist: Hell on Earth. Explosive. Satanic. 4/5
Bloodhymns: Blasphemic and crushing. Satanic 4/5
Hrimthursum: Majestic, grim and cold. Satanic. 5/5
E-T: Why are you satisfied with your latest album?
Joakim: We are delivering 100% of what Necrophobic is all about. It has a great mix of every element that is Necrophobic, with fresh sound and great focus.
E-T: Why did you choose to record Hrimthursum in Dark VooDoo Studio? Necrophobic used Sunlight consequent up to and including Bloodhymns, why the change?
Joakim: We really needed a change. We used Sunlight for so many years, betwee1991-2002, that we had to try something else. We needed to work with, for us, new people to help us find something more in our sound. Working with Tomas (Sunlight) again, had made "Hrimthursum" as great as any other Necrophobic album, but letting new people in, unfamiliar with our thoughts and visions of our sound, made "Hrimthursum" to the masterpiece of an album.
E-T: How satisfied are you with the respond to the new album?
Joakim: I seldom see a bad review and/or comment of the album. We often see it on the top of the lists and with great points. We will soon be given our first sales report of it and it should be interesting, especially in these downloading times. Our label seems to be pleased.
E-T: You have maintained the same line-up since Bloodhymns, are you pulling in the same direction, and are the time of frequent line-up changes over?
Joakim: This line-up has been the best working line-up ever and will be the last. If this one breaks, the band breaks.
E-T: Is everybody focusing one hundred percent on Necrophobic, or do you have some side projects to get some distance from each other and try out new kinds of music?
Joakim: All of us have other bands (not projects) beside Necrophobic. We are so fucking metal that one band isn't enough for us. However, it's hard to compare to Necrophobic that has existed for so many years
E-T: How has Regain Records been treating you? Do you feel that you get the exposure and back up you need/deserve?
Joakim: We are very satisfied with Regain Records so far and we will continue with them for the next album. The communication is working fine and we get what we ask for, so to speak.
E-T: Will we have to wait four new years for the next album as well?
Joakim: No, we will probably record the new album this year. Half of the material is pretty much finished and we have more ideas to work with, so no more big gaps between our albums.
E-T: When you plan a tour, are you aware that there is a small country to the west with witch you are sharing border? Hint: It is called Norway…
Joakim: It is not our fault. European tours do seldom include the Scandinavian countries. However, we'd love to come there and play, so spread the words to the Norwegian promoters to either contact us or our booking agency to set something up. Spread it to your contacts…
E-T: It has been 17 years since Necrophobic was formed, what are your best memories from the time in the band?
Joakim: I can not pick a memory that easy. It's so many great ones. It's always special with the recording of your first album, playing in strange countries that makes you think that "wow, I created something that made me go to this country and people here knows about it".
E-T: And the worst?
Joakim: Working with the wrong labels and people that made Necrophobic loose important ground.
E-T: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Joakim: I wonder if I'm alive in 10 years. This lifestyle is not a cup of tea, you know…
E-T: What does the future hold for Necrophobic?
Joakim: Our time is now and it will only be better from now on. We've been struggling with shit since the beginning, but have never felt to quit. Our hunger for creating music is still the fuel and as the winds now seem to blow in our direction, we are hungrier than ever.
E-T: Explain why anybody should choose to buy a Necrophobic album?
Joakim: If you prefer to hear melodies that reminds you of darkness and evil, instead of just brutal riffing, if you prefer screamy vocals with an attitude and personality instead of impersonal growls, if you prefer a band with a strong image and dedication on stage instead of a band in regular clothes and no clue…if you like Slayer more than Metallica…if you like Mayhem more than Dimmu Borgir…then buy an album with Necrophobic.