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Spawn Of Possession lors de leur passage à Nantes


Spawn Of Possession lors de leur passage à Nantes Entretien avec Dennis Röndum (2012)
Alors que le soleil se couche sur le quai des Antilles, offrant une magnifique vue de la ville de Nantes à des musiciens enfin heureux de retrouver un climat tempéré, je me retrouve dans le tour bus de la tournée pour interviewer consécutivement Dennis Röndum et Hannes Grossmann, pendant plus plus d'une heure et quart. La nouvelle œuvre de Spawn Of Possession s'étant imposée comme le meilleur album de brutal death technique qui soit, je me devais d'interviewer le vocaliste suédois. Un très agréable moment avec un homme extrêmement sympathique, ravi de partager ses expériences et conscient des difficultés rencontrées par le passé. Pas besoin d'éluder les questions, il y répond avant même que je ne les pose...

How has been the tour so far ?

The tour has been going really well, with great shows, packing every night, a lot of enthusiastic people came out, it's an amazing package, everybody is really cool,we're just having a great time. No complaints, it's one of the best tour we've ever done.

Aren't you impressed by the large crowds for a technical death metal show ?

I was ! When we signed up the tour I wasn't sure because I didn't know much about the other bands but I knew every band was in the technical direction. I wondered if we could find a place together, but apparently it works, and every night a lot of people are coming. We all have like challenging music but we're different from each other and that makes it fun, I mean Exivious are the most different but they bring that Cynic vibe, and Gorod have their sound, while Obscura is a bit more melodic than the rest of us but they have this aggressive edge. I think it's a great package.

Why did it take you so long to make another album ?

What happened is that after Noctambulant we had done a lot of tours and we were a little burned out. I was tired of playing drums on tour, all the blast beats and stuff, we went separate ways and that was it. But Jonas [Bryssling] started to write again and he didn't know if he was going to make another album but there was no pressure from any label, he was totally relaxed and just started writing the way he wanted. And all of the sudden he had some songs, people started getting in touch like Erlend [Caspersen] who said “hey do you need a bass player ?” and Christian [Muenzner] wanted to play some solos, then he asked me doing the vocals, I heard some pre-production and I was like : “yeah, I'll do it !”. Also Jonas has a family and he has to relax on the guitar and take care of them, you know, it took some time. There were two or three more songs for the album but it was just too much work to record everything and we didn't have the budget or the time to do it...

How do you write your songs ? Do you have a strong theoretical approach, as it seems when we listen to your music ?

No theory. It's very simple, there are two ways Jonas does it : you hear something in your head, take the guitar, figure it out, work on it and it expands, or you just take the guitar, play a riff, say “what was that ?”, it might be three or four notes but that's how we've always done it. I didn't write on this album but on the previous ones Jonas would have a couple of riffs, we practiced, I added drums, we tried things, it's all by ear.
Most people think [there is theory involved] but we don't know really know it, except Jonas who did classic guitar like fifteen years ago, and I don't write on sheets or anything...

How difficult is it to find valuable musicians, of course for recording but also good enough to play live ?

I think there are a lot of good musicians out there today, but it's one thing to put up a webcam, practice a part a thousand times, fuck it up again and again, and put online the perfect tape claiming you're a great guitar player. For a band like Spawn Of Possession – or any band, actually – you have to be able to play every night. Drinking beer ? Ok, but you have to go up on stage and do it ! That's the toughest part of the job, especially with Spawn Of Possession it was really hard this time : when the final line-up was set before the recording we had never work with each other, never met. It was kind of scary : I only managed to go in studio with the drummer, helping with the drum-check, coming with ideas, Jonas did all the guitars, Erlend recorded his parts in Norway, Christian in Germany. And around the mix I recorded the vocals : in my head they are always in theory, because I just write them, then take the microphone and hope they work with the lyrics. But it works, I've never changed a thing for all of the three albums, actually. It's about experience also : everyone has toured and recorded in the band. But you have to find solid members who do this all the time because you don't make much money and it's hard work...

The lyrics are once more dark and grim, related with very serious topics such as incest...

Good question. I want the lyrics to reflect the music, and I always write about stuff that scares me – it may sounds silly but the topics I use are scary things. And for this album specifically, Jonas told me he was in a very dark place mentally when he wrote the music, and he asked me to write lyrics that reflect this darkness. The music makes happy, but it's not a happy music ! We should go as far as possible, and also I don't write personal lyrics – Noctambulant had a bit of that – because I'm not interested in reading others people's opinions, I don't pay attention to that. If I wanted good opinions
I'd probably read a book or something like that. Just because you're in band doesn't mean you're a smart person, that's absolutely not true. Most musicians I know are smart, but some of them are just “relaxed”, and I don't want to take myself too seriously. I've always thought that the music is the soundtrack for the lyrics, but the lyrics come after, and for Incurso some of them came when I was listening to the songs for like three or four hours, the melodies led me to the lyrics.

Why is your album entitled « Incurso » ?

I think it refers to some of attack, you know, like charging. In “Incurso” you can hear it's like “a curse”, that's playing with the word also. It's one of those words which is perfect when you hear it, so we told ourselves to entitle the album Incurso. I've always thought the titles should be like one word, and I think Cabinet, Noctambulant and Incurso are easy to remember, that's the point.

This album is critically acclaimed, which isn't a surprise because technical death metal has become quite mainstream over the past few years. You've been here for a while now, and played technical musical before it was cool, what's your opinion about the emergence of today's technical death metal scene ?

I'm stoked about it, like you said it has become almost trendy. It's insane, we've always got good reviews for Spawn Of Possession, but not as good as those for Incurso. Relapse sends us some reviews sometimes and it's like 9/10, 10/10, like “what ?”. When we did Cabinet we got good reviews and people were like “it's too technical”, but this what back in 2002/2003, and then when we did Noctambulant people had understood Cabinet, and they said “Noctambulant so-so, but Cabinet is really good !”, and now we come back and people want to hear Noctambulant. And I wonder why they didn't when we released it, it's so funny ! It takes time to digest and get into it, and also there's the fact that people start to play that kind of music, because honestly, when it's very technical most listeners are musicians themselves, it's easier to understand. And now every night there are people who don't play instruments but simply like the music and I'm really happy about that because we never wrote to impress. Never ! We're not like that. On the tour with the other bands there is absolutely no competition, everybody does his thing, and sometimes we hear some cool things, but it's not “look at me I'm the best !”. There is no ego, it's just about writing the music that we love. Now there are also people who don't play instruments who get into it and it's cool, because the point is that everyone writes his music with his own touch.

Aren't you sometimes afraid that the complexity of your music may be a difficulty for your live shows ? When did you find the time to rehearse ?

At the time we write, we never consider doing it on stage. We won't let that thought go into the way of the music, the music comes first. It has always been like that. Where there's the tour we plan a set and we have to learn it, and that's the way we always did. Everything is possible, it's just a matter of practice, but for this tour we had some troubles on some shows where it didn't click because we had a really bad sound and just two days of rehearsal for this tour for a 45 minute set. On a couple of shows we made mistakes in a song because something which we could not fix happened, and we just told the people : “sorry guys, we're humans, we start over again”. But the fans were really cool about that, they came up to me after the show and said it was good they saw we're all humans. laughs
It sucks, we don't want that to happen but we didn't have enough practice and knowing what we know now we would have done something to be able to practice and I think everybody would have worked harder before the tour. But that's life, you just have to go through it and if we do any more tour after this one, we will definitely practice more. The problem also is that I live in Sweden, the guitar player lives four hours away, the drummer three hours away, the bass player lives in Norway, and the other guitar player in Germany. Christian couldn't do the tour with us because he had a nerve problem so we got Danny Tunker who lives in the Netherlands. Everybody has a work and family, so it was hard and we weren't able to set it up... For Danny and Henrik [Schönström] it's the first time they play with Spawn Of Possession, an for me it's the first time I use a microphone on tour, so there are a lot of changes from the past, but we pull through every night as good as we can. I'm so into my song when I'm singing because I'm with the audience so I just go by feeling and hope they are doing good behind me, I don't know ! laughs Every night we get a lot of compliments, so the fans seem satisfied.

You said a 45 minute set ? In France you'll play before Gorod, and it's only going to be 30 minutes. That's stupid because in France everyone has seen Gorod before, while the last time you came to France was 2006 !

It's ok, I mean it's not my decision, it's something we've been told when the agencies offered us the tour, in the french dates we will open for Gorod, ok. We're not rock stars or anything like that, and the Gorod guys are super cool. But I understand what you mean. I don't know if it's politics or whatever, it works like that sometimes, it's just how it is. I guess we could play more if we were bitches but it's Gorod country, and it doesn't bother us.

What are your thoughts about downloading ? Have seen a decline of your sales or whatever ?

I think that the downloading thing has become the new way, a lot of things gonna change with movies, video games, all that stuff, but we have to take advantage of it with Itunes, Spotify, sites with legal downloading. Obviously in terms of money sure, it hurts, it's not a myth. I'm not judging anybody, if somebody wants to download who am I to judge him ? I'm not gonna wage a war on people who downloaded us. On the tour just for fun I ask the guys at the merchandise, they say “great cd” and I ask “did you buy it”, they say “yes” and I answer “it hasn't been released yet !”... “Oh I downloaded it, I'm so sorry you know”. But most of the people come and say they downloaded the cd, but they love it and buy a shirt for the support. What we gonna say “fuck, you downloaded it ?”, no way, we can't do that ! There are news times and I think you have to deal with and take the best out of the situation, that's how I feel you know. I've downloaded myself and I don't know anyone who hasn't ! The interesting thing is that a lot of people come to the merch, tell me they have already downloaded it but they want to buy it even if they won't listen to it because they like the music.

I let you conclude.

I'll just say hello you to the french fans, I'm happy to be here, especially in this beautiful city [of Nantes], we had a great show last night [at Toulouse] I think, the club was cool, the promoter was really cool and the people here seem very nice. I'm very happy to be back in France, I've always enjoyed coming here. We always had great support here for some reason, I don't know why, we played at Paris many years ago with Cannibal Corpse, at the No Mercy festival at Locomotive, it was an amazing club, we had so much support from the fans there, they bought a lot of merch. I hope I'll get some french wine tonight, the Gorod guys will bring some if I'm lucky. I don't drink much wine, I'm beer guy but if I can get a good french wine I'm gonna drink it !

Voilà la (quasi) intégralité de mes 35 minutes passées avec lui retranscrites ici, même si je le reverrai fréquemment au cours de la soirée et le lendemain à Paris. Il me racontera quelques anecdotes sur la tournée et l'enregistrement de Incurso, et quand je lui dirai que le seul passage que je n'apprécie pas sont les quelques secondes au tournant de la troisième minute sur Deus Avertat, il me répondra que tout un break introductif de plus de deux minutes avait été effacé par inadvertance lors de l'enregistrement. Attendez-vous donc à trouver ce morceau en bonus de leur prochaine sortie ! J'allais pour ma part me diriger vers Hannes Grossmann pour une interview encore plus longue... Avant d'assister à un des meilleurs concerts de ma vie.


Keyser citer
02/04/2012 22:02
Cool l'interview. Ça fait plaisir de voir un mec donner des réponses longues et passionnées, ça nous change des mini-réponses robotisées par e-mail.
von_yaourt citer
01/04/2012 19:58
Oh, je le déteste pas ce passage, je le trouve juste un peu moins bon que le reste, et étrange dans son placement ! Comme quoi j'avais raison, il n'aurait théoriquement pas du être amené comme ça.
Saku. citer
01/04/2012 19:52
Nickel l'interview, je comprend mieux leur prestation. On sentait clairement qu'ils avaient moins répété.

T'es un sacré Fan boy du groupe.

En tout cas le dernier album est vraiment excellent et le passage que tu déteste ne me gène absolument pas, c'est juste un riff de The Faceless à quelques notes près ! haha
Enenra citer
01/04/2012 16:00
@hurgh : Google traduction est ton pote. Celui de Chrome est apparemment bien foutu
von_yaourt citer
01/04/2012 15:00
Ce sera fait, mais pas avant un moment, j'ai du boulot dans ma vraie vie d'étudiant/juriste. Clin d'oeil
Dead citer
01/04/2012 13:54
von_yaourt n'est du genre à faire les choses à moitié. Ça m'étonnerait qu'il laisse les choses en l'état Mr Green
hurgh citer
01/04/2012 13:07
Ander a écrit :
Pour la traduction en Français, te casse pas le cul, on est pas des ignares quand même. Mr Green

Moi si, à part "brian is in the Kitchen", je capte pas grand chose en anglais. Alors je pleure sur cette interview qui a l'air passionnante. J'exige une traduction !
Deathstiny citer
01/04/2012 11:46
Waw, bavard le bonhomme dis donc ^^
En tous cas merci pour l'interview Yaourt, hâte de lire celle de Hannes Grossmann.
Ander citer
01/04/2012 10:08
Effectivement pour Deus Avertat, Erlend nous en avait touché un mot y a déjà quelques temps, par contre je sais toujours si ce passage "djent' est de son fait ou pas...

Pour la traduction en Français, te casse pas le cul, on est pas des ignares quand même. Mr Green

En tout cas, merci pour cette retranscription.
von_yaourt citer
01/04/2012 11:08
Bon, j'ai pas le temps de la traduire et celle de Hannes Grossmann ne paraîtra que la semaine prochaine ! Si jamais vous voulez une traduction demandez-la moi (ou faites la à ma place Mr Green ).

D'ailleurs au passage si quelqu'un veut bien me fournir une (ou des) photo libre de droits de Röndum sur cette tournée, ce serait cool ! Il n'existe pas de bonne photo du gaillard sur internet...


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