Daniel Mikaelsson and Jonny Pettersson interviewed by PSL
Your debut With Flesh Unbound will be out later this month on ViciSolum Productions. Could you say something about the album?
Daniel: With Flesh Unbound is a death metal album that has all the facets that we as a band like to hear on a good album. It has livid blastbeats and brutal riffs combined with groovy and heavy parts. I think the With Flesh Unbound also has terrific vocals, cool dynamics and great musicianship.
How did you get in touch with Thomas and ViciSolum Productions, and what made you go with them?
Daniel: We were looking for a good label and had a few offers from different labels from both Europe and America. What made us go with ViciSolum Productions was simply that Thomas is a great guy who is totally dedicated and confident to what he is doing. He had already heard our demos and liked what he heard. It is also great to have a Swedish label, it's just makes the communication so much easier. I honestly don't think we could be in a better place!
You state on your MySpace page that you're inspired by Nile, Hate Eternal and Vader among other. Besides these bands, who else inspires you and do you look outside of the death metal genre for inputs?
Jonny: Sure, I can find inspiration in any good band. Whether it's a metal band or something totally different.
Daniel: Those bands that you mention are absolutley the main influences for Syn:Drom, but we listen to all kinds of music so I wouldn't say that we are inspired by metal bands alone. As a drummer I listen to alot of different drummers and I pick stuff up here and there.
How do you go about writing the music? Do you think of when writing the songs that there need to be a little of this and that for it to be interesting and fun to play?
Daniel: The overall dynamics of a song is what is important. You can't write an interesting song just by playing fast and technical stuff. In my opinion you need something more to make it interesting. You also need catchiness in some way. We work a lot with pre-productions and when were in our practice room we record a lot there too. We then replace, re-write and do that again and again until we got what we are looking for.
The songs on With Flesh Unbound were they all written for the album or did you use or rewrite some of the older songs for the CD?
Daniel: Most of the songs were written for the album, but two of them are based on older songs that we have re-arranged to make them fit the record.
How big a role do the lyrics play for the band, and music?
Jonny: The lyrics are more some sort of a guideline to the rhythms of the vocals. Besides I suck at writing lyrics [laughs]. As long as I can deliver the feeling of the song I don't need very advanced or good lyrics.
You recorded in Nevo Studios in your hometown of Sundsvall. Besides it being convenient what made you chose this studio?
Daniel: Our guitarist Roger Bergsten and I actually work at Nevo Studios so the choice was easy, not only because we are familiar with the studio, but the studio is a state of the art recording studio with top of the line gear. The studio contains a 56 channel Amek Mozart console and top of the line outboard compressors and effect processors. The recording room has fantastic acoustics and the microphone list is superb, so it was easy for us to decide on that studio.
You recorded and mixed everything yourself. Do you think you got the production that you were looking for, or is there bits and pieces you would do differently today?
Daniel: Well, as always when you do it all yourself there are some small details that I would like to change. But those are just tiny details and I honestly don't think anyone would notice if they were changed. Me and Roger did the mix and I know there are a few things that he would like to change as well. But overall the mix is nice and meaty, not too clean and a bit dirty, and that was what we were going for so we are really satisfied.
Daniel: Yeah, definitely. We started out sounding pretty Swedish, but over the years we have become more non-Swedish in our sound which is positive if you look at our sources of inspiration.
When the band got together did you know exactly what style of music you would play?
Jonny: Far from. We have transformed as a band and come a long way since the start. In the beginning all of us pulled in different directions. It's first in these last years that we have found our style and sound.
You had Jon Zig do the artwork. What was it about his art that made you pick him?
Daniel: Jon made a cover for our friends In My Own Grave and we really liked it so we got in touch with him and he turned out to be a fantastic artist. He really managed to capture the feeling that we wanted in the artwork.
What's your view on the current Swedish death metal scene?
Jonny: I think the Swedish death metal scene is as alive as ever. Both in the old school scene and the more modern scene. I think the extreme bands will get more attention than all the In Flames copies.
Anything you'd like to add to conclude this interview?
Jonny: Keep it brutal and keep on supporting the extreme metal scene.
Daniel: Thanks alot for this great interview. Hope to talk to you again soon.