Sweden is still so much more than cheesy power metal and watered out melodic death metal though it often seem that way nowadays. Swedish brutal death metallers Visceral Bleeding recently released their second album Transcend into Ferocity through Dutch label Neurotic Records. Not that many Swedish bands play death metal so heavily inspired by U.S. death metal so it really sparked my curiosity. So when I got the opportunity to ask drummer Tobias "Rotten Boy" Persson some questions I couldn't let the chance pass me by.

Tobias Persson interviewed by PSL

How are thing going in Sweden at the moment?
Things are good. Just came back from a four day drinking fest at Sweden Rock Festival. We didn't play there or anything just enjoyed a lot of great bands and had fun.

Please start out by telling the story of how the band was formed!
Well, the band was started by Peter and Niklas Dewerud in the late 90's because they thought that there weren't enough brutal bands around that were playing a more U.S inspired death metal. Later on Calle, Dennis and Marcus joined the band and the mayhem could start. The first demo, Internal Decomposition, was released in 2000 and received good reviews and Chris at Retribute Records decided to sign the band. The band then recorded their first full-length album in November December 2001, named Remnants of Deprivation, and like the demo this album got nothing but good reviews. Just shortly after the recording of Remnants of Deprivation Niklas decided to leave the band due to lack of time and commitment. He felt that he wanted to dedicate his time to Spawn Of Possession instead and that's when I came into the picture. I got a call from Marcus who's been my friend for many years asking me to try out as a drummer for the band. Never played drums seriously before since I'm a guitarist originally I saw this as a great challenge and decided to give it a try and it worked out really good. Now, after two years of hard work for me and one year of constant song writing a new Visceral Bleeding album has been unleashed upon the world.

Which bands have had a huge impact on your music?
Peter is very influenced by bands such as Suffocation, Monstrosity, Dying Fetus etc so they've all had a big impact on our music. My influences come from slightly different bands such as Meshuggah, Darkane, Scarve and so on.

How would you in your own words describe Transcend into Ferocity?
A violent motherfucker [laughs].

How would you say you've progressed compared to the previous album Remnants of Deprivation?
If you compare this album to our last one this is more extreme in every way. All the elements in our music have been enhanced and that was pretty much our goal with this record, to put it to its extreme. I haven't really thought about how we have progressed but I have somewhat of a different take on how the drums should be than the last drummer so the drums on this album sounds a bit different from the last. I'm really influenced by drummers like Tomas Haake from Meshuggah and Peter Wildoer from Darkane so I try to put that kind of drumming into our music and the result is kinda different from standard death metal drumming I think. Calle has also put more energy this time in to making more cool bass patterns and cool harmonies. I think you will hear even more of that on the next album. We've just grown as musicians and we know what kind of music we want to do and how to do it.

How do you approach things when writing music?
The way we do it is that Peter comes to the rehearsal room with a bunch of riffs and then we just fool around with them trying to see what kind of drums they need and try different arrangements on them. We want to make as interesting and unexpected arrangements as possible so we never get predictable.

What inspires you when writing lyrics?
What we do is that we first come up with cool titles for the songs and after that Peter starts writing the lyrics for them based on the title. I don't think Peter is especially influenced by any bands or so when it comes to writing lyrics, he just wants to write brutal lyrics with a hint of humour in them.

It may be a little early to ask but how has the response been so far to Transcend into Ferocity?
It's been great, so far all the reviews on the album have been great and people seem to love it. I think the album is selling quite well.

What led to the departure of Dennis?
He just has too much to do with Spawn Of Possession in which he plays the drums. Things are going great for them with a lot of tours and shows so it's hard for him to commit to two bands when it comes to time. And since things are starting to go well for us too he really can't take the time of from work to go out and play with us as well… It's sad that it has to be this way but we all have understanding for his situation so there are absolutely no hard feelings.

Could you provide some details regarding your new vocalist Tommy?
It was Renvakter, Spawn Of Possession's live singer, who told us about him 'cause they come from the same town. Tommy's never been a front figure before so were still trying to mold him after what we want but he's getting better and better for every gig we do. But he's got no problems with singing the songs and so on. I think it will turn out good.

You signed with Neurotic Records earlier this year. How did that deal come around?
Since our last album we've been fishing around for a new deal and Dennis has really good contact with Ruud at Unique Leader's European office, since Spawn Of Possession is on Unique Leader, so he sent over one of the new songs to Ruud and he was instantly interested so he signed us to his own label Neurotic Records.

What bands got you into metal in the first place?
For me it was Machine Head's Burn My Eyes album that really got me interested in playing metal. Before that I was mostly playing stuff like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. The whole grunge thing. But I've always listened to metal as well. My first metal memory is from when I was like five or something and I was standing on the attic at home playing air guitar and screaming away to Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It".

Which five records have influenced you the most?
Machine Head Burn My Eyes, Entombed Wolverine Blues, At The Gates Slaughter of the Soul, Meshuggah Destroy Erase Improve and Strapping Young Lad City.

Are you expecting to tour outside Sweden this year?

Hopefully we'll go on tour later this fall but nothing has been a hundred percent confirmed yet. Ruud is really working his ass off to get us on a good tour.

What's the funniest/worst thing you've ever experienced when playing live?
Well, I've had some bad luck when we've played live. The first gig we did in over two years a couple of months ago, which was in Malmö down in the south of Sweden, my tom-stand fell off the drumstage because the drumstage was so fucking small. I had to throw my drumsticks away and dive after it in the middle of a song to prevent it from smashing into the ground. On the same concert Marcus broke a string in the second song and had to go and change it backstage because he didn't have a backup guitar. It was extremely embarrassing then but looking back at it was kinda funny.

The funniest thing so far for us was when we played at Fuck the Commerce in Germany. The rain was poring down the day that we we're playing so we thought we'd have to play in front of like 20 people or so but just before our gig they decided to move the festival into their huge beer-tent which could hold about three thousand people. So instead of playing in front of 20 people we got to play in front of at least 2000 people and that was fucking awesome!

Anything you'd like to add to conclude this interview?
If you haven't checked out our new album Transcend into Ferocity yet be sure to do so because it's a violent motherfucker that you don't wanna miss! Thanks for the interview and all the support.

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