Authentic old-school Swedish death metal gang Entrails released their fourth album since re-emerging in May, so ZT spoke to sole survivor Jimmy Lundqvist about it.
Entrails were there. They were creating death metal, playing shows and doing all the rest in Sweden in the very early 90s. Ok, maybe they weren’t doing all the rest in a scene that has had so much spoken and written about it. Their attempts to record a demo were largely unsuccessful and eventually they disbanded having released zero music.
Yet guitarist Jimmy Lundqvist returned over ten years later with a brand new line-up and managed to this time get some music physically recorded and distributed. It’s gone well as they’re now signed to Metal Blade and onto album number four, Obliteration, which will please the ears of any fan of the true Swedish old-school sound. Graham Matthews exchanged a few questions about it and what life could have been like had they recorded those initial demos.
ZT: How did the writing and recording process for new album Obliteration go?
Jimmy Lundqvist (Guitars): The work went very well. I did the writing and most of the composing of the songs, mixing new material with some older ideas and riffs. Plus I also did some backup songs and they all were made in two weeks one and a half years ago so it’s been a long wait to find a gap in time to have them recorded properly. During that wait I managed to finish up my studio that needed some more space and a recording/control room adding before my mates could be at service and rehearse these songs and begin to record. Shows and other stuff came around so that’s also a reason why we couldn’t begin earlier than we did. When it comes to the recordings we began to record the drums on December 22 2014 and they were done five hours later. Guitars were done in parts over Christmas time and also all bass and other things so they could be sent to Jocke [Svensson, bass/vocals] who finished the lyrics in a day or two. In early January we gathered and recorded all vocals in two days and two days after that all the files were ready and sent to Dan Swanö for the mix.
This was the first time you recorded an album with new guitarist Pontus, did you do much else differently for this record?
It was the first full-length; he was already a member on the 7” Berzerk single we did last winter. And as the songs were already written when he joined the gang it was more or less only for him to learn what I’d created earlier and it was no problem. As I am the head creator of all music (beside one song on The Tomb Awaits) it hasn’t been any different work on this album either. When I am in the mood and feel ready for creating something it’s better to be doing that alone and have only my thoughts on it from the beginning. It seems that it’s a success and my creations work, so why change a winning concept haha?
What inspired the musical direction and lyrical content for Obliteration?
For me who makes the music, the horror and dark melodies have been the goal to create. Using old stuff from the past and also mixing with the new hasn’t been easy as it needs to have the same 90s feeling, though I got many of that served when I first moved into the studio and had it all in one room. That room gives a lot of memories and it’s easy to create music there so that’s why I made about 15 songs in two weeks. The lyrics are Jocke’s work and he usually has horror and more horror in his mind writing those badass lyrics.
How did working in your own studio help the process?
A lot. This time we didn’t have to hire a studio for recording the drums. Instead we had it all in one place and could more or less just start recording whenever we feel for it. Though when it’s recording time every instrument needs to be recorded more or less the same day or without anything between. Everything is recorded in one session and therefore volumes and settings shouldn’t be changed and fuck-ups in the mix show up.
If you’d stayed together and released four albums in the 90s when you originally started, how do you think that would have worked out? Would Entrails still be a band today?
Impossible to answer. But the question has crossed my mind and I’ve also talked to the original members about it and it would have been truly amazing if we could continue and play back then. But when you’re young and need work around here in Sweden you have to move to the place that has the work for you and that is one of the reasons it didn’t work out well in the first place. Some of the old guys did change their musical style too and more or less left death metal very early so I doubt we would be a band today. It’s really difficult to bring back the old days and think of what might have been or not.
Was signing with Metal Blade something you ever imagined back then?
Absolutely not. Back then labels was so far away from us that we never thought about it. We only had fun playing and made some crappy recordings that were meant to be demos but as the result went bad and money didn’t exist we just had all the mixes on tapes for our own use. And I guess I am the only one who has those recordings lying around.
Why do you think there is still such interest in the old-school, Swedish death metal sound and scene?
If it’s done right the style will never die. Though I think both the sound and scene have been milked a bit. Now many revival bands are coming together to give it a shot one more time. When you hear the same sound on every band it can be a little too much. Many call themselves old school even if they play way too far from the true old school in style. To me the new bands don’t have this passion that was in the 90s. They try and many do it well but they have a different view to old school than it was meant to be. That’s my opinion.
And what fuels your passion to continue in the same line, rather than go for a more modern approach?
Haha, easy. Never will I join the new modern shit. I will stay with my easy riffing that’s listenable and when the head banging is so obvious. My passion and feelings for the older stuff is so strong that nothing can change my view on that! The hysterical, technical with no solid beat will never change me!!!
What’s next for Entrails?
First up is release of the new album and hopefully some Swedish shows around that so we can promote it here. Though with lazy organisers we are still waiting for answers. Otherwise its only three shows planned in July/August and after that nothing planned! It’s not easy to plan or fix a mini-tour when we all have families and ordinary work to prioritise first. Twennty years ago this wouldn’t be a problem.