ZT INTERVIEW: INSISION

Insision are true underground heroes. Formed in 1997, they deliver death metal of the highest order and with great attention to all the details, from the tunes to the titles. They never rose to levels of prominence other death metal bands enjoy though. One reason may be that they never fitted their country’s scene. Although Swedish, they have an emphasis on brutality and an eye for USDM that few, if any other bands from their country present. Aimilianos Sideris speaks to guitarist Roger:

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“You’re right, maybe that’s why it’s pretty hard to recruit the right people for brutal bands here in Sweden. It demands highly technical playing but many people can’t handle their instrument. You also need some background of playing and listening to this music, to know how the arrangements  should be and  how the energy in the music should sound. It’s hard to recruit guys who have been playing primitive black metal or old school death metal or such.” 

 

All this talk about recruitment brings us to a complicated point: Insision recently found themselves a member short. In 2009, guitarist Daniel Akeroth (perhaps more famous as the author of the book Swedish death metal, funnily) announced his departure. Photos of the band following this announcement showed them as a four-piece so, how does it work so far? “Actually we’re a five piece since a year back. We have recruited a killer guitarist (Adam Ramis) who knows how our music should sound and who’s creative as fuck when it comes to riffing and song writing. As I get one song ready he has riffs to three. He’s a 27 year old guy from Spain but has lived in Sweden for some years now. We have kept a pretty low profile with new members because we want to be sure it’s the right man stepping into the guitar position along with me. There’s got to be good chemistry between us since we do a lot of the riffs together, which means we just don’t spend time in the practise room, we also do a lot of riffs at mine or his place. Insision has always been a five-piece and it will continue to be that way.”        

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With personnel changes and the passing of time, what is the band up to these days? “Certainly, we can’t forget the guys who played earlier in the band and made Insision what it is today! We’re in our 16th year without taking time-off or breaking up. Right now we’re focused 100% on finishing the new songs so we can release a brutal CD for those who have waited for a new full length since 2007. We’re in a good period and feel creative in making songs and in playing. Insision has moved to a bigger rehearsal place where we can rehearse as much as we want without thinking about neighbours or other things. We did an Eire/UK Tour back in May this year with Divine Chaos from UK, the tour was great; Divine Chaos are great guys and the promoters and people we met were great. After touring we played Spain and Germany. Spain was crazy; the fans gave everything when we played. Germany was great, everything from arrangements/food/catering to taking care of the band.”

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Insision’s songs frequently feature neck-breaking precision in very challenging musical manoeuvres. The two latest offerings (Ikon LP and the End Of All EP) seem to follow more straightforward structures in song-writing however. Have they stuck to a similar formula for the new album? “This new record will challenge the listeners. It will be complex without being too complex. The songs are somewhat straightforward, but not as much as the earlier two that you mention. The energy will be higher and the riffing and the song structure is going to be  more challenging for everyone, not only the guitarists but also Mac (Drums) and Carl (Vox) and Joel (Bass). We’re not going to hold a world record in playing fast and technical but we’re going to try to do the best in song structure and get the listener to follow the record without being bored after a couple of songs. Also we have more strings to work with now since we play 7 strings, so it’s going to be darker and heavier in some of the songs. I got an endorsement from the German guitar builder 666strings. They’re building a death metal custom guitar from scratch and the result is killer.”  When will the album be out? “We’re hoping to get the songs ready within two months from now. First we’ll make an pre- recording and after that we will produce the record ourselves with Anders Eriksson as technician (Off Beat studio/ End Of All) in Stockholm/Sweden. The record will be out hopefully middle of 2014”

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I challenge anyone to play ‘Beneath The Folds Of Flesh’ (or any other recording by the band) and try to think of something nice. Insision always keep macabre atmospheres in high prominence musically. Where do they draw inspiration from?  “Well, a pretty boring answer but the inspiration comes from the music we have been listening to for all our lives”. So which bands would they cite as major influences? “Our influences is everything from Death to Pyrexia, to Testament, to US and Mex Disgorge, to Ulcerate – that I listen to a lot right now. We’re also listening to old school grind like Repulsion, Napalm Death, Terrorizer and Brutal Truth, to name a few.” Any influences outside music? “When it comes to the  individuals in Insision of course, personal things good and bad happen to each one of us and it contributes to the process of making songs psychologically, whether it is Carl writing his lyrics, me making riffs or Mac arranging his drumming. One example is that my mother passed away in 2009 from cancer. Some riffs that I wrote for the EP End Of All, 2011 are related to how I felt at that time. It was a tough period with a lot of shit happening, related not only to her but also to other things in my life. But then I have always had Insision. Just to meet up with Carl and Mac and the other guys, who are my best friends even if we don’t spend as much time outside the rehearsal as we should, get together and create brutal death metal.”

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When I saw Insision at London’s Purple Turtle back in 2010, it was probably the smallest crowd I’ve seen for a band from abroad. They got on stage and performed flawlessly with great passion nonetheless. All the pains of organising and executing a tour aside, when the band is onstage, is it mainly for themselves or for the fans? “What a hell, we have done this without earning a single penny for 16 years. We’re doing the best we can for the moment. To answer your question, we mainly play for ourselves of course. If we wanted to do this for the business or anyone else, making money from music we would have been playing Nickelback stuff.  Of course we hope that death metal people like the songs we create and attend the gigs. It would be a dream if we could make a living by playing death metal but we don’t as it is right now. We know what people want to hear when they put on an Insision record, but we’re also open to know their views too.”.

 

In parting, Roger adds: “I hope that the listeners will pick up the new Insision and find it an interesting death metal album for 2014. Thanks to everyone who has supported Insision – people/promoters/magazines – in every way they could over the years we have played. We want to send out big cheers to every band we have played with up until now. Death Metal Is Our Religion”

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info } official website

words } aimilianos sideris

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