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Deutsche VersionInterview mit Dismember (01.07.2005)

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HH: Hi Matti, how are you doing?

Matti: I'm fine, I'm relaxing, doing the interviews and drinking some beer.

HH: That sounds good, especially the part with the beer. And how is the promotion tour going so far?

Matti: That's going fine. Actually our drummer Fred just did a lot of interviews last night and I'm helping him with it today because with all the interviews it's running late. He was talking so much so he asked me: "Please help me!"

HH: I think you had a long day then?

Matti: No, actually was kind of cool, I've only done three so far, this is the third. I don't know but I think Fred is doing three as well so today is kind of slow but perhaps there will be more tomorrow and on the end of the week.

HH: Regain Records has the rights on all Dismember records now, right? Whose idea has it been to do these re-releases?

Matti: Actually we've been thinking of it for some time now because except the first album, Nuclear Blast has the rights on the first album, all the albums after that are ours. We always had them on licence. So we've been thinking of re-releasing them after Nuclear Blast is not anymore pursuing new albums and the people are coming to the show and saying: "I can't find your albums, where are your albums?" We have to say they're out of print but we're doing re-releases and they're out now. Finally.

HH: Yes that's true, it's hard to get the old stuff.

Matti: Yes it is. Hopefully a lot of new fans that we might have gained with playing all these shows are happy that they can find our albums.

HH: But there's no re-release of your first album Like An Everflowing Stream?

Matti: No, I think actually not Nuclear Blast but Karmageddon's holding the rights for it. The music business is wicked. But I don't know since we changed the record label we don't have so much contact with Guido anymore so we're actually not sure what he's gonna do with it. Perhaps he will re-release it after all the old albums are available again. Maybe he'll wait some time and then release Like An Everflowing Stream again and make some cash, I don't know. We asked him a couple of times what he wants because we want the rights to that album you know because it's our material. But so far he said: "No, I wanna keep it." Perhaps later on.

HH: Whose idea was it to release the albums in the digi-pack version? They look really elegant!

Matti: I guess Regain. I wasn't involved in the cover thing. Instead Fred was doing a lot of stuff. I don't know who made them but we got E-Mails that this looks good and stuff like that. So I think somebody at the office has been doing this job. I haven't see actually the albums, I have seen the coverartwork and the booklets and stuff but I didn't hold the finished product in my hand.

HH: Looking at the cover motifs the Indecent & Obscene album has the most violent and brutal cover of all Dismember albums, the open corpse with the Dismember sign on the entrails. You never had a cover like that on the following albums.

Matti: No. First we did Pieces, the head thing and after that Indecent & Obscene. And after that one we kinda felt that this feels a little bit done. We felt like now we have done this. If you gonna do a third album with that kind of topic everyone is going to expect that the fourth album will have it too. But we didn't wanna make it that Dismember is all about this gore stuff. The lyrics on the first album we're kinda gory but after that we started to drift away from blood and gore. We didn't want to that people expect that Dismember is going to have this and this and this. Instead we felt like: Ok, now to some totally different covers.

HH: But it wasn't because you had trouble with censorship or something?

Matti: No, not with Indecent. We only had trouble in England for Skin Her Alive. And after that it's been silent, nothing. I'm just happy, because that whole Skin Her Alive thing was just stupid. In the same shipment as ours we have albums from Pungent Stench!! Pungent Stench is ten times, no, no, 100 times worse than Dismember are. And nothing over Pungent Stench, only Dismember. Hopefully all the customs keep a cool thing because it's just a pain in the ass. Of course it's good press in papers and stuff like that but I rather have it cool and not going to court and defend yourself. It's easier that way.

HH: You recently headlined the Walpurgis Metal Days here in Germany. How has it been?

Matti: It was very good actually. The trip was a pain in the ass, flying really early and all that things, but the show I think it was great. For being on festivals, usually at festivals when you get up on stage the monitors are just usually shit and you never now how you sound through the PA. But this was really good, good organisation and it was really fun.

HH: On a scale from 1 to 10, ten best, how would you rate the organisation of the festival?

Matti: Eight actually, I was really satisfied with this show and the whole festival as well.

HH: I think they had about 1000 visitor each day.

Matti: A thousand people is a lot of people for me! I rate everything over 100 as ok! I mean a thousand people, hey, perfect!

HH: Did you get in touch with the fans after the show or did you have to leave afterwards?

Matti: Well, actually after the show not you know because we had a long day with a lot of driving an so on. So we just relaxed backstage for a while having a little beer and a little wodka and then we went back to the hotel to get some sleep because we were leaving pretty early the next day. So I didn't meet so many people at that festival but ususally after the shows I go out and walk in the crowd, say hello to everybody who wants to say hello to me and stuff like this but this at this one we were so tired after the show that we went back and relaxed.

HH: One of those days!

HH: Haha, yes! Sometimes it is like that you know, you don't have the energy.

HH: You dedicated the song "On Frozen Fields" from the Massive Killing Capacity album to your home-country Sweden during this gig. Why did you dedicate this song to Sweden?

Matti: It was just a funny thing to say. It was nothing serious, it was just referring to our town on frozen fields. It recently started to have good summer weather. Sweden has been in the grip of winter for many many months. It was nothing serious about that. I don't ususally dedicate song to countries but this time I did!

HH: I recently read the you work on new songs for a new album. Is this true?

Matti: Yes!

HH: What's the current status?

Matti: Haha, the current status is that we have already eleven or twelve songs and we're going into the studio in August for about six weeks. The new album will hopefully be released late this year or January next year. That's the plan.

HH: In which studio will you record?

Matti: We're going back to the same where we recorded Ironcrosses, the Sami Studios in Stockholm. We're using the same studio again because when we did Ironcrosses we really liked this studio. It's really calm and it has good equipment. It's a good atmosphere.

HH: Do you have already a title for the album?

Matti: No, acutally not.

HH: Imagine the new album is an animal. What animal would it be?

Matti: Uff! Tough question, let me think! ... Something really ferocious... pfff... ahmmm... Wolverine!

HH: Wolverine rocks!

Matti: Yeah, it's a killing machine. I would compare the new songs to Wolverine, it's really brutal. It's fast, it's ferocious and it gives no remorse.

HH: Did you believe that Dismember will survive such a long period in the music business when you started with the band?

Matti: No, actually not. I was just happy! First we did an album with Carnage. That was my first full length album. I was overwhelmed, it felt so great. Shortly before or after the album Michael Amott left for Carcass and split up Carnage. And we we're like: Hey, what the fuck?
Then Fred came up with it and said: Ok, I gonna reform Dismemer, you wanna be in it?
I said yeah, of course! So we started to do some material and we were really lucky. Maybe you heard the story but there was a guy from Spain writing for a magazin and he was here on holiday to meet all the underground bands and stuff like that. He picked up our demo and one of his stops after Sweden was Germany and he went to Nuclear Blast, played the demo to them and shortly after that the guys from Nuclear Blast called us: We wanna sign you!
That time we're not thinking that we're here 15 years later and doing brutal metal you know. We had a lot of hard times and a lot of good times as well and the good times keep us doing this. We really enjoy playing, meeting all the people at shows, do good shows and yeah, we're just enjoying life.

HH: Are you surprised that Dismember is still alive?

Matti: In a way, yes. It was around 1997 when Black Metal was becoming really big and Dismember had a lot of problems with record labels and everything was just a huge mess. We lost our management, tours have been cancelled and all that kind of stuff. And then we started to record the Death Metal album. At that time we felt like fuck it all, let's do this album, let's make it brutal. Let's show everybody, we don't care, we're going our way. But at the same time I was a little bit worried. After the Death Metal album Richard left the band and we didn't do anything for three months. We didn't call each other and then Fred and me started talking. He called me up one day: So what shall we do? Should we quit here or should we continue? During these three months I felt no, I'm not gonna stop this, I love this. I love to play live, I love to play music, I don't wanna stop. And Fred had the same thoughts and we said fuck it, let's do it! And it's been going on ever since. Ok, we have not been the most productive band, we had a long break between Hate Campaign and Where Ironcrosses Grow but we're taking care of business, lifes and families and stuff like that and now we're here. Time flies when you're having a good time. The Death Metal album is one of my favorites as well because when we did the album everybody was telling us you have to change, you can't do this anymore, Death Metal is dead, you have to be more commercial, you have to do this, you have to do that but we just said: Fuck you! We're going our way, we're doing our music. We believed in us even if Black Metal was big and Power Metal was coming back, but we said no, no, there are enough Death Metal fans out there who's gonna appreciate at least one band's staying the same.

HH: Can you remember your feelings when the first Dismember album had been released?

Matti: Oh, I was really happy, I was really exited. We were really young at that time, I was 17, 18 at this moment and then a dream came true. We were really exited, we were looking forward to all that touring and all that stuff. The Carnage album was my fist album, together with Fred and David it was our first full length album but that thing didn't feel as good as Like An Everflowing Stream did because it wasn't our band, it was Michael Amotts band. There I felt more or less like a guest musician because they asked me two weeks before the recordings of the album if I can do the vocals on the album and I said yes. It didn't feel like my album but when we got Like An Everflowing Stream I was like home man, this was so good!

HH: And how did you feel after the release of Where Ironcrosses grow?

Matti: Awfully great! A little bit nervous because of the long inactivity period we had. We didn't do much, we didn't rehearse much, we did shows here and there but before we started to do new songs we wondered how this is going to go. We changed the record label from a big one to a smaller one just because we couldn't work with Nuclear Blast anymore. We were really really nervous. When we listend to the album after we were done in the studio it was really good. Everybody liked the whole thing. We're really happy with the production and how the songs turned out and I was totally satiesfied with my own vocals. But we didn't know how people will like this. Is there anybody who likes it, is there anybody who noticed that the album was released. After it was released and we started doing interviews everybody was just happy: Oh, the album is so great! Thank you for staying the same!
We were thinking it Dismember going to do something different but when you hear the first song you can hear it: Perfect that's Dismember! I'm really satisfied with Ironcrosses.

HH: Which Dismember record is the "best" in your opinion?

Matti: My favourite of all the albums we have done has to be Death Metal. Because people were thinking and especially telling us that we have to change and we had all this trouble. The whole atmosphere is like: Fuck off, we're doing what we like! That album sold really good and it got shitty promotion from Nuclear Blast. But I like the whole time period, lots of good memories, lots of bad memories but still being able to do a real killer album. The feelings when we recorded that album it was just good memories. We felt strong to go against the grain and prove everybody that we can do what we believe in.

HH: Ok Matti, time's up, thanks for your time and I wish you all the best for the future!

Matti: All right, good luck for your magazine too! Thank you!

Lord Obirah

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