Interview with Björn Olsson of Black Demon Rites

3540387892_logo  Black Demon Rites are from Sweden and their music is an intense mixture of sludge, doom and black metal. Motmänniskan, their first and so far only release, contains of four long compositions in which the listener will be dragged through variations of these genres. Why not talk with the band about the concept and the background of it all.

Where are you from and what kind of music do you play?
We are from Göteborg a city in the south-west of Sweden. All members is from cities in the north of Sweden but have moved to Göteborg by various reasons. We play some kind of slow doom metal, a bit down tuned.
Why do you play this kind of music? What makes it fascinating for you?
For me it is about mental health, I have to play music to keep myself stabile. We probably have different reasons for playing, all three of us but I think that all of us can agree that having a break from reality is one of them. Why we chosen this kind of expression? I can´t really answer that, it is something that has evolved. We have played together in different constallations for quite some time and tried different forms of music. This is the one that suites us right now.
Why we like it? Well, it is quite monotonous and low tuned. It is reason enough I think. For me the exitement in this kind of music is how to make it interesting without doing to much, and of course to get a really good sound out of the bass guitarr, wich has its difficulties when tunibjornng it down to about 33 Hz.

What are the core essences of your music?
The expression of misanthropy. In short we don´t like people in general. It is the foundation on which our tunes is based. We or I could go on and do a long explanation why, I will not do that. I will just conclude that the human race can´t behave and all is going to end because of that.

Why are the tracks of such lengths? The shortest one offers more than twelve minutes of music.

We don´t really think of the length of the tunes when we write them, it feels natural to have a length for at least ten minutes.

How does the title of your first demo “Motmänniskan” translate?
Motmänniska is not a proper swedish word, we play with the word “Medmänniska” wich is translated to fellowman.
“Mot” is the opposit of “Med”.In english “Mot” can be translated to against and “Med” is the opposit. It is a playful statement against fellowmen and against mankind.

How do you approach such a composition and how does one have to imagine the process of song-writing? When it comes to keep up the tension and the atmosphere, then how do you deal with this aspect?
To keep the atmosphere is not so hard as long as we all is playing correct, wich sometimes is hard. Especially when beeing under influence of alkohol and/or other stuff. It demands focus, but when the tunes is properly rehearsed most of it flows and it is just to follow.

Is the song-writing something the entire band is involved with or how is this aspect been approached?
Yes, most of the timmickee Helge or I have a riff or an idea to show in the rehearsing room. Then we build the song from that. So Mike is creating the drum beats, I the bass and Helge the guitar. Most of the riffs is written by Helge. Helge sings the texts that he has written and I the texts that is mine. Though we are planning on experimenting a bit with double vocals.

What would be the ideal sound for “Black Demon Rites”?
That´s really hard to say. We are three individuals that probably have three different visions of how the ideal sound would be. I think we are getting close to how I want us to sound right now but I peronally think that a good sound is a sound under constant evolvement.

The rawness and the level of noise is quite astounding and might put people off, but it has a certain fascination actually. Can you write a bit about the process of getting the music recorded? Did you polish the sound at the end?
We wanted it to be recorded live of course for the feeling and the only thing we had to record wth was a ZOOM H2. So that limited us a bit, of course we want our music to be noisy but the ZOOM was a bit to unreliable. We had it on a chair in the middle of the room, it danced around due to the vibrations in the chair wich made the sound uneven. We actually sent the recording for mastering to a guy in Germay and it got it better. We would like to record with better stuff, not to make the recordings less noisy but to get att better controll over the recording.

What bands would you refer to as influences?
Well, when we started Electric Wizard was quite present in the music we listened to. But since then we have discovered a lot of other bands that probably is more inspiration than EW. We listen to quite a lot of Black Metal, not that it musically is the biggest inspiration but we have more of the misanthropy and the hate that reflects our lyrics and the atmosphere that we´d like to share. It is also a bit hard for me to tell about Helges inspiration, I am inspired by bands like Meth Drinker, Tragedy, Amebix, Weedeater and Conan but also bands like Fell Voices and Ash Borer. So there is a mix ofhell punk, doom and black metal.

Do you use Swedish as well as English lyrics for your music?
Yes we do. I just writes in Swedish and I know that Helge has texts in Swedish although I don´t know if he is using them.

Interesting cover artwork for Motmänniskan, who had been responsible for it?
You have to ask Misanthropic Generation, I don´t have a clue.

What are your plans for the future?
Mike is moving to Norway in a few days to work as a mason so live rehearsing is not going to be as present in life as it has been. The plan is to send files with music to each other and for Mike to get a E-drum kit so we can write songs and then rehears when he is visiting. Our present ambitions is to try to get a new recording and get a vinyl release and of course to set up a few more gigs. Also Helge and I have spoken to another drummer for a new project that sound quite far off from BDR, we need to rehearse as said above for our mental health.

Closing comments if you like
The answers in this interview is from me and I can´t be sure that Helge and Mike totaly agree to what I have answered.



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