The Swedish Death Metal band Impious will be releasing their newest disc Death Domination on November 24th. I have had the good fortune to preview this disc and let me be the first to tell you this is one hell of a record. Start to finish Death Domination is a must have for fans of the genre. I recently had the opportunity to speak with drummer Mikke Norén about the writing process for this CD and their plans for touring in the year to come.
Your brand new CD titled Death Domination is set for release on November 24th now that it is complete how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Mikke: I am very pleased with how it has turned out! I was really hoping for this album to be very brutal and fast, and it totally got the way I wanted. I think we have broken a lot of new ground with this album and I can’t wait to see where our new material will take us. I’m already looking forward to the next album!
What was the writing process like for this CD? Did you guys all write together? How long did it take?
Mikke: This time around we had our own studio where we wrote and recorded the whole album. Valle has always been into recording and he started to build his own professional studio about two years ago. So when we felt it was time to start writing new stuff we took a couple of weekends off, locked ourselves in the studio, and just jammed out whatever we came up with. We tried a lot of different ideas and everyone contributed to the album for sure. I believe we started working heavily on the songs for about 14 months ago or so. And when the songs were done, we just rolled our equipment in there and started recording.
How quick are you in the studio? Can you usually knock things out in a couple takes?
Mikke: If we have all songs, lyrics, solos and whatnot already done we are quite quick I would say. The problem is, that rarely ever happens. There are always some arrangements we want to change or there are always some lyrics or solos that have not been written. So things tend to take a bit more time than we expect. We always cross deadlines for some reason. But when it comes to our instrumental skills, recording is never a problem. Everyone is very serious when it comes to playing their instrument so we don’t require many takes to get our shit on tape.
Do you think about distinguishing the drum performances and sounds from release to release?
Mikke: When we did Holy Murder Masquerade we kind of aimed for a more polished sound. We wanted to try to play simpler songs and keep the drums simple as well. That is why there is a huge difference between my drumming on that album and our other releases. It was cool to walk that path and to try that out for a while, but what we learned from it was that we love playing fast and somewhat technical and complicated. I think we overcompensated a bit for that album with Death Domination that is why I have really pushed my limits when it comes to drumming this time around. The drums are more intense than they have ever been before. In addition, when it comes to drum sounds, we just try to get the best sound possible for every album. There’s really nothing to it.
Do you decide on a suitable sound fairly quickly, or do you tend to tweak tones obsessively?
Mikke: Nah we’re pretty picky when it comes to the sound. We can take forever just to set a guitar or snare sound. I’m very picky when it comes to my drums and since Valle is an audiophile we spend a lot of times picking and setting different sounds.
Give us some insight into the record Death Domination and the meaning behind its title?
Mikke: Death Domination is the most brutal album we’ve ever done. As I mentioned, we really overcompensated for Holy Murder Masquerade being kind of slow and polished. We wanted the title to tell just how confident we were with the new material and we wanted it to show what the album was about. It is also about religion and how death is the common denominator in any major religion. Every religion tells you fluffy stories of how great your afterlife will be if you follow their religion and I think that without that kind of bullshit people would see right through it. Religion has proven to be full of bullshit on every level. But it still attracts people because it gives them answers for questions they cannot figure out by themselves.
Give us some insight into the album lyrically. This is a super pissed off sounding record.
Mikke: Correct, in many cases it’s more pissed off than we’ve ever been before. We have always written very fictional lyrics which have worked out just fine, but this time we felt that we needed the lyrics to actually mean something instead of just being words to go with the music. We wanted to write about stuff that we care for so a lot of the lyrics are about religion. The religious climate in Sweden is just ridiculous so we felt that it was time to write about something that actually makes sense.
The artwork by Brazilian artist Marcello Vasco is quite amazing. How is it tied to the album’s title?
Mikke: Yeah, Marcelo has done a kick-ass job. He is a great dude and been nothing but a pro from the start. We came up with the title and he created this kind of altar-like piece with the skulls and we loved it right from the start. We played with a lot of different ideas and there have been a million changes since day one. The end result looks nothing like the first draft he did. We are very happy with how everything turned out. He’s done everything from the cover to the booklet and even the MySpace design.
When you are on the road for a while I am sure you see and experience many different things you might not even have known existed. Are there any stories that stand out in your mind as being exceptionally strange or odd?
Mikke: Well it has been so long since we were on the road that I can’t remember all the things we’ve been up to. However, being on the road is for sure a pretty different thing from your everyday life. Getting to travel places and meet people is just great fun. I would not dare to think of all the cool stuff I would miss out on if I were not in a band. You meet a lot of cool people, you get to see all kinds of shit and it is just so much fun. We have been really fortunate to never have to spend weeks in vans or cars. All major tours we have done have been in buses where you have your own bed, a bathroom, a kitchen, TV’s and all that. So I cannot really tell you any wicked shit. However, we have been to some pretty unrealistic places that you do not see when you are a redneck in Sweden. Like in the mountains of Slovakia where people kind of live in hutches and cannot afford to go to see shows. Or having to eat in shifts because the venue can’t afford plates, knives and forks for the entire crew.
When you have some free time and the band is off the road what do you like to do?
Mikke: Being on the road is kind of free time for me. We all have regular jobs so when we get out it is really like a vacation for us. However, when we are not touring or working I definitely like hanging out with my girl and my friends. I try to practice drums as often as I can as well. I have not had anywhere to practice for a long time but now I have finally sorted that out so I spend many hours every week practicing. Even when we are not on the road, the band takes up a big part of my time. There’s always stuff going on with interviews, internet-related stuff, practicing, writing, etc.
What are your touring plans for this record? Any plans to hit the States at all?
Mikke: Ah man, there are so many places we want to go. Europe is first on the list but then we would love to go back to America and Japan again. It was too long ago! We definitely hope to be back in America sometime during 2010. Nothing is set in stone yet but if the album does well over there then hopefully we will come over fairly soon. We all love the states so we definitely keep our fingers crossed.
Any closing words?
Mikke: Thanks a million for this interview. If you have read the entire thing, thank you so much! We would really love it if you would have the time to check out our band. Thank you for your time and keep supporting the scene! [ END ]