DISMEMBER’s Martin Persson: ‘Death metal is on it´s way back’
Swedish death metallers DISMEMEBER continues to conquer Europe and for the first time ever they’re going to have three exclusive gigs in the Baltic States in the mid of July (2004). Regarding this fabulous event Lithuanian [one of the Baltic states] heavy music portal Ferrum (www.ferrum.lt) asked band’s gutarist Martin Persson to answer couple of questions about death metal, tours and band’s drinking habits.
Ferrum: Hey, Martin! It will be a great pleasure to have you here in Vilnius on July 16th. Anyways, starting the interview I will go straight to the point. How have you finally decided to visit the Baltic States? What do you know about these countries? What is your background about Lithuania?
Martin: Hey man! It will be a great pleasure for us as well to play Vilnius for the first time. We don´t know so much about Lithuania or the Baltic states but hey, after this we´ll see if there are any crazy metalheads across the sea! Well, we were scheduled (and still are) to play Tuska festival in Finland on the 18th and a guy called Claes from Swedish Showcase asked us if we were interested in doing a couple of gigs in the Baltic States the same week, and of course we were.
F: Do you know any Lithuanian metal bands? Or any metal bands from the Baltic States?
M: I have to speak for myself and not the other guys but I haven´t heard of any metal band from there. Maybe it´s harder to land an international record deal if you´re from Lithuania than from Sweden, maybe we have it easier than you in that way.
F: What is your engine for making music? What inspires you the most?
M: For all of us I must say the love for metal. This is simply the greatest thing to do that we know of. From making new songs, to recording and to do live shows, it´s all we want to do!
F: Which bands (not necessarily metal bands) are your main influences? What is your favorite bands’ list?
M: The main influences for Dismember are bands like Autopsy and older death metal to Priest and Maiden and all of those bands. My absolute favouriteband of all time is Judas Priest, have to hear a song per day!
F: What death metal bands you consider to be the highest quality ones? In other words, what are your favorite death metal bands?
M: My favourite death metal bands are Grave, Morbid Angel and actually Dismember! Since i haven´t been in the band since the start I listened to Dismember from the beginning and actually started as a fan.
F: Please could you define the difference between Swedish death metal and “the rest of the world’s” death metal? Which bands in your opinion characterize both styles the most?
M: I think Swedish death metal has a lot more melody and a wider range of tempos than other metal.I´d say Dismember and Entombed are good bands to describe the Swedish death metal. I don´t really know what you mean by “rest of the world”, but North American bands like Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse I personally have never liked so much. With such similar songwriting you don´t know if you´re listening to track one or track six.
F: What do you feel about melodic death metal which, by the way, also is of Scandinavian origin?
M: I like the aggressive kind, bands like The Haunted and At The Gates. But the slower stuff, In Flames and Soilwork etc. are moving waaay to far from “death metal” for my taste.
F: In your opinion, what is the status of death metal in the world these days? Is it as much popular as it used to be in the early 90’s? What is the future of death metal?
M: I think death metal is on it´s way back. At the end of the 90´s almost every metalfan had a band of their own and although some were good, many of them weren´t that good. At that point the death metal scene was at it´s weakest. But now I see a turning point and I think that bands that have stayed true to their style and haven´t thrown in the towel have a good chance to recreate the scene to something bigger again.
F: Sweden is famous for it’s unique death metal while Norway – for it’s black metal. Do you like black metal? What is your relationship with Norwegian metal bands?
M: I think there´s something good in every genre (almost) and also in black metal. Personally I like Emperor’s first two albums a lot. However, the corpsepaint is something I´ve never understood. If you´re in a band I thought you sold music and not makeup?
F: There are many discussions and flames about nu-metal these days. What is your opinion about this style of music (you may curse if you want)?
M: Keeping it short : I think it sucks.
F: Do you have any favorite pop (!) artist?
M: Haha, no, not really. But I know Fred [Estby – drummer] likes Marit Bergman haha!
F: You already had lots of tours in your carreer. What was the most exciting one? Why?
M: As you know I haven´t been in the band for so long but I´ve played a lot with them. My favourite livemoment (and I´m not the only one in the band thinking this) was Wacken 2003. When we stood backstage and waited to go on stage and begin, 15-20.000 people stood screaming Dismember, Dismember! And the show was a killer, both for us and the crowd.
F: Can you remember any odd experience during your tours? Can you share it with us?
M: Haha, I´ve got a funny one from last week when we played in Catania in Italy. The stage was crazy, it had three different heights and even the lowest part of the stage was like two meters tall. In the middle of the stage there was a hole with a ladder in to get from backstage to stage. When we did our last song, right at the end, Matti [Kärki
- vocals] fell down the hole and disappeared! Must have looked so fucking funny. He hurt his foot a bit and got some bruises but he was alright, thank god for booze…
F: Swedish are also famous for their brilliant vodka. Do you like vodka? What are your drinking habits?
M: I love vodka! I prefer drinks made of vodka but hey, if you don´t have anything to mix it with it´s alright straight as well. Our drinking habits aren´t exactly what the doctor´s like, especially on the road, but you only live once.
F: Any last words for your fans in Lithuania?
M: We want to see you guys in the front row in Vilnius on the 16th of july 2004 banging your fucking heads of to the sound of oldschool, Swedish death metal!
F: Ok, man. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Can’t wait to see you in Vilnius. Stay brutal!
M: See you there man, thanks for the interview!