Thursday, March 17, 2011
Interview with Tobias Karlsson of Eructation!
It shouldn't be a big surprise that I was excited when I got the chance to interview Tobias. When looking at the name of the site (which is named after one of the three tracks on their 92' demo) or even if you've had a discussion about death metal with me (Eructation is almost always the first name I bring up) it is obvious that this band is one of my personal favorites. Recently Eructation posted four unreleased songs on their myspace page (link at the bottom of article) and though it might seem like a huge gap the quality of the tracks certainly makes up for it. Here we discuss the story of the band splitting, what the members have done since, and Tobias's excitement over the At the Gates tour among other things.
Foul Feast: So, first things first have you guys officially reformed?
Tobias Karlsson: No, we've not reformed. Me and Matti just met after many years recently and we've been talking about playing together again, I'm not sure it would be as Eructation.
FF: What made you decide to get the project going again after all these years?
TK: We noticed that during the period of 2008-2010 there was some "new" attention to the demo, it got some really good reviews on some sites and very good feedback on LastFM and so on. And it was Matti who called me up and asked me if we shouldn't try to "release" the other songs that never got released, so we decided to make a Myspace-page. It would have been a shame if other songs that were recorded never got released, even if it's rather late.
FF: Are you writing any new material at the moment?
TK: I know Matti have some new ideas for songs that would fit perfectly for Eructation, I've had the opportunity to listen to it and it sounds really good. Hopefully we get the chance to evolve this into something, Eructation or not.
FF: Did you ever get out and play any shows around the time you released the demo?
TK: We did get the chance to play some shows during that period, mainly locally around Gothenburg, which had a extremely good metal scene at that time with At the Gates, In Flames, Dark Tranquility and Ceremonial Oath etc. And we also got the chance to play support to At the Gates in 1993. Those guys are awesome, looking forward to their tour this summer!!
FF: How old were all the members when the band formed?
TK: The band formed way back in the late 80's, they were around 13-14 years old. And at that time they had a bass player named Daniel, and they mainly focused on playing Slayer and Metallica covers. I met them in 1990 when Daniel wanted to quit and they looked for a replacement. And by that time they had started to make their own music rather than playing covers and it was exactly my type of music.
FF: What caused the band to split?
TK: The main cause I guess was a disagreement in how or if the sound of the band should change or not. There were of course other personal reasons as well, but I guess this one mattered most.
FF: Have any of the members of the band taken part in any other musical projects?
TK: We all have been in other small musical projects, nothing which resulted in any releases or worth mentioning i guess.
FF: What had prevented you from releasing these new tracks you've posted? Why wait over a decade to have them released?
TK: At the time they were supposed to be released as an EP, we had discussions with a small recordlabel that were supposed to release it but they somehow changed their mind in the last minute. I've thought about releasing these tracks in some way later on, but didn't follow through. I don't think that we ever realized that the demo really did any "impact" until we read the new reviews. And maybe people appreciate the sound of the demo even more today than back then.
FF: The demo was released over 18 years ago and it still has quite a cult following, is it surprising to you how well those 3 songs have held up?
TK: Yeah..! I knew back then that we've done a short, but good demo. But that it would be mentioned with these positive words 18 years later..? Totally surprising. The feedback that we've received for the demo the last years have been unbelievable. And that's also the reason that we decided to release the additional songs as well.
FF: One of the things that makes the demo standout is the big role the bass plays in the sound. Is this something you worked to achieve or is it something that just came about during the recording?
TK: I would always pump up my amplifier to max, or put distortion on it and so on during rehearsal and gigs, so I guess this was "our sound", even if we didn't chase that extra carefully when we did the recording. And I guess that this was also one of the reasons that gave me the chance to play with Eructation in the first place.
FF: It wouldn't be far off to say that your music was ahead of it's time. How did you guys go about writing the demo? Was it a group effort of did each member write their own parts?
TK: Matti was writing the main parts of the songs, either by himself or together with Tobias on the drums. Then we would collaborate with the songs as a band, but Matti was the main song writer.And I always liked the fact that we didn't sound so much as the other bands around that time, but maybe that also held us back at the time being.
FF: With this resurgence of sorts with the old school death metal sound many of the unsung classics have been getting re-released and reissued. Have you ever considered releasing a compilation of old Eructation material?
TK: No not really. I think that we are satisfied with the MySpace-page for now. Maybe we should make it possible for people to download the "new" songs together with the demo in some way.
FF: How do you feel about the metal scene when comparing it to the early 90's?
TK: Well, you could never beat the feeling of the early 90's, especially when, as we were, you are in the middle of these extremely good bands that formed the "Gothenburg Sound" and the Stockholm based bands, Entombed, Dismember etc. etc. I'm constantly thrilled about all the new bands and genres that has evolved from the (death) metal scene, and has been ever since. But then again, nothing gets me more thrilled than a reunion tour with At the Gates at the moment. It will kick some ass
FF: What do you find yourself listening to these days?
TK: Of course the old stuff from the 90's and forward. Morbid Angel, Slayer, Death, At the Gates, Entombed etc. but I also love bands like Bleeding Through, All That Remains, The Black Dahlia Murder. I've always said that as long as it has heart and aggression, I'll buy it!
FF: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
TK: First of all I would like to thank you for the interview and the fact that you've embraced the music we've done. And it's awesome that your webpage is named after our song!! If you get the chance to catch At the Gates tour this summer, don't miss it! Thanks!
/Tobias K - Eructation
Eructation's Myspace Page