Friday, January 18, 2013

... on the galactic highway, Interview with S:T ERIK !!!

A couple of months ago, swedish doom metal rockers S:t Erik finally got to see a vinyl release for their "From Under The Tarn" album. This amazing 5-track EP was somehow tossed to the wayside when it was first released back in '09, and didn't receive the attention from doom metal fans that it quite deserved.
Now that it has been resurrected from the dead thanks to Spora Recordz(Austin, TX), I thought it was a great opportunity to get some fresh news from the band, expecting some details on new material of their original brand of  Stoner/Doom - so heavy and cosmic at the same time; but nothing is too sure about the immediate future...

How did it come that Spora recordz finally released "From Under the Tarn" on vynil more than 3 years after its CD release ? Were you still expecting it or did the proposition surprise you ?
Hello, Tomas and Magnus here. Well, it is as simple as Jason (Spora Recordz) approached us offering to make a gatefold vinyl release of the album. It was a surprise for sure, a pleasant one. We’ve had a vinyl master recording laying around and we had kinda given up on it. We were glad someone still cared. Thank you Jason!

- Was it a necessity to change the cover for this vinyl edition ? Can you explain please what does it represent exactly ?

We were never quite satisfied with the CD artwork and decided to ask our good friend Karl Nilsson ( to paint a visual interpretation of the music. Don’t think we can, or should try, to explain what it represents since Karl is the artist behind the artwork.

- You guys are coming from Upsala which is the title of your 1st demo; there's also a reference to your hometown in the band's name, as the swedish king Sankt Erik was decapitated there... to which extent do you feel proud and concerned by the identity and history of Upsala ?

The demo was a result of us wanting to create heavy music after the bands we were in was disbanding. As a result, the lyrics and band name was just something we had fun with, and it stuck with us ever since. Proud and concerned? Not at all, how can we be proud of something we did not take part in?

- There's 2 songs from the 1st album that still remain unreleased, why didn't you choose to include at least one as bonus on the vynil ? is there any chance to see them on any further release of S:t Erik ?
We listened to them again and concluded that they were not good enough - simple as that. They will probably never see a physical release.

- After a quite long period of silence, this release put the band's name back in the actuality, does it motivate you to compose and work for next album ? when can we expect some fresh new songs to be released and on which label ?

There are some unrecorded S:t Erik songs around, the question is if they ever will reach people outside the band. The release of the album got us to talk about S:t Erik again at least. So - no plans really. Maybe a live show or two this year.

- While your influences in terms of Stoner and Doom metal are certainly pretty classic (Sleep, E.W.), you guys show a real originality in incorporating Space rock hints with synthetizers effects, will that be more developped in the new stuff ? How do you consider the band's sound evolution since "from under the tarn" ?

The synthesizers on ‘From Under the Tarn’ was a collaboration between Mats and our producer Kristofer Jönson. There will probably be even more synthesizers as well as more dynamics in shape of silence and sublimity on a hypothetical future release.

- I've read in an interview that lyrics for the 1st album were written very quickly, was it still the case for new songs or did you work differently on them ?

The demo lyrics was written in 15 minutes or so handling subjects such as a pub in Stockholm and our home town. The lyrics for the album stem from a bit more work and are more personal.

- Are you friends with other Stoner/doom/psychedelic Swedish bands ? Some of you guys played in DM bands prior to S:t Erik, do you still enjoy to play fast and brutal stuff or are you now definitely just enjoying to play slow and spacey stuff ?

We enjoy a wide range of music and will probably play what suits us for the moment, don’t think Death Metal is in the pipeline though.

- About gigs, if I'm not wrong it seems that you didn't play much live yet, was it due to the fact that MAgnus lived during some time in Bordeaux (fra) ? is there any will to see that change in the near future ?

Magnus (and Mats’) exile in France had nothing to do with our abscense from the live scene. The truth is noone booked us and we did not put much work to make it happen either. Spending time in the rehearsal space was / is enough for us. Hopefully we’ll make a few live appearances in 2013.

- Thanx a lot for answering guys, what can we wish you guys for 2013 ?

That we don’t have to live in a sexist, racist and right-wing society. Thanks for listening to our music and thank you for the interview.  

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