2019. július 26., péntek

Martin Missy

Interview with Martin Missy (Protector)
Questions compiled by Cornelius of Encomium 'zine, 
Sorin Necrotrooper and Georgius

(Martin Missy in Rostock, 2017 picture by Thomas 'Thor' Wittlich)

Hail Martin, you are very welcome to Archangel’s Lantern! Our congratulations for the excellent old school Protector album “Summon the Hordes”. Tell us the details of the recording of your vocals. What should we know about the current lyrics and cover art of “Summon the Hordes”? 
- My three bandcolleagues Calle, Micke and Matte recorded their instruments with Harris Johns in Berlin. Because I don’t fly, and the trip from Stockholm to Berlin by car would have been too long, I recorded my vocals at the Wolfden Studio in Stockholm. Harris came up to Stockholm for the recording. The day after some friends of mine recorded the background vocals.
The lyrics are mainly about the same things, that I use to write about: Movie-inspired lyrics (Stillwell Avenue), Life on the road / Metal lifestyle (Steel Caravan / Unity, Anthems and Pandemonium / Summon the Hordes), a dedication to Celtic Frost (The Celtic Hammer), strange / bizarre themes (Two Ton Behemoth), “fun-lyrics” (Glove of Love) and history (Three Legions). Our bassplayer Matte wrote the lyrics to “Realm of Crime” and “Meaningless Eradication”, which have a political / social critic content.
The cover is inspired by the cover of our “comeback demo” from 2011, “The Return of Thrash and Madness”. The artist Andrej Bartulovic has given it a more professional look.

According to Encyclopaedia Metallum, you played in groups such as Spitfire, Golgotha and Inzest. Can you tell us more about them? 
- Spitfire was my first band. That must have been around 1984 / 1985. It was a classic Heavy Rock band. We never recorded any demo or played live though, and I can’t recall writing any lyrics for them either.
Golgotha was a project that I had together with my friend Peter Laske (who also was in Death Attack and Heritage) and two other guys. This was in 1985, if I remember it correctly. We were inspired a lot by S.O.D. We rehearsed only a couple of times. We never played live, but we recorded a two track rehearsal (the name of the songs were “Kill the Nuns” and “Teutonic Tales”).
In 1986 I joined the band Inzest. Ace (guitar) and Peter Schulz (drums) had been playing together with Peter Laske and Michael Hasse in Death Attack. Now they had started a new band. It was a Speed Metal band, and the guys wanted me to sing like Paul Baloff. The instruments of the others were so loud though, that I had to scream, rather than sing, to make myself heard. It was good that I sounded like I did though, because when Michael Hasse heard one of our rehearsalroom recordings, he asked me if I wanted to join Protector...

How did you value the good old days of the 80s in Germany, especially in Wolfsburg? Could you recommend us some newcomer thrash/death metal bands from Wolfsburg and Stockholm?
- It was an exciting time of course. There were so many bands and new genres all the time. Even in Wolfsburg, which has just about 120.000 inhabitants, there was a quite vital Metalscene back then. We had a couple of bands that were playing live in youth clubs all over the city. The biggest band from Wolfsburg is of course “Heavens Gate”. I liked their “pre-band” Steeltower (one of the first, if not THE first Metalband in Wolfsburg) as well. There were two things that were not so good with Wolfsburg: There were not so many places were Metalfans could meet and listen to their favourite tunes (most often that happened like once a week in a youth club) and that we usually had to travel to Hannover or Hamburg (or other German cities) if we wanted to see a big Metal band.
I’m not so well informed about new bands from Wolfsburg and Stockholm, but I can mention “Cryptic Brood” (Wolfsburg) and my old band Phidion (Stockholm), although Phidion is not exactly a new band anymore (formed in 2003).

(Protector bandpic taken in Wolfsburg in the summer of 1987)

I have the same date of birthday as Michael Hasse (R.I.P.). Would you be so kind to share some memorable story/or stories about him?
- Michael was my best friend back in the 80s when I was a part of Protector. One evening, when we were drunk, we even became blood brothers. He did my first tattoo (the Alpha/Omega/Golgotha sign) just with a needle and some ink. He used to have the Sodom fanclub back at the time of “Obsessed by Cruelty”, so he knew Tom, Witchhunter and Blackfire quite well. When we played our first show in Germany (Braunschweig in 1987), he managed to get Sodom to play the headliner for the show. We had organized the concert by ourselves, and didn’t know what to expect. In the end around 500-600 headbangers showed up! It was an amazing night.

(Michael Hasse (R.I.P.) and Martin Missy, backstage in Amsterdam, 1988)

What is the situation with Zombie Lakes currently?
- We had great fun recording our two albums, but as far as I know that chapter is closed now.

Which are your all-time favourite players and coaches from VfL Wolfsburg and Nationalelf? Do you have favourite football team in Sweden?
- Favourite VfL-coach: Felix Magath. 
Favourite VfL-players: Siggi Reich, Roy Präger, Edin Dzeko and Grafite. 
Favourite Nationalelf coaches: Sepp Herberger and Franz Beckenbauer. 
Favourite Nationalelf players: Fritz Walter, Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Müller, Pierre Littbarski, Lothar Matthäus, Miroslav Klose and Toni Kroos. 
My favourite football teams in Sweden are Öster Växjö and Brommapojkarna.

Name us please your Top 5 Motörhead albums and Top 10 fave bands and their albums.
- Oh, this is difficult. There are so many. But I’ll give it a try: 
Top 5 Motörhead albums: Iron Fist, Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades and Another Perfect Day. 
Top 10 favourite bands and one album each from them: 
Motörhead – Iron Fist 
AC/DC – Highway to Hell 
Slayer – Reign in Blood 
Celtic Frost – Morbid Tales 
Accept – Restless and Wild 
Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden 
Manowar – Battle Hymns 
Sodom – In the Sign of Evil 
Razor – Evil Invaders
Nifelheim – Servants of Darkness 
...but there are, of course, probably at least 50 more bands / albums I could mention.

(2007, after the gig with The Protectors, Stockholm)

For September/October you’ve booked some European shows. What kind of setlist can the diehard Protector fans expect on those thrash rituals? Do you vary the live set per each show or you’re going to play the same set of songs each night?
- We will play songs from the 80s and 90s, and of course there will also be three new songs (one from each new album) as well. In Germany we are planning to play 1 or 2 songs more from the latest album, because we have played the old songs there so often now. In the other countries it will be more of the “oldschool-setlist” mentioned above.

The reanimated Protector (2013): 
Carl-Gustav Karlsson, Michael Carlsson, Martin Missy, Mathias Johansson

All of the sudden, the show in Košice (Slovakia) was cancelled and replaced by Ostrava (Czech Republic). I’ve planned to visit that show, thus really curious to know what’s happened with it? Will you going to postpone that cancelled Košice show for 2020?
- The organizer of the gig in Košice contacted us about a week ago and said that he couldn’t do the show, because he has to go on a business trip from work around the time of the concert. Fortunately, we were able to find an organizer who was willing to do a show on the same date with us in Ostrava instead. For the moment, there are no plans for a show in Košice in the future.

Danke schön/tack så mycket Martin! At the end, please send a message to the Carpathian hordes of Protector.
- Thank you for doing this interview with me. Stay Metal everyone! I hope to see you soon live somewhere.

Robin Joelsson (OF FIRE)

Interview with Robin Joelsson (OF FIRE)

Hail Robin and OF FIRE! I congratulate you for your excellent third LP called “Dräparen”, which was released through the Spanish Art Gates Records. What is the reaction to “Dräparen” from the underground media and death metal fans so far? How went your common work with Master Tomas Skogsberg at Sunlight Studios?
- Hi! Thank you very much man. It's been quite good, we are really humbled by the reception so far. It seems that the people who heard it actually really likes our new album. Art Gates has treated us well too. The work went smoother than ever with the recording, we had no song finished this time just riffs and ideas, so we arranged the songs along the way and recorded it live in the studio. It turned out great working this way and Tomas was very happy with this way of working as well. Tomas Skogsberg lives and has his studio just outside Norrtälje these days so that made the process more easy.

If I’m not mistaken, your band started as Spasm in 2012 then you changed the name to OF FIRE, which is a great choice, in my opinion. Is there any common relation with legendary Dismember’s track “Of Fire” from their “Death Metal” album?
- Yes that is correct, there were 12 other bands with the name Spasm so we needed to change it. I was happy ‘cause I never really liked that name. We were struggling to find another name actually, and then Jonathan mentioned OF FIRE. I liked it a lot because of the song and what it meant for us as teenagers, we played it over and over on a boombox while drinking beer in our local park and it has moulded us into who we are some way along the way. Jonatan liked the sound of the name. Him and I grew up together although we have completely different personalities we have most times completed each other in a good way, he being more introvert and sensitive and me more extrovert and more spontaneous.

With guitarist Jonathan you played together in a death metal horde, Depraved. Tell us more about your previous band Depraved.
- Well it was more of a melodic death metal band with even some clean vocals, this was back in 2003 When we were 18 or so. Depraved was:
Me on vocals and guitar
Tobias Rydsheim on bass
Jonatan Thunell on guitar (second demo) 
Anders Berndtsson on guitar 
Jonas Holmström on drums
The band started to get some serious attention after recording two demos (Glimpse of Death 2003) and (Pieces of You 2004), for example we went on a bus arranged by Sweden rock magazine, they played the demos for 17 hours straight in the speakers and people couldn't get enough of it, and the venues we played where soon packed so time was right for Depraved but we didn't really understand it then, Jonatan moved away studying music, i was using  lots of drugs and Anders (who is the original guitarist in OF FIRE) went to Norway for work. Tobias (mastermind of Wormwood) started another punkband and Jonas drank a lot. So we split in 2005, we did try to reunite a couple of times but the spark was no longer there. A few bands later me Jonatan and Anders found each other again in 2012 forming what is now OF FIRE. A bit more adult and less chaotic minds but the same love for music as always.

What should we know about the OF FIRE lyrics? Which are the sources you get inspiration from? How goes the songwriting-process in OF FIRE?
 - Well its most about nature, and the world I call Mother Earth. We have only one earth and there is nothing more or less, no aliens, no other planet and no religion. We have this and this is the only thing that we all know is true. There are true monsters in the deep, but the biggest monster is mankind. It’s not the typical death metal themes but my passion is in nature so I write about that. I've lived life the hard way and I don't find the darkness as a mesmerizing or a cool thing. I was born and bred from it. Nature is true and will never stabbed me in the back sort of speak. The music is mostly written by Jonatan and some songs by me, simply cause Jonatan is a genius. Rasmus wrote two songs on "Death do us all" (The Burden) and (the Shrine) but every song starts with some riffs and we put it together in the rehearsal place. We usually rearrange them several times and then I write the lyrics, it’s all about the feeling of the song and the pictures that comes in our heads when we play them. 

I’ve mentioned in my Hungarian review at Kronos Mortus e-zine that during the listening of “Dräparen”, I’ve found influences of old Entombed, Dismember and Desultory in your music, what makes me happy as I’m an old fan of all of them. By the way, what are your favourite albums from these bands and name us your top 10 all-time LPs.
- It's hard for me to give you the answers you want because I don't listen so much to deathmetal anymore but I still like all Dismember records, my favourite is "Death Metal" of course. My Entombed favourite is ”Uprising”, I really love the rock’n'roll death feeling on that album, especially the last song "In the Flesh". I haven't listened to Desultory for a long time, I can't even remember when so I will have to pass on that one cause of that and get back to you later hehe. 
About the 10 albums I’m going to choose my favourite albums despite genres in no particular order: 
1. Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind 
2. Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks 
3. Morbid Angel - Gates to Annihilation 
4. Autopsy - Severed Survival 
5. Slayer - Seasons in the Abyss 
6. Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come 
7. Metallica - Kill ’em All 
8. Sepultura - Roots 
9. Pantera - Vulgar Display of Power 
10. Black Sabbath - Black Babbath 
And about a 1000 more records but I think I speak truly about this.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get any information about the cover artwork of “Dräparen”. Who created and what symbolize it?
- The Artwork was made by extremely talented Russian guy Kirill Semenov, Dräparen is an old forgotten name for the Wolf Witch is translated to the slayer. The theme of the album is about old Swedish stories and folklores around the starving and cold days in Sweden around 1700s-1800s when the Wolf ruled the Great taiga. People were starving and blamed it on the Wolf and still are today. So Kirill being Russian understand the whole thing cause of taiga forest unites us, he was the perfect guy for this cover.

I like a lot your killer voice Robin. When did you start to growl? Which are your favourite singers? 
- Thank you very much, hmm sometime around 2000ish I was in High-school. I actually still see myself as a guitarist, but the band I had no singer so I was supposed to do it until we get a proper singer. But we couldn't find a singer so I laid down the Guitar to focus on vocals entirely and has continued that way since then. I mean good guitarists are not hard to find. I also played drums in a black metal band before that called "Satyg". But anyways, my favourite singer will have to be Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth, Bloodbath), Peter Dolving (The Haunted, Mary Beats Jane) and actually a guy I know Alexander Högbom (Demonical, October Tide, ex- Centinex).

What is the current situation with your live performances? Any upcoming shows to be mentioned here? I saw, you played in Romania and Russia a few years ago. How were those concerts? (I really hope to see you in Slovakia or Hungary live in the near future.)
- We are working on it, this fall will be dedicated to promote the album and play shows in Sweden. We'll go on tour in spring 2020 and hopefully some festivals during next summer. Actually we did tour both Slovakia and Hungary back in 2015 for our first album "Carnage fever" we brought our brothers in Wormwood along as well. But hopefully both Slovakia and Hungary will have us in 2020 again!

You are from Norrtälje. Would you be so kind to recommend to the readers some interesting places from your town, local foods and drinks?
- Hah good question! Well Norrtälje is an old town located by the sea it was a city of Vikings back in time and in the early 1700s the Russians invaded and burned down most of the town. I guess they paid back for 100 years of Vikings from here raiding Russia at first. But now it’s quite beautiful small town with lots of history to see like statues of Vikings and stuff. We have the great archipelago right here so a trip with a boat out among the thousands of small Islands is highly recommended in the summer. There are some restaurants that serve local foods as well like local fish, Swedish meatballs and local beer as well. But please visit Norrtälje in the summer time (June-August) in the winter time the town is almost dead because snow and cold.

Tack så mycket/thank you very much Robin, wish you all the best with your band. At the end, please send your ultimate thoughts OF FIRE.
- Tack själv and thank you for having me! Support the underground, buy our album Dräparen!

Important links: 

OF FIRE (Facebook): facebook.com/Offireofficial/

Art Gates Recordsfacebook.com/ArtGatesRecords/

2019. július 15., hétfő

Carl-Gustav Karlsson

Interview with Carl-Gustav Karlsson (Protector) 
Questions compiled by Cornelius of Encomium 'zine 
and Georgius of Archangel's Lantern

Hail brother Carl-Gustav, hope you are doing fine! First of all, we would like to congratulate you with the release of the awesome new material of Protector, called “Summon the Hordes”. It’s just brilliant! How went the common work with the legendary producer Harris Jones? What are your favourite tracks out of it?
Hello Georgius. Thank you so much for having the interest in Protector and me as well. The support you give and your dedication to music. We are so thrilled over the new album and are very satisfied with the new record. We recorded the album both in Germany and Sweden. We recorded drums, guitars and bass guitar at the Phonostudio Johannisthal, Berlin. And Martin’s vocals were recorded at Wolfden Studio, Stockholm with Jocke Rydbjer and Harris Johns. After that back to Germany for mixing and mastering, everything went so smooth and Harris Johns is nice to work with in every way. He is very responsive and listen to our demands and ideas. I think it’s very important to have a conversation and an idea how you want to sound before you went into the studio. Favorite track is “Two Ton Behemoth”.

Who came up with the idea of recording it such way? I mean it sounds as it was recorded back in the 80s, especially I like how the drum-sound turned out. Pretty unusual sound production in general for a record out in 2019, isn’t it? 
- It was our guitar player Mike that cracked the idea to record it with Harris Johns. We discussed how other bands have sound true to their discography and how the different studios were important for progress. The sound came out naturally and without too much compressing and the great mixing with Harris Johns it turns out this way. We really loved Tomas Skogsberg’s production and will surely record there once again, but it’s also important to adjust the sound a little bit and have some variation for our fans. It was also a small dream to us all to make a recording with both Tomas Skogsberg and now Harris Johns. Harris Johns have recorded amazing records Kreator, Sodom, Coroner and Protector’s “A Shedding of Skin” earlier, so we have loved his production. I am glad you notice the old school sound. I think there are not so much people that appreciate that kind of sound nowadays. So yes, there are surely some that don’t really like it. There is no record that I have found in 2019 that sounds that dynamic and live as well. The drums are recorded without triggers and I am really satisfied with the tuning and everything.

What are the responses to “Summon the Hordes” from the press and the fans so far? Did you receive any numbers/statistics regarding the album’s selling from High Roller Records yet? 
- The response from magazines and reviews have been fantastic, so it seems the most of them like our songs and the harsh sound anyway. We have no statistics yet, so we don’t know how much albums we have sold. 

Your drumming is pretty fast and at the same time precise as well. So it would be great to know the names of the drummers who influenced you back in the time and the ones who still impress you with their skills these days? What kind of gear (drums, cymbals, pedals, electronics) you are about to use live, in the studio and at rehearsals?
- Thank you for the nice feedback. I try to practice as much I can, and progress goes slowly, but I try to get as much time as I can behind my kit and practice pads. Back in the days it was Pete Sandoval of Morbid Angel and Ole Öhman and Tobias Kjellgren of Dissection that influenced me most at that time. There were no YouTube channels and therefore you must learn everything by yourself. I have made lots of mistakes and have also learned wrong techniques and struggling was also present with some technical issues. Nowadays I have started learning via YouTube and trying to do exercises after Ukrainian musician Eugene Ryabchenko (Castrum), Austria’s Marthyn Jovanović and Italy’s James Payne. They are the top drummers for extreme music and have nice videos out there. Since I don’t play hyper speed black our death metal anymore, maybe it’s strange influences, but I try to be updated. The gear I use both in rehearsal space and sometimes live are Tama Artstar Esprit kit from ’97, which I’ve also recorded “Summon the Hordes” with; cymbals: Meinl MB20 14”, 16”, 18”, 20” and Sabian AAX 22” metal ride and Sabian AAX 14” hi-hats; Pedals: Trick Drums Pro 1-V. I have a low budget digital drumset at home Millenium MPS-600 with a Roland TD-8 module that works fine to practice on.

What are your experiences from Protector’s latest live performances? Protector will be going to play in Hungary this year, more precisely on the 1st of October. Have you ever been to Hungary? Do you like Hungarian metal hordes? If so, list us your faves, please. 
It’s always a fantastic experience to play live with Protector. The fans are so nice and we often have a really nice time. Last time we played was at our release party here in Sweden. It was intense and went awesome. Warfect a great thrash metal band from Uddevalla did a guest show and the after party was nice. We are so looking forward to play in Hungary in October and it will be the first time I visit Hungary, so I am really thrilled. I would love some sightseeing, but there will be no time unfortunately. Hungarian metal is great. There are lots of great bands.  I have had the opportunity to tour with Sear Bliss in 2002, then I played with Grief of Emerald. My favorite bands are Tormentor, Sear Bliss, Stress, Omen, Mörbid Carnage.

You are living in Strömstad, which is well-known about its glorious underground scene, especially due to the bands coming from the end of the 80s and early 90s. What bands are you going to recommend us nowadays? 
Well I mostly like extreme metal. I have a new favourite black metal band called Whoredom Rife from Norway that is on uprising. They really sound like black metal in the middle of the 90s: https://youtu.be/IrKuluuPTaU. A thrash metal bad called Warfect that lives 8 miles from here: https://youtu.be/AIRwjkwBRgc. And a death/doom metal band called Runemagick: https://youtu.be/UBmb3D3nLH0. This is what spinning just now at my record player.

Earlier you played in MÄBE? Tell us your memories from those years? Do you keep in contact with Mattias “Mäbe” Johansson? How do you like his new stuff? 
Mäbe is one of my best friends and I have nice and good memories of playing with Mäbe. We have done lots of nice stuff together. We had a hell of a time on a rock boat from Gothenburg to Kiel in Germany. I cannot tell you a specific moment, because there are too many, but we have lots of humor and funny moments, laughing, talking music and have great time in general. We have another thrash band together called Sarcastic that we always try to get time to rehearse with, but there is always something that come in between. We try to have contact now and then, but he is also busy making music and he is also playing records here at a local pub. I hope to have chance to visit him this summer. The new material of Mäbe is very good. If you could understand Swedish language, the lyrics are incredibly deep and he has written them with great thought, he ties in some local people in the lyrics that have passed a worse fate, old stories and some of his own. He is very poetic by himself and the music is captured by a dark concept. I like the music. Unfortunately, it is not so easy to understand for outsiders. 

As far as I know, your nice city is near the Norwegian border. What kind of places, drinks and foods would you recommend to us?  
Strömstad is a town that lives on tourism. We have Norwegians visiting us for shopping cigarettes, candy and alcohol. There are lots of people on weekends and now in summer time there are people everywhere. We have some historical Stonehenge places you must see and have a very famous island called Kosteröarna. In Norway about 2 miles from here you should go to see the Fredriksten fortress in Halden. This is where the Swedish king Carl XII (Charles XII) was killed – in 1718 – during the war between Sweden and Norway. At that time a province of Denmark. Here is also a new Norwegian black metal festival called Imperium that will take place this weekend: facebook.com/events/2261984214022448. Strömstad is not so big, so you will find some nice local pubs and some are specialized on seafood. We have no rock pub or any concerts yet, but sometimes there are some small local metal gigs nearby in Halden, Norway or in Grebbestad and Uddevalla.

In our first conversation you told us that you’ve been invited by Jon Andreas Nödtveidt to play drums at his rehearsal place. Did you just jam with him or played some covers? 
I was twelve years old at that time, so my drumming was horrible, heheh. I remember that he tried some riff ideas, but you could just call it jamming. Anyway, it gave me so incredible inspiration at that time, I practiced drums, so my hands and fingers were full of blisters after the drumsticks. I remember practicing whole days.

At the end, please feel free to add any latest news from the Protector camp as well as to send your greetings to the Protector legions of the Carpathian region. 
- We are just now rehearsing for the upcoming tour in September/October. I hope you Hungarian metalheads have time and interest and would come and see us play in Budapest. We shall deliver an awesome show that will take you back to 80s/90s and present of Protector’s history. More info at the event page: facebook.com/events/367354930513207 or at our Facebook: facebook.com/Protector.666not777

“Summon the Hordes” tour:
27/9 Kassel (DE)
28/9 Prague (CZ)
1/10 Budapest (HU)
4/10 Warszawa (PL)
5/10 Wolfsburg (DE)

Thank you so much for the support! Cheers, Carl Karlsson and Protector.