VOMITORY

1. Tobias, thank you so much for being with us here today. Above all, I wonder what is happening today around Vomitory since your last „Opus Mortis VIII” album was released in 2011. Do you have written some new stuff for your next recording? Do you know what form of release it will be?

I’m sorry to tell you, but there are no plans on writing and releasing new music with Vomitory. This reunion is for 2019 only, and only for playing live shows. We have no plans to continue after that, but we will see when the time comes. One should never say never.

 

 

2. Can you describe how did Vomitory start and what purpose you put this unholy band together for? Which bands and musicians influenced you most in your early days, do you still exactly remember your beginnings? What were your initial ideas and how much they had changed, or transformed till now?

Vomitory was started in October 1989 by guitarist Urban Gustafsson in Forshaga, Sweden. The reason was solely for the passion of playing fast and brutal music. We didn’t have big ambitions to make any kind of career out of this. We only wanted to enjoy it for our own satisfaction. Eventually, more people liked what we did, which lead to playing more local shows, we released our first demo, played more shows etc. Our earliest influences were Sodom, Slayer, Sepultura, Celtic Frost, Kreator, Entombed, Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower and Carcass. And those bands are still close to my heart, 30 years later. In the beginning, our style and sound was very primitive compared to what it turned out to be just a couple of years later. Our sound evolved over the years, and I think that around „Revelation Nausea” (2000) we cemented the sound that we’ve become recognized for. I still remember the old days quite clearly, and it was a very exciting and inspiring time.

 

 

 

3. Vomitory’s first official 6-track demo, was recorded in 1992, which brought Vomitory’s name on the map of Death Metal for good, I think. How well do you still remember those times, when you got that demo recorded and out for the people? I guess getting your first demo out worked out a real stepping stone for the band – and right after its release, you received tons of fan mail from all over the world, am I right?

The first Vomitory demo had three songs – „Moribund”, „Untouchable Challenge” and „Undivulged”. Recorded and released in 1992. We sure got some recognition in the scene, but we were a bit late in the „Swedish death metal wave”, and by 1992 the interest for brutal death metal had slightly faded. People were getting more into the melodic and atmospheric styles of metal as well as Norwegian black metal. But the die-hards really liked what we were doing, and we got lots of credit for not giving in to the shifting trends within the death metal scene. And the demo got really good reviews in the underground media.

 

 

4. What about the recording sessions of Vomitory’s classic debut album, „Raped in Their Own Blood”. I can only imagine the pressure coming from outside was already there as a part of your recording sessions during those days but despite this enormous pressure factor, you really nailed it down in the studio and got a very good debut album recorded. How much do you still remember about the circumstances of getting your debut album recorded?

Honestly, there was no such pressure whatsoever. Not even from ourselves. We just went into the studio and did our thing. The album was recorded in a very simple studio which was located in a school in Forshaga. I was the engineer and „producer”, we did everything ourselves, which naturally made us feel comfortable and relaxed in the studio. I remember it all very well. Already back then we wanted to record it in a better studio, but frankly this was what we and the label could afford at the time. Still, „Raped In Their Own Blood” became a death metal classic eventually.

 

 

5. Your debut is like the epitome of falling into the endless abyss of abomination and monstrosity. Listening to it always I find myself in unknown haunted dungeons full of disgusting repugnancy. Also the sound is killing, heavy as hell; the music is crushing, raw, without any signs of trendy ballast; a perfect Death Metal according to the ideas of many fanatics. Is morbidity your main idea at the writing process?

I agree, this is a very raw album and I love it for that. And it was released in a time when people almost was despising brutal Swedish death metal, which makes this album scream „fuck you” even louder haha. In the writing process – then and now – I always try to focus on aggression, intensity and heaviness.

 

6. In 1992, there already was a strong Death Metal scene in Sweden – bands like Grave, Nihilist/Entombed, Unleashed, Dismember, etc. being the better known and leading forces of Sweden Death Metal at the time. Can you still remember how Vomitory was taken among other musicians during those days, was there any kind of competition between some bands? Was Vomitory warmly welcomed to become a part of the big Sweden Death Metal family right away, or were there some band members in some other bands that sort of started to envy what Vomitory were both image as well as music-wise?

As far as I know, there was no envy between bands or competition either. Everyone was very supportive to each other. That was what made this era so special. But sure, there were some exceptions, although they were very few. One thing that made Vomitory different from many other death metal bands in Sweden, was that we came from an area where there were basically no other death metal bands, except for Macabre End/God Macabre. I don’t know if we benefited from that or not. In any way yes, since we didn’t get compared to the typical Stockholm and Gothenburg bands as much themselves. And in a way no, since we lived quite far from where the scene was alive and actually happening (i.e. Stockholm and Gothenburg), which made us miss out on a lot of shows that would have given us well-needed exposure. But in the long run, obviously none of it really mattered anyway. We went our own way, got ourselves a name and gained lots of respect in the scene. I’m very proud of what we achieved over all these years.

 

 

7. How do you feel nowadays in 2018 about “Revelation Nausea” and “Carnage Euphoria”era? I mean the material has been written and recorded in the early and middle 00s, so there’s a huge time distance between it. Do you still stand behind it or are there always some little mistakes and points to complain about them when you throw them into your player? Personally I think that both albums have been really outstanding and original for the times when they have been released…

I stand behind all our music to 100% and will always do. Of course there are always a few tiny mistakes or things that could have been done better or different in some way on all our albums, but that’s just how it is. It happens every time, and I don’t think that I’ll ever record an album that I will consider to be „perfect”. And honestly, I don’t want that. Both those albums are indeed outstanding, and especially „Revelation Nausea” is fucking relentless! I think this is the groundbreaking album of Vomitory. Not only was it our first release on Metal Blade Records, but it presented the updated sound that we stuck to more or less until our final album „Opus Mortis VIII”. It was also our most intense album to date, and our first as a four-member band, which we remained until the end.

 

 

8. Did your musical influences change throughout the years? I mean, would you say that you’ve became more open minded when you grew older?

I definitely think that we’ve become more open-minded musically when we’ve grown older. But the fundamental musical influences have remained the same, more or less. The one band though that really made a huge impact many years later (around 1998), both on me as a composer and drummer and the band as a whole, is Vader. They really hit bulls-eye in our worm infested death metal hearts.

 

9. Vomitory is a band with a rich history and an impressive discography, yet the band is still fairly unheard of by the general public. Where would you contribute this to?

Well, we did our thing, worked with a great label for many years, did a lot of tours (mainly Europe) etc. We did our best and I guess we got what we deserved haha. But in my opinion, death metal is not for the general public, so that doesn’t bother me at all.

 

 

10. What happened to Vomitory in 2011? It’s definitely a sad chapter, but why have you closed the doors after a brilliant album like „Opus Mortis VIII”? I mean you’ve had a respected name in the scene, so which has been the real reasons? Didn’t you get along with eachother personally or did you simply develop other musical interests?

The decision to call it quits was something that had been building up for a couple of years. It was nothing that came overnight. We got along with each other personally, so that wasn’t an issue. But we had been an active band for 24 non-stop years, and that takes its toll. For me the band was running out of fun. It was turning into a heavy burden instead. So the motivation to continue gradually dropped during the last few years. There were of course many reasons that altogether made us make the decision to disband Vomitory in 2013, and we went out with our heads held high.

 

 

11. When exactly did you start talking to each other about bringing Vomitory back? Once the news of the reunion of Vomitory got out how many other labels showed interest in signing the band and what made you decide in favor of Metal Blade?

It actually started already in December 2016, when Summer Breeze Festival in Germany got in touch with me and asked if Vomitory would be willing to do a one-off reunion show to honour the memory of the former Metal Blade Records European label manager, Michael Trengert, at the festival in August 2017. Trengert sadly passed away in 2013. He was also one of the founders of the Summer Breeze Festival. He was the one who signed Vomitory to Metal Blade in 1999, and he did so much for the band so we definitely wanted to do this special show in his honour. We played the show, had lots of fun and afterwards we agreed that we maybe should keep the door open for more possible live shows in the future. In early 2018 we began talking again loosely about maybe doing something temporary for the 30th anniversary in 2019. No new music or new album, only live shows. And from that everything went very fast. Our booking agent started asking around for the interest for Vomitory shows, and it kinda exploded. So just to make it clear, this is a temporary reunion for live shows during 2019. There are no plans to write new music or release new albums. So therefore there are no labels that have showed interest in signing the band, since we’re not „back in business” in that way.

 

 

12. Death Metal as an extreme subgenre of Heavy Metal, has been having a second coming for the last few years. Many disbanded Death Metal bands have collected their troops back together and are making new music and putting out new albums. How does this make you feel? Do you believe most of them are back just to feel like being a teenager and/or young again and do you believe some of them are only back because they are trying to earn some easy, extra bucks?

If you had asked me this when I was younger, I would probably have answered that they sucked and were sell-outs. Now, when I’m older and know better, I don’t blame them. I know for sure that playing death metal is not the easiest way to get some extra bucks. There is so much more hard work behind it than people in general think. So there are hundreds and hundreds of easier and better ways to make some extra cash, if that’s what drives you. I don’t think that they – and even myself for that matter – do it to feel young again either. I think it’s simply because they enjoy playing music. It’s what they/we do. Because at the end of the day, playing in a death metal band, or any kind of band really, is first and foremost for your own personal satisfaction. Getting paid to play shows is great of course but it’s not the reason why I play drums.

 

13. Were you happy with how the Metal Blade staff treated Vomitory treated you compared with the other bands on their roster back in the day? Did you get any financial support for tours and how much did they promote you guys?

We had a very good collaboration with Metal Blade, and still have actually. They are great people that have a genuine passion for metal. As with most (I guess) labels, they sign and work only with bands that they like, and the bands get treated thereafter. Metal Blade did a lot for Vomitory and helped us grow. Lots of ads in metal magazines, we got shitloads of interviews etc. And in the early 2000’s we got tour support for some, for us, very important tours.

 

 

14. Despite the lack of proper financial support, Vomitory played a good bunch of shows around the Europe. You shared stages with such names as Morbid Angel, Monstrosity and many others. Can you still recall how Vomitory was received by the crowds back then when got to play all of those gigs? Is there a particular gig that has stuck in your mind, for one reason or another?

That is not correct. We sure got some proper financial support for tours in the early 00’s. But as record sales went down in the whole industry, it got more difficult to get that. I don’t think we ever did a tour where we lost money. Well, maybe one in 2002, but it gained us in the long run anyway, so it’s difficult to say. Mostly the reception from the crowds was really good, but it differed from country to country, and from year to year. One show in particular comes to mind, and that’s Summer Breeze in Germany in 2009. That show – and especially the crowd – was absolutely fantastic! Definitely one of THE best Vomitory shows ever. We shared stages with many of the heavy names in death metal: Cannibal Corpse, Vader, Krisiun, Deicide, Hate Eternal, Nile, Monstrosity to name a few. I don’t think we ever played with Morbid Angel at any point though.

 

 

15. A lot of technical bands have arisen over the last few years. Bands like Cephalic Carnage, Textures, Dillinger Escape Plan push the envelope of the genre by including parts of jazz, fusion etc into their extreme metal. What is your take on this subject? Does it contribute to the loss of atmosphere and emotion, etc that metal usually is linked to?

Everyone and every band are free to do whatever they want. I think it’s a good thing that music evolves. If it didn’t, we would never have death metal or even rock, right? What some find atmospheric and emotional in music, someone else maybe don’t. It’s very personal to every listener. If these kinds of bands aren’t atmospheric or emotional enough, then listen to something else. I prefer my death metal straight in the fucking face though.

 

16. When you compare the early days of Death Metal with the scene of today, what has changed to the better and what has become worse since then? What are your faves of that time?

Back in the days there was this strong feeling of camaraderie in the scene, which is not as present today. Everyone was very supportive to each other. To some extent, also the music itself has become worse haha. But what’s positive is that the genre has become more accepted as a whole, which means better exposure, better distribution of the music and better venues for bands to play and fans to go to.

 

 

 

17. What according to you is essential for being Metal? How would you define the Death Metal lifestyle? What does it mean to you?

If you are metal, all of it comes naturally I guess. It’s hard to put it into words, really. I think being yourself is crucial. And not letting anyone tread on you and to stand up for your friends and your like-minded. Metal and music is a huge part of my life – creating, playing and enjoying it. I couldn’t imagine living without it.

 

 

18.Thanks for the interview! Good luck with Vomitory. I would like to extend my praise for your persistence in keeping the ancient flame burning. The last words are yours.

Thank you. I hope everyone takes the opportunity to catch Vomitory live somewhere next year, because it may very well be your last chance before we put the band to sleep again. Cheers!

 

MORE INFO:

https://www.vomitory.net/

https://www.facebook.com/vomitoryband

https://www.indiemerch.com/metalbladerecords/