TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with the guitarist Lars-Göran Jonasson of Arise was done through e-mail in late May / early June 2003.
The Swedish melodic death metal band Arise have just released their second album "Kings Of The Cloned Generation" through Spikefarm / Spinefarm Records. Just back from their European tour in support of the mighty Vader, guitarist L-G Jonasson took some time to answer these interview questions.
Hello, how are you?
Fine thanks! Still recovering from a month on the road with Vader...
You have now released your second album with Arise called "Kings Of The
Cloned Generation", are you happy with the result and the response so
We're really happy with "Kings..." but there's always room for
improvements, of course! The response so far
has been great. We've got some great reviews here in Sweden and those
that we've found on various webzines really
seem to like it as well.
Do you think those who liked "The Godly Work Of Art" will enjoy the new
album just as much?
I know they will. "Godly..." did contain several demosongs which made
that album seem somewhat split up.
This time around we've had time to concentrate more on writing a whole
album rather than just "another song".
It also helped alot to work with Christian Silver in StudioMega again
since he knew who we were and we
both had several ideas how we wanted this album to sound like.
You have also been out on a European tour together with Vader, what was
this like? A dream come true?
It certainly was a dream come true!! It was hard to believe when we got
the word from Spinefarm
saying that we would go on a month long tour with Vader. Being our
first tour we didn't really
know what to expect but it was very far from the life of a rockstar.
Any interesting incidences or memories from the tour you would like to
share with the world? What were the best places to play and why?
Well, I'd have to say that the driver we had during the last three
weeks of the tour was one in a million!
He got pulled over by the police three or four times and I'm not sure
how many times he almost got us killed, haha!!
The best places I'd have to say was northern Europe, like Holland,
Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. Portugal and
Scotland were very nice surprises though with lots of people. People
that might not know your music but come up to
you after the show thanking you for introducing them to something new.
If there's only one person like that at each
place it's worth the whole trip!
You started out in 1994 as a cover band playing songs from acts like
Sepultura, Pantera and Machine Head. Would you say that these bands have
been important influences to the band?
They really have! We wouldn't have detuned our guitars to B if it
wasn't for Machine Head. We also try to capture
the heaviness of the mentioned bands which I consider to be as
important as the fast songs.
When did you start writing your own material?
Back in 1997 I think...
Before Erik Ljungqvist took over the vocals you had two other vocalists
in the band named Jörgen Sjölander and Björn Andvik, how come they
didn't last? What have they been doing since they left the band?
This was a while back so... I guess they both grew tired with the
Jörgen is still making music and doing his own thing, for instance he
made the intro for Haterush on the "Godly
work..." album. What Björn is doing today I have no idea.
Was Arise your first band?
When did you pick up your first instrument? Who inspired you to start
playing in the first place?
My dad used to play guitar and when I was 10 or 11 years old he taught
me some chords and melodies and the
guitar has always been my thing since that. I grew up listening to
bands like Twisted Sister, KISS and WASP but
the first real guitar heroes were Gary Moore and Slash.
I know that you have been in two other bands called The Eggers and
Future Development, could you tell us a little about them?
The Eggers was a band I played with when I was in 6:th-7:th grade,
playing covers by ZZ Top, The Animals and stuff
like that. Future Development was as a "metal hardcore" band I was
asked to join about a year or two after I joined
Arise. I only played with them for 5 or 6 months before I got kicked
out when their old guitarist finished his army
You recorded a number of demos before signing the deal with Spinefarm
Records, is there any chance fans of the band could get hold of these?
That could be very hard. We only have a copy each I think but all songs
are available on mp3 from our
website www.ariseonline.com or from www.mp3.com.
Did you have any other label offer to choose from? Was Spinefarm the
obvious choice and, if so, why?
Our drummer Daniel, who's the most knowledgeable of us when it comes to
labels, said early that Spinefarm would be
great for us. They're not to big and not too small, meaning they have
the money and the power to help a band forward.
So, yes, Spinefarm was a very obvious choice when we got the offer.
Are you happy with the support from Spinefarm so far?
Yeah, Spinefarm's been really nice to work with. They've put alot of
money into the recordings and the
layout/design of the CDs which is great and putting us on tour with
Vader. Since Spinefarm now are a part
of Universal that also helps us get some really good promotion done
which we've already noticed.
What is the best thing about being in a band like Arise? What is the
The best thing is of course being able to get together and play like
hell! Even better when people like the
outcome of it! The worst thing for me is definitely the travelling
since I don't live in Alingsås anymore. I've got
almost an hour of travelling just to get to the rehearsal place. That
Any final words of wisdom for the readers of Tartarean Desire?
When in doubt, have a beer. If that doesn't help, have another.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer this interview and good luck
with the band and everything else in the future!
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