ARISE

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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 far?
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 musical style. 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?
No...

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 services.

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 worst?
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 kinda sucks...

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!
Thank you!


Links of interest:

Arise
Spinefarm Records