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TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE

This internet interview with Robert Kanto of Azure was done by Fjordi in January, 2006.

Two guys hailing from Sweden conform a melodic death metal band called Azure, whose second album “King Of Stars – Bearer Of Dark” has recently been released. This was an exchange of impressions through the internet.

Hej! How do you do? What are Azure doing right now?
Hi there. At the moment I'm trying to write some new tracks for the next album that hopefully will be recorded this summer, as well as doing some promotion for "King of Stars - Bearer of Dark"

This second album of your's must be a significant step forward from the debut release. Tell us the main improvements which have taken place.
Yes, I must agree it is. I guess mainly because we had more time to record it so there was no presure. Also, on our debut album the sound turned out very strange so the songs can't be heard in it's full strength. Me and Mattias is however planning to re-record some of the again, with proper sound and some changes.

Also we were both young and unexperienced when we recorded "Moonlight Legend"...

I wonder if you have had enough time and budget for the recordings, mixings and production of the album.
When we started to talk about recording another album we didn't even have a label behind us, so I covered all the costs from my own pocket. It was however not that much to talk about, Mattias both works in a studio on his spare time and also owns another him self. It would be nice to get some studio budget for the next album though.

What is the thing you´d like to change in the final result of the album?
Actually I don't have anything I would like to change... OK, maybe the guitar sound could be a bit more heavy.

I reckon a strong Dissection and Death influence. Since journalists in general and your's truly in particular often wander through words and have doubtful points of view, I´d like you to comment on those influences, agreeing or disagreeing.
Well, I can't disagree on that. Death is one of my favorite bands and so is Dissection. I even have the cover from "Storm of the Lights Bane" tattooed on my upper arm, and there will be something Death related on my body soon as well.

The highlight of the album is clearly its wide range of movements and changes. Is it due to the will of making an entertaining CD, or does it just came naturally while composing and rehearsing the songs?
Nah, it's just the way I compose songs. As I write all the material myself I try to make it interesting to play. We never rehearse, not even before entering the studio. We live 900 kilometers from each other so there's no time to rehearse. I just tell Mattias the basics in the studio and then we hit the rec button. Also I never think of the beats when writing so it can end up pretty strange sometimes.

The promo CD didn´t feature the lyrics. They seem to be inspired by fantasy and literature. What kind of subjects, characters and entities do you mention in the verses?
Yes, the lyrics has from the beginning been about fantasy. "King of Stars..." is the continueing of the lyrics of "Moonlight Legend" and also the end of the story, even though the next album also will be located in the world I have created, but a couple of thousand years earlier.

All lyrics and some background to them can be found at our website. But in short this story is about two brothers (that never met) that are the hope for a world about to be covered in darkness...

Pulverised Records from Singapore is releasing the album. Please tell us something about the deal with the label, was there a massive search by the band for someone interested? What labels offered you serious plans?
From the beginning we were signed to Karmageddon Media and the album should have been out in March 2004, but nothing happened. We got some promises but the months passed with little or no activity. In August I decided ti terminate the contract, which they approved on as they had some serious problems with everything.

Right after that I started to search for another label to release it. We had some negotiating with a few interested labels, like Listenable and The End, but finally my choice fell on Pulverised for the European release as they could get the album out pretty fast. Is it also released by Deathgasm Records in the US, they made a awesome digipack version, which can be ordered from our website as well. There will be some colour shirt coming up soon as well.

There is another band called Azure in Finland and I´d like to know if there has been any kind of problems between both acts, regarding legal rights and similar things.
I have never heard the band and as far as I know they have only released one EP + a couple of demos. We released our first demo in January 1996 so actually we have a 10 years anniversary this year... 11 years since we started this summer.

The Finnish band states on their website to be playing some kind of party metal, so it doesn't sound too serious.

I've also seen a band called Azure on MySpace, but I haven't heard them either, don't even think they play metal.

Death metal has plenty of manifestations: brutal, old school, technical, etc. What is your vision of the genre today?
I must say that I really like the technical aspect of the music today, it's fun to really analyze all the complex parts as a musician. Like the latest Behemoth album for example, it's out of this world.

But I still like less technical stuff like Bolt Thrower and also the old school stuff like Nominon are great. I've been listening to Death Metal since around 1987 and still I enjoy both old and new bands...

The fact you´re only two persons in the band surely makes things easier when recording and discussing topics related to the songs. Please tell us the ups and downs of this situation.
There isn't any downs really... I write all of the music at home, we record the basics and then I tell Mattias where he can add some orchestral stuff or vocals. Sometimes in the studio Mattias also comes up with some ideas for changes, but otherwise I'm in controll of the music and lyrics.

The only difficult aspect will be if we will do some live shows or tours, then we have to do some serious rehearsing.

Are there any albums released in 2005 in the metal scene which surprised you significantly?
No, not really... The biggest surprise I think was Nocturnal Rites that released a album that I actually liked as it wasn't all that power metal. The Arcturus album was really great, but I hadn't expected anything else. Also the new Nevermore is fantastic.

It´s been nice writing to you and reading your answers. Thanks for all! Say some last words to the readers and good luck in the future.
Thanks a lot for the interest and support. Check out our album... it can be ordered from our website where you also can find samples as well as merchandise and other stuff.


Links of interest:

Azure
Pulverised Records