TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with the drummer Nalle Österman, formerly of Gandalf and now playing with the death metal band Chaosbreed, was done through a live internet chat in June 2003.
Hello, how are you doing?
I'm fine, thank you. And you?
I'm just fine as well, thanks, you have recently
recorded your first demo called "Unleashed
Carnage", what has the response to it been so
The response for it has been surprisingly good.
Sincerely I don't think any of us would have
expected such an overwhelmingly positive response
for our "copy-catting"... And if it wasn't for
Swedish GODS such as Entombed, Dismember, Carnage
and Grave to name but a few I doubt if it would
have ever turned out the way it did.
Why did you decide to publish all tracks on your
website for free download?
We felt it would be the most convenient way for
us to have our music served for the masses. With
all the pro / con MP3-discussions going on in the
music world we felt it could also be a nice way
to show for people that MP3's can also serve as
an important promotional tool for new bands.
Another reason was that we didn't want anyone to
have to pay anything for such crap... Nah. We
just felt we could get our stuff out to the
people the fastest this way, I think.
I think the three tracks of the demo show a lot
of variety with both aggression, headbanger
riffs, brutal vocals and melodies. Which one is
your favorite and why?
They tend to change. Originally I preferred FC/DC
for its brutality, but I felt the version that
was recorded became a bit too chaotic drumwise
for its own good. I think Rotting Alive is my
favourite at the moment because of its groove.
You see, we didn't want to make too polished or
perfect versions of these songs as we felt that
might result in not having enough of stamina for
these songs when we eventually re-record them for
Your sound is very similar to old Entombed, is
this what you tried to accomplish?
I think it's safe to say that we all have a
genuine love for all old-school death metal and
especially for the Swedish "Sunlight-sound", if
you want to call it that. We tried just to put
our Boss HM-2 guitar pedals in good use and this
is what came out of it. I just LOVE that crushing
guitar sound, can't get enough of it, I'm afraid.
I think I speak for all of us if I say that if we
have to choose between the Morrissound- or
Sunlight-school of sound, we all would choose
Sunlight. Whereas I would assume there's still a
bit more sunlight in Florida than Stockholm, if
you know what I mean...
Well, perhaps not at the moment :-), could you
tell us a little about how and when Chaosbreed
I think me, Oppu and Taneli got some kind of a
buzz of playing old-school death metal when we
did this tribute for Chuck Schuldiner at Nosturi,
Helsinki in March 2002. playing a set of old
Death-songs from the first three albums. But this
line-up got rounded up in Spring 2003 when Esa
(lead guitar) and Taneli (vocals) decided to join
the crew consisting now of me, Nalle on drums,
Oppu on bass and Marko on guitars. And there has
been no looking back ever since!
Are you looking for a record deal right now or do
you plan on taking care of everything
From what we have spoken between us we have
basically two options. If we don't get a contract
that can fulfill certain demands we have set for
a contract, then we will probably finance the
recordings by ourselves and shop the albmu around
for a good enough licensing/distribution deal.
All this to have everything under control by
ourselves. I think some members of Chaosbreed
have learnt a lesson or two from the record
business and industry over the years...
Some of the band members are already occupied
with other bands like The Black League,
Moonsorrow and Mannhai, is Chaosbreed a second
priority band at the moment?
This is a question each member that this question
touches would have to answer themselves. However,
from my point of view based on what the guys have
said and what I feel I would say that every
member of Chaosbreed will give their 110% for
each band they are committed to at that
particular period. Many things can be
accomplished based on careful planning. Therefore
the term "second priority" is probably a bit
misleading 'cos it gives an impression of this
being a half-hearted, half-assed project, which
it isn't as everyone has put their whole heart
and soul into this band.
How and why did you start playing music in the
first place? Was the guitar your first
I started to pick on some strings and bashing on
drums as a very small kid, but when I got to high
school at the age of thirteen I started to
rehearse playing drums more often. I then had a
break from playing drums between the age of
17-20, when I learned how to compose on guitar.
But when there was no suitable drummer to be
found for Gandalf I had to learn how to play
drums again. So I did.
In 1993 you formed Gandalf, were you in any other
bands prior to that?
There were some bands, but nothing important
enough to be mentioned.
You released several demos and a couple of albums
with the band before breaking up last year, why
did you decide to disband Gandalf?
During the last few years there started to be too
much shit to handle. You know, when the bad
points start to outweigh the good, then you have
to reconsider your priorities and think if there
is any point in continuing this way. Just like in
Do you know what the former Gandalf members have
been doing since then? Are you still in touch
I'm not really in touch with the guys. Sometimes
we call each other to see what's going on, but as
everyone has their own lives to live it happens
more and more seldom. Kimmo plays bass in a
stoner-group called Blake, Timo plays guitar in a
speed / thrash metal outfit Divine Decay, Harri
plays guitar in a band called Dragon Sun (style
is similar to Sentenced / HIM) and I've heard that
Jari sings in some band which name I don't know
similar to the style of At The Gates / The Haunted
Ok, then here we go again: did you start Gandalf
without a bass player?
Yeah, but then we found Kirka. Then we lost him
as he got a precious opportunity with a group
called Lab which he didn't want to surpass.
Kimmo, who replaced Kirka was an old friend of
ours so the change happened quite easily.
Do you remember when Kirka joined and left the
He joined for our third demo "The Cradle"
released in 1995. Prior to Kirka we had Tommi
Launonen playing bass on a few shows and on our
second demo released in 1994, before he left to
continue with Soulgrind, Gloomy Grim and Nomicon.
Kirka left somewhere around 1999-2000, if my
memory serves me correctly.
Did Kimmo stay with the band until the very end?
Yeah, he played on the UK tour we did with
Katatonia and Akercocke in Summer 2001. However,
Kirka played bass on our last show at the Tuska
festival in July 2001 as Kimmo was having a
When did Santtu Sierilä join the band?
He joined prior to the recordings of our 2nd demo
But he didn't stay for very long?
Well, depends what you call long. He was with us
for 2-3 years and we made two demos with him and
a lot of gigs so he was definitely an important
member in Gandalf history.
Why did he leave the band?
There were a few reasons. Nothing personal, just
a few "musical differences".
You never considered adding another guitar player
Well, we always had two guitars. Sami played on
the "Deadly Fairytales"-album before he left to
pursue a career of his own with Lullacry. Harri
played 2nd guitar on the shows we did promoting
our 2nd cd "Rock Hell".
Ok, Sami was a full member of Gandalf?
Did Toni Näykki (Soulgrind, Twilight Ophera) ever
play with Gandalf?
Yeah, he played on three shows we did, but things
never really properly worked out with him and the
rest of the band even though he is great guy to
party with. He was present on the recordings of
"Rock Hell" but then we had to part ways as he
had some personal issues he had to take care of.
Are you having as much fun now with Chaosbreed as
you did with Gandalf in the good old days?
Personally I enjoy more of being a member of Chaosbreed that what I was in Gandalf as every member carries their part of the burden. In Gandalf I felt quite frustrated more than once when I felt I didn't get any support or help from the other members when I would have needed it. Time shall tell what will happen in this musical relationship but as for now I am enjoying myself hella more than I did in Gandalf. In a certain way it makes me sad to say this in such a blunt, harsh and direct fashion but I don't find a reason or way to cover it up in red roses as this is how I feel. Of course many good things happened during the nine years we were together, but as I said earlier - in the end the bad outweighed the good. And that was when I knew the band was over.
That was about it, do you have any final message for the readers of Tartarean Desire?
Thank you Vincent for this interview. Check out our website (www.chaosbreed.net) for all the news of Chaosbreed. At the moment it looks like our demo "Unleashed Carnage" will be released for the public as we are negotiating with a few labels for its release, but for all the latest info check out our website. I would assume some readers would have wanted to read some info about Amorphis, The Black League, Sentenced, Mannhai and Moonsorrow as well, but their views will probably aired out in the net some day sooner or later. But check out our website if you want to hear some brutal skull-crushing old skool dödsmetall as - as they say - only death is real. Cheers!
Thanks a lot for taking all this time to answer my questions! Good luck with Chaosbreed and everything else in the future!
Links of interest: