TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with the guitarist Christofer Malmström of Darkane was done through e-mail in April 2001.
Hello, how are you?
Hello! Everything is great here, thanks!
Your second album "Insanity" will be released on Nuclear Blast in late April. Are you happy with the result?
Yes, I´m very happy with the result! I think it´s the most well played album that I´ve participated on. It also includes some old dreams that has come true for us, like for instance the intro with the choirs and the orchestra. That´s something the we wanted to do for a long time, and now we´ve done it. I think that maybe the sound could have been a little harder and more brutal, but now you can easier hear what´s going on in the guitar section and stuff like that. I think that the production of Insanity needs to be heard at a very loud volume to sound really good.
Could you tell us a little about the lyrics? It seems a little like a concept album to me.
At first we wanted to do a concept album, but since we ran out of time we had to cancel those plans. The lyrics are basically about different kinds of insanity. I mostly search through my mind and find some quite scary stuff, so I write about my dark fantasies and insanity in the brain. Peter writes about Insanity in the society and predicions of a dark future. But the lyrics are not that important for us. We consider ourselves musicians and not poets. Lyrics is just something that you have to have and we have no particular message that we want to deliver to the audience.
Will you be going on tour after the album release?
Hopefully! We will do a small tour in Holland in May together with Gardenian and also hopefully some festivals this summer. The metalfest in Milwaukee has shown interest in bringing us over and I think that is really cool since we haven´t played in the States before. Also Nuclear Blast are talking about getting us on the road in Europe after the summer, but nothing is confirmed yet.
You have found a very weird (in a positive way) and distinct style of your own. What do you think makes you different from all the other Swedish death metal bands?
That is always very hard to say. I guess it´s because we think in another way than most musicians. First of all, we´re not just listening to metal. Peter and I are very interested in jazz/fusion and classical music too. We´re also educated musicians in one or another way. I myself have been singing in a choir were I learned a lot about choir theory and stuff like that, and that´s not normal for a swedish metal musician, so probably there´s some of the reasons. We are very influenced by a lot of different things both in music and from movies and that contributes to our style too I guess. It´s also a fact that we´re very careful about what we write and always think through every riff that we´ve done and listen if there´s anything that sounds cheesy or doesn´t fit. It´s very important to us that we deliver energy and brutality to the listeners.
Do you know how well your debut album did? Where do you have most of your fans?
No, at the moment we don´t know that much. I think we sold between 12.000 and 15.000 albums world wide which is good for a debut album. The only thing I know is that we almost only got positive response from magazines all over the world, and that was very cool. I can tell from mails and stuff like that that we´ve got most fans in The States and Italy. That´s really cool. I think we sold about 1000 albums in Sweden and here not much people knows about us.
Are you happy with the support from Nuclear Blast so far? With so many bands on the label you have to wonder if they have time for all of them...
Yes of course they have a lot of bands, but I don´t think that it will affect Darkane in any negative way. So far they´ve done a lot for us, like flying Peter down to their head quarters in Germany where he did interviews for 4 days. I´ve done about 40 interviews myself from home. Nuclear Blast will also put us on the cover for their May catalouge, and that speaks for itselves, so I´m not worried that they will forget us. After all, they´re licensing Insanity from WAR Music which we´re still on.
Which is your favorite track from the new album?
My personal favourite track is "Third" because I wrote everything on it. Music, lyrics and I even programmed the drums on my drum machine and asked Peter to learn the drums from it. He did his best but I had in some parts programmed it for like 5 arms and 3 legs, so he had to rearrange some parts of it of. But I like something in all the tracks.
You used to play in a band called Agretator. Could you tell us a little about it? Who were the other members?
Agretator was our first metal band and consisted of me, Peter and Jörgen from Darkane. We also had a guitarist/oralist named Pierre Richter. Agretator existed between 1991 and 1998 and started out as a Slayer/Death-influenced band. In the middle of the nineties we discovered Meshuggah and started to play more and more technical stuff. Finally we were so technical that it wasn´t music anymore and the inspiration started to fade away. There were also a lot of different opinions between the members of the band, so Peter and I decided to leave them and start all over again in January 1998. After one month we asked Jörgen to join us too.
Are any of the current band members involved in other musical activities outside Darkane?
Almost all of us are. I´m writing for a solo project that at this time is called Neurotic. I will record an album somewere in the future and it will also feature Meshuggah bass player Gustaf Hielm. But I don´t know when it will be at the moment.
Klas and Jörgen are playing in a metal band called Defaced and they will release their debut later this year on italian Scarlet. Klas also plays in Terror 2000 with a few members from Soilwork.
Peter plays the drums in the power metal band Majestic as well. But all of us has Darkane as priority no 1!
You have found a new vocalist named Andreas Sydow since your debut album. Could you tell us something about him?
He lives in the same town as we do (Helsingborg). He had been singing in various metal bands here but never got the big break. When our former singer Lawrence couldn´t come along with us on a tour in Hollan and Belgium togehter with Soilwork and Naglfar we asked Andreas to be the stand in. First of all he had to learn how to scream and sound like Lawrence. That went quite smooth, and after the first gig on the tour we asked him to join us permanently. I think he is a great repleacer for Lawrence. He sings with the same style, but with his own sound in the voice.
What do you do when not playing or composing music?
I eat babies, drink blood, sets churches on fire, molest graves, rape old women, but I also like to read books, take a calm walk in the forest and watch a funny movie...
The drummer Christian Nyqvist from Lost Horizon said that there are hardly no "real" metal bands left in Sweden, at least not good ones. How do you feel about this? In my opinion Sweden is one of the strongest metal nations in the world.
If that´s his opinion there´s not much I can do about it but disagree. It also depends on what you mean by "real" metal bands. I myself find Meshuggah quite real, and Defleshed, Carnal Forge, Soilwork, The Forsaken, Deranged... Darkane too, but that´s my opinion.
What is your shoe size?
It´s strictly forbidden for me to tell you... I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you!
Any final words you would like to share with the rest of the world?
Thanks a lot for this interview. Please check out my own website at www.darkane.com/christofer.htm where you can find guitar tabs to all the songs on Rusted Angel and a lot of photos of Darkane. Also please check out our new album Insanity. Take care of each other and stay metal!!!
Links of interest:
Darkane Official Site