TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This phone interview with Kristian Niemann of the Swedish death metal band Demonoid was done by Cseke Róbert in September 2004.
Guitarist Kristian Niemann has been a member of the prominent Swedish metal band Therion for five years now. During these years he has been writing some music of his own which has been too brutal to include on any Therion album. The result eventually became Demonoid, a band where he is joined by the rest of the then Therion line-up. Kristian spent some time discussing his new project with us. [The Editor]
First question I'd like to ask you, I bet the entire World is wondering
about, what the hell is Demonoid? Where did the idea for the project
from, and most importantly, why?
I guess, Christofer, I think, kinda got it into flirtation, but we
to start in 2001 after the tour we did with Therion. Our drummer quit
band, Sami, but we got a new drummer - in the beginning of 2002 came
and then he was really, you know, great in that style of playing, he
in a couple of bands, I don't know if you know'em, but Ebony Tears and
Faced Gods that's like really, you know, aggressive metal, you know.
and, ok, he really added that element. We were jamming and stuff in the
studio or rehearsal room, it's like "oh, we should really do
really heavy stuff..." and it doesn't really fit into Therion, you
with all the choirs and stuff, I mean, so we definitely wanted growling
vocals and, you know, Christofer to do it - he wanted to do that, and
just suggested like, you know, we should do the album and the idea was
not reveal any names or anything, just do the album, get a label, and
out, not like, ok, "this is Therion.. blah blah.. a side project" and
took a while to get the album released and in the meantime it sort of
out, you know, "it's these guys, and they came from Therion and
When you went with the demo or album or whatever to Nuclear Blast did
know that this is a project of guys from Therion or did they just
liked the cool music?
No, they knew it was us, but they weren't like really impressed with it
right from the beginning. We searched for a label quite a bit, I think,
record was finished before the Therion record, so it was finished in
summer, no, no, march, 2003, I think. We looked for a label over a
tried to get a label with a good deal... We didn't want just any
finally Blast said "ok, we want to put the album out" but they knew,
course we have spoken to other labels in between, but of course we had
reveal the fact that, ok, it's us, but can we keep it quiet? It didn't
really work out with any other label so we're with Blast... we're happy
That's great! Now, "Riders Of The Apocalipse" is not really an
far as the genre is concerned, it's kickass music but it's rather old
school, would you say that had anything to do with the fact that
the band that were actually writing the music had discovered this form
metal rather recently, or did you enjoy this kind of metal even in the
beginning, before Therion even?
Uhh, Christofer of course didn't write the music, which is on the
and Johan discovered, you know, Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir but we
listened to Pantera and Metallica and that stuff, of course Testament,
the recent, the death metal stuff is there, those are the real
but also bands like Satyricon and that kind of stuff. So you can hear a
little bit of death metal and a little bit of black metal but it's not
we would've been listening to pop music, but I know what you mean, I
feel it is really old school sounding, maybe it is to people who, you
really listen to the genre, but I really think it's more like, I dont
just a different thing with different styles with black stuff and
stuff, you know, bay area, 80's stuff and some other influences as
think, it's a mix of influences and, you know, just stuff that we like,
didn't really set out to like innovate the style or do old school stuff
this kind of stuff or whatever we just wanted to write a bunch of
know, the coolest riffs, the coolest anything else you could possibly
of, you know, that would kick as, so we said "yeah, let's do it!".
All of you play in other bands... How did you, and do you manage to
time for this project, isn't it too brave, or do you think you can pull
Yeah, I think so, Therion doesn't really do much, I mean, except for
actually do stuff, it's not like we're busy all the time, not like we
much or, I mean, the last tour was like two months and the recording of
album was really quick and we had lots of time to start working on the
record, but we were scheduled to start sometime around 2003, you know,
2003 or beginning... somewhere there... so we had the whole 2002 to
write songs, jam with a drummer and just really do whatever we wanted,
we did - we recorded in 2002, in the winter, mixed it mastered it , got
out really quickly, it was a quick recording as opposed to Therion, you
know, right when the record was finished we tried to shop it, but at
same time we started recordning, but then we did that for like a long
9 months or something, 10 months, it was really long but then... and
course we're touring with Therion and we'll be busy for at least... in
Europe will play of course this year and then we're gonna tour in the
next year but, I think, after that we'll have time for this record,
tour in the summer with Demonoid and we'll definitely make another
mean, I definitely wanna tour with it, and everybody else wants to, so
will be great, you know.
So do you expect a lot of promotion behind this? Do you think Nuclear
is goint to put in a lot of money into this project?
No, I don't really expect much from it, I mean, it's a new band, I
know if you've seen the record but there's a sticker on it that says
"members from Therion and Chimaira and blah blah" but I dont think
push this one as much as Therion or any of the big priority bands from
label but, I mean, we did a lot of interviews and then seen the record
the stores and in some magazines, you know, so I guess, they're pushing
just as much as they do the small bands that they have, so I think it's
that level, it's not bigger than that. We can't really demand much
it's not like this is Therion, it doesn't sound like Therion, so we
sell this stuff to Therion fans "yeah, this sounds like Therion" cos
little bit different.
So things like a tour might be in the future but any such things as a
should we expect that?
Nah, I don't think so, I mean, especially in Sweden, I don't know what
like in those parts of Europe but nobody fucking plays metal videos
I heard in germany they play that stuff sometimes but we don't have the
budget to afford this thing and I don't think it would make a
record sales, maybe 50 people more would buy it, I dont know, I'd
out touring and that would be much better...
I know, the idea for this record, such a record, was around for quite
time, how come Richard ended up on drums, cos he had left the band
then, he has left Soilwork since then...
And Chimaira since then...
Oh yeah, right.
He left Therion, he was a friend of Sami, the've known each other for a
time, they're good friends and he recomended him to Therion and then we
one show in 2002, but we saw that he could play not only more layd
the Therion style, but more aggressivly as well and it was a really
thing, you know, this guy's a great guy, we love him, you know, he's a
person, no problems there, and a kick ass drummer so we might as well
a band within a band, so to speak, it's a weird thing, I mean, not many
bands have done that, you know, and it really works personality-wise,
everybody likes eachother... and then we did this record, then he got
offer to join Soilwork and that was his absolute favourite band, he had
the records and everything, so it was a really hard decision for him to
leave Therion since we're friends and everything but it was like he had
do it and I understand it, then things didn't work out, he joined
he joined them and you know, I think, the reason for his leaving them
that he is from this side of the Atlantic and them on the other, so it
lot of problems with visa's and stuff. It's really a bitch to be
and going to the United States to work... it's a bitch, after September
The recording of this album, of this project... was it less stressfull
knowing that there wasn't a red light blinking in Modern Art studios?
Yeah, I was really relaxed, you know, it was the same thing with the
CD's, in a way, cos the last two were recorded in Modern Art studios
with this one I was there all the time recording, producing and
the other guys as well, and we could just take our time, you know, go
anytime we want and sit there, fuck around, experiment with sounds and
and whatever, you know, that's really the plus of having your own
where you can work, it's not like super fancy or anything, you know,
compared to big studios it's like nothing, but it allows us to work
mean, the downside is that we don't have a really experienced engineer
knows how to get really great sounds and Sami does know how to get
great drum sounds and, you know, vocal sounds but we're actually
inexperienced in recording with really great guitar tones and aslo, you
know, mixing, which kinda makes the studio kind of underground but we
put the time in performances and arrangements and ideas instead of
like two weeks of expensive studio hours. It sounds better but the
is not where you want it, you know, but I think it's ok.
You described Demonoid as a band within a band... Do you expect this to
become a habit from now on, I mean, you said you wanted to make a
album, but do you expect this to carry on not only in the near future
dont know, 5-10 years from now?
Who knows, who knows about the future? No one. I really don't mind at
think it's a really great idea. I like this style of music. The guys in
band, we all work well together, no big problems, like ego and other
and now, I think, everybody is excited in doing a second record... what
comes later we really dont know. Maybe we'll get really busy with
Christofer decides to not do music anymore or some of us decide not to
music anymore but who knows, you know, but I wouldn't mind doing this
long time, no.
That's really cool to hear. What's your favourite songs from this
how would you compare these songs to, I dont know... you think they'd
better live or would Therion songs work better with the public?
Compare Demonoid to Therion, you mean?
Ok, since Therion has quite a large fanbase, sold a lot of records, of
course, Therion songs are easier to get into, they're more melodic,
along"-able, so to speak, but I think the Demonoid stuff will work
well cos, I think, it's made for... it's that kind of music... death
black metal, thrashy style... it's really made for playing on stage,
know, and about my favourite songs, I think, its the two first songs
"Wargods" and "Firestorms"... Wargods, because it has a lot of lift in
and its got great vocals and it sort of shifts on time but the
it's like headon fucking kick-ass, you know, some parts with only
everything and the last part with the flange thing, I think, to me, it
sounds really evil, so I like those two songs a lot right now...
Yeah, Wargods is a brilliant first track, I think, how well do you
this album to sell, I mean, do you expect to make some actual money out
this and who do you think are going to be the people buying it? Fans of
Therion, Messiah, Chimaira, whatever...
To be honest, I don't really have any expectations. If it sells, that's
fantastic, since it took so long to get the record out, like I said,
year, I'm just really happy that it's out and people can hear it. If it
sells, that's actually a big bonus, of course, I would love it to sell
million and get really rich but it's not gonna happen so lets say, if
sells enough that the record label thinks we should do a small tour,
know, go on tour and make another record, that's fine. Then I'm really
happy. And for the people buying it, I hope people who like Therion
check it out... kinda feels like the old style Therion, if you like the
first 3-4 records, then definitely this would be something for you.
it's not like super original or anything so if you like the new heavy
like, I dont know, maybe melodic sort of deathy, thrashy metal stuff
I'm sure, you'll find something on this album that you like. That's
It's definitely a good album, I liked it, I'll tell you that, are you
with the way things turned out with this project? Any needs that
satisfied maybe, weren't completely satisfied...
For the record... you're never satisfied, you know, at least I'm not
satisfied, I mean, we did the best we could. Let's put it this way: we
couldn't have done it any better than it is with the money we had,
like nothing, and with the equipment we had... we did the best we
uhh, if I would improve something, I would definitely improve the
maybe, you know, better guitar sounds, uhh, bigger, fatter, heavier,
bit small, the base register is a bit fuzzy, it's not totally kicking
at least not on my stereo... maybe on someone else's, but I would
the sound and, of course, we could always improve the playing and the
songwriting which, hopefully, we'll do the next time, so we got some
already, not much, not complete songs, just a couple of riffs, and, you
know, we will be better musicians then we'll play better and do more
inspired stuff and make even more heavier music, so I'm looking forward
recordning the next one. Totally. A lot.
Do you know anything about the distribution of this album? I dont know,
i ask such things as where people might stumble upon this album in the
shops, do you posess any such information?
No, that's nothing I know of. The only two release dates I got was that
in Europe was supposed to be released in July, which, I guess, it is...
of july or 26th or whatever, and then in the States on september 21st,
think, and that's maybe it for South America too, maybe, but that's the
thing, I know, I dont know about teritories, countries where it can be
found, but if you can't find it anywhere, you should definitely talk to
Nuclear Blast, you could order online, just send them an e-mail like
The record! Where the fuck is it?", you know, "We wanna buy it so, get
Yeah, I would recommend it to everybody. It is a kick-ass album.
You're welcome. So, I'm sure, many are eager to buy the latest album,
album by Demonoid, a fresh name in the world of metal... I'd like to
you for making time to do this interview ... we'll just en it in the
traditional way, with your last words... anything you'd like to say to
everyone out there, you can do so right about now...
Ok, I mean, thank you very much, no problem at all! I would say first,
mean, check out the album, if you like it, great, if you don't like it,
it to me, and I'll repay you - that was a joke (laugh), I won't - but I
we could get on tour.... in Romania too... with any band, Therion or
Demonoid, that would be fun, would be awesome, never been there so I
really like to go there. My best friend is from Romania, so I'd
like to go there.
Very cool, you have a lot of fans around here, with Therion, I mean.
many have heard of Demonoid yet, but I'll make sure they will.
Yeah, cool man. I have a question for you: do you get a lot of bands in
Romania? Do you get a lot of bands play there?
Not really, I don't know, they don't come here very often, some do
sometimes, but the media doesn't really play these kinds of songs,
styles, but there are many people listening to these songs, so I really
Oh, thats too bad! What are the bands that you've had, the latest band?
played there last?
We haven't had bands like Cradle Of Filth or anything like that, I
the latest show (in this stlye) was Kreator... We're expecting
Oh, Nightwish? Cool.
I wish you all the best with both Therion and Demonoid.... especially
Thank, you. Thank you very much. Good night to you.
Yeah, good night.... Bye.
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