This phone interview with the guitarist Mikael Sandorf of the Swedish melodic death metal band The Duskfall was done by Lisa Magnusson, in March 2004.

The first time I heard of the name Duskfall was in the beginning of the year 2000. My club had just booked Satariel from Luleċ, Sweden, for a two day festival which was to be launched within a month, when my right hand man cried out and asked if we wanted to book another band from Luleċ, The Duskfall. I considered this for about 4 seconds and then said yes without knowing who they were and without ever having listened to them. Unfortunately I didn't have the time to see the gig but the crowd seemed satisfied so I was happy with my choice of band, and I did get a demo...

After that gig, which according to themselves was a good one, this in spite the fact that they had an unusual setting, (Mikael who generally plays the guitar sat behind the drums) many things have happened and changed. Perhaps, the composition of the band is the main change, but a lot has happened with their music as well.

As many other bands The Duskfall's history has contained a lot of member changes. Mikael tells, that during the slightly more than four years the band kept together eight people has come and left the rehearsing studio, but as it looks right now a stable member formation has formed.

The thing that has left most marks in all the member changes is the irregularity and at times dismembered recording sessions. A drop-out just before a studio recording changes the plans and new ones has to be created.
Every new member has had to rehearse all the old and new material. But Mikael doesn't think that the member changes have affected the music appreciably.

It's very easy to talk to Mikael and he continues to fill gaps in their history... At first our goal was pretty unpretentious but our ambition has increased with time, this due to the good response of the latest album combined with the feeling that things are beginning to go our way. We have a stable band now and with a new album in 2005 it's feeling quite good. The new album will have a more even flow since it's made under a shorter period of time and with strong refrains, with references in the Florida death metal scene.

The thing right now is to try to rehearse as much as possible before the summer festivals that are, at present date, Jalometalli festival and Party san Open Air.
To get the summer financials to look as good as possible, the band hopes to get some club gigs between the festivals. Mikael continues, it was the festivals who contacted us, not the other way around, that's fun. We're going to try to create a reputation as a good live band and based on that, create a foundation to get more gigs. We will rock!

The last gig was at "Nordic Rage" where the response was very good, all we could hope for and then some. The crowd understood what it was all about. The most important thing with a gig is to really have a connection to the crowd. The band has to work hard to get all of their audience with them. And almost as important is the need for the band to have a large portion of self distance. One gig I remember especially, when the band really saw the hole audience, was Stratovarius.

As the conversation continues we glide into a discussion about the music industry to day. We declare that there is too much money, prestige and nepotism involved.
Mikael is of the opinion that a band often isn't judged by their music but rather the music in relation too what's already done (the author agrees). Just because the music isn't innovative and original doesn't mean that it can't be good and qualitative.
The discussion continues in on mp3´s. Where we also agree, it's good that they exist. For promotion purpose they're really good and the big losers are the “one-hit-wonder” bands, and who cares about them? If the big record companies dropped all their lawsuits then perhaps they could lower the CD-prices?!

I asked how it worked to have a Greek record company (Black Loutus Records) when they are a Swedish band. Is it difficult? Mikael explains that certain problems and misunderstandings in communication and language can arise. But the internet and over-explicitness solves most problems he says with a laughter.

It has been a nice chat but it's time to bring an end to the interview and as usual I ask if they would like to ask themselves a question, and they do.

The band has existed for ten years in different shapes. How long will you go on and how do you find inspiration when you're facing a new album? We're going to do this at least ten more years, that's the time we're going to need to do our form of music. Inspiration comes all the time, partly form our fan mails and partly form the fact that there are always coming out new albums which we have to crack...

And with that I wish them good luck and good bye.

Links of interest:

The Duskfall
Black Lotus Records