This e-mail interview with John "Odhinn" Sandin of the Swedish death metal band In Battle was done by Everburning in September 2004.

In the late 90s the Swedish black / death metal band In Battle released two well received albums for Napalm Records. Now, six years since their latest release, they are back with a new line-up, a new sound, a new label and a new album. Everything has changed but seemingly only to the better. Our own Everburning ran through some questions with band founder and leader John "Odhinn" Sandin. [The Editor]

So, the new album is nearing it’s street date, what can we expect? Is there any excitement to have the release out after such a big creative pause?
I hope the outcome of the album will be great and that we can go out on tour a.s.a.p and yes to haven't released anything for such a long time is this album a great album to go to the front again!

After listening to “King God”, the song you posted on your web site for download, I cannot but notice that it is somewhat slower and much more Death Metal than your last album ‘Rage of the Northmen’. Is the change of members the only reason for this and what brought these and other noticeable changes in sound of In Battle?
I think it is faster and more well played than ever right now.. and we have been growing up to be in this kind of well played Death/Thrash metal it became.. No, the member changes have nothing to do with the music... just that it has been more tight..

When this MCD release is out, what are your plans and main goals with the band? Has the line-up stabilized?
The MCD is out and you can buy it from Sound Pollution [Editor's comment: in Sweden that is]. Yes, this is the grand line up.

You are actually signed to Metal Blade/Cold, but the album is released by another label, how come?
The mcd is signed to Imperial Dawn for that MB don't want mcd´s as their releases.. so that's why.

Are you satisfied with Metal Blade? What made you sign with them? What do you expect from this big label?
I expect that the album will be out in the whole world and that we can go touring as soon as possible. We did sign with them of that cause that we have never heard anything bad about them.. just good things..

I tried a few places to find lyrics of In Battle, but without success. What are they about and how important are they to the band? Do you perhaps find music as a good medium to spread the message, or plain music is of main importance?
Of course the lyrics are a great important piece of a good soong becasue the soul and atmosphere is in the lyrics and in the vocals... Yes, it´s important to have a good message in the lyrics.. that everyone can have their own opinion of.

You play in a lot of other bands. Is In Battle your priority and how do you manage to coordinate all these activities?
I really want to play music in any way.. So for me it´s a job to be in the studio just working on a new project... I really love music and everything surrounding it.

What are the band members doing beside the band? It would be interesting to know.
I used to do some thaiboxing and mixed martial arts.. Frölén works at a factory doing plywood, Carlsson works with me in the studio.. and watches Hockey and Fjellstöm takes care of old people..hehe

What about the state of the underground in Sweden, any new promising bands you’d like to recommend?
Hmm...I do not remember the name of all the new bands but we've got some new stuff here from Sundsvall that's pretty good.

Since the style of In Battle is pretty extreme, it would be interesting to know whether you find any interest in more popular, more ordinary music? What would it be and how does it affect your music writing if at all?
I listen to all kinds of metal and even electro music... and trance.. too... so I get very inspired by everything... I think.... but it´s a lot of this new MARIT Bergman stuff that could fucking die... I hate that stuff.... hehe

Do you think that Black Metal and metal music in general possess strength to be a movement that can create/change something, since they show obvious dissatisfaction with the state of mankind?
I think that as a non politic movement we can be as big as anything... but if we involve politics and shit we will never do a breakthrough..

Ok, perhaps it’s time to conclude, any message to the readers of Tartarean Desire?
All hails to u all and hope to see you on the road!!!!!!! Just drop me a mail and we will dominate your town!!!

Links of interest:

In Battle
Cold Records