TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with Mattias Engström of Memfis was done by e-mail by Matilda Einemo on August 16th, 2006.
Memfis is a young Swedish band that has recently been signed to the new label Dental Records (initiated by the guys behind Threeman Recordings (Entombed) and Cold Records (Scar Symmetry)). Their second demo received a lot of praise in one of the leading metal magazines in Sweden and now they are here with their debut album “The Wind-Up”.
First of all, could you please give a brief chronicle of Memfis' band history?
Memfis was founded in the spring 2003 in Kristinehamn, Sweden. Two demos were recorded in 2004 and resulted in top rated reviews and a record deal with Dental Records. The forth-coming album 'The wind-up' consists of 11 stunning songs and will be released on September 6, 2006.
There's also a 7" vinyl single out on Futhermocker Records (released in May '06). Vinyl fanatics can order the single at www.futhermocker.dk/mock-ups
How would you describe your music to someone that has never heard of Memfis?
When I've been asked that question before I’ve simply answered, Metal.
I don't want try to set some sub-genre label to our music. But of course it's metal of the more brutal/heavy sort when the vocals changes between growl, high screams and more melodic singing. But it's not really death-metal, it's more a kind of "alternative metal", so to speak.
The music is progressive in a kind of a way that it takes different turns and changes in tempo, harmonies and rhythm.
You are just about to release your debut album, are you satisfied with the way it came out?
Yeah, I'm very pleased with how the album turned out. I think we've established a collection of good fresh-thinking metal songs that hopefully can speak to people in some way.
Can you share some more details about the experience of recording "The Wind-Up"?
When Dental records picked up our second demo-tape; "Breathless", they were so pleased with the recording so they asked if we could record more songs in the same way as the demo. And because we thought the material already had a good production, it made sense to add more songs to it. So we recorded 6 new songs in the same studio and once again with a friend of us, Pierre Oxenryd, as producer.
How do you guys work writing the music?
Mostly I write the music at home, and make home recordings on the computer, which the others in the band can listen to and say what they think about it. And sometimes I just bring a riff to the rehearsal so we can jam on it, and then I record what came out of the jam so it can be developed to a new song.
I’ve heard the album is about the danger and consequences of excessive consumption. Is Memfis a band with a message to their listeners?
If you would write lyrics you got to have a subject to write about. It can be about love, hate and everything in between. So I felt that I wanted to write some lyrics about mankind’s effect on the environment and about the consequences it causes.
'The wind-up’ has overall a message that's saying that we have to stop draining the earth of her natural resources.
Have you been reading any of the reviews of the album? What has the media response been like so far?
I haven't read any reviews yet. But I can tell you that we’re very curious if media and the listeners are going like it or not.
Tell us a little about the video to the song "The wind-up".
Dental records wanted a music video to the title track, so the making of it started around May. The album’s message/concept are illustrated in the storyboard between our playback scenes in a nice way with a couple of actors.
It’s a little funny that we filmed our parts at Christian’s work in Kristinehamn, instead of a studio. But it looked very cool and the place made a nice industrial feeling to the video.
When and where can those who are interested watch it?
I think that it will be released about one or two weeks before the album release in September. I heard that it would be played at MTV’s “Headbangers Ball” in Denmark for example.
What bands are you currently listening to?
Right now I listen a lot to bands such as Mastodon, Tool, Isis (and not to forget, Old man gloom), The Mars Volta, Kayo Dot, Burst and much of Mike Patton’s cool projects.
I have always been listening to all kinds of music, and it’s the main reason that I picked up the guitar when I was young. Metallica and Entombed got me more into metal when I started to play on my own. And since then I’ve been hunting for new cool bands and music to experience.
Is there any tour planned in Memfis' future?
We have just started a co-operation with 'the agency group' as booking agency, so they are planning the fall right now. They have already given us the opportunity to support Entombed in October at some shows in Sweden.
What can people expect from your live shows?
A nice collection of our songs from the album and the demos, the set will be powerful, dynamic and challenging. But still not to hard to enjoy if you never heard Memfis before.
Thank you for your time!
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