TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This internet interview with drummer Henrik Ohlsson of Scar Symmetry was done by Vincent Eldefors on January 18th, 2005.
The Swedish melodic death / thrash metal band Scar Symmetry was created in 2004 by several experienced metal musicians. Now they are just about to release their debut album "Symmetric In Design" on Cold Records.
Hello, how are you doing?
I`m fine, thanks for asking. I hope you`re ok too.
First of all, congratulations on a very good debut album, how has the response to "Symmetric In Design" been so far?
It`s been incredible, lots of good reviews and tons of interviews to take care of. Everyone seems to like the album so we must have done something right with this one.
Many people yawn today when they hear of another Swedish melodic death / thrash metal band as there have been quite a few of those already, what do you think Scar Symmetry have to offer that most bands in the genre don't?
I think that we go outside the frames of melodic death metal and incorporate other elements than those you usually hear in that genre, I don´t think we sound typically Swedish either. We have sort of an international sound that even transcends planet earth he he.
Where did the idea for the band come in the first place? How did it all start and what were the ambitions and goals?
It started when I was recording drums for my other band Altered Aeon in Jonas´ studio Black Lounge. He asked me if I was interested in starting up abrand new act with him and I was. I suggested we`d use Per from Altered Aeon as a second guitarist and Jonas brought in a friend of his called Kenneth on bass. Then we found an excellent vocalist in Christian who had been recording with other bands in Jonas´ studio. Thus Scar Symmetry was born! The ambition was to musically create something we hadn`t done before with other bands and the goal was to release an album as soon as possible!
Is Scar Symmetry a real band who are planning to tour in the future or will it mainly be a studio project?
It is a real band and we are planning to tour if we get the chance, we never thought of ourselves as a studio project.
What is the song writing process like within the band? Is there a main songwriter or do you all contribute equally?
Jonas and Per wrote the music on this album, Jonas wrote seven songs and Per wrote five. Christian did the vocal lines for Jonas´ songs and Per did the vocal lines for his songs. I wrote all the lyrics. So we wrote individually and presented the result to eachother when it was finished.
Why did you choose to record the album in the Black Lounge studio? Was it a natural choice?
Yeah, because we could use a lot more studio time with the budget we had when we recorded at Jonas´ studio. If we would have had recorded somewhere else we wouldn`t have been able to record for as long as we did because the budget would not have allowed it. And Jonas studio has excellent equipment and a nice environment so why not?
Could you tell us something about the lyrics of the album, is there a general concept running through every song? How important are the lyrics to you?
There`s not really a general concept for the album even though most of the lyrics deal with different aspects of mysticism. "2012" for example deals with all the theories regarding that year and "Hybrd Cult" deals with a supposed bloodline that has kept clean since the dawn of man basically and now controls all media and business. "Veil of Illusions" deals with quantum physics and "The eleventh sphere deals with astral travelling. The topics vary from song to song but they mostly deal with mysticism in different ways, as I said. The lyrics are important to me because they`re an outlet for certain ideas that needs to be put in print!
The cover art was conceived by Satariel vocalist Pär Johansson, how did you decide on him?
He`s cheap! Ha ha, no. The guy is a phenomenal musician and artwork-designer, we wanted to use his obvious talent. My other band Altered Aeon also used him for the artwork of the "Dispiritism" album so we`ve worked with him before. He`s also done artwork for Christian`s band Torchbearer etc etc.
Was he given free hands with the artwork or did you have anything special in mind already?
I explained the idea around Symmetric in Design and he reflected the title perfectly, the whole "symmetry in nature"-concept works well as a frontcover.
Which song or songs do you like best from the album? My own personal favorites would be "Chaosweaver", "2012..." and "Obscure Alliance".
Oh, cool. My favorites are probably "2012", "Reborn", "Veil of Illusions" and "Hybrid Cult". But I sort of think of them all as favorites.
Cold Records have recently moved from Metal Blade Records to the Swedish label Regain Records, do you think this will affect you in any way?
I have no idea. Regain records seems to be a good label too but whether they can live up to the Metal Blade standard remains to be seen. I have high hopes though!
What does the nearest future look like for Scar Symmetry?
We`re going to start rehearsing for a couple of booked shows in Sweden and we`re eager to see the album released at the 7th of February. Then we`ll just have to wait and see if anything cool happens he he, no concrete has been made yet but things are looking great because the reviews of the album are just insanely good.
What do you all do in your everyday lives? I suspect you can't make a living from your music quite yet.
That`s right, things were different in the 80`s when people released an album and earned millions of dollars... I work for a corporation called Sandvik, Jonas works in his studio, Per and Christian studies and Kenneth works as a music teacher plus he has his own firm.
Any final words to close the interview with?
Keep checking the Metal Blade-site and the Cold records-site for info on Scar Symmetry. We should have an offical homepage up soon, a guy is working on it and hopefully it`ll be online very soon. Thanks for the interview and cheers to all the readers out there!
Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer these questions and good luck with the band and everything else in the future!
Thanks, good luck with your whereabouts aswell. Nice talking to you!
Links of interest:
Metal Blade Records