TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with Robert Sennebäck of Souldevourer was done by e-mail by Fjordi in August 2005.
Robert Sennebäck is a well known guy, whose big contribution to the death metal milieu has been the founding of Dismember and Unleashed, two true legends in death metal still alive and kicking with no remorse. After leaving the scene for a while, he´s willing to return to the spotlight with his new band Souldevourer, openly devote of the ancient Swedish sound as you might think. Here you have their words.
“Souldevourer” is apparently taken from the Dismember song appearing on the “Indecent & Obscene” album which carried out a huge controversy back then. I´d like to know your visions on that song. Is there a special meaning for you in that track? Or was the song title itself an inspiration for you when choosing the band´s name?
It was the title itself that fitted our need of a name that would describe the essence of the band in one word.
Tell us something about the birth of Souldevourer, how did you meet each member, how did the idea come to your mind?
I just got the lust back to play again. I’ve known both Ola and Joakim for a long time now and Joakim and I have worked together before so it felt very natural to talk to him first about my ideas. Two weeks later we meet Ola at a Morbid Angel show in Stockholm. Ola asked me what I was doing so I told him that I’ve just started to play again with Joakim. He told me to give him a call if we needed a second guitarist.
Most of the songs are apparently taken from lost vaults or something similar; forgotten songs in a drawer. I´d like to know your words about the matter.
Well, there are no forgotten songs in a drawer. But I have found a lot of old riffs on riff-tapes (that haven’t seen the light of day for years), riffs that haven’t been used, forgotten and so on.
I presume there will be new songs on the forthcoming album. When you are composing music, do you stop listening to certain kinds of metal to achieve a certain state of isolation, or is it just the opposite case, that you try to absorb everything you listen to, in order to create something appealing to the ear?
Neither, I just play. When I’m doing riffs/melodies there is no planning at all. I guess that I’ve done hundreds of riffs that have no part in Death Metal or Metal at all. But of course, from time to time you listen more to certain kinds of music and then you are most likely to make riffs thereafter.
Dismember and many old school acts –especially from Sweden- are seen by many “freethinkers” (irony...) as boring stuff, stagnated in the past, with nothing new to offer. Most of the times, the new efforts from those bands do nothing but answer those stupidities with the best possible reply: music itself. To work besides the reviews and critics is the proper way to achieve good results, without caring about the bullshit around. Is this satisfaction when making good music the main reason of Souldevourer existence, maybe? In a single question: why do you play music? What is music for you?
It is of course interesting to hear if people like what you are producing or not, but I think that you have to be careful listening to reviews/critics; it has a nasty way of shadowing the main reason why you are making music and playing.
Tell me something about your touring plans. Another topic I´d like you to talk to me about is the changes in many aspects of touring between the past times and nowadays: amount of audiences, attitude, crowd´s tastes... are past and present very different in these subjects?
At the moment there are no touring, not even gig, plans. If the future grants us the opportunity to make tours/gigs we will of course do that. But I think it is a little early to talk about that at this stage. About the difference in past and present touring, I really don’t know, haven’t been touring for some years so I can’t say that much about the matter.
Many bands jumped off the death metal wagon in these last years. Explain to us the things that make you keep playing this very kind of metal, pure death metal, and not another one.
This is the type of music I’ve always been playing. Even if I never would record a single thing again, I would still be playing death metal in my spare time.
Some old death metal bands softened their sound towards commercial territories, while others shifted to brutal death metal. Only a few bands, like Dismember, Grave or Paganizer maintain the feeling of that golden age. What is your opinion on brutal death metal? Don´t you think that bands who sing about gore, pus, infections and so on with an asthmatic pig voice got through effects are absolutely unnecessary?
Can’t say, It’s all a matter of taste.
I´d like you to tell me about your opinions about the return of old legends of death metal to the scene, many years after their split. Namely bands as Grave or Pungent Stench...
Cool. It’s great for those people that weren’t around the first time.
Could you tell me something about these bands: Funebre, God Macabre, Sindrome, Mefisto? Have they been references to your music?
I can only say that Sindrome have influenced me in the past.
War is a highly mentioned topic when it comes to metal lyrics. The world is, as usual, shook by many conflicts all around. Pessimism is a pit that seems to surround us too often. What things are the ones you´d like to destroy and wipe off the world?
Greed, selfishness and the lack of empathy in people. I am a realist though and I don’t think that we ever will be able to escape this doom even if we destroy the world itself.
I´d love to know what are the new, young bands that have impressed you the most, and the style of music you think is most interesting nowadays, and the least.
I listen to all kinds of music so I can’t really say. Nothing is tabu.
Which are the things you hate in an interview? And I hope you haven´t found them in this one!
I can't think of any at the moment. Haven't done that many interviews in the past either so. Your's green.
Unwilling to steal more of your time, I close this interview wishing you the best for the future, and send you a huge “thank you”. Stay true!
We will! Thanks!
Links of interest: