TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with Oskar Frantzén of The Deliverance was done by e-mail by Maud in May 2006.
"It's like a breeze you never felt before." So goes a line from "Fragments of a Broken Dream," the opening track on The Deliverance's amazing new demo, Traces. In that song the analogy is to the haunting remains of unfulfilled desires, but it could also serve as a description of these Göteborg natives' refreshing and unique melodic metal. The Deliverance's blend of "the beautiful, the hard, the heavy, the soft" is ass-kicking and soul-searing, inspiring in their growing number of fans a type of devotion that is as passionate as the music itself. In this interview, vocalist/guitarist Oskar Frantzén, reveals many details about his band's development, inspirations and aspirations.
Sometime after the release of your first demo, Align in Silence, the band changed its name from Deliverance to The Deliverance. What were the reasons for this?
For some reasons: we had heard about a band called Deliverance so we decided to change our name to The Deliverance instead. Deliverance.se was not available on the net but thedeliverance.se was. . . . And we think The Deliverance sounds cooler than Deliverance!
Would you please share some of the history of the band and talk about how your sound has developed?
Started out as a cover band only playing HIM covers in 2003, did a few gigs but of course everyone gets bored by only playing covers. In 2004 me and Kricka started to write our own material, and it was a mixture of all kind of musical influences, from Björk to At The Gates, and the result was Align In Silence (2005).
As we became more safe [i.e. secure] with our music and ourselves, our sound developed from the a-little-bit-thrashier sound on Align In Silence to a heavier and more beautiful sound on Traces. The biggest difference between Align In Silence and Traces is that all of us in the group have been involved in the songwriting process on Traces; 4 heads are better than 2!
Are there quintessential The Deliverance songs, ones that show most clearly what you're all about?
I must say "Traces" it has it all! The hard, the soft and the beautiful . . . but we have some new songs that kick ass!
What is the songwriting process like in this band? Is everyone involved? Who writes the lyrics?
As I said before, everyone is now involved in the songwriting process, but normally Kricka has a riff that he brings to the rehearsal room and then we make a song of it=)=). Itīs me (Oskar) who writes most of the song lyrics, but Kricka and Kenny do some lyrics too.
You seem to have an unusual ability to convincingly express thoughts that sound like those of a much older person. An example would be these lines (from "Fallen Angel"): "We used to be young and beautiful / I used to sacrifice my soul." It's not easy for someone in his early-to-mid 20's to successfully pull off that kind of sentiment--either in writing or singing--yet you do so exceedingly well. Are you aware of this special gift? Do you feel "older than your years"?
Yes I feel like an old man=)!! No. I like to compare things on how they used to be. When we were younger, everything seems to be so easy and there was not so much problems. As you get older you start to think=). I feel like an old man if you compare to what it was when I was 15.
I would appreciate knowing more about the lyrics for some of your songs. "Fragments of a Broken Dream" seems to be, for the most part, from the point of view of a broken dream--that is, the "I" in the song is a broken dream, which is a very interesting perspective. Is that how you intend it? Can you talk about the inspiration for that song's lyrics, and also for those of "Traces" and "World of Beauty"?
Yes you are right about that! Itīs like a tribute to darkness and depression where "I" is the broken dream. If you are sad then be sad. You donīt have to pretend that you are happy if you are down. After rain comes sunshine=)=). I want people to be happy but
you canīt be happy if you donīt talk about your problems..
World of Beauty is a text about a girl that I couldnīt reach. I was in love
and she rejected me!
"Traces" is an order to people that you have to think by yourself: donīt be a rip off! You can stand on your on legs! You donīt have to be afraid to share your opinions and thoughts; your opinion is most important for you!
Your drummer, Kristoffer "Kricka" Bergman, also plays in the industrial metal band The Deafening Silence (along with Emanuel Petersson, co-producer/mixer for both of your demos). Does Kricka relish the oppportunity to play two quite different styles of music? Has juggling the two bands posed any challenges?
It works fine. He is an outstanding drummer, the best drummer I have known. He can play everything from Jazz to Hip-Hop=). So thereīs no problem at all. Kricka is the one who writes most of our songs!
During his first stint in the band, bassist Kenny Boufadene [who is also now in The Deafening Silence] played guitar, switching to bass when he returned at the end of 2004. Did his new role require a period of adjustment?
No there were no problems at all; Kenny fit like a glove in the band and he is the best bass player you can have=)!! Both live and as a friend!
Is this the first band in which you've been the vocalist? To what do you attribute your very impressive growth as a singer, which is displayed quite noticeably on your new demo?
I have done some background vocals in my former bands, but this is the first band that I do the lead vocals. We have played a lot live since our first demo, and I think that is the biggest reason for growing as a singer. I'm more safe about my voice now; I know now that I can sing=)=). On the first demo I only did the vocals because nobody else wanted.
In the studio diary for Traces, when announcing that the recording of vocals was underway, Kenny commented, "everything has to be perfect." Was devoting extra time and care for vocals one of the band's goals for the Traces recording sessions?
Yes, vocals have to be good if you want to become something! That is the major problem today. There are so many many talented bands in the world, but many of them donīt work on the vocals (the most important). You have to have a great singer if you want to sell records!
Did any of you do any recording in the bands you were in prior to The Deliverance, or was Align in Silence your first studio experience? What were the Align in Silence sessions like, and how do they compare to the ones for Traces?
Yes, we have all been involved in some smaller projects before, but Align was sort of a milestone for everyone. Our first "serious" recording.
When we made Align In Silence we didnīt had as much experience as we do now (of course) so we tended to overdo some things, for example the guitar sound. It took over the music, and in some places on Align you barely hear the drums and the bass. We wanted the guitars to be a little more subtle on Traces. On Align the guitars lead the music but on Traces they complete the music.
On Traces we have found a much better balance between the instruments. We all got better on what we do. We can, for example, all agree that my vocals are many times better than on Align.
Multi-talented Emanuel Petersson contributed a guitar solo to "Fragments of a Broken Dream." How did that come about, and does he also play keyboards on your demos?
He is an amazing guitarist and a very special friend of ours; we wanted him to do something more than "just" produce our demos. . . . Yes Emanuel plays the keyboard, a mad man!
One of the coolest details on Traces is the "monster voice" heard in "Fragments of a Broken Dream." How did you get the idea to add this effect, and how was it created?
"Fragments of a Broken Dream" was already a good song, but something was missing in the chorus. . . . We had talked a little about doing some kind of "growl" somewhere. I tried first but it sucked=), then Kenny and Kricka without any good result. . . . Then Ove did some kind of monster whisper in the mic (Maybe he was drunk.) and that sounded so terrifying, like a monster! We mixed the voice a little and then the result was perfect!! So Ove is the man behind the Monster Voice!
Who is responsible for the cover art of your two demos?
Our webmatser (Tony Gustafson) found a picture on the internet and everybody liked it. We mixed the picture a little and the result was Align In Silence. . . . Kenny did the cover art for Traces (the beautiful flower).
The row of trees on the front of Align in Silence beautifully represents the demo's title. The phrase align in silence does not occur in any of the lyrics on that demo, as far as I can tell. What is the significance of this title?
It means: let us all stand in a line in silence and listen to The Deliverance . . . =).
"Fallen Angel" and the title track on Traces have been performed live since long before the demo was recorded, even before the release of your previous demo. Did you make any changes to these songs during this time?
No they have sounded exactly the same all the time.
You were planning to include a fourth track on Traces. Why did you decide to leave it off, and do you have any plans to release it sometime in the future? Is it possible this other song will be available for download, even if it is not ultimately included on another release?
In fact we were recording that song for Align In Silence, but we had some problems with the drum sound. So we decided to do that track on Traces instead. Unfortunately, we had some problems again with the song ("Agony"), and everything didnīt sound so good as we wanted. . . . Maybe we will record that song for our debut album someday=)).
Are there new songs you've been working on since Traces was recorded? Can you give us a description of them? Are there any new directions you're taking?
They are a mix between the songs on Align and Traces--the speed and energy of "Endless Search" mixed with the harmony and the beauty of "Traces." We work very hard with melodies! You must have a great melody to make a great song!
Back in October there was an announcement that you had recorded a song for a compilation cd. Who is releasing this cd, and when will it be available? Is the song you're contributing a track from Traces?
The song on that compilation cd was "Fallen Angel" but a crap version of it. That recording is buried (RIP).
Do you have any plans to make a video, and has the idea of a live dvd been discussed?
Hmmmm. We want of course to do a video, but in that case it should be a great video not a crappy production. It is very expensive to do a great video, and that is not our priority right now, maybe in the bright shining future. . . . The same about a dvd.
In at least one live performance your set list has included some acoustic material, and last summer you were thinking about recording an acoustic version of Align in Silence. Is that something you're still considering?
Yes, I think maybe our acoustic material is our best material!! The concert we did with acoustic stuff was maybe our best performance, and most appreciated. . . . I want to record some acoustic songs!! We have a song called "Let My Spirit Fly" that we must record soon. It's great!
You have generously made your songs available in the form of full tracks, not only at your own website but at many download sites, and are currently offering hard copies of Traces for free at your site. All of this must be greatly appreciated by your fans and by music seekers in general. Many bands are reluctant to make full versions of their songs available, offering instead short clips, maybe one or two tracks in their entirety. But you obviously feel differently. What motivates you to take the approach you do, sharing your music so completely?
We want to share our music with everybody! The more who hear our songs the better! I donīt understand bands that are selling their demos for 5 SEK; who wants to buy a demo for 5 Euros?? We give away our cdīs for free because we want to share our music with all music lovers in the world! So send us a mail and we send our cd for free!
One of your recent moves was signing a deal with the UK-based netlabel BeatPick, from whom people can purchase a downloadable ep consisting of all the tracks on your first two demos. Do you think this deal might be a stepping stone? Are there any bands you know of who jumped from BeatPick to a regular label?
As I said before, we want to reach out to everybody. By signing this deal maybe we got some new listeners in London or somewhere else who checks out Beatpick. . . . We donīt lose anything by signing this deal; itīs only a winning concept and we can break the deal whenever we want. I don't know if this deal is going to make us famous and get other labels interested; only the future will decide. . . . I havenīt heard about any band getting a record deal during their time on Beatpick. Maybe we will be first!
Are you also interested in having your music licensed for commericial purposes, which I understand is one of the options BeatPick offers (via commissioned new material and licensing components of existing songs)? How do you feel about the idea of someone using parts of your songs for other digital projects?
We get happy when people listen to our songs so why not. . . . Everything that get us commercial exposure is great.
You have been participating in the Emergenza international band competition/festival. What has this experience been like? Obviously the first performance went well, since you were voted (by the audience) into the next round. I understand that it was also the release gig for Traces. Did that give you extra energy?
Itīs not a special gig; itīs like every other gig we made. We always try to make it special for the audience! Everyone in the band gives 100 % even if we play for 4 people=). But the release gig was a little special, because almost all our friends were there and supported us. I donīt like to compete in music but of course itīs fun when you are winning!!
Are there certain songs that your live audiences tend to go especially wild for, or ones the members of the band most enjoy playing live?
We have this song "Endless Search." We are fucking tired of that song but every time we play it the audience goes wild! It is a very simple song with an easy to remember refrain. "Fallen Angel" is also a special song. . . . My personal favourite right now is "World Of Beauty" from Align In Silence.
There are various references to your "groupies" in reports on gigs you've had. What sort of behavior are The Deliverance groupies known for?
Our groupies are wild, crazy and sexy!! We love them all!
Visitors to your website will notice frequent references to your need and appreciation for fan support. While most bands feel similarly, not all express this as openly. Why is it so important to you to send this message?
Every time someone writes in our guestbook or sends us a mail with supporting words we get happy! We want to show our fans that we get happy when they like us; itīs simple! Music is our life and passion and we need support to get strength to carry on playing. Support means everything for us.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer all these questions. Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about The Deliverance?
It has been a pleasure to answer these questions, thank you!
Keep your minds open because the world is soon ready for us! Download our songs and spread the word of The Deliverance.
A sizable portion of the world has already embraced The Deliverance, as evidenced by 13,000 (and counting) downloads of their songs all over the internet, by the band's ability to book a healthy number of gigs despite living in a competition-laden community, and by the combination of rapture and headbanging seen in the audiences in live photos. Their first demo is sold out, and only a few free copies of Traces remain, so order yours now or, as Oskar said, visit their site for downloads.
Links of interest: