"Life is short"
Swedish post punk/dark wave masters THEN COMES SILENCE have released their fourth full-length studio album entitled Blood via Nuclear Blast.
Their leader Alex Svenson, talks to us about his creature.LFdM: Then Comes Silence: What inspired the name of the band?
Interview by Michela (Anesthesia)
Interview by Michela (Anesthesia)
Alex Svenson: I came up with the name after reading an old horror novel, I don't remember which one. One of the chapters ended with the line "Then Comes Silence". It sounded like something we should call the band.
In the beginning we were a bit noisier, more gritty and louder on stage, so I must say I think the name was quite useful when we ended the shows with a sonic thunder and feedback. The name is also a simple definition of Death.
LFdM: I read some comments of yours, somewhere…you were talking about death and feelings. Is music a way to cope with death, in your opinion? A way to soothe your feelings, maybe?
AS: There’s absolutely no meaning in rebelling against death. Though death is usually bringing sorrow and pain to the one’s left behind, we have to accept the fact it’s everyone’s final destination. Its’ supposed to be that way. Deal with it. We’re all going there. Don’t master nature. I can’t understand the scientists and researchers who keep on struggling to break the code to eternal life or a long life.
If we talk about death, sing about death and think about death regularly we might feel better and appreciate everything around us more. Maybe we could reach a higher quality inside. I think about death everyday and that makes me a nicer person I’m sure.
LFdM: Is there a song, or more than one, in the new album you feel for some reasons closer to? If so, would you like to tell us why?
AS: There's always one or two songs that matter a bit more than the rest and in this case it's "MY BONES" which is the first song I wrote for the album. I had a troubling time worrying about my father's health. For the album that song is the still point of the turning world.
LFdM: Which are the main differences or similarities between this new album and your previous works?
AS: First of all we invited someone else, the producer to be in charge over the recording sessions. It was his decision to make the album live in the studio. We had a bigger budget so we could stay at Svenska Grammofonstudion in Gothenburg. That makes a big difference from the previous albums.
The sound on the first and second album are gritty and thunderous in comparison to today's sound. We have done a journey thru several landscapes of sound.
LFdM: The track “The Dead Cry For No One”, an absolute masterpiece, is a very deep song. Since there is, nowadays, a tendency to the disintegration of moral and spiritual values, what are your references, your inspirations?
AS: I think we are afraid of death because we, mostly in the western world have created an existence based on materialism. We can't stand losing anything. We have a problem accepting the transient nature of being. Life is short.
We should put equal focus on spiritual and cultural "funds" like we do on the economic and capital funds.
LFdM: I think your music is very related to the creation of extreme contrast situations. You suddenly change from a quiet part into a blasting black-like sequence, then back into a softer part. Many bands in the last years trying are to create a new sound, something completely unexpected. What can you tell me about the recording process?
AS: Our producer Tom van Heesch booked the studio in Gothenburg. That place is a playground for musicians. Especially if you are interested in old gear. There are surprises almost everywhere in every corner. A Mini Moog that used to belong to Supertramp, a mixing console from Queen's studio in Switzerland and things you've only seen on photos before.
We recorded the whole album live in four days. We lived, slept and ate there. It was the best experience you could have as a band making it the old fashioned way.
LFdM: Your sound can convey romance and desolation at the same time. Where does the artist begin and where the person behind it? Is there a cohesion?
AS: It's always a person behind the songs. I write completely out of my own experiences and I am being true to the band's music. That's the subject and the ingredient, lyrics and music. But of course, when we're on stage we put a little theatre into it. The appearance is important. There you can do a little extra.
LFdM: Post Punk music draws its origins from far away and often traces have a common thread. What kind of story did you want to tell, or what you'd like to tell in the future?
AS: It's always about death and transience. Based on different angles, perspectives and experiences every album sounds a bit different.
LFdM: How do you see today's musical scene?
AS: National radio has become a place without challenges. No new genres or rock bands will be fed or lifted up there as it seems right now. Well, there are some exceptions. Some targeting programs and pod casts have the liberty of doing what they want, but it’s almost impossible to get play-listed on radio.
On the other hand we have experienced a lot of great bands in the gothic scene and the crowd is doing a good job supporting the acts. Before there used to be a couple of countries that were dominating the market and certain genres, but I don't feel that the new bands have a specific national identity. If we stick to Europe, there are so many promising bands from Finland, Denmark, Italy, Belgium, France and Germany among others that seem to be influenced by the same common denominator, postpunk. You can't really hear what town or country they're from. The national identity is not a main element anymore.
LFdM: Thanks a lot Alex!