Daemon was formed by Lundemark as an outlet for playing Swedeath.
Naturally the logical thing to do was recruit Nicke Andersson of
on drums and record the album. The second album, however, featured
Hellmet (aja Per M. Jensen of Konkhra/The Haunted) and didn't quite
pack the same punch! Both albums were recorded at Studio Sunlight in
Stockholm. Eye For An Eye featured Gene Hoglan on drums as part of the
new three-piece line-up.
DAEMON - EYE FOR AN EYE - DIEHARD
One has to admit that Daemon's third album has turned out faster,
and more potent than anticipated. We can get into the individual songs
moment, but let's be explicit up front that Eye For An Eye (And The
Turns Blind) is designed from the ground up to lurch for the jugular
succeeds in erasing the disappointment that was 1999's The Second
album. Ironically originally entitled Eternal Bliss, Daemon has come of
and matured without losing the heaviness. Long-time followers should
though, Daemon 2002 has not only changed its line-up (again) and logo,
has changed its sound as well. Out is Swedeath and Entombed and in is
straight ahead death metal. Main man Anders Lundemark (he of Konkhra)
attacks the guitar with skill and Gene Hoglan (formerly of Dark
Angel) guest-pounds like mad on the drums. Lundemark is also frantic
the microphone spewing bile as if his life depended on it - a
performance. Eternal Bliss reeks strongly of Sepultura's Inner Self,
Forever is just ferocity incarnate and Truth Be Known is slower with a
bass slap to kick things off. Memories of the last Daemon and Konkhra
shelved Anders - now more of the same please!
Originally conceived as an outlet for Konkhra's Anders Lundemark to bash out some Swedish death metal, and featuring Entombed's Nicke Andersson, Daemon descended upon this watery ball in the sky with 1996's Seven Deadly Sins. The Second Coming was, appropriately enough, underwhelming in 1999 and with Andersson off doing his own thing and the band unable to sustain a real line-up the whole affair seemed to be destined for the flash-in-the-pan file. Calling a spade a spade, the new Daemon album Eye For An Eye [And The World Turns Blind] is,...let's call a cigar a cigar, a great death metal album. Having rediscovered himself, his roots and evidently reenergized, Lundemark is back with an album which garnered the Album Of The Month title at www.metallian.com. Singer and guitarist Lundemark was eager to talk when Ali "The Metallian" contacted him with the results of the conversation printed here for you - 05.05.2002.
Anders, thank you for taking the time to talk. I will be up front with you and say that I had lost interest in your output following the last Daemon and Konkhra albums. Eye For An Eye has rekindled my interest and hence this conversation. How do you react to and explain such a statement?
Well, the last Konkhra wasn´t a hard hitting album, and I can understand why people who have been familiar with my past work were disappointed when they heard that record. It's as simple as this: I was tired and uninspired. I was working with the wrong people and Konkhra had turned into a "project" band with "members" who weren't interested in Konkhra´s death/thrash vibes. So everything turned into a compromise. Working with Per (M. Jensen - now in The Haunted) was definitely not something from which the band was prospering. I mean, he is a good drummer, but he was into Monster Magnet at the time, and anything snappy or death metal-inspired wasn´t his cup of tea. I was letting go of my grip on the band and we had divided writing the music fifty-fifty. I had to strain myself to come up with lyrics and vocals for the rock-based sound we were getting. I think we came up with some decent songs, but they´re not too metal and too "Konkhra". The Come Down Cold (released in the autumn of 1999) era is an unfocused mess to me now and the people in the band at the time, except Lars (Schmidt - bass), are gone. We have reformed with the Spit Or Swallow line-up (from 1995) and have returned to our death/thrash roots - that's what we wrote on our flyers back in ´89 so we are sticking to those guns from now on. They might have been fired plenty but in my opinion there is still new beats, new riffs and new ways to do things in that vein.
There is no disputing that Anders. Having said that, given your criticism of Diehard Music in the past, and the withdrawal of Konkhra from that label, it is surprising to find the new Daemon CD appear through Diehard. Will you explain the appearance of the new Daemon disc on Diehard Music?
They had an option for this Daemon record. I´m aware that it will be limited to certain territories and that the label backing is limited. It´ll be hard to tour when you´re limited in so many ways but that's the way it turned out. There were bigger labels who were interested but in the end Diehard got their hands on the record. This is my final option with them though and I hope to release (future albums) at a better level from now on.
With that explained and before getting to the music, let's cover the most obvious changes on the new record: the logo and the cover theme of Jesus have been changed. Will you expand on those topics?
It is still a crucified (creature) on the cover. I just wanted the cross and the crucified to grow into a single twisted formation so the "spirit above the matter" theme of the crucifixion becomes something else which is linked to much of the lyrical content and, in my opinion, the state of the world. I´m into history and have dug out a lot of weird information from reading about the knights templar and certain outings from well-funded BBC journalists who are constantly digging deeper into the hidden truths of world's history.
More specifically, which BBC reports are you referring to? Which subject matter do these reports cover?
There are certain books available about the knights templar and secret societies authored by BBC journalists and their discoveries are definitely worth checking out. They are on top of this material and they follow every lead carefully and with respect for the subject matter without falling into the pit that is popular coverage. Their power back then was undeniable and their impact on today's society is more widespread than you might think.
Lundemark introduces an interesting topic and one which may well be worth pursuing. Still with Daemon, the members and producers are in a constant state of change. Why is that? Does this imply a casual attitude towards Daemon?
Yes, Daemon is a 'sidekick' and I can change the line-up when I want. Having Gene (Hoglan - former Dark Angel drummer) on this record was a total blast and if there is a fourth outing from Daemon someday then I'll be happy if Gene would decide to do it again.
I was not happy with the production of the last Konkhra. We spent so much money because our 'silky pants' producer (Vincent Wojno who has worked with Metallica in the past) didn´t like my studio. He couldn´t record drums here because the room was too little or too big. We spent a bundle, recording and mixing and it sounded like crap in the end. I have been building this studio for four years now and I have been working on many different bands. It was about time that I took over and beside having help for tracking vocals I pretty much did it myself. I brought in someone for mixing as well, but it's truly the first time that I am really happy with the production.
Lundemark is referring to his own recording studio - but more on that later. Does the new album feature a theme or a concept? If so, how do these relate to the album's sub-title?
There are several songs that have links to the state of the world. Some were written before the Sept. 11th attack but still were very topical after the event. The world is fucked up and I'm just giving my humble opinion as to why it turned out like this and what we have to do to change it. The title and subtitle is a Gandhi quotation and his pacifist ideas are missed today when all the wrong people run the world.
We are in partial agreement Anders. Let it be clear that much of the anti-government rhetoric of today emanates from the media. This same media is controlled by big business and big business loves nothing more than creating distrust between the governing bodies and the masses. Business is looking at exerting more power by diminishing the role of the governments. But let us tackle the music. My understanding was that Daemon is meant as a Swedeath act. Given the absence of Swedish influences on the current CD, what are fans to make of Daemon?
I lost interest in Swedish metal. I miss (drummer) Nicke in Entombed, as well as Max in Sepultura, Dave in Morbid Angel, Dave in Slayer, etc. I´m turning to the oldest and most sincere inspirational sources for my music these days, and it might be a lost cause, because no one really plays death with a thrash vibe anymore. But that is what gets my blood pumping and I´ll do it even if it means sitting at home when I should be touring.
Integrity like yours is rare nowadays. All the more reason to get into the individual songs.
-Eternal Bliss is reminiscent of Sepultura's Inner Self. Have you noticed the similarities? Are you a fan of theirs?
I didn´t really think about it, but it might be true. It could have happened on a subconscious level. The inspiration sources which are more conscious are the intro for Cursed which is a Slayer homage and Crucifiction which is a Deicide song pretty much!
-Truth Be Known has a very distinctive and exciting bass sound at the beginning and drum sound at the end. Was this premeditated? Anders, can you talk about these as they sound very special.
There is bit of reverb to the snare at the end of the song. The bass in the beginning has a Pro tools plug on it, its the sansamp and we even saved the presets and if anyone wants to know them they can drop me a line. The bass sound is a classic Rickenbacker through the Ampeg svt.
-The guitars wail on Kingdom Of Fools. Please get into the guitars for the readers. There is also science fiction atmosphere to this track.
The song is 6/8. The feedback behind the vocals are on separate tracks, and the wails in the chorus are made with the whammy preset in the t.c. electronic G-Force guitar effect machine. It's basically a full octave pitch over with the midi pedal all the way down and normal pitch when the pedal is in standard position - very useful for fucking with leads and pitches on high notes.
-The Beating is to be taken literally, isn't it? This track has turned out to be quite the musical beating.
Yes, nothing much to say about that really.
-What does the voice on The Cursed say?
He says, "It smelled like slow death in there". Elsewhere Malaria the song is about dying and leaving your belongings to a family or church which never really cared about you anyway.
On a more general note, your guitar technique was rarely ever so accomplished. Your guitar work on this album has turned out quite well and many fans are bound to be pleased. Why don't you tell the readers about your set up as well.
OK, my setup at the time was a Marshall jmp1 preamp run through the Marshall 9200 effect amp. There is both an eq and the tc. electronic G-force in the loop. I think the Marshall setup is a very precise yet punishing guitar setup but I have since elaborated on my sound with a line-6 podpro, which has a rectifier sim preset that sounds crushing.
For leads I run my rhythm sound through a Morley wah (the Steve Vai) for extra screaming. Sometimes I set it to a fixed position, sometimes I use the wah throughout the solo. I also used certain presets from the g-force, the whammy-up and whammy-down for instance, it can really create some fucked up lead sounds. Truth be known the rock lead becomes psychedelic with the pitches happening.
Speaking of the studio, is Daemon exclusively a studio animal? Judging from what you mentioned earlier, audiences will not be able to see you gig the songs.
Chances would probably have been better if a worldwide label had picked it up. Touring through Diehard is not a pleasant situation - at least it wasn´t with Konkhra in the end. I was left hanging with imprecise information and the stress was unbelievable. But hey, I'll tour, but not if it costs (the band) money you know. I´m making a decent living from the studio and I'll always want to tour but not at any cost. If the situation is right and the transportation and the bills at home are taken care of (then) I will tour from here to kingdom come!
You mention Konkhra. What is new in that camp?
We reformed in the Spit Or Swallow line-up. The project band days are over! So is fucking with the musical direction. we are playing death/thrash now, as we were when the band was formed in ´89. The only difference is that now we can really play and the songs we have this time are just the best songs I´ve been working on this far. Johnny (Nielsen) is a monster behind the drums and I think that what we are doing now is the best material I have been involved with so far.
What is your time-line for a new Konkhra album? Which labels are interested? Further, do you have song titles or an album title?
The record is being tracked these days and we'll continue until everything is right. It will probably be ready for release sometime in the autumn. There are several labels that have expressed their interest but we are not deciding until we have definite no´s from the better-established labels. We are sick of poor coverage, and if that´s what we are offered then we are going to release the record through our own label. That way we can sell one-third as many records and still make more money, you know. The songs titles are: Reality Check, Hellhound On My Trail, Warmonger, Fear Of God, Eye Of Horus, The Lions Are Hungry, Day Of The Dog, Lowlife, Grapes Of Wrath, Murder One, Parasite. The album might be called Reality Check.
Are you involved with other projects? How else do you occupy your time? In this context, how aware are you that your output with one of your projects, affects the listeners' perception of the other?
Every record is different from every other record. It always is going to be like that and people always get a chance to check out the record before they buy it - at least today when everybody is downloading from the internet. Get the records you like and leave the rest be. That's is what I do.
I´m working in my studio most of the time - its called Starstruck and there is a website www.starstruck.dk where people can always get in touch, through that site, or the konkhra.com where I´m checking the email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I´m probably doing an extreme death metal record in the autumn. The band is called Killswitch and the style is Angelcorpse, Morbid Angel i.e. fast and furious. The drummer is from here, but he is capable of playing 16th notes in 250 beats per minute so he's as fast as most of those guys!
Who is the drummer in Killswitch? Do you have any titles? Is there a label interested or one you are targeting?
His name is Reno Killerich. He played Exmortem's Berserker Legions album. We don´t have anything set up for this project, but it´s going to get out there somehow.
Anders, Killswitch sounds promising! But reverting back to the bigger picture, and noting your earlier concerns, how do you deem today's world situation?
Things are running wild these days. But that's good inspiration for metal music so something good comes from this situation! And how do you see the state of the world today? The state of the world, as I see it, is the same way everyone else sees it. It's fucked up and governed by assholes.
As a final question, I wonder what Lundemark knows about Canada and what his perceptions are of the country.
Gene Hoglan lives in Vancouver now. I have never been to Canada myself, but I am told that it is the country in the Americas which is most like Denmark or Scandinavia. I´m going to come by sometime, hopefully to play some metal.
Until that day fans may purchase the new Daemon album at better stores and for more information check the web sites which Lundemark mentioned.