Hello Hakan! Some time ago, you dropped on your fans 2 major news at once: you announced your new album, and confirmed it will be your last one. So, when did you come up with this decision? Was it a mutual agreement between you all?
- The decision has slowly become reality. During the process we felt it was such a massive project to start all over and didn´t feel we had the right strength and focus to pull it off. So we felt we wanted to communicate this album as our last so that we could say goodbye with a really good album and not putting out some crap. All the band is behind the decision although we had different feelings about ending.
- Did it affect your songwriting anyhow? Understanding that this album will become your final chapter, did you try to put in it some special meaning? Actually, for how long have you been working on that material?
- We were working on the album for five years. We started writing right after the release of Counting our scars. We didn't write it as the final album but with time it felt we had come to the end of the road. I think you can find some things in the lyrics that marks this is the end. And of course the last song entitled Our departure is symbolic.
- Say, how do you know that the track is finished? How do you find the balance between still a raw song and the one over saturated with riffs and several elements?
- Well it has really been a long and hard process. We have written some parts and then changed it over and over. Even in the studio Tore changed some parts in the songs. It is somewhat like building a puzzle, some parts fit and others don't, you have to try. But the songs must circle around some leading theme and then evolves from that like a plait. You can leave but then return to the theme, back and forth. This album will challenge the listener because you need to hear it several times before you hear the full song and not only the parts from which it is build of. At the end of each song you'll have the whole picture not just after half the song. We want to surprise you even in the last third of a song. One special example is In this embrace, which uses the first four riffs in different roles in the first part and the second part is going somewhere else. But you must pay attention to notice when you are moving into the second part. That song made it's own way, we just followed it. It was actually the first song written on this album.
- How important is the setlist for you? Do you spend some extra time on putting the songs in the right order? So to say, to keep the natural dynamic of the album.
- Yes when it's done we spend some time discussing the order. But we almost never write the songs to fit in a special order. And we have never made a concept album. We write the best songs we can and then try to make the most dynamic order. For example, we chose to end the A side with Beneath the bleeding sky since it descends into an acoustic part which nicely ends up the first side.
- Alright, tell us a bit about the recording process. Where did you record it? Who produced it? How much time did you have to finish everything?
- The studio process was also very thorough. We started to record the album in the spring of 2015 in Necromorbus studio and finished after the summer. We went in and out during that period. But even before that we had made demo recordings of a few songs just to get a feeling of where we were heading. Already at that point, Tore Stjerna made clear he wanted to be a big part of the album and really take on the producer role. From that on we cooperated like a team. Tore has had a major impact on this album. Every song has been pre-recorded in the studio and then we worked even more on arrangements. Songs we had been working on for years and thought were ready were suddenly re-arranged.
- How could you comment on the title, "Through Aching Aeons"? What are the topics in your lyrics? And speaking of placing the songs in the right order, was it intentional to put "Our Departure" song the last one? What is that one about?
- Our lyrics are exploring the mind and existential topics. They are dark och introvert and sometimes a bit melancholic. I think you have to listen to the lyrics yourself and find out what it means to you. A lot of fans have contacted us saying our music have helped them through hard times in life. That makes us very glad to hear. Through aching aeons might deal with just that. Life can be hard but you can find strength in a bigger picture. Or in yourself. Our departure is a farewell. We leave with this song, you understand from the title it is the end, but just how the end is like depends on the relationship the specific listener has to us.
- Getting back to the bad part of your announcement, the split-up. Before quitting for good, do you plan to have any shows planned? And if yes, would it be just a selected some sort of festival appearances, or will you do any European tour? I'm sure many people out there would still love to see you live at least once.
- No. We're not doing any more shows whatsoever. We have decided to just lay down our weapons.
- Over the last several years, we've witnessed many great comebacks, some bands even recorded new albums or still plan to do so. I mean, never say never, right? Do you think that it's somehow possible to see you back at some point? It already happened to you before, didn't it?
- We still like death metal and the Desultory thing. But it has turned out to be such a massive project for us to write and record music that we don't think we can gather the strength to do it one more time. That's why we chose to call it the last instead of just disappear. But of course, if we continue to live and we find the strength, then I hope we are free to choose our future.
- What do you actually think about some of those reunions? Are there any that you were happy to see back? And are there any bands that you wish could reunite?
- I think It´s up to the bands themselves to decide when to reunite or to stop. In some cases the come backs are successful and sometimes the bands might have already done their best music and it is time to fold. To many fans there are a lot of feelings involved, and that’s why some don’t like If band stop and start and stop. But in the end it is up to the bands I think. I can´t think of any reunion right now.
- Let's have a few words about the past. What were the early days of the band. How and when did you meet with the guys? What were your main influences?
- Klas and Jens (Almgren) were old pals and had played together before. At that time Thomas were in a different band and asked Klas if he could join on guitar. It ended up with Thomas joining Klas and Jens instead. They formed Desultory. They later teamed up with Stefan Pöge on lead guitar. They recorded the demo tapes From Beyond, Death Unfolds and Visions. Before the recording of the debut album Into eternity, Jens left the band and was replaced by me (Håkan). At the time of writing the songs for the demos I think Sepultura and Kreator were main influences, but of course it was a mix of a lot of things.
- Who came up with that name? And did you have any other names on the list? Do you remember your first rehearsal place?
- I think Klas came up with it, it was a good suitable name. I can´t remember any other names. The first rehearsal place was in a part of the town Södertälje, south of Stockholm. Back then we lived in a suburb between Södertälje and Stockholm but Stefan had some connections in Södertälje helping with the rehearsal room (I think) Because of this some thought Desultory were from Södertälje, but we had no business there without rehearsing, we were a part of the Stockholm scene.
- How could you describe the local underground scene at those days? Do you remember any of the first attended gigs? Any interesting or crazy stories to tell?
- It was very exiting but to me everything just happened, I was 18 years in -91, and I could not put what was going on in perspective. It was a massive activity and in a couple of years hundreds of death metal band had been born. All bands and members didn´t get a long and there were both friendliness and some bullshit going on. I remember us playing a great show in -91, in Stockholm. The setlist was Desultory, At the gates, Tiamat, Grave, Dismember, Entombed and Carcass. That was of course a milestone to us. There were also a gig with Unleashed ,Entombed and Morbid Angel when Morbid Angels bus got stuck in the snow and they had to cancel. At another gig with Decide there were a bomb threat.
- Over the first couple of years, you recorded some demos. So, how involved were you into the tape-trading? Did you have any pan-pals? What were the first bands you got in contact with?
- The tape trading were massive, it was such a remarkable thing. I know Klas were deeply involved in this and it really helped spreading our name. I had a lot of contacts, so called “Pen-Pals”. I spent a lot of time writing to fans. In fact, I have “re-united” with one of them on Facebook, after haven´t been writing for many years.
- Thank you for this interview, Hakan! A few words for your fans and our readers?
- Thank you for the interview, and thank you to all our fans who have followed us and supported us throughout the years. It´s been a great ride.