- Hey Jakob! The new album will mark the band's 25th anniversary, which is a great gift for your fans. So, at what stage of recordings are you now? How long have you already spent in the studio?
- We just finished mixing and mastering the album, and I just picked up the masters at Antfarm Studio. We started recording in the middle of January, So we’ve spent almost 2 months in the studio.
- Once you mentioned that the new album will be different from your previous works, even including some black metal references. Tell us more about the new material. How else could you describe the new songs?
- Yeah, it’s more brutal and intense than what we’re usually doing. It’s got many more fast songs, but also a couple of really slow, heavy songs. And then we’ve added these dirty black metal parts to spice it all up a bit. But I’m pretty sure that people will say that it sounds like Illdisposed. No matter what we do, we could make a jazz album and it would still sound like Illdisposed.
- Comparing it to the previous release, "With the Lost Souls on Our Side", what would be the main difference? Did you plan ahead any significant changes in your playstile just not to repeat yourself each time?
- Yeah, we are often changing our style so we don’t repeat ourselves. Not major changes, but we’ve released so many albums and we don’t feel like always going in the same direction. The new album is going much more in a Death Metal direction. Faster songs, heavier songs, and then the black inspiration, which we haven’t done much of earlier.
- Working once again with Tue Madsen, who produced your last few albums, how do you manage to bring the new ideas every time? Do you consider him being your 6th member? And what is usually his impact on the final version of the album?
- He does not have any influence on our songs. He’s not that kind of producer, at least not with us. When we enter the studio, we have already done some pre-productions of the songs, so the songs are finished and basically all details are there. Tue is adding the finishing touch to the sound. The final expression.
- The album's title sounds pretty gloomy, "Grey Sky Over Black Town". Where does it come from? What is this album about? And in general, what is the source of your usually dark lyrics?
- It’s a sentence from one of the songs off the Submit album. It’s describing the overall theme of the album - the dark side of life and the dark side of your mind. The source of the lyrics is simply life experiences.
- Tell us a bit about the cover. Who is the artist? Whom does the whole concept belong? After seeing some negative comments on your Facebook page, did it discourage you a bit or do you still think that it was the right choice?
- The cover artwork is made by Lasse Hoile, who is mostly working for progressive artists, like Steven Wilson, Opeth and Dream Theater. We like to use his art, as it is not the typical death metal artwork. And that is exactly what people don’t understand. It’s actually art. It’s not the typical “Man being pierced by random object” cover. We don’t want that, it’s always the same and everybody’s doing it.
- Besides that you are going to play live more this year, and you promised an extensive set-list. Where does this decision come from? Any plans to have a European tour as well?
- We want to play some songs from all of our albums because of our anniversary this year. It makes sense to do that. I’m not sure if we are going to tour or just play weekend shows, because touring gets worse and worse each year. There is too much competition because nobody can make any money anymore because of music streaming and all that shit. So all bands want to play everywhere, all the time.
- Alright, let's get back in time. You joined the band in 1999. How did it happen? Did you have any audition? What did it mean to you at that time?
- I ran into the guys when my former band Infernal Torment was touring with Illdisposed back in 1996 and 1997. Lasse Bak called me one day, asking if I wanted the job as a bassplayer of Illdisposed. At first I said no, because I thought that Lasse was an asshole, and because I was a guitar player, not a bass player. But somehow he got me convinced and I joined the band. Infernal Torment split up a bit earlier anyway, and I needed something to do.
- Your first work together with Illdisposed was "Retro", which included several covers. Was it a bit surprising for you to to have such release as your first work or did you plan this release together with the band?
- I always thought that it was lame to make an album only with cover songs. But it was something our label at that time wanted us to do, and we were just a bunch of drunks anyway, so we didn’t care much about nothing. And we recorded another album shortly after. As far as I remember, we started recording Kokaiinum less than 6 months after Retro.
- I also wanted to ask you about another band, Infernal Torment. The band was formed in 1992. Tell us a bit about the early days. How did you meet each other? Where was your rehearsal place?
- We met at the local metal scene in my hometown Silkeborg. I was in another band back then, and one day I met Scott and we both wanted to do some brutal death metal. We were just him and me in the beginning. We wrote some crazy lyrics and found a drummer. We started rehearsing at a local rehearsal place. The place is still there, actually. We have been rehearsing there a couple of times with Illdisposed as well.
- At that time, what was your local underground like? How often did you have concerts? Do you remember any live show that impressed you the most?
- It was dedicated, it was underground. Everything was about metal music, nothing else mattered. We went to concerts several times a month. We spent all of our money on music. We went to cool shows with bands like Morbid Angel, Immolation, Nocturnus, Incubus (the old death metal band), Death and so on. It was awesome.
- Have you ever thought about a reunion? And since your albums are pretty rare now, have you considered to re-issue 2 of those?
- Scott and I talked about it some years ago. And we were ready to do it. But some of the other guys aren’t playing music anymore. And I don’t really feel like making a reunion with 2-3 new guys.
We do not own the rights for the albums at the moment, so we can’t re-release them. It might happen that we will get the rights back at some point, but right now I’m too busy with Illdisposed to think about that.
- Thank you for this interview, Jakob! Is there anything you would like to add?
- Thank you Dima! Check out our new album “Grey Sky Over Black Town” when it’s released on May 27th. And don’t forget to support the music scene.
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