Darkness, death, snow, ice, pain, isolation. Metalheads are usually familiar with these adjectives, maybe some more than others – admirers of doom metal being on the “more” side. Swedish doom metal act Within the Fall provides the perfect soundtrack to the aforementioned adjectives. Don’t get me wrong, this does not mean that we who listen to such music (or those who create it for that matter) are in a perpetual state of depression – the music is just beautiful. So, do yourself a favour, turn off the lights, light up some candles, play some Within the Fall and, hopefully, you will enjoy the interview below with vocalist Joakim (Jocke) and guitarist/backing vocalist Mike. We touch upon such topics like the Scandinavian weather, the recording of the new EP, lyrics and… Veronica Maggio or Melissa Horn!
Dom: How are you doing? Feeling doom-y over there in Sweden?
Jocke: Summer is finally arriving in this god forsaken country, so not at the moment!
Dom: What’s your opinion about the stereotype which surrounds Sweden and the Scandinavian countries… is the weather really that depressing? Does it have an impact on your music?
Jocke: I think it is, and many people are seriously affected by it, mainly the lack of sunlight during the winter period… I’d say it probably has a big impact on most artists from Scandinavia, either consciously or subconsciously.
Dom: Is there any “special” story as to how the band formed? Or is it the usual story of getting together, playing the music you like & drinking?
Jocke: There’s no really fancy story behind it all. Me and Mike met through my (now ex) girlfriend and realized we got along together really well. One day we were chatting about music and bands etc and I said I had always wanted to play in a doom band and he was like “Wow, me too!”, and there you have it pretty much!
Dom: Last summer you released a demo A Story to Be Told via the internet and you’re already recording a new EP… How’s that coming about?
Jocke: Don’t get me started on this recording, haha… Let’s just say that pretty much everything that could go wrong, has. It is finally starting to come together though, and we’re aiming for a release this summer, feels great to finally finish stuff up!
Mike: The recording… of doom? I have a few recordings under my belt but this one is quite a story, both in joy and sorrow. But to sum it up, pretty much everything that can go wrong went wrong; from lineup changes to exploding hardware. It’s been a blast though, those few hours when things were actually working. As a band we’ve pretty much stumbled upon every problem you can imagine with a recording, but we survived and now it’s on mixing/mastering and it seems to turn out pretty damn well. Within the Fall is really stoked about it and we can’t wait to share it with you!
Dom: I’m really looking forward to it… Is your approach to the new release different from the two-song demo?
Jocke: I’d say we’ve evolved immensely as musicians since the first demo. When we recorded A Story to be Told, no one in the band had ever done anything quite like it (we’re all in death metal bands), so we were really just starting to flesh out our sound there.
With the upcoming EP, Through the Shadows, we’ve definitely fine tuned our song writing skills and written much more cohesive music with some great (that’s what we think anyway, it’s up for you guys to decide when you hear it!) hooks and crammed it all into four tracks.
The new songs really show off our diversity, I think, and we’re really excited to hear everyone’s reactions when it’s out there.
Mike: The writing process for the first demo, I had two lyrics that I had wrote and we went to our rehearshal space over the weekend with the mindset “let’s write doom”. Since none of us really did know much about doom in general back then we just dimmed the lights and started to jam. After a few hours we had two songs and it was such an experience, it was something so emotional and beautiful to do as a musician. I’ve always been the death metal kind of a guitarist and got a death metal band as well, but this was something totally different. We did the songs and pretty much recorded a few weeks later.
As for the upcoming EP we did both the old and a new approach to our writing. We as a band work the best when someone has an idea and a concept. Then we jam and let the feelings go pretty much. Me and David also worked a lot on the homefront with song arrangements and did preproductions, which I believe was really good, to get another point of view. It also made it a lot easier to work with the vocal arrangements.
Writing the lyrics for Story and Graveyard was two ideas I had in mind before the songs even existed, inspired by personal stuff and fiction. For Graveyard I had this thought of an old man walking in a desolate place tending to the tombs of gods. It struck me as something really sad but still noble and beautiful.
The lyrics on the new EP is a concept kind of thing and something really special and personal to me. It’s about the stages you can experience and go through when you lose someone or another big game changing event in your life that turns out for the worse. I never thought about it when I wrote it until afterwards, it’s something pretty much anyone can relate to I believe. I write lyrics based on my own experiences, feelings or other things that inspires me; sometimes it’s a bit scary to do something so personal and deep and then release it to the public. It’s a big thing in a way.
Dom: Have you found any labels interested in releasing it?
Jocke: We haven’t started looking for any labels yet, it’s in the future though…
Dom: Have you ever performed live / planning to do so?
Jocke: We haven’t played live as of yet, but we definitely have some plans.
Dom: What do you think influences you more to write music: life or other music/bands?
Jocke: I’d say life and life experiences in general, but we’re influenced by other bands as well of course.
Dom: Do you have any favourite artists that do not play metal and you would like to share with us (and educate us, the narrow-minded metalheads)?
Jocke: I’ve found myself starting to listen to some Swedish singer/songwriter/pop stuff like Veronica Maggio and Melissa Horn. Apart from that, Anathema‘s (they’re definately not playing metal anymore) 2010 album We’re Here Because We’re Here has been spinning quite heavily on my playlist. Atoma‘s debut album Skylight was really nice as well.
Dom: All right, thanks a lot for your time. I wish you all the best with your recording and the future of the band! MetalRecusants is looking forward to Through the Shadows!
Jocke: Thanks a lot man! Thumbs (and horns) up for MetalRecusants for putting underground bands in the spotlight!
Within the Fall are:
Joakim Rudemyr – Vocals
Mike Wennerstrand – Guitars & backing vocals
David Andersson – Guitar & bass
Markus Norlen – Drums