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“The everchanging death metal chameleons.”

Our guest this week is none other than the mighty BLOODBATH. Anders “Blakkheim” Nyström was kind enough to chat with us about the band’s new album “Grand Morbid Funeral” and lots of other stuff related to BLOODBATH and even more.

Hi Anders, hope everything’s going well for you. Here are the questions for pasifagresif.com (Turkey) interview:

It’s been 6 years since the release of “The Fathomless Mastery”. Can you please tell us what happened with BLOODBATH since then? Was it on hold for OPETH and KATATONIA, or were you guys writing/planning stuff?

Yeah we were all busy doing various activies with KATATONIA and OPETH, like releasing new albums and embarking on world tours. I think we can all agree “time flies” especially these days, so although it’s been in fact 6 years since the last album came out, it more feels like half or less that time. The hunger for doing BLOODBATH is something that grows and really builds during the time you’re away from it and eventually the tension builds up and when time allows, it’s time for another BLOODBATH. There’s never been a certain time frame we have to follow or stick to, because BLOODBATH is noone’s main occupation and it’s not a duty with demands or strings attached from labels to push BLOODBATH into something. It’s just a project that happens when it happens. In other words, the exact opposite of KATATONIA and OPETH ha-ha!

“The Fathomless Mastery” was released in 2008, but Mikael left the band in 2012. Were you guys writing the new album while Mikael was still in the band? How much of an input does he have on “Grand Morbid Funeral”?

Well, the idea behind this album is also 6 years old, because we actually discussed it while recording the last album. We already knew back then exactly what the next one was gonna sound like and what direction to take BLOODBATH in. In previous albums, we’d done both the typical Florida and Stockholm stuff, and especially with “The Fathomless Mastary” we’d just done our most techy and modern insired death metal album. So we all agreed the next “goal” for the project would be to take a really steep 180 degree turn and go back to an even earlier sound than anything we’d ever done before, a so called rotten and filthy “low-fi “approach of death metal. I felt this style was yet to be explored head-on, but Mike wasn’t overly enthusiastic about any of it and consequently it turned out he had lost his interest in death metal all together. So he resigned (again) in 2012. We still hadn’t started writing the album at that time though, that wasn’t done until late 2013/early 2014 where we all spent a few weeks completing the songs on our own and recording demos.

After Mikael’s departure, were there lots of candidates for the vocalist spot and how did you decide on Nick Holmes? It’s obvious that noone saw that coming haha.

There were quite a few applications from so-called “no name” singers coming in, but we always felt BLOODBATH needed to be working with a guy that had a history within the extreme metal scene and to fullfil that, we had to reach out and approach them ourselves. We ended up talking with a few candidates here and there over the years. Some even turned us down ha-ha! And some we turned down, but everything really fell into place with Old Nick. He was the perfect candidate and filled all criterias we demanded.

I know you and Jonas are big fans of PARADISE LOST’s earlier sound. How do they feel about Holmes’ addition? Are you the ones who first thought about him?

The idea first came when we were touring together a few years ago. It just made much sense to both him and us and the rest is now history.

What can you say about the new album’s musical direction? Is it similar to the last one or should we expect some surprising new elements within the BLOODBATH sound? People are wondering if there’d be any doom elements due to Holmes’ addition.

It’s definitely very different to the last record, which was the plan. BLOODBATH is the everchanging chameleon of death metal! Musically it’s a bit all over the place. My songs bring in some BATHORY, old DEATH, CELTİC FROST influence, so that’s giving the songs a very oldschool touch. Jonas’ songs bring in some early ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER and MORGOTH vibes, which are always the fundamentals for BLOODBATH and Sodomizer’s songs kinda have the MORBID ANGEL touch that makes for a very good variation once everything is “veiled” under this filthy, rough and massive production, so it all really sounds united and intact.

Since all of you guys have other, more active bands, are you planning to tour for “Grand Morbid Funeral” or are you gonna do selected shows?

We’re just gonna stay selective and mainly go for a few festivals that we always do. I don’t see any tour happening at this point, it just wouldn’t work out with our schedules the way things are these days, but I’d say you can expect about a dozen festivals happening in 2015. One in America and the rest in Europe.

Have you ever write stuff for BLOODBATH but then decided to change it a bit and use it for KATATONIA, or vice versa? I am asking this because there are some parts on BLOODBATH songs that may also fit to KATATONIA with some little tweaks; like the outro melody of “Hades Rising”.

That’s funny you bring that up, because I remember when I was sitting in my livingroom composing that part, my girlfriend commented it should be saved for KATATONIA ha-ha! I actually think that riff got more attention in BLOODBATH than it would have gotten in KATATONIA because it stuck out and claimed it’s position. However in general it’s very little music or ideas that get crossed and tossed between the bands, because the nature of the music is so different, it’s almost like day and night, but both bands are still “night”, if you know what i mean.

“Unite in Pain” showcases a rather raw display of death metal, compared to the more polished sound of “The Fathomless Mastery”. Is this the case on the new album, did you intend to make an “uglier” album with “Grand Morbid Funeral”?

Yeah this album is just more uglier and defiled in all ways it can be! You can see that just by looking at the cover artwork, you know it’s not gonna be a beautiful record and it’s not gonna sound “nice”. The album is an old school affair or raw death metal, miserable like the plague!

Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler are guests on the new album. Assuming that you guys are big AUTOPSY fans, how do you see the reunion of AUTOPSY and which album do you like the most after their comeback: “Macabre Eternal”, “The Headless Ritual” or “Tourniquets, Hacksaws & Graves”

I love and support that the guys are back and enjoying themselves again, but I haven’t heard the latest albums plenty enough so I’d be able to pick a fave outta them. For some reason, when I get in the mood to crank some AUTOPSY, I’ve this urge that it always needs to be “Mental Funeral”, that’s a timelesss classic on my list of top 5 death metal albums. Apart from the title itself, that album was a big reference in the making and attitude behind “Grand Morbid Funeral”.

Are you planning a more active future for BLOODBATH or does it depend on KATATONIA and OPETH’s future plans? Is there a chance that you guys might release albums more frequently in the future?

To be honest, I don’t think anyone should hold their breath for it. After all this is our grand morbid funeral.

Although you are on the more raw and oldschool side of death metal, what do you think about AT THE GATES releasing a new album? Were you excited when they announced it, or did yo have any concerns about their legacy? Would you be psyched if some other bands such as DISMEMBER reunite and announce new albums in the future?

The only problem I have with AT THE GATES is that they are still out there on their “farewell” tour. You know, back in 2008 I went to see what was gonna be their final show, it was actually promoted as “the last show ever”, so it was this big fuzz and everything, but then more gigs popped up and they just continued playing gigs all over the place. Fine by me, in theory, if it wasn’t for putting out statements like that, it definitely killed some of my respect as a fan. Then of course they also said they’d NEVER make another album, it was absolutely out of question, but here we go again. I guess the fans are really excited about a new AT THE GATES album, but what triggered the band to make it? Was it for their own desire, or just so they could continue their neverending farewelll tour? Who do they aim to please? Anyways, it’s their decision. I heard one track and it sounded good, but I’d personally wanna see more of the trademark twin guitar stuff than just a focus on the aggressive thrashy stuff. Ideally even a blend between the two styles! I’m yet to hear the full album though, so I shouldn’t make too many assumptions. On a good note,Tompa’s vocals however really make it unique and stand out from the rest in this saturated metal market.

What would you like to say about the ENTOMBED A.D. situation? Are you happy with “Back to the Front”?

Haven’t heard that one yet, but I really think it’s sad that this version of ENTOMBED are forced to to add a “A.D.” just to go on and function as a band. I’m in no position to judge what their differences are or doubt how complicated their situation has became, but I’d wished the guys would have thought twice about the legacy of ENTOMBED. if it can’t be one band, then maybe pull the plug? For me it’s “ENTOMBED” or no band at all. We’ve seen the bullshit with two versions of a band out there already, especially in the glam scene, and it’s dragging their legacy down. It’s a disgrace.

This is something I’ve been wondering for some time, so I have to ask. Dan Swanö plays the guitar upside down, and as someone who also plays guitar, I find it mindblowing, yet I’m very curious about how do you guys were writing together, showing each other riffs and stuff haha? How in the world is it possible?

Yeah, it’s quite bizzarre and hilarious to look at and it ain’t easy to watch and learn from, but you just work it out ha-ha!

This is our last question that we ask all the bands we interview. Can your please tell us the headline of this interview?

“The everchanging death metal chameleons” or something like that? :)

Thanks a lot for your time and music, best wishes and eagerly waiting to hear the new album! Cheers!


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