2010-10-10 | NINa
NINa: The newest album White Trash Devil In A Jesus Christ Pose sounds like a charge full of aggression and dynamics. What has inspired you to come up with such a set of songs?
Well, some songs are real old actually. For example the track "Who I Am Is How I Kill" was written back in 2005 for a demo CDR and "The Hunt" we wrote back in 2007 for the PS3 / X-Box 360 game The Darkness.
Most of the songs however are written for the album it self. I believe my inspiration to write comes when I listen to bands I like. Mostly old-school heavy metal such as Motörhead, Venom, Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and so on. I listen to metal almost every day. Just cant get enough of it, haha. I get inspired by other artists but do not aim to copy them. It just gets my own creativity going and from there on my songs takes its own form.
NINa: Do you find the new album a challenge compared to previous releases?
Yeah, we wanted to take a huge step forward with this one. Both in sound and performance and especially the dynamics of it all. I also had lots of time getting my singing skills better since the "Enter The Circle" EP was released back in 2004 and we have also played lots of shows since then which has got us a lot tighter as a band.
NINa: You have a few guest appearances on the new album that are very well known. Not only from the Swedish hardcore music scene, but also Patrik Wirén, Misery Loves Co founder. Are you fan of their music? Do they plan to reunite sometime?
Oh yes, I am a big fan of Misery Loves Co. MLC was actually one of my first contacts with the genre of Industrial Metal, except for bands such as Prong, Ministry and Killing Joke, back in 1996 when I played drums in a band called Slapdash. I’ve been hooked on the Industrial Metal scene since then but I do think most new bands sound the same today. No one sticks out in a classic way. They all sound and look the same… well, maybe not ALL but most of them do.
About MLC reuniting, I often nag Patrik about that, haha. We can only hope and pray for it, right?! He will however make a guest appearance on stage with us when we take on the stage in Karlstad, Sweden supporting Sonic Syndicate (October 16th, 2010). I'll see to it and get it on film so the rest of the world can enjoy it for sure.
NINa: How much time did it take you to record and release the album?
The recording process took about 4-6 months I believe. I got my own studio, Studio Killing Machine, so I don't push it coz there are always some changes I want to make and along side of the recording I take breaks creating the artwork and stuff as well.
At first it was supposed to be released in 2009 but we actually couldn’t find a label who wanted to release it. So it took us a while getting it out and when we finally landed a good deal with Swedish record label GMR Music the year was 2010 and they released it in Europe and USA as CD and rest of the world as a digital album on April 24th I believe it was.
NINa: What do you think of the new model entering the music scene; with the internet expansion of moderate level artist choosing to put out not one album per 2-4 years, but to feed the listeners with new songs more often, even though the songs are not released as albums, EPs etc.?
Personally I don’t like it coz I like the album format. I grew up with vinyl records and I still buy some. I like it when an album is carefully putted together by the artist and they have chosen each song to be the right one to come next in line. When you put together an album you have to think like a DJ planning what next song will get the crowd to stay on the dance floor and getting them curious and wild for what comes next at the same time. Old timers such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep where masters on keeping the listener on edge through an entire album. It's as important as the individual songs are in my opinion.
When we recorded "White Trash Devil in a Jesus Christ Pose" we had 20 songs but some of them felt wrong in their mood to be on the album; they were not bad songs, they just were too hard to place on the album so they were released on the free MP3 EP "The Devils Blues".
However even MMI have to follow the stream so we have talked about writing a few songs and release only as MP3s to keep fans happy during the wait for the next crushing album.
NINa: Was KMP created for the purpose of MMI management only, or perhaps is it that you plan on signing more bands in the near future?
KMP (Killing Machine Production) is driven by me and my wife, Malin B. Gardskar, only focusing on Man.Machine.Industry and my other projects. However the last two years it has been happening so much for MMI so the other projects has had to step back. And no, we will not sign other bands. We are in fact looking for a bigger management for MMI as we speak to take the band to the next level.
NINa: Do you find it necessary to graduate in media management, journalism, promotions and booking to become qualified to run a label these days, or perhaps do you recommend a need to practice your own successful achievements and learn from real world mistakes to find a successful formula?
Hmm, well, I myself am so far away from being a businessman as I can be. I really, really SUCK at it, ha-ha. But I have lots of friends doing the "right thing" in the biz without graduating some of the subjects you mentioned. So you sure can do without the big record bosses breathing down yer neck for your hard earned money. Just be true to what you believe in and don’t sign the wrong papers. There are so much easier getting in contact with the right people today via internet and if you are driven and have a goal just go for it but you will always need some help along the way.
As my friend, Mike Gargano (Sonic Syndicate manager) once said to me when we got signed to GMR Music: "They seem to be 'nice' to you in your contract so treat them nice and with respect and everything will work out just fine". Be nice and know what you want and true to yourself above all.
NINa: Where are you going to play live this year?
Well, we have had about 20 shows this year which is OK for a small band such as us but far from what we really need to get noticed by potential fans. We are trying to get shows as support act for bigger acts so we can reach a wider audience. We have played with Deathstars, Sparzanza, Mortiis, M.A.N, Cold Cold Ground and now we are going on three dates supporting Sonic Syndicate which are a strong export from the Swedish metal scene. The dates are only in Sweden but we have some stuff going on for Europe but nothing is set to stone yet so I can’t get into that. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and pray up on the metal Gods support.
NINa: What's the deal with not being able to watermark music files enough to protect them against piracy for over 15 years now since the Internet entered everybody's homes? Why hasn't there been any success achieved in terms of musicians' business protection so far? Instead, internet users are blamed, charged and cut off the network, but not the companies which initially made, for instance, CD recorders and ripping software, then pushed them on the market, still making money by teaching users of common devices and software how to violate artists' copyrights? Do you have any opinions about these issues?
Wow, haha, that’s a BIG question. And I believe you are asking the wrong dude NINa.
As I said, I’m old-school to the bone. Vinyl and CD is the shit. If someone rips one of my songs of the internet without paying they are stealing from me. I do not know how to make it right on the internet and I believe we - the musicians and artists just have to accept it the way it is. The sad thing is that the fewer that buy our stuff the less chance we got making a tour happen coz if we can't show marketing sells to the promoters booking the shows we can't get any gigs. Not in Sweden and not in any other country. And as far as the next album, we have to sell this album to finance the next one. If people rip the songs we have no chance in hell making it EVEN if I own my own studio the cost is too much. That’s the harsh truth of it all. I hate MP3s, so fuckin booooring. I mean you loose so much musical history as well. Who have produced the song, who has written it, which year it came out and more, what members are playing and so on.
Soon no one will know who wrote "Satisfaction" (The Rolling Stones). It sucks in my book. Once again, vinyl and CD rules.
NINa: Is there any specific gear, effects, distortion, strings or software that you use as a secret weapon to make your music sound powerful?
I have loads of secrets but if I tell ya I'd have to kill you, ha-ha.
No, seriously. We always dub the bass guitar with a bass synthesizer to get it as heavy as can be. I also use some old distortion pedals for guitars that goes back to the late 80's for the vocals both in the studio and live. On the next recording I hope to get a bigger drum sound though. I want it to be huge but without taking over the machines. Don’t know how to do it yet but I'll get there.
NINa: Are musicians still rebellious and driven enough to "fix the world" in the cultural ways artist used to be infamous for during the past five decades? What are your views on up and coming bands or "newbies" that are entering the industry (no names necessary)?
I don’t believe i's just musicians wanting to fix the world. I mean there are demonstrations all over the world all the time. And they are chanting slogans and songs. So I believe music is a way to give strength to people who are prepared to fight and be strong. It has always been that way and will always be. Some artists use their skills to push their opinions out there and I think that's just fine. As long as they do it with heart, soul, belief and for a peaceful cause. I have many songs telling my views on religion and politics but also songs about personal feelings and "demon-fights". I mean if the Jesus-freaks want us to see their Christ, they sing it to us in psalms and hymns and if I want people to believe in themselves instead of a fictional character I have the same right to sing about it in my songs. That’s MY way of "fixing the world" and other artists have another opinions.
NINa: Sweden has been considered as a liberal country for minorities, atheists, euthanasia, abortion, and there was even a guy who was addicted to Black Sabbath music and got unemployment benefits for his disability to focus on regular work. http://www.thelocal.se/7650/ and http://www.myspace.com/rogertullgren Is Sweden a paradise of European life in your eyes? What are the disadvantages of the system?
HAHAHAHA! Swedens is great isn’t it?! I have heard about this dude. Awesome. I recon that an American Baptist or a hard core religious Republican thinks Sweden must be Babylon, ha-ha. What can I say; I'm glad for him getting what he needs. Wouldn’t mind it myself, ha-ha. Sweden has a great system in my book. Free health care and you are not allowed to starve in Sweden.
However we have got people who chose themselves to live outside of our system. Or they just dropped out of the radar so to speak. But mainly it's a rich country and they take care of their weak. Nothing wrong with that.
I think many politicians around the world can learn from Sweden. However things are changing over here as well. Politicians have begun selling out Sweden bit by bit to highest bidders around the world and I guess it's just a matter of time before we become like the States. People in Sweden look up to the USA and want to be like you guys over there. Too bad I think coz we have had it great over here through the years but people are too narrow minded and spoiled to see how good they have it over here.
NINa: What else are you good at, besides making music?
I'm learning how to make videos for the band. I have done all the shit at our YouTube
except the video for "The Devils Blues… To Hell & Back" directed and edited by my friend Alex Frejrud of Sexy Death.
I'm still learning and I hope to get better so we won't have to pay anyone to make videos, ha-ha.
I also speak sign language actually. I work at a school with mentally handicapped kids who have a hearing disability as well and we use sign language. I have a natural talent getting kids noticing me and getting their attention. Strange, coz I actually don't like kids at all. When kids get on the bus or the subway, me and my wife change seats to some place far away from them. So evil, huh?! ha-ha.
But I like my job and the kids there are just great. But if I could live on my music I sure as hell would. So BUY OUR ALBUM YOU CHEAP BASTARDS, ;)-
Horns up and hope to see you on the road. Peace 'n' nothing but respect.
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Pictures come from MMI archive, all copyrights reserved by © their respective owners. Questions proofreading: Scott M. Owens.