Rogga - Ribspreader/Paganizer
Hi Rogga! Are you the real or the false Rogga, if you know what I think of? Ha-ha! Did the fans often confuse your name with the name of the Merciless singer?
Iíve been mistaken for the Merciless singer a few times before actually, but not as much as you might think. The only way basically to get in contact with me is the Paganizer email and most metalheads know that Merciless and Paganizer is very far apart musically so thatís probably why it doesnít happen too much.
As far as the death metal releases of year 2004 I have to tell you, there were released a lot of cool death metal albums. What do you think about it? Which albums did you like?
Really too many albums to mention, but at the time my fave stuff to listen to are the latest albums from Vader, Six Feet Under and Jungle Rot when it comes to death metal, and the new Grave album is also totally ok I think. Apart from that the latest MotŲrhead album is something of the best stuff theyíve ever done, and that should give you a clue that Iím listening very much to other genres than metal in general.
In my opinion, the death metal scene became stronger than at the late í80-s/early í90-s. Do you agree with me?
In a way I agree with you, the scene is stronger nowadays in the aspect that there are more bands and that many of them are signed and play very good music. However I think the best albums were written many years ago, but thatís probably only because I listened to them then and loved them and also the fact that reinventing a rather narrow scene as death metal is almost impossible.
Especially from Sweden come very much bands. Whatís the secret of the Swedish bands? What do you think about the present Swedish scene? And how do you remember about the late í80-s/early í90-s for example GROTESQUE, NIHILIST, TREBLINKA, CARNAGE etc.
Actually I didnít listen much to the mentioned bands, except from Carnage so Iím kinda the wrong guy to ask about that. I lived and still live in a very secluded part of Sweden and wasnít into the scene right when it started with the first demos stuff a got into it when the first albums was released by Entombed and Dismember, together with the early American stuff that switched me from other metal into death metal. About the current scene there is more to say though, like itís very good indeed for example, haha. Too many bands to mention actually but for those into brutal US influenced stuff Sweden as become something of a breeding ground in later years with bands like Visceral Bleeding, Spawn of Possession and Stabwound among heaps of others.
In your opinion, why did for example ENTOMBED and TIAMAT (TREBLINKA) withdraw (retire) from their death metal roots? I think so ENTOMBED isnít death metal band anymore.
Thatís an easy thing to answer really, they had been playing this stuff and reached the amount of success you can with this kind of music and simply they wanted to move on I think. I actually think Tiamat is way better today than they ever where in the beginning when they where a very crappy band sound like shit actually, haha. Entombed however I think should have stayed in their prime, at least to make us death metal fans happy...haha.
What do you think about melodic death metal? Why did melodic death metal come fashion at the end of the í90-s? Do you like such bands, like IN FLAMES, ARMAGEDDON, ARCH ENEMY etc.? Most of the melodic death metal bands try to copy IN FLAMES and AT THE GATES, do you agree with me?
Well, there are so many types of melodic death metal... In Flames is one type while Arch Enemy is more brutal (at least in the beginning) but more oriented towards "guitarhero" stuff. Then you have the new In Flames alongside with Soilwork which have progressed even further into more commercial territories. I really like the melodic stuff band like At the Gates and Eucharist did back in the days, that was more my way of melodic stuff in the death metal genre I think. I can also agree that many new bands try to copy In Flames way too much, even if itís done in other genres as well it becomes too obvious when people without the same feeling for melody start to play this kinda music.
As far as the Swedish scene, UNLEASHED, BLOODBATH, INSISION, GRAVE, DISMEMBER, RIBSPREADER have awesome records released. Is there a death metal revolution?
Yes I would say so, at least an old school death metal revolution. Do not forget the debut album from God Among Insects which is really ok death metal as well, and the Verminous album is probably as old school you can get, and itís a fucking great album as well.
What do you say to the return of SUFFOCATION and OBITUARY?
Iím not too familiar with all Suffocation albums and my fave album is easily "Despise the sun", so considering that their new effort was totally ok even if the sound was a bit soft and they didnít kick ass much as usual in my opinion but the latest Obituary was a real good album anyway. Iím really looking forward to hear the new stuff theyíre recording.
Let we speak about RIBSPREADER! Tell us please about, how was the band established? How did you meet with each other? What was your goal with the foundation of the band?
SwanŲ and I got to work together the first time on the mastering of the Paganizer album "Dead unburied", and after that weíve kept in touch pretty much. He asked me to do the growling on the "Crimson II" album and after that it was quite easy to get into Ribspreader, haha. The goal to form Ribspreader was simply to play some old school death metal as always... I mean, itís the music thatís the easiest possible to write both because itís easy going and because itís the music that Iíve grew up with. Itís a fun band which makes brutal music, haha.
Dan SwanŲ is your drummer. Is he a hard-working man or does he simply love this kind of music? How did he come in picture? He is the slave of death metal ha-ha!
SwanŲ is definetly a hard working man, no question bout it. Heís got so much to do itís scary really, and still combining it with a full time job at a big music store here in Sweden. As mentioned above the recording of the first Ribspreader album commenced after I helped him out on "Crimson II", after that he actually has switched to lead guitar in the band and weíve gotten ourselves another drummer.
Is RIBSPREADER a project or a band? In your opinion whatís the difference between band and project?
Itís very much a band in the sense that it will not be cancelled after only one or two albums, but if SwanŲ wouldnít want to be in the band anymore I would certainly have to think hard about if I would like to continue with it thatís for sure. Anyway, in the sense that we will not play live itís a project but in all other aspects we are definetly a real band with a real lineup.
If you would establish an all time death metal supergroup, who would take part in? Who are your favourite musicians as far as the death metal scene?
JŲrgen SandstrŲm (ex Grave) on bass and vocals, Peter (Vader) on guitars and vocals and Tobben (Vomitory) on drums. That would be a fuckiní cool death metal trio... Just mix early Grave with Vader and get Tobben to include his crust/grind influences, no way it could go wrong!
How often did you rehearse? Do you have enough time to rehearse? Did you record demos?
We didnít rehearse anytime actually, we just wrote songs and recorded them. No demos either which is a bit sad, it would be cool to have them to listen to just to compare to the album.
How are your songs composed? Who wrote the music and lyrics?
Well I write the lyrics and almost all the music as well, but for the album Andreas also wrote some songs too.
Both you and Andreas Karlsson have played the bass and guitar parts? How did you distribute the themes among you? You havenít used technical and progressive parts ha-ha!
We simply distributed it so that we played bass on the songs we had written ourselves, and Andreas also played bass on one of the songs where I think we both wrote the music. Progressive music is crap, you know... Thatís why we didnít use any parts like that...haha.
Did you send from demos to several labels? How did you get in touch with Karmageddon Media? Did you get maybe offers from other labels too?
I only sent out three emails, and two of the labels were interested but only Karmageddon agreed to release the album writhing just a month or so, and thatís why we chose them. Of course they payed our costs and stuff like that but the main reason was that we really wanted the stuff to be released very quickly by a good label and Karmageddon fit into both these wiches you know.
Your debut album was titled ĄBolted to the crossĒ. Please tell us detailed with your own words about the album! Where, with whom was the album recorded, mixed and mastered, how many time did you spend in the studio, what are all about the lyrics, how would you characterize the songs?
Me and Andreas recorded the album at our own small demo studio, except for the lead guitars and drums and then we sent all files to SwanŲ who recorded drums and leads at his studio and then mixed/mastered the album. We spent maybe like 4 or 5 hours on the album in our studio and SwanŲ probably used a couple of days to record all his parts and then mix and master the whole thing, in the end it all came out sounding great. The lyrics are mainly the same old same old you know... Fuck religion and stuff like that, and also some more basic old school stuff about death like in the good old days. The songs are easily characterized too... simple straightforward death metal just the way Satan intended it to be played : )
The cover became also awesome. Who drawn/painted the cover? When I have seen for the first time I have thought that you are a grindcore act ha-ha!
The cover is very very fucking cool, Iím completely happy with the outcome of the artwork and the layout also for that matter. The artwork was done by Finnish artist Tirkka Rantanen who also did stuff for Adramelech and Torture Killer among others. This guy is really awesome and any band wanting great artwork and layout should get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org
As far as the sound, itís very raw and brutal, the classic, old school Swedish one. Do you agree with me?
Yep I do, haha. Itís basically the combination of me and Andreas using our home studio and the fenomenal mixing and soundweaking of SwanŲ that allowed us to get it both professional sounding and at the same time very basic and raw. Iíd have done it this way over again if possible for any coming album Iíd record...haha.
The music is very similar to UNLEASHED and to GRAVE. Did you record previously unreleased UNLEASHED and GRAVE tracks? Ha-ha! Was it a tribute to them?
It was mainly a tribute to the music I listened to when I grew up and which Iíve also played for many years. And no, I donít think we used any old unreleased stuff by any other band : )
I have to tell you I love your songs, the album is one the best death metal releases of this year. You havenít to shame about it ha-ha!
Thatís something that makes me very happy to hear, itís always fucking great to hear people like our shit!
Donít you know how many items were sold? Are you satisfied with the promotional work of Karmagedda?
Once again I have to dish out a short answer... I actually have no clue on how many albums are sold yet. Anyway, so far Iím very satisfied with Karmageddon, they have lived up to what they promised and Iím very happy about it.
Did you give many interviews? Do you like giving interviews?
Yes, Iíve given quite many interviews both written and over the phone. To answer your second questions itís really ok to do interviews I think. The thing I hate though is that many people wants to ask how the band started out but thatís already been stated like 100 times so itís a boring question... But Iím ok, I mean considering Cannibal Corpse probably have to answer that question still today I shouldnít complain really...haha.
What do you think about fanzines? In your opinion, do the fanzines play an important role in the underground scene?
Fanzines are THE most important way to get people to know the music I think, alongside with some professional mags of course but they always tend to get too commercialized after some years. A good fanzine is very often much better than any professional magazine if you ask me.
Do you often read fanzines? Which fanzines are your favourite ones? Do you prefer also webzines?
Nowadays I donít read fanzines too much if I donít get them sent to me, as Iím too lazy and have already read so many during the years, haha. But I always check out webzines when I find an interesting link and stuff like that. Donít know of any fave sites but I think thereís one called Metal Provider or something like that which has tons of interesting info on bands, and that is always great when you need to find info on some band you have missed out on.
You are taking part also in PAGANIZER, CARVE, HUMANITY, DELETE. What can you say about this band? Which group is the most important for you?
Paganizer and Ribspreader are the main bands, Carve is more or less dead and Humanity Delete was a project that never really was realized. I have material for am inicd with Humanity Delete laying around but itís very primitive death metal/grind like Repulsion so I donít think any label would like to release it... If some labels reads this, so get in touch...haha!
Andreas Karlsson is playing in ANOTHER LIFE. Is this a death metal band? I never listen to still them?
Check out www.anotherlife.se. Itís not death metal, more like Nightingale or Katatonia and stuff like that. Really good shit actually and I which him well on his musical journey.
I have visited your website and I know, next year will be your new album released. Did you finish already with the recordings or do you enter the studio? Did your work system change compared to the first album?
The album is done and finished and will be out march 7th, thereís also a sound clip on the site which you could listen to. The work progressed a bit so SwanŲ is doing the lead guitars and we have another guy doing the drummer now, and instead of doing the basic in my home studio it was recorded at Soundlab Studio this time so the sound is really brutal. I think everyone will be pleased with the new album : )
Tell us please about the new songs! Are there similarities and differences between the new album and ĄBolted to the crossĒ?
Of course there are many similarities, but some stuff that stick out is that the tempos are more varied this time and we have both even simpler songs as well as songs more concentrated on melody and hit like that, and the vocals are much much more varied this time too. Apart from that the main thing is probably that the sound is a bit dirtier if possible this time and the album is maybe even harder than the debut.
The cover of the new album is brilliant, in my opinion, better than the cover of the first album.
Thanks, that will make LA Anderson who did it very happy, haha! The guy who did this cover is from Brazil and he has also done both the covers for my solo project Carve.
Did you think about to record a videoclip? It is worth nowadays to record videoclips?
Haha, that would so fucking cool but letís drop the subject as we both know thereís no money to spend and no channels that would show it : )
Did you play some show, gigs? Will you go on tour? It would be great to see you in Hungary.
No tours will be done... We have just a studio lineup and thatís the reality of the matter at this point. Would this second album be well received and someone actually would offer us a paid tour we would certainly get a lineup together but at this point thereís no time or money to release like this.
Do you play covers during the rehearsals? Do you like playing covers? Will you put covers on your materials?
No covers, haha... Iím simply a too bad musician too learn anyone else songs, and maybe there you have the answer to why I always write the music in my bands...haha.
In your opinion what is the essence of death metal? What does death metal mean for you?
To me death metal stands for really good simple and aggressive music that gets you going inside. Death metal is like all other music, a channel to further your spirit in times when you feel like the end of life is the only way out. In this sense death metal is by its name and subject also the closest music at hand dealing with these feeling and therefore more people should definetly listen to it... If you ask me.
Rogga, I hope my questions werenít boring. I wish the band all the best. Tell us please your future plans! Please, close the interview!
Thanx for an extensive and very interesting interview, it was a pleasure! Future plans are of course getting the new shit out and after that weíll just have to wait it out... Stay dead!
by David Laci