With their album „The Bleeding Veil“, Swedish melodic death metallers IN MOURNING have virtually reinvented themselves in the middle of Pandemic 2021. The two guitarists and singers Tim Nedergård and Björn Pettersson explain together in the interview how it came about, what influence the pandemic had on the release and which band they are opening for in their dreams.
Hi and thanks a lot for taking time for this interview! How are you doing?
Doing fine! First summer nights over here, which is really something to celebrate. A cup of tea and a chat with you.
Normally you do interviews before an album comes out. For your „current“ album we are half a year late, but that opens up completely new perspectives. You released the album in the middle of the pandemic – was that a good or a bad decision from today’s point of view?
A bit of both. When you’ve written an entire album and heading for studio you’re really in a special momentum or zone as a band and as a musician, so with that in mind it was pretty much only one way to go about it. The flipside of course being totally aware that we most likely wouldn’t be able to hit the stage close to the release. Another thing on the positive side is that we’ve been able to really focus on the release as there haven’t been shows or much rehearsing etc.
Provocatively asked: What is the „point“ of releasing an album if you can’t go on tour … was the release worth it for you financially, or do you hope that the upcoming tours will straighten it out?
In our case that would be the same as asking a painter what’s the point of painting if you can’t make an exhibition. For sure we know that the usual cycle for bands is writing, recording and touring, but when it feels like it’s time to make an album we make an album disregarding outer circumstances. The driving force in our band has always been to make music, we do of course want to get out playing live and meeting people, we really long for that don’t get me wrong but when the urge kicks in you’ve gotta ride with it.
Did the pandemic have any other influence on the making of the album, which you probably wrote and recorded in the middle of the pandemic?
When the world turns the way things took a turn along with the pandemic it really puts a lot of things on it’s edge and makes you think about stuff in other ways. In some way all cared for this and invested more emotionally into this album, not saying that we didn’t do that earlier but this time it felt different and we all really dug deep. We really wanted this album to mean more for everyone that picks it up. There was some hassle making ends meet both within the writing sessions and rehearsing, this is actually the first album we didn’t rehearse as a band before hitting the studio.
In the meantime you released a live-in-the-studio album, „Live in Valley Sound Studio“. What was the idea behind this recording, what excites you yourself about live material of other bands that was not recorded at concerts but in the studio?
We were overwhelmed with the response we got when we released „The Bleeding Veil“. As we couldn’t go out touring on the album we wanted to get some live vibes going. We really enjoyed working with Alexander Backlund and in the Valley Sound Studio where we recorded the guitars, so this was also a treat for us getting to do a whole session together in that place from start to finish. Up until just recently we’ve always been a very rehearsing band and making a live in studio recording was both nice just getting together playing in a room and to capture a whole performance rather than recording an album track by track. Our video lord Jonna is a true master capturing vibes on motion picture, so when we all got together in studio sparks were everywhere.
The recording was released purely digitally – this is still very uncommon in metal. Why did you decide against a physical release?
We’ve got compact discs now mate, we’re all set! Metal will be happy! But yeah, our first idea was actually to just release it as a video. But as time went by, very short time but still, we noticed a growing demand for a physical version and as it already was both recorded and mixed it was a no-brainer.
Back to „The Bleeding Veil“: Are you satisfied with the response you got to the album, but also with the sales figures – or did you expect more (or less)?
We’re really so very grateful that so many people from all over the world actually care, have opinions, reach out, share and rock out to our tunes. As we’ve chosen to run on our own for this release, without an ordinary record label, we’ve gotten more insight than ever before on the business side of releasing an album. We get it that we might not be able to reach into every corner of the world like a bigger label would, but where we have reached the response has been overwhelming.
From a personal point of view, now that you’ve had enough time to get some distance to the songs – is there anything that annoys you about the album that, if you had the chance, you would do differently now?
Looking back in the mirror now there’s actually nothing we would have done differently. Back then, due to covid and stuff, things didn’t go as planned and we had to change some studio times and locations, which felt a bit shaky then but that’s something we’re actually happy about now. One thing leads to the next, always. Business in the front, party in the back, your ass is always on your back no matter how much you turn.
On the other hand, what do you yourselves particularly like about the album – and how did it come about?
When thinking about the album it’s mainly the good vibes recording it that comes to mind. A particular moment from the recording that comes to mind is one late night in the gloomy light of only the mixing console and the moon where we tracked the shreddier leads, there was something magic about that night, if it was the fact that we had already worked a good fourteen hours in the studio that day or if it was actual magic, noone knows. Another thing is that we really full-on allowed ourselves to tweak around and thrive with gear, amplifiers, pedals and guitars, microphone setups and whatnot, this time. All of this adds up for the energy and vibes we’ve channeled into the album.
The artwork of the album is very different from what you have done before, it looks more abstract and modern than the very pictorial, colorful paintings of the last works. How did you come to this „rethinking“ in terms of layout, why does this picture fit perfectly to the album?
We wanted to take a leap into a new direction with this album, both musically, lyrically and artwork.. ally. We didn’t want to slap in the face of the listener how to interpret this album like ‚Hey, here’s our new album it’s about a burning lighthouse in a fiery storm‘. We wanted something more abstract and something neo-vintage that encourages some reflection, if it’s a black cover or a white cover, or maybe both? Up to you to decide.
Musically I find it in places much more „proggy“ than its predecessors, more melodic, with more clear vocals, but in other places also faster and harder than last. Would you also see this simultaneous development in both extremes?
This album and these songs flows together in a more organic way and maybe with a wider dynamic range. For us this one doesn’t feel as progressive as our earlier albums, rather the opposite. Each album feels like a reflection of where we’re at as persons at that time, so probably the personal developments and ongoings plays part in the music.
What makes a good song for you in general?
A song should have a purpose, some good melodies and a touch of shred. Melancholic melodies, chugging riffs and the dynamic dance between stouthearted growls and angel clean singing. Also, the performance, or the deliverance of the song can make a song really good, or bad.
Time to dream: Which band would you like to support with IN MOURNING?
Metallica, always Metallica.. playing only songs from the black album … and „Load“.
And quite realistic: When is there a chance to see you live on the stages of Europe? After all, your drummer is already on tour with Dark Tranquillity … will it start again with IN MOURNING?
We’re stoked to go out playing again, no doubt about it. You can catch us at Rockstadt Extreme Fest in Romania and Dark River Festival in Finland in August. The engines are fired up, we just need somewhere to go. As for now there’s not so much booked for 2022, but we’ve got some tour offers and plans in the pipe down the road.
Thank you very much for the interview. Let’s wrap it up with our traditional brainstorming – what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the following terms?
Last album you listened to:
Tim: Prins Svart – Under Jord, a Swedish classic rock doom band,
Björn: Devil Master – Ecstasies of Never Ending Night.
If „The Bleeding Veil“ were a car … which type? Volvo V70 with leather seats.
Opeth: PRS guitars have really nice tops, Fredrik Åkessons fine tone ..aaand great musicianship.
Black Metal: Dissection.
A food that always makes you happy: Food cooked with love.
IN MOURNING in ten years: Old.
Once again thanks for your time. The last words are yours – is there anything left you want to tell our readers?
If you’ve made it all the way to here, thank you for sticking around! If you’re into some serious Swedish melodic death metal, or if you just wanna say hi, we don’t have a website but you can find us on Youtube and Instagram, Facebook if that’s your stuff, Bandcamp, internet.
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