Interview mit Tobias Rydsheim von Wormwood

Deutsche Version lesen

On their debut „Ghostlands: Wounds From A Bleeding Earth“ WORMWOOD showed themselves as a promissing newcomer band with a remarkable mixture of melodic black metal, folk and classic rock. With the release of the follow-up record „Nattarvet“ the Swedes recently proved themselves to be even more of a force to be reckoned with. In the following interview multi-instrumentalist Tobias Rydsheim answered questions about the progress of the band as well as the more serious tone and the historical background of the new album among other things.

Although you are still a quite young band, you already have quite a lot of fans. In your opinion, what are the reasons for the fact that so many people have already noticed you?
Well, it’s a combination of hard work from us, our label and a lot of people that have good taste in music. It feels really good that WORMWOOD are growing and reaching out even further.

In your music you mix melodic black metal, subtle folk elements and guitar solos that sound a bit like classic rock – a rather unusual mixture. What inspired you to create this style?
We have never been a band that focuses on just one kind of sound. Since music is about expressing a feeling – at least for me – I think that just one generic kind of sound is boring.
We have never set a limit on what is “allowed” or not in WORMWOOD, as long as everybody in the band likes it.
I always use to say that I don’t get inspired by other music, okay, I guess that’s not all true, but I want the inspirations to come from other stuff than music in the first place. Like nature, life in general, history, and states of mind.

One could say that you have a pretty distinctive musical style. What do you think of bands that prefer to pick up an already established sound?
I think most serious songwriters try to do something of their own, not necessary unique. But at least the will to say something that means something to them.
On the other hand, a lot of bands are just copies of an already established sound.
The only word that comes to my mind to describe it is – booooooring.
Doesn’t matter if there are super good musicians in a band, it’s all about the songs, the vibe and an honest expression that defines the band’s own sound.

With „Nattarvet“ you recently released your second album. Although your songs are a bit longer this time, the record as a whole is a bit shorter than „Ghostlands“. Looking back, would you say that your debut was a bit overloaded?
When we recorded “Ghostlands” we knew that the songs were very diverse. Luckily most people that heard it celebrated that fact, we were not prepared for that, it just came as a bonus.
I don’t think „Ghostlands“ was overloaded, even though the question is relevant.
I am still proud of it. But just as everything else, we evolved and new songs for „Nattarvet“ were written. It just came as a natural step.
„Nattarvet“ could have been longer, but we wanted to pick the songs that we thought were the best, so a few darlings had to be killed.

I have the impression that „Nattarvet“ isn’t as fragmented, but rather a bit more coherent than your debut. Was that your goal when you wrote it?
We wanted to reuse what we thought worked out the best on „Ghostlands“, and do more of that on „Nattarvet“. For the next album, I think we would pick the best stuff from „Nattarvet“ and do it even better on album number three.
With that said, I need to say that it’s very hard as a musician to look objectively at the own songs. Because you can’t always choose how it will end up, if the music is gonna be honest.
It should just come to you naturally, from deep within, from your soul.

Your new album doesn’t have as many instantly catchy tunes as „Godless Serenade“ or cheerful folk metal tracks like „Tidh Ok Ödhe“. Is that because in your opinion it wouldn’t have fit to the lyric concept?
Yeah, you could say that. We wanted to go darker and more melancholic this time. And people seem to agree that we did.

General opinions differ about your development as a band. Some prefer „Ghostlands“ because of its variety and catchiness, others consider „Nattarvet“ more mature. What do you think about these different reactions?
Since both of the albums are WORMWOOD records I have no problem with it.
People have different tastes. For me „Ghostlands“ and „Nattarvet“ are included in my personal taste of music. It’s hard to please everyone, and that’s not even the reason to write songs.

As far as I know, the title „Nattarvet“ can be translated as „legacy of the night“. What exactly is this title about?
Yes, we are using the translation “night’s heritage”.
There’s more than just one meaning behind it. But you could look at the night as a metaphor for the dark sides of life but yet so beautiful.
And as our herritage, something you inherit from older generations.
Combine that and the concept of the album is there hidden between the lines.
I have to say that it sounds better in Swedish than in English.

In the lyrics you deal with the famines in Sweden during the 19th century and other dark stories. How did you first come into contact with these themes?
It’s a well known episode of Swedish history, but still kind of forgotten in the mainstream.
I grew up with family stories from this period of time, as I had relatives that survived it (just like everybody else in Sweden that was born after the famine).
So these stories has always been present in a sense, and the older I got, the more interesting it became.
So me and our vocalist Nine did dig deep into it, just as a nerd interest, and we thought that it would fit our music great, so it became the main concept for the record.

The songs sometimes also deal with other things. Would you still call „Nattarvet“ a concept album?
Yes and no. Not all songs are dealing with the famine or the life surrounding it, but all songs are dealing with some kind of isolation and solitude and the hardships of life in different ways.
So in that sense it’s a concept album.

On „Nattarvet“ you make much more use of your mother tongue. Is this due to the themes you sing about or did this just happen by chance?
Some themes are just better in Swedish, like (local) history, nature and such things.
English is better for more grand and complex themes. But also, it just comes naturally.
We do not decide that before a song is written, it’s a part of the creative process. You´ll never know what to expect and how the outcome will be.

This time you even brought in three guest singers. Why did the album demand more vocal diversity from your point of view?
As we like diversity in music we thought that these three singers would be able to deliver the vibe we were going for, they are also good friends of ours, and musical collaboration is fun.

The first song of the new record, for which you released a music video, was the twelve-minute closing track „The Isolationist“ – quite a daring choice. Why did you choose this song in particular?
Because it’s a hell of a good song. That’s the only reason.

The artwork for the album is quite interesting in that it has a strong red tone, although black metal is usually associated with cold colours. Why did you choose this different visual approach?
You know, even when it comes to the graphics I think it’s sooo boooring with bands that present the same thing all over again.
So, we tried to think outside the box this time.

What are your next plans for the near future of WORMWOOD?
We are doing some festival gigs, and we are booking even more for next year.
So the focus will be doing live shows for a while. Some beta demos for the next album have already been done, so at the same time we will write a new, even better follow up album.

Next, I’d like to go through a short brainstorming session with you. What comes to your mind while reading the following terms?
Batushka: The cringe reality show of the metal related part of the internet. (laughs)
Also a band with toooo looong soundchecks, at least when we opened for them. (laughs)
Don’t know them in person, so I say no more.
Norwegian black metal: Important music for the youth.
Climate crisis: If if will lead to an apocalypse it’s good. Although I rather prefer a zombie apocalypse instead.
But as a friend of nature and animals I also think that ordinary people should start to act more responsible and less ignorant about it.
Social media: A smooth way to keep in touch with friends, fans and others.
Post-rock: A lot of reverb and delay. Thumbs up!
Swedish history: Interesting and important.

At this point I would like to thank you again for your answers. Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers?
I hope to see you on the road in the future, share WORMWOOD with all of your friends!

Dieses Interview wurde per E-Mail geführt.
Zur besseren Lesbarkeit wurden Smilies ersetzt.

Publiziert am von

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht.