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středa 21. března 2018

Home » » Interview - BENEATH - I am sure that the long winters in the north affect us even if we might not realize it.

Interview - BENEATH - I am sure that the long winters in the north affect us even if we might not realize it.


Interview with brutal death metal band from Iceland - BENEATH.

Answered Jóhann Ingi Sigurðsson.

Translated by Petra, thank you!

Ave BENEATH! Recently, I discovered the Icelandic series entitled “Trapped”. The atmosphere of the abandoned harbor, murders investigation connected with the beautiful Icelandic nature, all of it influenced me much. I couldn’t sleep and I had to switch on some music. Somehow automatically I picked your new record “Ephemeris”, which I consider as one of the best brutal death metal album of the previous year. Are you influenced by the environment where you live a lot? A long nights, cold, dark, this is everything what I feel from your music. 

That is an interesting point. "Trapped" had great claustrophobic atmosphere, and that kind of weather is very familiar to us. I am sure that the long winters in the north affect us even if we might not realize it. 



In my opinion, „Ephemeris“ is the most carefully composed album from your discography. At the same time, its atmosphere is little bit different. It is colder and darker. Did you compose the material for the new album in a different manner? How exactly BENEATH writes the music? I am interested in the specific process of creation of the new tracks. 

In the beginning, the whole band was based out of Reykjavík, Iceland and we wrote songs together in a rehearsal space but for the last 8 years, the band has been based out of Reykjavik and Stockholm. For this album we did a lot of demoing and had the whole album demoed before entering the studio. Instead of us writing together in a rehersal space on previous albums, we wrote this album more separately with one member writing most of each song and we'd send more fully formed ideas back and forth. This is also the first album where we have a session drummer, so that was a very different experience as well. 

It is some time since your last album „Ephemeris“ was released. What feedbacks and reactions from fans or critics did you notice? And how the new tracks are adopted during the live performances? 

The reaction has been really great. We knew "Ephemeris" was different in style compared to our previous releases, especially due to us using a different drummer. From what we've seen from reviews it seems we are heading in the right direction with our sound. 


I really like the sound of the record. I guess, Fredrik Norstrom took care about it. Previous album was recorded in the Hertz studio in Poland. Why this change? Were you looking for the new expression or sound? 

We really liked Fredrik's work on many of his releases, and felt like having a different sound that would emphasize the melodic stuff while keeping the brutality. We feel that he achieved that, and that it's our best sounding record to date. He was able to help us in making a technical death metal record without having it sound over-quantized and over-edited like many technical death metal albums coming out these days. 

Could you reveal us who is the author of the BENEATH’s lyrics and what is the background of lyrics at the latest album? 

The lyrics are written by our vocalist Benedikt. The lyrical theme on this album is different from the previous albums, focusing on the discovery of other worlds and the advancement of technology beyond today's imagination. 

Already the third album was released via American label Unique Leader Records. How did you achieve the collaboration with this label? Are you satisfied with them? In these days, label is very important for bands. I noticed Information about you and the latest album everywhere. How the collaboration takes place? Do you a have a freedom concerning the new material or label used to have some requirements regarding your sound and so on? Sometimes, the relationship between the labels and bands can be a problematic in this way. 

Good question, there are good and bad things of course. We have gotten full artistic freedom regarding the production of our music, but there are many things regarding the release schedule and things that happen after we deliver the finished recording to our label where we feel we don't have any control of what happens. In the end, Unique Leader Record has been instrumental in getting our music to the masses, and we are grateful for that. We had a three-album deal with Unique Leader Records, and "Ephemeris" was the third one so we are essentially looking for a new label. 


When someone tell me the word METAL in context with ISLAND, the first what appear in my mind is, of course Sólstafir, then perhaps Narthraal, because I have written a review for their record and they played in our town. However they are playing mostly the Swedish style of death metal. Are you the only one who plays brutal death metal in Iceland? Could you recommend us some another death metal bands come from Iceland? 

There is a crazy amount of good things happening in music in Iceland in general, I guess it stems from not having anything to do in the dark winters and cold ass summers. A few bands to check out would be Cult Of Lilith (https://cultoflilith.bandcamp.com/releases), Zhrine (https://zhrine.bandcamp.com/), and of course our guitarist Unnar's other band, Severed (https://severediceland.bandcamp.com/). 

I found out on wikipedia that Iceland has a population over the 300 thousands. That is not a lot. Do you have some metal concerts at all? And what about the fans? Brutal death metal is not a musical style for huge masses of people. What about some clubs, where death metal bands could play? Do you have some? 

Yes, there is a considerable amount of metal concerts but mostly local bands. We don't get many international acts coming through but when they do, everybody comes out for the show. A band can play a show in Reykjavik with a better turnout than a show in London, which is crazy. 



How the band BENEATH was actually create? Czech Republic has a population about 10 millions inhabitants and for example sometimes to find a drummer for death metal band is almost impossible. And when did you decide to play exactly the brutal death metal? 

Jóhann, Unnar, and our old vocalist Gísli Sigmundsson used to play in another band and when that band broke up, Gísli came up with the idea of starting a death metal band with the only purpose of playing fast - all the time. Our previous drummer Ragnar was added to the fold, as well as our previous bass player, Gísli Rúnar. We honestly don't know how we got stuck with the label Brutal Death Metal - we feel more like a old-school influenced tech death band. All of our releases have a different sound but there are certain elements that are present on all of them, and in the end that is what defines the band. 

And what about BENEATH and the concerts? You are exactly the band, which I would like to see on the stage. Are you planning some tour for supporting of a new album? Usually here are still shows of more famous bands again and again and I can imagine BENEATH as a support of bands such as SUFFOCATION or IMMOLATION. I would definitely visit such concert. Where did you perform till now and what could be the best concert for you? 

We don't have any plans for touring at the moment but we will be doing some one off shows in 2018. We'd love doing a show with Suffocation and Immolation - we've played with them at festivals before and both deliver crushing live shows. In the past we've mainly played one off shows, but we did do a two-week euro tour in 2014 with Dehumanized, Malignancy and Abnormality. That was a really cool experience and all those bands are really great people. 


Nowadays, it is more and more common for people to download the new records from the internet and listen to only the digital version of albums. What do you think about it? I am interested in the opinion from a musician point of view. 

It's very hard to make any real money from music today if you're not making sugar coated flavor-of-the-month pop songs. Metal bands that want to make their living through music can't rely on any substantial income from album sales anymore. They have to tour endlessly and for most bands it's just a bad business being a full time professional band. We are all working or studying so we don't rely on music as our main income. Any way you look at it, digital music is here to stay but we hope that it will be built on a better business model in the future. 

I think that the manner of listening to music has changed over next few years, do you agree? Do you still go on concerts and support bands? What was the last album you have purchased? What have you been listening recently? 

Yeah it's changed very much, firstly with the arrival of the mp3 and secondly with the digital music streaming services. Most of us are primarily listening to music via streaming services, but we do buy some records as well and go out to shows and support bands by buying merch. Some of the bands we've listened to recently: Der Weg einer Freiheit, Defeated Sanity, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel and a lot of the of older death metal classics, but we also listen to a lot of other types of music besides metal. 



What the BENEATH is planning for the next few months? 

We are planning some cool stuff that will be announced shortly, and we are planning to start working on new material during the next months. Stay tuned for more info on our facebook and twitter pages! 

Thank you for this interview and I wish you a lot of sold CDs, hundreds of crazy fans and tons of great ideas. 

Thank you for taking the time to talk with us and cheers to all the readers of Deadly Storm Zine. Keep supporting death metal!

about BENEATH on DEADLY STORM ZINE:


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