First of all, I have to say, it’s great to talk with you. It`s an honor that you agreed to do this interview. And we also have a serious date to celebrate!
Yes, 2022 is the 30th anniversary of Nasum. Wish I knew which date that was the true birth of the band, though… Great talking to you too, by the way!
Hard to believe but it`s Nasum`s 30th anniversary. My deepest congrats! I`m really curious about what feelings are swarming in your head when your think about it.
It’s unbelievable in one way. 30 years, really? But in another way, I can’t say that I am totally surprised! I’ve been going down the nostalgic roads for the last 5-10 years and noted anniversaries for the albums and so on, as well as digging in the old boxes finding videos, cassettes, and documents from the past. That said, I have been prepared for the 30th anniversary for a long time.
Do you remember the first rehearsal? How it all started with? Who came up with this crazy idea of creating a grindcore band?
I believe it was during the summer of 1992. I can’t say for sure, but certain details point toward this. In any case, the original drummer/singer Rickard and I were working on Necrony songs. They were long, had many parts, odd arrangements and so on at some point we just had a few simple riffs that we combined to a short grindcore song. Perhaps we were a little bit stuck with the Necrony stuff and just did something else for fun? In those days we always had a bunch of projects going on at the same time so this grindcore thing was initially just another project, but we wrote more songs and suddenly we had a name and then we had a real band. So in short: Nasum just happened!
I know that you`re old school guy, but what do you think about promoting a band through the Internet? Don’t you miss the good old times, when you could actually touch the letters with a distro list from labels or just from the fans?
Yes, I definitively have nostalgic feelings about the old letter-writing and tape-trading years. It was absolutely awesome times coming home from school or work and finding ten real letters in the mailbox. It was something special discovering information or music that way when it was less accessible compared to today where everything is available at once. That said, I am not THAT old school that I would claim that the present is shit. It is what it is, but I think it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes. I enjoyed music more 25-30 years ago. But speaking as a band it’s obviously great that you can promote your music in so many ways now. If the point is to have as many people as possible enjoying your stuff, we live in the best of times.
Let`s dig a bit deeper into history. Do you remember the best and the worst gig of Nasum?
Hm… I don’t recall any Nasum show being a total catastrophe, but I do remember feeling really bad during a show in Stockholm in 2001. We did a Scandinavian tour with The Haunted and Nine during two weeks in March of 2001. The Stockholm show was basically in the middle of the tour. I can’t remember the details right now, but I remember that I was very disappointed in my own playing that night and felt like I wanted to give up drumming forever. I haven’t thought of this in 20 years so I can’t remember what went wrong but something did! As for best show, that’s a tough one. There’s been a lot of shows during the years that have been special. It’s very hard to pick one in particular, but I remember the release party for “Helvete”, May 24, 2003. That was the first show we did with Urban in the band and we had Shane Embury as a special guest. Nick Barker was at the show too. It was special for sure!
Are you still a big fan of old-school grind? In your opinion what are the closest ones, from the new bands to the old school? And maybe you found some interesting bands in the modern grind?
I still get a kick out of listening to the bands that made me fall in love with grindcore 30-35 years ago, like Napalm Death, Repulsion, Terrorizer, Carcass, Assück, Dropdead and G-Anx. I can put on their stuff from the 80’s and 90’s and feel inspired even to this day. I am not, believe it or not, that aware of the current grind scene, but some of the newer bands that I like are Meth Leppard, Human Cull and Wormrot. I know that neither of these bands are exactly fresh in the scene, but they are still pretty modern in my ears.
I can`t avoid asking you about the rare materials that you uploaded to your bandcamp page. Do you have more of them? Will you release them someday physically?
Yes, there are a few more releases stocked up and ready to be released at some point. They are all rehearsal recordings and perhaps some live stuff. To me it has been fun discovering all this stuff and sharing it. I am totally aware that all of it isn’t for everyone, especially the rougher recordings, but I am still releasing it digitally and those who want to listen to it can do it. Physical releases are not an option for this stuff. They quality isn’t good enough and I’d like to keep it as an “underground” thing, if digital Bandcamp albums could be considered underground. It’s a bit like the tape-trading days that I talked about earlier. I sometimes got rehearsal recordings with bands like Carcass, At The Gates, Massacre and Eucharist and it was really exciting to hear that stuff, but I don’t if I would have like to have is pressed on vinyl or CD.
What was the hardest recording of Nasum`s session, and why?
I have been thinking a lot about this question. It’s very difficult to answer because as I remember it, none of the recording sessions were particularly hard as we were very prepared when it was time to record the songs and we didn’t have any major troubles, like technical failures, during the recordings. The hardest parts for me were the recordings where I did some of the vocals as I didn’t really have a proper technique and it really fucked up my voice. I especially remember the “World In Turmoil/The Black Illusions” session which was the first one I sung on. The night after the vocal session my balcony door blew up by the wind so that the window was smashed. That was a scary awakening for sure and I didn’t sleep much the remaining hours of the night. Then bright and early in the morning I called my father to ask how to fix it and I didn’t any voice at all. So that was hard!
I know that you were very close with Mieszko. Could you describe him (as a person, as a friend)?
Our friendship was mostly focused on the band. Occasionally, we hung out outside of the rehearsal place or studio, but there were other people who definitively were closer to him. But musically we were sort of best friends. Although Nasum was formed by Richard and I in 1992, Mieszko joined in 1993 and we played music together for a total of eleven years in a number of different bands and projects. It’s a bit weird now when I write it down. Eleven years? Just eleven? I have played longer with two of my current bandmates in Axis of Despair than I did with Mieszko, still it feels longer. Perhaps it is because Nasum really never died. Well, I haven’t answered the question yet. Mieszko was a creative guy who had great knowledge in several things. I think that if he was interested in something, he did his homework until he mastered it. I mean, kind of out of the blue, he went to school to become a sound engineer. I think it was a year of studying and pretty soon after that he gradually built his studio and started working, recording bands and so on. He was pretty successful and who knows what he would have done in this area today? That’s just one example of how he was.
The book named Nasum is finished, but you didn`t stop to play music. Could you share with us, your and the boy’s other bands? I know that Urban is in General Surgery and in a few other projects.
Urban is also in an “international” project called Putrefaction Sets In, which in a way is a continuation of Regurgitate. Apart from that and General Surgery I don’t think he is any other band. Jesper is the second guitarplayer in Massgrav since a few years back and they are also doing Burst again after many years. That’s cool. I am not at all up to date with what Jon does these days. Victims was put to rest recently and I think he’s got some kind of rock band going on. Keijo has Rotten Sound, Morbid Evils, Goatburner and probably some more bands and project. And as for myself, Axis of Despair is still going on with a few new releases lined up. There’s also a Proteststorm LP coming soon, which is a sideproject from Axis of Despair. But that’s basically it.
I found out that you are a huge movie fan. And your collection is huge. Could you tell us about this passion?)
I do like movies and I have a room full of DVD’s and blu-rays, but I am not a real collector so the collection is probably modest in comparison to the real collectors out there. The reason I have a collection at all is because I have been reviewing movies for 15+ years and the distributors were quite generous with copies during the physical years. Not that much anymore. I have a large CD collection for the same reason.
Many of us have our musical idols. So I want you to tell us about your favorite music icons, name your 5 favorite bands or singers (not necessarily from extreme genres), and why they are so special to you.
I have always been fascinated by the really creative musicians. Those who seem to have endless sources of inspiration and keeps on releasing new and interesting stuff all of the time. And the most fascination person of them all is Frank Zappa. I discovered Zappa back in the early 90’s when I started to buy some of his records. That was just a few years before he died, but the records kept coming and they are still coming many years later. The Zappa vault is HUGE and these last ten years or so they have been releasing massive boxsets with hours upon hours from particular sessions. It’s pure gold for a fan like me. Some other creative minds, still alive and active today, are Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) and Devin Townsend. Smashing Pumpkins was a very important band for me in the mid-90’s going into the new millennium, but we sort of grew apart at some point. But the stuff that were important to me then are still important today. Devin is perhaps hardest musically of them all and what can I say? I really like his style. Besides these three people I need to mention The Beatles and Led Zeppelin as two of my all time favorite bands.
Thank you so much, Anders, may I shake your hand?) The last words are yours 😉
Thanks Alex for the interview. I am sorry it took me a while to answer it, but I hope you like it. Also thanks for supporting the grindcore scene as you have done for so many years. I hope all this shit going on in Ukraine will pass soon and things will get back to normal. I can’t imagine what you are going through. I really can’t. But thanks again for the support!