Another day another twist on a genre. It seems like Scandinavian Rock or as it’s now known ‘Action Rock’ encompasses a much wider net than a few Northern European countries. Within that genre of Rock ‘N’ Fuckin’ Roll you can pretty much squeeze the likes of Gluecifer, Hellacopters, Turbonegro, Zeke, The Hives, Streetwalking Cheetahs, New Bomb Turks, The Dragons, Electric Frankenstein, The Hip Priests, Bitch Queens, Scumbag Millionaires and a host of other great bands, man its all just a name anyway even if we do all obsess a little on tags and narrowly defined tastes. Strap on a guitar adhere to the belt buckle rule and turn that amp up!
One band that doesn’t seem to get the respect in the wider community or is held in such high regards would be “Demons”. Sure those that know; just know, with a little diggin’ around this here web you can pretty much get a handle on whos who and “Demons” will be a name that gets mentioned time after time after time. They were there at the birth of a scene and have ticked along throughout making some fantastic records along the way. Sure they might have veered off the highways a little and even gone on hiatus but with a recent mini-album recorded with Jeff Dahl maybe the time has come to reclaim their crown and along with Hellacopters they should get the coverage they deserve. With a new album ready to drop “Demons” are most definitely back on track so here at RPM we decided to throw some questions at Mathias Carlsson and get the lowdown on who the hell are “Demons” and what going on? Might I suggest you sit back and relax because this is a long one…
OK, Mathias, We might as well take it right back and for those who don’t know anything about the band when did “Demons” start? You recorded your first album back in ’95 right?
The seeds were sown pretty early and the roots of the band, in fact, go back to the late ’80s when we were kids growing up in a northern suburb to Stockholm. I wore my first Pistols pin to school in the fifth grade, from then on I was determined to start playing. One way or another. I started the band Rabieshundarna with Stefan Jonsson and some friends from school and we helped build a rehearsal space at or nearest youth centre as a community project. We didn’t have a clue how to play but we got a lot of help from the staff at the centre, they being musicians themselves. My dad gave me my first guitar and from then on we were all set to go.
At that time all the rage was MTV, hip hop, AOR and hair metal but underground music was a real factor as well. To take part back then you had to go to shows in semi-illegal clubs, buy independently produced records and tapes and read fanzines to know what was going on. Nothing of it was exposed via media or other official channels. Apart from buying lots of punk rock records the bands that really gave us the inspiration to find our initial musical style was The Nomads (which I first saw in 1986) and actually a great band from Gävle called Los Bohemos who were amazing live. We were very impressed by them. Stefan and I tried to catch them every time they went to Stockholm. We also got exposed to what was left of the Swedish punk movement with hardcore, post-punk, käng (d-beat) and the burgeoning death metal movement.
After a few years, we had learned to play and Micke Jacobsson was sitting behind the drums. We took the name Jawbation and started playing gigs, mostly local but also in other cities. At that time we had discovered the 60’s for real and tried to combine Nuggets style psychedelia with hardcore punk, heavily inspired by Union Carbide Productions. We also caught the ear of the A & R guy who discovered Carbide. Unfortunately, nothing came out of it and no records were released (although we got asked to be on a few compilations).
The group as it was back then had been a very tight band of brothers growing up together quite rough and when the bass player decided to leave in 1994 we realized we wanted a fresh start and a fresh sound.
Muffins Brink came on to help us record bass on a couple of songs and with that “DEMONS” was born. We recorded another bunch of tracks in the summer of 1995 which were supposed to be released as a whole album. No one was willing to release it however but a couple of songs ended up on a few compilations. It might actually see a release in its entirety sometime this year.
In the early ’90s there was no scene at all and we felt pretty alone with our style and influences. We actually went out to try to find bands like us to start something but no one cared about The Stooges, MC5, New York Dolls and music like that in those days. The punk scene was very radical and rock’n’roll was not a part of that music anymore. I remember going to punk clubs with homemade Stooges buttons and no one knew who they were. That proto-punk, early punk thing was largely forgotten for some reason. At the time I found it tragic that the punks had forgotten or rejected their roots and I was determined to change that. Our mission became to put rock’n’roll back into punk rock.
The Stockholm scene that we became part of started to finalize around 1994, 95. It was very small and centered around a few friends, bands and venues. Those who were going in a similar musical direction was first us and The Robots then The Hellacopters, The Turpentines and a couple more. The guys from Nomads became like the big brothers to all of us and shared their experience and knowledge. We all played the small clubs, Hyndans Hörna, Kafe 44, Studion, Tuben, Blue Funky for each other and maybe opened up for slightly bigger bands who went through town. That’s how the Stockholm scene evolved. No one had an album out so the only way you can hear the new bands was live or on an occasional single. It was a small but lively scene.
Well, I met Lux and Ivy on the Flame Job tour to interview them for a magazine I was working for in ´94. They were a bit weary from doing interviews all day. When I entered the room Lux commented on my New York Dolls shirt and everything lightened up. They gave me a great interview and at the end I told them I was starting a punky rock’n’roll band and needed advice on the name. They were very helpful and meticulously went through the list I had. Both of them had a short discussion and agreed that Demons was the best choice and that was that. Most of the interview time was spent discussing music and records. They really seemed to enjoy talking to a fellow rock’n’roll fan instead of clueless music journalists.
Is the fact you turned down major labels to retain control true? That’s a brave step for any band especially one trying to make a name for themselves.
Yes, definitely. There were no major majors though. Maybe one. Mostly sub-labels and so on. People who had worked with majors and starting their own labels or something similar you know.
For us, in the beginning, the whole point of playing music was to serve as an alternative to everything we hated about big label rock, poseurs and people who desperately and willingly would do anything to be famous or what is conceived as cool by those who are not. While most bands steered towards that lifestyle and seemed to want to end up like rock stars and play stadiums we wanted to go our own way.
We almost religiously detested what the industry did to music and was quite radical in our beliefs that music belonged on the streets and to those who played it. We viewed punk rock as our folk music, philosophical saviour and were no tourists of the genre. It might sound forced and naive to those who weren’t there. I assure you it was nothing naive about it if you were a teenage musician in Sweden in the early ’90s.
Right from the start, we wanted to be a vessel for the true spirit of rock’n’roll, an undiluted blast of punk rock with true do-it-right-or-die honesty and attitude. We had nothing to hide and were proud to stand up for it. We would rather had died than mess that up. Everything else was secondary to us. Some people might have misunderstood this for posing, but those who knew where we came from and understood what we wanted to do gave us their full respect. That was the only thing that mattered to us. We never really steered away from that philosophy even though we’ve seen all aspects of the music business by now. I think that was what really set us apart from other bands from the beginning.
In the US I was accused by some journalist of trying to sound like Eric Davidson (New Bomb Turks) on the Stockholm Slump album. That was purely unintentional. Sure, we were inspired by them but so was everybody around that time. They took inspiration from all of us as well and took time to record portions of their album ‘At Rope’s End’ in Sunlight Studio with Tomas Skogsberg. I was there in the studio with them.
I have all the respect in the world for Eric (I helped him out with some facts, flyers and stuff when he was doing the Scandinavian part of his book) but my vocal style around that time was a product of what I was listening to. What I was trying to combine was rockabilly techniques and with heavy inspiration from rhythm and blues singers like Frankie Ford and Carl Gardner of The Coasters delivered with hardcore intensity. Then, of course, ‘Raw Power’ era Iggy was a big inspiration. In hindsight, some 17 years later, I do sound a bit like Eric and I guess that can only be explained by the fact that we had the same influences.
To those who still think I copy Eric on that record I say, sure, it’s a tribute to one of the best punk rock singers and frontmen ever.
If someone wants to work with you it’s a big compliment. Nothing to debate there. We have quite regularly through the years been approached by labels of varying size, producers and other people of the business. Naturally, you are extremely thankful for that. We never tried to act like rock stars and treated everyone with decency and respect. There was never an offer we didn’t consider and spent lots of time discussing. Most every one boiled down to the same thing though: they wanted the material for a minimal cost and all the rights for basically nothing without any promises or, for us, valuable commitments on their end.
Last time we went through this they also wanted a percentage on merch, shows and graphics. I just got up and left that meeting. It was an insult.
But there is a price to pay as well. Especially if you don’t play by the rules in the music business. That business will lash back at you. As a band, we weren’t really prepared for that but it has become apparent over the years. We’re still a pretty obscure band, especially in Sweden ironically. Turning down people from the business definitely had a lot to do with this. We have this huge body of work and no mainstream publication in Sweden will acknowledge that. It’s weird when you think about it.
“DEMONS” rarely gets mentioned or respected even though we’ve done a whole lot for Swedish music abroad, been around for twenty some years, toured the world and made a whole lot of records. It seems we are truly the underdogs and black sheep of Scandinavian rock. We never wanted that label, we just wanted to do our thing you know. Now we have become some sort of obscure legends with a pretty big legacy.
I think we have claimed our own corner in rock’n’roll though. And we’re pretty much Sweden’s dirty little secret.
were there things you didn’t like about the band’s existence when on Gearhead? It must have been a tough decision for the band to take at the time were you all united on how you wanted to proceed? Was it difficult being signed to a label so far away? Looking back are there any regrets? Do you think you would / could have done things differently?
At the end of the 90’s Mike LaVella and Gearhead were searching high and low for a band who understood and combined the radical attitude of punk with modern high energy rock’n’roll. Mike was all ready a veteran of the California hardcore scene and if it wasn’t with a 100 percent punk attitude he wouldn’t have touched it. When he found us he realized we were not only what he was looking for, we fit perfectly into the modern (and classic) California hot rod movement with our greasy hair and street gang qualities. After all, the whole point of his magazine (which the record label was an extension of) was to combine all that. Therefore we became the perfect band for them and the scene that was growing on the east coast. It was a perfect match and we could do nothing wrong in Mike’s eyes. During our first tours and albums, it was a great situation for us.
At the time we had almost signed with People Like You Records out of Germany. Even though Gearhead was just starting up Mike convinced us to go with them. The notion of touring in the states was an attributing factor to our choice and for a few years, we went coast to coast playing many shows. Who wouldn’t want to do that? We had a great time in the beginning and Gearhead and “Demons” were the greatest match. Everything worked almost like a clock. Mike was very idealistic and told us we would be booted off the label if we ever were caught doing drugs, haha.
During those years we had a blast and experienced a lifetime of stuff. It was like being in the middle of a road movie. Hell, I’m still digesting half of it. I regret nothing about it. Definitely not.
The whole Gearhead era ended on a bad note however. But these things always do. The best thing is just to move on with what you want to do. We had recorded basics for a third full lenght studio album for them but when we parted ways it was never finished and stayed unreleased.
Do you think as time went on and the internet became more widely used it was empowering for the band and the world became a smaller place?
For music and bands, it has been great. These days you hardly remember how it felt, dying to get a hold of a song or wanting desperately to hear a record. It’s all there. What is weird though is that it has become some kind of a “like” competition. It’s like a new digital currency. Bands compare and chase likes all the time and can be elitist with these things. Unfortunately, the business picks up on that as well. When we took our break, in 2011, streaming was picking up as well as the like phenomenon. We were out of that circuit for about four years and kind of missed out on the promotion possibilities.
Personally, I think that it’s pretty pathetic that some labels, bookers and venues judge bands for how many likes they have. They should get in there for real and get dirty, not sit at home by their computers and see who won the days Facebook like competition. A band should be judged for what they can achieve in the studio and on stage, not how many likes they have on their recent post on FB or whatever. I understand that it is a question of visibility as with any advertisement or promotion. But as with all social media it gets obsessive and unhealthy very fast.
Then it seems like the availability of everything has had the opposite effect on certain, dare I say younger people. We have had problems with two other Demons who never bothered to check if the name was taken. Either they didn’t know how to navigate the internet or either they didn’t care. That’s some serious disrespect right there. It’s a mystery to me why you would do that. Music is about all about creativity and taking someone else’s name doesn’t make you look very creative does it?
Do you think being DIY has been good for your music have you learned things that have benefitted the band as a result that you otherwise wouldn’t have picked up?
All I can say is that if you have some kind of talent, good idea or something similar, don’t be tempted to sell yourself short. Your music or art should be a product of you, not a label, producer, reality TV show or advertising company. Most business people just want to make some quick bucks off of you while you’re on your way through life. They don’t give a rat’s ass if they destroy everything you have worked for up to that point.
If you’re lucky you might meet someone within the industry who shares your passion, wants to be in on the ride, understands what you’re doing and wants to be a part of whatever future lies ahead. But that’s a rare thing.
With that said there are of course other aspects to this: survival, funding, change, knowledge, progress et cetera. What I mean is that the reason you do what you do has to be number one. Keeping your back straight, not taking it up the ass and being honest to yourself is what D.I.Y. is to me. It’s hard and maybe the real devil-at-the-crossroads situation. Especially when you are poor and someone shows up with a bag of change and whatnot trying to buy the shirt off your back.
When we started out music saved us from a lot of grief and trouble. Punk rock was our Jesus in that respect, haha. If I wouldn’t have started playing at an early age I might have ended up a lesser person or even dead or in prison. Lots of kids my age and from the same place did. “DEMONS” sure have experienced the coldness of the industry, no understatement there, but we will try to find ways to play and release records regardless of how the business regards us. Being outsiders hasn’t deterred us from doing our thing.
Being D.I.Y. doesn’t mean that we are hard to work with or that we’re not still searching for that person or persons to work with within the music business. On the contrary, it means that we’re a band that can just do that: everything ourselves. That’s a huge advantage, strength and showcases extreme ambition. More ambition that most artists can muster. That pretty much defines determination in most books.
Is it easier making records now than when you first made a record? Are your demands different as you’ve gotten older and wiser:)?
If you go back ten years or something there were only a few certain ways you could record your music. The alternatives were fewer and it was sort of the end of the big studio era. For those years we used studios and spent huge amounts of money we didn’t have on recording. The sound and end result was always in the hands of someone else.
With ‘Scarcity Rock’ we wanted to experiment with studio techniques combining different styles of recording and try to learn how to get back to basics with microphone techniques rather than using too many channels. That was very educational and opened up a different philosophy to the whole recording process. After that record, I decided I wanted to learn most of that process myself and started buying some decent microphones and stuff.
These days we have a totally different approach to recording. Especially since our bass player Tristan (since 2005) quit last year. We write a bunch of songs and when they feel ready we record the basics in a real studio, like drums, bass, whatever we have time to do. Then I take the tracks to my own studio and complete them myself. When we need songs for records we take them back to the same studio to get them mixed. It might seem more complicated but in the end, it’s little about time and money but mostly about creativity. At my studio, I can experiment with sound and find and capture the true potential of a song and be creative with it. It’s a situation I have wanted all my professional years as a musician.
You recently did the EP with Jeff Dahl how did that come about? you play some shows with him right?
Jeff Dahl is a rare bird who has a big heart that beats for rock’n’roll. I challenge you to find a more dedicated, real and ambitious artist than him. Nothing has ever stopped him from doing his thing. You could always rely to him to manage the legacy of bands like The Stooges, New York Dolls and so on when no one else cared for that type of music. He has helped preserve that corner of rock’n’roll and kept it alive. People really should be aware of that. There was a time, in the late ’80s, early 90’s when Jeff and his music were one of few bright lights. His approach as an artist is very similar to ours. We have a lot in common both musically and philosophically. He has always been a true inspiration to us.
Jeff and I have been pen pals since our first 7″, which he gave a favourable review in his fanzine, Ultra Under. When time came for him to travel to Sweden again, mainly for intellectual reasons, we wanted to squeeze some rock’n’roll into his visit as well. He chose some songs and we rehearsed them before he came over. I wrote the song Mean Street Beat which he contributed the bridge to. Then we did one show in Stockholm. It was sparsely advertised and maybe 40 or 50 lucky people showed up. It’s already legendary.
The day after we headed into the studio to get the record done. Most of it was done more or less live with minimal overdubs. I took the recording to my studio and made some additional overdubs and stuff. Then it was mixed and mastered. Just a great experience all together. It was a true privilege to work with him on the record. We had a great time and it shines through in spades.
As a kid, I first heard Two Headed Dog in his version and discovered Roky Erickson soon after thanks to Jeff. I really wanted to do a Roky song for this record but we never got around to do it. Maybe next time.
And the split you did with The Hip Priests was a great match up what about some dates in the UK maybe with the Hip Priests who have a new album ready to go.
The Hip Priests approached us to do that one. We are really thankful to them because things snowballed a bit for us because of that record. Plus it became a great single. Their version of Hot Runnin’ Blood is so great. I love what they did to it. Without that record. I don’t think we would have been as active in 2018 as it turned out. They sort of reintroduced us to our own scene weirdly enough.
We have been talking about doing a UK tour with The Hip Priests and I am really looking forward to their new album. As it turns out we’re label mates as well now. At least in Canada.
How did you find touring America those looked like great matchups you guys with The Nomads and Fleshtones and then New Bomb Turks and Datsuns.
(It was The Dragons we toured with Stateside. Datsuns opened up on some of the shows on The Hellacopters farewell tour when we played with them.)
Touring the States was , of course,a dream come through. It was very tough though, especially the first time. We had gotten used to a certain standard in Europe and that was luxury compared to the US. Sometimes it was extremely far between the venues, food was always okay but sometimes we didn’t have anywhere to sleep. Then and again someone took us home and gave us beer and a place to crash for a few hours. Americans are great that way. Very helpful. Someone will always lend a hand. Even so ,we stood without accommodation on a few occasions. Those days were just crashing anywhere, sleeping in the car or not at all.
I fell asleep in a car i New Orleans with open windows at one time. Lucky I didn’t get killed, hehe. Vaguely I remember sleeping in an attic under an American flag and once in a coffin someone had in their house. Weird memories..
At one time we ended up at this guys house (wont tell you who) and he played us rehearsal tapes with The Stooges recorded on reel-to-reel from the time around Fun House. The tapes have never been released in any form and as an old fan it was an amazing experience to get to hear that.
The second tour we were put together with The Dragons from San Diego. They were the perfect ambassadors to the road life in the USA, toured all the time and knew every trick in the book. I guess it was the most fun tour we did over there. Hanging out with those guys was amazing. Not did they only show us the real, dirty underbelly of punk rock’n’roll America, they also showed us how to become a great live band. We learned a lot from them.
Eventually, they got signed to Gearhead as well. I guess we demanded they should be signed to the label. They just got out of some contract if memory serves me well. We had a couple of fingers in getting New Bomb Turks signed as well. No doubt about that. For a while, Gearhead had the greatest roster in the history of punk rock. “DEMONS”, Dragons, New Bomb Turks, The Hellacopters, The Hives, Turbo A.C’s, Riverboat Gamblers..
Touring with the New Bomb Turks was also great. We always pulled pranks with the bands we traveled with and at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco we rented gorilla suits and hit the stage. Just as Elton John did with Iggy. The idea came from that. I think it was during their version of Mr. Suit. It was meant as a joke but I think Eric got genuinely scared because of some incident we didn’t know of. I remember Micke stage diving while his the head of his costume turned backwards. He was totally blind, mid air..
Mike LaVella was in on the prank we pulled on The Dragons. Mario always wore that “Who the fuck is Mick Jagger” shirt Keith had. Mike printed a few shirts with the text “Who the fuck is Mario Escovedo” which I wore at our show with them at the Casbah in San Diego. Mario was not that amused however, haha.
Our first headlining tour followed and it is by far the most intense and crazy tour we have ever done. Everything happened, we got robbed of all our gear, played motorcycle hangouts where everybody fought, even the women, got booted off Gearhead (not for doing drugs though) got lost in the desert and was held at gunpoint. That’s just the beginning of it. There’s a great live recording from the Crocodile Lounge in Seattle where the crowd chants “burn down the club” after the show since we weren’t allowed an encore. We hope to release that some day soon.
At the end we had met everybody from the Commodores to Jello Biafra, hardcore legends came out to see us, T-Model Ford opened up for us in Baltimore of all places, we got our kicks on Route 66, got seriously fucked up and never missed a show. It was great fun, chaotic, but great fun.
There are lots of stories and they would sure fill up a whole book.. Even though it was back breaking work it was an amazing experience all together.
There seems to be some great festivals in Europe featuring a lot of good bands like Hellacopters, Nomads, Turbonegro like Helldorado recently sadly not in the UK. Is there a good appetite for high energy rock n roll in Sweden right now?
The surge for high energy rock’n’roll is coming along for sure again. There are a couple of rocking underground bands here but almost none of them are playing much in Sweden. The industry here will never accept rock’n’roll music in any form. Only if any band gets infamous or so. Media will never cover an underground band just to help out a scene or something like that. That just wont happen. Being independent has no value in Sweden. It’s more on a grass roots level.
Although we just got added to the Garage Rock Day 2019 with Electric Frankenstein headlining. It takes place in Stockholm on the 25th of May. That, and last years Drenched in Beer festival will hopefully lead the way and make more venues interested in this type of music.
Being from the UK there was a big explosion back in the day from Scandinavia of really cool bands at a time when the UK music business was busy eating itself and there wasn’t a massive amount happening and we saw some of the bands hit our shores and I know it took off and we had some pretty good tours from the likes of Backyard Babies, The Hellacopters, Gluecifer, Turbonegro, The Hives and Randy as well as other bands like and D4 and Datsuns (although not from Scandinavia they toured the UK at the time) off the top of my head, what was it like in Sweden at the time because obviously, you guys would have been friends right? Did it seem like things were happening or was it just isolated bands or were we getting a distorted picture?
We toured the UK back then. Played with local bands as well as The Dirt Bombs, Moldy Lemon and more. Great times!
In Sweden, everybody hooked up with everybody in those days. Often touring bands slept at friends houses or apartments. It was intertwined in all sorts of ways you wouldn’t believe. People had parties and sometimes we would be at Nicke’s (from The Hellacopters) listening to records by the new bands on Crypt, Estrus or Sympathy. I live in a small apartment and at one time members of The Hellacopters, Entombed, Turpentines, “DEMONS” and some more people crowded my small living room partying and listening to records. I remember trying to convince Nicke to get into ska (as he liked rhythm and blues) and gave him a rare Skatalites record.
One of my best friends, Odd from The Robots (known to Hellacopters fans as the originators of Sign of the Octopus) frequently would put up Happy Tom in the independent days, They are still good friends I guess. We were hanging out with everybody coming through town. Zeke, New Bomb Turks, Queens of the Stoneage, Powder Monkeys, Chris Bailey, Guitar Wolf, you name it.. Everything centered around a record store called Freak Scene where Robban from The Hellacopters worked at one time. Freak Scene also released their second single along with a bunch of other cool stuff.
The place we usually took bands was Kvarnen on Södermalm in Stockholm. We rehearsed there in the basement together with The Nomads (who got us in), Bob Hund, The Cardigans and Atomic Swing. Robban Strings Dahlqvist’s first band, Silvermachine, were there as well. Legend said David Bowie had rehearsed there once for a show and Lou Reed also.
It was a very interesting era. Of course, the area is gentrified now and most of those hang outs are gone. Somebody bought Kvarnen, kicked everybody out and converted the basement into an orange tile covered bar where they played house music. Nothing really wrong with that. Guess it’s progress. All though It should have been converted to a museum instead with all that cuture going on.
We heard all sorts that you guys would have grants out of high school if you started a band and stuff like that we used to joke that every child in Sweden was given a high school pack that contained some creepers, a leather jacket a les paul junior and a packet of smokes I guess that wasn’t true then?
Haha, the creepers most likely came from us, but no, there was no easy way to do it back then. There was also considerably more interest for this type of music outside of Sweden. It took a long time before Swedish journalists and media caught on and when they did only The Hellacopters was their focus. Most of the other bands had to deal with the fact that the darlings of the press were them and constantly be compared to them. We were all friends and supported each other in the beginning but to us it felt absurd to be compared to The Hellacopters. Mostly because we, from the start, were isolated and alone on our turf with the influence of all that music that was also claimed by them a few years later. We love The Hellacopters though.
There was this weird self-promoting media culture in Sweden that I guess is hard to understand if you’re not Swedish. Back in the day most all of the more influential music journalists were more interested in writing something sensational and creating a buzz around something than actually covering a scene or some type of music. Some of that self-indulgent culture is still apparent in Swedish music media today. National radio, which is funded by tax money, only play major label crap. Anyone with an underground band knows what I’m talking about.
I mentioned the record you did last year on Ghost Highway with Jeff and you recently mentioned that you just finished up a new “Demons” album any idea when we can see this get released? tell us a bit about the new record? where was it recorded – producer – any details of the songs or possible title?
Yeah, there is a new album on the way. The title is Kiss Off and it contains a whole batch of new songs plus a bunch of re-recorded titles from our most recent records. It will be released through God’s Candy Records in April with Get Hip distributing. Most of the basics were recorded in Studio Dubious in Stockholm during different sessions in 2018. Then it was completed and finished in my studio and again mixed in Dubious in Stockholm. I guess we recorded about 70 percent of it ourselves just like the last album, Scarcity Rock.
It’s gonna be our first full length since 2010. The material is maybe a tad more varied and definitely more song-oriented. Someone said it was melodic but it’s more brutal and heavy as well. What can I say? It’s our sound and our style, I can’t really compare it to anything now since it’s so fresh. They are just songs written over a period of two years or something. Personally, as a songwriter, I think it’s the best bunch of songs I’ve written. It is a damn fine album and one of our most focused ever. Hopefully, people will take it to their hearts and join us for the ride.
We kind of decided when we picked up playing again that we never would do another full-length album and only focus on smaller releases on independent labels. That was my ambition anyway. Albums always took too much work and then they never ended up as you wanted. Suddenly we were doing one anyway and I’m glad we did because it’s gonna be a great rock’n’roll record. One of our best.
A lot of this had to do with God’s Candy Records. Brett who runs the label really has an enormous ambition and loves vinyl and its possibilities as an art form as much as we do.
It seems like a great time to be in music as there is so much great music all over the place at the moment people complain about it not getting big but there is plenty out there making fantastic records
I think what’s happening now is a new growing underground culture that builds on the ’90s, early 00’s high energy and garage punk movements that “DEMONS” had quite a decent part in developing. At least from a Scandinavian perspective. I hope it stays underground.
Sal from Electric Frankenstein is doing a new set of Fistful of Rock’n’roll compilations who showcases the width of what is happening. He took on an incredible task and has done an amazing job. As long as bands are managing themselves, bookers book shows and independent labels put out records it’s great. I think the internet provides a direct communication possibility that has never really been there before. That’s how you can keep it on a grassroots level and still make it work between all parties.
I guess most bands have that dream of making it big. But as I stated earlier you got to figure out why you are playing music. If you want to be a star and make serious money maybe you should go the other way, play some commercial music and find a producer who will shape your sound to something that is playable on the radio. Or just find something else to do that is more commercially viable than playing music. Plus I think that aiming for the majors is a philosophy that is a bit out of date and not very modern. But then again, if you find a major label that fully supports you and your philosophy there isn’t a problem.
I have music in my head 24 hours a day, always wake up with a song in my head. When I write I usually drink four cups of coffee, put on a record, have the TV on and a couple of books lying around. Then I just start working. That has always been my preferred way to get things done and it’s been that way all my life.
I also buy a lot of records and listen to a lot of music. But I always preferred artists that showcase a little darkness and need to channel real emotions. Everything inspires me in different ways.
Being part of great split records and collaborating with legends like Jeff Dahl is there anything you’d like to fulfill somewhere you’d like to play or someone you’d love to work with?
When I started out I had a long list of people I would have loved to work with. Mostly old idols. These days I will work with anyone who is passionate about what they’re doing as long as it works philosophically. We’ll work with anybody who has a great idea. It’s about creating great stuff. After all these years I just love to work with small labels and people who are driven by dedication and love for music. That is the real reward.
Finally, if there is anything you’d like to tell the readers or promote feel free that’s what we’re here for.
Stay sick and keep keepin’ on.
Keep an eye out for that new record that is coming out soon I’m sure RPM will be at the front of the queue to cover it and hopefully, some live shows around the place would be nice. A massive Thank you to Matheus for taking the time and sharing his personal pictures and thoughts. Also to Jeff Dahl for hooking us up much appreciated my friend.