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lunedì 11 giugno 2012
Nicklas Bäckström - Bass, Vocals
Jakob Burstedt - Drums
Patrik Ylmefors - Guitars
Kristoffer Bäckström - Guitars, Vocals
Today we have with us Moloken, Swedish band which is already known to Aristocrazia Webzine's readers since we reviews the second album "Rural" and the debut "Our Astral Circle", let's talk with Kristoffer to know them better.
Welcome on Aristocrazia Webzine, how are you? Are you already writing new material?
Kristoffer: I am fine thank you. Yes as a matter of fact we are currently writing and presenting new material and ideas within the group. 4 songs done. But we have tons of material.
Moloken, why this monicker? Who are they, When were they born and which the aim of your music?
Moloken is an old swedish word meaning gloomy and I heard the word for the first time on swedish national radio, a lingustic program and it really stuck with me. At the time I was playing in a hardcore punk band but had ideas that didn't fit so I started making my own songs with a different musical approach as well as other lyrical content. This was around 2002 and I did serveral home made demo songs, and an actual recording called "6 Songs of Happines" that was only released for personal purpose. The band Moloken was created 2007 when I moved back to my home county of Västerbotten in the town Umeå after 9 years of absence (living 8 years in Piteå and 1 year in Malmö). I had all these ideas that really wanted to get out there so I asked my brother if we could make something of it and the first thing we did ended up as "We All Face The Dark Alone" song. The aim of our music is to create close to the heart music of raw emotions and it works as a forum for our darker thought and feelings to burst into creativity and ends up as music.
You are singer and bassist in a hardcore band, your brother and Jakob used to play stoner in Lithany and Patrik death metal in Overlord Industries, which is the match point which allows you to play together?
Yes, I used to play harcore punk with The Pookie Syndrome but not anymore. Well, it's the exprimental lust and the ambition to create something of our own that drives us all. The music we play is in fact like a melting pot of what we all listen to and really like. The band is also very democratic which make the work between us rather smooth.
Two interesting albums which move in atmospheric/post- fields with sludge influences and it would be limiting to talk about them in this way, how did your songwriting evolve in these two years? I noticed more attention in the development of the more ambient parts, the last work is less raw but deeper.
Well, we never intended "Rural" to be in a specific way, but the songs branched out and we allowed them to be taken to extremes. So the hard or "raw" parts/songs are rawer and the ambient songs are more mellow. The contrasts are bigger and these songs speak more for themselves whilst "Our Astral Circle" functions more as a whole.
Sons, even if twins, reveal that they never have the same halo, how would you define "Our Astral Circle" and "Rural"? Even with no comparisons, do you think that the latter is a step forward or you are just widening your horizons?
We are definitively widening our horizons as well as progressing forward. We see our selves as a progressive band in that sense we want to evolve ourselves and our music.
The instrumental area is more difficult to talk about, usually there are many critics about the approach to the music, it's easy to sound banal, but I haver to say that my favorite song is "Ulv". How was it born? The title means wolf, an animal that lives in packs but stills knows solitude, was it the inspiration for the song?
Well the song is very personal, it is dedicated to my sibling Ulf. He was cursed with "electromagnetic hypersensitivity" which gradually became worse, causing him to end his job as a high school teacher because he couldn't work with any electronic devices and eventually became more and more isolated beacuse of his illness. He took his life when society (in this case the psyciatric award) turned their backs on him. On the day of his suicide he turned to them one last time for help but they said they couldn't help him, gave him some medication and sent him home. At home he wrote a note, took the drugs they gave him and he ended his life. Ulf was a incredible man with a big warm heart with huge patience. Of course our entire family was devestated when this happened, but as time went by I accepted the fact that the choice was his to make. And I wanted to make a song in his memory. The song idea was really a combination of many things. I had a lot of material from era of "We All Face The Dark Alone", which is about the fear of death. I also really wanted to say something about Ulf's case where he was neglected and mistreated as well as his journey towards death. The idea of a man facing his fear about death as a relief from his pain. I had so much to say both musically and lyrically so it couldn't be a short song. The music and lyrics is built in 3 parts dealing with my interpertations of his last thoughts and emotions. From what I have learned, when you face certain death (for example dying of cancer) and have time to think before it happens you go through different stages to finally accept that you can't do anything about it. I am positive that it's the same stages when you commit suicide. It must be a ambivalent journey to say the least. So I wanted to create music and lyrics as a story, where the music plays an equal role as the lyrics. And the way that the music lifts up the lyrical content and both sets the mood and follows the mood was my plan, but I never imagined that it would turn out the way it did. There was a very special feeling in the atmosphere when we recorded the song, I believe everyone in the band felt it, in my opinon the song had a bigger meaning than only writing about my own sometimes wretched life.
Another little detail which shows the will of going beyond the boundaries is the number of songs in the tracklist of "Rural", less than the one of the debut but with almost the same duration, are you giving yourself a challenge by creating longer and more complex tracks?
Actually we have both times aimed at releasing records with around 40 minutes of music, but as you know that have never been the case. We strive to make interesting songs with a twist, and maybe the complexity comes with that? But sure, raised on music such as Rush, My Dying Bride, Opeth, Katatonia, Cradle Of Filth (first 2 albums) among others, these artist made long songs that still kept your attention. It is a musical challenge.
The label which produces Moloken's works is Discouraged Records that is yours, a small but ambitious project and in Sweden I often find band which have their own label, I'm glad to say that I often found also the professionalism with which you work with the other bands like This Gift Is A Curse and Plector. Why a label? Why, at the end, di you decide the self-production? Is it so difficult to find someone that you can trust?
This is really an answer that carries many reasons. I started Discouraged Records way back in 2005 because I wanted to get more great bands from the very north of sweden (norra norrland) out in the public. So the first thing that was released was a compilation of bands from Skellefteå, Piteå and Luleå. Why Moloken is released through the label was never planned. Back in 2007 we wrote the EP and decided to record it, and when we had recorded it we felt that it was too good to just remain a demo, so we said let's release it ourselves through my label. And we did. Now time has gone and no record deal that we have been offered have been interesting enough. We don't know that the future holds concerning that part. We’ll see.
Are you thinking about some new band to put in your roster? Would you like to recommend any band to our readers?
Well we recieve many questions and inquirys from new bands. But right now we focus on what we have, since it's already lots of great bands in different genres. This Gift Is A Curse is about to release their first full-length album on LP called "I, Guilt Bearer" and it totally blew my mind when i first heard the entire album. They have gone from a promising young band with great intention and just outdo themselves, its is already my total favorite for all 2012. Plector is about to release their new second album and from what I have already heard it will be killer. Ghamorean released their third album "Terra Ruina" in january last year (2011) and it was my favorite of the year. Totally complete album with so much blood sweat and heart. It's a total masterpiece if you are a fan of Emperor, Bloodbath and Mayhem. Progressive blackened death metal.
Is there a real Swedish scene in your area or there are only scenes about the more classic genres?
Umeå does in fact have a good metal scene but it is in no way classic. None of the Umeå bands I know sound the same, so the scene is very varied which of course is great. Every band is a piece of the puzzle.
What do you think about the modern music scene? Read it as a more general question, not only about metal, which are the ups and downs of the last decade? And the ones that we it still has from the past years?
The modern music scene is still ugly and greedy. But as always there is some bits and pieces of true musical honesty and approach that i feel is becoming more and more common from young artists is really liberating, but there is still to many just wanting to copy old idols and rip off entire sounds and riff. It is so fucking boring. Please move on and make your own imprint in the world.
When we talk about corrupt metal usually we talk about Metallica and their "Black Album", would it be different today if that album was never released?
Hehe, well I believe that "The Black Album" is a great album, it's what happened after that one that made me lose interest. I think the world is a better place with that album released. Since they showed musical growth, that is my personal belief. As long as artists and musicians makes music true to them selves weather its Lady Gaga or Opeth I respect them.
How did you discover music? Which are the bands and albums that you discovered many years ago and you still like?
I believe my first record was Metallica - "...And Justice For All" and it's still a great record, but my brother (Nicklas, also in Moloken) fed me with Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Marillion, Rush, Katatonia and much more so I quickly outgrew metallica in search for even more exprimental, aggressive, dark and progressive music. But i early liked a wide range of music like grunge, black metal, pop, rock, metal etc.
If I asked you ten albums released in Sweden that every music lover should try what would you say?
Breach - "Venom", Meshuggah - "Destroy Erase Improve", Bergraven – "Dödsvisioner", Opeth - "My Arms, Your Hearse", Cult Of Luna - "The Beyond", Anekdoten - "Gravity", Cobolt - "Passoa", Edge Of Sanity - "Crimson", Ghamorean - "Terra Ruina", Tiamat - "A Deeper Kind Of Slumber".
Do Moloken play live? Which is the last time you played live and which are the sensation that you feel while you do it?
Moloken is a live band, we love to play live and have done about 100 shows since the start in 2007. We take on every live show like it's our last. It's where the real magic happens. The last time we played was our release for "Rural" here in our hometown of Umeå.
Are there any dates programmed? Some tour in Europe, maybe near Italy?
We have some tours and festivals planned, but since I just became a father we will not tour as extensively this year.
Any news for the next future?
We are currently rehearsing new material, I can say that much.
Thanks for the time spent with us, the last message for our readers is up to you.
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