Daemonicus is a Swedish death metal band spawned in 2006 and they are a perfect blend of all three big names of the Swedish Death Metal scene (Unleashed, Entombed, Dismember). Their most recent album "Deadwork” via Abyss Records has brought Daemonicus some well-deserved attention and Pest Webzine decided it was time to have a conversation with them.
Daemonicus is a Swedish band with a Latin name. How did you come up with that?
Back in 2006 when we started, we couldn’t decide what name to use. We tried out a couple of different ones but nothing really felt right. I remember that we all wanted a simple, and preferably a one worded name.
Anyway, one night when i was watching an episode of The X-Files. I can’t remember what it was about but someone had written the word Daemonicus on a table. I think the whole episode was entitled Daemonicus as well.
The next day I told the guys that the name of our band had to be Daemonicus and they all agreed!
Daemonicus is mainly labeled as old school swedish death metal. Is this the most adequate description for your sound?
Yeah, that might be a fitting description for us, and it is of course flattering to be compared to the legends in that genre. We play death metal, we’re swedes and we’re not re-inventing the wheel so to speak. So yeah I guess you are spot on with that description.
But if you would ask me what kind of music we play, the answer is easy: we play death metal. Nothing more, nothing less.
The band got formed in 2006 and, three years later, ViciSolum Productions released your debut album "Host of Rotting flesh”. In the mean time you released three demos... how were they received by the general public?
Actually the first two demos "Demo From Hell” and "Demon Inside” is the same recording. We just remixed it since it sounded like crap, and we gave it a new name.
We never sent "Demo From Hell” to any labels or reviews or anything. We just gave it away to friends and such. When we remixed it and gave it a new name and a new cover, we sent it to a couple of magazines and fanzines for reviews.
We got really good reviews and "Demon Inside” even got the honour of being demo of the year in some magazine which I can’t remember.
When we released the third demo "Swarm of Death” we sent it away for a review in Sweden Rock Magazine, and it was through that review that ViciSolum Productions found us. So it must have been quite the review they gave us.
Some reviewers of your debut were unanimous in saying that Daemonicus were young as a band and still too inexperienced for a debut album. How does this kind of criticism make you feel?
That album didn’t really turn out as we wanted it to, so I guess they are right by saying so. The songs on that album are mostly the songs we had on the demos. We still play a couple of them when we play live, but some of them you will most certainly never hear us play again.
But who knows? It’s in the contract that we couldn’t record those songs again for 20 years. Maybe we’ll record and release a "Host of Re-Rotten Flesh” in 2029. You never know!
Your second album "Deadwork” was released by Abyss Records. Why have you changed labels?
What’s the main difference between ViciSolum Productions and Abyss Records?
We parted ways with ViciSolum on mutual terms. So there is no bad blood there.
ViciSolum had other priorities and so did we.
Abyss Records was very interested in releasing our second album, since Daniel (Abyss Records) is crazy about Swedish metal.
I think it’s hard to compare the labels, but I can say that our collaboration with Abyss is working out just fine, and I think it has opened up a few eyes and ears for us and got us some really hardcore fans as well!
Your second album received great reviews. How does that make you feel knowing that your music is so appreciated?
Yes they all seem to like it and we still keep getting excellent reviews on it. That makes us feel like we did something really good, and of course it inspires us to keep making more music. It’s gonna be hard to top this one maybe, but we are more than up to the task!
Who mixed and mastered "Deadwork”?
Ronnie Björnström at Enhanced Audio Productions did the mix and master for us after we did the initial recordings in our own studio.
He is also the one who mixed and mastered the "Swarm of Death” demo that got us signed, so it felt good to be working with him again. He did an outstanding job on "Deadwork” if you ask me.
Who designed the cover of "Deadwork”? It is pretty self explanatory... do you appreciate those in-your-face covers?
The cover artwork was made by a guy who calls himself DanielDevilish. I think it is awesome and very fitting for that album.
I think a good cover artwork is very important for any album. And I still appreciate looking at the artworks when I listen to the music, like I did as a kid.
"Pestilence – Consuming Impulse” being the exception hehe. Awesome album nonetheless.
You have an official video for "Nothing but death” which was produced/directed by Stefan Hagström and C.C.H.B. Productions. How does it work? How big/small is the budget for the promo videos? Are your ideas taken in consideration?
Yeah that is correct. We are very pleased with how the video turned out. It passed our wildest imaginations! Stefan had some great ideas right from the start so we just went with them, and then Stefan edited the whole thing by himself.
Actually C.C.H.B. Productions is our own production company. We run it for us, by us. So the budget was almost zero.
We are talking about recording another video pretty soon as well. Another song from "Deadwork” but we are still deciding on wich one.
Death seems to be your favourite topic to explore in your lyrics. Why death? Have you ever had a near death experience? Do you fear death at all? If you could choose, how would you wish to die?
Maybe it’s because we all think about death from time to time, and we all have to deal with death in one way or another on a daily basis, and I don’t just mean us in the band but everyone can relate to it. One reason is also that I enjoy watching horror movies and I gather lots of inspiration to my lyrics from them. Another thing is of course that you can’t really play death metal and have lyrical themes about doing laundry or picking up your kids from school. The music craves a dark lyrical theme which death can provide. And it’s not about having the most outrageous lyrics or try to scare people either. We got Cannibal Corpse for that =)
I don’t fear death, but I have too much to live for so I don’t have time for dying. It’s more that I fear not being able to live and see my kids grow up and to be a part of their life.
If I could choose which way to go? Well, spontaneous combustion sounds pretty cool so I guess I’d choose that.
You are against all religious insanity, which basically means you’re against most of the human beings. How old were you when you started loathing religion? Why?
I was never pushed into any religion by my parents when I grew up. They let me think for myself and I was very young when I realized that religion wasn’t anything I wanted to be a part of. The loathing for religion and religious fanatics of all sorts, came later on in life when I started to look around and see what was going on in the world. It’s a downward spiral where brother kills brother for believing in the "wrong God” and we have a front row view of our own extermination. Religion is forcing us back to the fucking middle-ages, technology wise and in our perspective. If that’s not enough to make you sick to your stomach. I don’t know what will.
You have been compared to Bolt Thrower and Master. Have they influenced your sound somehow?
It is very flattering to be compared to bands such as Bolt Thrower since we all dig them a lot. I’m pretty sure you can hear some Bolt Thrower in our music here and there.
Unfortunately I haven’t really heard Master all that much. It’s still nice to be compared to them since they are a good band, but I don’t know if they have influenced our sound in anyway.
When you get compared to big bands, do you usually take it as a compliment or otherwise?
Always as a compliment! Especially since we often get compared to bands that we love. If we would get compared to bands like Takida or Dead by April or some shit like that, I would probably ask what’s the status of your mental condition. But being compared to bands like Bolt Thrower, Entombed, Dismember and so on.. How could that not be a compliment?
So far, what has been Daemonicus highlight as a band?
I think we would all agree that opening up for Asphyx in Bucharest last year in front of 600-700 people was the highlight of our career so far. We did a great show and we all had an awesome time both on and off stage that night.
Are you planning to do a tour this year? I know you’ve stated your wish to do so but I haven’t seen any tour dates online.
Yes we are planning one big tour in October together with Demonical on the "Darkness Unbound Tour”. It will take us to some countries we still haven’t played in like Denmark, the Netherlands etc. It will be a great tour, and a great chance for us to promote our latest album. We are also planning a smaller tour in Sweden in September, but everything hasn’t been confirmed yet so I can’t go in on details just yet.
You started out as a hard rock fan! Why did you then "evolve” to heavier sounds?
Yeah we all grew up listening to heavy music. I don’t know why we kept searching for heavier and heavier music! Maybe it’s about the energy in the faster and heavier music that is appealing. Of course we still listen to other music than Death metal, but sometimes Kiss just isn’t brutal enough, you know?
Have you ever considered doing a cover of a hard rock theme/band? Which would you appreciate covering and why?
Of course! We love playing cover songs and paying tribute to bands we grew up with.
We often goof around playing old Metallica tunes when we rehearse.
One song I’ve had in mind for a long time is tune from Helloween called The Time of the Oath. It’s heavy and slow and could be made in to an awesome death metal song.
We have gotten a few requests on appearing on some tribute albums, but nothing that would fit us so we are still waiting for the perfect one. The most fun would be to do a cover of something that is so far from death metal that no one would expect it.
What’s your main goal as a band? And as a man?
Main goal as a band is of course to always have the next record top the previous one, and to reach out to a bigger crowd and to tour and play all over the world.
The main goal as a man? That’s a tricky question. I guess I would say. To do right by my kids and my family. And to live a life with as few regrets and as few untried things as possible.
Scandinavian bands seem to be way too cool these days and manage to reach the top of the charts in many countries. Is this good or bad for metal?
I think it’s a good thing that metal gets the attention it deserves. Instead of just being "noise” it’s actually being considered as real music nowadays. However, we are loosing the underground feeling of it, where it used to be "our thing”. Theese days everyone can buy an Iron Maiden t-shirt at your local store.
But I guess it just goes to show that there is in fact a huge interest for metal. And that can’t be all bad!
How big are you in Sweden?
Not nearly big enough!! To be honest it is a quite the challenge to hit big in this oblong country of ours. It’s almost impossible to book shows outside your own town since every town has dozens and dozens of top notch bands. You have to play a lot to be a big band, and to play a lot you have to be a big band. So it’s like catch 22! But we are growing at a slow pace. We just released an awesome record so we’ll see where this will lead us.
How do you manage to cope Daemonicus with your families and your other projects?
Coping with Daemonicus and work/families and free times and such is not a problem really. We only rehearse when we are about to record something or if we are doing a show since our drummer lives almost 1000km from us. We try to plan everything as good as possible. If Daemonicus would play more shows maybe it would turn into a problem, but that’s a problem we would like to have!
Many thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks to you as well! There’s nothing more to add except that we hope to see a lot of Daemonicus fans on the road this year!
Other than that. Take care and rock on!!!
PO Wester, Daemonicus
Questions by Sónia Fonseca