Please tell us a few words about the new release, about the music on it as a whole or a few words on each track in part. How are you happy with the final release?
We are pleased with both the individual songs and with the album as a whole. We feel that it’s a natural progression from Trenches of the Netherworld (2012), more dynamic song structures and a broader musical scope. I’ve heard some people talk about “Usurpress’ new style”, but that’s an idea we don’t quite buy. If you disregard the acoustic songs (“The Undeification” and “As the Monolith Comes Alive”) and the Bo Hansson-cover (“Lóthlorien”), most of the material on Ordained would have fit in on Trenches and vice versa.
How would you describe/label the music on it? Does it sound like anything we might have heard before?
It sounds like a more focused Usurpress, I guess. We’re still very much a d-beat based death metal band with quite short songs and a minimum of double bass drums, blast beats and guitar solos but this time we felt confident enough to incorporate more “experimental” (ehem…) parts. We felt we had succeeded in bringing in different influences in songs like “Coronation of the Crippled King” or “Carved in Filth” so we dared to use more of the unconventional riffs/parts this time around. “
Lóthlorien” is a prime example of this, we wanted to see if we could perform a pure prog rock piece or if it would only sound like shit so we decided, just out of curiosity, to record that song and it turned out so good that we decided to include it on the album and drop a short, fast song called “The Insatiable Sky” instead.
Where was it recorded and how much time did it take you to record it? Any interesting stories from the recording/producing the material?
We recorded it in our own little basement studio called Is Charged Studio with our guitarist Påhl’s brother Erik, who also recorded the split with Bent Sea. We simply didn’t have the time or money to record it in a “real” studio and we were quite pleased with the sound on the Bent Sea-split so we tried it out and it worked. It was however mixed and mastered properly by Lawrence Mackrory in Studio Maskinrummet.
Quite early on in the song writing process we decided that we would record the album in two sessions. We did 6 songs in the first session and on the basis of these songs we figured out what kinds of songs that were “missing” on the album. The two acoustic songs were recorded in a separate session between the two main ones. It was a working schedule that worked very well for Ordained and I think the album benefitted from that. The recording itself was really smooth and there aren’t that much to say about it. Well, Calle (drums) was really drunk and annoying when I did the vocals for the second batch of songs and I got a bit pissed off at him, hahaha!
What can you tell us about the cover artwork? Is there a link between the artwork and the lyrics? What are the topics of your lyrics?
The artwork is by Swedish artist Ola Larsson (Disma, Sulphur Aeon, etc) and the idea it was to show a desolate barren landscape where the only thing alive was the landscape itself. It shows the very earth as a living, breathing entity. We don’t have a song about that specific subject (thank God…) but I think it fits quite well in with the feeling of desolation and hopelessness that our songs often express.
All of our lyrics are set in the “Usurpress world” so to speak, it’s a world we have created to make a setting for the lyrics and make sure that they follow a certain line in style and content, a certain discourse so to speak. This way the lyrics serve as a cohesive that keeps the individual songs of an album together. I know this might sound very pretentious and weird but it works well for us, the limitations it brings are far smaller than the freedom it gives you as a lyricist. We have developed this concept even further in the songs we have written after Ordained.
What do you expect to gain through this release? What are the band's aims at the moment?
That’s a tricky question indeed. The very fact that we are pleased with Ordained and thinks it’s our strongest record probably means that we have reached the most important aim and goal of the recording. Apart from that, I guess we just want other people to like it too, you know, good reviews and good sells. Our greatest aim right now is to make the next album even better and so far we’re making good progress actually. We have approached a slightly new angle to the song writing this time and the result is, so far, very spectacular and intense. Hopefully we will be able to start recordings sometime in 2015.
Is there a special format the material is released in? Or is it released in multiple formats? How many copies were pressed?
Ordained is released by Doomentia Records (Czech Republic). The digipack CD was released in October 2014 (500 copies) and the fold out LP (green/black splatter vinyl) will be released in February 2015 (300 copies). There is also an unlimited edition on digital download available for sale here: http://doomentiarecords.bandcamp.com/album/ordained
Where and how will you promote this new release?
Since we are unable to tour at the moment, which is a shame, we are mostly sending out promo copies of Ordained to the mags/zines/radio stations that our promo company might have missed, we try to bring merch/records to gigs we attend (as audience) and so forth. The ordinary stuff I guess.
Where can we order it from?
I’m pretty sure there are distros in your home country that carries Ordained and/or other Usurpress records, especially if you live in Europe, but if you don’t feel like looking, just get it from Doomentia (http://www.doomentia.com/releases.html) or us (http://usurpress.com/usurpress-web-shop/)
Check out the vinyl when it’s out, it’s so beautiful!
Thanks for this rather unusual interview. Bye.