Sunday, June 15, 2014

Interview with Anders Jacobsson from Draconian

Before we begin we will like to say a bit about the band. Formed in 1994 Draconian is one Of the Premium Swedish Doom/Gothic metal band.I guess i should not talk much about this Doom Metal giant. To know much about Draconian  can check their band page on
Greetings Anders before we begin we will like to know how are things going back there in Sweden.
Hey man, things in Sweden have been going a bit all over the place these past months. Lots of wine and crazy things, but I've managed to write some good lyrics and ponder about my existence... and others’ ^^ It's starting to get very hot so obviously I kind of hate it right now. I sleep terribly and curse the sun every morning, true story.
Sweden will soon be better though since Heike is back very soon and we can pick up where we left off writing this new album.

Coming to the band Draconian how did the journey started?
The short story is that we founded what is the basis of this band in 1994, under the name Kerberos. Some months later I joined. I wanted to focus on something more melodic and emotional than the death metal band I had been part of. In 1995 we recorded Shades of a Lost Moon and the demo got praise world-wide. We were very happy and even more surprised. Though, the coming years we were dealing with setbacks and it was hard to come further… One can say the band has been a struggle to bring about ever since. Like this curse hanging over us. We fooled around with some different directions (still maintaining a ‘sound’) until in 2002 we released what was to become our last demo, Dark Oceans We Cry and that made all the difference. We found a sound that spoke to our hearts. We finally got a record-deal at Napalm Records and the rest has been a slow, but still creative process since then. I wish we were a bit further today but ‘the curse’ lives in the back of our minds... but we strive, we create, we won't let go of this Draconian horde. Good things on the rise.

Well i have been following Draconian since 2009 and Bloodflower from your 2008 album Turning Season Within is one of my favorite tracks and it was infact the 1st song i ever heard of Draconian. Since then i am following Draconian.
The Bloodflower experience is a common one. The funny thing is that it's not very typical for a Draconian song, typical rather emotionally. I think we have this thing that unite our sound, this longing, heart-rending, tortured beauty screaming through the walls. It's a very direct song, still it leave questions... and just as it is for us in the band, I think people tend to identify allot with Bloodflower. It's powerful, easy to get into and beautifully desperate. Like life, love and the loss there-of.

Exactly sometimes i listen this track around 3 to 4 times in a row and i feel like my entire emotion is poured out by that song. Honestly this track is not of that kind that never makes you bore nor feel tedious that's what i believe. Well coming to the band name DRACONIAN what actually does it mean?
I had a girlfriend once who played our songs 3-4-5 times in a row and it made me crazy, haha. But I'm glad you get that kind of passion from this song, or any song... it's very humbling and I feel like we've done our job right :) The name Draconian I got from the term 'draconian magic', dealing with the exploration of what lies hidden in the dark, unexplored areas of your psyche, your soul... the yet untrodden paths. I was very much into an organization called Dragon Rouge (dark magic theory and practice) back in those days, but one should know the idea of draconian magic is positive; to not deny what's already yours. You just need to find it and confront what you need to confront in order to gain these treasures. The uncensored areas of the self... and this make me think of hallucinogens, obviously. But it connects to a divine, unmasked truth. We don't know half about ourselves, or what we COULD be.

So far draconian have released 4 Demos 1 Ep and 5 full length studio albums the latest one was A rose for the Apocalypse which even won the Best Gothic metal album of the year 2011. Can we expect any new release soon?
Reading you I feel it's almost unreal to think about. We have so much because of our fans. It's humbling and even if things always have moved slowly with Draconian it somehow always pays off in the end. And it will this time too. The new album is in the making, I'm starting to see the features of its face and I'm nothing but excited. The lyrics have been a part of a soul-searching journey over the past years. Fans will see the romanticism, the darkness and the beauty. They will see me, or will have the mean to. We have news coming soon. 

Well talking about the new album i am  sure it’s going to be awesome. No doubt about the lyrical low that you write and deliver with the music. Anders we will like to know when are you guys entering studio for the new upcoming album?
Thank you for your expectations.
We have no exact dates yet. The current plan is to have it out before the new year. For once it seems to be an album coming out in the midst of darkness. At least the vocals and mix will be with Jens Bogren.

Honestly i am pretty excited about it. Alright coming beyond Draconian, tell us how your journey in Metal music began?
Wow, that's a big thing. Well, was exposed to stuff like Kiss and Deep Purple at the age of 5-6 and from then on I began the journey of a life surrounded by hardrock music, friends with new cool tapes and music magazines. This whole new exciting world opened up. But that was a bit later. Bought my first vinyl in '84 and it was Dio's 'The Last in Line'. It was just out. I remember how blown away I was by that awesome cover. That album has tremendous value to this journey of mine. It got personal. But I caught myself getting more and more into the deeper, darker stuff as time has passed. I listen to many different types of music today and they all have some kind of darkness, some depth that appeals to the way I conceive myself, the inner and the outer. It dares things, it confronts and it shows the larger spectrum of the world. Metal has been the main genre that has made me this wide-spread I am today. It allows your somewhat rebellious identity, gives you a tap on the shoulder telling you that you're not alone suffering in this cesspool of a society. The ‘cultural straitjacket’ we’ve created.  Sorry, tangent. :P

For sure it does. Would you tell us what are you listening to lately?
My friends probably think I am completely repetitive playing Crippled Black Phoenix, The Black Angels and a Swedish band Weeping Willows all the time. Mostly stoner rock and metal, lots of a band called Ancestors. It's like this wonderful stony version of Pink Floyd. I really like the new Anathema album, appeals to a quite humble side of me. It’s lovely.  Obviously I take in allot of Mammoth Storm and Doom:vs. I advice anyone to check their new albums out. Been into Klimt 1918 allot this past year as well. Music can be such a good friend in moments of transition, and actually, almost any kind of moment can be ‘soundtracked’. 

Well haven’t heard of them for sure going to check them. Anders we would like to know about DOOM metal. Could you describe it for us in your own words?
Doom metal, heavy down-tuned, somewhat alarming with depth and large emotional spectrum, dense and dark. Leaves room for space, a space you can fill yourself. I really don't have any better answer to the question. The music just suits me, most kinds of doom in its own way. I prefer the more melancholic, atmospheric stuff... whether it's the first three Theatre of Tragedy albums, old-school Anathema, Esoteric... or post-stony doombands like Year of No Light.

From 1994 there have been 3 changes on lady vocals/keys Susanne Arvidsson (95-97) Lisa Johansson 2001-2011 Nov 15 she left the band and on 19sep 2012 Heike Langhans joined the band i hope she will keep the magic as set by both of them.
We do not consider our band the female vocal aspect as one of the main tenants of our sound, and I'm sure some people thinks that is strange considering it's been with us since the first demo. It’s there to create diversity and contrast, a beautiful nuance that marries with the rest, creating this wonderful spectrum of soul and human emotion. Heike has some pretty big shoes to fill and she knows it but never really go around worrying about it. She has too much of a personal relationship with our music to waste energy on such things. She is a calm, asserted person that does what it takes. We have all heard her incredibly beautiful voice by now and we all know the particular sound of Draconian. I think this union speaks for itself. The rest is not up to us.

Well almost at the end now .Any message to the young and the upcoming bands? I am pretty sure your experience can be a source of knowledge that can be a  source of inspiration for the local bands! 
I don't have as much practical experience as one might think. Maybe in my head, long knowledge of the scene and its supposed purpose, yes, and that's what's been driving me as things move slowly and reality bites a bit harder than expected. You get to learn to connect the dots. It's like with everything else and what speaks to you on a deeper level. It reflects you a bit, gives you motivation staying true to yourself… and feeling, if only momentarily, healed. The hunger, the rage and the sorrow can be useful. Make it into art, something to be part of, make your speakers weep! So, if the passion is there do not give up! 

For sure Anders, so any message to the fans?
We love you! Keep the beauty you've always had and we'll meet you on the road. We truly hope the new songs will be cherished as we cherish them. Thank you for a good interview, my friend.

Lastly a space for you to ask if we SNRMB team have forgotten to ask. You can ask here Space all yours.
I want you to take music to heart, understand what it means. Allow yourself to feel and live on the point of tears. Feel It. Do not give in to the mainstream, don't let yourself be controlled by an industry that is killing art, killing Us . Don't do anything merely to fit in but follow the road You already know you have within, however narrow, and increase your consciousness, understand yourself and how small this little 'pale blue dot' is. Be in awe. Do not worry, do not stress because this is just a journey and it is yours as it is everyone else's. If you can do this, teach me how, because I'm not saying it's easy, my life is messier than hell, but we all get reminders. Music is magical; it is art transcending itself through our ability to understand what's inside, a way to reveal and express, yet to ask questions. 

Thanks again for the conversation and epic cheers to Nepal and You.

“In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable. And help to change it.” 

– Ernst Fischer