There are bands that literally define a certain musical style. One of them is Swedish DEMONICAL. Although it is a band that „missed“ the first, second and maybe even the third train that personified the end of the 80s, and also the beginning and the end of the 90s… despite all of this people around former members Martin and Ronnie (both ex- CENTINEX) have been able to rise to the Swedish Death Metal elite in the last twenty years. YES, without any exaggeration, thanks to their patient work, DEMONICAL can profit from their position. They have been improving album by album musically and even compositionally. The last album “Chaos Manifesto” is a clear proof of that. We are really proud to be able to welcome this band on our stage this summer… and also we are proud to present you this band via this short interview just right now…
Answered by Martin Schulman (bassist, founding member and main songwriter of Demonical)
In the last few years it has become such a tradition that you will appear in the Czech Republic at least once a year. Every year you play only a limited number of gigs and rather you prefer to go on tour, right? (For example, you were in South America at the end of this year). However, you did not play here in 2019 – so are you looking forward to return to the Czech Republic, where (according to what I saw) you have a strong fan base?
Yeah we have played quite often in Czech and we always get a great support there, hence we come back as often as we can. We try to tour as much every year as possible but we do not accept every tour and offer, we are a bit selective. We prefer to make like 1-2 good tours every year instead of doing 4 bad ones…. You know what I mean? Anyway, we are really looking forward to playing Symbolic as we have heard many great things about your fest!
You are classic representatives of “Swedish school”. This style keep for years a steady favour of fans around the world. Do you perceive same like me, that people have been more interested in this style generously (as well about you as a band and about your records) in recent years? You „left the ship“ of your long-time partner – CYCLONE EMPIRE and went to AGONIA records, who care as well about CENTINEX, where you are personally and historically connected. But seems to me that your past label is more suitable for your style, what do you think?
I think the popularity of the “Swedish (old-school) style” has grown during the last couple of years. It’s much more popular now than back in 2006-2007 when we started the band and that is of course cool for us. However, i hope this style won’t be the new “trend” or something as usually, as soon as something becomes a trend or fashion the scene will be overcrowded with not-so-good bands…. Trends tend to feed quantity instead of quality.
Regarding the labels. We did fullfill our deal with Cyclone Empire – we did even expand it with one album as the original deal was just for 3 recordings – but after the last release with them (“Darkness Unbound” in 2013) we felt it was time for a change. Now looking back we realize it was a good move as soon after we left the label basically closed their doors, they haven’t released any album in many years now. Agonia Records had been interested in us for many years and we felt they could do good things for us, which they have, so we are very satisfied with the situation now.
For sure I want to talk a bit about your last album “Chaos Manifesto” in this mini interview. For me personally, this is the best record of year 2018, well… it took the first position in my personal chart. I like the way you compose your songs, because you are not afraid of simple tunes and choruses. This is not usual in this style. Do you consider “Chaos Manifesto” also as your current composer’s peak? What about feedbacks to this album? I also have to mention that the songs from this opus sound incredibly crushing live.
Thanks for those positive words, much appreciated! Yes we are also very satisfied with the album, it turned out the way we wanted and it represents DEMONICAL very well. The band has always, or at least during the last years, been about mixing brutality and some melodies and “catchy” choruses and we think we succeeded very well with that on “Chaos Manifesto”. I think the album is still brutal and have that classic Swedish old-school sound but mixed with more melodic elements and other stuff. When I write music I throw in elements from all the music I like, for example I really like 80’s heavy metal, so maybe that’s the reason why the stuff sounds quite variable… we are now in the pre-production phase of the next album and it will continue on the same path as “Chaos Manifesto”. Only better, of course haha!
Recent news suggest that singer Alexander Hogbom left you (after two years and last record) and you found a replacement in Christopher Saterdal. That is, if I am not mistaken, the 5th throat, which associated career with DEMONICAL. What is a reason that such excellent vocalists leave you? After all, the voice is one of the most striking fragments of the whole band mosaic.
Yes that’s right, Alexander left us in late 2019. He was the third vocalist in the band so Chris, the new frontman, is the forth one. However, Alexander was the first one who left of his own choice, the two vocalists before him were kicked out from the band. There are several reasons why Alexander decided to quit but it has most to do with his family & work situation. He announced this to us already in the spring 2019 so we had known it for a while before it was publically announced. It had also been decided that Alex would do the already booked shows and so on, we all tried to handle the situation as professionally as possible. We were checking out new vocalists during the whole summer so we really put some time in that as it was important to find the right person who would work both on- and off stage. I think Chris fits into the band really well and he is very talented and professional so I’m sure he will carry on the torch of good DEMONICAL vocalists. We did the Brazilian tour with him some weeks ago and everything worked out perfect so the future looks bright.
For more than 20 years of your career, you have 5 long-length albums, 3 splits, one EP and one demo. This is a good portion of material from which you can select songs to set-list. What can we look forward to hear in summer in Topolná? Will you play a cross section of your discography and some new material? Or do you intend to play only a certain part of your career? Thanks for the interview and see you at SYMBOLIC this summer.
Well the band started in 2006 so it’s not really 20 years yet…. But the amount of releases you mentioned are correct. Our live set consists of material from all the albums, basically, so i’m pretty sure you will hear a greatest hits set with material from most of the releases. We’ll see, haven’t really thought about that yet… but I’m sure it will be a killer show and we are really looking fotward to the fest!