It’s been a really long time since we last asked one of our headliners those five questions that reveal (at least a small part of) something of the band’s kitchen and bring fans out of the information vacuum to somewhere they can at least partially “breathe”. One of the most interesting bands at the upcoming SYMBOLIC (at least for me) is the Swedish commando WOMBBATH, active on the scene with a “small” break of almost 20 years since 1990. I consider their 1993 debut ” Internal Caustic Torments” as a pillar not only of my collection, but as something that shaped the whole Swedish Death Metal scene. It is a great honour for us (as in the case of other bands in the past) to be the first to introduce this legend to the Czech fans. Ladies and gentlemen …WOMBBATH from the womb of the country that gave the world many famous names from the death metal ranks.
Formed in 1988 under a different name – but since 1990 as WOMBBATH. Let me ask you Jonny, when did you register (I assume as a fan) your current band? After all, you only joined the line-up in 2014, right after the nearly 20-year break the band had been enjoying since 1995. I think that WOMBBATH must have been considered a legend of the genre after the 1993 album “Internal Caustic Torments”.It’s clear to me that they didn’t achieve the fame of the better known Swedish bands, yet there were always fans on the scene who sought out those lesser known (yet equally quality) bands.
I found out about Wombbath through a friend who had made a mix tape with Wombbath, Deicide, Malevolent Creation and Monstrosity. I was a fan from the first riff. I think if things were different, if they recorded in a different studio (hint) for example, Wombbath would be a much bigger name.
The expression of Death Metal has changed a lot since the 90s. One would say it’s because of line-up changes – but you still have founding guitarist Hakan Stuvemark in your line-up. How does he perceive this process and how do you see it from the position of someone who has been in the WOMBBATH line-up for some 8 years now?
I don’t think it has anything to do with the line-up changes to be honest. The first “comeback” album “Downfall Rising”, Håkan wrote all of the songs on. And that one is probably the album furthest from “Internal Caustic Torment” of all the ones we’ve done since then. It’s all about what inspires us at the moment of writing. With the latest album “Agma” we’ve gone far outside the frame of death metal, yet it is the album to me that feels the most like “ICT”.
As a band you are quite well known for the number of bands you are in. The list of what you have been through as a five-piece would be almost endless. You are currently playing in the reunited MASSACRE or HEADS FOR THE DEAD … Hakan’s portfolio is also not modest, just like Jon or Matt – what does music mean to you? What drives you to keep moving forward and makes you dedicate your time to metal music?
Music is everything for me, it’s my biggest passion in life and what I have decided to dedicate my life to. There is few things that comapres to writing a song that feels just right. Maybe it should be called something like “Compulsive music creation disorder” or “Rogga Johansson syndrom”, haha. For me and Håkan, we’ll keep making music until the day we die. And if we get to do it with people like Jon, Matt and Thomas then life will be good.
I believe that your performance at SYMBOLIC fest will also be your premiere in the Czech Republic. Do you at least have any references from other bands about what the fans are like here? Are you in touch with anyone from the Czech Republic and have you come across any bands from the Czech Republic or Slovakia as a fan?
It is indeed. I actually lived in Prague for little over a year, and have been a frequent visitor at Exit-Us and festivals Obscene Extreme and Brutal Assault, so I’ve got a good picture of how it will be. Which makes me even more excited to play Czech Republic.
Last question: What can we as fans look forward to? What will we get from you? I suppose you will want to promote the new album, but there will be some reminiscing, so… will you also include songs in your set that have beards almost as long as yours? :-).
We are trying to get equal parts old songs, newer songs and some songs from our latest album. Haha, well I’ve actually cut quite a bit of my beard so I’ve no longer got the longest beard in metal. But I’m saving it all back out, so before you know it I’ll get back my title, hahahaha.