Saturday 13 November 2010

Interview with Samu Salovaara of Swallowed

Swallowed are one of the best death metal bands out there right now. Alongside some of their Scandinavian counterparts—think Obliteration, Diskord etc.—they're kind of reinventing death metal, or rather, redefining it. I spoke to guitarist and scribe Samu Salovaara, earlier in the week.

AFITFOG: Your sound has evolved since your first demo in 2007, would you say this is due to the additional members or just an obvious path for you as musicians?
Salovaara: Both. It was clear what the primal emotion that we wanted to carry was, but of course the pathway is not always so clear. The songwriting is still basically done by me and Ville, and so are most of our rehearsals, as it has been since 2008s "Epitaph Of Nauseation" demo. There hasn't been any major influence from other members in that respect, but it builds a different atmosphere when we all play together.

Your style, in the beginning, was heavily influenced by Autopsy, would you say they are one of the main reasons you started the band? If not, what was your motivation?
It's not as blunt as WE PLAY AUTOPSY, but mainly the spirits were so in tune with made it inevitable.

You have moved onto a more stripped down sound, with more black metal influences, what are your influences outside metal/music? Drugs, movies, nature, etc.
Yes, we've stripped away everything useless. Drugs as gateways into the primal matter, yes. Paintings, nature, movies - every higher action tells us something about our own music.

Will you continue this sound into your forthcoming LP?
This sound will go on, however it's clear that development will be towards ever more subtle planes.

Where will you be recording this album?
Undecided, as yet. We've been thinking of an analog studio outside of Helsinki, but no decision's been made. Of course, the temptation of recording it by ourselves in peace and quiet away from a sound guy sounds very pleasing.

Who is your chief songwriter?

I build the pillars of the song with riffs, after that there might be the contribution of additional riffs from other members too, or just basic ideas. Structures are more Ville's forte, but they are worked in co-operation. Basically, it's me and Ville doing all the composing.

Do you have any rituals to uphold when songwriting?
The urge to conduct a black mass prior and post has not yet materialized.

You played this year's Kill-Town Deathfest in Denmark alongside Miasmal, Maim, Putrid and Obliteration, to name a few. How was it to be asked to play this prestigious event?
It was very cool for a festival. Very positive atmosphere. We had some problems with our soundcheck and the sound wasn't as good as we'd hoped, but it still sounded pretty necro.

What bands are you interested in at the moment? Anything new from Finland we should be keeping an eye on?
Just the same - Beherit.

Lastly, why the name Swallowed?
The alchemical stage between Solve et Coagula.

Swallowed (Finland) Epitaph Of Nauseation (2008)

1.Coffin Slumber
2.Epitaph of Nauseation
3.Horrifying Visions
4.In the Grip of Winter (Autopsy cover)


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