Saltas - Interview
As you will come to see, what lies in the dark, in an undisclosed, unidentifiable part of the psyches of C.J and N. Rudolfsson, are not easy to make sense of or drag under the lenses of logic; rather an experience for the wandering pineal to drown in. N. Rudolfsson is no stranger to the darkness, that along with Johannson on "Mors Salis: Opus I", entertain and at times fatigue/pressure the dormant and forbidden regions of the mind. Saltas to the inquisitive, bosoms many a mystery and wicked incantations on their debut effort of concentrated entropy (among other things), "Mors Salis: Opus I". Luckily, MetalBite managed to invoke the presence of Nicklas Rudolfsson for a glimpse and brief prying apart of the sealed womb of vacuous whispers and visions emboldened on "Mors Salis: Opus I" out through Nuclear War Now! Productions, March 15th 2020.
How is everyone in Saltas currently holding up?
Right now we are involved with other projects, but we have obviously focused on the Saltas album release too.
Could you provide the complete lineup for "Mors Salis: Opus I"?
C. Johansson - percussion and voice, N. Rudolfsson - strings and voice.
It's odd seeing a death/doom album being released on Nuclear War Now; especially one that's mostly ambient. What led to the signing of Saltas?
NWN has released our demo tapes before, so we assume Yosuke just likes the music. NWN previously released Irkallian Oracle earlier as well.
You're involved with many other bands, more notably Runemagick and The Funeral Orchestra; how much of those influences would you say seep into Saltas' music whether it be thematically or ideological?
There may be some riffs that are in the same vein as The Funeral Orchestra. It's the same riff-writer/composer, maybe heard here and there. But in our opinion, Saltas is something unique to itself. During the period when we started with the Saltas project, the The Funeral Orchestra was dormant. However, it is now active. But as we said, Saltas is another thing for us.
What's the purpose of Saltas, more specifically what does it aim to achieve that Runemagick or The Funeral Orchestra have not already?
More experimental and minimalist elements. And we only use guitars and percussion. We have tried to get some kind of morbid atmosphere without having any goal of placing ourselves in a certain genre or frameworks.
What was the recording process of "Mors Salis: Opus I", like as a duo in terms of message consistency and focus on the musical aspect?
We recorded separately. So we never met physically during the recording session. We sent recording takes back and forth between us and sculpted the end result. Some parts have also been improvised and then refined. So you can say that the album slowly grew but within a minimalist boundary.
What themes are represented on "Mors Salis: Opus I"?
Everything from thoughts and theories about other dimensions to illness, darkness, life and death.
How much of a connection does the material have to either member in the band?
Hard to answer but it is a reflection of the project.
How difficult was it making Saltas its own identity?
When you, like us, are active in many constellations, it can be difficult in some cases, but we feel that it went well. Certainly, as mentioned before, it is may be heard that it’s the same composers and maybe even some equipment and sound. But we feel that Saltas is its own dimension and identity.
Having recently put out one of Runemagick's best albums, would you say you were pressured in competing with yourself on "Mors Salis: Opus I"?
No, this is something completely different.
What were some of the challenges encountered when making "Mors Salis: Opus I"?
Nothing so direct, we had open minds. But as mentioned before, it can be a challenge that it should not remind too much about other bands and projects we are or have been involved in. It should be said that when the project was started we had never played together. However, we have had contact sporadically for many years before that.
Did you try tagging along members of other bands to help out musically with the debut full length album?
No, it was only the two of us except that we took help in writing lyric for two of the songs.
How important of a role does the atmosphere play on "Mors Salis: Opus I"?
It plays a very big role. The darkness and minimalism of the project is the essence.
Who handled the artwork and does it possess any personal qualities/meanings?
The art is a combination of a painting by Nicklas Rudolfsson and illustration by Johan Gustavsson (brother of the Nifelheim brothers). The purpose of the art is to reflect the music and its atmosphere.
I hear some Havohej, Grave Upheaval, The Funeral Orchestra and Pestilength on "Mors Salis: Opus I". Besides those, are there any bands that may have impacted the sound of the album?
No nothing we have in mind. Then you are certainly inspired without thinking about it. But our minds have been open in the small dark "“world" of the project.
The vocals are particularly indecipherable or alien in some ways (which I admire); what effect were you trying to achieve by utilizing them?
The different voices of the singing have a large part of the brushstrokes in the painting of the atmosphere of the album.
Thus, who provided vocals on "Mors Salis: Opus I"?
We both sing on it in various styles.
I get the feeling many people hearing the record for the first time will be taken back by the material given they're accustomed mostly to Runemagick etc, thus the material here is clearly not for everyone, as metal should be. Nevertheless, how would you respond to that?
Yes, this is not an easy-to-listen album. Certainly requires multiple listenings and in the right mood. We guess many "radio-metal" fans think it sounds totally worthless and rubbish. But then our dimension is not for them.
Is "Mors Salis: Opus I" specifically an attempt to push the boundaries of death/doom metal?
Saltas is Saltas. That's what it will be. We don't know what the next step will be or how we will sound when you start composing, creating and recording. But of course there are very heavy and slow doom parts but there is actually some "uptempo" too.
How much of ones self do you perceive in "Mors Salis: Opus I"?
As we said, the senses are open during the creation process. Exactly what is channeled is difficult to interpret and understand.
It will be interesting to see this material performed live, or is it not meant for such?
Initially, the idea was that the album would be written and recorded to be performed live but during the process another image emerged. But we will see what happens in the future. Right now we have no plans to play live anyway.
Thank you for allowing MetalBite this interview, may all go well with the release of "Mors Salis: Opus I".
Thank you very much!
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