Beseech - Interview

Although Beseech has been around since 1992, they didn't get much attention in the crowded Swedish metal scene. Their first album “From A Bleeding Heart” received very mixed opinions and is almost unknown to most doom metal fans. Half way through their career they changed their lineup and record label. This resulted in the recording of the very interesting “Black Emotions”, which mixes melancholy with the modern melodic Swedish sound. The new style was rewarded with their first big tour with Theatre Of Tragedy and Lacuna Coil. Since I can’t wait too long for ANY metal news, right after they unpacked their bags I had some questions for Robert Spånglund…


You just came back from the tour with Theatre of Tragedy and Lacuna Coil, are you satisfied with your performance?

Yes, we are very satisfied with what we performed and we got really good response from listeners that didn’t even know who we are, we really hope they’ll know our name by now.
This was our first real tour ever so we think we did a good first impression to at least spread our name around and that is very important, don’t think you can get successful in the underground scene without playing around different countries.

What was peoples’ reaction on your music?

It was really good and many people did talk with us after the shows and many autograph-sessions did take place, and we sold many CD’s so this can’t be wrong for us. Of course not all did like our music, but that’s the way it is as for all bands...

Can you tell us anything about unusual moments that happened during the tour?

It happened so much good and bad and wired things on this tour so it’s hard to tell. Our bus broke down about five times or even more, we went into a ditch with it so that’s a real hell-bus believe me. When we came home we really wanted to burn it down but we rented it so that should be expensive!
We also were robbed in the middle of the night in the bus outside Montpellier/France when we were asleep. But mostly it was good and fun things that happened… to meet all these nice people, we actually met the inventor of Cubase, that was a Beseech fan, and that was really fun to hear. We discussed much about music because we used Cubase as part in the recording of "Black Emotions" so it was really weird to meet him.

Beseech music is a combination of gothic sounds with death and doom. Your songs include flute, cello, violin, piano, female vocals and traditional instruments. Do you have any problems recreating studio sound during your live performances?

No, there are different ways to solve this, one way is to have all this on stage but that is very expensive and takes big place, other way is to take some parts live and some sampled on Minidisk or on a DAT, or you could make it more live and skip some things. We have done little of everything; we have female vocals live, piano and other synths (because our female singer also plays keyboard besides Mikael Back). We also use mini live because some things are impossible to recreate and other parts are not as the album, a more kind of live version of a certain song.

Do you still wear 18th century costumes during your stage shows?

This was for our first album "From A Bleeding Heart" we had this clothes and for that music at that time we thought that was a good image for that album and that the music fitted very well with that clothes. Now for "Black Emotions" we think the music has developed into another style but still with the Beseech feeling of course, we have taken a time-travel and now we have different costumes, nowadays it’s more darker and naked in some ways.

Why, after a successful debut "From A Bleeding Heart" did you leave Metalblade Records and go to the smaller Pavement Music?

It’s hard to tell exactly what happened with this, so much things around everything. First was "From A Bleeding Heart" delayed for two years before we broke the contract with We Bite/Corrosion Records and Metalblade jumped in and released the album in 98. At that time the music had been "little old" and the sales weren’t so good, not too bad but not good enough for the label we think. But a guy employed at Metalblade did quit and began at Pavement music and that was a guy that really believed in us and our potential and we felt that we really needed such a person for the band. We also had some internal problems in the band that was annoying for the label but later on we solved it.
And in the middle of 2000 we released "Black Emotions" on Pavement music.

Speaking of leaving... on your latest release "Black Emotions" almost half of the band changed. New drummer, bass player and new female vocals, what happened within the band that caused all those changes?

We are first a real hardworking band with the music and we have serious intentions with it. And as for the drummer, he couldn’t really put 100% in the music so he decided to quit the band. The bass player and the rest of the band had different view on how the band should develop and after long time of internal struggle we came to the decision to go separate ways. For the female vocals on the first album, she wasn’t really a member of the band, just a session singer more that had other projects around Sweden. But with all of these people we are still good friends and it’s better to go separate ways if you can’t solve the problems.

I’ve heard that all of the band members had some side projects. Do you still play in different bands or Beseech is your main focus now?

Yes, before almost all in the band had some kind of side projects but now is it just me (Robert) and Daniel the bass player that have side projects beside Beseech. Daniel have a SKA-band and I work on two other projects right now in my home studio beside Beseech but Beseech is the main band of course and the priority for me and all in the band.

Do you have any favorite bands that you listen to right now?

For right now it’s Massive Attack "Mezzonine" and The Gathering "If_Then_Else" that rotated in my CD player most recently. But I like all music and it depends on the mood if I put The Doors on or Morbid Angel or Depeche Mode on play.

What is your most embarrassing CD in your collection?

Hmmm... that was a hard one but it must be a later Black Sabbath album, from the middle of the 90th´s or something.

What in Sweden do the parents do to their children that it has the biggest metal scene in the world? What did they do to you?

I think that there are several reasons why Sweden have much music and some are that we earn pretty much money here so the parents can buy instruments or we have an organization that can get instruments for a whole band for free if they fill some lists (studioförbund in Swedish). I think the state is paying them somehow. Then we do have a beautiful country that inspires us to make good music even if the climate maybe very cold and rainy, we hate to go outside too much and can make good music inside and look out on the landscape... It’s hard to answer this but I think many countries make good music but I like the Swedish scene myself too.

Ok, let’s get back to the band... It seems like you guys are not the happiest people on the planet. Why is there so much melancholy in your music and lyrics?

I don’t think we are so melancholy, there are worse examples of that but our music and lyrics are based on feelings, thoughts and fantasies and maybe we mostly think of more melancholy things and that is the easiest way to handle the mind, to expose it somehow as the music for example. Ok, our music isn’t happy but the most things around us are in fact dark things and it’s easier to write more melancholy music.

Do you think this type of music is the best way to express emotions or is it only a mask for better album sales?

Of course we are doing music for ourselves, we don’t earn any money on the music and we actually don’t have any ambitions to do that either, it’s too small genre kind of metal or what you call it. If we wanted to earn money we should make MTV-kind-of-music instead. Of course we do want people to buy albums so we can reach more people and get tour around to meet fans and more...

How do you feel about hippies?

Today I don’t see any hippies, in my opinion they were in the late 60-ies and 70-ies, but I would like to be in the whole thing for some days to really see how they had it... to see the concert with Jimi Hendrix and The Doors. I don’t have anything against them.

Did you start writing new material for your third album? If so, can you give us some details about it?

Yes, we have some new material that we are working on in my home studio. Some songs just need a little arrangement and we have stuff already for almost a complete album now. But it will take sometime to make it finished but we hope to get into the studio this year to record the third album.

Who do you feel is the most talented band in the dark-gothic scene?

Actually I don’t really know the scene to say anything about it... maybe it sounds stupid but I’m not so into new music.

Thanks for this interview! Would you like to say anything else to our readers?

Take a listen to our second album "Black Emotions" if you want a journey through harder gothic metal with some electronic and ambient passages. Keep informed about Beseech on our homepage where you can download sound samples, videos, tours and latest info.

Entered: 3/6/2001 5:24:41 PM

Send eMail 634