The Defaced - Interview

You might be quick to write off another band entering the land of thrash/death metal these days, but if this is the case then you obviously haven't heard Defaced! They are a band that knows no boundaries... a metalmonster waiting to be unleashed! They have just finished recording their full-length debut for Scarlet Records entitled Domination Commence, and what a proper title it is too, since these guys are just about ready to dominate the whole metal world with their hyper-sonic sound. I recently got to speak to their lead singer, Henrik Sjowall, about the band and everything metal! Join us, will you...

Adam Block

So tell me a little bit about Defaced... how did all you guys get together?

It all started way back in 1994, I was singing in band called Cul De Zac (which included Ola from Soilwork). We were going to record a demo tape and the guy who worked in that studio was Klas Ideberg. A few months later the other guys kicked me out. I didn’t care really. Klas found out somehow and called me up and asked me to join. I didn’t know any of those guys then but I thought I could give it a shot. Here we are 7 years later, stronger and more brutal than ever!!!! I think Jörgen joined in 1998, and Henry joined forces last year.

How long was until the deal with Scarlet Records came about?

Henry contacted them by midsummer last year and I think we finished the deal in September. Everything just went great and it seems that they liked our stuff a lot.

What was it about Scarlet Records that interested you guys? How does it feel being label mates with your fellow metal buddies Terror2000?

They were the only one interested, (ha ha ha) just kidding. Stefano from Scarlet REALLY wanted us to join. He though the promo sounded fucking great and Terror talked positive about them, so we signed. We just have to hope that they don’t let us down. I think it’s so cool that this city (Helsingborg) now has a few real good metal bands, so it’s fun to be under the same "roof" as Terror.

Your group features members of both Darkane and Soilwork, but really bares little resemblance to either one of those bands. How easy was it for you guys to find your own sound?

It hasn't been any problem at all. First of all, me and Mattias never listen to music like Soilwork or Darkane. Don’t misunderstand me here, I think both the "Soilers" and Darkane are very professional and they have a few real killer songs but their sounds just don’t fit my ear.

Mattias is our main "riff master" and he never composes those kinds of riffs. Klas is much more of a speed/trash metal guy, he can slide in to those kind of arrangements sometimes, but it’s rare. We want it to be groovy and it must not be fast stuff all the way. We just create right in your face metal, as I see it.

So you just finished your first full-length for the Scarlet Records label: Domination Commence. Tell me a little bit about the record. How happy are you with the finished product?

Am I happy about the finished product?..........I´m real fucking proud of it, and I think we all are. Everyone has made an exellente job. It was recorded in small town in the south of Sweden, during 2 intense weeks. It was real hard work all though the production. Klas handled all the studio stuff himself with some help from a guy called Nisse. That´s right, we recorded everything by ourselves, thanx to Klas. I had some minor problems with my voice but everything worked out great. We didn’t have any major trouble, we were lucky I guess. It was my and Mattias’ first "real" recording so it was great fun. It’s very dynamic record which includes fast / slow music and angry/ soft singing. I’m really looking forward to sharing our music with the rest of the world.

Any word on a release date for the record?

No, as far as I know Scarlet will release it in Aug-Sept.

I see that you guys decided to go with an old Zeppelin tune (When the Levee Breaks) for the Japanese bonus track. How did that all come about?

It was Mattias who came up with the idea, and we though it was a cool idea and a great song. We made it a bit heavier though.

For the folks here who don't know, and that would include me, please describe what an average live performance is like with Defaced. How much touring have you guys been able to get under you belt so far? Any plans for a tour supporting the new album?

It’s hard for me to describe, I guess our fans think it’s hard and intense. We haven’t done any live gigs for a long time, we have focused on making new songs. There aren’t many possibilities to play here in the south of Sweden, if you play metal. 3/4 of Sweden’s population listen to all that commercial shit like Britney and the Backstreet Boys, which really SUCKS!!!!

I hope we can do some touring to support our album, but we haven’t heard anything from Scarlet so far.

So apart from Defaced are any of you guys working on other projects as well?

No, me and Mattias are not involved with anything else.

In your spare time what bands do you enjoy listening to? Do any of these bands bare influence in the music you make with Defaced?

My favorite bands are Kiss, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Machine Head. I´m kind of a rock n’ roll guy. I just think that there’s so much shitty music coming out these days that it’s hard to find new good bands. The Defaced sound is complicated to judge, it’s mixed with all kinds of styles.

I want my singing to contain a lot of melodies, and I get inspiration from all kinds of bands. An example of what I call good singing I think the singer of Stuck Mojo. [He did] an excellent job on their latest album. I want it to be a nice mix between brutal and clean singing, and that’s what I’m trying to do. Some of the Defacers think it’s too much "rock n roll" sometimes though! (laughs)

So In closing, what would like to say to those metalheads out there looking for some new music?

If you like music from Sweden and want to discover something new... Pick this shit up!! Prepare you ears for some "new" Swedish music!! C ya and watch out for The Defaced in the near future.

Entered: 3/19/2001 3:24:41 PM

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