Incapacity - Interview
Far more than an all star band, Incapacity has managed with "Chaos Complete" which few bands could really hope to manage; old school death with contemporary Swedish thrash, or was it primeval thrash mixed the hard-hitting death metal of today? Whichever way you view it, I wouldn't be surprised at all if you view "Chaos Complete" in the same light as I did – hard, fast, obnoxious, uncompromising death/thrash metal with an undeniable lust for carnage. Founder of Incapacity Anders Edlund (bass) spoke to me about the upcoming release "Chaos Complete" and his passion for metal.
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. Greatly appreciated. How are things doing for you in Incapacity at the moment?
Well, I guess everything is quite cool at the moment. We're all waiting for the release of our album and are eager to hear the reactions that comes with it from metalheads etc, etc. We're also busy writing new material for our forthcoming album that we'll record in February next year!
My first question has possibly been asked before, and it relates to the formation of Incapacity. Omer just rang you guys up and said pretty much ‘form up a death/thrash metal band'? Does Omer ring up many other people in hope for creating new bands that you know of?
No, I've never heard this question before. Yeah, he simply called me up and asked if I was willing to form a band for his label and as he is a man that wants everything to happen extremely fast he offered to send the contract just a week later for me to look through. I thought this was a pretty cool idea and started to phone some of my friends asking them if they were interested to join this "project." Today it's a fulltime band for all involved. The only thing Omer and I were certain about at that time was that Chrille (Christian Älvestam) should handle one of the guitars and also that Robert Ivarsson should be offered the other guitar job since he and I earlier had spoken about starting an old-school thrash band. If Omer calls other people up, I don't know. You'll have to ask him to get a fair answer, I suppose...
"Chaos Complete" is a welcome return to some of the good metal of the old days. Was this going to be a conscious thought process for you guys from the start when writing material for "Chaos Complete" that it must be rooted in old school thrash/death, yet still retain a contemporary edge?
I honestly become really glad when you say it like that! Thanks a lot, man! It's some sort of approval that we managed to achieve our goal, musically, when starting this up! As I said earlier, Robert and I wanted to create metal in the old vein. Not specifically in this band, but I guess somewhere inside him these ideas dwelled and the only thing to do was to involve some of these influences into the music of Incapacity since he's the one contributing with most old-school touch on his songs. But it wasn't necessary to retain a contemporary edge. I guess that just came naturally! I consider myself as a person who more or less belongs to the newer school of metal, while Drette and Robert definitely belong to the older one. And when you mix our different influences and our different ways of writing music, you get what you're about to hear on "Chaos Complete," a musical mix including spices from both schools, more or less!
Influences are obviously countless for Incapacity and would probably number too many to list. Can I ask who the most important influences are for Incapacity on "Chaos Complete"?
As you say the influences are too many to mention. I have my influences, Christian has his, Drette has his, etc. When starting up a band you have to start with jamming with the other guys and then everything else sort of comes all naturally. Many people say that our music is some sort of mix between Edge of Sanity and the new wave of Swedish thrash metal. And perhaps it is? It's not up to me to decide. And at the same time we never said, "this album will be original" or "this album should sound this way/that way!" It all comes naturally when starting up the process of writing. But since Drette was a member of Edge of Sanity and some of us really like their music, perhaps it isn't that strange that our sound in Incapacity flirts with Edge of Sanity?
The artwork was by Jachek Wisniewksi from Poland and is of a pretty doomed looking city that seems to be enveloped by a mass of gears and cogs. A cool image. What made you want to go with Jachek (also of Vader and Behemoth artwork fame) for "Chaos Complete"? Were you fans of his work with both Vader and Behemoth?
I think I came up with the idea of using him when I received the Vader "Revelations" CD. I really liked the artwork on it and also I'd been in contact with the boss for the Polish record label Empire Records and he used Jachek's artwork on most of his releases. I then asked the other guys what they thought of his artwork and then I spoke to Omer and we all agreed he should be the one creating the front cover of "Chaos Complete."
Word has it that you guys are going to be doing a video for a track from "Chaos Complete." Could you tell me what track you are going to be doing it for, and what sort of imagery can we expect to see on the video?
Yes, we're going to record a video for the track ‘Amputate God.' But this is a project that won't start until the end of summer since we're all busy taking care of other more important things at the moment. Creating a video/film or whatever takes a lot of time for preparations and since I want this video to represent Incapacity we have to take the time needed to find out the concept behind the story, where to shoot, etc. And by saying this... I don't know yet what imagery to expect! I suppose it'll be a surprise.
You guys all know each other pretty well. Having three members from another band in Solar Dawn must make the ‘getting to you know' phase pretty easy. Did this make a difference with recording and writing material? Knowing each other's strengths and weaknesses and whatnot?
I guess many people think Incapacity is band gathered only because of the earlier commitments of the members involved, some kind of "All Star band" and that is true from one point of view but with a great amount of modification ‘cause we were all friends before the start of Incapacity. Of course, our friendship made the writing-process a lot easier than if we had been a bunch of guys meeting in the studio for the first time. At the same time me, Christian and Henrik had never played together with Robert or Drette before so getting to know their way of playing was absolutely a fresh experience.
Speaking of Solar Dawn; with three out of five members from Solar Dawn was there any tendencies for "Chaos Complete" to turn out in the same style as some of the material from Solar Dawn?
I guess one can track the musical roots to Solar Dawn through mine and Christian's way of writing music. Every musician puts their specific trademark on their outcome, I think. But I don't think any of the songs from "Chaos Complete" sounds like a copycat of songs from, for instance, "Equinoctium" with Solar Dawn. And neither Christian nor I write music for Incapacity with the intention of sounding like any of our other bands. I'd say when I compose for Incapacity I try to make more live-oriented music than I do while writing for Solar Dawn, if you catch my drift.
The release of "Chaos Complete" is only some weeks away now. How are you planning to officially release and support it? Some live shows?
We are discussing of having a release party in Gothenburg the last weekend of July or the first weekend of August. Unfortunately, this is only in planning at the moment. But we have the intention to invite some media and friends to enjoy alcohol and live music from us and some other bands. After this we'll see what happens but we will try to promote the album through live appearances that's for sure! I can't tell you when or where these gigs will be held at the moment, though!
Having no lyrics, I am at a loss as for the topics that are dealt with in the songs. Can you give me a detailed look into some of the content on "Chaos Complete"?
This seems to be a problem for many journalists I've spoken to. I guess we have to do something about the lyrics in the future when it comes to the promotion of the album.
Anyway, I'd say the main content in our lyrics for "Chaos Complete" are about the kind of ‘slavery' religion brings to people. Many people put their whole life, faith and trust into something that they don't even know exists instead of putting their faith into themselves. One is never alone anyway and I know that Drette, who wrote like 90% of the lyrics for "Chaos Complete" is of the opinion that no one but the specific individual decides what to do with his or her life. And religion is in some ways slavery and decreases the opportunity to enjoy a life created and owned by yourself!
This is more of a general question related to Incapacity, not really specifically to do with "Chaos Complete." How hard is it for you personally, and as a member of Incapacity to wake up each morning and devote hundreds of hours and finances into music, and realize that realistically you aren't going to be able to live off all this time and money you put into the band and your music?
Dedication, my friend - it all has to do with dedication and commitment! And it's not hard at all for me to wake up and devote hours into the music. If my highest wish in life were to be a fulltime musician and to be able to live on the incomes of my music I wouldn't spend hours after hours writing metal music. Perhaps I'd go for Britney Spears or some other crap created only for the purpose to make major label bosses even fatter and economically viable! This would be some kind of prostitution though since I'd be doing something I don't appreciate and let me tell you, nothing beats the feeling you get out of writing the music you love, in this case metal. It makes it worth sacrifice quality time and money. I don't see it as merely a cost. It's an investment for now and for life and at the same time I have a great time, get to meet new people, and I guess you ought to see it this way! The only thing one would achieve by believing metal music brings great incomes is that one would make a fool out of himself. You can probably count the bands in metal that make a living off their music on your 10 fingers. That says it all!
‘Deathrush' ranks amongst "Chaos Complete" as one of the most interesting tracks. Particularly the very ‘epic' styled introduction and outro – a similar atmosphere to Amon Amarth, I think. This track really stands out from the rest for me. How did the intro/outro come about on ‘Deathrush'?
I'm not the right person to answer this question, actually, since it was Robert who wrote the track. But I don't think there are any particular reasons why there is an intro/outro. I guess it's merely a result of trying to make a good song and make it a bit different from the other songs he contributed with to this album. It's funny you compare the atmosphere in ‘Deathrush' with Amon Amarth since none of us are into their music, but we often get compared with them in reviews so I guess there are similarities? Perhaps they still have the roots in the old Swedish metal school, as well.
The vocals are a lot more diverse than the standard thoroughfare in death/thrash – Drette obviously provides the deep growls for the majority of "Chaos Complete," but for a number of songs Jonas Kjellgren provides alternate vocals (most recognizable on ‘Faceshifters'). I think this is a great thing, and really helps to break up the material a bit. Will you continue to use Jonas with Incapacity for further releases down the road?
Actually, I don't know. Time will tell! The reason why Jonas appears on some songs is a result of ideas we had in the studio during the recordings and he liked to help us out. But it is, as you say, a great way to break up the material and diversify it. The diversity is something we have struggled with since we wrote the first tunes for "Chaos Complete," and it's most important to have a varied album to listen to. But to get back to your question, I don't think we'll use the vocal help from Jonas in the future since he isn't a fulltime member of the band, but perhaps if Incapacity and Centinex or Carnal Forge play at the same festival in the future, we'll perform ‘Faceshifters' live.
Thanks again for your time, mate. Good luck in the future, and hopefully we can have some more question time for upcoming Incapacity records.
Thanks for a good interview! And let's hope we've caught the interest of Metalbite with our album! Take care and stay true!
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