Isole – Dooming OnThursday, 28th March 2013
Blistering.com: As for Bliss of Solitude the production is perfect and gives your songs plenty of sonic weight. How did you achieve this?
Crister: The album is recorded in our own “Studio Apocalypse” and we have produced and mixed ourselves so I guess we did a good job. But to be honest we wanted some more time with the mixing and mastering to do it even better and we are always upgrading our studio so I hope the result will be up another notch next time. Most of the credit goes to Jonas, who has been working really hard with the recording. The advantage you have when you record yourself is that you will get it to sound the way you want it to sound if you have enough skills and know your way around the studio. Otherwise, I think it’s better to get a professional doing the work for you. We have discussed things and maybe we will hire professional help next time just to get another point of view, but nothing is decided and it’s also a financial question.
Blistering.com: I’m particularly enamored with the clean vocals, as they have an ethereal quality to them that is hard to come by nowadays in the doom metal. Is it difficult to place them in the context of your music (i.e. is it hard to write such vocals for this style?)
Crister: I think it’s a natural part of the song writing procedure and it sort of comes naturally for us. Mind that we have been doing this for several years by now and perhaps it was more difficult 10-15 years ago, I can’t really recall.
I really like good vocal harmonies especially vocal arrangements with more than just one vocal and this can really lift up songs to a higher level.
Blistering.com: One of the most impressive things about Bliss of Solitudeis how well you’ve paced the album, meaning there is a good balance between the heavy, driving material and soft, melodic songs. Was this done on purpose?
Crister: Yes it was done on purpose, afterwards we felt that Throne of Voidwas a little too compact and perhaps not varied enough. So on Bliss we focused a lot on dynamics and opposites, if you have really soft parts then the heavy parts gets even heavier. And we wanted to have more variations this time in all dimensions. As I said earlier I think we have taken everything one step further in every direction.
Blistering.com: “Imprisoned In Sorrow” is my favorite song on the album. Can you give me some details on it? It’s absolutely depressing…
Crister: This is actually the only old song on the album, the music is written by me in 1996 and has only been slightly edited during the years. We felt that this particular track had to be released some time and it fitted rather well in with the rest of the songs on Bliss. The lyrics were written by Daniel in 1995 so even though the lyrics are older, he was going through a rough time back then as you can hear from the lyrics. It’s a classic theme when it comes to Isole to write about lost love.
Blistering.com: “Aska” is probably the heaviest, yet most ominous song on the album. Is this song about the province in Sweden?
Crister: This song is an abstract story written by Henrik about life itself as an illusion, about the unavoidable end that will come to us all. Perhaps not the end of the world but, something in that direction. You must make your own interpretation and it could be a different message to different people. To me it’s not one of the heaviest songs on the album music-wise but that is my opinion and it’s a matter of taste I guess. I think it is more like a “doom ballad” or something, with really dark lyrics and I really like the chorus on this one.
Blistering.com: “Dying” is another gem and obviously, there is some veiled meaning in the title. What does the song detail?
Crister: I have written the lyrics on this one. I was going through a difficult time and for the first time in my life I got afraid of dying. It was anew experience for me. That is the source of inspiration of the lyrics, and it describes the thoughts and feelings from someone that know that death is coming much too soon.
Blistering.com: I’ve noticed some of the guys wearing Twilight of the Gods-era Bathory shirts. Which album do you prefer – Hammerheart or the aforementioned Twilight…
Crister: Yeah, there are a couple of Bathory fans in Isole you could say. For me it’s hard to choose, Hammerheart is the album that made me a Bathory fan but the bottom line is that “Twilight” is more worked through and the production is better. I have to say “Twilight”, this is one of my favorite records of all time.
Blistering.com: Most bands from Scandinavia are influenced by the climate. How do the winter months affect you on a personal level. Does it make you more or less creative?
Crister: I spend more time indoors when it’s winter so probably I’m playing more guitars then. Otherwise I don’t really know, I haven’t thought about it. Some songs are written during a long walk in a nice summer evening. I really like all seasons in Scandinavia, opposites are good and a cold winter makes the summer even warmer so to speak. And the colors of the autumn, damn it’s beautiful. But I don’t think my creativity it depending on any of the seasons.
Blistering.com: Finally, what are your plans for the remainder of 2008?
Crister: We will continue to promote our new record as much as we can, and we will try to get as many gigs as possible, we all have regular jobs. But we will try to find our way to Europe at least. But you’ll never know, it would be really cool to do some shows in the United States as well.
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