Tad Morose – Return to Demonius

Sunday, 16th August 2015

After a decade long studio break broke with Revenant, Sweden’s Tad Morose are feeling quite productive in releasing the follow up album 2 years later for St.Demonius. Aware of the fact that losing singer Urban Breed sent them down a tough road in finding the best replacement (American Joe Comeau even made some live appearances with the band in the mid 2000’s), slotting ex-Steel Attack vocalist Ronny Hemlin in has brought new vitality to their heavy metal sound. Sometimes darker and even doomier without forsaking those classic riffs, tempos, and melodies we’ve come to respect from their impressive discography.

Even as our Skype connection would break half way through this talk (luckily able to reconnect without too much distraction), guitarist Christer ‘Krunt’ Andersson is rather optimistic about the future of the band. And that’s a good thing to all the long time followers of Tad Morose. Prepare to learn more about Christer’s thoughts on their three premiere singers, thoughts on touring, how his small town of Bollnäs has produced a wealth of metal talent, and of course his love of ice hockey beyond the normal new album discussions.

Dead Rhetoric: St. Demonius is the new record for Tad Morose, and second with ex-Steel Attack vocalist Ronny Hemlin. Do you feel a sense of stability and forward momentum now after being in such a holding pattern during the mid-2000’s and early part of this decade?

Christer ‘Krunt’ Andersson: Yes, of course. It’s always an unbelievable relief to get the opportunity to do more than one album with us. It feels really good, we have two albums and a whole bunch of live shows with Ronny under our belt now, everything feels very, very good.

Dead Rhetoric: What is your approach when it comes to songwriting and recording – do you find things work better hashing it out in rehearsal spaces prior to getting the studio work done, or does solitude and developing ideas/ trading files through the internet work best for Tad Morose?

Andersson: A little bit of both. You never know when a good tune is going to pop out of somebody. It might be through rehearsals. Due to the fact that Kenneth (Jonsson) the other guitar player lives 2 ½ hours north of Bollnas and Ronny lives one hour south of Bollnäs, we share a lot of files on the internet with each other. Just basic ideas, and then whenever we meet up for rehearsals we try out different ideas. It usually starts with files and when we meet up we put things together, try changing different things, even at the last minute.

Dead Rhetoric: Has it always been helpful to have multiple songwriters in the band?

Andersson: Yes, of course. Most of the band members in Tad Morose have always been contributing with ideas since the beginning of the band. That really helps, it’s a really good thing when you have a band. I would not like to have the obligation to do all the songwriting by myself. If you are in a band you can feel like you can come with your own ideas and have the band develop these ideas. Sometimes it’s frustrating – if I write a guitar riff for half of a song that I feel is really, really awesome and then I present it to the band and they just laugh at me in the face, that may hurt. That’s why we sound like we do.

Dead Rhetoric: The album art is quite stunning – almost giving off a King Diamond vibe. Who designed this and did you work in conjunction with the artist for ideas until the final product?

Andersson: It was the same girl who did the last album cover, Isis Sousa. She did the artwork for Revenant. She is one of the most professional artists I have ever worked with. Because she’s so talented – for Revenant she asked us if we had any kind of ideas and we asked about a skull… she came up with the idea, and we worked off that to come up with some branches, water and we had the album cover. This time around she asked us if we had any ideas and we said ‘not really… but think King Diamond’. And she said okay, and she did this! She’s really, really fast. She sent over a digital sketch, very black and white to look at, we thought it was cool. She completed the painting.

Dead Rhetoric: What can you tell me about the videos that you’ve shot for the new record?

Andersson: We’ve done two for “Forlorn” and “Your Own Demise”. The first one we did just ourselves, a very basic performance video, that’s about it. Nowadays you don’t have a really huge budget to put down videos and things. “Your Own Demise” is basic performing too, you can only do so much with a limited amount of money. We shot that one in our rehearsal space. The video for “Your Own Demise”, the director had some vivid ideas for it, but it ended up getting messed up.

Dead Rhetoric: You’ve been fortunate through the years to have stellar vocalists involved in the group: Kristian Andrén, Urban Breed, and now Ronny on the recording front. What do you consider the strengths of each singer and highlights from your work on record over the discography?

Andersson: The strength of the three vocalists in Tad Morose is they’ve all got very personal voices. Very unique in their ways of singing. They don’t sound like your ordinary metal singers. They are all great singers, Kristian has a much more bluesy vocal kind of thing- Urban much more theatrical aspect to his singing. When we were in the studio recording those albums with him, he really fancied to spend the time putting layers and layers of vocal melodies. Ronny is much faster to coming up with vocal lines and melodies, perhaps a little bit more traditional than Urban when it comes to vocal things. He’s much easier to work with, totally professional.

Dead Rhetoric: Was it a conscious decision to evolve from your progressive metal roots on Leaving the Past Behind and Sender of Thoughts to more of a power/heavy metal direction through subsequent efforts like Undead and Modus Vivendi?

Andersson: No major plan that we thought out in advance. As I said before since everybody in the band contributes to the songwriting, the sound of the band differs between the different lineups. If someone leaves and a new member comes in, they put their ideas in and of course it will change the sound a little bit. I don’t know if it’s better or worse- this is how we sound. We just do whatever feels good to us.

Dead Rhetoric: Despotz Records is your current record label – I would imagine you notice a significant shift in priority from your time with Black Mark and Century Media, correct?

Andersson: Yes. We were away from the market for quite some time so we are glad that any company showed interest in us! (laughs) It’s a small company but they do a pretty good job. Since we last released an album with Century Media, it’s been a very long time, the market changed a lot. I don’t know if we would have still been on Century Media. We have Despotz now and we have to be happy with that.

Dead Rhetoric: You mentioned in interviews for your last album Revenant the possibility of a DVD – is this on the horizon, and what direction would you go in as far as content (capturing a particular live concert or two, documentary style with historical footage, include exclusive content/ videos?)?

Andersson: We would probably do both. We’ve got so much video from all over the years. It will be a kind of biography thing, it may not include a whole concert but it would probably have a few songs from a concert here and there. We haven’t really gotten our fingers out of our butts to do this yet (laughs). We would like to do that, I know there are quite a few people that would like to see this. We have some professional footage from the many shows we’ve done over the years. It’s a shame for people who like the band and haven’t had the chance to see us, as soon as we get the money and time to sit down and do it, we will do this.

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