sobota, 16 stycznia 2016

Interview with Rikard/ Gadget!

      It's time to talk with one of the most lazy and dead serious about playing grindcore band ever, the Swedish Gadget. They started playing in 1997 and until now they recorded 2 albums, 2 splits and few demo tapes... so let us begin conversation with Rikard, Gadget guitar player.

      I was very upset when the Eastern front/Violate Europe tour ended, it was a badass 6 days on the road. Live grindcore every night, incredibly good food, hundreds of crazy maniacs around, so many good supports, sick shit, seriously! Tell us how the idea of the tour came up? Were all your expectations fulfilled in the end? Did you have fun? Was Fredrik waiting for you in rehearsal room with hot dinner, bath and drinks?
      Seriously, sick shit! Overviolence asked us last winter if we would be into the idea. We've had Henke with us on tour earlier, and we did a short run with their previous band Crowpath a few years before that, so we knew they were easy going guys. And yes, it definitely turned out great - even though Fredrik had a last minute emergency and decided to stay home. Cancelling is not an option, not when you've got flights, merch and everything sorted out and payed for. And we thought that if other grind bands can do it without bass, why can't we? As Dr Eriksson (General Surgery) put it when I asked him if he could fill in: "Just put the damn guitar in the bass amp, no one cares anyway!" The bigger shows with Cannibal Corpse and Sepultura was the most comfy ones, and the small DIY shows in Slovakia was the most fun ones - just as expected!
Gadget shreddin' in Krakow/ pix shot by Marcin Pawłowski /

      Your tour set list was much different from the regular one. Is it because you played without your bassplayer Frederik? Everything sounded much faster and tighter. Is this how new Gadget is going to sound? If this was preview, I feel upcoming war, I'm fuckin' in.
      Yes and no... We skipped a few songs because of the lack of bass, but if I remember correctly one third of the setlist was new songs, so yes. And I think we probably were a lot more focused (on stage that is...), trying to deliver as good as possible and compensate for the missing guy. And of course - as a live band we've always been best whilst on tour.
      Gadget is 18 years old band, signed with Relapse since beginning and you never had 30 days tour, I wonder why? Just don't tell me that you all have jobs, it's a bullshit reason. Let's be honest, can't you put up with each other morethan 7 days? I spend with you few days and I can say you're the most relaxed guys I have ever met, so seriously I can't get it.
      10 years ago we couldn't get our shit together. We just sat around on our lazy asses and waited for someone to take us out on the road. Literally. We managed to do some stuff, BUT when the "real" tour offers started to pop up we couldn't do it because of what you call a bullshit reason, and family situations. We always tried to solve it, get people to fill in, but we also always got the offers in the last minute, like: "You've got a 30 day tour with XXX in two months. Can you do it?! We need your final confirmation tomorrow!" - go figure! I think we turned down offers from Napalm Death at least two or three times. Oh the sorrow.
William/ Gadget shreddin' in Krakow/ pix shot by Marcin Pawłowski /
      I've read an old interview with William and he admitted "We started out because I was sick of playing in shitty bands with unmotivated people. I wanted to make fast and brutal music, and be dead serious about it. Music has always been serious stuff for me". Is it the reason why you record stuff so rarely? I assume every song needs to be prepared for 100% before you start recording and the whole further process takes much more time. Your songs are tight and are definitely not tupatupa easy shitty played, so it's makes sense.
      We're of course dead serious about our music, but the main reason why it has taking such long since the last album is that William, who wrote the majority of songs in the past more or less stopped playing the guitar. He has always been 110% focused in what he's been into, it's either everything or almost nothing at all. At the moment he's all into brewing beer, and being a dad (just as I), and before that it was all about World War I and II, haha. I also left our hometown seven years ago, so we stopped rehearse regularly. And then William moved to England for a year or so. So because of that, and me and Fredrik being forced to step up and write more music it took a while. None of us isn't really any riff-machines so to speak (never been), or fully confident in writing all on our own. I think both me and Fredrik was more into putting pieces together in the rehearsal room as a band rather than doing it this new way. But once we got passed that, and adapted to it we managed to get some pretty great stuff ready for pre-production.
PS. Our songs ARE super easy - we're only fooling everyone by playing them super fast!
      Do you remember how you got in touch with Relapse and how the split w/ Exhumed happened? I think you're the only band that recorded only 2 albums in 15 years for them ahahahah. Did they send you any emails with questions about new stuff or they're super relaxed about it and just waiting for your call? Usually such big labels make deal for 1 or 2 albums, how it was with you? I'm going to be honest, any label, even super patient people like Relapse can't wait for 4th album another 9 years ahahahha
      We just sent the first two recordings their way back in 2000-2001, and eventually our friend Greg who worked there at the time picked them up (because of the name!) and got in contact with us. At first they offered us being part of the Swedish Assault compilation that they put out, and also the split 7" with Exhumed. If I remember correctly we were maybe their first or second band ever who got signed by just sending them a tape. They've always been super relaxed with our way of working and have never been bugging us about delivering a new album, which is cool. Probably because we've never been a demanding band ourselves, owing them a lot for advances or anything like that, haha!
      3rd Gadget's album is going to be released of course by Relapse and the premiere is going to be at the beginning of 2016. I just wonder about few things: the title, album's length (I bet that it will consist of 18 songs) and the cover art - is it going to be held in fantasy convention again? Orion Landau made it like last time? New songs are more traditional grindcore - in your face, as one of you said before. Usually band's 1st album is pure grindcore and with time it becomes more death metal/ hardcore/ grind hybrid, but in your case it's different. Did definition of grindcore change for you guys during to those 15 years?
 THE GREAT DESTROYER album coverart by Randy Ortiz.
      The title is "THE GREAT DESTROYER", as you now already know by now. 17 songs and close to 30 minutes just as our previous albums, and it has this awesome artwork made by this amazing Canadian illustrator named Randy Ortiz. He's done lots of stuff for KEN Mode which I'm a big fan of. Ever since I saw his work for the Mennonite 3x7" album eight years ago I've been super eager to work with him. So two years ago when we began the recording process of this album I just sent him an mail to see is he was available - and he was! A very dedicated guy and super easy to work with. Could not be more happy with the result!
I think grindcore has always been the same for us, but the influences might have changed a bit. I personally don't get that excited by never (grindcore) bands anymore, so instead you rather dig deeper in the ol' archives when you eager for something "new". It's just different influences during the last few years that made the album what it is. And if there is a another album after this one, it might sound really different. Who knows? It could be all out Iron Monkey-sludge, or like Angelcorpse mixed up with Shitlickers.
      I'm impressed that everybody in Gadget is an important element. Everyone is involved in "making" the process - each of you writes music, lyrics and is dead serious about it - as William said 10 years ago. Ok, maybe Emil is not writing anything at all, he barely hears the music. Was it the same with the new album and everybody gave a piece of himself? It doesn't happen too often that all band's members write lyrics. Is it your way to express yourselves? For me Gadget is a 4 piece grind unstoppable formula.
      Everyone definitely gave a piece of themselves, had their own roles so to speak. Even though it might look a little different from ten years ago with me and Fredrik writing more on our own (and Fredrik writing lyrics as well), William concentrating more on just drumming, recording and production. This is the way we work and I'm glad with that because if everything was up to only one or two of us it would probably take 20 years between albums!
We actually had this fifth guy helping out with lyrics this time, Daniel from Relevant Few. The lyrics are always the most difficult and time consuming part of the process so his contributions was very welcomed.
Gadget, pix shot by Erik Larsson
      Did you listen to any good albums this year? Are you influenced by anyone? We can talk about this now, before all journalists start talking about your 3rd album, what they've heard here and there... Repentless counts or not?
      Napalm Deaths latest LP was great. And the Heavydeath, and The Exorcist GBG albums. And oh! Brighter Death Now did a really good one with "With Promises of Death" (it was actually released in late 2014 but the vinyl came out in 2015, so I guess it counts...) I've listened a lot to the latest Bloodbath album during 2015 but that one is also from 2014... Guess that's it. Not much metal. I've been too busy being a father since my daughter was born in January last year. It doesn't leave much time to keep up what's going on in the scene, or anything really.
      3rd album was recorded by William Blackmon in the Overlook Studios. Are you all satisfied with the final effect or only the drummer? Is it easy to work with a band member as a producer?
      It's our best sounding record yet! I think we all can agree on that. The good thing working this way is that you can do your thing and take your time, and the bad thing (for Will) is that he has to do two things at once, and it takes time... We started tracking drums in February 2014, then some guitars and bass during spring same year. More guitar after the summer, then slowly we began tracking vocals as we got the lyrics done. And during that time with six months in between both me and William become parents. But it was overall a easygoing process spread out over almost 18 months, barely any hustle or disagreements in the studio at all. Every time we got a new mix delivered from William everybody was super stoked and overwhelmed. Maybe he had a hard time letting go of the knobs... ha!
Rikard/ Gadget shreddin' in Krakow/ pix shot by Marcin Pawłowski /
      Are you not afraid that 9 years of silence is too long between albums? Let's be honest, so many things happened at grindcore scene during that time. In your opinion 2016 is going to be better time for Gadgets noise or you just don't give a fuck about this? Album is ready now and you're going for it.
      Not all that silent? We released the split LP in 2010 and we've been touring some since then. But no, I don't care about that at all. The first songs I wrote for the album I wrote seven years ago while I was still living in Gävle, so for me it has been a way longer process than just the 18 months in the studio. I've been through so much good and bad things during these years it's like ending a huge chapter in my life. I'm just glad to have the album done, and that we can finally have a completely fresh set when we're plying live. That's gonna be a boost for sure! If it ends with us just continuing the way we had the last few years - doing a short tour every third year, some weekends and festivals here and there I'm happy with that as well.
Speaking of the scene itself and what's been going on since the last time, I barely know anything! What is there to know?! Is playing "blackened" hardcorepunkwhatever with the HM-2 still a thing? Let's hope not.
Gadget shreddin' in Wrocław/ pix shot by
      Usually grindcore bands try to score as many 5, 7 and other inches splits as they can record in studio or live, quality is not important, every piece of wax counts. But with Gadget is much different. Many people would say that you're weirdos because having band member who runs studio you should record split after split...Or maybe just nobody offers you recording stuff that sounds weird as fuck ahahahaha. What do you think about it? I know 5 inch split with Overviolence, the 3rd one, is on the way.
      Well, we get offers all the time but when it takes time to gather enough songs for an album, you don't want to "throw them away" on splits and EP's. It's just as easy as that. I personally would like to do more of that of course, but that's how it is. I really hope we can at least do that Overviolence split though. We have some songs, but first we need to rehearse them, and record them, write lyrics, and mix... master... damn it.
      You're one of the oldest (not because of Fredrik age) active grindcore band from Sweden. All the big names are gone (Nasum, Sayyadina, Regurgitate, Retaliation), everything started almost at the same time, you know each other very well - how do you feel about standing on the battlefield almost alone?
      Hey, we still got Modorra, Birdflesh, The Arson Project, Livet som Insats, Infanticide and newcomers Infraction and Resonance Cascade and a bunch more. So we're definitely not alone. Just old!

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