The Crown - 13/10/2010

THE CROWN [formerly known as Crown Of Thorns (1990-1997)] joined forces in 1990 as a primitive garage act. After a first, quick appearance on a local compilation CD in 1992 the band recorded their infamous “Forever Heaven Gone” demo in 1993. It only took them another demo, “Forget The Light”, until they finally stirred up some dust in the underground scene with their unique mix of brutal, intense and utterly evil death metal that comes with a hint of feeling and melody.

 

Songs from both demos were compiled for their debut-album ‘The Burning’ which was released in 1995 and is still praised as a milestone in death metal 15 years after its release. After a volatile ride that saw them changing their name from Crown Of Thorns to THE CROWN, releasing four consecutive albums, lots of touring, losing their singer, finding Tomas Lindberg (ex-At The Gates as a new frontman and breaking up with him again in 2002, finally saw them reunited with their original singer, Johan Lindstrand. In May 2003 it was finally time to record a new album at Studio Fredman, Sweden. As it marked the 13th anniversary of the band and featured 13 songs, the album was ominously entitled “Possessed 13”.

 

 

The Crown disbanded in 2004. Still, the individual members couldn’t ignore their passionate love for uncompromising death metal, so a little while after The Crown broke up Magnus Olsfeld (bass) started writing songs again, so after a long process the band finally got back together and recorded another album, with new vocalist Jonas Stålhammar. ‘Doomsday King’ was recorded and mixed at Tervonen’s very own Studio-MT. It appears there is much to talk about, and here you can read what Magnus Olsfelt (Bass) had to say to us.

 

Could you start this interview off with a little update about The Crown?

 

Magnus: We have been shaping up our lives, after the split we had lots of time and energy to focus on other things. We are all proud fathers now for example. We got together to do a project called DOBERMANN but it turned out to become the ‘Doomsday King’ and we figured it would be stupid to call it by any other name than THE CROWN.

 

After you had decided to reform the band, did you consider asking Johan Lindstrand to rejoin?

 

Magnus: Yes, he was approached but he was not interested in doing new material, his focus is on his own band.

 

How did you launch into writing the material for ‘Doomsday King’ did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them down or was it more of a careful composing thing?

 

Magnus: It took a lot of time, probably 4-6 years working with this material on a small but almost daily basis, 15 min here and there when I had time off, so the time effect really is a big part of it, only good stuff that stood the test of time is the result. Also all songs were made ready as instrumentals before adding the lyrics, so the music was made strong enough to stand on its own.

 

 

Which approach did you choose to create this album, did you go for a more raw exposition.. or something more reminiscent of your previous other works, or something all together different?

 

Magnus: I did work a lot on riffs with rhythmical chewing, this was a bit new to me anyway and I wanted the whole album to be written in this hard, fast rhythmical chewing way.

 

What were the goals you had in mind when you started to record ‘Doomsday King’, any elements you definitely wanted to include on the album?

 

Magnus: I wanted a really hard rhythmical modern death thrash that gave the same feeling as the old school stuff but sounded new and fresh.

 

Was it a conscious decision to do it this way? 

 

Magnus: Yes to begin with, but how it all ended up was beyond me and my control.

 

How hard was it to come up with this new album after all these years?

 

Magnus: Not really hard, time consuming, but it all came very natural and easy I´d say. This is, so to speak, our “home turf”, mama´s street!

 

Did you spend a fair amount of time working on the album before heading over to record it? How much time did you spend in the studio?

 

Magnus: Since we were using Marko´s studio we could go in and out and record in a strange fashion stretched out over a long time actually, so it´s hard to say how much effective studio time we had, but not really long I´d say. Very effective and focused work. In and out!

 

How did the recording process proceed, did you work differently this time than you did with your previous works?

 

Magnus: Yes very different,  in the past we booked a couple of weeks and did it all in one long intensive session, now we worked over a long time, allowing us to be more relaxed and focused once we were in the studio.

 

Is there a typical working process for The Crown when you guys are in the studio?

 

Magnus: Well it´s great when you can do the final touches and details and everybody can contribute with their ideas, those are the moments when the music really lifts off.

 

Could you please describe the implications of the title Doomsday King’, what does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind it?

 

Magnus: Facing death. Facing judgement. The only power that has any real power, the Doomsday King. Found in your heart.

 

 

Of course the main themes of the songs are clear, but can you tell us where you get your inspiration from?

 

Magnus: My inspiration for lyrics comes from a basic need to know. Who am I? Where am I going? And these kind of fundamental questions. Inspired by the true knowledge found in all traditional religions. Despite all our technical machinery we are more blind than ever to the true nature  of reality and of ourselves.

 

How important is it to you that people pay attention to the lyrics apart from listening to the music?

 

Magnus: Those who are inclined to do so can dig into it, and find more levels, those who only like the music can do so without being bothered with the lyrics. It is like a water with both deep and shallow ends, to each his own.

 

What do you think are the most typical differences between The Crown anno 2010 and The Crown back in 2004?

 

Magnus: We are older now. We have lives and families beside the band.

 

What are your main influences on the new album? Do you think it is difficult to sound original these days?

 

Magnus:Strapping Young Lad – SYL, Slayer – Reign In blood, At the Gates – Slaughter of the Soul, Therion – Of Darkness, Autopsy – Mental Funeral, Mayhem – De Mysteriis dom Sathanas, Bo Hansson – Sagan om ringen, Dissection – Storm of the lights bane, Valcyrie – The Emperor demo-89, Mussorgsky, Tormentor – Anno Domini, Pestilence – Consuming Impulse, Bathory – Blood, Fire, Death. Morbid Angel & Metallica.

 

And Yes it is very difficult these days to do anything original. Almost everything has been done before. - And better too!

 

What is the utmost important ingredient for a song, according to you?

 

Magnus: The riff!

 

Do you have any favorites on the album?

 

Magnus: No not really, it´s hard to choose a favorite from your babies! They all have good and bad sides but they are all very special to me.

 

Overall, are you pleased with the outcome of the songs or would you have liked to have changed anything in retrospective? Which element of the CD are you most proud of?

 

Magnus: I am pleased. I had set forth to write an album that I would be 100% pleased with. To make the one album that would really end my musical hunger. It almost succeeded, but it is truly impossible to make a perfect album. I am most proud of the album as a process and everything that went into it.

 

With several albums under your belt, how far has you career surpassed your original dreams and what would you say is the most rewarding part of being in the band?

 

Magnus: Yes, the original dream was to make a 7” single. But the thing with success is that it is never enough, almost all people with success are always dissatisfied.  - Anyway that´s my defense for not succeeding in becoming a rock star!

 

How has the band's sound progressed from your first album ‘The Burning’ to Doomsday King’ in your opinion?

 

Magnus: Well, a track like “The Lord Of The Rings” is better than probably most of the stuff I will ever write. And it would easily have fit on ‘Doomsday King’. So there is no progress on the songwriting -more like a decline almost. But we are much better musicians now. But I think that the band that did ‘The Burning’ would have loved ‘Doomsday King’ if we had played it to ourselves back in 1995.

 

Do you feel you have to prove yourself with each release, due to the metal climate nowadays?

 

Magnus: Yes, I think we have a role to play there. Put quality in the first room. No image.

 

Which song is your favourite one to play live? Which song do you feel is the most challenging one to play live?

 

Magnus: The only new song we have played live is “Doomsday King” and it was great! I think that the last song “He Who Rises In Might – From Darkness To Light” will be most challenging to perform live. But it would be fantastic!

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of things that motivate you in your writing, your poetry, and your lyrics?

 

Magnus: I am motivated by what I feel to be true. It used to be some sort of satanism/nihilism but I´ve risen above such low and blind darkness now but it´s still the same subjects that interest me. The deep, heavy, beautiful stuff.

 

 

What is your opinion on the deathmetal scene these days? What do you think about the overload of bands at the moment and is there anything missing in the scene?

 

Magnus: I don´t know I don´t follow it. I saw Autopsy live at the Party San festival this summer. It was one of the best death metal shows I´ve seen, still sounds so fresh, honest original music! All the old bands have not been surpassed by anyone, maybe that is why the modern scene is lacking any relevance.

 

In your opinion, what makes The Crown stand out compared to other bands out there?

 

Magnus: We have played together for 20 years and have a great sound together. More intense and better songs than most. Not by inventing a new genre but by keeping and evolving the legacy of extreme metal.

 

Could you respond to the following terms in just one word or sentence:

 

Metal : Hard

Underground : Harder

Internet : “Mirror, mirror on the wall…”

Religion : True

Politics : Greed

The Netherlands : The little differences

Sweden : Cold, in many ways, but still home
 

What can we expect from The Crown in the near future, are there any touring plans?

 

Magnus: No touring. We will hopefully make another album.

 

Anything left to say to our readers?

 

Magnus: Thanks to every fan for your support! Check out ‘Doomsday King’ and Thanks for your support!

 

Thanks for your time,

Eugene Straver

 

 

Members :

Jonas Stålhammar – Vocals (since 2009)

Marko Tervonen – Guitar (1990–2004, since 2009)

Marcus Sunesson – Guitar (1993–2004, since 2009)

Magnus Olsfelt – Bass (1990–2004, since 2009)

Janne Saarenpää – Drums (1990–2004, since 2009)

 

Former members :

Johan Lindstrand – Vocals (1990–2001, 2002–2004)

Tomas Lindberg – Vocals (2001–2002)

Robert Österberg – Guitar (1990–1993)

 

Albums :

(1995) The Burning (as Crown of Thorns)

(1997) Eternal Death (as Crown of Thorns)

(1999) Hell Is Here

(2000) Deathrace King

(2002) Crowned in Terror

(2003) Possessed 13

(2004) Crowned Unholy

(2010) Doomsday King