Demiurg - 02/05/2008

Demiurg is the spawn of Paganizer/Ribspreader mainman Rogga Johansson. The band was conceived early 2006 and was initially meant to be another outlet of primitive death metal, the concept however evolved into something way more unique and exciting. During the process of writing material a plethora of non-death metal elements drew their part to the outcome. Together with the obvious brutality and groove found in bands like Bolt Thrower, Grave or Edge of Sanity the material was also injected with more diverse ideas derived from the sound of bands like Satyricon and Sepultura, thus creating something not entirely prone to be labeled oldschool deathmetal.

During this process the need of a capable bassplayer arose as the material would benefit greatly from playing beyond the usual simplistic basslines of much brutal music. Johan Berglund from Swedish modern metal act This Haven was then invited into the project as he had the talent and chops to add the most challenging basslines. Inspired by such greats as Death and Sadus his playing added greatly to the Demiurg sound.

From the start of this project the legendary musician and producer Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity/Nightingale) was enrolled to produce the debut album as well as play the drums, which he did. However as Demiurg´s sound evolved the need for a truly great drummer arose and thus Ed Warby of Gorefest, Hail Of Bullets stepped in.

Ed is arguably one of the very best death metal drummers in the world, and in Demiurg he displays exactly why this statement is true. With Ed firmly placed on the drum stool Dan Swanö could concentrate on what he does best besides achieving a monstrous sound; playing guitars and arranging keyboards. To top off the mix of musicians and add the last drop of magic to the band one of the best vocalists in the Swedish metal scene was enlisted. Pär Johansson of Satariel Fame will handle all clean vocal parts, as well as some of the higher growling in Demiurg.

 

 

 

We recently had a little chat with mainman Rogga Johansson about Demiurg’s second release, here you can read what he had to say!!

 

Your latest album ‘The Hate Chamber’ will be released next week, so of course we’d like to ask you a couple of questions about it!

 

First of all, how are you?

Actually a bit hungover, rehearsed with some friends last night.

 

Let’s go back in history for a bit…. I know this is your second album, but how did you get involved with the other members in Demiurg, can you give us a short introduction of who they are and how they got involved in this project?

Well Dan and I have been friends since around 2001 when he did the mastering for the Paganizer "Dead Unburied" album. Johan works at the same day job as Dan which is in a music store and that’s how he and I met. Pär I actually got to know as he´s also a cover artist besides being a singer, so I bought some stuff from him for some project a bunch of years ago and we ended up being really good friends. Finally Ed and I actually came across each other at a forum, he had bought and really liked the first Demiurg album and then I think it was Dan who suggested we should try to recruit him for the band. And that was very easy haha.

Soon after the first Demiurg album you announced that you had recruited drummer Ed Warby. How did you hook up with him, why did you recruit him and what made him the perfect drummer for Demiurg?

As said above we talked over the net and he had bought and liked the debut album by Demiurg and why he would be perfect for Demiurg? Ed would be perfect for any band haha. The man has a style that is just immense, and I think he could pretty much play anything he wanted to.

 

How did you launch into writing the material for ‘The Hate Chamber’ after your previous album, did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them down or was it more of a careful composing thing?

Some stuff on the album, just as on the debut, is rather old while most of it is new. I think writing the new album took a bit longer than the debut, mostly because I wanted all songs to be very different from each other. I tried to incorporate bits of different styles in all the songs, but mainly these songs, just like the old ones, were done rather fast.

 

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

Influences on this album would be off the first album actually. But with the difference that I wanted all the songs to be more stand-alone than one the debut. Some more obvious influences would be later Sepultura and Satyricon in at least a couple of tracks where I wanted that groove those guys manage to get. I must also say I went on a total Winter ride on the song "Wolves at the gates" haha, and that song is my fave I think as well.

 

Who was responsible for writing the songs and the lyrics on the new album?

I wrote the music and lyrics, but all the other members of course wrote their parts themselves. I mean Johan is a sick bass player so for me to tell him what to play would just be stupid. As would it be if I didn’t let Swanö decide on what keyboards and solos to write.

 

I think the main theme on ‘The Hate Chamber’ is clear, but can you give us a little background info on the songs on the album and do you have any stories behind them?

The lyrics deal mostly with the more unknown parts of life, the big stuff no one knows much about like death and existence. But I try as always to also include more familiar death metal stuff. So much stuff is based on H.P Lovecraft themes as he was a genius when it came to writing creepy stories. The last song on the album is totally based on one of his stories, Dagon.

 

How did the recording process proceed and how much time did you spend in the studio?

The recording was done as on the debut, I recorded the guitars and vocals to click track at one studio and then the rest of the members did their parts at studios near them. Very simple and easy and it doesn't bring about bad feelings haha.

 

Did you experience any difficulties after you recruited Ed, regarding the fact that he lives in Holland? How did you manage to play, rehearse and write songs together?

Ed rehearsed at home and wrote his drum parts in ProTools and sent them to me so we could discuss them. Then he booked a studio in the place where he lived and recorded the drums for real.

 

 

In which things/songs on the new album can one clearly hear Ed’s vision and ideas?

I would say in all songs, I might have had specific ideas for a bunch of riffs but mainly it’s just Ed that has arranged the drums. He is a very good arranger and songwriter so all the stuff he did we decided to use, as it would have been stupid to change anything really.

 

What were the goals you had in mind when you started, what inspired you and did you have a certain idea of what you wanted to do on your new album, any elements you definitely wanted to have on it?

The only goal I had when starting Demiurg was to do something sounding nothing like Paganizer or Ribspreader. I guess most people would say that Demiurg sounds just like those bands but for me it doesn’t at all. Another thing that was important was to have people in the band that were really good at their stuff and now with Ed doing the drums I guess the lineup is the best it can be. Perhaps they should boot me out of the band haha.

 

Was it a conscious decision to do it this way?

Yes very much so. Actually the whole band came together as a result of Guido at Mascot Records asking me to start the band. However I think he actually wanted something like Entombed or Dismember... And he didn’t get that did he?

 

How did the recording process proceed and how much time did you spend in the studio? As mentioned above we did all parts at separate studios, so I couldn’t say how much time it really took. But the whole album was completed within a couple months anyway.

 

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

That it is catchy in some way, so you'll want to play it again. It doesn’t have to be catchy in a melodic way but it needs some cool hook to make you want to go back to it.

 

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

I don’t know really. I guess not very important if you ask most people, otherwise downloading wouldn’t be a problem. I mean, an mp3 file is enough for many people so they apparently don’t need the booklet.

 

Could you please describe the implications of the title ‘The Hate Chamber’, what does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind it?

It’s a very old title; I think I came up with it at least 12 years ago if not more. It was a song actually but I didn’t have it on any tape but at least the title I remembered, and as I liked it I wanted to use it. The idea is basically just a bad place, a place where you go inside yourself even though you would rather not.

 

So tell us a little about yourself personally and the kinds of things that motivate you in your writing. Are there any particular bands that have been a big influence in your song writing, metal or otherwise? What kind of music are you into?

I am rather usual for a Swedish metal retard I guess. I drink beer and I write shitty music haha. That’s about it. The biggest influences would be industrial metal, death metal and crust punk. I like simple music, both playing it and buying albums.

 

What was your incentive when you recorded ‘The Hate Chamber’ in a time where a fan rather downloads than buying an album?

I don’t know really. I mean I don’t really care if they buy or download my stuff as long as they actually want it and like it.

 

The production was done by Dan Swano. What made him the perfect producer and  would you ever work with a producer external to the band if your label asked you to work with, say, Andy Sneap or Devin Townsend?

Dan is a killer producer so it was very easy to go with him, especially as he is in the band too. I think he would really like it though if the label asked us to work with some other producer. I don’t think Dan is used to that so he would surely like to try it.

 

The Hate Chamber’ was also mixed and mastered by Dan Swano, are you satisfied with the result and did you run into any problems you hadn't expected?

The album came out monstrous, very big and massive. And that’s what we wanted to achieve as well. As for problems I don’t think Dan has any of them, he is a clever guy haha.

 

Have you received any feedback on the new album yet? How do you feel about this album – are you satisfied with the outcome or would you have liked to have changed anything in retrospective? And how are the fans responding to it?

I don’t think we would like to change anything. Of course Pär was supposed to sing on more than one song, but it ended up that he was only featured on the last song of the album. The response on the material has been only killer so far. Which of course is really cool.

 

What aspect of the CD are you most proud of? Do you have any favorites on this album, songs that you think are somehow above the others?

The song "wolves at the gates" is a fave and also the "The apocalyptic". But I must say that most songs are very cool, which is of course the way an album should be haha.

 

Where does Demiurg go from here, can we expect some live shows or something else?

As both Dan and Ed have so much to do as well as the fact that we live in different countries, shows will be hard to do. Maybe if some very good offer came along it could be done but I don’t know how we would manage. Just the question of rehearsals would be very hard to solve as Ed would have to fly here. It would cost too much and take too much time I guess, and Demiurg isn’t a big enough a band to cover the expenses.

 

Finally, where do you see Rogga Johansson going in the coming months / years, or do you not think of the future too much?

With some luck I´ll keep releasing albums with my thousand projects haha. Actually I don’t know what´ll happen, but a bunch of releases are lined up for this year at least both with Paganizer and Ribspreader as with other projects.

 

Ok, now some questions to enable our readers to get to know you a little better:

 

How did you get involved in the music business, what are your influences and how difficult is it to sound original these days?

I guess back in ´89 it all started. Back then I played industrial metal and I kept doing that until around ´93 when it started to move towards death metal more and more. Influences back then I guess were mostly obscure industrial bands, thrash metal and the more common death metal bands. But the biggest influence was the Massacre album "From beyond", that’s when the industrial stuff started to get more in the back and the death in front. And sounding original I guess is pretty easy, the hard thing is to do it as well as make it sound good ha-ha.

 

What songs and bands do you listen to these days?

Too much to mention really, recently it has been a lot of old Godflesh as well as more grooving death metal like Panzerchrist, SFU, Asphyx, Soulburn, Jungle Rot and Gorefest.

 

Is there anything you like to do besides your music?

I drink beer.

 

What is your opinion on the deathmetal scene these days, is there anything missing?

It’s very big and very alive, a bit hard to keep track of really. But it’s good that the scene is doing well, for every bunch of shitty bands there is at least one good one emerging.

 

Which album has been your biggest musical influence, one that made you think “this is what I want to do!”?

As for death metal it was "From beyond" by Massacre, but before that it was one of the earlier Skinny Puppy albums. That sick brutality they managed really made an impression on me when I was around 11 years old and basically just listened to heavy metal and some punkier stuff.

 

Okay, if you could choose three bands to get on stage with, who would they be?

Don’t really know, perhaps Disfear, Asphyx and Massacre. That would be a groovy fucking show.

 

Any last statement or anything you'd like to add...

I think you covered just about everything haha.

 

Okay, thanks for the interview and take care!

Thanks!

 


Line-up:

Rogga Johansson – Guitars, Vocals

Johan Berglund – Bass

Dan Swanö – Guitars, Keyboards

Ed Warby – Drums

 

 

Albums:

The Hate Chamber – 2008

Breath Of The Demiurg – 2007