We have an honour to talk to the Firespawn band co-founder Alex Impaler (aka Alex Friberg, Necrophobic)! Firespawn is new at the death metal scene, but famous if to look at the star lineup of the band!
Thank you for spending some time with Metal On Loud Magazine! Congratulations with the second album recently released!
Of course! Thank you. Really looking forward for the response to this album and to play the new songs live and support the album.
Tell our readers what story lays behind the band foundation...Each of band members is an outstanding musician, what inspired you to gather together? Is this supergroup a side project for you or something else?
From my point of view, I came up with the idea of starting a new band when it was a slow period in Necrophobic camp. I knew right away that I wanted LG to sing in this new band so I called him up, and we had lunch and talked things over. This came in a good period for him as well since it was a slow period even for Entombed. He said "Hell yeah" right away, and if you know LG, or have talked with him, and know how he says things, he gave me a typical LG-isch answer "As long as it's gonna be insainely fast doubledrums, I´m in" [laughs]. Gotta love the guy! And he told me that he had had the same talk with Victor, and I had known him for some years as well, so we called him, and he was thrilled about the band idea. We agreed on that we wanted long Epic solos on top of the blasting Death metal, so there was the only one guy that we knew of who could make that happen, so we brought Fredrik Folkare in the band. Victor had some song that he had written for this band since before. He had thought about this for some years. So we recorded them and put them online as demos. After about a year or so Victor read that Raised Fist were gonna record the drums in Gothenburg, so he said to me "Hey, Matte Modin would be great to have on drums. He´s fast a fucking shark!" I replied that "Yeah sure! Call him and see what he thinks". Said and done, they met, and he said yes right away. Line up was complete, and we could start working on the debut album that was later called Shadow Realms.
I don't like to talk in terms of a supergroup. We are a bunch of friends who share the common interest in Music and Music genre and want to play together. Firespawn is not a side project, it's a full on commitment from all of us. We are building something great from scratch and know that Firespawn is here to stay.
When talented people get together, it's hard to define who is a leader. Do you have a leader? What is contribution of each band member into song writing and into your activities?
No, we don't have a leader. We all have certain duties within the band. Although me and Victor are the founders, and we two write almost everything, and I also have a managing role in the band with everything that needs to taken care of, so it's natural that it is me and Victor that are mostly doing interviews and being the face of the band. But within the band we respect one another's opinion. But, hey, every band needs a Steve Harris right ;-)?
Let's talk about The Reprobate album. What are the main features which make it different from Shadow Realm, your first album? Tell us - simple metalheads, amateurs, not professionals, - how does it differ musically?
The main difference, according to me, is that The Reprobate is written to this line up. Now we know who is in the band and what every guy is capable of. Shadow Realms were in most parts written before we had the complete line up. Now when we have every piece of the puzzle we could push ourselves further and play faster, harder, have longer solos and push LG to sing darker and meaner then ever before! I think we did exactly that. The Reprobate is exactly the kind of Death Metal that I want to listen to when I drink beer on a Saturday night. Every time I hear it I feel the urge to headbang, and that's the feeling we want to create. It also differs a lot soundwise. Laurence who did the mixer and master of Shadow Realms did it on The Reprobate as well. But for this one we push him further also. Everyone in our team must be pushed to the limit to do your absolute best every time. The album is going to be out there for all eternity with no changing possibilities. And I think he delivered it extremely well. The sound on this album is the way bigger then on Shadow Realms. I want the sound to be a big juggernaut just blasting you away while you listen.
Does your new album have music influence, and from what metal bands/musicians, besides yourselves?
Yes, of course. Every musician has his influence. On this album I would say that you can hear a little bit of Morbid Angel, At the Gates, Deicide. Florida Death Metal is the main influence for Victor, I would say.
What are your favourite songs from The Reprobate and why?
My favorite song is "Serpent of the Ocean". Simply because that song has everything that represent Firespawn. It has slower bonecrusher parts and fast blasting parts with amazing solo on top. Also LG sings extremely well on this song. And all together that makes it a great fucking Death Metal song you just want to bang your head to!
Darkness, violence, Lucifer's eternal power - do these lyrics topics stay in The Reprobate? What are your songs in the second album about?
Topics that interest me is darkness, violence and demons within peoples' head. So, yes, those are the topics even on The Reprobate. I took it a bit further though on this album. I tried to put it from the other side of the coin. What is it that makes people do the thing they do? Is everything they do - bad? Or is it simply because "the others" don't understand? What is it that makes people fall into mass psychosis like in religion or follow a dictator? At the same time I left a room for interpretation. I want people to think for themselves also.
We see that you have many live shows planned, including performances at festivals. What do you expect from the public - what songs from your new album will become live metal hits?
We have some shows planned, but, I hope, there's going to be some more. I expect nothing but perfection from our side, and from the audience I don't expect anything, but I'm gonna make sure that they saw the best Death Metal experience of their entire life. The fans can expect a big fat fist in the face of Music, when they see Firespawn. I think that our fans will appreciate the whole album, but, maybe, "Serpent...", "Full of Hate" and "The Reprobate" in particular.
Your band first name was Fireborn, what made you change the name? What is the story behind your name?
Simply because there was a band called Fireborn, and we don't want to have the same name as anyone else. Firespawn is really the same name with the same meaning, just in different spelling.
As the experienced death metal veterans, can you share with us your view on the death metal scene nowadays? Are there any young bands metalheads should pay attention to? How does death metal changed (in a positive/negative way)?
Yes there are some good bands out there indeed. Bands like Degial is worth keeping track of. What I don't like at all is all those bands who play in shorts with short hair looking like soccer players or something. A Death metal musician should look like a fucking Death Metal musician! Death Metal is more then a Music style, it's a lifestyle!
We hear a lot this expression - "old school death metal"... What is old and new schools of death metal, according to your opinion?
Well, that's hard to describe in words. You must hear it. Old School Death Metal is Necrophobic and New School is more Heaven Shall Burn.
Does Firespawn have plans regarding future albums? Any new material in your heads/closets, hehe?
Yes, of course. We will keep on creating Music as long as we feel it's fun, and we are friends within the band. And so far all good! I guess Victor has some songs already made for the next album. [laughs] No rest for the wicked!
If you can define your ideal fan - who is it? What characteristics?
That would be a guy or a girl who buys every pressing of every album we release. A person who is a traveling fan who takes time off work to go and see the band. Much like an Iron Maiden fan. When I have fans like that, I can die a happy man!
What would be your last words to Metal On Loud Magazine readers?
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Thank you very much for your brutal music, your commitment to old school death metal and the interview with Metal On Loud Magazine! We wish you much success! METAL ON LOUD! \m/
Thank you very much for this interview!