Melody is at least as important as heaviness in music

Rising

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. How are things in your world?

Thanks for the interest. Very nice. It’s a calm Friday, enjoying a glass of wine. Just taking it easy.

That’s always good

And you?

It’s weekend so that is always good. So I can relax a bit.

Where are you situated in Holland?

I’m near Helmond. That’s the south east. The hell mouth, the most metal sounding place of Holland.

Except for Tilburg I guess.

Yeah, Tilburg is a good second to Eindhoven. Eindhoven is the original rock city.

I have been to Roadburn a couple of times and going again this year.

I have heard it is an awesome festival. It’s always sold out. For our readers that have not yet heard of you. Who are Rising?

Well, I am Jacob, I am the guitarist from the Rising and one of the founding members. We are a band from Copenhagen. Founded in 2008 and we play music that is incorporating sludge, doom and melodic heavy metal in our own brand of metal. We have released three albums and the latest one is from april 2016 which also featured a new line up. Only the original drummer and me and then a new drummer and some new people came along.
And since then we have been playing show in Germany, Denmark, and Roskilde festival last year and playing Copenhell in Copenhagen this year. And in the past, for the last two albums, we toured a lot in Holland and Germany and so fort. That’s the short introduction.

So you are a very active band. Just playing and being out there connecting with the fans?

Yeah yeah yeah. Definitely!

You mentioned you released your third studio album last year, Oceans into their graves, interesting title. How did you land on that?

It’s a phrase from one on the lyrics that we just liked because it hit the note on the whole theme of the album. Which is, not uncommon for metal bands, but it’s an album with the common theme of death on all kinds of levels. So the personal existential death, about how you experience that but also on the more institutional political level and the big level, the cosmological level of a personal death. And it obstructs about that it doesn’t matter how big you are you’re gonna go down some day. Everyone is gonna fall into their grave one day, right.

So the songs are all connected to that theme?

It’s not a theme record in that way, it is not a concept album. But we kinda found out that when the album was done, the lyrics were done, that death was the theme. Describing death and demise on all kinds of levels.

I saw that the lyrics are really poetic,  do you have a very poetic lyricist?

I think we have. It’s Morton of course, our singer, that does a lot of the lyrics and I do some too. And we tried to say something, even political stuff sometimes. But we don't want to be too much in you face. We want to create images in people’s head instead of telling them what to do or thing, so we try to be poetic about it and have a lyrical stance on it as well. Without being too pumpus about it.

Not to pretentious, exactly.

No, not to pretentious but people should be able to think for themselves when digesting our music and our lyrics.

What is your favorite lyrics of the album?

What is my favorite lyric? Well, that’s a hard one. Uuuhhmmm… I haven thought about a favorite one so let me think. I really like All Dirt, the first song. Because it kinds of the whole frame and holds the whole album title which is where from we come we’re going again.
It’s almost a religious stance but it is not necessarily religious it is just an experience we’ll all go through. So I like that a lot. Uhhmmm… Yeah, I’ll keep to that.

“From our birth, like all earth, this way all dirt must go”

Your sound on the release, you’ve already talked a little bit about it, what is the most important ingredient in your particular brand of metal?

I think that our uniqueness or our trade is like combining the very heavy sound with ultra melodic stuff. I mean, we see ourselves as song writers primarily. We make riffs and all that, and we want to be heavy, But we really want to create songs and we are very keen on melody. So combining like maybe what you think would be differences like the heavy and the melodic and the grand with the direct. I think these opposite trades can work really well together.

It also had some nice hooks on the album, I like that.

Yeah, we are kinda like old school in that sense since we really like hooks and melodies and want people to hum it when they go home without it being too easy. For myself, melody is at least as important as heaviness in music. I need to have something to cling on to for my mind and attempt to gravitate towards having melodic stuff.

You can have just a wall of sound, you have to some structure in it.

Have some songwriting and a way where the material work towards.

You were originally a threesome, for a short time you were a twosome. And...

To make a long story short, or a short story even shorter. We were a three piece when we started and we’ve been a three piece on the first EP and first two albums. After the first EP our drummer, which we have again now, got out of the band and we had a new one. But we actually dissolved, after the second album, the three piece that we were at the time. And then I’ve formed the band again with the original drummer and then we formed a new line up. So we were like two people for like a year and we wrote practically the entire new album with us two. But then we got the new line up together and now we are five. We have two guitars now.

In which ways has your switch to a more traditional featured band influenced your songwriting?

I guess… We actually wrote the album with the two of us. But I just had a lot of guitar ideas and a lot of arrangement ideas. It was fun to be a three piece band with just one guitarist and that gave me some freedom. But the new material just spoke to us in other way so we were like, we are starting from scratch anyway so lets just try out all our ideas. And when the material was done it was like we need to get another guitarist because there are a lot of things happening. And it is gonna be even more for the next album because now we are a full band, writing the next album. So it is gonna be a lot of new and fun stuff.

So the next album will probably see some changes in your style as well?

I think it will be a development of where we are now. It will very much be the sound of the band where we are right now. With the new singer and the more melodic and proggy stuff. We are writing now and it will be a development into a more like... It will be a bit more spacey and a bit more proggy without losing the melody and the heaviness.

Do you all contribute to the creative process or do you have a designated songwriter like yourself?

Me and the drummer are the main idea makers because I come up with the riffs and we jam a lot together and he throws in the rhythms. So we are the main contributers, but the goal on the new songwriting process is for the whole band to contribute. But it is natural for us that it is mostly the two of us are the nucleolus. We lay the foundation and then we use our collective mind to make it interesting for us all.

How would you say your sound has evolved from the first self titled EP to the latest complete album? Do you still feel like you are the same band?

I feel in a way we are the same band in the sense that we are back with the original drummer and the spirit we had at the time when we created the band is back. We have a lot of the same ideas and attitude towards the material and playing music. All in all there was a reason why we had to move on without him and broke up because we couldn’t communicate properly and wanted different things to happen. So now we are back to Martin, the original drummer, and me and in that sense it feels even more like the old band. For me, I have been writing the riffs all along and managing the band all along so for me it is the same band, it is the same ambition for me. But I can understand if people hear different things in it now but for me it is the same band.

So you could say you are still rising ;)

Yeah, I am still rising. That’s a good headline there, haha.

I saw that your vocalist, Morton, also did the artwork for the cover of the album. That is really cool.

He is a very talented guy. He works as an art director in an advertisement bureau, as a stage job, and is  enormously skilled. He draws and he drew the entire artwork in photoshop. Just by hand on a pad. He has also made a lot of cartoons and stuff like that so we are just totally lucky to have a guy like that in our band. So he does all that work for us. He creates the flyers, he is gonna do the artwork for the next album. It is great to finally have a creative force on the visual side on things in the band.

What can you tell us about the cover? What does it symbolize?

It kinda symbolizes the title. We wanted to sum up and have it visual what the title and what the theme is. You know, the downfall of everything. And also you’ll see it’s very nature. It’s the driving forces of the universe, it’s the moon, it’s the water, it’s the skies, and then you see a little small sign of humans. You don't see any humans but you see the towers. That’s the last thing you see. It’s just a sign of people, people defending themselves, being at war. And that will be the last mark of us if that is the way we’re gonna go.  So you can kinda interpreted it in that way. It is us being at war but something bigger is gonna pull us down.

I was wondering about those towers. It also looks like a flat earth depiction, was that intentional?

No, no no no. We are not conspiracy theorist ;)

Did you grow up as metal heads? And if so, what did you listen to and who were your heroes?

Well, as a small kid I always was fond of music but when I was 10 somebody played me Deep Purple and rock. And the intro just blew me away. Then I was just sold to Rock and Roll. I started with the classic stuff, Purple and Sabbath and Rush and all that and then moved on to harder stuff. So I definitely grew up as a metalhead. I have evolved my taste since then. But I am still fascinated by heavy music and try to pick up as many new bands as possible.

Are there bands out there that you  think deserve a little bit more spotlight or are under appreciated?

They are actually dissolved now but I loved In Solitude from Sweden. They were great. They also have a lot of great new stuff like dark rock stuff.
I think True Widow is and amazing band. It is not quite metal, but who cares, it’s a great band.
Maybe when we finish this phone call I can probably think of 10 or 20 more. There are a lot of great bands out there. I think the underground is thriving even more than ever. When you go to a festival like Roadburn, there are so many good band. Also bands you’ve never heard of. So all the talk from, especially older people, that metal and rock is dead is bullshit. There is so many great stuff out there. So I wish I could come up with 10 bands right now. We have good bands from Denmark as well, a lot of good stuff happening.

Metal is bigger than ever I think.

Yeah! It is more diverse. A lot of new expressions, a lot of fusions. I mean hardcore fusion with black metal. Sludge stuff. I think it is a very interesting time for metal!

But it is a difficult time for a lot of new starting bands with this music industry right now, isn’t it.

Yeah, it is a paradox. It is the hardest time for music ever. Money wise, industry wise, but there are more small bands than ever. And that clashes also, everyone screaming and yelling for attention at the same time. It is a strange time in that sense.
Myself, I get tired of hearing bands crying for attention all the time. I am way more a fan of not making too much of a fuss about it. With social media and just make good albums and play great shows and get back to that. If you really want to make it and get to people make good music, play good show.

That’s what it is all about in the end, great music. You have mentioned a few gigs you’ll be playing. But when will we get the chance to see you play live this year?

We don’t have lots of shows left this year. We have 4 shows coming up in Germany and then we have some Danish shows and then we have Copenhell which is a big Danish metal festival where slayer will be playing etc. And that is about it actually. We are recording the new album in October. We hope we can go on a longer European tour including Holland, and Germany and all those good metal places for the next album which should come out in the start of the next year.

Alright! Looking forward to that! Really curious with what you will come up with for the next album

Me too, me too! [Haha]

You don’t know yet?

Well, you kinda have a sense, you know, about what you’re doing. But it’s always confusing to make new stuff because you don't always actually know what you’re on to.

Do you have any last words for our readers?

Thank you for the interest and thank you the interview. I hope you guys reading this will check out our music, especially the latest album, and we hope to be touring Europe again on the next album. Until then you can check us out!
And I don't know. Just thanks for the interest and I hope you will dig it!

Randy Gerritse