This month i had the huge opportunity of interviewing Per "Sodomizer" Eriksson, guitarist of the swedish death metal supergroup Bloodbath. As a diehard Bloodbath fan i consider myself very lucky to have a little chat with him. So, this is how it went on...
Hello Sir!! First of all a big thanks for taking out some of your valuable time for Metal On Loud magazine. So, my very first question would be. Bloodbath, a death metal force consisting members of legendary bands like Opeth, Katatonia and Paradise Lost. What's your music making process is like when you hit the studio together as each of you belong to a different trademark sound?
Well first of all, the reason this band exists and why we do this is because we all grow up with death metal, and all the bands you listed above was once a death metal band. So I would not say we come from different trademark sound, it's more like we come from the same sound and from there the different bands branched out into their own sounds. When it comes to making music, it's usually a quite hectic time. We are 3 core songwriters in the band, and we usually write a few songs each, rarely do we write together. Most of the time you do not hear any of the other guys songs until we are in the studio. I think that adds to the uniqueness between the songs you know. If you are familiar with the band you can kind of tell who wrote which song without even checking the sleeve
And following the same track as the first question, I would also like to know about the touring. How do you manage it as few of the other members has their own band to tour with?
We are all under the same management, so it is up to them to make sure nothing clashes. So that makes it a little bit easier. But it is always a pain in the ass to make time for rehearsals and so on. We all tour with other bands and we live in different countries and so on. We are not an active band in that way, we only rehearse when we have a show coming up, never before we hit the studio or for fun.
I can assure the fact that Bloodbath fans have been craving for an album ever since the release of 'The Fathomless Mastery' back in 2008. Nevertheless you came up with 'Grand Morbid Funeral' in 2014 which was an absolute classic. But still I would really like to know the reasons behind a hiatus of almost six years.
The reason for that is simply that we did not have time to do Bloodbath during that time. We were all busy with other bands and kind of forgot about Bloodbath for a while. We were not ever sure we would make another album. But that's the charm with this band, we do it when we want to do it. We do not have record companies or other people pushing us to put out albums or do tours. And that adds to the fun in playing in this band. When your hobby becomes your job a lot of the fun in playing music goes away and it's not that much different from going to an office every day. I'm not gonna promise you that we won't wait 6 or 8 more years before the next one, if there ever is a next one.
With no doubts Nick Holmes absolutely managed to fill the void that Mikael Åkerfeldt left in the band. Now as you had the pleasure of working with both the legends, i would love to know your thoughts on Bloodbath then and Bloodbath now.
The biggest difference that I can think of is that the band is more active now then it ever was when Mikael was in the band. He is a busy man, and that is the main reason why we have not done that many live shows in the past. They are both professionals, they are both easy to work with and they understand music and rhythms, and get their shit done in no time. I love Mikael with all my heart, but it feels more like a band now with Nick.
I myself have not found much difference between the first two albums with Dan Swanö and the later two albums with you being on the guitar. Still there are many fans who misses the Dan Swanö factor. I would like to know your viewpoints on it and do you think you happened to be the perfect replacement for the legend himself?
Well, like I said before, since we do not write song together, there will always be that personal touch to each songs. I would have never written Eaten you know, while Dan probably would never have written a song like Famine of god's word or Anne. So if you are a die-hard Dan Swanö fan, then I understand if you miss him in the band. I never tried to fill his shoes, cause I knew I could not. I just write the songs I like, and if people hate that and miss Dan in the band I can only say, listen to the first two albums and then listen to something else. I would not say I was the perfect replacement for Dan, I was just a replacement. There are far better guitar players and song writers out there then myself. I do not think it would have mattered who took over from Dan. He is, like you said, a legend in the scene, so he would have been missed even if it was Chuck Schuldiner who took over.
How hard has it been to maintain the same old school death metal sound? Does the acceptance among the mass matters to you and what do you think of the recent metal scene?
It's not hard, cause that is the only death metal I know. To be honest, I do not even consider myself a fan of death metal, just because I like so very few bands, and I don't think I've heard a great death metal album released after «95. So I do not really know the scene today. I do not actively listen to any death metal.
Is there any possibility of having all the Bloodbath members (past and present) to get featured in an upcoming album or sharing the stage together?
Yes of course it is possible as long as we are all alive. I see so many bands saying that something would never happen and then they do that anyway. But I would not hold my breath either.
Can we expect a consistent Bloodbath now with many more classic death metal albums to come?
Bloodbath is and will forever be a side project, and I do not think anyone in the band wants it any other way. So the future is and will forever be, very uncertain. Grand morbid funeral might be our last album ever or we might release 10 more, who knows.
Any exclusive news you can share with us on what to expect in 2016 or the coming years?
Well, we have 2 shows booked for 2016 and we have already booked one or two festivals for next year, so the band is not going to disappear right now. We might have other things in the works too, but I would not want to spoil the surprise.
Finally, a few words you would like to share with our readers.
I want to thank you all for the support over all these years. And I hope we can make it to all of your countries to spread our disease. Keep the blood flowing. Hail Satan!!