INTERVIEW WITH LORD BELIAL
Questions answered by: Micke Backelin
Interview has been done on 24/05/2002 by e-mail
Interview made by: Aris Demirovič
Ten years have passed since Lord Belial has been formed. Because we need to celebrate this anniversary and because they released a great new album ("Angelgrinder") and mainly because I am a fanatic fan of the band, I decided to do this interview. I wrote the questions and sent them to Micke Backelin (drummer) and hoped that he'll answer. Well, he answered to all my questions with pleasure and immediately ...
Hi! What's going on these days? The "Agelgrinder" was released more than a month ago. What kind of response did you get so far?
Hello. We are right now writing new songs for our next release and we are planning to do some tours and gigs after this summer. At this moment we have 3 new songs written. I don't really know about the response so far, I think it is too early to say anything about it yet. The reviews I've seen so far have been good, but I've seen only a few...
I know that you have some problems with the label... Promotion, touring and things like that. Can you tell us more about it? Your future plans... maybe switching the label?
Yes, we think the promotion for the album is quite worthless so far, the release of "Angelgrinder" is not even mentioned on their own homepage yet... after one month! That's to bad, so we have to do almost all promotion by ourselves, and we try to reach as many people as possible through the internet, but it is quite hard to promote an album without any backup from the label. We have some interests from other labels and we will see what happens later on... nothing is decided yet, but we are free to switch the label if we want.
Are you totally satisfied with the new album...With the production, with Andy LaRocque?
Yes! The sound and production are exactly what we wanted them to be, so we are 100% satisfied with it (the album). And it is for sure very nice working with Andy LaRoque, he is so fucking professional and he is great as person, so we really enjoy every single day in the studio.
I noticed that Pepa (Vassago) returned. Why did he leave the band after "Unholy Crusade" in the first place? And how does it feel being on stage with three guitars? We don't see things like that very often. :)
The main reason why Pepa left Lord Belial was the lack of time, but also because he was planning to move to New York. But now he has taken some time off from his work, and he is into Lord Belial for 110%! It is just great to have him back again! Now when we play live with 3 guitars... it's just cool and so fucking massive... It is a very heavy guitarsound, all three guitarists are using 7-stringed guitars, and Anders is using a 5-stringed bass.
On the "Angelgrinder" album you re-recorded "Satan Divine" which originally appears on your debut "Kiss The Goat". Why?
It was one of the first songs we ever wrote for Lord Belial and we still play it live on EVERY gig. We think it is a really good song, simple and raw. It was the same on the "Unholy Crusade" album; we included one old song ("Bleed on the cross") that we re-recorded just because we like the song and wanted it to be released again but with another sound compared to what it sounded like on "The Art OF Dying"- Demo 1993, and on "Kiss The Goat" - CD 1995 (Bonus track, Japan press only).
Who did the cover artwork? It's amazing.
Yes, it is really great! Cover art and layout is made by Mantus of Mysteriis from Brazil, in cooperation with Thomas and me. We gave him instructions about how we wanted it to be, and he did it and added some own ideas, and I think it was great and easy to work with him. He is a true metalhead and he knows exactly what it's all about.
Will there be any tour to support "Angelgrinder"? I know you did some single shows... Or am I wrong?
We have been on the "Angelgrinder tour 2002" now in April, with Satanic Slaughter and Corporation 187. It was a really great tour! And as I mentioned before, we will go on tour after this summer, and this time we are supposed to tour Sweden first, then eventually the rest of Scandinavia.
I know that you had to release "Angelgrinder" without one song ("Purify Sweden"). That's really sad... Why? Will you try to release it on another album or as a single or anything?
It was too bad that they decided to ban that song. It is a total lack of respect from the label. We are writing our songs based upon what we think about things, from our point of view. Music is a form of art and ones constitutional right is the "freedom of speech". But as we have said before: Lord Belial is NOT a political band and the song "Purify Sweden" is not a political song. There is nothing in that song that judge people for their skin-colour or their race. It's about our hate towards religion. We have got the full rights to that song from NFR now and that was very nice of them to let us have them. We will release it, but we don't know if it will be on a single or MCD or something else. We don't know when it will be released yet. All news about this will be published at our site as soon as we know for sure when and how it will be.
Ten years have passed since you formed Lord Belial... Do you plan to do a special release for the fans or something else to celebrate? (Or you just don't give a fuck? :)
Sure we give a fuck!!!! We are planning to release something special for our fans this year as a "thank you" for the past 10 years. We really respect our fans and we want to give them something back for their support. Without them we would still be in a garage somewhere and just practise without playing gigs and recording albums.
Is there anything that you are especially proud of in these 10 years of Lord Belial?
Yes, maybe that we still are "Lord Belial" both as persons and as a band. We do not want to change our style to something we can't stand for, to go softer or something just for selling more albums. We do our music our way, and we are just happy to have the opportunity to release albums and to play live. Another thing that is great is that we did not suffer from more than one line-up change this entire time, except for the period when Pepa was out of the band. We have been one and the same line-up from the very beginning. The only different thing now compared to the first line-up is that we have three guitarists... So we still have the same line-up now as in the beginning but with one more headbanger. :)
Do you think that you develop with every release? All of your albums are great. There is always at least two years in between. Will you ever make albums like one per year? :)
We will try to release albums more regularly from now on. Mainly the delays have been out of our control; as for example the delay of "Enter the moonlight gate", which was to blame on the artwork. We had to wait for over 15 month to get it... I think we develop with every release. It would be really boring otherwise... Almost every band develops both as a band and as individual musicians/songwriters with every release. And I also think that it is important to keep your own style as much as possible even though you get inspiration from other musicians and bands.
Will you ever re-release your demos? When will they be ready for download on your site? :) I am waiting in eternity...
Hehe, we will put them up on the website as soon as possible, but the only problem right now is that I don't even have the demotapes... I need them to make them into mp3's. We have planned a re-release of the demotapes, maybe on a limited CD, but I don't think this will be in the nearest future. We have some other things we will take care of first and then we have to see...
Can you please tell us something about Latex & Vassago? Most people (including me) don't have a clue about your side projects... Especially about Latex. Do you have any other side projects?
Vassago is the oldest, still living, project of me and Pepa. It all started in 1986 but under the name "Sadist". We have released one demotape "Nattflykt" and one split-LP "Hail War" with Antichrist from Germany. And also one full-length album on No Fashion Records, called "Knights from hell". The Vassago project will never die, but we are not that active with it, we never practice together as a band, we never do any gigs. We just write lyrics and music in the studio when we are recording, so Vassago is nothing that will get in the way for Lord Belial. We always put Lord Belial in the first place. Vassago line-up is: Micke - vocals, Pepa - guitars. Session musicians: Anders Backelin - bass, Asa "Akasha" Andersson - bass, KK Kranium - keyboards, Sadistic Sodomizer - drums, Suckdog - lead guitars. Latex is my other project, and it is me and some punk rockers that just recorded what was supposed to be released as a demotape, but it was later released as vinyl-EP on the label Metal Fortress. Latex line-up: Micke - vocals, Mattias "Ardias" Danielsson - guitars, Robert "Bobbo" Hansson - drums. Session musicians: Pepa - bass, Bullit - bass, Anders Backelin - bass, Thomas Backelin - guitars. Latex is put on ice and will be for some time... We have decided to put all our energy and ideas in Lord Belial first. There was a time when we were involved in 12 different projects/bands... that's too much I think.
Which bands in particular do you like or admire, and why? What do you listen to in your spare time? Any "new" band you like?
I have always been a real die hard Slayer fan, but I don't like their latest releases... but still love their early albums! It's the same with Bathory, the early albums were just great. The newer are just pure shit in my ears... I listened to one of the songs of the latest Bathory album "Destroyer of worlds" and it was one of the worst songs I've heard from Bathory... arrrggghhhhhh. Some of my favourites for the moment are: Cannibal Corpse, Dimmu Borgir, Nile, Arcturus, Morbid Angel, Rammstein, Angelcorpse (r.i.p).
Which is your favourite beer? Any other alcohol drink that you like to consume? And what about smoking pot? I noticed a beautiful piece of marihuana on the Latex homepage. :)
My favourite beer is Tuborg but I can drink whatever gets in my way... I really enjoy drinking and it's the same with the rest of the members of Lord Belial. We really love to drink lots of beer and to have a great party with our fans after the gigs and at festivals etc. I think I will die drunk (at least I'll die with a smile on my face then). I smoke some pot every now and then but I am not an addict to any drugs (not even alcohol). Addiction (drugs, alcohol, religion etc.) is a weakness! And they say that alcoholism is a disease, but I think that is bullshit! If that is so, smoking is a disease as well....
Do you have any further comments on anything that we've talked about, or anything else You would like people to know?
Thank you for a really good interview, Aris! All of the readers that are interested in news, photos, mp3's etc. visit our official site at www.lordbelial.com. Join our newsletter and feel free to sign the guestbook with your comments about Lord Belial and about the site as well. We hope to see you all at tours and gigs!!!!