WHERE ARE THEY FROM: Stockholm, Sweden,
FOR FANS OF: Celtic Frost, Venom, Early Slayer, Autopsy
LATEST RELEASE: Promo Demo 2012
Crucifyre are a Swedish, Stockholm based band that is made up of veterans of the Swedish extreme metal scene – featuring ex and current members of influential bands such as Afflicted, Crematory, Morbid, Maze of Torment, General Surgery, Nasum etc…Crucifyre’s metal of death is born out of the members personal love for bands such as classic Slayer, Celtic Frost, Venom etc and transcends the typical retro Swedish death metal that is currently all the rage ( early Entombed/Nihilist etc.. clones) by mixing together the sounds of raw primitive 80′s extreme heavy metal sound with old school death/thrash. The bands debut full length album “Infernal Earthly Divine” was unleashed (sic) upon the scene in 2010 by Pulverised Records and the band recorded a promo demo full of new material which I recieved earlier this year and which showcases much more of a punkier vibe in places – I contacted drummer Yasin Hillborg for a chat after he sent me their killer Promo Demo 2012.
Hails Yasin! Please give the readers a quick background history on the band and also please introduce the current line up!
Crucifyre was formed in 2006. We are about playing the purest essence of what death-, black- and heavy metal all’s supposed to be about. The line up is Erik Tormentor on vocals. He was formerly in Maze of Torment, Serpent Obscene etc, TG and Urban, both lead guitar. TG of course was in Morbid and Urband in Crematory, Regurgitate etc, Doltz, who’s mostly been in punk and hard core bands on bass, and me, Yasse on drums.
Your debut album "Infernal Earthly Divine" was unleashed upon the world by Pulverised Records back in 2010, I must say it was one RIPPING slab of hellish Swedeath, what are your thoughts looking back on this album a couple years down the line? Are you still satisfied with it or is there anything you would like to change now?!
I wouldn’t agree with you that it’s typical “Swedeath”. At least not what is usually associated with the tag “Swedish Death Metal”. Crucifyre isn’t about fucking 90’s riffs! Crucifyre is all about the fucking primal merciless onslaught of Venom, Slayer, Celtic Frost and the satanic rites of Mercyful Fate and other music that I will not mention as it will only confuse the narrow mind that may read this. Infernal is a pretty close result to what we attempted to achieve. There is always something you want to change, but overall it’s pretty fucking wicked.
Are you happy with the overall response and reviews the album got, please tell the readers a little bit about this album in your own words.
The response and reviews have been great! Infernal Earthly Divine is our debut album and it was voted 3rd best album of 2010 by the writers of Close Up Magazine, just below Watain and Kylease. That’s quite good for a debut album in my book. The record consists of, as most debut alums, of songs written in the band’s inception as well as a few tracks written just before entering the studio. I wrote all the songs and produced the album with the rest of the band co-producing. I am satisfied with the songs. The production and playing does the job.
How did you initially hook up with Pulverised? Are you satisfied with the overall work they have done for the band? They seem like a very dedicated hard working label.
Erik had done some artwork for them previously so that was how we got in touch. I might have sent them our first demo as well. They seem dedicated to releasing new death metal bands at a rapid pace, which is a good way for new bans to get out I guess. They did a fairly good job promoting our album.
You recently recorded 5 new songs for a demo, what is the purpose of this demo? I must say the new material is sounding DEADLY! Very strong with so many deathly hooks. Where did you record the demo and how long did it take for the new material and demo recording to come together?
Actually we recorded six songs on that session. The recording wasn’t really meant to be widely spread (and it hasn’t been either). The purpose was to record new material and see how it could be developed. I am glad you like it! The session was done in our rehearsal place,
but quite properly so having mikes on each drum and so on. The basic tracking was done in a day with vocals and solos done here and there. With the pretty fucking amazing production we got at the session I kind of wish we put some more time into the recording, but hey. The songs have been written since the recording of Infernal. Except for the odd riff I’ve written all the tracks. At the moment we have more or less and album’s worth of material.
I take it the demo is a pre production type thing for the 2nd album, when can we expect the second full length album by Crucifyre? Will you be unleashing it via Pulverised again? Do you have a title in mind for the second album? What can the readers expect from it?
Yes, I guess that’s an accurate description. I hope we will find the means and the right circumstances to record our second album soon. We have a title that will be revealed in due time. The album will have a lot of hard and raw edge with thrashing and grinding just like its predecessor, but there will also be a lot of doom-laden pieces on it. One of my all time favorite concerts was seeing Slayer the first time when they first came to Sweden in 88. (They were on their way in 87 on the Reign in Pain tour, but Dave couldn’t get a visa!). Candlemass was the support band! What a bill! Candlemass and then Slayer. That is partially a dynamic and feel that is attempted to be incorporated in the new songs – the intensity of Slayer and the weight and epic majesty of Candlemass. Add to that the atmosphere of Bathory and some chunks of Autopsy or something and hopefully you might get the picture of what we are trying to achieve with the new material.
I am personally loving the varied tempos in the new songs, I think this new material is even stronger than the already very strong material on the debut full length. What was your thinking and aim when you set to work writing the new material, did you have specific ideas in mind that were already written or did it all just "come together"during rehearsals?.
Thank you Kat! Cool that you like the different dynamics in the tracks. I’ll usually write a song and present it more or less finished and most of the time we’ll do the final arrangements in rehearsal. This process may vary, sometimes I’ll just have a couple of riffs and other times I’ll have an entire arrangement. I have some specific ideas that I’d like to try with the new stuff. Also I think we are more certain of what Crucifyre should be about. Not that we didn’t have a clear vision the first time around, but there might be a greater degree of consistency in the material this time round. The music that influences me most is what I’ve always listened to – the classics, the originals. I prefer listening to Black Sabbath any day than to some triggered 250 bpm Behemoth wanking. That (hopefully) doesn’t make Crucifyre’s music watered down like most music today.
What is the songwriting process usually like for Crucifyre?
We’ll I do most of it and like I said, I’ll present new stuff to the other guys and listen to their input and usually we’ll do the arranging together.
Pic by Soile Siirtola.
Some of the new material has a cool punked up vibe to it ("Through the Darkness" comes instantly to mind), makes a nice contrast to the very doomy morbid slowed down sounding parts. Would you say some punk music has an influence on your songwriting?.
Well yes and probably in a much bigger way and to a larger extent than you might think. I was a punk (rocker) when I was a kid sporting a Mohawk and everything. I got into punk before I got into metal. For me it was the usual punk-metal story. I first got into Motorhead and then Metallica and thrash and then death metal and the early stuff – Sabbath, Zeppelin and classical heavy metal – Priest, Maiden etc. Through the Darkness has a definite The Damned vibe to it in my opinion. When The Damned are at their best they are one of my
favorite bands. So yeah, there are some punk influences for sure. I have some ideas for a d-beat songs as well that might end up on the next record.
Please give the readers an insight into the general lyrical concept behind Crucifyre...I guess you are not church going christians!! hahaha! Where do you draw inspiration from when it comes to writing lyrics/ Are the lyrics usually written before or after the basic music is completed?
Lyrically, a lot of the time I get inspired by stuff I read, literature. Sometimes I’ll come up with a title and draw inspiration from the concept of the title. I also write a lot about stuff that pisses me off, but if I do I make sure to use the thematic of Crucifyre and not write some mundane fucking teenage angst lyric. The song Funeral Pyre is more or less about the world coming to an end, but it is also saying how the arrogant fuckers in charge are turning everything in to shit. Rising higher this rotten mound, soon to be reduced to ash, your world will burn as I set fire and ignite your funeral pyre. We are definitely not a Christian-, or a religious band what so ever. In fact I despise most religions. There are a lot of things with most of them that I disapprove of, but most of them also entail submission, something that is very dangerous and fucked up and is one big reason to why human beings are so fucked. The satanic and sacral themes fit our style of metal perfectly and as much as I despise religion, Satan is still a pretty potent vehicle for rebellion and for us saying: - Fuck you! I Am your enemy. I do not subscribe to your values, your way of life and your fucking bourgeois, narrow little world. The lyrics are usually written after the music, but sometimes before and sometimes simultaneously.
Describe Crucifyre in 5 WORDS ONLY!
Fire. Blood. Metal. Magic. Soul.
You are all veterans of the Swedish death metal scene, having served time in bands such as Afflicted, Maze of Torment, Crematory, General Surgery, Morbid etc...what keeps you motivated after all these years to keep on creating death metal? Have there ever been any times where you have just felt like "retiring" from the scene?. You have all seen many changes in the extreme music scene over the years, what is your opinion on the current death metal scene for example when comparing it with the late 80s/early 90s scene?
Well to be quite frank, I was “retired” from playing death metal for many years. So yes, I guess you could say that. I got bored with how death metal “developed” in the 90s and the scene that was quite vibrant around Stockholm in the late 80s and early 90s kind of vanished and everything was divided into sub genres or black metal or whatever. It’s not really fair comparing the death metal scene of today to when it first came round. As everything was new and you were in the midst of this extreme music exploding it was extremely exiting. Getting Morbid Angel’s Altars of Madness on the day it was released after having previously heard their music through tape trading. How do you compare that with browsing the Internet? However there is a scene these days and it seems to be doing quite good. On a whole the climate for live music in Stockholm has gotten a lot better compared to the late 90s or even compared to when death metal took off.
What things do you find for the better or for the worst in the modern extreme music/death metal scene? Which other current bands do you feel an affinity with?
Metal has been around for so long now and even the extremist genres have been going for 20 or even 30 years. And to put it simple there is and has always been good and bad music.
Unfortunately the latter kind comes in a lot larger quantities, an ever escalating downward spiral I guess. That might not be the answer you were looking for. If you like me to be more specific it’s the same elements that make out any good music, be it metal, rock ‘n’ roll, punk or whatever. The first rule being – It has to be honest. If it’s not honest, forget it! Now I am getting philosophical again. But put it this way – the more you polish it, the more you tamper with the production, the more you wank about the further you’ll get from the truth, or you’ll be caught with your trousers down. DTP! Some newer and or younger bands that more or less have their shit down are: Morbus Chron, Tormented, In Solitude, Graveyard, Nifelheim. Shit, these are all Swedish bands, but I hardly ever listen to new music so…
Why the name Crucifyre? Nice play on words from my perspective! Please elaborate on why you chose this band name. Also who designed the great band logo?
Well we went through a few names in the early stages of forming this band. One was Satan I, like the Giger piece, but a misconception or re- pronunciation thus pronouncing the name as Satan, I. I as in me and not the roman number one. One early name suggestion was Crucifier, but there are of course a dozen bands with that name. So I thought of an alternative spelling and wanted something with an Anglo and medieval feel to it. You know kind of an NWOBHM wibe to it, like Witchfynde or something, that kind of spelling. So I came up with Crucifyre. Cruci being derived from Crucifix and fire spelt fyre being the old Scottish spelling. Thus the meaning of the name changed from someone who crucifies to cross of fire or a cross that is burning. The logo was designed by Urban. He’s done a lot of logos and artwork for bands over the years. The most famous example is probably the Dark Funeral logo. Erik who’s also done a lot of stuff did the cross.
What other bands are members of Crucifyre involved with? You seem to be a very busy bunch!
Doltz, Urban and Erik are involved in other bands. Me and TG stay faithful only to Crucifyre.
How active are you guys as a live band? Have you only played within Sweden so far or have you managed to play elsewhere in the Nordic countries or in Europe? What can people expect from a Crucifyre live show?
We are as active as we can be. We are looking for management to help matters getting gigs. On an average we play twice a year in Stockholm. Except for Stockholm and some other towns and cities in Sweden we have played Denmark and Finland. We are looking at tour possibilities with some other killer Swedish bands. You can expect satanic auditory terror at intense volume from our live show.
Have you got many live activities planned? Any tours? Are there any places in particular you would like to reach and play outside of Sweden/Scandinavia?
We would like to play Europe and the UK (let’s talk about that Kat!). Anywhere really where their might be a decent turn out of not so decent metalheads.
Yasin you are involved with a film documentary called "Så Jävla Metal", please tell us about that and how it came together?.
“Så Jävla Metal” means So Damn, fucking or bloody metal in Swedish and it tells the story of the history of Swedish hard rock and heavy metal. It’s a project that took me five years to make and features more that 40 Swedish bands and artists in metal – Europe, Yngwie Malmsteen, Entombed, Candlemass, Bathory the whole lot really. It has been very well
received and will be the official selection of at least one international film festival. I can not mention it yet though as their program still is unofficial.
What are your plans for the near future?
We are working on our new album and will play here and there, some festivals in Sweden and possibly abroad.
How can people contact you, hear your stuff, buy merch etc..the last words are yours, many thanks for answering my questions!
Thank you Kat for the interview and your thoughtful questions. You can contact us through our myspace.com/crucifyre or at our facebook page. We will have some new t-shirts soon. Watch out for our second album it will devastate your soul and rape your mind as we always do.