Tuesday, 30 July 2013


I got a message in my inbox on Facebook recently and I thought I recognised the sender Erik’s surname, the drummer in Swedish/Iceland based raw old school death metallers Under The Church, when I first glanced at who it had been mailed from. Soon enough I realised it was Erik Qvick the ex-drummer in legendary Swedish death metal pioneers Nirvana 2002 getting in touch with a link to music by his new band, which he’s formed together with ex-Nirvana 2002 bandmate Lars Henriksson. Musically and aesthetically the band are staying true to their old school death metal roots and they have recorded a few very fierce sounding songs, which should appeal to anyone who likes their death metal raw and stripped down to the bone and sounds like it could have been recorded in 1989/1990. They have a great mix of tempos from crawling doomed Autopsy sounding passages to all out ripping death. The band are generating quite a b
it of a buzz already it seems, not surprising given the members previous involvement in such a legendary band, so I thought it was the perfect time to grab ahold of Erik and ask him about his new project . This interview originally appeared on the Terrorizer magazine website in an edited form back in May and since that feature went online good old Fenriz made them a "band of the week" ( I had a feeling that might happen once he had heard their raw death metal onslaught!).

Hi Erik! When did the idea of forming a new band happen?

-Hi Kat, thank you for doing this interview! Well, the idea came after the final Nirvana2002 gigs in 2012,me and Lars started talking about playing together again, it was such a good vibe after playing together as Nirvana2002 that we wanted to do some more playing but as a new band and starting completely from scratch.

Did you have a clear idea of what style you wanted the new band to be in...what was the inspiration to form Under The Church with your old Nirvana 2002 band mate Lars?

- Not really, we didn´t have a set idea when we started but it didn´t take long until it sounded like Death Metal since it´s pretty much the only music that I can write, haha! We did however not want it to sound like Nirvana2002, that was maybe the only rule or limit that we decided on, we didn´t wanna do a "part 2 of Nirvana2002",  As far as inspiration it only took a case of beer and us playing some riffs back and forth to get the ball rolling. We just wanted to play raw Death Metal.

You recently recorded and uploaded a Demo which is available via bandcamp, how and where was this demo recorded since you moved to Iceland a little while ago, I guess that makes it kinda difficult for you and Lars to get together personally to rehearse and work on songs but in this modern internet age it is very easy to send music files etc back and forth across the world in a matter of seconds..Typically how is a UTC song born and then created?

- I just started coming up with alot of riffs on guitar and writing stuff in August last year, somehow it just clicked and soon I had pretty much written 10-12 complete tunes and then me and Lars started sending ideas between Iceland and Sweden. It didn´t take long to work out how we wanted the tunes to sound,thanks to the internet it´s not a problem working that way and by october we had 7 tracks that we felt were good enough to record. For the recording I was extremely picky about getting the right sound, I ended up tracking the drums at a studio here in Reykjavik that only records Dub and Reggae, which was perfect because the engineer had absolutely no clue about recording drums for metal, haha! The last thing I wanted was the superclean and protools gridded sound because that´s not the way I sound when I play, we then recorded guitars and bass in Sweden around christmas. We added vocals in april this year and then we made a little bandcamp page to send around.

Please tell the readers what to expect from this demo and the music in your own words

- It´s Death Metal, no more or less ,it´s as simple as that

What is your intention with this demo, any plans to have it released in a physical form...do you hope it will lead to an album deal of somekind? The response I have seen from people online so far seems to be VERY positive and welcoming!

-Yeah, the response so far has been very good...at first I just put up the bandcamp page to have something to send to friends, but that backfired when so many of them started sending the links to people and friends of friends ,so after a while we had make it a "official" page. We will probably have some tapes for sale late may, we´re getting patches and tshirts made as well because we want people to look good for summer y´know? My guess is that by autumn we should be able release some more music,don´t know yet if it´ll be vinyl or what not.

Do you have much new material in the pipeline? Any plans to do any new recordings in the not too distant future?

- Yeah, we have 7 tracks already recorded and we working on finishing another 4-5 tracks, maybe we´ll be able to record them sometime this summer.

Why the band name Under The Church?

Actually the name comes from Jörgen "Sigge" Sigfridsson, I nicked it from him in 1988! . Jörgen was to say the least a very influential character in the early swedish thrashscene, he had a zine in the late 80´s and also later the label that released the Nirvana2002 7" split...he was the main reason why I started my own fanzine Hang´em high, I figured "...if he can do it,how hard can it be?" hehe! I remember one time talking to him on the phone discussing bandnames and he said "Under The Church, that´s a cool name for a band!", the name stuck with me through the years and it´s a little tip of the hat from me to him....he really opened up the whole scene with tapetrading,fanzines and demos for me by sending alot of stuff for me check out. 

Your music sounds classically old school, what bands shape and influence the sound of UTC? I love the mix of tempos too from slow crawling Autopsy style doomed passages to uptempo ripping Swedeath parts.

- The inspiration is the usual suspects: Venom,Motörhead,Bathory,early Slayer,early Death,Autopsy,Sadus,Repulsion,Master..that kind of stuff...last summer I also had a huge Accept period listening to all the records up to Russian Roulette, that had a impact on my guitar playing as well, not writing wise per se but just by playing Wolf Hoffmann riffs I discovered alot about the guitar.

The artwork for your demo looks typically old school and quite rough looking..is it very important to you to have that old school vibe asthetically aswell as musically?

- I don´t wanna call it old school since I don´t want it to come across like just a like a retro thing but you´re spot on that the aesthetics of old Death Metal is something that´s close to my heart, haha! I specifically wanted that ugly,nasty look and Fannar who did the artwork did a perfect job. I did the logo and yes, it´s your typical Nihilist style logo but it works.  

What do you think of the resurgence and renewed interest in old school style death metal again in recent years? Any newer old school style bands that have caught your attention? Why do you think this style of music has become so popular again when old school style death metal bands couldn't get arrested back in the late 90s/turn of the 2000's!!!?!

-Hard to say really. I can only speculate, it could be that since every genre forms it´s essence in the beginning so to speak, maybe people got tired of bands taking the music too far away from what the original idea was all about? Of course styles evolve and progress but there´s also the possibility of the music then getting watered out. The main thing I noticed personally is that many are getting tired of the superclean and overpolished sound of contemporary metal, it´s strange because all those great tools that should help musicians and enhance modern recordings actually weakens the overall sound and becomes a crutch for bands and musicians. Triggering,Amp modeling,Autotune,Beatdetective, all those tools that should make a recording sound really tight and crushing far too often works in the opposite way. Voivods "War and Pain" has still today one of the heaviest drumsounds i've heard! I´ve been out of the loop as far as keeping up with new bands for a long time, but "current" bands that I dig are Tormented,Bombs Of Hades,Bastard Priest and Bölzer. I also really liked the Death Breath records, Nicke is a musical genius.

Lyrically where do you draw the inspiration from for the lyrics?

Horrormovies,HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe....again, the usual stuff.

Describe the band in 5 words only!

Death from Under The Church!

Is there any bands to play live at some point with this band or will it remain a studio/recording orientated band? I think this stuff would be killer in a live environment!

- We´re definitely gonna play live, that´s actually the main reason why we started the band...we don´t have a fully fledged lineup yet though, so far it´s just me and Lars but our friend Mik Annetts have been kind enough to help us out with vocals on the first demo we did, Mik is from Australia and was a part of the early Aussie deathmetal scene, he´s a great guy and he understand this style as well so it´s a match made in hell! As for now we´re just concentrating on finishing the recorded material but hopefully we´ll be ready to do some gigs later this year with a full lineup of the band.

If you compare the death metal scene now to that of late 80s/early 90s what are the fundemental differences that you notice? Anything you prefer and really miss about the old days?

- The main difference is that today there´s like 10 million bands! There´s just a insane amount of bands now and the mainstream Metalscene is huge. The paradox with all that is that I don´t hear enough diversity,but that however goes for all styles and genres of music today. Now I might sound like a grumpy old guy but that´s the cold hard truth. In the 90s the scene was small and one might think that made it very polarized but listening to that stuff today it comes across as very vital and diverse.

I think that people who are now discovering the old scene might be baffled at first...it´s almost like ...Ok, lets say that you're really into Blues...but image if you have only listened to John Mayer trio and then one day you discover Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers, you would probably at first go "wtf is this!?, sloppy playing,strange solos?" but then you would start to hear the energy and the genuine vibe from Hounddog and be knocked out by it because up until then you've never heard anything like it! You can transfer that kind of analogy into todays metal and use, say...Nile as John Mayer trio and Repulsion as The houserockers and get a similar result.

I´m definitely not saying that it was all better back then and all new bands like Nile are crap, there's a risk with the whole nostalgia thing of getting too romantic about how things really were in the early deathmetal scene. Gustav Mahler said "Don't pray to the ashes,pass on the fire" and to me that's the essence if anything about the old scene, I´m not stuck in the year 1991 y´know but there was a passion and fire then that we want to tap into as a band.

What are your thoughts on the ability to seemingly promote bands much easier via the modern internet/social networking ways?

- Good question,its great to easy be able to get in contact with people, I however don´t participate in any forums or that kind of thing,I just don´t have the time.

Inevitable question here...Is Nirvana 2002 now officially dead and buried and will never be resurrected or....? What are your thoughts on the response to the Relapse compilation/remaster CD of the old demos etc...also how was it to play MDF in USA? The reunion activity didn't seem to last so long..was that the intention anyway?

- We´ve nailed that coffin shut and it looks like it´s for good. But it was great to be able to do those reunion gigs since we never played live when the band was active back in the days, the Relapse compilation went really well, I think it actually sould out. Maryland Deathfest was fun but very chaotic but that´s usually the deal playing festivals, short set,lots of technical problems but we pushed through and I think it went ok,I still haven´t seen the movie though, MDF Part 2? I got to finally meet Chris Reifert though so I´m happy.

What were you doing mostly in the days after the band split up? And how does it feel to be creating new music again all these years later? Do you feel a renewed sense of energry and inspiration to create some new old school vibes again?!!

- Well, when Nirvana2002 called it quits in 1991 I went to music conservatory for an awful long time studying drums and percussion and then I just started playing in a shitload of different projects and bands around Scandinavia and Europe.Those years at musicschool are in hindsight very weird and I got confused musically for many years. My main problem is that I like to play so many styles and genres of music, it can be quite schizophrenic sometimes but the past 20 something years i´ve been a "professional musician" making my living playing and touring all kinds of music,the time at Conservatory wasn´t all bad though, I learned alot and had a great time. Funny enough, Vvornth from Bathory was also studying at the same school for the four years I was there! It was mindblowing hearing him tell stories about Bathory and Quorthon.It´s good to be in a band again, I don´t think we are doing anything "new" in that sense with Under The Church, it´s just Death Metal.

 Thanks for answering this small interview Erik, please feel free to add anything/post links to where people can listen to your music etc...

Thanks alot for the interest, feel free to check out some tunes over at http://underthechurch.bandcamp.com or www.facebook.com/UnderTheChurch.

Thursday, 11 July 2013


FOR FANS OF: Bathory, 13, Amebix, Axegrinder, Gallhammer
LATEST RELEASE: Demo 2012 (self released)
I first heard all female band SaturninE late last year after a friend got hold of their demo for me. It blew me away and never left my stereo for quite a few weeks, these ladies play very heavy blackened crusty sludge doom and have been creating a bit of a buzz on the scene in recent months, which attracted the interest of long running American label Razorback Records who signed the band to their roster for the release of their debut album. I sent some questions to the band and bassist Jex kindly answered them

Hails! Please give me a quick band history and also tell me who
currently does what in the band?

Jex, Laura and Angelica were friends and decided to start a band. They were seeking for 2 guitarist, and finally Silvia and Giulia joined the band. SaturninE started to reharse at the end of 2010. At the end of 2011 a self-titled demo has been released. During november 2012, Silvia left the band and has been replaced by Elvira. The collaboration with Elvira didn't last long: Samantha joined the band in march 2013. So the current line up is:
Jex: bass; Laura: vocals; Giulia and Samantha: guitars; Angelica: drums.

I recently got hold of a copy of your Demo 2012 which really impressed me, the songs are very well structured and I just love your style of crusty blackened doom/sludge - please tell the readers abit about this demo in your own words and how they can get ahold of it.

The recording sessions of the demo started in late 2011, and the whole work has been concluded in february 2012. Everything has been recorded and mixed by our friend Adam, who did a great work: he knew how we wanted to sound and the result he achieved has fully satisfied us. 
It's a 7 tracks demo which includes also a Bathory cover. It's possible to listen  the demo in streaming from Bandcamp                                                                        ( http://saturninewitches.bandcamp.com ). It has been released as CD and Tape, you can order a copy by writing to saturnine666@ymail.com .

What has the overall response been like to the demo so far? Have you had much feedback from zines/mags or websites as far as reviews go? Are you satisfied overall with how the recording turned out? The production is great...where did you record it at?

The overall feedback was very good. As we previously said, all the credits for the production should be given to Adam. He mixed the demo at his own studio ( SFR ) and the result was a blast to us: we love it!
The band logo and artwork are also quite striking - who designed those?
Angelica has been inspired by the movie ''Haxan'' and told the band about it. Then we all agreed to use that picture for the demo. The logo has been created by Angelica and Jex.

Did you form an all female band on purpose or did it just turn out
that way, you know a bunch of girlfriends into the same kind of music wanting to play and jam music together? Did you all know each other before the band was formed?

3 of us (Jex, Laura and Angelica) were friends before starting the band. The other girls were initially acquaintances, met during gigs and generally in the diy scene, and of course now we are all friends. We didn't want men in our witch sabbath... ahahahah! 

Please tell us about the band name and it's meaning?

 “ Saturnine “ comes from a song of the album ‘’ Witchcult Today’’ by Electric Wizard - but it also recalls the darkest aspect connected to Saturn planet…the dark side of everything around us which has a certain affinity with our sound, gloomy and melancholic

I read that the demo attracted some interest from respected American label Razorback Records, how did they get to hear the band music and become interested in signing you?

They heard one of our tracks from the  compilation “ The women of Doom “, which also contains a track from Wooden Stake, the band of Vanessa and Billy Nocera. A couple of weeks after the release of the demo, they offered us the possibility to produce our upcoming full length. 

When can we expect the debut album from SaturninE? Do you have much new material written for it?

The plan was to release the album before the summer, but this hasn't been possible due to the problems we had with the previous guitarists (Silvia and Elvira). We have a new guitarist, Samantha, since march 2013 and we are completing the  tracks for the full length and playing some shows in the meanwhile. If things will continue to go this good, by the end of the summer the album will be ready. 

What is the songwriting process like for you girls? Is there always a
certain way a song is born and is a certain member always the one who first brings a song into life and then you all work on it collectively?!

Every song is the result of a different songwriting process. There is no a standard way that we follow. Usually one of us comes up with an idea and we all together participate in developing it. The important thing is that we all should agree in the final version of the song, so we must find a balance between our tastes – which is not always so easy, because each of us comes from a different musical background. But in the end we always find the balance and when this happen, a song can be considered “done”.

How active is SaturninE as a live band? Do you play locally and around your home country a lot? Have you done much touring or playing outside of Italy yet? I know you recently did a short mini tour of England - how was that experience for you? Please tell us your thoughts about those 3 shows here. What can people expect from a SaturninE live show?

We play in gigs since summer 2011 and we often play in north and center of Italy. For what concerns playing abroad we did a mini tour in England with three gigs (London, in Bradford and Bristol). It was an amazing experience ‘cause people were really into our music and they showed a lot of support to us. Last week we also did a mini tour: Udine (Italy), Vienna (Austria) and Treviso (Italy). It was our first mini tour with the new line up and we had a lot of fun together. We never played in those places before and it was amazing, especially in Vienna: playing abroad is always so exciting... different from playing in your own country. We love both, though.
What can people expect from Saturnine? Come to a gig and you’ll see! 

Lyrically what are your influences? What makes you want to put pen to paper?

Laura has many influences, for instance the horrors of war and the mental disease that it provoke or the illusion of religion and its stupid moral. But you can read also about nightmares or feelings of oppression.
Musically what shapes and fuels the sound of SaturninE?

As I said previously, all of us have a different musical background: each of us listen to different genres. Would be impossible to make a complete list of all the bands we love, but for sure we can name some: Amebix, Axegrinder, Saint Vitus, Electric Wizard, Celtic frost, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Death, Slayer, Black Sabbath.

You did a GREAT Bathory cover on the demo why did you choose this song and have you done or will you do anymore covers? What does Bathory's music mean to you -why is it so special?

Bathory is one of the few bands which all the 5 of us love, so that's the reason why we choose it. In the upcoming album there will be also a new cover, not from Bathory though.

Describe SaturninE in 5 words only!

Jex – Julia – Laura – Angelica – Samantha. Ahahahah :)

What is your local scene like both venuewise and bandwise? Any cool
local bands you care to mention?

The area of Bologna is full of amazing bands and with some of those we are also friends, for example Horror Vacui, Kontatto, Cancer Spreading, Black Temple Below, Bland Vargar, Undead Creep, Children of Technology – but the problem of the local scene is the lack of places to play in... 

There seems to be quite a few female fronted bands/all female fronted bands in the extreme music scene now which can only be a good thing - are there any other bands with female members that you feel an affinity or bond with both musically and attitude wise?

In Italy the issue about female musicians is kind of controversial: from one hand, there are people who complain about the fact that often girls don't know how to play an instrument; but on the other hand when people see girls playing, they complain because they say you are having “ success “ just because you are a girl. Luckily not all the people think this way, but unfortunately we often met this kind of stupid and contradictory people. 
We know a couple of bands with female musicians that share the same attitude of us: Agatha and Horrow Vacui for example. We are friends and attend the same kind of events in here.

What is your opinion on

A/ the current doom/sludge scene
B/ the current crust punk scene
C/ the current Italian extreme music scene

A) The doom/sludge scene is growing, there are a lot of listeners, but still it's a niche scene because is not that “easy” to listen. Even if it's small, the level of italian doom/sludge scene is very high: we can mention amazing bands like Black Oath, Doomraiser, Grime , Tons, Funeral Marmoori, Gum, Black Temple Below, Naga, Fangtooth..
B) The crust punk scene is not in a good moment unfortunately... but we can't complain too much because at least here in Bologna gigs are organized often, but the main problem is the lack of places to play in... there are few squat and a lot of clubs and pubs, but this situation is all over Italy, not only in Bologna.... and another problem is that many people attend only the big venues instead of supporting local bands.
C) We are in love with extreme music, is part of our life and we can't live without. We are playing our own interpretation of the extreme.

Thanks for answering this short interview! Please tell us about
websites, merch etc..the last words are yours!

So, if you want to be updated about SaturninE you have just to like our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SaturninE/122895697798357?fref=ts you can even order our merch from there.
Thank you so much for this interview: questions are very interesting and it was nice for us to answer. We made you wait a lot for this interview... sorry for that, we really want to apologize. We've been DOOM even in answering... ahahaha!
Thanks again!