Black Metal, Crust Punk, Interviews, Metal, News, Punk

Dödsrit – Mortal Coil (Interview)

(Upcoming) Album:Mortal Coil
Genre:Black Metal / Crust
Country:Sweden / Netherlands
Release Date:28th of May, 2021
Released viaWolves of Hades
Cover Artwork ©Dödsrit, 2021

There are a few bands in our team that converge the major share of the opinions of almost all authors – one of which definitely is Dödsrit. Thus, a lot of us grew increasingly interested in the upcoming release when it was announced and the discourse about this band came up a lot again. In order to find out some more about the upcoming album, I had the opportunity to ask the band a few questions.

Interview with Dödsrit

Greetings Dödsrit and thank you right in the beginning for taking some time to answer our questions. During these crazy times, I hope that all of you are healthy in the first place, since this seems to be the most valuable factor nowadays. How are you doing currently and what is the general situation like in Sweden / the Netherlands?

G.M: Hi Roman, Thanks for your time as well! We’re doing OK despite the dire time we’re in.

Most of us are living a bit isolated and not paying much attention to what’s happening since there seems to be a never-ending uncertainty on how this is going to develop in the coming months. Luckily Christoffer is living in quite an isolated area, so he’s not really noticing much from the social distancing, considering it’s something he’s been doing for years hahaha, but for us in Amsterdam it’s a bit more different since we were used to the city always being busy, as well as always something happening.

Just in case that we have readers who are still new to Dödsrit – when did you start making music, from what project(s) did you emerge and what is Dödsrit about?

C.O: Dödsrit started out in 2017 after Totem Skin disbanded. Geor and I have been friends for quite some time. I’ve got to know him through my former band Totem Skin, of which he released some cassette versions of our albums on his label, as well as frequently booked shows for us in Amsterdam. One thing we both noticed straight away when we met and started to talk was that music was the most important aspect of our lives and of course shared quite a similar taste in bands. Especially when it comes down to Raw Punk. Dödsrit represents catharsis. I guess that’s the best way I could put it into words.

I really hate instantly diving in with linking this interview to the global pandemic, but the most obvious question for us regarding the fact of your upcoming release “Mortal Coil” was if the pandemic / lockdown situation in Sweden / the Netherlands affected your songwriting and recording process positively or negatively – or to any extent at all.

G.M: It’s actually quite a good question! I guess it affected our songwriting both positively and negatively. Even though quite a lot of material was already written in 2019, we tried to stay creative by still sharing riffs/ideas and sending pre-productions I made at home back and forth through email, which we also already did before the pandemic. Once we thought we had the album “ready” I flew into Sweden to record these together with Christoffer at Alexander’s apartment, and see if the compositions were good enough to be considered the follow-up album. For recording, we took a bit of a gamble since we still had to fly in Christoffer to Amsterdam, and us not being sure if there would be a lockdown or not, but in the end, it turned out all fine.

Probably the biggest change when comparing your upcoming release to your last album “Spirit Crusher” is the fact that you changed from being a solo project to becoming a full band (pretty much right after having released “Spirit Crusher”). Were there plans right from the beginning of Dödsrit to eventually arrive at a full line-up for live sets or was the forming of a band an aspect that came to your mind due to any experiences?

C.O: There were no initial plans on turning this into a full band, but after a while I guess I started missing playing music with other people.

Did you actively start looking for band members that might be fitting line-up additions or did you rather end up instantly knowing who to ask in order to join Dödsrit?

G.M: Christoffer basically asked me to get a band together in Amsterdam, and since me and Jelle have been playing music together in multiple bands for over 10 years it simply made sense to ask him to play bass. For drums I did ask around to some friends and ended up getting in contact with Brendan through my friend Evio, who plays together with him in Morvigor.

Were there any members that you thought might introduce productive influences because of any other band projects they participate in?

C.O: Geor and I have a very strong synergy when it comes to writing music together, so you can consider that a positive influence. but it wasn’t per se because of his past bands, but rather because of his skills.

Would you be so kind as to briefly introduce the new members and from where we might know them already? If possible, they can surely also introduce themselves here!

Georgios Guitar/Vocals (Destructo, Mutilation Altar, Nuclear Devastation, Verwoed (live), Vitamin X (live), ex-Devoured Elysium)

Jelle Bass (Destructo, Nuclear Devastation, Ainsoph (live) )

BrendanDrums (Morvigor, Ainsoph (live) )

What are the major changes you experienced regarding your songwriting when looking at writing an album with a band instead of writing all by yourself?

C.O: One of the changes/benefits I experienced ever since Dödsrit became a full line-up is getting honest feedback and ideas from the other members. I have to admit that sometimes this can also feel a bit like a predicament when people disagree on an idea, but in those cases, we usually try to find a middle ground.

When taking into consideration that some of your members live in the Netherlands and others have their home in Sweden, how (when not regarding the pandemic) do you proceed when you start songwriting? Does everyone start with individual ideas at some point and eventually you come together or do you exchange with current song projects?

G.M: Since it’s only Christoffer and me who write all the music, we just send ideas/riffs back & forth and try to puzzle them together. Once we have a song done we record a demo version which we share with the rest to get some feedback.

What do you feel is more difficult when writing a Dödsrit album, upholding a Black Metal sound while playing Crust or vice versa?

G.M: We just play what we think sounds fitting. we’re not actively trying to chase a certain sound. If we feel a composition makes sense, we just proceed with it.

The first Dödsrit full-length was released via Alerta Antifascista Records, the second one via Prosthetic Records and this one is going to be released via Wolves of Hades – are there any background thoughts that had you switch the labels?

C.O: We personally felt it would be for the best if we released the new album under our own label since our guitarist is the person behind Wolves of Hades. Since Timo / Alerta Antifascista has always been a close friend of the band, we decided to still work together with him, hence why he also had an “Alerta Antifascista Version” of the new LP in his store.

Alerta Antifascista Records pressing of “Mortal Coil” available here

Were there any specific releases you listened to during the time between “Spirit Crusher” and “Mortal Coil” that might have influenced certain aspects of this album?

G.M: The music we were listening to around that time wasn’t exactly a direct (audible) influence. I was listening to a lot to Pygmy Lush and Giles Corey, but also to X (Japan) and Syphiltic Vaginas (best/worst band name ever haha) I think Christoffer was listening around that time a lot to Public Acid, Geld, Ajax and Warthog, which I guess also aren’t exactly audible either haha. However, two albums that really stood out for us during the writing of Mortal Coil were Worsen – Cursed to Witness Life and Vanum – Ageless Fire.

When directly comparing to “Spirit Crusher,” the production on “Mortal Coil” audibly changed towards a wider-ranged and comparably more Black Metal sound. Was this the product of changing the studio or sound engineer or did you intend to work towards a sound like that? 

G.M: We didn’t really aim for a specific sound, but did decide to record at E-sound Studio’s in The Netherlands since they have quite an amazing array of vintage microphones, outboard gear, and such. Also, I has been recording there for ages, so know my way around the studio.

For mixing, we decided to stick with our friend Alexander, since he always delivers amazing results. And for Mastering, we asked Jack Shirley, since we felt he would be the perfect person for it since I’m familiar with his work, and had a great experience working together with him on the Ainsoph debut LP.

Is there a broader lyrical concept that can be found on “Mortal Coil”? If so, what is it about? If not, are there any themes that follow the listener on several tracks of the album?

G.M: I wouldn’t say there is exactly a “concept” in the sense that it follows the listener as if it was a story, but the lyrics do all have one thing in common, which is strife and suffering. Hence why we call this album “a eulogy to a dying world in flames” and felt “Mortal Coil” would be a fitting title.

Both “Dödsrit” as well as “Spirit Crusher” clearly show the distant vista of a certain natural forest setting, yet the upcoming cover shows a view from inside a forest – does this difference showcase a development of the band?

G.M: It’s quite an interesting way of seeing it, but no. We wanted to portray the forlorn and despair of our music with a piece of art that also depicts the place where we feel most home. hence why we keep bringing back elements of nature in our artwork.

This is probably not the best question during these days but I have to ask – what are your future plans especially regarding live sets when all this fucked up shit (yep, sorry for that, stored emotions) starts fading?

G.M: We’ll just continue playing as we did in the past. no tour plans are set in stone yet, aside from a few festival/gigs which were postponed due to the pandemic. Hopefully, once all this is over we can start looking into gigs again.

Thank you so much for taking your time answering our questions – we are very keen on eventually holding this release in our hands. This is your chance to finish this interview with final words of your choice.

G.M: Kawakami & Randy Uchida Forever

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