The Lowdown: Interview with Entrails

By ajcolores

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Entrails are a Swedish death metal band who despite being seen as rising stars and newcomers on the scene, have a surprisingly long history with its roots set firmly in the early days of the revered Swedish death metal scene. Their founder and only original member Jimmy Lundqvist formed the band as far back as 1990, around the time when pioneers of that Swedish sound such as Entombed and Dismember were still in their infancy. Whereas those bands went on to become legends, Entrails were never happy with their original recordings and eventually decided to call it a day after just a few years in the game.

It wasn’t until years later, in 2008, when Lundqvist came across some of those early recordings and decided that those songs needed to be heard and so he set about re-recording them, playing all the guitar and bass parts himself and programming the drums in his home studio and putting together two demos, Reborn and Human Decay. These demos garnered the attention of fans of this ‘new’ band making classic Swedish death metal and so Lundqvist sought out new members Jocke Swensson (bass, vocals) and Adde Mitroulis (drums) and Mathias Nilsson (guitar) with whom he recorded three full length albums Tales from the Morgue, The Tomb Awaits and last year’s critically acclaimed Raging Death. Nilsson was this year replaced, Pontus ‘Penki’ Samuelsson on second guitar.

And so here we are today, at Manchester’s celebration of extreme metal, F.O.A.D Fest with Entrails being one of the most hotly anticipated acts of the weekend. I was originally due to do the interview with the band in the early afternoon, before their set, however only Jimmy was available due to the fact that the rest of the boys had gone off in search of Manchester’s Brew Dog pub, so instead we decided to have a chat and a few beers after their triumphant and brutal set.

Altsouds: So guys, you just played your show at FOAD. How was it?

Jocke: I think it went really well. London was also cool last night.

Altsounds: So you’ve had a good time since you’ve been in the UK?

Jocke: Yeah it’s been really good so far. Oxford awaits too so who knows. I think our London show was our best show ever.

Altsounds: Your best show ever? Wow.

Jocke: I feel that way at least.
Jimmy: One of them anyway.
Jocke: Yeah, it was really fucking good.

Altsounds: What made it so good?

Jocke: The connection with the audience, the tightness. Everything just felt right.

Altsounds: Have you done many of these all day festivals like FOAD in the UK before?

Jocke: Only in Germany. This is our first time in the UK.

Altsounds: Ah OK. And what do you think of it so far?

Adde: We haven’t really seen much of it yet.
Jimmy: It’s way more easy to understand the people.

Altsounds: Haha. And you spent the day in the pub today too right?

Jocke: Yeah. That is England for me. I had to check it out. But yeah we haven’t seen much as we’d like to. Straight from the Airport to the venue and then slept and then came up here.

Altsounds: Are you going to stick around for the rest of the festival tonight or do you have to get travelling down to your show in Oxford?

Jimmy: No we are leaving at 11am tomorrow.
Jocke: Yeah so we’re going to stay here tonight. I think there is an after party somewhere.

Altsounds: Yeah I think that should be cool. Are there any other bands on tonight that you are looking forward to seeing?

Jocke: Orange Goblin, but I think we might have missed them.

Altsounds: No you’re in luck, there are a couple more bands on and then they are playing.

Jocke: Oh cool. I would like to see Winterfylleth but they’re on tomorrow and we have to go so we won’t be able to.

Altsounds: Yeah, you’ll be in Oxford by the time they play. So, I was looking into your band and I noticed that you originally formed back in the 90’s but then called it a day. Why did you decided to start doing Entrails again?

Adde: (points to Jimmy) He did.
Jocke: Yeah he did. We leave now. He talks (laughs)
Jimmy: Well I found the old tapes in my closet so I listened to them and started thinking “why not record them again?” So I recorded them on this computer I had but I wanted more so I decided to get a full band.

Altsounds: Didn’t you do it with just a drum machine at first?

Jimmy: Yeah the first demos were with a drum machine. I couldn’t find a drummer at that time and I didn’t know about Adde.
Jocke: He forced himself into the band.
Adde: Actually it’s true.
Jocke: We regret it to this day (laughs).
Adde: No but me and Jocke play in Birdflesh together so when he told me that he is doing vocals for some guy’s recording I was like “OK, that’s cool”. It was some death metal out in the bush you know? So then he came with the album and I was like “What the hell is going on here? There is this kind of death metal nearby?” And I thought this is something we have to do something with so I said “If you need a drummer, I’m there.” So yeah, I forced myself into the band.

Altsounds: So how long have you been in the band now?

Adde: I started right after the first album was released in 2010.

Altsounds: Penki, you are the newest member. It must be pretty cool to join a band and straight away coming over to the UK to play shows and festivals?

Penki: Yeah of course. I have a few other bands but we have never really come out and played like this before so it’s great for me.

Altsounds: It must be a great experience. You guys are from a small town in Sweden called Lynnerid right?

Adde: That’s just Jimmy
Jimmy: Yeah it’s just a small town of five hundred people about thirty minutes from a bigger town where these guys are from.

Altsounds: Is that Stockholm?

Jocke: No it’s a town of about 70,000 people. It’s a huge city man (laughs).
Adde: It’s actually a city that is not close to any other big city you know.
Jocke: It’s two hours to Malmo, two hours to Gothenburg, five hours to Stockholm…

Altsounds: Do you think the place where you’re from and that isolation has an effect on the music?

Jocke: Yeah the grimness and the fact that we have nothing else to do.

Altounds: And you’ve got that very typical Stockholm sound – especially in the guitar tone.

Jimmy: Even from the beginning people thought Carnage were from Stockholm even though only the drummer was from there. Then they became Dismember.
Jocke: But since then nothing with our sound has come from our town since 1992 to it’s a breath of fresh air.

Altsounds: And it seems to be going down well with UK fans. When I was stood with Jimmy at your merch stall before the interview there were plenty of people coming up and buying T-shirts and I’ve heard a lot of people say that they came down today especially to see you guys play.

Jocke: I think it’s music to absorb. Other bands they grind all the time with not much structure.
Jimmy: Ours is more catchy.
Jocke: Yeah we have slow parts, fast parts, groove and catchiness. So I think it’s easy to absorb.

Altsounds: Cool. Now we’ve obviously talked a bit about Swedish death metal, but for you what are your favourite things about being Swedish apart from its long metal history?

Jocke: I like the nature, the scenery.
Jimmy: It’s so quiet.
Adde: There so much forests and lakes and stuff. You’re amazed that it’s such a long country and there are only 9 million people which is crazy when you think about it. And then you think about all the bands that come from Sweden… it’s a strange thing I think. But I’d say landscapes and nature.

Altsounds: Have you ever tried the really smell fish thing you guys have?

Adde: Surströmming? Sour herring. I’m too scared to try it.
Jocke: I would like to try it because I think it smells so bad that it’s actually good and if you do it right with potato and crème fresh and thin bread.
Adde: You have to do it right so you hide the taste which is really odd. Why eat something if you have to hide the taste of it?
Jocke: My ex-girlfriend’s dad was from up north, he grew up with the stuff and he actually thinks it smells good!

Altsounds: Really? Wow

Jocke: I know. But yeah, Sweden is a really good place. From any city you can drive for like 10 minutes and out in the countryside by a lake or something.
Jimmy: And you won’t even meet anyone. You can be completely alone.
Adde: But we have a lot of bullshit rules as well you know. It’s not only good nature and cool bands. We have a lot of shit also. But that’s another story. Some stupid laws actually make you think that you are retarded. You’re not allowed to do certain things. Like you can’t take strong beer outside with you and you can’t buy beer until you’re twenty but you can vote and get sentenced to death when you’re 18. You’re an adult at 18 but you can’t buy liquor until you’re twenty. But at a restaurant you can. You can sit in a bar and get pissed but you’re not allowed to take beer home because they think you are not safe at home.

WATCH | Entrails - 'In Pieces'

Altsounds: That’s strange. Anyway, back to the band…

Jocke: No!(laughs)

Altsounds: You just put out your new album Raging Death. How is it different if at all to your other stuff?

Adde: Nothing. It’s just different riffs.
Jimmy: I think it’s the most groovy album and it has more sing along songs on it.

Altsounds: And you’re on Metal Blade now. How have things changed since you got yourself on a label?

Adde: There’s good stuff and bad stuff. We have to ask them before we do anything and we don’t own anything anymore. But they give us huge promotion and they are good guys. We kinda knew what we were in for before signing so you know… You know what to expect.

***At this point in the interview one of the FOAD promoters walks over to our table to congratulate the guys on their set…

Promoter: Mate that was fucking ace.
Jimmy: Thanks

Altsounds: We’re just doing an interview – do you have anything that you want to say about Entrails?

Promoter: It was fucking awesome! We stuck them on and stuff but yeah it was amazing. Sorry to interrupt by the way. (wanders off to the bar)

Altsounds: No it’s OK… So he was the guy who put you on the bill?

Jocke: Who ARE he?
Jimmy: He looks like the hobbit.
Adde: Wolf squits.

Altsounds: What’s that?

Jocke: That’s the title of our new album. Bushman Jim and Wolf Squits.

Altsounds: I think this may be a good time to wrap up.

Adde: Yeah I think we’re starting to go someplace else now (laughs)

Altsounds: Yeah it’s starting to get a bit silly. Thanks for chatting to me today, it’s been a pleasure.

Jocke: Thanks man. Do you want to stay and have a beer?

Altsounds: I think I might just do that!

Entrails - Raging Death is out now on Metal Blade Records

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