Being active with Paganizer mainly and many other projects, Rogga Johansson seems can’t stop writing music, this year, Paganizer got a new album entitled as Land Of Weeping Souls. But here I had an interview with Rogga himself, who he have talked about the new Paganizer album, he also mentioned about his solo album which was same released this year, entitled as Garpedans, more, he talked about his collaboration with Master’s mastermind, Paul Speckmann and their plan to release a new album for their project Johansson & Speckmann soon, and many other stuffs related to Rogga and his music.
Hi Rogga, first of all thank you accepting my interview, how are things going?
It’s going good! And thanx for the interview!
And then, Paganizer released a new album entitled as Land Of Weeping Souls. How the recordings went so far?
The recordings went very well, we did as usual and reheasred a month before and then recorded it. The only thing we did different this time is that the drummer recorded to a clikctrack, we never did that before but it worked well I think.
What is the theme of this album?
Oh it’s the same as always. Pretty much the ongoing stupidity of humanity, all the crap we do. But there are also more usual horror themes too, like zombies and other classic horror in some songs.
There are lot of solos on the album, do you play them? More, are you the only one that wrote and composed the new album?
It’s Kjetil, our lead guitarist who plays them. He is new in the band, or new. Hes been with us a couple years now but only played before on a couple of our EP and mini album releases. I did compose the new album myself as usual, but Fiebig and Martin of corpse make their own parts on drums and bass, as then it always get more interesting I think.
Comparing with the latest releases, does the sund of LOWS is different, do you consider so?
Yes, as the last two albums are like 5 and 7 years old and have another drummer, so yes the new album is more back to the style we had maybe 10-15 years ago when Fiebig was playing also in the band on drums, so it’s a great return for him to the band if you ask me.
But you are damn active to say so, before the new release and the latest full-lenght that was released in 2013, you’ve released several EP’s, you can’t stop wrtting new music, hehe!
Haha yes indeed, we like to do stuff, often splits and EP’s and mini albums. We have our own rehearsal space and a little studio, so it’s easy to jam and make what we like. And we like to write music, so we do what we want really haha.
Which is your favorite Paganizer release, what album do you consider that is the best you recorded?
Hmmm, I think mybe Dead Unburied is the best one. Maybe because it’s the best songs and we got to record it in Sunlight Studios. I don’t know, but that album is special to me, it’s a killer album I think.
Now, tell me about the project Johannson & Speckman. I had an interview months ago with Paul and he mentioned that soon will be a new album from both of you, is it so?
I love Paul! He’s one of the greatest guys I know, a legend and very good friend, very down to earth. We try to do some very simple basic death metal together and I think what we do is great and yes, we are doing a new album now! I actually finished my parts a while ago and now the drummer in Norway is recording his stuff, I just sent today to Paul the 2nd song, and I think this is going to be the coolest album of them all, more diverse and more different stuff on it, but still very heavy and death metal as hell.
How is it to work with Paul, you know, one of those from the death metal elite, hehe.
It’s very easy haha! We met once only, way back in like 20 years ago soon, but for this project we just talk about it. But its easy, I write music and Paul do lyrics and vocals, and we seem to have it very simple to wrok together, it goes fast and easy haha. Paul is one of the greatest guys I know really.
You have released a solo album too, this year actually, tell me more about it.
Haha yes, Garpedans it’s called. Actually the songs were meant for a Demiurg album, but then we decided to not do more Demiurg. So basically I finished the material, and decided to do it as a solo thing, and I think it turned out great. Brynjar and Johan from Grotesquery plays on it too, and I think it’s a great album. Garpedans is actually the monutain where Gamlbey is located at the foot of, so it’s a folklore album in a way, but with a twist on the story, check it out if you want your death metal to be filled with a concept!
The influences and inspiration subject, what are your 5 favorite metal bands/albums, would you say bands like Obituary, Deicide, Master and other death metal bands are your influences or take them as Paganizer influences?
I would say my main ones would be Massacre, Edge of Sanity, Grave, Furbowl, Hypocrisy. Benediction, BOlt Thrower, But many more ofcorpse, no one can deny the importance of such huge acts like Entombed or Cannibal Corpse and many more. But those mentioned are the most ones for me I think.
Paganizer is to say the main band you are active with, but you are active with a lot of other bands, as said earlier, you are damn active haha!
Haha yes, but Paganizer is the band I play live with, and Paganizer has been active since 1994 too, when we formed as Terminal Grip. So most other stuff I do is more projects, its a thing to release all the songs that are written I guess haha.
How can you handle so many bands and projects and being that active?
What a thing to ask haha, I don’t know haha! It’s easy really haha.
For fun, do you see yourself not being musically active for 1 week at least? And when you are not into the music stuff, what do you like to do in your free time, what hobbies do you have, job?
Oh actually I have two kids and two dogs and a wife haha, so I can be free from music easy for a week, but the music is always in the head I guess haha. Hobbies are drinking beer haha, and I like movies and food, I love grilling, bbq stuff. But music is the thing I think most of besides my family.
Speaking about death metal, the Swedish death metal scene is well known in the metal area, yesterday I’ve seen Diabolical live, and to coonect it a bit with my dad said, these ”death metal bands are heavy, combining melodic and doom elements too, really know how to do music’’, what can you say about Paganizer, how have you evolved all these years?
I don’t know really, we always have had the crust and thrash riffs, in our death metal. We love bands like Disfear and Driller Killer too, and we often like to have variety, like melodic too. But yeah I think variety is the way to go, but in Paganizer I think we have had a good concept from the first days to use a bit here and there from all stuff we like oursleves.
How do you see death metal nowadays, an opinion, in general, some bands, same as you, can live from the music are you doing these days?
Death metal is doing great! Lots of good bands, both old and new! But if you wanna live from the music, you gotta play live all the time haha. Thats how you make money, from gigs and merch, no money left to get from selling CD’s or so. It’s very sad but that’s how it is.
Well then, I hope to see you on stage one day and also to meet you. Thank you again Rogga for this nice and interesting interview, it was my pleasure. Stay metal!
Thanx! Stay metal also haha!