An interview I had with Klas Bohlin about Beseech. The Swedish Gothic band have released a new album entitled ‘’My Darkness, Darkness’’. Check out.
Hej Klas, my pleasure talking to you, how things are going?
Hi Carla, things are fine, thanx for asking. Doing many interviews these days about the new album, so it feels great to be back with Beseech again. This time… it’s perhaps more Beseech than ever!
Beseech, Gothic metal band from Sweden. Make a summary about the band’s foundation.
Beseech was founded in our hometown Borås, Sweden in 1992 by me (guitar), Morgan Gredåker (drums) and Jörgen Sjöberg (vocals), three rookie teenagers with ambitions. Like most young bands we didn’t know much about the music industry, but still we wanted to get singed by a record label. Later on the same year, two friends joined the band and we entered the studio to recorded our first demo ”A lesser kind of evil” which became an introduction for Beseech to the underground scene. I really miss those times, it will never be the same again. Tapetrading, sending demos to fanzines with hopes to get reviews, but also all the great moments and memories from all the bands and friends we had the pleasure to get to know. Then in 1993 I got myself a songwriter partner for life, Robert Vintervind (guitar). Together me and Robert found a melancholic core, that made us quite different from other bands in our genre, not totally unique, but at least there was something. But… it took us until 1995 to finally get our first offer from a record label. Then there was years of struggling with several people involved, but in the end Metal Blade decided to sign us and they released our first album ”…from a bleeding heart” in 1998.
You came up with the 6th album this year entitled ”My Darkness, Darkness”. Talk about it.
The main theme in our lyrics for this album, is about the dark events that occurs in life, like losses, tragedies and diseases. Musically we have taken a step closer towards rock than metal. The music is still heavy and melancholic, but with glimpses of our past and the same characteristic Beseech atmosphere that can be heard on our early albums. Perhaps it is like a continuation to Souls Highway, but with a new fresh and vintage oriented sound. As you can see the old logo is back, but also the new artwork carries the same expression like in our early days.
Is this album different than the other Beseech’s releases?
It still sounds as a Beseech album, but like all Beseech albums, there’s been a few melancholic experiments going on. The long gap between the last and the new album is also a fact. During these 10 years we have developed a lot as individuals and musicians, but the most obvious changes comes with the new lineup. First, we have made space for the third generation of singers, which includes me and Angelina Sahlgren Söder behind the microphones. Together we have taken the vocals to another level with adding harmony vocals, in a way that we never have done before. Then we also have a new bass player/ producer Johan Örnborg, also known from the production team at Fascination Street Studios. Behind the drums we are also proud to have Håkan Carlsson, rounding up this new lineup with a more intense drum playing. So adding new members to the Beseech family, was something that me, Robert and Manne Engström (guitar) thought was necessary due to the new direction of Beseech. Another thing concerning our choices of new members, is that we wanted to choose people that we knew from before. So more or less, everyone has been involved in other music projects using StudioMega during the years when Beseech was put to rest.
What does the cover of the album is supposed to mean? And who did the artwork?
It’s an expression of hiding from the reality. Sometimes we all need to disappear for a while, especially when the uncomfortable moments of truth appears. People are in general quite silent about their diseases, tragedies and losses, but on the other hand we are always happy bragging about all our good things that occurs to us, like an amazing vacation, a new job or lucky relations. But there is another dark side to all this, either we like it or not, therefore we have learned to live in symbiosis with the darkness and the light. The only thing that we can be sure of, is that nothing lasts forever. The darkness is waiting for us and it’s up to each and everyone to do our best with the short time we got on this planet.
In 2007 you have released a video DVD, ”The Drama Ends: 1992-2005”. What does this contains?
Our own private footage + some live videos. Robert has directed the whole project, it’s a double DVD with lots of cool stuff on it.
Erik Molarin and Jonas Stromberg (actual members of Dark), Lotta Hoglin and others have left the band. What were the reasons?
After the farewell gig in 2006, Beseech decided to call it a quit. Well, at least everyone thought so at the time. So no one was kicked out from the band. Everybody left on that day! At that time I had already been gone for two years, exploring other musical challenges with my new band Depressive Art. Robert who was the main composer in the end, needed a break from the music and the rest of the band, that did not got so much creative attention in Beseech, took another musical direction and founded their new band The Mary Major. Later on Robert and Manne were also involved in their new bands Lavette and Those We Don’t Speak Of. Erik and Jonas are still active in their new band Dark. So there is no bad blood between us. I wish them nothing but good luck in the future.
What are the influences do you focus on?
Since I got the confidence from the others to write all the lyrics for the new album, I can tell that my source of inspiration has a lot to do with my surroundings and what happens to me on a daily basis. Total silence is also important to me. Even if it’s uncomfortable to write about the dark events in life, it somehow feels natural during a creative process. Sometimes I also pick up the guitar and create a rough idea for both lyrics and music at the same time, it all depends on the mood I’m into. The down side to all this, is that it takes a few years to come up some good stuff. When writing about darkness, it can be quite painful. When it comes to the musical influences, I don’t think that we today are consciously influenced by any specific band. When we started Beseech in 1992, I were only 16 years old and also much more easily affected by other bands. I still can remember that Paradise Lost second album Gothic made an strong impact on me, as well as lot’s of death metal like Dissection, At the gates, Morbid Angel, Dismember and Entombed but also other dark kinds of music like The Sisters of Mercy, The Cure, Type o Negative, Danzig, The Cult and The Doors, but a lot has happened since then. But if I should mention bands that have been important for me while making this album, it has in general a little to do with gothic. I’m still attracted to gloomy music and artists. Worth mentioning are: The Soulsavers, The Moody Blues, Midlake, Roky Erickson, Pretty Things, Townes Van Zandt (damn, he is really good), The Soundtrack of our lives, Gene Clark, Pink Floyd, Big Star, Ennio Morricone etc. After the ”…from a bleeding heart” album, I realized that I was fed up with too much of the gothic stuff and I haven’t listened to it much ever since. Writing is one thing, being a listener is another, somehow I couldn’t do both. To our advantage today, I think it is a good thing that we don’t know much about what’s going in within the gothic scene, cause then we can perhaps come up with something different. For the new album I have written a few songs on my own, three together with Robert and two with Manne. Personally I like the whole band thing during the process. It is also important to create a good vibe during the recordings. For us cooking and good wine could be just as important as finding the perfect settings on the amplifier. In Beseech today, I think that there is a humble atmosphere, where everyone can contribute with ideas as well as individual efforts as musicians. It would be a pity to lose great ideas concerning arrangements in a song because of bad leadership within the band.
Have you got any shows confirmed aswell?
We are currently looking into that. Playing live is of course important to us, but also one of the reasons why we decided to put Beseech back together.
How do you see Beseech’s fans?
Most of them seem to come from South Mmerica, why, I don’t know. Europe is of course really important, but in general I think that there are a few Beseech fans in almost every country. Since the band has been gone for like 10 years, there will be both new and old fans discovering the new era of Beseech, some will like it, some don’t. Our old fans have probably got used to Beseech as a band exploring new ideas for each album.
To end this interview, do you have a message for those who support the band?
Thanx a lot for being there. Hope you enjoy our new album ”My Darkness, Darkness” out on Despotz Records today, 4th of March! We hope to meet you all on the road
Thank you Klas for your time, cheers and hope to see you soon!
Thank you Carla for your interest in Beseech!
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