Interview with Bottenhavet

Interview with Bottenhavet

- in Written interviews

What inspired the album title “Ljud i tysta rum,” and how does it connect to the music’s essence?
The title of the album, “Ljud i tysta rum”, translates to “sounds in silent rooms”. It refers to the sounds that are always present inside us, no matter how quiet it gets around us. The more you dig, the louder it gets, for better or for worse.

What sources influenced the creation of the songs on this album?
We generally wanted to lean even more into a fuzzy stoner sound compared to our previous releases, without necessarily conforming to a pre-determined formula. While we’re certainly inspired by stoner rock giants such as Dozer and Lowrider, we’re still quite fond of both grunge and more vintage: 70’s rock sounds as well – and contradictiously, even a smidge of metal sometimes. These different influences make their way into our riffs, vocal lines and drum fills as an almost automatic flow.

How has Sweden’s landscape and climate influenced the mood and themes of ‘Ljud i tysta rum’?
It may be one of those things where when you’re living it, you don’t think that much about it – but to the rest of the world watching and listening from the outside, the influence is evident. Thinking back to the dark winter months of 2023 when most of the songs were written; it must’ve done something to influence the mood of what we created. We don’t mind at all representing some kind of “Swedish gloomy vibe”, whatever that may be – we wouldn’t know how to not sound that way.

How did working with Robert Pehrsson at Studio Humbucker shape the final sound of the album?
Working in Studio Humbucker, the final product really came together with the help of excellent producer Robert Pehrsson, as he instantly understood the sound we were going for, even if we couldn’t always explain it ourselves that well. A lot of the flavor in the songs comes from the natural room in the drum tracks vibing with the heavy guitars and contrasting the dynamic lead vocals. Looking back, we’re also very thankful for Robert’s way of working where he keeps everything rather simple and squeezes gold out of every component of the mix, convincing us that we didn’t need to add too much artificiality to the production at all.

How does ‘Ljud i tysta rum’ reflect Bottenhavet’s growth and evolution as a band?
For one thing, making a full album was our biggest undertaking yet. Having released an EP and a few singles in the previous couple of years, we felt that we were ready to move on with a more cohesive, cemented sound with attention to detail in all aspects. At the same time, we wanted to give ourselves a fairly tight deadline in order to not lose momentum. Being frustrating and discouraging at times, it certainly taught us a lot about each other, and forced us to spend quite a bit of time philosophizing around how we best capture the creativity of each individual, as we’re certainly not the kind of band where one person dictates and the others simply execute.

How does Bottenhavet carve its own identity within Sweden’s stoner rock scene?
Given our Swedish lyrics, our particular take on the genre musically and our desire to convey something more accessible compared the typical tough-guy, overly serious hard rocker vibe, we hope to appeal to both the already-enlightened stoner fans, as well as anyone else who simply enjoys a steamy guitar riff or a powerful rock ‘n roll vocal howl!

What emotions or messages do you hope listeners connect with from ‘Ljud i tysta rum’?
All of our lyrics have the common purpose to highlight and reflect over the impressions and thoughts we all as humans deal with on a daily basis, but not the ones we typically discuss with the people we meet. Specific moments in life, both routine and remarkable ones, will exist as their unique experiences within you, coloured and influenced by your individual traits. Even if the majority of personal thoughts and reflections are left unsaid, a song lyric is a great medium for tapping into those deeper levels, and hopefully generate some sense of familiarity for the listener. Hence the album name which translates to ‘Sounds in silent rooms’ – the stuff floating around in your mind, even when everything is quiet around you. Qualms of life, class differences, dealing with insecurity are some examples of subjects processed in the lyrics.

How do visuals enhance the overall listening experience of your album?
The album cover art, designed by drummer Marcus Wigren, illustrates the sounds in the silent rooms. It represents the things floating around in our heads, like an ever-present alternate version of reality.

Are there recurring themes in your music, and how have they evolved over time?
A recurring theme that has been a presence in our songs from the beginning is a certain amount of dread and melancholy, without tipping over to a depressing feel – almost a bittersweet sensation manifests through both music and lyrics. We sometimes refer to it as the “Bothnian” sound, and we are constantly trying to further refine and distill it. We like the idea of being capable of seriousness and gravity, without sucking the fun and uplifting energy that’s also a big part of rock music generally.

How does improvisation contribute to the energy and dynamics of your live shows?
We’re actually quite meticulous about rendering the songs live as they were originally written, probably because we leave very little to chance in the writing process. However, we’re still a proper rock band, which means some guitar solos will always be different each time they’re played, and some parts will be spontaneously extended just to enjoy hearing the crowd clap along. Live music is all about the present moment and connecting with the beautiful audience.

What’s your approach to sequencing tracks on an album like ‘Ljud i tysta rum’ for a listening experience?
We actually waited until the very last second to set the track order, until Robert Pehrsson had to tell us to make up our minds already for the master. In the end, we’re really happy with the flow of the whole album as it starts off very energetic, morphs into a more somber middle part and ends in a full cathartic blast with Hennes liv in the end. We’re hoping that it adds something extra apart from the individual songs, which is really something to strive for especially in the vinyl format.

What other forms of art or experiences inspire Bottenhavet’s creative vision?
A great way to spark inspiration is to make yourself long for spending time playing or writing. We all have regular lives with responsibilities and daytime jobs which connect us with all kinds of situations and people. No one likes an undisturbed, self-proclaimed genius – it’s the humbling impressions and perspective of the outside world that makes you want to pick up an instrument when you get home in the evening.

What’s next for you?
We are incredibly excited to kick off our spring tour in just a few weeks, just in time for the album release. We’ll be joining the legendary Truckfighters for a number of shows in Europe which is of course a great honor.
Pre-order album (EU):
Pre-order album (US):

If you really would like to support Antichrist, you can just Share our article.
You can also support Antichrist by sending a couple bucks to cover some webhosting expenses.
=>> PayPal


About the author

As a passionate devotee of heavy, psychedelic, avant-garde and progressive sounds, my enthusiasm for music journalism has been steadily building since 2020. My writing has encompassed a broad spectrum, ranging from in-depth analyses of album releases to illuminating interviews with exciting new artists on the scene. During my leisure hours, I relish attending live concerts and delving into the thriving local music scene in my Zurich community.

Related Posts