Interview with Joakim of NECROPHOBIC

Interview with Joakim of NECROPHOBIC

- in Written interviews

Left to right:
Johan Bergebäck (guitars)
Joakim Sterner (drums)
Anders Strokirk (vocals)
Tobias Cristiansson (bass)
Sebastian Ramstedt (guitars)

Hi Joakim! How does “In the Twilight Grey” differ thematically from your previous albums?
Thematically, this is not a concept album like the last album was, so each song is “individual”, so to speak. The songs are not connected to each other. The songs ask some questions sometimes, and some songs are more fiction, while others are based upon own reflections and thoughts.

What inspired the fusion of classic NECROPHOBIC elements with a slower heavy metal bridge in “Stormcrow”?
It’s no secret that we grew up with heavy metal music and when that genre was at its prime, with bands like Iron Maiden, KISS, Judas Priest, WASP, Mötley Crüe … we always carry that music inside us and it was what inspired us the most when we were teens. It has always been in our music, but I guess those parts are now more distinctly “presented” and maybe to a bit more extent.

What broader themes do the lyrics of “Stormcrow” connect with in the album?
The theme is about a wounded beast that rises from the depths and places its trust in a winged truth sayer. As I said, the songs are not connected like a concept album, so “As Stars Collide”, for example, has a different lyrical theme.

How do you maintain the freshness of NECROPHOBIC’s sound while honoring your roots over 30 years?
I think that it’s because we are so passionate and dedicated to this music and it’s our true lifestyle. We don’t put on a mask and become different persons inside Necrophobic. We are the same 24h a day.

Can you discuss the collaboration with Jens Rydén for the album artwork?
Jens is an old friend of mine, and I have had him doing stuff for the band for many years now. But this time, I offered him the full scale of creative work for the album, such as doing the album cover, taking photographs, and handling the entire layout and design for the different versions of the album.

How does reaching your 10th studio album influence your creative process?
Actually, we really didn’t think about that, or at least I didn’t. However, the first working title for this album was “X”, haha, I remember now…

What’s the significance behind the title “In the Twilight Grey”?
It comes from a poem originally, and Sebastian, who came up with the title, thought it would fit perfectly with the songs and the different themes of the lyrics.

POV; how do different album formats affect the listener’s experience?
Personally, I want to own a physical format of albums. I can look at the art, read the lyrics, and see the band’s pictures while I listen to the music. I think that adds more value, and I get the whole package that the artist wants to give for their new music. But I cannot speak for everybody. Some may not give a shit and just listens to the music, for free, on digital platforms.

How does Fredrik Folkare’s involvement shape NECROPHOBIC’s sound?
We have worked with him since we recorded “Hrimthursrum,” which came out in the spring of 2006, so he knows the band inside out, and we feel very comfortable and focused when we work with him. He is great at listening to our ideas and also feels quite relaxed working with us and is not shy about presenting his ideas. We always have the final word, though.

How do you view the evolution of the death and black metal scene since NECROPHOBIC’s formation? Thank you for your time!
I must admit that I am not as involved in the scene as much as I was back around the time I started this band. However, Sweden keeps coming up with many great bands still, in many genres, so that has not stopped developments. But I feel that today’s bands are not as rough and “flesh and bones” kind of, as we were when this music genre was starting. Everything is polished and made for today’s different platforms. Thank you for letting me have space for Necrophobic in your publication. Stay Metal!

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