Interview with MEZZROW

Interview with MEZZROW

- in Written interviews

Hej! Congratulations on your upcoming album “Summon Thy Demons”! What inspired you to come back after 30 years and release new music?
UP: Thank you Stanley!
CW: Thanx a lot!
UP: Well, The reason for doing this again was more or less a coincidence actually. When our beloved guitarist Staffe Karlsson-Hefling passed away very tragically in colon cancer in 2018, me and Conny decided to finish a song in Staffe´s honor that the three of us had written in 2011 at Conny´s studio. So, we finished the song in 2020 and came to the conclusion that it sounded pretty good.
CW: At that time I was involved in Sorcerers album “The Lamenting of the Innocent” and when we were in the studio I asked Ricky if he could do the demo drums for the song. Then we finished the demo in my studio.
UP: Personally I was a bit surprised how easy it was to sing thrash again. It felt kind of natural! Anyway, we wanted to make more thrash metal based on what we did with that previous song, Dark Spirit Rising, and we decided in early 2021 to start writing new material.

“Beneath The Sea Of Silence” is an exciting new single from your upcoming album. Can you tell us more about the songwriting process and the inspiration behind the lyrics?
CW: The songwriting process is actually a bit complicated as we live in different areas of Sweden and therefore need to do everything at a distance. But with the technology of today I must say it has worked out pretty good.
UP: The lyrics are inspired by the Cthulu-mythology and have a clear Lovecraftian touch written all over it! The songwriting process is basically Ronnie´s riffs and arrangement initially. Then Magnus, and maybe most of all Conny, arranged that embryo of a song further. Conny and myself put together the whole package when I put down the vocals during pre-production at Conny´s studio.

Your classic debut album “Then Came the Killing” is still considered one of the best thrash metal releases from Sweden and Scandinavia. How does your upcoming album compare to your earlier work?
CW: Thank you. It was a long time ago we did Then Came the Killing and a lot of things have happened after that. But I’ve heard many old-school thrashers talk about the album in that kind of way, which is of course flattering. The new album is of course something completely different, and yet not, at the same time. haha
UP: Even though we´ve kept our roots intact, Summon Thy Demons is a much more competent record in all areas.
CW: I totally agree.

Can you walk us through your songwriting process for “Summon Thy Demons”? How did you approach writing and recording this album?
UP: Conny, Magnus and I started writing new songs in the beginning of 2021. We wrote three songs kind of fast where two of them made the record, Summon Thy Demons and What is dead may never die. Then we felt that a second guitarist was needed in the process and approached Conny´s friend Ronnie Björnström.
CW: I’ve been working as a producer and songwriter with Ronnie for several years. In those projects he did mixing and mastering, but of course I knew about his excellent thrash riffing in Defiatory. So the decision to ask Ronnie was quite easy, sort of speak.

“Summon Thy Demons” was produced by Conny Welén, Ronnie Björnström, and Magnus Söderman. How did the collaboration work between the three of you, and what was it like working with such experienced musicians?
CW: I’ve been writing and producing for another artist for a very long time and both Ronnie and Magnus are very experienced as well, so we wouldn’t have it any other way. It came very natural for us writing and setting our own sound.

The album artwork is stunning. How did you choose Pär Olofsson to create the cover, and what was your vision for the artwork?
UP: Thank you! Cool that you like the artwork. Well, we knew of course that Pär had done the previous Exodus-artwork for a Persona Non Grata. Since he is also Swedish, it was our first choice. He was quite expensive but we felt that it was worth it! He also turned out to be a really big fan of HP Lovecraft and after deciding that Summon Thy Demons would be the title of the album, I sent him a Lovecraft-quote that is used in the title track. He thought it was really cool and used that a bit for inspiration. Then Pär sent us a couple of different sketches to choose from and after choosing the coolest one, he began painting and kept us updated during the procedure of the artwork.

You’ve mentioned being inspired by the Cthulu-mythology and the worlds of H.P. Lovecraft. Can you tell us more about how that inspiration translated into your music and lyrics?
UP: Ever since Metallica wrote ”The Call of Cthulu” and ”The thing that should not be”, Lovecraft has always been a source of inspiration for me personally. I really like his Cosmic Horror and it´s easy to adapt that to a metal song. Our new material is even more dark and brutal than our earlier stuff I think, and the lyrics must fit the music as you understand. Therefore Lovecraftian cosmicism was the perfect theme for some of our songs!

You refused to downtune the guitars for this album. How important is it for you to maintain an old school thrash metal sound, and what do you think sets MEZZROW apart from other bands in the genre?
CW: Refusing to downtune was a very conscious choice. If you want it to sound old school, then you shouldn’t downtune the guitars. We wanted the clarity of the original tuning and I must say it was the right decision. I love the sound on our new album. Haha.

What can fans expect from your live performances in support of “Summon Thy Demons”? Do you have any plans for touring or playing live shows in the future?
CW: We’re playing Keep It True festival in April, but we haven’t anything else booked at the moment. We would of course like to do festivals and other cool gigs, but I think we’re a bit late for this season. Hopefully we will be able to book shows for the next season later on.

Tack så mycket. Hej då!
CW: Thank YOU. haha
UP: Thanks a lot Stanley! Once a Thrasher – Always a Thrasher

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