Interview with Robin of IMPERISHABLE

Interview with Robin of IMPERISHABLE

- in Written interviews

Hi Robin! “Come, Sweet Death” is set to be released soon. How does it feel to have your debut album nearing its release, and what are your expectations and anticipations for the response from fans and the metal community?
Hi! Well, we are extremely excited to finally share it with everyone. Apart from working and having a family, I have lived and breathed this album for the past two years. It’s been quite the journey and we are all really proud of how it turned out.

The album draws inspiration from the golden age of Swedish Death Metal. Can you talk about the influence of bands like Dismember and Entombed on your music, and how you aim to pay homage to that era while bringing your own unique elements to the table?
Growing up they were both very important, even though I was a bigger fan of At the Gates, Dissection and Eucharist at the time. I guess you can’t really grasp the impact all those bands had on you back then. I bought ”Slaugter of the Soul” when I was 13, and ”Like an ever flowing stream” when I was 14. And this was at a time when streaming did not exist. If you wanted to download a song off of Napster or Kazaa or DC++, it took forever. So the few records you were able to buy with your allowance were the ones you listened to every single day. What I’m saying is a very small amount of certain bands discographies shaped your whole identity. So of course their influence is huge, and whenever there’s room for it we try to pay homage to them, one way or another. There are a lot of details on ”Come, Sweet Death” where this is obvious, but I hope everyone understand that it’s with the utmost respect we do it. It’s a tribute and a gesture of appreciation, nothing else.

How did you approach crafting your sound to stand out from the plethora of Swedish Death Metal bands, and what elements do you feel set you apart?
I don’t know. I guess if you think about it too much it will feel ”forced”, or ”fake”. We never thought about doing something differently or add things no one would expect, it just happened. If you write from the heart, it will all reveal itself naturally. So what you’re hearing on ”Come, Sweet Death” is our most honest expression within this genre. There are a lot of ”rules” to follow, obviously, but apart from them I really believe that we have our own fingerprints on it.

With band members having been or currently involved in other notable bands like Vampire, Portrait, Nominon, and Dr. Living Dead, how does the collective experience contribute to the creative process and overall sound of Imperishable?
On a conscious level you never analyze those things. I guess it’s more of a subconscious thing. It’s impossible NOT to pick up certain things along the way, so of course, the experience we’ve assembled from previous bands certainly helps out in different ways. But as a whole, it’s still a new band. New routines, new chemistry, everything. Imperishable is not like any of those bands you mentioned, not in any way. In one way, it almost feels like it’s the first time we’re doing this, which is great.

Can you elaborate on your approach to balancing aggression and melody, and how it manifests in the songwriting and arrangements?
During these writing sessions it was mostly me and Niklas doing all of the writing and arranging, and our way of doing things has always been about not overthinking. Usually we start with two or three riffs that I wrote, then we arrange it. From there on, it’s always a blank page. If we feel like adding a harmony guitar part, then I write one. If we feel like adding a chorus or a d-beat section after that, then fine. It’s all depending on what mood or feel we want to achieve in that certain moment in time. The only constant I believe is important to include when writing for Imperishable, is having parts with contrasting dynamics blend together. The goal is to give the audience an unpredictable listen while still maintaining their interest, you could say.

How do you develop and structure your songs to incorporate grinding Death Metal with NWOBHM-inspired leads and riffs?
There’s no way to describe it, other than it happens spontaneously. If we think it is a fit, it stays. If not, we add something else. If a musicologist or a trained composer would sit down and analyze our songs they would either laugh or scratch their heads, or both, haha! There’s no right or wrong, everything originates from somewhere between the heart and our somewhat marinated livers.

In the context of your album “Come, Sweet Death,” how does your music explore or reflect on the concept of death, and what philosophical perspectives or insights do you hope to evoke or provoke in listeners through your music?
For starters, the songs are musically and lyrically connected, without them making up a ”concept album” per se. It was not intended to be conceptual or even coherent, originally. But somehow the music and the lyrics ended up being very closely connected to each other. I don’t believe in fate, but this is almost scary. Sometimes things just happen. The short version is that lyrically it explores our personal journeys up until now, with an emphasis on addiction and loss and all things related to that. I don’t know how listeners will experience it, but from our perspective there are a lot of parts that feel reflective, almost nostalgic. Within the framework of death metal I feel there’s a lot of sadness and unease, and sometimes beauty or relief. And these emotions are closely related to some parts of the lyrics, if not all. But it’s really hard to explain, since it’s neither a diary nor a ”statement” of any kind. If anything, I just hope there’s someone feeling recognition, or maybe identifies with this overall feel. Then again, it’s clouded in metaphors, so I’m not in any way expecting anyone to decipher what the hell I’m sharing… Haha!

Addiction can manifest in various forms and impact individuals and communities profoundly. How does Imperishable address the theme of addiction in your music, and what deeper societal or existential questions do you believe it raises?
All the lyrics stem from personal perspectives and experiences. It’s a fucking nightmare, I tell you. But we’re not doing this to raise any awareness or talk about the morals and ethics of it all. No one is interested in hearing that anyway. This is us expressing our inner turmoil within the confines of the music. No more, no less. I mean, it’s no AA meeting or anything, haha! But if someone relates and want to talk, get in touch by all means! I’m all for sharing stories since it’s always therapeutical in some way or another.

Can you discuss the collaboration with Oscar Nilsson at Crehate Studios in Gothenburg and how his input contributed to capturing the desired sound?
The only thing I can say is that he is a fantastic human being and a true professional. This is by far the easiest and most problem-free recording session I’ve been a part of, and the others would agree. Oscar had a huge part in that. It was not the last time we visited Crehate, that’s for sure. We only have fond memories of the whole experience.

The album’s artwork by Andreas Sandberg is striking and evocative. How does the artwork reflect the themes and atmosphere of the music, and what was the inspiration behind the visual representation?
I had a horrible nightmare a while back while sobering up, then I told Andreas about the bare essentials. He came back with a sketch a few days later, pretty similar to what the cover art would end up like. Then we shared ideas back and forth, adding detail after detail, until we felt pleased with it. I feel it’s very representative of the whole feel of the album. No one could have done it better. Andreas has been like an additional member of this band since day one, you could say. He’s done the logo and all of the artwork so far. We will continue to collaborate, for sure.

“Come, Sweet Death” has been described as a small breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale scene. How do you see Imperishable pushing boundaries and contributing to the evolution of Swedish Death Metal?
We will continue doing what we do, and if anything, we will push our own boundaries. I see a lot of potential in developing our sound moving forward, but the important thing is we want to make sure to maintain what we have going here. There are bands moving in all kind of directions once they release an album or two, losing touch with themselves, and I don’t want that for us. In case that happens, Imperishable will be no more and we’ll start a new project instead.

As a band that draws from both the early and later eras of the Stockholm scene, how do you navigate the balance between honoring the traditional sound while incorporating your own modern influences and ideas?
It all comes natural. I have no prestige in this. If people think we should stick to what every band did in 1990 and not to incorporate other stuff, then fine. Stick to the classics, then, and don’t listen to us. There’s a lot of people having opinions no matter what you do, so let them. I will keep on drinking my beer and will keep on writing my riffs.

Can you share any memorable or challenging experiences you encountered during the writing, recording, or production process of “Come, Sweet Death”?
The lyrics were the most challenging part. I’ve written some lyrics before, but not a whole album at once. Then it’s always hard to know which songs NOT to include and which demos you should focus on developing further. We had a lot of material once we entered the studio, but luckily we had decided beforehand which songs we should record. As a whole, this album process was the most memorable I’ve ever been part of. The tiny challenges we encountered are all part of the game.

The album features a range of emotions, from brutality to winding single-string melodies. What do you hope listeners take away from the diverse sonic journey presented in the album?
I just hope they feel rewarded, that the album grows with each listen. There are a lot of thought put into the details, and those usually comes through after a couple of spins or more. So give it a shot before moving along through the neverending supply of music online.

How do you view the role of melody within the context of Death Metal, and what draws you to explore the more melodic aspects of the genre?
Melodies are of great importance, in my world. The original idea was for Imperishable to focus on the brutality of the genre, but already at our first rehearsal we realized we had to incorporate some melodic parts to make it fly. And I mean, in the late 80s people were still in awe of fast drumming and growling vocals. Today, there’s no room for shock value, since all has already been done and no one’s impressed anymore. I think it’s the melodic aspect that has the potential to differentiate bands from one another. Therein lies the real challenge, to make it sound fresh, I mean.

Looking ahead, what are your plans and aspirations for Imperishable? Are there any specific directions or goals you hope to explore in future releases? Thank you for your time!
Firstly, we look forward to play ”Come, Sweet Death” live in front of an audience. Then, I’m of course eager to keep on exploring and developing our sound. We have something going here, I can feel it. So we will keep on writing and hopefully release the follow-up in 2025. That’s the plan right now. Thank you for having us! The blood is the power!

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