And then came the hearse for your deathly embrace. Memento mori!

Answers by Max after the recording of "Dominion Reptilian"





-Your record is powerful but it also includes some 'weird' arrangements that maybe not everybody will like. I do and think they make it sound somewhat fresh. What do U think of that and how much weight did Mattias have on such songwr. and arrangement choices?
Max: In my world there are no weird arrangements, but I guess that metal fans are just like other music listeners in general. They want something they can relate to that sounds similar to what theyīve heard before. Then you donīt have to think that much. Just swallow! I mean you still seem to be able to sell millions of Cannibal Corpse clones. And what the heck, nothing wrong about that in general. But thatīs not really what Iīm out for. Off course I still love the old bands like Carcass, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel etc. But I donīt tend to be that bloody interested in yet another band covered in blood, singing about raping a corpse and being dressed in the latest black T-shirts with unreadable logos on it. I have no whatsoever problem with that, but as I said thatīs not really what Iīm looking for in the recordshop. I guess we could as well have done those gimmicks to sell more records, but it feels like weīve ve already done those stuff like 12-13 years ago and it really donīt seem to interest me today. Mattias has had quite a lot to do with our style. I mean heīs a great musician and has come up with a lot of fresh ideas. And there will be even more of Mattiasī ideas on the next album!

-How important was the influence of your previous bands for Hearse?
Max: A lot of people has refered to Furbowl (mine and Johanīs old band) when theyīre about to describe the sound of Hearse. And I guess thatīs quite natural. We make music in a special way I guess that both me and Johan are quite alike when it comes to writing music. Weīve both grown up with bands like Discharge, Conflict and of course the old Italian punkbands like Wretched, Negazione, Raw Power etc. And I guess you can here that in our music. It sure is metal, but with punk vibes and vibes from a lot of other directions too. We all listen to a wide range of different music styles and that, I guess, also takes our music in a certain direction. Then for example both me and Mattias really love all shit that Mike Patton is or has been involved in, like Mr Bungle, Faith No More, Fantomas, Tomahawk etc. I really like bands you really canīt put a label on īcos they tend to be a bit more interesting in my ears right now.

-The front cover artwork and the title of the CD refer to the falling down of the Christian world into Satan's hands?
Max: He he! This is quite funny, cosīthere has been a lot of different opinions on what the cover and the title really stands for. The Christian world falling into Satanīs hands? Well, why not? It sure is about a struggle between good and evil. Then I guess we donīt tend to put any religious aspects on it. In my eyes itīs the world weīre living in thatīs going straight to hell right now. I mean you just have to open the morning paper to realize that Planet Earth isnīt a very good place to live. And I guess that unfotunately reality isnīt really like itīs in the fairytales. In real life evil always seem to win.

-What about the lyrics? Can U tell us what they deal with?
Max: Johanīs writing the lyrics and I guess they mostly deal with the world we all live in. And I guess itīs not a pretty sight, right? Then I guess the time after Arch Enemy has coloured his way of writing lyrics. He was homeless for quite some time and lived under a bridge and stuff. Now heīs hanging out with the jetset playing golf and stuff which I guess also colours his way of writing.

-Was Hammerheart the only one to contact U and find yr demo appealing?
Max: Hammerheart was the most interesting label for us at the moment and I guess it still is. We had no other concrete offers and as Hammerheart seemed real interesting for us we decided to go for it. And that I donīt regret. Theyīve a great job for us and I think itīs a cool label with some really cool bands like Dismember, Necrophobic, Macabre etc.

-Will U be using session musicians on yr next tour?
Max: Yep, we have to. Johan used to both play the bass and take care of the vocals back in the Furbowl days. But itīs nicer to have a free vocalist who can do some nice dance steps on stage without a heavy bass hanging around the neck. So weīll defenitely bring in a session bassplayer. Probably one with a lot of beard!

-Will U be playing Arch Enemy's or Furbowl's covers live?
Max: Nope, I donīt think so really. Weīve been talking about doing some old Furbowl song, but weīll see. Canīt really see any point in trying to play any Arch Enemy song as our version wouldnīt sound that far from the original (only worse) and then I donīt really see the point in doing it. I think itīs much cooler playing a cover from another style of music and then make a version that sounds like you. Therefore I really dig like for example The Cardigansī covers on Black Sabbathīs Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Iron Man. There I can really see a point in the covers.

-As you're all experienced musicians, I imagine U rehearse not often when U're not on tour...
Max: No, we donīt rehearse that much. Weīre mostly doing recordings and trying out different arrangements. Right now weīve done test recordings for like 15 new songs in the Swedish Studio Gubbsjuk, as weīll begin recording another album soon.

-What would U do if U weren't a musician? And what are U gonna do when U stop playing in a band?
Max: That's a tricky question. I canīt really imagine a life without being in a band. Iīve been in different bands since 1978 I guess. At first we tried to play hardrock. Of course it sounded terrible. Then I hooked up with punk and Venom and stuff. Then in the late 80īs I got into death metal. I guess that ever since I got my first Alice Cooper album back in ī74 I was sure I was going to be in a band. And I guess itīs pretty much the same nowadays too. Iīm older, Iīve become afather and stuff, but music is still the centre of my life. So what will I do when I stop playing in a band? I really hope I never will, cosīI really canīt imagine not being in a band.

-Spread your words to the Italian audience!
Max: Disperato ma vivo! Finira mai. É una macchina rossa. Sono a casa adesso! Morte Paura!


-Dominion Reptilian (2003)

Line up:
Johan Liiva: v, strings
Mattias Ljung: strings & cleaning
Max Thornell: d., strings