DISMEMBER - Tobias Cristiansson

\r\nDismember needs no introduction. It is\r\nmeaningless to say anything about this mighty band, a band which established\r\nthe old-school Swedish Death Metal sound in the world. I had the chance to talk\r\nwith the "fresh blood" of the band, the bass player Tobias Cristiansson who is\r\na member of Dismember since 2005. Enjoy!\r\n

\r\nMetalzone:\r\nHello Tobias,\r\nVassilis here from the Greek Metalzone. How are you? What are you doing as a\r\nband that period?\r\n

\r\nTobias: Hey! Im fine thanks! Today I have\r\nmostly been relaxing at home, listening to music and watching mucic DVDs. The\r\nlast weeks we have been rehearsing like five days a week, getting the final\r\ntouches at our new material. But yesterday we handed in our instruments to this\r\nmusic store that we are endorsed by called Jam here in Stockholm. They will\r\nrestore and polish up our guitars and basses so that they will be in top shape\r\nto the recording session that will start in October. The instruments take a lot\r\nof damage when we are out touring, like beer that has been spilled over them\r\nand all the sweat that is making screws and stuff get rusty.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone:\r\nFirst of all, I\r\nwant you to tell me some personal things because you are a member of Dismember\r\nsince 2005. How do you feel that you play in a Veteran band for Sweden, a band\r\nthat established the old-school Swedish sound to the world?\r\n

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\r\nTobias: That’s very cool, because Dismember\r\nalong with Entombed were my first introduction with Death Metal. "Like an\r\neverflowing stream" was the second Death Metal album I bought, it was back\r\nin ‘91, so joining the band were really cool for me. Dismember were really\r\nimportant for the development of the Death Metal sound in the early days and\r\nalong with Entombed etc, created the Stockholm sound of Death Metal with its\r\nmassive guitarsound. And of course I think that the production from the\r\nSunlight studio helped a lot also, i really love that sound!\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone:\r\nWas it easy for you\r\nto learn the songs of Dismember in order to play them live? Have you been in a\r\nband before?\r\n

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\r\nTobias: It was quite difficult because I had\r\nto learn 18 songs in 4 weeks, because then there was a gig comming up. We only\r\nrehearsed twise (without vocals) before I did my first show. But it went\r\nalright, and then we went to do an Australian tour so it was quite overwhelming\r\nstart for me! And somtimes its very difficult to hear whats going on with the\r\nguitars because of the messy sound when you try to learn the songs by ear,\r\nespecially the older ones.
\r\nI have been playing bass since I was 15 in a lot of different small bands of\r\ndifferent kind, only demo stuff. I have been doing everything from Black metal\r\nto 80s Heavy Metal to 70s Hard Rock and i have been going to a music school as\r\nwell. But joining Dismember were definitly a big step forward for me, because I\r\nhave always wanted to do this fulltime.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone:\r\nWhat do you think\r\nabout the God That Never Was? You think that the fans of Dismember faced the\r\nalbum as the older ones?\r\n

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\r\nTobias: Well, I joined the band just when\r\nthe recording were done, so I dont play on the actual album. It’s David and\r\nMartin who share the bass on it. But "The god that never was" was\r\nvery well recieved in the press and by fans. A lot of people seem to like it,\r\nand thats very cool to hear thats its not only the first albums who counts by\r\nfans. That Dismember still can deliver material that sounds fresh. And I don’t\r\nmean new or updated or whatever when I say "fresh" but that it\r\ndoes’nt sound boring or tierd.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone:\r\nIn this album,\r\nthere are many parts in some songs, that reminds me of Iron Maiden. Looking\r\nback in the discography of Dismember, there are also some songs with the same\r\nfeeling. Which is the reason about it? Are you fans of Iron Maiden even though\r\nyou play Death Metal? For example, the song Phantoms from the last album its\r\nlike a heavyer version of an Iron Maiden track!\r\n

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\r\nTobias: You got it man! We are all fans of\r\nIron Maiden, especially David and Matti. And it was David who brought in the\r\nMaiden influences from the start I think. All in the band are big fans of the\r\n80’s Heavy Metal bands, like I said David and Matti’s favoruite band is Iron\r\nMaiden and Martin’s favoruite is Judas Priest and mine are (amongst others)\r\nBlack Sabbath. I think it creates another dimension to the sound when you mix\r\nin some cool Heavy Metal riffing and some nice guitar harmonies. But it has to\r\nbe done very carefully so it doesn’t sound cheesy, but I think Dismember has\r\nalways done it in a good sounding way.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone:\r\nThe music industry\r\nis too big now and there are many bands coming out every single day. As it is\r\nknown, its very hard for the listener to choose what he will listen. Do you\r\nthink that Dismember is a band which always will be popular and the fans will\r\nbuy their next releases as they have done in the past?\r\n

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\r\nTobias: Hmm, its difficult... There are\r\ndefenetly too many bands out there for people to keep track off. But I hope\r\nthat kids who gets into Death Metal nowdays are interested to listen to the\r\noriginals, the bands who created the whole thing wether it be the US Death\r\nMetal or the Swedish Death Metal. I think that Dismember still have something\r\nto give to the scene, cause we still keep delivering albums that are good.\r\nThats very important that you have to push yourself to do better all the time\r\nboth as recording band and as a live act.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone:\r\nLet’s go now to a question\r\nconcerning Fred. I heard that he is not any more a member of Dismember after 20\r\nyears. Which is the reason for that? Have you decide who will be the next\r\nperson that will take his position?\r\n

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\r\nTobias: That’s true. He left the band in\r\nApril of 2007. He couldn’t continue touring because he’s got a familly and he\r\ndidn’t want to be away from his familly as much as the band require. We do a\r\nlot of touring you know. We totally respect and understand his decicion\r\nalthough we think its sad that he left of course. Now we have Thomas Daun who\r\nused to be in Insision and Repugnant before. He’s a real kick-ass drummer! And\r\na funny guy as well, so its working out great with him and you will all hear\r\nhis drum skills on the next Dismember album.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone:\r\nIn August you play\r\na show in Mexico along with Grave, Sinister, Incantation, Belphegor etc. Tell\r\nme your impressions about this show and I also want you to tell me how is the\r\ncrowd in Mexico. Are there any fanatics as in Europe?\r\n

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\r\nTobias: We did three shows in Mexico:\r\nMonterry, Mexico City and Guadalajara. It was really cool to go there I must\r\nsay. Dismember hadn’t been there since 1993 when they were there with Vader I\r\nthink. The fans in Mexico are really great, they are very energetic and crazy.\r\nIt’s always cool when you play that far away from home, to see the country and\r\nmeet the people. Thats really I thing I like with touring, to meet people from\r\nother countries and try to see the cities that we are visiting. Unfortunatley\r\nwe didn’t have much time to do sightseeing in Mexico. We were mostly in the\r\nhotel until it was time to leave to the venue to do the gig, but I would say\r\nthats pretty much up to the promotors who organize the gigs if they take us\r\naround and show us the cities, and this time it didn’t happen. I would have\r\nloved to see the Aztec pyramides for example, but I.’ll do that next time\r\ninstead,haha!\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone:\r\nWhat about\r\n"Feel The Darkness" tour?\r\n

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\r\nTobias: Well, we were supposed to do 10\r\ndates through Europe together with Necrophobic plus three other bands, but one\r\nweek before the start it was cancelled by the booking agency. It was of course\r\nnot our decicion, and we were all very pissed off at this. But there were\r\nnothing we could do about it, we tried to reach them by phone and mail but they\r\njust refused to answer. I know that we will go back to Europe sooner or later\r\nbut we feel sorry for the fans who were looking forward for the shows we were\r\nsupposed to do.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone:\r\nRecently you came\r\nin Greece but if I am not wrong, you play only at Thessaloniki. What happened\r\nwith those shows?\r\n

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\r\nTobias: We did a tour through out mostly\r\neastern European countries, we played in Italy, Croatia, Bosnia, Romania,\r\nBulgaria and Greece. We did two shows in Greece, one in Thessaloniki and one in\r\nXanti. We felt very wellcomed in Greece, the organizers were really cool people\r\nand they showed us around in the beautiful city of Thessaloniki. We were at\r\nsome pubs, can’t remember the names but one were kind of strange, they started\r\nof playing mostly 80’s hardrock such as Kiss and AC/DC but then later on it\r\nturned to some shitty disco music but still the metal people were there and\r\nlooked totally satisfied. We couldn’t stand the terrible music so we left to\r\nanother place just around the corner were they played better music at a more comfortable\r\nvolume. I also have to mention the amazing Greek food! It.’s so good, and we\r\nhad some really nice dinners in Greece! It’s worth it to go back just for the\r\nfood accually,haha!\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone: Any future plans\r\nfor the band? Is there a new album or an upcoming DVD?\r\n

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\r\nTobias: We will enter the studio in October\r\nand be there for a month. This time we will use Nico Elgstrand (Entombed) as\r\nproducer, he has previously produced Entombed, Krux, Murder Squad etc. He is a\r\nreal cool guy, very funny and very talented. We will record totally analog, no\r\ncomputers involved, so the sound is gonna come out great. We don’t like most of\r\nthe productions of today, everything sounds the same to me. When you hear new\r\nstuff you can’t tell if the band is playing Power Metal or Death Metal or Nu\r\nMetal by listening to the sound, cause they all got the same production. I\r\nthink in 10 years from now listening back to stuff thats comming out now I\r\nthink people will say that it sounds so 2007 or whatever. It’s just like when\r\nyou listening to a lot of bands from the 80’s. It’s very easy to date it and\r\ntell almost exactly from which year it was recorded and I think it will be the\r\nsame with the music of today. We are going for more of a live sound, timeless\r\nsound. I like the warmth of the analog sound, and that you can hear that there\r\nis accually a band playing. We have now 11 songs that are finished, I don’t\r\nknow if all of them will end up on the album, we’ll see. They are all very\r\nstrong, good songs, quite diverse, and I just cant wait to play them live in\r\nfront of an audience. The album is planned to be released early next year,\r\nhopefully in February. We also have some tour plans, but nothing is yet\r\nconfirmed. We gonna do a European tour to support the release of the new album.\r\nThen there’s plans of doing a tour through the UK, and also something through\r\nHolland and France. We also got plans of going back to Australia. So I guess\r\nthe next year is going to be very busy for Dismember, and im really looking\r\nforward to get out on the road again and show everyone what we’re all about. I\r\nknow that we are a very good live band and we sound better then ever now! For\r\nexample we were voted the second best band who played at the Brutal assault\r\nfestival this year! And thats a thing im really proud of. We came before bands\r\nlike Suffocation, Dark Tranquillity, Malevolent Creation, Immolation- who all\r\nare really good live bands, but I think it really proves the power of Dismember\r\nas a live act.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone:\r\nDismember exists as\r\na band since 1988. All the things in the world has an end. When do you think\r\nthat it will be the best time for the band to dissolve? You think that you\r\nstill have the same rage and the same passion for Death Metal? Maybe you are\r\nnot the best person to answer this question as you are a new member, but you\r\nwill know about the other guys!\r\n

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\r\nTobias: It is hard to say when is the best time\r\nto quit. But as long as you can deliver good new songs and that you still\r\nwant to do it and have fun doing it. You must have the hunger, and like you\r\nsaid the passion for the music. I know that we still have a lot to prove, and\r\nnow we have 11 new really good songs to record, so for us we have no reason to\r\nquit. But when you see bands like Kiss doing yet another tour again without new\r\nmaterial and new member with the same make-up as the originals its just boring.\r\n

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\r\nMetalzone:\r\nOK Tobias, I think\r\nthat there are not more things to mention. Thank you so much for the interview\r\nand I hope to see you in Greece again soon! If you want to send a message to our\r\nreaders and Dismember fans in Greece you can do it! Cheers!\r\n

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\r\nTobias: Thank you so much for the interview!\r\nI would really like to go back to Greece and eat delicious food, play\r\nold-school Death Metal and headbang. And don’t forget to buy the new Dismember\r\nalbum when it is released and dont miss the chance to see a good live band when\r\nwe come to play, you won’t be dissapointed! Haha, I think that I am going to\r\nsound like Joey DeMaio of Manowar now doing all this commercial for my own band\r\n:-)haha! We are the kings of Death\r\nmetal! Haha!
\r\nCheers!\r\n

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\r\nVassilis Mazaris\r\n

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