EMQ’s with DESOLATOR
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Stockholm, Sweden based Death Metal band, Desolator. Huge thanks to vocalist/guitarist Stefan Nordström for taking part!
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
I am Stefan Nordström, the vocalist and guitarist. Of course, I can: we are Desolator, an old school death metal band formed in 2009. We started out being heavily influenced by classic Swedish death metal, releasing our debut album “Unearthly Monument” in 2013. After that, we started experimenting more. Recently, our second full-length album “Sermon of Apathy” came out. This is something entirely different from what we’ve done before, and we’re really happy to finally be able to share it with the world.
How did you come up with your band name?
I think it actually was suggested at some kind of metal party, back when we started the band in 2009. I wasn’t there, but the story was something like, that some people were just randomly suggesting names for our newly formed band. When Desolator came up, everyone was like “oh yeah, Desolator!“ And it was pretty much decided, then and there.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re from Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. It used to be very good, but recently it’s nothing like the internet would make you think. We have a lot of bands and musicians, but the clubs and gig places have been disappearing recently. So ,I’d say it’s great for creating and releasing music – not so much for playing live.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our latest release is the full-length album “Sermon Of Apathy”. We actually released it only last month (September 4th). A lot of people seem to enjoy it, and it’s been quite a big step forward for the band.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Desolator has a pretty broad span of influences. Lately, Immolation and Morbid Angel have been the biggest ones. But we also carry the European heritage from bands like Bloodbath, Vader, Blood Red Throne and Dismember. I think that’s what makes our music stand out; we don’t really choose one particular style of death metal.
What first got you into music?
Oh, just listening to top 40 stuff and mainstream rock in like 1998 when I was 11-12. Not long after, I started actively seeking out music on the internet. I quickly became a huge fan of Metallica and Iron Maiden. That escalated to In Flames and Children of Bodom. Which escalated to Entombed, Dismember and Death. Not long after, I abandoned online gaming to learn guitar and extreme vocals in my room, hahaha.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
This is an interesting question, because we just had a dream collaboration on our new album: a guest solo by Nile’s Karl Sanders. Since it turned out so good, we’ve been discussing doing it again.
One guy we discussed for a guest solo is Anders Nyström (Katatonia/Bloodbath). He has such an eerie, unique style to his leads. For vocals there are so many good ones: Tomi Joutsen (Amorphis), Dan Swanö, Ross Dolan (Immolation), Dallas Toler-Wade (ex-Nile). Hopefully, we can get a really cool guest performance on our next release, too.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Probably Brutal Assault or Metaldays. These are the festivals I’ve visited so many times, and made so many memories at. It would be fantastic to turn it around and be a performer on one of them.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
I don’t think we’re big enough to receive weird gifts. Not sure if that is good or bad, hahaha.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
We’re very thankful for your support. You’re a big part of why the band is growing, so please take the opportunity to spread the word about Desolator.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Would have been very cool to see where Chuck Schuldiner would have gone musically, if he was allowed to. It seemed like he really had some magical progressive metal on the way with Control Denied. And who knows, maybe he could’ve gotten Warrel Dane from Nevermore to sing, making it the ultimate super-project?
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Just having the creative haven that is doing my own thing. Most things we do tend to be caught up in what other people and/or society wants us to do. Writing music and other creative activities is the ultimate freedom, and an escape from all the constraints of life. Being a songwriter and a creator, I have something that’s mine – and only mine. And the metal scene can be a really cool and unique place where you can connect with people and experience things. I can’t even begin to count how many amazing experiences I’ve had at gigs and festivals.
I hate the economic and practical side of it. Being a musician, especially today, is an unpaid full-time job. Unless you have endless money, you can never fully engage in perfecting the music. It’s always about making money and time ends meet. It’s a source of great anxiety, and I don’t believe I’m the only one who feels that. Today, you have to deliver fantastic music fast, and also virtually work as an unpaid marketing assistant to promote it. I try to ignore it, and just go in the creative zone and be passionate. But there are definitely times when I doubt that it’s worth it.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
The presence of money-hungry people with no interest in music. They used to work at record labels or as promoters. Today, many of them underpay bands for streams and block YouTube videos.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
If I could name the # 1 it would be Katatonia’s “Night is the New Day”. This is the absolute pinnacle of atmosphere and emotion for me. A very personally connected album that still gets me every time I put it on.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Since I live a travelling lifestyle, I don’t really have space for merch. So, I stopped buying CD’s quite some time ago. Guess I have to say downloads, even though I guess it’s a very un-metal answer.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Definitely our gig at Helliad Fest in Gdynia, Poland last year. It was so cool playing a big festival stage alongside big acts like Decapitated, Satyricon and Batushka.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Hopefully, something else that would be equally creative. Professionally, I work as a digital marketing freelancer, so maybe I would put more into that part. And maybe the travelling too. Working the social media side of travelling, blogging and such, wouldn’t be a far stretch.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Oh, wow! So many, haha. I would enjoy some enigmatic people, so let’s make a crazy celebrity/underground musician cocktail. Overall: Chino Moreno, David Lynch, Krister Linder, Mick Moss (Antimatter) and Warrel Dane (Nevermore, R.I.P.).
What’s next for the band?
Right now, it’s all about heavily promoting the album. And of course, finding gigs for next year. We would love to do some foreign festivals in 2021.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Mostly Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. We’re pretty new at Instagram, but it’s been very effective. We’ve been quite slow before, to be honest. Now, Joakim (guitars/vocals) and I am are trying to be the best death metal social media team out there, hahaha.
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I don’t know what it is, but my girlfriend insists that it’s a biscuit. So, I guess I’ll go with that!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you for the interview! I’d just like to thank our fans for their ongoing support. For underground music, nothing is more important.
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.