The Arcane Order | Interview with Flemming C. Lund

You can call The Arcane Order what ever you want, Death-Metal, Black-Metal or Thrash-Metal, just don’t call them Metalcore because they don’t like it! And honestly, such interpretation really would do the band an unforgiving injustice as their second full-length album “In the Wake of Collisions” sees the Danish band setting a new course for themselves into a richly textured Metal mayhem that has hardly anything in common with a genre prostistuted far too freely these days. Guitarist and band founder Flemming C. Lund was nice enough to take his time and answer to our deviant questions regarding the band’s working ethics, ambitions and fondness for Spanish football team Real Madrid. Read on…

Danish metallers The Arcane Order have produced one of the year’s most exhilarating moments of extreme metal mayhem with their new work “In the Wake of Collisions”, which represents something of a remarkable contrast for the fashionable ways of merging Death Metal with Hardcore elements of recent times. Their 2006 Metal Blade debut “The Machinery of Oblivion” already showed a promising start with a band willing to crave a niche of their own, but it’s with its successor that The Arcane Order truly blossomed into an exemplar, technical and precise Extreme Metal machine that defies easy categorisation.
“In The Wake Of Collisions” is in many aspects more demanding, diverse and heavier than your debut album “The Machinery of Oblivion”, did you already planned this change before writing the new songs or was it something that developed naturally during the writing process?

“It was part wise something that we wanted to change and part wise something that happened naturally. You must remember that some of the songs on our debut album, which was released in 2006, were written way back in 1999/2000 and therefore they weren’t that “up to date” when they were released. I still think they are very good though, but I guess you can say they didn’t represent us 100% when they were released. So we wanted to change our sound a bit, become more extreme and try to find our own sound. And that’s how “In the wake…” ended up sounding like it did. When I started to do riffs for the album I discarded all old riffs. We only wanted new stuff. And when I started to write the new riffs I found a new approach to doing harmonies and riffs in general, and that more or less was the key element to the change in our sound.”

Is that the style you'll be leaning towards in the future? Do you think you’ve nailed The Arcane Order sound?

“Oh yeah, definitely! We certainly have found our own sound now and a sound from which we can evolve. We were aiming at finding our own special sound and a sound that we would love to play as well, and we really have!”

In my opinion, “In The Wake Of Collisions” shares some similarities with bands like Strapping Young Lad and I've already seen some comments reinforcing my opinion, does it piss you of when someone says that you sound like x or y band, or do you take it as compliment?

“It doesn’t really matter to me as long as people don’t think that we rip off other bands 100%. Today it’s more or less impossible to create music that doesn’t sound like other bands, because there are so many bands out there playing different kind of stuff. And I mean sure, we are influenced from SYL, but we are influenced from other bands as well like Scarve, Voivod, Red Harvest, Decapitated, Disbelief, Cult of Luna, The Amenta and others.”

So let’s say, who would you mind getting tagged with?

“Metalcore! I really keep wondering why, WHY, someone could mistake our music for being Metalcore! It may sound silly, but to me that’s an insult! We all come from a metal background and I have personally been listening to metal since the late 80’s so I can assure you there are no core-inspirations in our music. But luckily with the new album and very few still think we are Metalcore. :)”

Seeing that The Arcane Order is comprised of musicians involved in other bands and that you write all the music, do you think people will be tempted to perceive it as your band or project and not an actual concept of a full-band?

“I think so… at least I often get the question if we’re a project or a band. Or actually people did that more with our debut album. I think today people look at us as a real band, just as they should. We are a real band today, even though the idea of the band started as a project, but that was around 2000-2001.”

And being the main composer for The Arcane Order with a clear vision of how the band should sound like, I must ask you how much input are you willing to take from the other band members? I mean there are bands like Megadeth, whose main leader calls all the shots in order to not deviate from the course he thinks is best for the band?

“I do write all the music, but all the other guys always come with their input and ideas, and I always welcome them. The band is by no means a dictatorship or anything. I guess in the end I do call the shots, if we can’t decide in which direction to go, but I always ask the other guys for their opinion and if there’s something they want to do, that’s what we do. And Kasper does exactly the lyrics he wants or Morten does exactly the drumming he wants, etc... So everyone is happy about their role in the band. I do have an overall vision with the band and which direction I would like the music to take though.”

How would you compare your goals with the band nowadays against to when you started?

“Our goal has always been to just be able to release some records, play some shows, and just have fun and enjoy each others company in the band. And that hasn’t changed. We are not in the band to make money or be the biggest band there is out there. We take everything day by day.”

Enshrined with the preservation of Metal and its most remarkable characteristics, one of the greatest aspects of “in the Wake Of Collisions” is its proficient technical twists, with incredible old-schooled flavoured guitar solos, fast and complex drumming with great rolls thrown in, do the think these are characteristics metal music is losing with the current trend of fusing Death Metal with Hardcore?

“Yeah, definitely! And that’s a damn shame! Solos in metal are things that can take a song to a whole new level and make the song sound even more interesting. And the solos are one of the things we insist upon, and they will always be a part of The Arcane Order. I love playing guitar and I love playing leads as well, and for the next record there will be even more shredding! We try to push our musical abilities on every record, and our drummer wants to make his playing as colourful and interesting as he possibly can. Today it seems like most records are getting more and more mechanic sounding, which is a shame I think, and a lead can therefore add so much spice to a song.”

When you were starting up as musician, which guitarists did you look up to and would be called as inspirational?

“Great question! There was one guy in particular that I really looked up to, and that was George Lynch. Back then he was playing in the hard rock band Dokken. I have always had a soft spot for hard rock, I guess also due to the fact that most of these bands had great guitarists and ripping, bluesy leads. So George Lynch was definitely one of the most important guitarists for me, and today I still love his work. Other guitarists that were really important to me were Satriani and Malmsteen. Later on I have drawn inspiration from players like Jeff Loomis (Nevermore), Peter Lake (back when he was doing Theory in Practice and Mutant), Mike Wead (Memento Mori/King Diamond), Reb Beach (Whitesnake/Winger/Dokken) and others. I love shred, but not just for the sake of shred. You have to be able to put emotion and melody in the solos as well, and these guys really do that.”

From the information on your homepage, I know that you’re a very busy man, with a day-job and a number of other projects, besides being the main composer for The Arcane Order. How do you manage to do everything?

“Well, it’s not always easy, I’ll tell you. It’s actually very hard to find the time to do everything. And on top of that I would really love to play in 1-2 more bands, but time is just against me. It’s hard to allocate all your time in just one project and I love being busy, but I often wish the day had 48 hours instead of just 24 :)”

What role does music play in your life?

"It means everything to me… as do metal. Having the chance to play metal and actually have it released is an indescribable feeling. And when you have a full time job next to the music it’s really great to go home and write or play music, because you use your brain in a completely different way. I love being creative and the music is a great way to channel out all your feelings, both good and bad.”

Lyrically, what are these collisions you’re referring to on the new record? The human collisions of daily life perhaps, as men tend to be very conflictual?

“In the Wake of Collisions” is the title of a concept, which basically deals with various aspects of the main theme collisions. It is not a concept album in terms of having a thoroughly, ongoing story with the same main character, but more a concept album that portray the main theme in different scenarios, which are all open for interpretations. The collision theme is to be understood metaphorically. However the lyrics deal with identifiable human experiences situated or based on concrete clashes between ideas and pragmatism, values and moral standards, democracy and tyranny, wars and prosperity, love and hate, life and death, religions and secularism, culture and nature, etc.”

I understand the band haven’t been playing a lot outside their native Denmark, is that a scenario The Arcane Order is willing to change? With all the obligations of its members do you think it’s possible for the band to embark on a European tour?

“Oh yeah, we so much want to go out there and play. We are currently trying to set up a tour and festival gigs in the summer of 2008. We can’t wait to get out there and play for all our fans. We get tons of requests all the time, so it has to happen soon!”

Do you have any ideal partners in mind?

“We don’t have any ideal partners, but someone playing the same style we do, would of course be great. I guess playing with bands like Behemoth, Job for a Cowboy, Black Dahlia Murder, Decapitated, Scarve could be great. But also we would love to tour with other Danish bands like Hatesphere, Mnemic, Raunchy, The Burning, Dawn of Demise, Mercenary and Urkraft. We are all great mates!”

What do you think of Metal Blade releasing the album only on digital format on North America? I guess that you have experienced the tape trading phase seeing that you’re in your thirties, how do the see the evolution and easiness in each people can trade off music and bands can get their songs to be heard?

“Oh yeah… the good old days of tape trading. :) Well of course it’s not 100% satisfactory to neither us nor the fans that they can’t get the whole CD. We really get a lot of requests from people from the US who want to whole CD. But I guess you can see the digital release as an experiment to see how big the demand for the record is. If it goes really well, the CD WILL be released in its physical form over there. And also you most remember that a lot of people today, especially the younger, prefer to just download songs from iTunes or wherever. So the idea is okay, but hopefully it’ll end with the release of the physical CD as well.”

To end the interview, let’s talk about football as Flemming is fan of the sport just like I am. The guitarist has a soft spot for Real Madrid while I favour Barcelona instead, do you think Real Madrid will win the Spanish championship?

“Yes I still think so, although there only 2 points now (as I type this) separating the teams. We have had some problems with injuries with Robinho, Sneijder and Pepe being out for quite some time while Ruud Van Nistelrooy is in a bit of a scoring crisis, so we have lost some ground. But we will come back for sure… and of course beat Barcelona in the 3rd last game on Bernabeu! :)”

The strategy of Bernd Schuster and its model of playing is highly criticised by supporters for not having the fantasy of yore, do you think that’s important against winning matches?

“Winning matches if of course most important, but yeah, we love to see beautiful, creative football as well. But there are still a lot of young players on the team, and I definitely think that Schuster is the right man for the job. After all he has made the best results in a very long time. But I hope we can get some reinforcements in the summer break and get a new striker and midfielder.”

Find out more about a band destined to play the champions league of extreme music at: