Submission | Interview with Christoffer Petersen


One of the most anticipated releases for 2009 in Denmark is Submission’s second full-length album “Code of Conspiracy”, which follows a highly successful debut titled “Failure to Perfection”. Released by French label Listenable Records, their first full-length work received a hatful of plaudits including winning the categories for “Best Debut-Album" and "Metal Track of the Year” at the Danish Metal Awards of 2006. A feature that is becoming quite standard for the Danes considering they’ve already received a similar prize before. Looks like Submission will better start looking for a bigger shelf to store those Danish Grammy-equivalent awards for Metal, right?

“Ha ha ha...yeah well, let’s see if "Code of Conspiracy" will bring us another award. I must say that "Code of Conspiracy" is our most discussed album, and it has been underway for a long time, due to many unforeseen events, such as personal problems, problems with labels and such. You can almost say that we have been struck by bad luck these past few years, things just did not work out, like we wanted it to be.”

Although “Failure to Perfection” have garnered strong and amazing answers in their native Denmark, the sad reality is that Submission’s debut work with the exception of outstanding reviews in various magazines, have made little impact outside their nation’s borders.
What do think exactly happened in that camp, have Listenable Records failed to promote it to the maximum of their possibilities?

“Yes we think exactly that, because we felt like Listenable Rec. didn’t wanted to help with the booking area, and yes we know that they are not a booking agency, but there was so many other things they could have assisted us with, to get the music out to the listener, live, videos and commercials, you can say that they left us in the cold, with regards to that.”

Meanwhile, Submission has opted to leave Listenable Records and look out for a better deal. Initially the band was planning to issue the record thru Mighty Music, a subsidiary of Target Distribution, the biggest independent metal distributor in Denmark, but a recent turn of events have seen them switch to Blistering Records.
So, tells us what happened and how did Submission end up signing a record deal with the Swedish company?

“Yes, well we were on the lookout after the split with Listenable, but none seemed to be the right one for us, so things were put on hold for a while, and we fumbled with new styles of music, but ended up where we started, but on a whole new level. Then I contacted Michael from Mighty Music and he was interested, so we talked back and forth about a deal, and we finally got an agreement, and started recording "Code of Conspiracy".
But then Steven our former frontman decided to stop due to personal stuff, and that happened while the guitar recordings has started, so we were hit in the face again. We had tracks for an album and recording dates, but no frontman. Then we had to speed up an audition and in the nick of time we found a new frontman, Lasse Sivertsen. We recorded and finished "Code of Conspiracy" and everything was ready to go, then we came across a disagreement with Mighty Music and choose to part ways. Then I got a mail from Lars from Blistering Records who had heard the album on the "Popcom Messe" in Germany and was really interested. So we talked about a new deal with him, and we finally have, what we feel like the right deal for Submission.”

Bestowing a powerful and striking production, once again courtesy of Jacob Hansen at his Hansen Studios, “Code of Conspiracy” also introduces their extremely talented new singer Lasse Sivertsen, who takes over the position left vacant early this year by former vocalist Steven Qvist.
What led to Qvist’s departure and how did you find Sivertsen as his replacement?

“The main reason Steven choose to leave Submission, was due to personal things. During the recording of the guitars, we had to make an audition for a new frontman, and that was really in a bad time, but we held the audition, without Lasse showing up. And none of the guys who attended the audition had what we wanted for Submission, then a few days after I got a mail from Lasse, asking if he still could enter the audition. I then sent him two tracks from “Code of Conspiracy”, which he recorded REALLY quickly some test vocals on, and right away I knew we had found the right guy for us!!!”

Following several spins it’s safe to state that “Code of Conspiracy” is a bit more melodic and diverse when compared to previous work “Failure to Perfection”, in your perspective what are the main differences between the two works?

“During the “Failure to Perfection” time we didn’t really know which way we wanted to go and where we wanted to be, due to our differences in musical styles. But after our fumbling, we tried off very different styles and the end result is what you’ll hear on “Code of Conspiracy”. It seems that “Code of Conspiracy” is what Submission is all about and the way we want to go.”

There’s a particular theme that stands out for being something that Submission have never tried before, which the acoustic-driven “An Illusion of the Perfect Forever”.
So tells us how did the song developed into such of kilter signature?

“Yes.... Well, I have always wanted to do a song like that for Submission, just to move things a bit, and tryout some new stuff, there aren’t that many people that does that stuff in this genre. It’s actually a good story....It started with me having my 30th birthday, and my parents made me a scrapbook about my life, and included some old school photos and at that time I had already recorded some test songs for the acoustic track, but nothing seemed to have the right feeling, I then saw an old girlfriend in one of the pictures, and she was actually my first love!!!! Yes that was you Jeanette!!! (If you read this) That got me into the right mood and feeling, so the guitar parts is a tribute to the “long lost love" I had. I really missed her in my youth years, because she moved away, so the theme of the guitars is somewhat sad.”

Is there a theme running throughout "Code of Conspiracy "?

“No not really, just daily challenges and problems....And about all of the fucked up people that this earth houses.”

Submission's band members are also involved in other bands as well, like The Arcane Order and The Cleansing. How did you manage to find the time to work with all those different bands, especially Morten Løwe who drums for countless bands?

“It's a matter of priority, Submission was first around before many of the other bands that houses members from Submission, and surely that will cause some problems with time and tours, but again it’s a question of priority. If let’s say like The Arcane Order has a tour and Submission only have a few dates in that time, the priority goes to The Arcane Order of course, cause that’s the band who has three Submission members. Morten plays in lots of bands but usually as a studio musician, he is like a dog with a stick!!!!...Fetch the stick Morten...Ha ha.”

How would you describe the Danish metal scene of today? There’s a whole new generation of bands emerging in recent times like The Burning, The Cleansing, Crocell and Dawn of Demise that making some significant waves and revitalizing the Danish underground scene.

“Yes, a lot of those guys are on the climb and it’s really great to see all those Danish band move up the ladder, I’m sure that at some point Denmark will kick Sweden off the throne as the Metal country, but again this is not a contest, it’s all about music!!!”

How do you explain the fact that Denmark still hasn’t seen a metal act reaching a similar cusp of commercial success of someone like Mercyful Fate despite the immense talent displayed throughout the last decade?

“Well, those days were special, but everybody knows that time has changed as well as record sales, which I think is the main reason for the lack of Danish super bands like Mercyful Fate, etc, etc.
Everything costs money, and if the piracy users keep downloading there will not be any bands left to create music for them, so I would say the internet has done something. Plus the number of bands trying to breakout, is also a fact you have to incorporate, it’s really easy to record an album, with today’s home recorders.”

Which Danish metal bands would you stand out right now?

“My personal favourites are Scamp, The Arcane Order, Crocell, Vira, Dawn of demise and The Cleansing.”

What are the future plans for Submission?

“Making music, and try to get on some more tours outside Denmark, cause with “Code of Conspiracy”, Submission has taken a new turn and beginning!!!”

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