Coldworker | Interview with Anders Jakobson


Swedish group Coldworker are on the verge of releasing their third full-length album “The Doomsayer’s Call”, their first record for independent label Listenable, following two consecutive releases on Relapse Records.
It took the band almost four years to come up with the follow-up to their second album “Rotting Paradise”, so I must start by asking if this was a difficult record to piece together?

“It might appear so if you look at the release dates of the last albums. “The Doomsayer’s Call” has been finished awaiting its release for a whole year so if you subtract that, it’s suddenly “only” three years… We’ve had a couple of slow years, but once we started to write the songs for the album it was done without any complications. We might have put a little bit more time into the song writing, though.”

“A New Era” is the lead-in track from the album, and from the significance of the title I gather you’re issuing a statement claiming this is a new chapter in the band’s career right?

“No, it was actually just a coincidence. The idea to put “A New Era” as the opening track came quite late in the process. It was the last song written for the album and I think most of us wanted it to be the closing track of the album, but then it was suggested as the exact opposite. It’s a daring choice for a band who blasts most of the time to start of a new album with a slow and menacing song when the obvious choice would have been to start off with a bang, but we wanted something different this time. I guess that a lot of people will draw the same conclusions as you, but it is just a title and no hidden meaning.”

So, what do you think separates “The Doomsayer’s Call” from previous works, especially its predecessor “Rotting Paradise”?

“I don’t think there are any drastic changes in the overall style or sound, but there has been some development and I think that “The Doomsayer’s Call” is the next level for the band. We always aim to do our best when we do a new album. We try to write better songs and to challenge ourselves as musicians pushing our own limits a little bit further, and I feel that we have accomplished that. What we also have tried to achieve is to make stronger songs that work outside of their true environment. I mean that you should be able to listen to track 7 without knowing how it relates to track 6 or 8 on the album.”

What is your writing process like, do you guys write songs as a group or are they written individually and then arranged by the whole band?

“We write individually and bring complete songs to the rehearsal room. We are five song writers in the band and most of us have a little computer setup at home where we can record complete demos and share these within the band before we start rehearsing them. It’s been a successful song writing tool for us. Some of us like to work a lot on these demos before they are shared, while others – myself included – like to share the first draft, rehearse it and then work on the details. Anything goes. On the odd occasion we compose in the rehearsal room.”

“The Doomsayer’s Call” marks the beginning of new partnership with Listenable Records, following two records on U.S. label Relapse. What prompted this change and did you hook up with the French label?

“The sad truth is that Relapse declined to use their option for the album and released us from our contract. Unfortunately this decision came very late in the process and we were left with a complete album that we were very proud of, but no record deal. We contacted a lot of labels and the one we went into serious discussion with was Listenable and we are excited to see what this collaboration might lead to.”

The cover artwork is also a bit different this time, it reminds me of those old comic books with a futuristic edge. How does it relates with the album title and the lyrical themes?

“It really doesn’t. The inspiration for the artwork comes from the old movie “Metropolis” which has a particular look that we felt was different for a death metal album. It’s definitively a retro-futuristic look and we like it a lot. Since it’s not photo realistic in any way there has been a lot of comic references from people, which is quite funny. We wanted a cover that would stand out from our previous album artwork, but still feel connected to them, why we are having a “guy in the middle” concept on all our albums.”

When you first came out, the perception was that you were constantly compared to Nasum for the obvious reasons, and in a way there were some similarities between both bands, but this new record sounds more distinctive than anything you’ve done before and can hardly be associated with your previous band. Do you agree?

“Any traces of Nasum obviously comes through me since it was my previous band and I probably have a style in my way of playing and writing music that is noticeable if you go into details, but for me as a member of both bands knowing the “inner work” of them, the similarities a few. But on the other hand I think you are on to something, but in my opinion it’s just a part of the natural development of the band.”

Speaking of Nasum, what’s going on with the return of the band for a handful of gigs? Is this going to be a comeback or just a farewell like it was announced before?

“It is a farewell and nothing else, and believe me when I say that it will not be 'a handful of gigs'…”

Getting back to Coldworker, what’s next step for the band following the release of the album?

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to support the release of the album with a few gigs. We are confirmed for Neurotic Death Fest, so that will be a lot of fun as a start at least.”

David Alexandre

Photo by Erik Mattsson

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