Dismember needs no introduction. It is meaningless to say anything about this mighty band, a band which established the old-school Swedish Death Metal sound in the world. I had the chance to talk with the "fresh blood" of the band, the bass player Tobias Cristiansson who is a member of Dismember since 2005. Enjoy!Metalzone: Hello Tobias, Vassilis here from the Greek Metalzone. How are you? What are you doing as a band that period?
Tobias: Hey! Im fine thanks! Today I have mostly been relaxing at home, listening to music and watching mucic DVDs. The last weeks we have been rehearsing like five days a week, getting the final touches at our new material. But yesterday we handed in our instruments to this music store that we are endorsed by called Jam here in Stockholm. They will restore and polish up our guitars and basses so that they will be in top shape to the recording session that will start in October. The instruments take a lot of damage when we are out touring, like beer that has been spilled over them and all the sweat that is making screws and stuff get rusty.
Metalzone: First of all, I want you to tell me some personal things because you are a member of Dismember since 2005. How do you feel that you play in a Veteran band for Sweden, a band that established the old-school Swedish sound to the world?
Tobias: That’s very cool, because Dismember along with Entombed were my first introduction with Death Metal. "Like an everflowing stream" was the second Death Metal album I bought, it was back in ‘91, so joining the band were really cool for me. Dismember were really important for the development of the Death Metal sound in the early days and along with Entombed etc, created the Stockholm sound of Death Metal with its massive guitarsound. And of course I think that the production from the Sunlight studio helped a lot also, i really love that sound!
Metalzone: Was it easy for you to learn the songs of Dismember in order to play them live? Have you been in a band before?
Tobias: It was quite difficult because I had
to learn 18 songs in 4 weeks, because then there was a gig comming up. We only
rehearsed twise (without vocals) before I did my first show. But it went
alright, and then we went to do an Australian tour so it was quite overwhelming
start for me! And somtimes its very difficult to hear whats going on with the
guitars because of the messy sound when you try to learn the songs by ear,
especially the older ones.
I have been playing bass since I was 15 in a lot of different small bands of different kind, only demo stuff. I have been doing everything from Black metal to 80s Heavy Metal to 70s Hard Rock and i have been going to a music school as well. But joining Dismember were definitly a big step forward for me, because I have always wanted to do this fulltime.
Metalzone: What do you think about the God That Never Was? You think that the fans of Dismember faced the album as the older ones?
Tobias: Well, I joined the band just when the recording were done, so I dont play on the actual album. It’s David and Martin who share the bass on it. But "The god that never was" was very well recieved in the press and by fans. A lot of people seem to like it, and thats very cool to hear thats its not only the first albums who counts by fans. That Dismember still can deliver material that sounds fresh. And I don’t mean new or updated or whatever when I say "fresh" but that it does’nt sound boring or tierd.
Metalzone: In this album, there are many parts in some songs, that reminds me of Iron Maiden. Looking back in the discography of Dismember, there are also some songs with the same feeling. Which is the reason about it? Are you fans of Iron Maiden even though you play Death Metal? For example, the song Phantoms from the last album its like a heavyer version of an Iron Maiden track!
Tobias: You got it man! We are all fans of Iron Maiden, especially David and Matti. And it was David who brought in the Maiden influences from the start I think. All in the band are big fans of the 80’s Heavy Metal bands, like I said David and Matti’s favoruite band is Iron Maiden and Martin’s favoruite is Judas Priest and mine are (amongst others) Black Sabbath. I think it creates another dimension to the sound when you mix in some cool Heavy Metal riffing and some nice guitar harmonies. But it has to be done very carefully so it doesn’t sound cheesy, but I think Dismember has always done it in a good sounding way.
Metalzone: The music industry is too big now and there are many bands coming out every single day. As it is known, its very hard for the listener to choose what he will listen. Do you think that Dismember is a band which always will be popular and the fans will buy their next releases as they have done in the past?
Tobias: Hmm, its difficult... There are defenetly too many bands out there for people to keep track off. But I hope that kids who gets into Death Metal nowdays are interested to listen to the originals, the bands who created the whole thing wether it be the US Death Metal or the Swedish Death Metal. I think that Dismember still have something to give to the scene, cause we still keep delivering albums that are good. Thats very important that you have to push yourself to do better all the time both as recording band and as a live act.
Metalzone: Let’s go now to a question concerning Fred. I heard that he is not any more a member of Dismember after 20 years. Which is the reason for that? Have you decide who will be the next person that will take his position?
Tobias: That’s true. He left the band in April of 2007. He couldn’t continue touring because he’s got a familly and he didn’t want to be away from his familly as much as the band require. We do a lot of touring you know. We totally respect and understand his decicion although we think its sad that he left of course. Now we have Thomas Daun who used to be in Insision and Repugnant before. He’s a real kick-ass drummer! And a funny guy as well, so its working out great with him and you will all hear his drum skills on the next Dismember album.
Metalzone: In August you play a show in Mexico along with Grave, Sinister, Incantation, Belphegor etc. Tell me your impressions about this show and I also want you to tell me how is the crowd in Mexico. Are there any fanatics as in Europe?
Tobias: We did three shows in Mexico: Monterry, Mexico City and Guadalajara. It was really cool to go there I must say. Dismember hadn’t been there since 1993 when they were there with Vader I think. The fans in Mexico are really great, they are very energetic and crazy. It’s always cool when you play that far away from home, to see the country and meet the people. Thats really I thing I like with touring, to meet people from other countries and try to see the cities that we are visiting. Unfortunatley we didn’t have much time to do sightseeing in Mexico. We were mostly in the hotel until it was time to leave to the venue to do the gig, but I would say thats pretty much up to the promotors who organize the gigs if they take us around and show us the cities, and this time it didn’t happen. I would have loved to see the Aztec pyramides for example, but I.’ll do that next time instead,haha!
Metalzone: What about "Feel The Darkness" tour?
Tobias: Well, we were supposed to do 10 dates through Europe together with Necrophobic plus three other bands, but one week before the start it was cancelled by the booking agency. It was of course not our decicion, and we were all very pissed off at this. But there were nothing we could do about it, we tried to reach them by phone and mail but they just refused to answer. I know that we will go back to Europe sooner or later but we feel sorry for the fans who were looking forward for the shows we were supposed to do.
Metalzone: Recently you came in Greece but if I am not wrong, you play only at Thessaloniki. What happened with those shows?
Tobias: We did a tour through out mostly eastern European countries, we played in Italy, Croatia, Bosnia, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. We did two shows in Greece, one in Thessaloniki and one in Xanti. We felt very wellcomed in Greece, the organizers were really cool people and they showed us around in the beautiful city of Thessaloniki. We were at some pubs, can’t remember the names but one were kind of strange, they started of playing mostly 80’s hardrock such as Kiss and AC/DC but then later on it turned to some shitty disco music but still the metal people were there and looked totally satisfied. We couldn’t stand the terrible music so we left to another place just around the corner were they played better music at a more comfortable volume. I also have to mention the amazing Greek food! It.’s so good, and we had some really nice dinners in Greece! It’s worth it to go back just for the food accually,haha!
Metalzone: Any future plans for the band? Is there a new album or an upcoming DVD?
Tobias: We will enter the studio in October and be there for a month. This time we will use Nico Elgstrand (Entombed) as producer, he has previously produced Entombed, Krux, Murder Squad etc. He is a real cool guy, very funny and very talented. We will record totally analog, no computers involved, so the sound is gonna come out great. We don’t like most of the productions of today, everything sounds the same to me. When you hear new stuff you can’t tell if the band is playing Power Metal or Death Metal or Nu Metal by listening to the sound, cause they all got the same production. I think in 10 years from now listening back to stuff thats comming out now I think people will say that it sounds so 2007 or whatever. It’s just like when you listening to a lot of bands from the 80’s. It’s very easy to date it and tell almost exactly from which year it was recorded and I think it will be the same with the music of today. We are going for more of a live sound, timeless sound. I like the warmth of the analog sound, and that you can hear that there is accually a band playing. We have now 11 songs that are finished, I don’t know if all of them will end up on the album, we’ll see. They are all very strong, good songs, quite diverse, and I just cant wait to play them live in front of an audience. The album is planned to be released early next year, hopefully in February. We also have some tour plans, but nothing is yet confirmed. We gonna do a European tour to support the release of the new album. Then there’s plans of doing a tour through the UK, and also something through Holland and France. We also got plans of going back to Australia. So I guess the next year is going to be very busy for Dismember, and im really looking forward to get out on the road again and show everyone what we’re all about. I know that we are a very good live band and we sound better then ever now! For example we were voted the second best band who played at the Brutal assault festival this year! And thats a thing im really proud of. We came before bands like Suffocation, Dark Tranquillity, Malevolent Creation, Immolation- who all are really good live bands, but I think it really proves the power of Dismember as a live act.
Metalzone: Dismember exists as a band since 1988. All the things in the world has an end. When do you think that it will be the best time for the band to dissolve? You think that you still have the same rage and the same passion for Death Metal? Maybe you are not the best person to answer this question as you are a new member, but you will know about the other guys!
Tobias: It is hard to say when is the best time to quit. But as long as you can deliver good new songs and that you still want to do it and have fun doing it. You must have the hunger, and like you said the passion for the music. I know that we still have a lot to prove, and now we have 11 new really good songs to record, so for us we have no reason to quit. But when you see bands like Kiss doing yet another tour again without new material and new member with the same make-up as the originals its just boring.
Metalzone: OK Tobias, I think that there are not more things to mention. Thank you so much for the interview and I hope to see you in Greece again soon! If you want to send a message to our readers and Dismember fans in Greece you can do it! Cheers!
Tobias: Thank you so much for the interview!
I would really like to go back to Greece and eat delicious food, play
old-school Death Metal and headbang. And don’t forget to buy the new Dismember
album when it is released and dont miss the chance to see a good live band when
we come to play, you won’t be dissapointed! Haha, I think that I am going to
sound like Joey DeMaio of Manowar now doing all this commercial for my own band
:-)haha! We are the kings of Death