OD – Firstly, let me congratulate you on ‘Rust’! What a fucking epic album from start to finish. This being your third studio album, did you approach things a little differently to ‘Empress Rising’ (2015) and ‘Vænir’ (2014)?
THOMAS – Thanks! We did not really approach it differently. We did as always. Locked ourselves inside our rehearsal space for a while. Recorded by all of us. Mixed and mastered by Esben.
OD – The one thing that really stands out for me is the dichotomy of the low-end fuzz with such heart-soaring clean vocals and the mix being damn near perfect. I’ve got to ask about the set-up during the recording sessions. Did you all just plug in and go for the live feel?
THOMAS – Our rehearsal space does not really work for live recording. We have tried it when we recorded Fairies Wear Boots for the Cvltnation Black Sabbath compilation. It kinda works but it gets so dirty. The setup is very basic. No high-end expensive microphones. Just our knowledge, coffee and willpower. This is what we have evolved into. Not an active or outspoken choice.
OD – When writing the material, do you approach it from a dynamics perspective or does that come naturally during the jamming/demoing process?
THOMAS – I have been writing most of the songs since the beginning and I often record a basic demo at home and then we play it through at our practice space and we add our “band touch” to it. We are pretty easy going when working with new stuff. I already know how Esben and Mika play so that is easy-peasy to get it together. Everything comes naturally but of course, we arrange the songs to fit like a glove on an album.
OD – You are currently out on the road with Black Label Society right now, and then Conan in May, it would seem that you are gearing up for a very busy Summer?
THOMAS – BLS is mostly March and ends in April, but yeah summer means festivals! Hellfest is gonna be awesome. So we are doing a couple of fly-ins. Not super busy though.
OD – I have to admit, I wouldn’t have guessed that Monolord would be opening for Black Label Society and when I heard, I was delighted for you. How did this opportunity come about? Was it through the labels/promoters or did Zakk have a hand in picking you?
THOMAS – We got contacted by their crew and I have a feeling that it might be Rob Blasko that’s responsible for this. He put us on his 2017 top album list. Thank you, Blasko!
OD – An extremely high level of quality bands have been emerging from Sweden over the last decade or so. It’s almost like “well, if it’s from Sweden, then it’s bound to be awesome”. Do you find that there is a particularly high level of amazing bands coming from your homeland right now?
THOMAS – For us, it’s not really awesome or amazing. It’s just the way it is and has been for a bunch of years. We are used to it and used to the high standards that come with a lot of great bands from our area. The government is pulling money out of cultural support now, so we’ll see what happens in the future. You should check out the band we were just touring with, a three-piece called Firebreather.
OD – By far one of the most epic bands from the doom scene, as well as the Swedish metal scene, Candlemass were a seminal band. Would they have been a strong influence on Monolord by chance?
THOMAS – A really good band yes indeed, but not really an inspiration.
OD – When considering the inclusion of ‘Wormland’ for “Rust’, was this something that really took you out of your comfort zone seeing as it’s original incarnation is a folk song?
THOMAS – The area where I grew up is called Värmland and I think way back in the days the spelling was Wermland. It is a place where my family still live so I love the place because of that but the town itself, I don’t know, it is more of a love/hate relationship. And Värmland has its own hymn; Värmlandsvisan. An old folk song. So you could say that it is a homage to that. I am really proud of this song and it did not feel weird at all. We all felt instantly that it was perfect for the album.
OD – There is no doubt that the doom/stoner/sludge scene is doing better than ever these days with more attention being given to bands of this genre. Have you noticed an increase in interest from within the band that things are becoming more popular?
THOMAS – Maybe it is more noticed from the outside of the doom/sludge bubble. But maybe people like us, just because we are a good band! It is hard to tell which is which.
OD – I’m sure festivals such as Desert Fest and Roadburn have helped the scene in a big way. Do you find that there is a sense of community within the genre?
THOMAS – Desertfest and Roadburn are not just doom and sludge. They also have some black/death and rock so that might help to spread the music further. More or less every band that we toured with and met over the years has been superb guys and girls. Most touring bands are good to each other regardless of genres.
OD – With the up and coming dates with Conan and Black Label Society, will you have Lord of Suffering / Die in Haze EP available on vinyl? What other vinyl will we be seeing on this tour?
THOMAS – We should have every release we’ve put out on vinyl with us.
OD – Finally, what would you consider to be the most infectious riff of all time?
THOMAS – Right now I have a tough Uriah Heep period. Rainbow Demon is my choice now. Ask me in a month and the answer will probably be different.
MONOLORD are currently on tour with BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and will be back out on the road with CONAN in May. Catch them in Dublin’s Voodoo Lounge on May 15th and Belfast’s Voodoo Lounge on May 16th. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster outlets nationwide. Please contact DME Promotions for further details.
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