Sweden’s EUCHARIST are no more, and no – they haven’t reformed (once more), but MYSTICAL MUSIC’s Ralf Hauber managed to track down former member Markus for the following interview, which he kindly let us use on our unholy pages in its original version (thanx mate!)… So read on to find out some more about this highly underrated act…
Hey Markus – what’s up? Hope you’re in the right mood for some bloody interview questions, ha! Well, it’s a bit a strange way to start an interview but first of all EUCHARIST hold probably the record in split – ups in Swedish Death Metal history with three split – ups since the beginning, so can we definetly say that this band is rotting in its grave or what’s the current situation?
"Hey Ralf. I’m just fine, surrounded by the essence of winter over here in Stockholm. Well, the Eucharist history is simply a messed up one and it is definitely having a rest in its cradle deep below the surface of the ground but rotting? Well ok, the shattered remains of Eucharist are most certain rotting. Yes, Eucharist is long gone dead so don’t go count on another serious release 😉 ."
It’s definitely a sad chapter, but why have you closed the doors after a brilliant album like “Mirrorworlds”? I mean you’ve had a respected name in the scene, so which has been the real reasons? Didn’t you get along with eachother personally or did you simply develop other musical interests?
"This is where the mess of the history starts and never ends. Me and Daniel buried the hatched before agreeing to put the "Mirrorworlds" album together after a long time of unsolved misunderstandings that led to argue and hence no contact with eachother. However, I and Daniel got together and made the "Mirrorworlds" album and recorded it. After that, we went on a mini-tour to the Netherlands in October 1997 with Arch Enemy and another one to East Germany in March 1998. A lot of things got tense during those two tours and I’m not really sure of why Eucharist withered, once more and for the last time, after that, but again, some personal issues between me and Daniel (now forgotten and we’re mates) arose. My personal thought about this is that Daniel on the whole considered Eucharist unprofessional and regarding his role in Arch Enemy, which definitely is not an unprofessional band, played its part in the matter of why we split up for the last time. Daniel went on with Arch Enemy and is still one of them, doing a marvellous job and we don’t blame him, right? (Cheers to you Daniel and the rest of Arch Enemy)."
By the way the name EUCHARIST is also a real incest to the Swedish scene; I mean the name of your former bandmates turned up in the line – ups of IN FLAMES, THE END, ARCH ENEMY, UNBORN etc., ha! Isn’t that crazy? What about your activties? Have you ended up in any other projects / bands?
"Blame Daniel for the incest, haha. He had his heart in Eucharist for a long time and that is where he started, but after the first split-up, he joined In Flames for a studio session to record the drums on the mini-album, "Subterranean", then he started The End with Tobias Gustafsson from Eucharist and Matti Almsenius (guitars, Eucharist – 94) after the Eucharist recordings of two pretty unknown (?) tracks called ‘The Predictable End’ and ‘Wounded And Alone’ that appeared on a compilation CD. I suppose Arch Enemy is his call… He belongs there and he is doing a nice job. Unborn is another project that Daniel and Tobias worked at mostly for fun, I think and I don’t know very much about it. I, myself, ended up in no other projects and continued drinking beer until I saw strange things."
In 2002 / 2003 both EUCHARIST albums have been re-relaesed by Regain Records, even on vinyl if I remember right!?! What do you think about the re-released versions, I mean have you been involved into this process or has this simply been a label decision? By the way what do you think about this whole label name change program, I mean they started as Wrong Again Records and ended up in Regain, but they’re definetly a source for Swedish quality Metal, or what would you say? Have they been corect to you, for example concerning sales etc.?
"To be honest I walked into a record store and saw the re-release of "A Velvet Creation" in its original colours. I had no fucking clue about this and I was not asked before so you could say it was a label decision. Money? Have never seen any, nor have I seen a presentation of records sales or such. So you can’t blame me for have doing it for the money, lol. Let me tell you a story, in the Netherlands, March ’98, we had a gig in Rotterdam and after the gig a fan came up to me and wanted me to sign the 7” release of our demo released of Obscure Plasma Records which was a total rip-off… that guy, Roberto Mamarelli (or something) simply ripped the demo tape and released it on vinyl back in ’93, however, standing there in Rotterdam I saw the 7” EP for the first time in my life. I have never owned a copy of that one until late 2002 when Daniel got a hold of one for me. I signed it and went on with my drinking thinking it was cool to have seen the EP. Ok, back to the question, although this was a pure unexpected release I’m happy that Regain Records found it good enough to make the re-release, however they killed some of the mysticism that I feel has surrounded Eucharist. The original release was only made in a couple of thousand copies and believe it or not, one copy was actually sold at ebay.com for $150! That’s fucking unbelievable to me. That is 1500 swedish kronor. A well produced normal CD over here costs like ~180 kronor today. I am also happy to see that they added those two compilation songs from ’94 as bonus tracks on the CD of the re-release as they deserve attention. Concerning the label name changes, I don’t mind… I know the story behind the changes and it’s not very interesting. The two faces behind Wrong Again Records started their own labels. Per started Regain Records and now has Marduk, among others, while Bengt fired up W.A.R Music."
How do you feel nowadays in 2004 about “A Velvet Creation” and “Mirrorworlds”? I mean the material has been written and recorded in the early and middle 90s, so there’s a huge time distance between it. Do you still stand behind it or are there always some little mistakes and points to complain about them when you throw them into your player? Personally I think that both albums have been really outstanding and original for the times when they have been released…
"I stand behind it all 100%! Come on, I was 15 years old when recording "A Velvet Creation", haha, the oldest member were 16. We are all born ’76 and ’77. Of course, we have the sound issue, "A Velvet Creation" sounds as if it was recorded inside a tank or something – it sucks – but I’m still very pleased with the tunes and it’s rare way that we actually structured the songs together to pieces. Concerning the "Mirrorworlds" album, the same goes for the sound – it sucks – it’s a weird story… Daniel was hardly able to get to the recording studio and I, knowing shit about drums, had to say “ok, that sound ok (zip zip on the beer)” to the technician that didn’t know shit either. We were in the wrong studio. But the tunes, I have to say I am satisfied with. Only I and Daniel were involved in creating that album."
By the way do you still live in Varberg? What kind of memories do you have back from the beginnings of this sort of Gothenburg scene? I mean this area is close to you and I’m sure you’ve played there as well back then, did you? There are a lot of dead cult bands like CEREMONIAL OATH, LIARS IN WAIT or “godly” AT THE GATES slumbering, so do you still have memories about those people and have you ever expected that IN FLAMES will become that big as they are nowadays? I mean they’re defintely big in business…
"Ouch… this DOES bring up memories… good and bad. To start with, I live in Stockholm since September 2002 and will not ever in my entire life go back to Varberg again – period! A huge Fuck Off to that sucky city and its inhabitants (with some exceptions). Memories… let me think, Dissection comes into my mind immediately. I remember the first time I saw them play live representing their debut demo, next, we had a gig with them and even another time along with Dissection as well as At the Gates. It was back in the days when Metal was UNDERGROUND! Remember that? We all had a good time backstage and dedicated songs to each other while being at stage… listening to each others new stuff in free-styles backstage and simply had a good time. Ole from Dissection crusched Adrians’ (Daniels brother from At The Gates) roll drum and had to interrupt the gig to replace it… yeah this brings up memories, Ralf 🙂 I can’t tell you about them all, I could go on and on and on about them. It was a total different atmosphere back then. Bands played for the music and not to strive for a dumb commercial breakthrough, what is that?? Yeah, I certainly remember Ceremonial Oath, Liars In Wait… In Flames – No I never expected their great success! I never really liked their music and still can’t relax to it so I don’t bother trying. It’s good for them that they are successful and it is a good move for that kind of Metal. I think it is more of a pop style kind of Metal :/ "
Ha! Have you finally get an own copy of the EUCHARIST “Greeting Immortality” 7”EP? In an old interview you’ve told that you haven’t a single copy for yourself, which is pretty strange for a own bandmember / collector? Do you know that freaks at Ebay pay up to 40 Euros to get this old pile of vinyl from Obscure Plasma Records? By the way do you collect vinyl and what do you think about all those old cult 7”Eps, just like the NIHILIST stuff etc.?
"YES. Finally, as mentioned above – 9 years after release – I have received a copy of the 7” EP that Daniel managed to dig up for me. Got it late 2002. 40€ hehe, well, it’s admiring that people pay that amount for it, I guess that prove of that Eucharist actually IS considered cult, even though I find it hard to believe. And no, I didn’t know that they paid that much for it. I don’t know where to get our stuff either, that goes for everything apart from "Mirrorworlds" and the re-release of "A Velvet Creation". I actually sold my own copy of the original release of the "Velvet" album along with a compilation CD and other CDs, to a second hand record store when I needed money. To be honest, I don’t collect vinyl, although in it lies a very special charm. I don’t even have a vinyl player but it is great that the collectors still keep it up."
Do you know of any bootleg stuff from EUCHARISTaround? There’s an US label / store called Abyss Records that sells EUCHARIST stickers…
"I have no clue about bootlegs being spread. Would be cool, though. However I possess a DAMN rare VHS video of some live performances before the "Velvet" album was released and that is cool, haha. Stickers? Send me some!! 🙂 "
When I remember right you did a sort of mini tour in 1998 together with German Death Thrashers DEW–SCENTED? Was this your first and maybe last time of giging outside Sweden? What kind of memories do you share with this tour? I guess there are some really drunken memories in your dark recollection?
"What tour? Drunken memories I can guarantee you. Yes as mentioned earlier, we had two mini tours late ’97 and early ’98. When leaving the last place we gigged at… don’t remember the name of the city, but the name of the club was KleXX. However, I have been told that I went into the car in my t-shirt and pants with beers in my hands… someone else kindly brought my guitar to the car, but my bag with keys to my aparment in sweden, and the passport was left at club KleXX… this, we found out when trying to leave East Germany at the pass control. I remember not finding my passport and that the guys got pissed off and I went out of the car druck as a fuck, trying to convince the toll officer that „everything was in order“… yeah right… it ended up with the toll officer calling the Swedish toll that would recieve us and he gave them our car licence number and once in Sweden, the toll got us into a damn garage to check us… they emptied the car and had dogs search it for drugs and we had to empty our pockets and lucky us that we threw the pipe somewhere along autobahn and had the rest in our blood 🙂 I have also been told that I smashed the head off our guest bass player, Martin Karlsson, with the car door when stopping for a burger in Essen. He was sleeping and his head hang outside the car when I closed it. He has no memories from it and the head is (I think) in order. Once home in Sweden after being dropped off outside my apartment, I couldn’t get inside since my key to it was still in my bag at club KleXX, listening to Metal… I had to call Leif from Dew-Scented to have him fix this for me, so some other Swedish band which I can’t recall whom, that went to the same place, got the bag home for me… THANK YOU FOR BRINGING MY JACKET, KEYS, PASSPORT AND BOOTS BACK!"
Do you still have contact with Leif from DEW-SCENTED and do you know that they have a really coming success here in Germany finally with their last two album “Inwards” and “Impact”, which have been released by Nuclear Blast?
"I have not been in contact with any of the guys since that tour, and Leif since the phone call I mentioned above. Thank you a lot, Leif, for your help. And I’m very happy to hear that the maniacs finally got through. They deserve it and my memories with the guys are unforgettable. Are they still into mushrooms like fanatics? A warning to everyone – don’t be near those guys on the high-road when they’re on mushrooms, lol. Good luck guys."
a) Death Metal:
"First of all the year 1991 and my own room, then some bands… Paradise Losts’ – "Lost Paradise", Entombed’s – "Left Hand Path", Nihilist, Terrorizer, Napalm Death, Dissection, At The Gates."
b) Your current top 5 playlist:
"1. Darkthrone – "Under A Funeral Moon", 2. Immortal – "Sons Of Northern Darkness", 3. Bathory – "Twilight Of The Gods", 4. Dissection – "The Somberlain", 5. Black Sabbath – "Wheels of Fortune" / "Black Sabbath"."
c) Your musical idols, who inspired you to pick up the guitar?
"That was two very different questions. Who inspred me to pick up the guitar… My brother and his hard-rock collection.Musical idols… back In the days, Dark Throne’s first album Soulside Journey was constantly being played along with Paradise Losts Lost Paradise and some Nihilist too. But what really influenced me and finally got to be the riffs used within our songs has always been my mood as a result of being affected by the nature. I had a special place, an ancient graveyard with ruins from the 12th century that I used to visit at night… I just lied on top of an old altar staring at the moon and the stars and got inspired and from there came the moods and thus the tunes."
d) The EUCHARIST homepage:
"That is very cool… An active website for a dead band! I happened to find it on the web and I sent an email to Viktor Jonas, the web master, and asked him if he needed anything to complete the site. I thought it was very nice to see ONE single website for Eucharist and I do think Eucharist does deserver one to clear up the history… the discography… the story of it and so on. The most fun part with it is the guest book, I like to see the response from listeners and fans. Thank you for a good work Vik."
I’ve already told you that I’m very much into this Swedish demo act called CROMELECH… Their “Promotape 1999” blew me off and it simply has some elements and vibes like the old EUCHARIST tracks had, for example these sort of special harmonic leads, the obscure atmosphere, the shrieky vocals… really outstanding!!! I know that they also come from your hometown Varberg and that there’s also a CD from them being released on an strange label called Beyond Productions, or what do you know about them? Tell our readers about the traces to EUCHARIST and what do you think about them? Aren’t you intersted in joining them?
"I know these guys, yes. One of the original members, Henrik Meijner is my closest mate theses days and he also played along with us on the Eucharist "Mirrorworlds" mini tour both in ’97 and ’98. I am also in contact with the lead vocalist, Fredrik Arnesson nowadays. Concerning traces to Eucharist, I know that they liked "A Velvet Creation" a lot… Eucharist over all, I suppose, and I do think that they have been somehow a little influenced by us and also by At The Gates. But they are very talented and I believe they created their own musical image being very energetic in their songs both the mental picture I get when listening and also the aggressive way of expression. I like what they have done and they have more than what it takes to perform some real masterpieces. Unfortunately, they are no more, as far as I am concerned."
Do you still have musical goals for yourself with other projects or do you still play your guitar? Do you sometimes think that you gave up too fast with EUCHARIST? I mean sometimes it takes a while until a band gets the deserved respect, just have a look at NECRPHOBIC or NAGLFAR…
"We never had a choice; the destiny took its grip and made the history to what it is. It obviously left something for some individuals out there and I hope that what we left pleases them. Eucharist could have gone further, but there is nothing more to say than we didn’t and will not. Concerning my musical goals, I do not feel that I am done with my musical goals. I have written many lyrics that are lying and not even I know what will come out of it. I promise that if or when it is time you will here from me so we can have a chat again."
Last but not least I like to know what you’re doing in your everyday life, hope this doesn’t disturb you? Do you still feel like a metalhead or have you turned into a family man?
"Both 🙂 I am in the middle of some physical and mental “recovering” after a decade of unhealthy living, so to speak. I have been going through some pretty cumbersome years to get where I am today. Thanks to my family, it all goes very well. Apart from that I’m also recovering from an accident – I fell off from a fucking balcony that broke and fell 5m down on the pavement and crushed my feet. That was in late June 2003 and I’ll be suffering from that accident for a while, hehe. I spend a lot of my time at the computer. I run a Direct Connect Horror hub… an interest of mine is to collect old horror movies so I started up this place on the internet to gather the horror freaks. Metalhead… I’m definitly still there, but much more critical to new stuff and the commercial parts of the industry, not saying I don’t like new stuff! People are creating new styles today as we were 10 years ago and that is of course a good thing. But I’m still a fan of the same kind of music that I listened to 10 years ago… oldschool Metal no matter any stupid labels… Venom, Darkthrone, Dissection, Mayhem, Immortal, Bathory… whatever. There are many new great bands that I like, as well."
Thanx a lot for spending your time in this nostalgic EUCHARIST lesson and good luck. If you like to add anything to this interview, just feel free… it’s up to you!!!
"I should thank you for bringing this old stuff to the surface. I’m very glad you did. Thank you also to all of you Eucharist fans out there. I do hope to catch you later on a total different matter 😉 Cheers, Markus."