INTERMENT is a Swedish oldschool Death Metal band which was founded in 1988. In three years time, the band recorded three very convincing demos – "Where Death Will Increase" (1991), "Forward To The Unknown" (1992) and "The Final Chapter" (1994) – and performed at that time with Swedish underground bands like EDGE OF SANITY, MERCILESS, DISMEMBER and AFFLICTED. In 1994 the band called it quits, only to rise again in 2002. Last year, the ‘real’ INTERMENT debut – "Into The Crypt Of Blasphemy" – was finally released. It’s an album which totally breaths the Swedish scene of the early nineties and which is totally recommended to anyone who likes ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER, GRAVE and CREMATORY. Johan Jansson called us one evening from mighty Sweden.
The history of INTERMENT goes back to 1991 when you released your first demo "Where Death Will Increase". Back then you released 3 demos with INTERMENT in a row and in 1994 you split-up. What would you say were the biggest reasons back then to call it quits?
"We were all quite uninspired at that time and lost the interest to continue. We had other bands that we continued with instead. Michael and I had UNCURBED, Kennet played in UNCANNY and me and Kennet had MOONDARK at the same time. In 1994 I also joined FULMINATION on guitar and started up the band DELLAMORTE so we were busy anyway."
When you started, the Death Metal scene was booming more than ever. Bands like MORBID ANGEL, MORGOTH, ENTOMBED and CARCASS often played for huge audiences of 1000 people. Do you think that you were somehow a bit ‘too late’ when you started? Do you think things would have been different if you had started in for example 1988? Do you think you’ve tried enough to make it back then?
"Well, actually we started the band 1988 but in the beginning it was not so serious. After a while we called us BEYOND and we did a demo in 1990. The same year we changed to INTERMENT because of member changes and did our first demo in 1991. I think we tried enough to get an album deal. I mailed all the actual labels at that time without any result. We maybe should have been more active. We should have played more often live and promoted ourselves, I don’t know."
Avesta – the city where INTERMENT is coming from – is a rather small city in the middle of nowhere, lying around 200 km northwest of Stockholm. Do you think that this also sort of maybe ‘harmed’ your career? How was it to grow up there?
"It’s still a great city and I enjoy living here. Avesta is a small city and it was great to grow up here. I’m glad that I started to play music early. Some other bands in Avesta at that time were ENTRAILS, UNCANNY, FULMINATION, UNCURBED and HEADLESS. Maybe it could have been a reason. If we had played more in the Stockholm area, we would have been more known I think. But we didn’t have that much contact with the scene there at that time."
INTERMENT split up in 1994 but since 2002 you are active again. What were for you personally the biggest reasons to resurrect the band? Was it difficult to get the band in good shape and tight again?
"The reason why we re-united in 2002 was because the inspiration was back! I also wanted to re-record all the demo songs for a full-length. I thought it was too bad if we didn’t do something with INTERMENT. But the others wanted to write new songs instead of rehearse the old stuff. We did a couple of songs but they weren’t so good in my opinion. After a while Michael left the band and we were out of a bassplayer and then we didn’t rehearse so much. Then I got contacted by Daryl from FUNEBRARUM who suggested that we should do a split together which was a good idea. The inspiration flowed and we were excited to record the split. At the same time Mattias Norrman joined on bass and we recorded the songs in May 2006."
When you compare the scene of nowadays to the days when you started with INTERMENT, what’s the biggest difference would you say? Do you think it has changed in a positive way?
"Yeah, of course! Nowadays it’s very easy to release an album. There are much more labels and bands as well. It’s easier to promote the band through the Internet with websites like facebook and myspace. You have a much better contact with your fans around the world. When we started it was regular ‘snail mail’ or telephone, that was the only way to communicate with each other. No computers, no internet, no mobilephones. Oldschool for real (laughs)."
Around 1993 / 1994, Black Metal sort of took over I’d say from Death Metal regarding popularity. Do you think that’s also one of the main reasons why many bands called it quits back then? Or that labels lost interest in Death Metal bands?
"No, I think that many Death Metal bands called it quits because it was hard to get a record deal back then. Also as you said, many labels lost the interest and wanted something new to sign. So they became more interested in Black Metal which was growing."
Before INTERMENT, you played in the Thrash band HATRED. After the split of INTERMENT, you were active in the band CENTINEX. What are your most font memories when you think back on those bands? I think that especially HATRED was a much underrated band, I still listen to the demo "Welcome To Reality" (1989) pretty often.
"I didn’t know that people still know about HATRED, that’s cool to hear (laughs)! HATRED was my first ‘real’ band and it was really fun to play with them. We did three demos and did a bunch of shows in the late eighties. I hope that we will do a reunion some day to record all the songs again in a better studio and maybe do some new stuff. But I think it will probably never happen. CENTINEX was my first band where I was only responsible for the vocals, I enjoyed that. For me, CENTINEX were eight killer years with many great tours and great albums. The tour we did with DEICIDE was unforgettable funny!"
Your logo was designed by Christophe Szpajdel from Belgium. How well do you know him and what do you know about Belgium in general?
"I don’t know him so well but we always talk when we meet. I met him the first time in 1999 when we played at the Frontline Club in Ghent with CENTINEX. Then I met him on the DEICIDE tour we did in 2002 and asked him if he could design a new INTERMENT logo. Two days later, he already came up with it at another gig. I have been and played in Belgium around ten times, mostly in Ghent, but lately also in Antwerp and Roeselare. I will soon play in Oostende when I will be on tour with DEMONICAL in May. Otherwise I don’t know so much about Belgium except the beers and the EU-parlament which is located in Brussels."
Last year, you released your debut-album "Into The Crypts Of Blasphemy" (I have it on vinyl) which you recorded together with Peter Bjärgö. How was it to work with him? I’m always really amazed that Peter also plays in rather extreme bands (TYRANT, CRYPT OF KERBEROS) when you consider that his main band was the very atmospheric band ARCANA for many years. Any comment?
"It was awesome to record in Erebus Odora studio with Peter! I know his work with his own band TYRANT, so it was a natural choice. I was there two times before our recording when I recorded with UNCURBED. Peter is easy to work with, so there was no doubt that we wanted to go there. From the beginning we wanted to record everything analogue but we realized that it would take much more time so we did our best to get as close to the old sound as we could. I think we came pretty close. CRYPT OF KERBEROS is one of my favorite bands, I have always followed Peter and his work with ARCANA and SOPHIA, I really adore them!"
Was it actually difficult to come up with material for your debut? I can imagine that after so many years of experience, writing songs must come ‘easy’ somehow, no?
"There was a kind of pressure to write the songs for the album. Luckily we had some old riffs and the new songs for the album came up not that difficult. It was not easy because you don’t think and you’re inspired in the same way as back in the old days. But somehow we all have it in our blood, so…"
I would say that INTERMENT is a Death Metal band with a very convincing and oldschool Death Metal sound. How would you describe the ‘Swedish Death Metal sound’ yourself? What do you think is essential? And what is it that you like yourself so much about this music?
"Well, first of all I was stunned when I heard "Left Hand Path" and "Dark Recollections" for the first time. That sound was amazing, I have always loved the kind of sound you can get by using the mighty Boss HM-2 box. Swedish Death Metal is special and I will continue to play it until I die. It’s an addiction!"
You covered ‘Torn Apart’ by CARNAGE on "Into The Crypts Of Blasphemy". Would you say that CARNAGE is the ultimate Swedish cult band for you? Any other bands which deserve this title more to your opinion?
"No, but CARNAGE is one of them of course! There are a lot of bands which are cult bands to me: CREMATORY, NIHILIST, AFFLICTED, old THERION, UNLEASHED and DISMEMBER just to mention a few. The reason why we recorded ‘Torn Apart’ is mainly because we played it live pretty often. It’s one of my favorite songs by CARNAGE."
You played with INTERMENT at the legendary release-party of Daniel Ekeroth’s ‘Swedish Death Metal’ book, together with NIRVANA 2002 and GROTESQUE. What are your memories of that evening? Do you know if both bands maybe plan to do some more gigs?
"The release-party of the book was just fucking great! Almost everyone from the Swedish Death Metal elite was there. It felt like a big reunion party with your old classmates. I was a bit nervous to play because of that, we also hadn’t played live since 1992 but it was a killer gig! INTERMENT and NIRVANA 2002 only played three songs each, GROTESQUE five, because it was more like a party than a gig. It was an awesome evening that I will always remember. GROTESQUE haven’t played since then but I know that NIRVANA 2002 have played one show in Stockholm afterwards, they also performed at the Maryland Deathfest last year in 2010. But they aren’t active anymore as far as I know."
You toured through Europe last year together with URN and DIABOLICAL. How did that go? Any future plans?
"It was our first tour ever and absolutely a killer tour! All bands were great! We’re looking forward to do it again but nothing is planned for the moment. We have some festivals coming up this summer and in December we’ll fly to the US for the first time and play at the "Rites Of Darkness" festival in San Antonio, Texas. Other plans are to record four new songs for an EP this year and start working on a new album which will probably be recorded in 2012. Thanks a lot for this interview and please keep an eye on our websites for upcoming gigs, tours and releases! Support the underground! Death Metal forever!’