Perfectly in time to the release of PUTERAEON’s second demo “The Requiem” Jonas’s answers for the interview arrived here. To put it like this: PUTERAEON plays Swedish Death Metal as much as Swedish Death Metal can sound like. They had a huge impression on me with their fantastic “Fascination For Mutilation” demo and therefore it’s more than necessary to introduce these new hopefuls to you. Now let Jonas do the talking to tell what are the goals behind PUTERAEON. Make sure to check out their recently released second demo “The Requiem” as well as their first one…
Hello Jonas, how are you? What’s up in the PUTERAEON camp?
"Hi Thomas! I’m fine here. Still got vacation for a few days but next week I’m back to my boring work. PUTERAEON is working on the follow up second demo titled "The Requiem" and in the meantime I’m sending some more out of our first demo, trying to promote our band on the net. Yeah that’s about it."
Thanks for answering and appearing in Voices From The Darkside. How often did PUTERAEON get interviewed so far and basically how’s the response to your marvellous “Fascination For Mutilation” demotape up to now?
"And thank you for supporting us! This is actually our first interview. I’ve sent out a lot of demos but you where both the first one to review it and also to interview us. The response we’ve had so far has been very good I think. Most people seem to like the stuff… well, most people who received it, haha. I’m not sure people who totally missed Death Metal in the early 90s will understand it. But I can’t say I care. We’re doing this cause we love it and that’s the only reason we’re doing it."
With a little research I discovered that you are quite an active person in the scene. You released a couple of albums with TAETRE, you were a member of Danish THORIUM, you released the debut album with DELETION and among all the stuff you are the main person behind PUTERAEON. Are you hyperactive?
"Haha yeah maybe I am, although THORIUM was a long time ago now. But I like to keep myself busy you know. Unfortunately there is never enough time for everything. But I tend to stick to one band for a couple of weeks and then change to one of the other bands. So they are all active but not all the time if you know what I mean. It all depends on what’s going on with the band. TAETRE isn’t really doing much unless we have a gig, so I get a lot time off. DELETION is also at the moment a none-rehearsing band. We are all too old to just standing in rehearsal and practise for just that sake. Nowadays you can do a lot stuff at home with prerecording and stuff so."
Please tell which is the band the closest to your heart and why?
"Hard question since I guess I feel most for PUTERAEON at the moment, but TAETRE has been a part of my life since 1993, and that’s a long time. We’ve been through much and we’ve known each other a long time. We are like old friends. PUTERAEON on the other hand is fresh and I’m so much into oldschool at the moment. Of course I listen to other music as well but the early 90s Death Metal has been with me since then and I still have periods when I only listen to albums like "Like An Everflowing Stream", "Left Hand Path" and "You’ll Never See"."
I guess your main band a while ago was TAETRE, as already mentioned above. Is this band still alive and active and why didn’t you continue to set the focus on PUTERAEON and the other bands instead on them which already had a name in the scene?
"TAETRE is still active but we’re in a bit difficult position. We have an album recorded and finished but no company. And the album costs maybe more money to buy out from the recording studio than most companies would wanna pay. This made us almost break up. It’s not a very funny situation. Another reason why I started PUTERAEON is that I moved from Gothenburg to the much smaller town of Alingsås 30 minutes drive outside of Gothenburg. With today’s petrol prices it get’s really expensive to rehearse 2 times a week, having to drive 120 kilometers / day."
It’s obvious to recognize that the musicians behind PUTERAEON are no youngsters at all. So please tell something about the other guy’s musical background and bands besides PUTERAEON. I’m sure they play in other bands, too – so which are they?
"At the moment there are only 3 of us, but we will recruite a second guitarist when we have to. Yeah maybe we’re no youngsters, we’re all over 30. Time goes fast you know hahaha. The other guys are Daniel on bass and Anders on drums. Daniel played in a bands such as ABSINTH and 13ITCH and Anders played with PROPHANITY, IMMEMORIAL and INVERTED. He’s also playing bass in NOMINON."
The band this interview is dealing with is PUTERAEON and it’s Swedish oldschool Death Metal in its most magnificent form. Tell me what’s going on in the scene today? Why is Death Metal the oldschool vein still what kicks ass the most?
"Maybe it’s a response to all crappy new Metal, Power Metal, commercial Rock and whatever shit. Even a lot of new Death Metal really stinks. I’m not gonna mention bands, but there are a lot of bigger bands nowadays that I think are awful. I think underground music has much more integrity and soul. That’s why oldschool Death Metal rocks the hardest, haha."
Who and what drove you to form a band like PUTERAEON next to all your other projects?
"Hahaha. There is a small story behind this that I’ve told my friends. It started with me playing guitar here in my home. I was writing riffs, trying to make as hard stuff I could do and I played them to my girlfriend Elenor. She then told me straight up that it sounded like crap when I said like "It’s so complicated I almost can’t play it". I got a bit grumpy for 1 or 2 days or so. She told me to start playing real Death Metal again. That’s the true story how PUTERAEON came to life. The next few days I started writing the first songs. I think it was ‘Castle Of Despair’, ‘The Plague’ and ‘Werewolf’ if I remember it right. So my girlfriends influence and perhaps also the fact that I read Daniel Ekeroth’s "Swedish Death Metal" a couple of months earlier where the ground that made it happen."
What does PUTERAEON mean??
"It’s hard these days to have an original name. A lot of bands have the same name and I wanted something own you know. PUTERAEON is 2 words in one: "Puter" & "Aeon". “Puter” is latin and means “rotten”. So there you have it: “Rotten Aeon”. The first name the band had for only a week I think was MEUS OBSCURUM, but I think that sounded way to much Black Metal, so we changed it rather quick."
According to your myspace-page you take as influences bands such as GRAVE, DISMEMBER, ENTOMBED, NIHILIST and more. It’s obvious that these bands influences you a lot, but let’s go a little bit deeper and talk about “and more”. Would you please mention some of the most underrated but nevertheless influential acts of the Swedish Death Metal heydays and what made them so special?
"There are a lot of older bands that never made it big although they played excellent. Bands that have influenced me except the above mentioned are MEGASLAUGHTER, AT THE GATES, DARKIFIED, UNLEASHED, EDGE OF SANITY and MERCILESS. Later I would get very influenced by bands like DISSECTION as well. But when it comes to the core of Death Metal, my Swedish favourites are now mentioned. Other favourite bands include MORBID ANGEL, DEICIDE, CARCASS and old MORGOTH."
Your demo “Fascination For Mutilation” was a blast and impressed as much as the GRAVEYARD promo a year ago. It’s probably not even a tiny little bit original but heavy as fuck and kicks ass like hardly a demo the last months ago if you ask me. Why is the time right for PUTERAEON?
"I don’t know if the time is right or not. If people are getting tired of all the new stuff and wanna look for something new sounding older, than maybe PUTERAEON can fullfill their needs. As I said earlier, we are doing this only because we love the oldschool stuff. We’re not trying to make any money or so. We just do it out of pure love for the genre."
I mentioned in my review on the Voices pages that the riff close to the beginning of ‘Butchery Torment’ reminds a lot of ‘Drowned’ and other parts of UNLEASHED and so on. Was this done by purpose or couldn’t you do it any better? (à sarcasm)
"The song ‘Butchery Torment’ is actually an old, never used TAETRE song from back in 94 I think. I guess I must have borrowed that riff from ENTOMBED without realising it. I never steal anything. But when you mentioned it I noticed that it’s VERY similar. I love the song ‘Drowned’ and I think have probably had this riff in my head when I wrote ‘Butchery Torment’ not getting that it was an ENTOMBED riff."
This means that originality and uniqueness is not what’s PUTERAEON craving for?
"No. I think we want it to sound oldschool Swedish Death Metal. Like a tribute to the old bands. We don’t want to create a new genre or anything. We play Death Metal the way we like it the most. There are so many bands trying to do something new, mixing genres and so on. We stick to the old recepeit."
The sound on your demo is awesome and a band like DISMEMBER would have been proud to have a sound like this on some of their recordings. Tell us something about this funny titled Studio Stunlight where you recorded your demo!
"Hahaha. Yeah it’s my own small studio. Not much of a studio but what matters is the sound you get you know. I named it Studio Stunlight cause of the similar sound to Studio Sunlight of course. It started with a Line 6 gearbox I got as a present and it developed from there."
What about Studio Sunlight and Tomas Skogsberg? Wouldn’t that be a choice, too? What do you think about him and his studio and especially these words spread back then with the “Sunlight-clones” and shit like that?
"Yeah that would be cool. But since everything costs money we try to keep it as cheap as possible. When you record yourself in your own studio you get lower costs and you can spend that money on something else, like a good looking layout hahahah. I like the productions from Sunlight. I’m not sure about later releases, but I think my favourite production is on DISMEMBER’s "Like An Everflowing Stream". Awesome sound! The scene might have been too crowded earlier with bands with the Sunlight sound, but nowadays I think that is not the case. I think we need to have a few more bands using this sound cause it’s the most brutal in my ears."
Swedish Death Metal is on the rise again with so many great releases the last time so I wonder if we are talking only about a bunch of musical maniacs or is it really like this that you have plenty of outstanding Metal bands over the whole country? How big is Metal in Sweden?
"Metal is big in Sweden. Not on the radio though. The radio just plays commercial shit music. I think it’s funny. A couple of years ago EMINEM played in Gothenburg, well… maybe he didn’t play, I don’t remember, but what I do remember was that he didn’t sell that many tickets. But you can hear him on the radio all the time. IRON MAIDEN sold out a football stadium in Gothenburg and played for 56000 people this summer. But, you’re not hearing MAIDEN on the radio. Not in Sweden. So I think Metal music is big, but I think the Swedish bands are bigger abroad. About the Death Metal scene. Yeah there are people, I know a few, who’ve been these Death Metal maniacs all the time. Trends changing, bands coming and going, but these guys stay the same. I think it’s thanks to these people that the scene is coming back."
“Swedish Death Metal” as the keyword got a whole new meaning with the release of Daniel Ekeroth’s book with the same title. Have you read it and if yes what do you think about this book? Here and there you’re also mentioned in it
"Yeah I’ve read it. I really like reading the stuff. You recall a lot of different things. I remember staring up my first Death Metal band around 90-91 and you get nostalgic when you read the book and remember the old times. Excellent reading. Yeah I’m mentioned in it a couple of times I think, and I don’t care if Daniel doesn’t like TAETRE that much, cause I really loved the book."
Have you heard about the book / mega-mag “Encyclopedia Of Svensk Döds Metall” yet? Another perfect example of proving the high influential times of early Death Metal. Isn’t it strange that a movement like the Death Metal scene, probably a little bit comparable to the Hardcore movement earlier, had such a huge impressions on so many persons and that still a lot of them, me included, consider the early 90s as one of the best times of their lives?
"Yes I’ve heard of it but haven’t read it yet though. I think most people who grew up during the early 90s and listened to Death Metal at least to some extent listen to it still. It was underground so the general public never got to it. It was just something new and mind-blowing and it etched itself on the people who listened to it. Death Metal was more than just a music style, it was a way of life. I mean, reading all the fanzines, buying demos, writing letters and so. It was so much more than just music."
Let’s loose some words about the Swedish scene of the early nineties. Which bands were in your opinion the most impressive ones? Which persons were the leading forces in the scene and what do you think happened to Sweden during this time?
"Back then I think ENTOMBED was the biggest and most influential band around. I really liked AT THE GATES as well, with their very strange kind of Death Metal they played back in the beginning. I don’t know what happened really, I guess the Black Metal scene came and kind of sabotaged the Death Metal scene. All of the sudden everybody had to be so evil and true and hostile towards each other."
What’s your opinion about the bigger names of your scene and how they progressed during the years as e. g. ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER, UNLEASHED, GRAVE, KATATONIA, OPETH, IN FLAMES or ARCH ENEMY?
"I like ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER, GRAVE and UNLEASHED and I think they’re still going strong although all of these bands have done some less good albums in their career, but I think they all have managed to come back strong. I have never really listened to KATATONIA or OPETH so I can’t really say anything about these bands. Arch Enemy and In Flames have both gone in my ears "the wrong way". I guess they make a lot of money and so, but in my ears the old stuff from both these bands are a lot better. But I can’t say these bands have ever been any favourite of mine."
I suppose you were an active tape trader, too (as all of us dinosaurs, haha)? Were you involved in the scene like that and what about all these other necessary “evils” as writing letters, requesting the stamps back (haha) and so on?
"I remember the stamps, hahaha. Often the stamp was smudged with vaseline so it was easy to remove it from the envelope with hot water. I used to dry my stamps in the bathroom. I traded tapes with my friends mostly. We recorded our special mix tapes with whatever cool stuff we’d gotten our hands on."
Have you heard about the radio show “Darkness Descends” (aired through www.solarfall.com) moderated by Ola Sjoberg? That show goes in the same direction as your music as it perfectly represents what Death Metal stood for around the year 1990. Do you care for nostalgia like this?
"I haven’t heard of this but I must say this sounds like something to check up. Of course I find these things really interesting and funny. I will definitely check this out."
Can you agree that the myspace-community, as trendy as it may be, takes a huge responsibility for these back to the roots thinking as it made it possible to get in touch with some of the cult bands of the early nineties (e. g. GOD MACABRE, CRYPT OF KERBEROS, ETERNAL DARKNESS…)?
"I think myspace and internet have opened a lot of doors. Easier to find new bands, and easier to contact new people and contacting older bands as well."
What’s next for PUTERAEON? I read that you are currently working on a new demo, what can we expect? Did you already get some request from labels? Or will you stay more or less underground and handle everything by your own?
"We have had a couple of labels contacting us, but at the moment we are working on our second demo "The Requiem" which will be finished sometime early September I guess. At the moment it feels really good being underground and doing everything ourselves, but you know. It depends on how much work it will be, but we don’t feel that we have to bind us to a contract right away anyway."
Almost at the end let’s loose some words about your amazing (ahem…) coverpainting. Who’s responsible for it and what does it represent?
"The cover for "Fascination For Mutilation" is done by a friend of mine Johan Ryding. He’s also responsible for the logo. I think the cover is cool, very oldschool and I think it could have been on any old democasette back then."
Jonas, guess that’s it for this time. Thanks for the answers and for the great music with PUTERAEON. Please keep on presenting such great oldschool tunes. If there’s something left to say please feel free to add it here!
"Thanks for the interview! As I said earlier our second demo will be released sometime early September. We will put some of the new songs on our myspace site as well. Allrite! Thanks for showing interest in PUTERAEON. Stay brutal and old school! Cheers!"