Here we go again with another hidden treasure that rested in the vaults of my attic for the last 18 years and that has been finally exhumed. In 1997 their debut “Raped In Their Own Blood“ simply blew me away with its raw and sheer brutality. Death Metal the way it was meant to be. Even though VOMITORY matured a lot with their later efforts and maybe became better a more skilled musicians, I still think that this is their ultimate album! The yelling air siren at the beginning gives me chills down my spine still after all those years, because after that all hell breaks loose and pure Death Metal takes control over your mind. And for the fact that many bangers out there still mourn the loss of that pure Death Metal battle tank, it is a good chance to read what their drummer Tobias Gustafsson had to tell me back in 1997…
It might be boring for you, but to start the interview, please tell us something about the band’s history. The only thing I know about VOMITORY is that you released a 7“ EP called “Moribund“ through Witchhunt Records and in ’94 you did your demo “Through Sepulchral Shadows“…
"Well Carsten, you’re right. I’ve written this first answer a couple of times before, but of course I’ll tell you and all people that don’t know so much about VOMITORY a little story. The band has been started in 1989 by guitarist Urban Gustafsson and singer / bass player at that time, Ronnie Olson. I joined a few months later. We did some gigs as a three-piece band, but quite soon Ronnie wanted to concentrate on the vocals only. So we found a bass player; Bengt Sund. We also wanted a second guitarist to get a more powerful sound, so Ulf Dalegren joined the band quite soon after Bengt joined. In 1992 we released our first demo tape, which contained three songs – ‘Moribund’, ‘Untouchable Challenge’ and ‘Undivulged’. With that tape we got a 7“ EP deal with Swiss label Witchhunt and in 1993 we released the 7“ EP “Moribund“. It sold very good and some bigger labels showed their interest in VOMITORY. So in Summer ’93 we recorded five songs on a promo tape for a further co-operation with any of the labels, but nothing happened. Oh, I almost forgot; before the 7“ EP was released, we kicked Bengt out of the band because of his lack of interest. Our new bass player was Thomas Bergqvist. So when nothing happened with the labels, we wrote new songs and recorded a new demo in ’94, entitled “Through Sepulchral Shadows“. In April 1995 we went to Poland for a small tour, including five gigs, but we only did four of them ’cause we were late for one. That tour was a really big experience for us, because here in Sweden we haven’t seen such a chaos in front of the stage anytime we’ve played here. Well, maybe sometime in 1992 – 93 but not nowadays. The Metal maniacs in Poland were totally into the music and they banged their heads like lunatics. That was great! Hail Arthur of CONDEMNATION for arranging the whole thing! In Summer of 1995 we got in contact with Fadeless Records and started to work out a fair deal for one CD. In April 1996 we entered the studio to record our debut CD “Raped In Their Own Blood“. It wasn’t released until November ’96 because of our laziness with coverphotos etc. Just before the release of the CD, Thomas the bass player quit the band, so that we had to find a new one. And so we did; Erik Rundqvist. And almost immediately after the release our singer Ronnie also quit and we found Jussi Linna to handle the growls. So the line-up now is: Jussi Linna – vocals, Urban Gustafsson – guitar, Ulf Dalegren – guitar, Erik Rundqvist – bass and me, Tobis Gustafsson – drums."
Please introduce the members of VOMITORY, so that we are able to get a clue about what they might have done before their time in VOMITORY.
"OK. Urban has always been playing in VOMITORY. Ulf has also played with his Doom band NEZGAROTH, but that band doesn’t exist anymore. Quite a shame ’cause they were quite good. Ulf also did an effort in the MONSTER MAGNET – influenced band SNAKE MACHINE as a bass player, but he quit after a while. Erik has been and is still playing with two other bands in his hometown Arvika. They play more Heavy Metal I think. Actually I don’t know so much about Jussi’s previous musical involvements, but I know he has been singing for some bands some years ago and that he still is the drummer of the Grindcore band GRISGRINDER (Swedish for PIGGRINDER). I’ve been playing with some Heavy Metal bands before I joined VOMITORY. I played in EUREKA, a Speed Metal band, before and during I was in VOMITORY. We buried the band EUREKA in 1993, RIP. I’ve also played in PSYCHEDELIC SUNRISE, a Hard Rock band with BLACK SABBATH influences, during 1994. I also was the drummer of BAY LAUREL 1994 – 1995, but I quit because the atmosphere within the band wasn’t good at all. So now it’s only VOMITORY for me."
Now, finally after the aforementioned releases you put out your debut “Raped In Their Own Blood“ and I have to say it’s, without exaggeration, one of the strongest releases ever emerging out of Sweden (at least in my opinion…)! Give us some brief facts about the recording studio, the producer etc. and maybe some reactions of both public and media concerning your album.
"Thanx a lot for your kind words! We recorded the CD in Studio Prima Volta in Forshaga where I live. The studio is a part of the school here for musical education, so it is not a very professional one, but it’s quite ok anyway. The studio has eight tracks. Sometimes the studio is very good and sometimes it really sucks, ’cause when you get there you don’t know if something is out of order or not. You know, the kids in the school aren’t so handy with the studio equipment. Sometimes they drop a microphone on the floor etc. But anyway, we’re pleased with the result. We produced, recorded and mixed the whole album by ourselves, with a little help from Living Skull. The reviews and reactions on the album have only been positive so far. The first press of 1000 copies is sold out and that’s quite good for a debut CD from a Swedish Death Metal band I think. We often get comments about that people like that we still play brutal Death Metal and don’t wimp out and start to play softer or Black Metal that bands do nowadays. That’s cool! We will never stop playing Death Metal as long as we’re VOMITORY!!"
What’s up in the underground scene of Forshaga / Karlstad? Looking at a map of Sweden it serves the information that you are located between the two Swedish Death Metal capitals Gothenburg and Stockholm. So, is it also typical for the bands of your area, sounding some kind of similar to each other, like it is the situation in the forementioned areas? Are there any good bands in Karlstad and surrounding you could tell us? How many live shows have you already played and were there any bigger acts you shared the stage with?
"I think we’re almost the only surviving Death Metal band in our home area! But when there were other bands around here, I don’t think they sounded similar to each other. They were quite unique in their own ways. MOANING WIND from Karlstad is a very good band that recently released their debut CD “Visions In Fire“. The band goes under a new name now; CAPRICORN, but they are still the same members. NECROCULT from Forshaga is also very good. They play quite primitive Death / Black with that special touch. CAPRICORN plays Heavy Metal. About how many live shows we’ve done I’ve lost the counting, but I remember Urban and I counted them some years ago and the it was about 50 live gigs. So until now it’s probably around 60 – 70 gigs. We’ve played together with DISMEMBER on a festival in 1993. We’ve also played with LORD BELIAL."
According to your lyrics, they have an apocalyptical approach, so would you say that they are of great importance for you, or do you concentrate more on the music itself? Perhaps you could give a few comments on your lyrics? It seems to me that you’ve thought about the end of the world more than one time. Or are you some kind of war-fanatics?
"Of course the lyrics have a little importance. It has to be Death Metal lyrics and not about birds and shit. But we concentrate more on the music actually. We consider the vocals as an additional instrument to the music. Until now our previous singer Ronnie wrote all our lyrics and I think he wrote good Death Metal lyrics. I don’t think there are any deeper thoughts behind his lyrics."
Are you pissed off about the actual movement in the Death Metal scene because of many bands rising up, being just poor copy cats? Do you think they destroy or disturb the scene? Could the following lines taken from the second track ‘Raped In Their Own Blood’ be considered as a revenge on those who follow the fashion flow and betray the real sense of the Death Metal underground? “Sodomy, desecrate the weak / Bloodbath, orgasmic hate / Adrenaline, a total revenge carnage / Death Metal traitors die / Raped in their own blood“
"Yes, you’ve got everything right there, mate!!"
Please explain the choice of your monicker and its meaning. Is it just a fictional word, since I could not find it in any dictionary? Who created that great band logo?
"We wanted to have a band name that represents our music, so VOMITORY was quite suitable for us. In 1989 when we started, no one around here had heard Death / Black Metal before, so people thought we sounded quite strange. VOMITORY means puke medicine. We took it from a band member’s name in the old Swedish underground band TREBLINKA. We looked it up in the dictionary and found another word – VOMITORY. Our logo is made by some guy in Belgium, Switzerland or something. I wrote to him after receiving his flyer that said he did logos and artwork for bands. I got a logo in my mail after some weeks that looked a little bit different from the one we have now. So we changed it a little bit by ourselves to what it looks like today."
In some parts of your songs I recognized some Thrash influences too, so tell us about your favourite bands which might have inspired you in one way or the other.
"Cool that you hear some Thrash Metal in our music! Bands that inspire us when we write songs are BOLT THROWER, NIHILIST / ENTOMBED, NAPALM DEATH (old), CELTIC FROST, TERRORIZER, SLAYER… I can make the list even longer. We also listen to old traditional Heavy Metal and Grindcore bands."
By the way, comment on the fact that a lot of Scandinavian Black Metal acts abuse the music as a mouthpiece for their facistic / racist thoughts. In the song ‘Pure Death’ Ronnie sings about Zyklon B and I think we all know in which way that chemical has been used, so to me it could be heavily misunderstood what he is singing about. What’s your opinion on that?
"We don’t try to spread any political messages in our lyrics, so it’s a pity if it’s misunderstood."
Can you tell us something about activities in your leisure time, at least if you have one? Did the work with VOMITORY develop into a full-time job or what do you do besides the band?
"All members of VOMITORY have a full-time job besides the band. Urban works at a laundry in Forshaga, Ulf is driving a truck for the postal service, Jussi works as a wielder in his hometown Kristinehamn, Erik works at a company that sells timber and building material in his hometown Arvika and I work at a company in Karlstad that produces signs, mostly big ones. In our sparetime me, Urban, Ulf and Erik ride our motorcycles in the summer. In the winter we only get drunk. Jussi has GRISGRINDER!"
Are all the members in VOMITORY into brutal Death Metal stuff or is there any other kind of music you might listen to as well?
"Yes, we’re all into brutal Death Metal, but we also listen a lot to Heavy Metal, Thrash, Doom, Grind, some HC etc."
Your current release comes around with a very bloody and extreme artwork. Where has the photo been taken and what has happened there? Didn’t you have any problems with censorship, even though it is a fucking great cover artwork?
"We have arranged it all by ourselves. We met some shorthaired motherfuckers which we slayed in the forest. Then we put out the camera and took some pictures. But it was quite a hard job to get rid of the bodies! Now they’re in a very safe place. Ha,ha… No we had no problems with the censorship regarding the cover."
So far as I know, your label Fadeless Records is a quite new one and you are even the second band (after CEREMONIUM) to put out a CD through them. Haven’t you been afraid of getting into some kinda problems because of Fadeless being an unexperienced and very small label? I know about some bands which also signed to small labels that run out of money after a while and everything went down the drain. What made you feel secure, signing to Fadeless? Anyway, if I’m right, your label does some good promotion for you.
"Yes, Fadeless is a quite new label, but we had been in contact with Wilko during a long period before we signed anything. The confidence for him has grown during a long time, so when we finally signed with Fadeless, we knew that nothing should go wrong and it didn’t! He even visited us here in Sweden in Summer of ’95. Yes, you’re right about the promotion. He really works his ass off."
Is it for sure that you’ll support HEMDALE, EXHUMED and NYCTOPHOBIC on the second “Grind Over Europe“ tour together with DERANGED and INHUME at the end of ’97? Unfortunately you gonna play only one gig here in Germany at the East Club in Bischofswerda. Will it be the first time ever to do a show down here in Germany? Why is it the only one?
"Yes, that’s correct. We’ll do a gig with the bands you mentioned in Germany. It will be the first time for us in Germany. The reason why we only do one gig in Germany is because we’re on another tour at the same time in the Netherlands and Belgium."
Do you like some German Death Metal, so that you could sum up your five German faves?
"NYCTOPHOBIC is good. My alltime five German faves are RUNNING WILD, HELLOWEEN, ACCEPT, STEELER and SODOM. Honestly I don’t know as much as five Death Metal bands from Germany, at least not bands I’ve heard. Sorry!"
On a band photo of your country mates GATES OF ISHTAR their ex-drummer Oskar Karlsson wears a VOMITORY shirt with a pretty cool print. So, feel free to tell us about available VOMITORY merch.
"At the moment we have no t-shirts left, but there will be new ones soon. I think there are some copies of both the 7“ EP “Moribund“ and the demo “Through Sepulchral Shadows“ left, so they can be ordered for 5 US $. Of course you can order our album from us for 15 US $. Only cash!"
Do you include any cover songs in your live sets or rehearsals like many other acts do as well?
"When we play live we use to play GOD MACABRE’s song ‘Ashes Of Mourning Life’, it’s a killer. Some cover songs we’ve played live are ‘Raining In Blood’ – SLAYER, ‘Iron Maiden’ – IRON MAIDEN, ‘Unleashed Upon Mankind’ – BOLT THROWER, ‘Morbid Tales’ – CELTIC FROST, ‘Overkill’ – MOTÖRHEAD and in VOMITORY’s beginning we played a lot of SODOM songs, like ‘Christ Passion’ and ‘Sodomy And Lust’ for example."
Refering to the photos in your CD I think that most of you wear the typical and old school Death Metal outfit like boots, leatherjackets, cartridge belts and such stuff. Have you ever been menaced by some ignorant people that seemed to have a problem with your outfit?
"There are always some idiots who have to complain on our looks, but we don’t care most of the time. If someone is too disturbing we knock him down. Those people are often shorthaired scumbags, so I don’t find it strange that they are idiots and that they have to project their dissatisfaction with their own looks on gentlemen like us and our Metal brothers."
Would you say that Death Metal is some sort of lifestyle for you and that you live it day by day?
"Yes, it’s a lifestyle. We live the Metal way of life with all what it includes."
Is anyone in VOMITORY already married, so that he might quit the band someday soon, concentrating on his family life?
"Goddamn, no! No one is married yet and I really hope no one plans a marriage in the next ten years or so. But I think that, even if someone would get married, he wouldn’t quit the band for that reason. We’re still Metalheads even if we’ve got a ring on the finger. There’s absolutely no risk for Ulf to get married, since he’s the only single guy in the band."
Tell us a bit more about about what happened to you during your visit in Poland in ’95.
"Do you mean about the car stereo? Well, it was during our gig in Slupsk in Poland when some motherfucker broke the window next to the drivers seat on our mini bus, with a stone, and stole the car stereo. It was because of that we were late for the third gig, that we missed. We had to go to the police station after the gig and the morning after we had to install a new window and that took very long time to find a glazier that had a window fitting to our car. The most boring thing with this accident was that we had to continue the tour with no music in the car!! Imagine that!! But next time we visit Poland we will rape the thief in his own blood!!"
As always at the end, I give you the chance to tell us about future plans with the band and everything that comes to your mind. There is nothing more to do than to wish you good luck with VOMITORY!
"In December we’ll go on tour in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany as far as I know. It’s gonna be cool. I really look forward to it. All people that have the possibility to come and see us, please don’t hesitate to come!! We won’t disappoint you (I hope!). We have also written some new tracks for the forthcoming album and we hope it will be released in Spring 1998. So, all true worshippers of pure Death Metal, watch out! Ok Carsten, thanx a lot for this interview. You really have come up with good questions. Good luck with your zine."