Entrails is a band name that will never attract much attention within the mainstream for obvious reasons but for us in the know, Entrails have been playing true Swedish death metal for not a kick in the ass away from thirty years. All you have to do is look at their logo to identify how they sound but Entrails have a fun time playing death metal which is a rarity in some parts. Having been active in their first inception in 1990 and after eight years of not releasing anything, original member Jimmy Lundqvist decided in 2008 to resurrect the band and has not wasted any time in releasing six full-length albums of early Swedish death metal worship.
Having a very strong relationship and being signed to Metal Blade records, Entrails have just released their sixth album Rise of the Reaper which should lead them to bigger and better things. I caught up with founding member Jimmy and we discussed all things Entrails and the future of the band. Best of luck to Jimmy and the band and thank you for the opportunity.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We are from the land of Sweden
How long have you been playing together as a band?
This line up have been together in 10 months. Otherwise it’s Jimmy who kept the flare burning since 1990
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We play Swedish death metal but we do it as it still was the 90s. Sound wise with the most similar sound to Skogsberg’s sunlight sound and the simple riffing and killer songs makes us stand out a bit more for those who worship the old school death metal instead of the new death metal that’s out there today.
You are about to release your sixth album Rise of the Reaper on October 11th. How does it feel to get the album out there for the masses to hear for the first time and how have the responses been?
Well. So far, I’ve only been reading one review that’s bad but as I always say. We cannot please all out there and especially not those who don’t even listen to old school or never heard it. Those don’t understand it. Simple as that. Critics for the singles on YouTube have been good. as always. of course, there are people who do thumbs down but it’s the same kind of people that also don’t get it. But to finally have this beast out feels awesome. We are all excited to play in Sweden, or Stockholm to be more specific, the same weekend we release it.
This will be your fourth album released through Metal Blade Records which is a huge achievement in itself and must have been a dream come true being signed to the label. How did you end up getting signed to Metal Blade Records in time for the Raging Death album and how has the support been from the label so far?
We have had a pleasant ride together with them this far. They are huge and have their way to run it and it’s easy to just follow their words and all is good. And it was actually them who contacted me for an offer. And it didn’t take that long to decide what label we were going to sign with. I’ve never been hunting a label. They come to me instead. And that’s good. So, we will see what happens after this and if we get a new proposal or another label wants us.
Being active for a number of years now, how would you say Rise of the Reaper compares to that of your earlier material and do you think you have found the sound you strive for or will Entrails continue to keep experimenting?
Entrails have a similar style all the way as I see it. Very simple riffing along with drumming that isn’t technical. Just follows the riffs and it becomes catchy songs overall. And this new one is also the typical same Entrails but with more variation where we once again use material from the ’90s and mix with new material and shake it well before sculpturing songs. And maybe that’s experimenting, but it’s almost the same way we’ve been doing since 2009 when I started up the band again.
How often is the band able to get together and rehearse in the studio? Where do you get together and record?
Because of our geographic situation in the band, we try to get together and rehearsal every second week or so. Can be longer between and shorter also but every second would be an overall way. It all depends on when we shall perform or so and we make up a plan and do mostly rehearsals at home. And we record in the same place where we rehearsal. There is a small low budget studio built there so we can record our rehearsal or whatever we want, sort of.
Are there the main songwriters of songs that take care of everything or is Entrails now a band where all members contribute to the songs?
So far it’s I who makes the songs in general and then the singer gets to write the lyrics. It has become like that through the years when I have had members that don’t want to make songs or just can’t make any. And if Entrails shall have their way to play it should come from the same source or something like that. I am open for new songs if they are following the style and have the feeling in the riffing and so on.
Being a four-piece when the album was recorded and having different musical influences within the band, was there sometimes a lot of negotiating within the studio or do you feel you are writing the music you want to for the band?
The songs were written a long time ago and before the new drummer and guitarist joined the band. And they had no issues with the material. They knew what to expect when joining a band and where the material already was written. For upcoming stuff there might be more people involved or if we just keep on going with the same way as we always have been doing… and by that keep the Entrails spirit alive.
Having a guest drummer with a strong CV was hugely important for Rise of the Reaper. Having someone like Brynjar Helgetun who has worked with legends in the scene was special. What made you ask Brynjar and was it easy to get him to record the album for you?
As we had our plans for recording the new album just after the last show last year, we weren’t ready for 2 guys suddenly leaving, so Penki and I had to act fast because we had a vision to have the album recorded with or without members. So, we contacted a friend who also have used Brynjar for their work and asked if he might be interested to do some songs for us as well. He felt honoured, took the job and did it damn well.
In recent months you have added band members Arvid on drums and Markus on guitars respectively. How have they fitted into the band and are they already bringing ideas to the table for next release?
Yeah, they joined last winter and have been fully activated by learning older songs and to be a part of the band and that has been going really well. For the next release we haven’t been starting on making anything yet. And what happens with ideas for that only future can tell. Maybe we do a song and have everyone write their part and see what that might end up as and if that’s good and the Entrails style is kept as it should be without any bigger changes, we could work on that.
Penki is now the bassist/vocalist within the band. Was this an easy transition for him or did it take some persuading for him to switch roles within the band?
Wouldn’t say it took any time at all. He is a talented musician and as we were out of members at that time, Pontus and I had a talk and we agreed on that he should grab the bass and vocals because it’s easier to find a guitarist out there, and with the fact afterwards I think it was a good choice.
Is there a main lyricist within the band? What are the lyrics from the album based on?
We usually use the vocalist to write the lyrics on the album and for this one, Pontus was the man behind those words. And I would say every song have a tiny surrealistic horror story. Just made up stories with a lot of death, murder and evil stuff. hehe
Entrails are about to play the Scandinavia Death Fest which would be a dream come true for me to see. You must be excited to play it, especially with Dismember being back and witnessing the old and new bands on the current scene.
Hell yeah. That’s a festival we are looking forward to playing at. We are truly excited about it. And with that lineup and knowing it’s sold out we would just be enjoying the days.
How hard has it been to juggle the touring side of things with the everyday jobs? Do you have plans to go on more bigger tours and further afield in 2020?
So far we haven’t been into dealing with that but we will find out when it comes to doing a longer tour. And we are planning for it… and with our new booker it might be so that we are having a tour in a week or so later next year. Until that we will do weekends and trying to visit many places and festivals to please our fans in a good way.
How hard is it for a metal band like Entrails to survive in the current climate where bands have to tour non stop and sell merchandise in order to bring money back into the band?
We don’t have any issues with that. We are not looking for having a band and live on it. We play for fun and of course want to play a lot. But it demands a lot from our civilian lives, and we all have families at home and takes the shows that come around. But we don’t mind to have much shows and good salesmen.
Before the internet, magazines and fanzines were the places to find out about new bands and trends. Now publications are replaced with thousands of websites catering for all genres. Do you think that some of the passion has been lost or do you think that the internet has been a good thing for music and Entrails?
Well, the spreading and promotion of music is nowadays easier, and it helps a lot to have your music/band out fast. Though it has been taking away the feeling a bit I must admit. And by that the passion has been lost. So, I would say it’s both good and bad with the internet. Especially the downloading has been killing it. And that forces the bands to find new ways to earn some small cash for their work they do.
What are the rest of your plans for 2019?
We have one show more to do here in Sweden. And then we have to see what the new album gives in feedback and what songs we should be having on our setlist in the future. So we will do that show and then aim for a fresh setlist in 2020.
A fun question to end this interview. If you were a DJ and were allowed to bring 5 CDs to the party, what would they be?
Clandestine, Like an Ever Flowing Stream, Into the Grave, The Tomb Awaits, and then a surprise Keeper of the Seventh Key Part 2
Any last message for our readers here at Moshville Times?
Keep on banging and support our music. We appreciate that very much. And hopefully we’ll be on a stage near you in the future if our plans go well. And then we will meet you guys and play some tunes.
Oh…..and whatever did happen in that old house in the video teaser?
That will be announced later on if things are going as planned.
Rise of the Reaper is out now