Interview: Hakim Krim of Dead Lord

Dead Lord are gearing up to release their brand new album titled Surrender via Century Media records. Prior to the release, we got the opportunity to chat with founding member Hakim about both the new album and some of the worst things he’s seen when repairing guitars.

How do you feel the response has been so far to the material you have released?

It’s been great. I read some reviews in some German magazines, and I was surprised. It’s been very good.

Was the process behind this album any different?

It was a bit different. My style of writing songs has turned more and more into a chaotic push of the deadline/anxiety-inducing thing, which works but is not healthy. I’m kind of squeezing out songs instead of it being an escape from real life. Since the band has become a company, it’s become harder for me to write songs but I just do it.

What was your main inspiration behind this album?

I tend to get my inspiration from being pissed off about what’s happened in the world or what’s been bothering me for some time. If I feel sad from some things I’ve been doing, I can write songs out of that. It’s like making something good out of a bad situation. Most of the songs are about political situations which I try not to make too preachy. The topics are not too happy and I guess we compensate for that with making the songs snappy. There’s also this frustration about writing about these topics though, as what you’re writing about may not be relevant any more when the album actually comes out. It could be about an issue that has blown over which can be kind of risky.

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Do you think music should challenge the listener?

I think a good listener finds ways to be challenged by music, even if the music is simple. If you actually listen to the music, you can tend to find layers instead of just sound coming out of the speaker. You can analyse the music and challenge yourself by trying to understand it. Lyric wise, I think it should be a little bit cryptic but it would be good if someone understood what you were singing about.

You were part of Isolation Fest recently. How was that for you guys?

I think we had the worst slot at 12am on the Sunday! I’m not the biggest fan of those things as it’s not a proper live show, with the audience energy. It felt a bit like going into a library and shouting for a bit. It was very weird, but it was something that we did more for people on the other side of the computer instead of yourself.

What’s one of the worst things you’ve seen a guitar come in with?

I’ve seen a lot of broken headstocks and other things which aren’t that bad, but the black metal bands that use pigs blood have guitars that are very unpleasant to work on. You’ve got to scrape the frets clean and it can smell really bad. I’m not a fan of EverTune either. They are good for death metal riffs, but for us it doesn’t really work as I feel it loses the resonance. I prefer wrap-around bridges anyday.

What drew you to start playing and writing music?

I think I’ve always like older music from the 60s and 70s which in my opinion were the best for this kind of music. It was before all the studio magic appeared and you really needed to know how to play your instrument. I wanted to put together a band that played that kind of music and go against the trend of sleaze that was popular in Stockholm at the time.

What’s one of the worst things about being a musician?

The fact you don’t get paid as much as you’d like! You have to work really hard and tour a bunch to make a living from music, which can be very exhausting and wear on your body a lot. It can be fun to do the tours and party when you’re younger, but the older you get it gets tougher. Alcohol tends to find its way into the dressing room and you need to make sure that you don’t drink too much.

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What’s something you want to see less of in the music industry?

I want music to sound like music again. It’s weird to hear music that sounds dirty, terrible and badly sampled instruments. It sounds absolutely terrible with its cockroach style beats which is compressed into oblivion. There’s nothing which sounds human in there, and that’s what I want. There has to be human element to it.

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