Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Interview: Johan of Stortregn

With their recent release of Singularity (review) in late May, Johan of Stortergn has taken the time to answer to the questions we asked him about the band and the release of their third full length album.  

Stortregn is relatively a new face in the crowd. Can you introduce the band for those who don’t know about you?

Johan: We started creating music since 2005, with various different band names, but Stortregn rose from the depths in 2007 with our first demo. Our early influences are rooted in the Swedish mid 90's black metal scene. Now, we are modernizing our sound, especially with our new album "Singularity", released by Non Serviam Records.

What is the idea behind the band’s concept and what is your vision of this particular musical project?

J: Stortregn means "deluge" or "downpour" in Swedish. This image represent well the music we create: cold, melancholic and uncompromising. Our band vision evolved a lot through the years, but initially, it was an answer to an imperative need to create. You know, when you're convinced that it's the only thing you have to do, without further questioning.

Can you talk about your influences and how they inspired you for Singularity?

J: These days, our early influences play a lesser role in our compositional process than before, even if there are always deeply rooted in our musical DNA. Beside the fact that this album is the most personal we have done so far, we are trying to extend our inspirations to others territories as baroque and classical periods, with flamenco and jazz influences in some harmonic structures for example. It's important for ourselves to be conscious of our long musical heritage of more than 500 years of composers and masterpieces. So, naturally, we are inspiring ourselves with these traditions. On this album, we are also more exploiting odd time signatures than before. Concerning the name of the album, a singularity is the center point of a black hole where the cosmic laws of space and time are not applicable, in general relativity.

How was the writing process for the album Singularity?

J: The composing and recording process took a bit of time, the earliest songs where written during the recording sessions of our previous album "Evocation Of Light". When we compose an album, we find it important to think about the tracklisting. It's important to have a strong idea for the position the songs, even before we begin the composition process, and have a whole vision of it, like a great painting. Greats albums work as a coherent whole, not as patchworks of ideas. After this, we work with rough demos we use for exchanging ideas on the songs and the lyrics until we finally enter to the studio.
With the record (digitally) out since May 27th, how are you satisfied with the final product and your work with Non Serviam Records?
J: Non Serviam has established themselves as one of the best underground extreme metal labels out there. They share the same passion and vision as we have on extreme music and it’s an honor to be part of their catalogue. Hail to them!

We are huge vinyl fans here on Le Mot du Melomaniaque, are there any talks about releasing Singularity on this format anytime?

J: We also like the Vinyl format, especially when you have a great artwork like we have on this one, but for the moment, there is no plan to do it. Maybe someday, who knows?

You have many guests musicians on Singularity, Steffen Kummerer (Obscura), Ville Vijljanen (Mors Principium Est),  Simon Girard (Beyond Creation), and Vladimir Cochet (Mirrorthrone), How did they come together and how they were planned in the writing process?

J: The musicians we invited for the album played a big role in our musical direction. We've followed them with their respective bands for years now and some of them are good friends. It seemed to be a logical thing to invite them and they have totally succeed in doing some of the best parts of the album.

Who is your favorite band to tour with?

J: Touring with bands you know personally and who fit to your musical ideal is always more comfortable, so there is a lot of bands we'd like to tour with...

Who would be the perfect fit for a co-headlining show with Stortregn or your dream show? (Present or past bands)

J: That’s an hard question but, besides the bands we invited on the album, I would say: GG Allin, Silencer, …

Thank you again for being so kind for taking the time to answer to those questions, any final words?

J: Thanks for supporting us and see you on the road, fuckers!

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