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Surface address: c/o Lundsbye, Ekehojdsg 8 SE-426 68 V. FROLUNDA, SWEDEN

Visit their multi awarded page at BLACKMAIL Home Cave

Interview :

- Present your band

(Danne Lundsbye) I'm 19 years old and play the drums. I also like to play the guitar, but on stage with BLACKMAIL I stick to the drums. I recently finished an economy education. I will start studying economy at the university, but right now I work in a video game shop. Video games is one of my passions in life. Other interests besides music are Monty Python, Star Wars and juggling. Jens Lundsbye is 21. He plays bass guitar and sings (mostly backing vocals, but some leads as well). He has a graphic media education and works with computer based graphics. Jens is the one who does most of the graphics on BLACKMAIL records, posters and other pieces of printed matter. When he's not working with graphics or music, he likes to do jester arts, like juggling and fire spitting, and he also practices ju-jutsu a couple of times per week. He's also a Star Wars addict. When he has some time off, he spends it with his fiancée and his friends. Robert Alsterlind is 20, and plays the guitar and sings the lead vocals on most of our songs. He's doing his last year on a post graduate education for youth workers. Besides music, he likes outdoor life and boxing. He actually won the Swedish Boxing Championship when he was 12.

- Your last mCD has got a fantastic production. How long did it take to record it and to mix it?

thank you! Recording the four songs on Female Impersonator took us four days, and the mixing was done in one day.

- Why did you record a mCD & not an album?

- Money!!! The reason why we made a mCD instead of a full length album, is that we simply did not have the economy to record all the songs that we would have wanted on an album, and then have it pressed too. Our ambition was to find a record company that would support a full album release, but we failed to get signed, and since our economical resources are very limited, we really only had the choice to make another EP, or wait even longer for a follow up on our debut, with the risk of losing all good-will we had gained by that project. It is also quite pointless to make a full album on your own label. To get the publicity you need to sell big, you need a professional organisation promoting it, if it is going to sell more than a few copies to the closest fans. We probably wouldn't have gained much more publicity with a full album, and then a lot of good songs would have been wasted on a record that wouldn't be heard by many more than media people. When we make a full album, we want to give it a chance to sell.

- I think BLACKMAIL sounds like the last CORROSION of CONFORMITY (Wiseblood). But you're not a clone of this band. Do you agree with me?

- Well yeah, we do agree on the fact that we are definitely not a clone of CoC. As to whether we sound like they do on Wiseblood or not, we have absolutely no idea. Only one of us (Robert) has ever listened to CoC, and none of us has heard their latest album. But they sound good, according to Robert. He thinks that their earlier records reminded him of Black Sabbath, who have influenced us to some degree. Maybe that is the common link? It's funny how everyone seems to have his/her own idea of what other band we sound like. Actually, we have made a list on our website of all the bands that we have been officially compared to in media, and it is starting to get really long! I think that CoC was the 49:th band. Next time we get a review, we'll probably celebrate our 50:th comparison anniversary. The problem with that list is that most of the bands in it are bands we have never listened to - we hadn't even heard of some of them before they appeared in a review. There are also lots of bands, that we often have been compared to, that we have listened to, but definitely don't feel very much inspired by. Our first mCD was often compared to Metallica, but we have never tried to sound like them, and we can't hear that similarity ourselves.

- Then describe your main influences?

- Some of our main sources of inspiration are AC/DC, Alice Cooper, The Beatles, Danzig, Roky Erickson, Freak Kitchen, Jimi Hendrix, Kings X, Kiss, Misfits, Soundgarden and Frank Zappa. We are also influenced by acts like Star Wars and Monty Python. These are just a few of the most important names - they are really too many to mention, We have listened to a lot of styles through the years - from blues, classic rock'n'roll, pop, punk, heavy metal, rap and experimental/alternative styles. It's impossible to single out any particular musician as our primary inspiration. If you would force Robert, he would probably say Jimi Hendrix, but then continue with Frank Zappa and some names that nobody ever heard of. I (Danne) would probably say Glenn Danzig or Beatles, and Jens would probably say Alice Cooper or Gene Simmons if he had to give just one name. We sometimes tend to differ a bit in musical taste, and that's one of the reasons why our songs contains so many different elements, and why we find it so hard to put a single label on our music. If we have to give a simple answer to this complicated question, it must be that we get the most important influences from each other. We have grown up together, and when one of us falls for some artist, it usually doesn't take long until the rest of us hang on to it, at least to some degree.

- What is the difference between BLACKMAIL & the main bands in your country?

- The Swedish bands that sell most records internationally are pop bands like Ace of Base, Roxette and The Cardigans. The difference to them are too big to mention. But if you mean the main metal bands, the biggest difference is probably our focus on melodies and humour. We try to combine heavy guitar riffs with strong chorus melodies and experimental rhythms, that goes far beyond the ordinary hard core grinding. Some of the metal bands from our home town - like At The Gates, Dark Tranquility, In Flames and others - have created what is known as "The Gothenburg Sound", which typically is melodic with some acoustic parts, but still very much death metal. We have developed the melodic and acoustic ingredients even further, but our focus is more on life than death, I guess. We sing instead of growl, we build our music on contrasts instead of monotony. Most metal bands in Sweden have a very dark/death smell that appeals to a small but fanatic crowd. We make music that WE love, and we don't care much about pleasing small sub cultures that we don't belong to anyway. Humour is deadly important to us. You've got to laugh now and then to make live worth living. If you don't enjoy life, what's the point of living?

- Your new recordings, will it be an album or a mCD? Why?

- The next time we go into a studio to record our songs, they will almost certainly end up on an album. We are not planning to release any more mCD:s, that's for sure! We've made two EPs, and the world is waiting for an album. A third EP would be a disappointment to all the critics who have written that they are eagerly awaiting a full album. It would also be quite useless to all the big magazines that refuse to review singles and EPs from artists that aren't in the elite class. Mini-CD's are cheaper to make but harder to promote. Now that we have got our musical skill and song writing ability confirmed by so many reviewers and rock journalists all over the world, we have become self confident enough to believe that it won't be long now until some record company signs us.

- Do you have contacts with labels, distributors?

- We have just started a serious discussion with an established production company that has an advanced studio and good industry contacts. They are starting a new record company, and they are genuinly interested in discussing details of a company deal. Maybe, if all goes well, we'll soon have a contract and our first full album. Ever since we released our CD debut, we've had a deal with Border, a local distribution company with world wide distribution. However, since we had to do all promotion by ourselves, we haven't had much use of them. They have distributed some records to the retail dealers that ordered a few, but most record shops are unwilling to order records by a band that isn't promoted big in radio, TV and big newspapers and magazines. When we make our first full album, both promotion and distribution must be much more efficient.

Answered by Danne Lundsbye

Review: This mCD is really fantastic & amazing. It's really incredible. It's a killing production, with heavy guitars parts, good melodies & harmonies. The songs are excellent: various & powerful, it 's more than classical heavy metal. they do a big work to enrich their sound. This is one of the most original underground bands in heavy metal area. You cannot think & love metal music without this band in your discography. I've just one regret. There's only 4 songs in the CD & it's a pity. The first album is awaited.

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