Instantly, Degrade grew to become one of my brutal death metal favourites. The massive churning riffing, pummelling drums and gored growls gives me the chills...
The interview was done by MSN, in the middle of the night 19th of October.

Hey there Manne! I hope everything�s fine with you this pitch-black night of October.
Could we just start the interview off with you introducing yourself and your other band members to the readers? Not a biography, �cause pretty much every other interview starts with a bio� And who wants to be mainstream? Hehe�

Everything is just fine bro, despite the cold that struck us, first night with sub zero temperature here. I call myself Manne and live in a small town called Lidk�ping which is the hometown of all Degrade members except S�der who lives in Stockholm. The others in the band are Victor(guitar), S�der(guitar), Kristian(bass) and Berto(drums).

Degrade is a rather young band, still, started in �02, though not with you on vocals. However, you will be playing the Drachten Deathfest in Holland later this month, with bands such as Severe Torture, Massmurder, Tears of Decay etc. How does that feel? Those are some fairly big names, does that make you nervous?
Sure we got a little nervous when we saw the billing for this festival and even more when we saw the running order. We will play second last between Despondency and Severe Torture which are some of atleast my favourite bands in this genre. But still we have got some experience this year with some gigs so I think it will be just fine, we�re looking forward doing that gig!

Hehe, yeah ok. What other bands have you had the pleasure of gigging with in the past, then? Some other big names?
hmm not so many big names but some. Entombed and Crucified Barbara(!) here in Lidk�ping. 2000-Decibel Festival with the Swedish metal elite but that doesn't matter...hehe. Stabwound and Obscene among other good underground Swedish bands in Orsa. Aborted, Insision, Nominon and more at Gothenburg Deathfest 2005.

Yeah well that�s not too shabby!
Earlier this year you released your debut, called Hanged and Disemboweled, on Italian label Permeated. What�s the response been like so far?

The guys and gals into brutal death seems to like it and most of the reviews and opinions about Degrade has been good after this release which is nice. It will push us forward towards greater deeds.

The contract you signed with Permeated was for two albums, if my memory serves me well. Have you started working on new tracks for the next output?
Yes that's right we have one fullength to go on Permeated. We have written about six new songs now and are also planning on booking a studio later this winter for the recording of that album. If you visit one of our gigs you will hear two of the new songs called "Drastical Dismemberment" and "Prenatal Butchery"

Ahh, cool. Is there a date set for when the new album will be released?
No exact release date but we hope it will be out sometime around spring �06.

Oki doki� If I�m not mistaken the CD was supposed to be released on NTEY at first, right? What made you change label?
There was no serious talk about that if I remember right. I know we had contact with Vladimir of NTEY and that he liked our stuff but nothing more. Don't remember exactly how the discussion were. We had a mutual deal With EMF records from Mexico, maybe it was that you were thinking of?

Hmm, yeah maybe� Well, what made you break your contact with EMF then?
They were very slow with everything. The mCD should have been out Sep/Oct 2004 but when December came we left the ship and that was a really good decision. Even with the long delay we are glad that we left them. atleast we have learned something out of it.

So I suppose you�re satisfied with the work by Permeated. How did you get in touch with Permeated by the way? It�s a fairly small label.
They were very unknown I guess when we got in contact with em. It was Uffe the vocalist In Stabwound that know of them and that they were looking for bands. We sent a promo and got a deal rather fast. It's a small underground label but they are serious with their bands, we are satisfied.

Yeah, it definitely seems like a promising new label.
Anyway, the MCD has five tracks on it, but the booklet only contains three lyrics, how come?

It actually has six tracks =) Well I write most of the lyrics for the mini and I was not very satisfied with all of them and I don't think it's very important to have all the lyrics in brutal dm, you know what's it's all about anyways.

Hahaha� Sloppy work by me, not taking an extra look at the CD before I pop the question, hehe.
Yup, your lyrics are like a lot of other death metal bands based on the more gory side of life, hehe. Bands like Brodequin and Mesrine base their lyrics on actual events/persons in our history, and we also have Fondle Corpse that draws inspiration from old girlfriends and stuff. So where do you base your lyrics � your personal life, historical events, just plain imagination�?

I just write what comes to my mind at the moment. I like violent lyrics more than the gory. Sick lyrics can be cool too but I think it should be more in a psychological way. If you mix everything it can be good. I seldom read lyrics myself, atleast not from brutal dm bands. But I think that deathmetal should have brutal and violent lyrics, feels good when sing it live.

Hehe, it definitely fits the music! Before the debut you�d also released the demo Feasting on Bloody Chunks, which at least I thought was a great first output, and showed a promising new band. But you could also already sense a very distinctive sound coming from you guys. It had something special to it� And it only took me about 10 seconds into Repulsive Gore to recognise the same sound. Do you agree when I say you�ve managed to create a bit of a sound of your own?
hmm, hard to say when you are into this yourself. Don't think we are very original but I think we have made an effort doing some brutal deathmetal without overdoing it if you understand. We always try to make interesting songs without trying to make it too technical or difficult. Groove is important!

It definitely has groove to it, and fat churning, mangling riffing! Hehe
Oh, I forgot to ask you earlier, when we were on the subject of your next album. What will the next output sound like? Have you developed through the experience you�ve gotten from gigs and such? Anything you weren�t happy with on Hanged and Disemboweled that you will try to change for the next album? I suppose this question relates a bit to the sound issue too, happy with your sound?

We will walk on the same path also in the future. We are really satisfied with the sound on the mCD. With our budged and the time we put in it it couldn't have been much better I guess. Our new songs will have the same ingredients as before: groove, speed, brutal and guttural vocals and slapping bassguitar. We just hope that we will bring it one step forward without destroying the feeling.

So you think your current fans will be satisfied?
I really hope so! But it's hard to say before you have the disc and put it in your own CD-player.

Will you try touring a bit in connection to the release?
We hope that we will be able to do a little tour there and maybe some festival gigs next summer if they want us. You're invited to the releaseparty! We all work fulltime and with families and stuff, we are getting old... but we will try getting out on the roads.

Do you guys have any other bands expect from Degrade, any interfering side-projects?
Victor has a own one man project called Battered Bowels witch is drummachine Goregrind/brutal death ala Retch/Putrid pile. He is recording two songs for a demo right now. I have heard a rough mix of a song and it sounds promising. I don't think it interferes with Degrade, I think it's cool. I will hopefully do some guestvocals there... then I'm satisfied=) I also play some crust/swe-hardcore for fun in a newstarted band, I try to play drums.

Haha, try?
I'm a beginner, not very talented either but I love the beat called d-beat so I got to try =)

Oh yeah, so do you have any unusual inspirational sources then? I mean, any crust acts coming through when writing Degrade songs?
Victor is the one that writes almost everything and he also likes crust but I don't think he get much inspiration there. I think he get more from his interest in american hardcore.

Speaking of hardcore� What do you hope/think will come out of Degrade in the future? Will you continue creating murderous, brutal death metal for years and years to come? Or will you suddenly change, much like Stabwound, and start to play hardcore? Hehe�
As long as we are named Degrade we will play brutal deathmetal and we will do it as long as we think it's fun. We won't try doing a career out of this so we continue pleasing the hundreds out there!

Hmm� I�m all out of questions soon. What I have left are the less serious ones, that I just find amusing asking, really.
Latest record you bought?

don't remember, buy too much everytime I buy records. But now it was a while ago I bought something. I say: Lapidate - Taxidermy tea Party to say something, because I'm listening to it right now

Haha, you beat me to my next question, which was gonna be �Latest record you listened to?�
Well now I am listening to Aktiv D�dshj�lp split with Slaktattack(good name) at the same time!

Ahh, downloaded from So� Latest book you read?
yes I downloaded! The latest book I read was "L�t Den r�tte komma in"(Let the right one in) which is a vampire/zombie book. The cool thing is that the story takes place in a suburb of Stockholm, Sweden. I recommend it!

Latest show you went to?
It was Nile, In Quest and Visceral Bleeding in Gothenburg

Crappiest record you've bought?
Probably something with Crematory or Cemetary, or a record with a swedish band called Big Fish. I vomit when I think of that name... Big Fish, blurgh! I still have the record to torment myself.

Big Fish kicks arse! But I agree, it�s a terrible name�
If you could pick any band, dead or alive, to do a split with � which would it be?

Just one?

Well, as many as you�d like then, hehe�
No, I pick Bolt Thrower...haha

Hehe, ok� And also, if you ever committed suicide, how would you do it?
hard questions... important to think about that if I have to do it, that's right. With a gun, then there is a chance that you survive which makes it more interesting. And you must feel even more miserable if your not even able to kill yourself.

Hahahaha� Great answer!
I think that�s it, really. Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer this interview, and I wish you all the best of luck in the future! Oh yeah, and before I forget, thanks for having My Last Chapter on the thanks-list in the MCD! It�s always cool to get appreciation for your work�
Anyway, up to you to end this interview with some last minute words, hailing or what ever. Take care!

Big hails to everyone into any type of extreme music! Thanks for this interview, it was really fun. Much better than doing those e-mail inties that i'm used too. You should check out Degrade at Drachten Deathfest (Drachten, Holland).
Also there will be a gig in Lidk�ping 3:rd December with some cool bands that will be announced soon, check out regarding news on that shit. Thanks Kristoffer!

Related links:
Permeated Records
Drunken Distro

Photos (c) Johan Bentzen