I don't have a single bad word to say about this band. To make it as easy as possible for you to understand; one of the best death metal acts I know of!
We started the interview by e-mail on the 21st of October, and ended it on the 25th of November.
Hey there guys! I hope everything�s fine with you.
To get things started I�d just like you to introduce yourself, so we (me, myself and the readers) knows who�ll be taking care of the answering. And also just present the rest of the band members� Most interview starts off with a biography, but for a band it�s probably bloody tiresome answering that same old question over and over again, se let�s skip that one!
Perra: Ha! That�s OK! We�re two members answering this interview, drummer Perra Karlsson and guitarist Juha Sulasalmi. The rest of the band contains of; Joel Andersson-Bass, Daniel Garptoft-Vocals and Christian Str�mblad-Guitar.
A couple of weeks ago you came back from your European tour together with the US death metal monsters of Vital Remains. Still tired, hehe? I suppose it must have been a blast! What was it like touring with a big name like that?
Perra: Yepp�We all had a good time with the VITAL REMAINS guys. We got along very well and one might say that we made some friends for life right there. The cool thing is that we both enjoyed each others music and show, you know, even though we are not in the same league or what-so-ever. And they treated us, the rest of the crew and everyone else with respect. So, all hail VITAL REMAINS. I suffered a bit from pain in my left hip and left leg during the end of the tour, but it didn�t affect my playing, so I can live with that. Tomorrow I�ll actually see some specialists and they will also x-ray my left hip to see if there�s something wrong with it, as I am still suffering a bit because it gets stiff when I sit down for like 30 minutes or so.
Did this tour differ anything from the previous one with Benediction and Godhate? Both tours were organized by Br�chstein, right?
Perra: You are right! Bruchstein was the agency for both tours. One of the difference for us was that it was only one country that we visited on both tours; Austria. So as you might understand, it was two completely different tours. The BENEDICTION tour was mostly going through the eastern part of Europe, while the tour with VITAL REMAINS was more concentrated on the southwest part of Europe or whatever. We noticed that more people / fans knew about NOMINON this time around. For example, we sold like the double amount of merchandise on the recent tour, even though it was a couple of shows less than on the tour with BENEDICTION. This might also of course have something to do with that we sounded better and gave the freaks a more intense and interesting performance as well. Audience wise I would like to say that it was pretty much the same on both tours, between 100-250 people on each show, with the exception of one or two gigs when it was a bit less, like 50. BENEDICTION was a good start for us to get to know the whole shit around touring a bit better, as it was the first real European tour for NOMINON. We learned a lot how things are working during that tour, which we realized on the VITAL REMAINS tour, as things were running so much smoother this time.
Over the years you�ve had the opportunity to play with a number of big names in the metal scene - acts like Marduk, Rotten Sound, Defleshed, Kaamos, Insision etc etc etc� And that�s just to name a few. Back in �96 you even did a gig with Dismember and Dissection. Do you feel blessed with what you�ve conquered so far?
Perra: Even though I have only been a member of NOMINON for four years, I would like to point out that the band has accomplished a lot during this period of time, especially when it comes to the �playing live�-situation. Out of 73 shows totally since 1996, I�ve been playing on 49. I think you know what I am trying to say here! Still, I think it is a bit funny that you consider KAAMOS and INSISION as big names in the metal scene. Maybe in the underground metal scene, but that�s all. Don�t get me wrong here; I love KAAMOS and INSISION, but we are all on the same level, really. Of the bands you mentioned I think MARDUK and especially DISSECTION is among the �bigger� bands. DISMEMBER just keep on going even though they haven�t done a really GOOD album in years, and during their latest European tour it wasn�t even a crowd worth its name on most of the venues. So for me they are not among the big ones anymore. Shit, I will never forget when they released the �Reborn In Blasphemy� demo, that was way back in 90. I mean�That demo is one of the fucking best death metal demos ever, it�s even better than their debut album. I am afraid that they can not live on their old stuff for the rest of their career. Even though I would like to give them some credits because they never give up.
For me, I am satisfied touring with bands like BENEDICTION, MASTER, VITAL REMAINS and so on. I don�t know which band/s we might be hitting the road with next time around, I really have no clue. But I don�t mind touring with any band from abroad that are cool and treat everyone with respect and like listening to everything from THIN LIZZY to TERRORIZER. Of all the bands NOMINON have played with so far I personally would like to say that we have been treated cool from the start by bands like: VITAL REMAINS, ROTTEN SOUND, THE KRISTET UTSEENDE, INFERIA, GODHATE, KAAMOS, INSISION and MARDUK.
About feeling blessed; only people that go to church can feel blessed, right. We just feel possessed� NOMINON will be around for a couple of more years, so who know what�s down the road?! We�ll just keep on working.
Over the years you�ve also had tons of member changes. It feels like you replaced a member every year in the beginning. Juha�s the only remaining original member, right? How has the constant changes affected the band?
Perra: This is one thing that doesn�t really have affected me so far, even though we have changed three members during these four years I�ve been around. To me it�s very simple, if you don�t want to play with NOMINON and accept the way that we do things, then it�s not our fucking problem. The only one that I can understand that he left the band during my time here, is the previous bassist Lenny Blade. He just didn�t felt like playing death metal anymore. The other ones, well, the things I have to say about those guys are not all good, so I better let that be. For now I think we have a bit of a steady line-up, and a more aggressive attitude in many ways, even personal. But for me that�s OK, because I very much appreciate that if you got something to say�. Then just say it; Spit it all out! It�s not good to just shut up if you don�t agree with what is happening within the band. And then all of a sudden, like three months later complains about something that was brought up for discussion a long time ago. That�s just childish! Even if this means that someone has to leave the ship, then so what, it might be better for all parts. People have to take their responsibility, if you don�t get along with people in a band at all, then what the fuck are you doing there, you know?! I mean, I haven�t always got along with the members in the band, but I always wanted NOMINON to continue no matter what. Therefore I continued to work with everything concerning the band anyway, just to realize that not the rest of them were doing their best to work for the band. And as I told you, when you are working with other individuals you have to know that anytime the other part might have something to say, and then you should listen. Either it�s good or bad, you just have to deal with it. With Jonas for example, I really wanted him to stay in the band because I knew that we had some good things coming up, and I wanted him to be part of it all. But he didn�t really care, and that of course, is his personal decision. And even though I have continued to treat him as good as I can after he left the band, as we used to be best friends, yet sometimes it feels like I really have nothing back in return. And this makes me sick, makes me rot inside, because I really like him, but if we don�t get along then I guess it�s not a smart thing to hang out that much.
Juha: In the past it was slowing the work down a bit. You know, teaching the new members old tunes instead of getting forward by writing new songs and concentrate on upcoming releases. I guess we have learnt how to deal with it as we still keep going. Nominon isn�t about one person, it is 5 old-school fucks gathered to worship metal.
I�ve heard something about you getting played on Swedish national TV back in the late 90ies/early 2000. Are the �rumours� true?
Juha: Yes, we were featured in a documentary called �Sefyr� in 1998. They were doing this report about cities around the lake V�ttern and the time had come to our hometown J�nk�ping. They had heard that this town had more pubs per capita than any other city in Sweden. It�s also wellknown that we have more churches than other cities in the same size. So they wanted to show this contradiction and for some reason they choose to interview two Death Metal bands � Nominon and a christian DM band! It was hilarious! They wanted Nominon to appear like a satanic band in contrast to the christian band. It�s really funny to watch it!
You released your debut fullength back in �99. The next release came in 2003, but you didn�t do another fullength until �05. How come it took so long in between albums?
Perra: One thing is that the deal with Relapse Records was delayed, and then after we�d signed it in 2002, they decided to let us go because of to much personal issues within the band. Like me getting seriously ill in kidney failure, vocalist Nicke being kicked out�etc. But as I know that we will talk more about this subject later I won�t bore you out more for now. Because of this fucked up situation it took us some time to get a new deal. Some labels even thought that we were signed to Relapse, and because of that they didn�t had the guts to contact us for possible deals or whatever, you know. It�s all sick, but that�s how this business is from time to time. Everything is a lie!
Anyway, we recorded some tracks both during 2001 and 2002 for possible 7� EP releases. These recordings were a bit cursed as well, but some of them ended up on a 4 track Cassette-EP release during 2003. But we were very glad when that cassette was released. Finally something, you know. It�s not always a bands fault if releases don�t come out every now and then. I would like to point out that during these years of total fucking disaster we learned a lot about what strength is all about. I mean, I know a lot of bands that have quit playing and split the band because they don�t get a suitable deal. And worth mentioning is that when it all started to work out better during 2004, two members all of a sudden left NOMINON, so we had to work with finding new members too, which took some time. What ever! Fuck it all, just keep on fighting. As usual!
From what I�ve read and heard, Recremation has gotten nothing but great reviews. What was your reaction to the awesome response? Did you feel a little bit overwhelmed, or was it all to be expected?
Perra: Well, it wasn�t really expected. But for us �Recremation� is the result of many years hard work. The material, the production, the design and outcome of the album has been KILLER, and together with the �never-give-up� spirit I think we deserve a little bit of attention. Of course it means a lot to us when death metal freaks from around the world likes our shit. That means so much more to us than any magazine review on the whole planet. I mean, Sweden is still one of the few countries in the world where I have read like two negative reviews about �Recremation�, that actually wasn�t worth being called reviews. But on the other hand, as I told you, I don�t really pay that much attention to journalists who write like 10 reviews a day and do that for a living or whatever, they don�t know shit about bands like CORPSE, SLAUGHTER, CARTILAGE, WINGS, MANTAS and/or who they were anyway. NOMINON will always be an underground act, even though we would sign with a bigger label or whatever. We would still write those sick twisted and possessed riffs and play the small clubs all over.
Juha: I was surprised of some of the strong reactions we received. But if you have the same taste as I, when it comes to Death Metal, then there�s no doubt that you will like Recremation. It�s a very straight forward album with no strange ideas, just pure old Death Metal. Anyone who listens to it either likes it or they don�t. There�s nothing in between. It can�t be misunderstood � it�s clear, the music, the production and the layout. Most of the listeners seem to have got the message with this album and that�s great!
Diabolical Bloodshed also received some great reviews. Where you nervous to disappoint your current fans, making �em all go say you didn�t live up to the expectations?
Perra: Not really, I never even thought about it, to be honest! I knew that when we signed the deal with Konqueror last year in May, we were going to do one hell of an album. Back then, when we signed the agreement it was only me and Juha in the band anyway, so we knew that we had to work even harder to get it all together. Finding members, writing the final pieces of brutality and really focus on what the hell we were doing. What I can remember, I think that �Sickening� and �Under The Five-Pointed Star� was the two last tracks to be finished before entering Necromorbus studio in Stockholm, Sweden, to start the recordings. We also wrote a track like �Buried By Me� in a day or so a bit earlier. All of a sudden it all worked out fine, after years of decay. I really have to reveal that we first of all write music that we like ourselves, and it�s all a bonus if the fans like it, and so far I think we have kept the true spirit of the underground alive in our songs as well. That�s also important!
Juha: I don�t look at it that way, like we had a bunch of really loyal fans that been waiting six year for the next Nominon album to come out. I just do stuff that I would listen to myself (if I wasn�t playing the shit). If some fans leave the room there will be others to take their place. It�s not much you can do about it, especially when there are different members on the albums. Some may think that Emil�s (former drummer) drumming is the most brutal on this planet, whereas others think that Perra is hitting in just the right, old-school way. The same goes for the vocals that have changed over the years. Nothing to be nervous about. If I like it, then you will too!
I�ve read that you�re extremely pleased with the work put in by Konqueror Rec, and it seems to be a pretty promising label. But I�ve heard nothing about your contact with the new, and still quite small, label Blood Harvest from my old hometown Malm�. Are you satisfied with what Rodrigo has done concerning the LP-release of Recremation?
Perra: Yes, Rodrigo and Blood Harvest Records did a fucking killer job with the release of the LP version. And we were really surprised when he contacted us, because we had never heard of his label before. But a deal was worked out between Konqueror Rds and Blood Harvest Rds, so they released the 12� LP in a limited edition of 500, which was all good, for sure. And the other thing is that Konqeuror Records isn�t such a big label as you might think. The good thing about Andy Tan and his label is that he is 100% dedicated to the underground, especially the Swedish underground, as six out of seven releases are by bands from here. Also, Andy have never turned down any ideas or what-so-ever that we have had so far. The label has also supported our tours with more than fifty percent of the costs, and they�ve been placing advertisements in some good magazines, so we are satisfied. Definitely!
Juha: The LP is a most beautiful creation made with a sincere understanding of the true spirit of d�dsmetall. I�m very proud to be on that album.
A natural assumption to make is that you�re heavily inspired by Whiplash, considering you added a cover of their song Spit On Your Grave as a bonus to the LP. And you�ve been compared over and over again to old Entombed and Grave. But where would you say your main influences are gathered? The sound of Nominon has changed over the years, so I suppose the influences has too�
Perra: First, it�s a bit strange that you say that NOMINON�s sound have change, some other people think that we�ve not changed that much at all. But I personally agree with you, even though I would say that the latest album �Recremation� is the release that has the most in common with the debut album �Diabolical Bloodshed� when it comes to the production and material, compared to the other releases. A funny story is when the previous drummer Emil heard the new album, he said; �You really haven�t developed a bit since the debut album!� That pretty much sums it up, doesn�t it?!
For me as a person I would like to say that I still mostly have the same kind of influences or inspiration-sources that I more or less always have had. Which means everything from old heroes like MORBID ANGEL, TERRORIZER, DEAD HEAD, MALEVOLENT CREATION, DEATH, AUTOPSY, SADUS, MERCILESS, NIHILIST, ROOT, SLAYER, ANNIHILATOR, DEATH ANGEL, WHIPLASH, UNLEASHED, INCANTATION, ATHEIST, VOIVOD, DARK ANGEL, FORBIDDEN, GROTESQUE, INVOCATOR�.etc. Of the newer bands I would say; KAAMOS, WATAIN, THORNAFIRE, RADIOSKUGGA, SWORN, INFINITUM OBSCURE�And a few more!!
But I have always listened to regular hard rock and heavy metal too, like MOTLEY CRUE, MERCYFUL FATE/KING DIAMOND, THIN LIZZY, EUROPE, SAXON, IRON MAIDEN, ALICE COOPER, SCORPIONS, OZZY, WHITESNAKE, ZZ TOP, Y&T, GARY MOORE, JUDAS PRIEST, RATT, DREAM THEATER, AC/DC�etc! All that I find good enough, you know!!!
I don�t mind being compared to bands like ENTOMBED or GRAVE for that matter, but I would say that we have even more in common with a band like EDGE OF SANITY for example, then again; Which of these three bands would have the range of having songs like �Buried By Me� and �Sickening� on the same album? Just think about it. Sometimes I wonder if people really are listening to what I actually do behind the kit?! I mean, I can�t see myself playing like either Jensa of GRAVE or Nicke of ENTOMBED for that matter. I have a total different style than these guys, even though I liked their style, but we should stick to reality here, right?!! I like to improvise much more, stretch the rules a little bit further. I can understand that people can find some similarities between NOMINON and the bands you mentioned, but really, I mean�.Come on! Maybe a few moments here and there, some guitar sounds here and there. But then, what about the song structures? What about the vocals from Daniel?? What about the drumming?? People shouldn�t be that narrow-minded as they actually are. That�s my opinion.
Juha: The influences come and goes with the members but still everyone who�s in the band know what the hell Nominon is all about. Whiplash are my number one all time favourite Thrash Metal band. Tony, Tony (R.I.P.) and Tony have been my heroes since 1986 and I wanted to make that clear for everyone, once and for all.
You have a rumour about you saying you have a talent for being quite heavy on the booze. Only a few months ago Perra broke a toe �cause of the substance called alcohol. Is it a fair judgement to say that Nominon likes the bottle? Do you try to stay sober for shows? It sucks when the band is even more drunk than the audience, and the tunes don�t really come out as you thought they would�
Perra: That�s just who we are. I wish I could say that I am a sober person. Well, I�m not! I am addicted to so many things in the world it�s really eating me from the inside, believe me. Still, when I am at home alone I don�t really drink. I just take care of my body, eat a lot of healthy stuff and try to keep my body as active as possible. Sometimes I work out a bit, but nothing like those freaks at the gym, fuck that. During our stay in Finland, well that was the first time ever I actually was drinking hard liquor before the show, so it wasn�t a shock to anyone that it all ended up with a broken toe and so on. Usually I do not drink alcohol at all before the show, because I always want to perform as good as possible, you know. And I do that sober, still. In September now we played a show in Gothenburg were Daniel was a bit too drunk, so that show wasn�t one of the best if you ask me. But that�s not the whole truth; we didn�t even used on our own equipment or anything near to our regular equipment, and because of that we were also really fucked up in many ways. All the stuff was already sent to Austria for the start of the VITAL REMAINS tour, that�s why we had to borrow some worthless equipment to play on. Of course it is a big difference between being at home and being on the road, but still I would like point out that I actually really took it way easier with the alcohol on the recent tour with VITAL REMAINS than I did earlier, in Finland, and the BENEDICTION tour when I was drunk more or less every single day after the shows. It�s all up to you as a person to decide what to do with your life. Our bassist Joel for example, he doesn�t drink at all, but we still get along. Christian and Daniel were probably the worst beer consumers on this recent tour. Anyway, the thing is that all of us besides Joel enjoy drinking from time to time, it�s nothing to cry about. We�re just Metalheads anyway!
You know, sometimes I hear a lot of things, so correct me if I�m misguided. You were signed with the major label Relapse some years ago, but were fired �cause of the line-up changes. Is there something more behind this?
Perra: No, that�s correct. We signed the deal they sent us and sent it back to them. But nothing happened. After a while we got kicked out, they told us that it had to do with a lot of band problems (line-up change) and private issues (me getting sick in the kidneys) within NOMINON. But the fact is that, before we got the boot, the guy we had the most contact with; Tom Hailey, left Relapse during 2002. After that they choose to kick us out for the reasons mentioned earlier, but we all know that it mostly had to do with the fact that no one really bothered about NOMINON after Tom leaved. Today we don�t even think about this shit, it�s only me and Juha left in the band since that period anyway, plus that we have managed to survive and become stronger as a band and unit since then. Some of the older members really took the Relapse deal failure hard, but I never really cared. It�s just another label playing GOD. Anyway, they�ve kicked out INCANTATION, so who cares?
From what I understand there�s quite the long distance relationship going on in Nominon. Some of you live in Gothenburg and the rest of you in J�nk�ping� Now that�s enough distance from each other to cause problems with rehearsing I suppose. How do you work that out?
Perra: Not really, so far. It�s only like 160 kilometers. About a two hour drive or alike, it�s cool. So far we have only rehearsed during the weekends at our place in J�nk�ping. We have been rehearsing at the same spot for a long time, even longer than I have been in NOMINON. Since the tour we have taking slow on rehearsals though, we need to collect some strength to write new killing tracks from the grave. For now we concentrate on some upcoming releases, like a limited CD containing of old but also more recently re-recorded but previously unreleased material on the CD format, this one will be out on a South American label. The same deal also includes an official release for the �Recremation� album on cassette. And when that happen it will be a historical moment for me and the rest of the band, as this is going to be the first release for all of us that will be available on both the CD, LP and Cassette format. That�s magical!! The cassette also includes the LP bonus �Spit On Your Grave� as well as a re-recording of a track called �Servants Of The Moonlight� from the debut album �Diabolical Bloodshed�.
How did the x-ray go, did they find the source of pain?
Perra: As I haven�t been informed about anything yet regarding the x-ray, even though I know that my personal doctor have seen it, I guess I just have to keep working with the training-program of the left hip and leg that the body/gym-specialist until it gets better, or something like that.
You recently did a couple of gigs with the Swedish legends The Kristet Utseende, what was that like? Their fans are more of the punk scene, so what was the punks reactions to seeing Nominon on stage? Had any other crossover gigs?
Perra: That was cool shows, I think. Even though most of the people was there to see THE KRISTET UTSEENDE. We played a 30-minute set based on the new album �Recremation� and some freaks really got into it, that�s for sure. We sold a cool amount of merchandise and we had a blast hanging out and having fun with our friends in KRISTET. I�ve known the guys for years, and they are among my best friends. Well, I know that before I joined the band in like 1999, they played support to HAMMERFALL. Hahaha! That must have been something.
Both Joel and Christian are members of Immersed In Blood, does it affect Nominon negatively having two members whom are occupied with another band on the move? Does it cause any problems with gigging and such?
Perra: Not this far! I am pretty sure that they both still want to continue with both bands, which means that they have to plan what�s happening next and that it not collide with the other band, or something like that, you know.
I also know of Absurdo Culto and Obscuritas, but I honestly haven�t heard Obscuritas. Are there any other side-projects and bands that I�ve missed?
Perra: The thing about OBSCURITAS is that we have rehearsed once a couple of years ago, and we still plan to record a few tracks sometime in the future. I wish I could say that I am still involved with IN AETERNUM, but for now that band is definitely taking a break, for sure. Don�t know what will happen in the future?! I�ve been offered to play with various projects and bands recently, and I wish I had time to do them all, because I love playing drums. Yet I have to take it day by day, because somehow NOMINON is and has being my main band for four years, so to speak.
So, let�s sum it up here� You�ve become a highly appraised death metal act, you�ve done a couple of tours, played with some big bands. Your albums are hailed by all and released everywhere and on all formats� What is there left for Nominon to conquer?
Perra: Well, I didn�t joined NOMINON to conquer the world, as that is kind of hard if you are playing death metal. I joined the band because I want to play death metal the old school way without hearing that I am thinking and playing the old school way, as I am playing with four other people that is aware that NOMINON is doing things the classic way and is not trying to sound modern or like all these Nu-death bands out there, we more or less have our own sound anyway, so what the fuck?!
What do you hope will come out of Nominon in the future? And what are your realistic thoughts about it, hehe?
Perra: My realistic thoughts about the future are that NOMINON will continue to play death metal, and do things our way.
I think that was the last serious question I had to ask� So it�s time for some questions I find amusing to ask, but that doesn�t really concern the band�.
Latest record you bought?
Perra: ANNIHILATOR �Schizo Deluxe�.
Latest record you listened to?
Perra: TERRORIZER �World Downfall�.
Latest book you read?
Perra: As I rarely read books I have to say a fanzine actually, called MYSTICAL MUSIC #10. A killer fanzine from Germany.
Latest show you went to?
NILE a couple of weeks ago, but I noticed that they are really nothing live in concert if compared to VITAL REMAINS.
Crappiest record you�ve bought?
Perra: Oh shit, dude, I don�t remember. And to be honest, I don�t understand can be stupid enough to buy an album that he/she don�t like. I never buy albums if I don�t know what it is. I am boring, sorry! Ha ha.
If you ever committed suicide, how would you do it?
Perra: Kill myself.
That�s it, no more questions to ask� Anything I missed that I should�ve asked?
Thanks a lot for taking your time to answer this interview, I really appreciate it! And I wish you all the best in the future� Up to you to put an end to the interview now, thanks and take care!
Perra: Thank you motherfucker for this interview...Ha ha ha. It was sure a blast answering your questions, Kristoffer! One of the best interviews this year. All you readers, be sure to check out the NOMINON website for all the latest news, further information, available merchandise and so on: www.nominon.com or if you would like to take a listen to the music right away, just visit this site:
Thanks again Kris, keep it brutal!!
For a closer look at Nominon's discography please click here