Properly describing Sweden’s Lifelover is about as easy as finding the proverbial needle in the haystack, but since we’re on the topic of needles (THOSE kind of needles), the band has taken it upon themselves to be branded as “narcotic metal.” No arguments here. “Fucked-up metal” would have worked just fine.
The band is gradually gaining steam from the strength of the re-release of their 2008 Konkurs. Wisely picked up by the blossoming Prophecy Productions label, Konkurs is an avant-garde metal wet dream, with an unlimited scope that reaches black metal, Goth metal, and everything in between, all for a display that will wreck one’s psyche, just reference the morose brilliance of “Alltid-Aldrig” and “Spiken I Kistan.” The latter is truly crushing – trust us.
With the release of their next studio album, Sjukdom right around the corner, and with Konkurs still a regular beacon of depressive destruction, Blistering caught up with the duo of () and B for a discussion on what makes “narcotic metal” go. And yeah, their names really are quite short…
Blistering.com: Konkurs was initially released two years ago on Avantgarde, but is now being re-released this year via Prophecy. How did this come to be?
( ): Prophecy is a part of our future for some albums to come and it's nice to see that they also want to share some of our past with us and giving us possibilities of spreading our creations further.
Blistering.com: Two years removed from it, do you feel it’s an accurate representation of the band at the time? Since then, how have you progressed or built upon Konkurs?
( ): Absolutely, back then there were a lot of instability in us and a lot of changes were occurring in our lives. There is always something, but we're getting stronger as individuals and as a band, I think that it shows pretty well on our new albums which shows that we can hit hard even when we're down and in misery.
Blistering.com: Some may argue you’re a black metal band simply because of your origins, but you’re one of the more interesting avant-garde bands to come along of late. Do you think the avant-garde tag is a fitting one?
( ): We would rather call it “narcotic metal,” basically due to it being the overall reflection of what the band creates, even if there can be a lot of other things embedded into it here and there doesn't really change what we are or what we do.
B: As ( ) said we call our own music “narcotic metal” and I think that’s the most accurate words to describe Lifelover’s sound/music.
Blistering.com: Recording-wise, Konkurs doesn’t sound very modern, rather it recalls the dark aura of early Katatonia, Paradise Lost, etc. Was that what you were going for?
B: I don’t think any of our releases sound modern in terms of the “sound.” I think the older feeling suits Lifelover, the sound becomes colder. So yes, it was what we were aiming for.
Blistering.com: I stumbled upon a few of your songs on YouTube and a few of the comments said your songs made people “feel empty.” What is your reaction to that?
( ): It makes me feel like celebrating.
Blistering.com: To that point, if your music could evoke any emotion in the listener, what would it be?
( ): The emotion which inspires the listener to think and then act.
Blistering.com: Listening to something like “Spiken I Kistan,” that’s certainly the prevailing emotion, so what that does this particular song represent?
B: The song is about that feeling when you have lost all hope about yourself and everyone around you. But it’s hard to describe exactly what it’s about, I don’t remember exactly when I wrote it nor how I felt at the time.
Blistering.com: Your music is all over the map (don’t know why you get tagged as black metal), but exists largely in a depressing scope (i.e. “Cancertid” and “Spiken I Kistan”), so is that the preferred mood?
( ): No matter if you're feeling happy or sad it's probably not the feelings that you deserve to have at that moment. Lifelover is your soundtrack to any mood, it doesn’t matter if it's at your party or the hangover that you get the morning after it.
Blistering.com: As time has worn on, you’ve gradually moved away from black metal, although vocally, some could suggest you have BM vocals. Why have you gravitated away from this sound?
( ): We never had any particular sound to begin with, we have been doing what we feel like doing, and that is what we keep on doing without ever compromising. No matter which sound the next album has or the album after that, Lifelover will have its specific sound, no matter which kind of music that anyone would like to refer to.
Blistering.com: You have a new album in the works. How is it coming along?
B: It was finished in October of 2010 after a pretty long recording session of six months. It features 14 tracks and we are very satisfied with it. It’s the most aggressive and heavy album we have composed to date. So now we look forward to have it released, and if everything goes as planned as it rarely does for us Sjukdom as it’s called, will be out February 14th, 2011.
Blistering.com: Is it a continuation of Konkurs and the Dekadens EP? Rather, how experimental is it?
B: I would say it’s very experimental and every song is very different from the other songs on the album. Some of the songs are so damn heavy and aggressive, other more melancholic, other more “punkisk.” And as usual we have just let the music flow free. I don’t see it as some kind of continuation of any of our previous releases. It’s an album of its own. I hope people will like it, but I will be proud even if every fucker bashes the album to the ground. It’s no “easy listening”
Blistering.com: Finally, what’s on the agenda for the rest of 2010, going into 2011?
( ): Lots of preparations for the band to get ready to start performing live again, we are very excited to get back on the road.