Evocation – Bounded by Chaos
By: David E. Gehlke
Blistering.com: Has this recent rash of activity made you do a lot of reflecting as to when you weren’t active? Considering how busy you are now, those days probably feel like they were eons ago...
Tjompe: I try to always think forward and full speed ahead, I rarely listen to our older albums because I always want to do things a lot better than the last time. The only time I’m thinking of nowadays from when we weren´t active was all the crazy music I was into and all the funny drugs I consumed in different shapes and materia. Great time as well, but I don´t have that much spare time left nowadays because of Evocation, it keeps me alive. I hope for the future though, to do them both.
Blistering.com: Now that you’re back and in full-swing, what type of goals do you have? At this point, is longevity top priority?
Tjompe: First of all, is to keep the band alive and try not to have any expectations at all. But our goal is to get out on the road again and to give you an outstanding show-- and I am sure you will not forget us this time either. We have been working hard for this one as well, and of course we would like to show you how great it actually feels to perform the songs for you. My personal goal is to have a good time and enjoy life, Evocation itself is a very big part of it, and as long as we exist, I thank every day for it.
Blistering.com: In terms of putting together material for Illusions of Grandeur, what was the point of focus? It feels like this one strikes an excellent balance between your penchant for melody and brutality.
Tjompe: Vesa is the mainman behind the construction and riffs, and sometimes we really have to stop him when he gets too emo, but the melodies he makes bring out the best lyrics out of me. This time we wanted more effective songs, stronger material, and of course, a much better sound. We are not that satisfied with the sound on Apocalyptic, so that was the first thing we thought about. We also wanted my vocals to feel more powerful and heavy. We still have a long way to go, but I think we are on the right side of the road right now.
I think it is important to mix melodies with brutality in this kind of style. You get a much better feeling of the whole production when the guitars blend in together and communicate. Vesa is a really fast player so the leads he is doing sounds really good. When it comes to Marko, I think he is one of the most reliable rhythm guitarists within the scene. Marko is almost never out of tune and has always a really fat sound. Whit those two dudes on guitars, you got the perfect match.
Blistering.com: Again, you have some excellent cover artwork for the new album. Who is responsible this time out and what does it represent?
Tjompe: We used Xaay (Behemoth, Nile, Vader, etc.) once again, because he understands what the hell Evocation is all about. We felt after Apocalyptic, that he is a big part of the whole chain. Xaay is very smart and talented and very easy to work with. On both albums we just gave him the album title, the lyrics and the main song. Then he just works out of his own perspective and we are as usual almost instantly satisfied on the first drafts. He is also doing the layout for some of our merch and also the web design, he is outstanding in every way. Since we trust him and in what he does, we can focus even more on the music instead.
Blistering.com: Where do you think Illusions of Grandeur sits in the Evocation catalog?
Tjompe: Ask me in two years. All of our albums have their own style, personality and soul and that is actually what Evocation is like. We really like to try new ways and new forms; it keeps the band fresh and alive.
Blistering.com: Looking back, Tales from the Tomb was crucial in Evocation re-establishing itself in the scene. What do you remember most about putting that album together?
Tjompe: Nosebleed, headache, fever, arguments and no expectations at all, as usual. It was a long time since I listened to it actually, maybe more memories will come back if I do. It all went very fast after the demo was done, suddenly I stood in the studio recording a full length album again. Last time that happened was in 1995/96 with Cemetary and on bass. I sang death metal for the first time in 13 years and I´ve totally forgot how the hell to make it sound good. After almost dying in the studio, I´ve made it and it turned out pretty ok. I remember Janne was struggling so hard with the double kicks, it looks like his eyes were about to pop out any time, he made it as well in the end. Vesa and Marko´s arms were bleeding after all the guitars were done. Sometimes I forget to reflect on the whole thing, I think it´s amazing that we are a band again.
Blistering.com: The classic quote from Tomas Skogsberg that Evocation was “the best demo band he ever recorded.” How much mileage have you gotten from it?
Tjompe: I really don’t know actually, perhaps we did because most people remember it. I remember when we recorded in Sunlight that Tomas was very impressed. Not only fast and tight, but also really good songs, he was blown away. Since At the Gates finished up their Gardens of Grief EP the day before, it must have been good.
Blistering.com: Finally, what’s on tap going into 2013?
Tjompe: Stay out of trouble.
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