Oldschool Metal Maniac - English Version

DEMILICH

 
 
 
 
 
 
Hi there, it's good to see you finally here in Poland, or actually on a tour for that matter. It's your third show so far on the road with Spectral Voice, how has it been?
 
Hi. Well, Copenhagen Kill-Town Death Festival was very packed – personally my best gig ever, then yesterday's Hamburg was also full, although it was Tuesday, so it's been great so far.
It's the beginning of the tour but we we've played some shows with Blood Incantation before so we knew it would be easy with these guys as two of them were already familiar. 
 
 
How did you end up on one tour anyways? The two bands deffinitely make a fine combination on stage, but you clearly come from different worlds, two different continents to start with. How did you get together?
 
The tour was put together by Daniel Abecassis from Kill-Town Bookings, he said that Spectral Voice was going on a tour and he offered us to joined them. I agreed because I really liked their music – although it's  quite different from ours, this combination simply made sense. I actually don't like when there's too much of one kind of music at a show, you know, people would say „I've had enough of this kind of mentally disordered music (laughs). 
 
Even you yourself often point out the noticible growth in the popularity of Demilich over the years. How do you think, where does it stem from? Since back in 1993 a lot of great stuff has been recorded, probably even more technical (that being one of your major features) – Why do you think people more and more often go back to what you created back on Nespithe?
 
I think it's because in those 25 years no one has done it exactly the same, although I have heard some bands imitating us – it was actually kind of funny to hear someone doing it better than ourselves (laughs). But in general, I guess it's because people think it's really good music, but also, as I've often heard, many of them really like to relive that era of music, so reaching for Demilich recordings allows them to go through those times once again. 
 
It's your third reunion (so far) and it seems you've never been active longer than this time – it's been four years since 2014. You reunited back in 2005 to record some songs to go along with the compilation of your demos as well as to play some shows and to disband again in 2006. Then you came back for a short while in 2010 – why did you split again so quickly? 
 
The first reunion back in 2005  was just to kill the band properly – we hadn't really disbanded in 1993, we just withered away. We also really wanted to  finally tour the USA as it didn't happen  in 1993 – there were some plans back then but we simply weren't interested in playing anymore. Also, back in 1993 I kind of promised my old friend who runs a festival in Northern Finladnd that we would play there but we didn't, so he kept nagging me like „You said you were going to play at my festival...” Then, a couple of years later, I thought again we could try and come back. People went on suggesting we could do some shows, we also thought we actually liked playing concerts, so sure, why not be that idiot who has killed the band a couple of times and brings it back to life again. And we did for just one show (Jalometalli Metal Music Festival). 
Why did it take you so long to finally rerelease the demos? You must have had some offers during those past years.
 
Well, after we broke up in 1993 I didn't see any real interest in Demilich and then, five years later, I came round to our local heavy metal pub and saw our photo up there. The owner said „Shit, you're from Demilich, you've no idea how many people love you here.” I thought then that things had apparently changed a bit. We even did some rehearsing until 2000 but didn't really feel good with the whole thing. So, we were planning to finally release the demos in 2006 but I had some trouble with closing things back at the time – I wanted this release to be a proper boxset, with some new recordings, but it just didn't happen back then. Years flew by and then Svart Records contacted us and said they wanted to do it with us, and so we did. 
 
 
I guess everyone who at least once heard Demilich would love to see the coming of new album. You've been round again for four years already. Do you think there's a chance for us to hear anything new from you? You did make a new song for tthe session of 2006, why not make a whole new album?
 
Well, it was actually very hard to make that one song as I expected so much from myself. I'm really satisfied with it but it was a really horrifying trip. So  making a full album felt, and it still does, really hard. But I have started composing some songs so we'll see. But then again, if the music, which I'm sure is going to be good, does not seem like a great continuation to Nespithe,  it will have to go  under a different band name. 
 
The name Demilich comes from the world of role-playing games you yourself claimed never to have really played. How did you come up with it? And why did you change the name from Deformity? Oh, and how do you actually pronounce  the name Demilich?
 
Well, I actually looked the pronunciation up but none of the three possible options (ch as in 'chance', k or h) seemed more correct than any other. I myself use all of them, depending on the year. Currently I think I'm in the Demilich (ch) era, or k, hell, I don't really know (laughs). As for the name change, at some point I realised there already was a band called Deformity and wanted a name that really no one else had. Once I went to see a friend of mine who lived in  Southern Finland and he had this rulebook for Dungeons and Dragons. I started going through it and suddenly shouted „Fuck, this Demilich is a great band name!” I had some doubts as I wasn't really into fantasy but this Demilich seemed like a cool character so I decided to go with it. 
 
What about your musical activity beside Demilich? Metal Archives says you are still a member of Winterwolf, to my knowledge - a band started by an ex-Demilich member Tommi Hoffren. Years ago you also mentioned a guitar/computer project called The In-God Camera. What happened to it?
 
We've just recorded a new album with Winterwolf which will be out in March 2019. It is an easy listening but it also has some Demilich vibes there, yet it's mostly done by Tommi – I just bring my own spices there. I was also in Jess and the Ancient Ones (Finnish Occult Rock band) but I dropped out as I wasn't really capable of playing traditional jamming. The In-God Camera has changed its name but it's still there and you will hopefully hear an album soon. I have tbuilt the songs and now just have to start recording. It's going to be interesting stuff. 
Finnland has had great bands like Putrenance, Demigod or Adramelech, to name just a few. Yet your scene has never got so much recognition form the world as, for instance, the Swedish one. How do you think, why? 
The Swedish have always known how to make polular music, also in death metal, and I always liked their bands more than ouf Finnish death metal groups. In Sweden they could always make songs that were poppy and snappy while in Finland you could mainly hear the sadness and I think that was the main problem back then – I think people in most countries didn't really want to listen to sad music, they were more into cheerful songs that were good for headbanging. 
 
How strongly do you identify yourself with the Finnish scene? It doesn't seem that you have shared the stage with Finnish bands too often while playing shows even in Finnland.
 
We started at the time when Demigod and Sentenced put out their demos and we also wanted to do something similar. But at the same time I loved Pestilence and Bolt Thhrower so I wanted to incorporate some of their style into my music. But you cannot escape the Finn inside you. 
As for shows, back then there weren't really that many shows available and we were active just for a short moment  – we had a concert set ready in the beginning of 1991 and from September 1992 I was completely forcused on the album, so we only had a year and a half to play shows.
 
Most people who are going to see you on this tour have never had such an opportunity, it will be a 'dream come true' for many death metal fans – so the appetites are groing. What are your plans for the future? Any chance to see you on tour some time soon?
 
We'll see. After Southern Europe we might go to South America as we've never been there..Touring and touring only would be much easier but I'd really like to get myself into making this new album - I so much don't want to be this 65–year-old clown who still plays the same album during his shows. But as I've said, if it's not good enough to follow Nespithe, there won't be a successor, just an album under a different band name – I actually already have that band. 
 
Final words?
Yeah, I just remembered what happened after our (supposed to be) final show  in our hometown back in 2006 when I was going to kill the band again. I went swimming and I suddenly got a cramp in my leg. There was this voice in my head saying „come on, you know how to handle this, just swim using one leg”, but there was also this other voice saying: „Yeah, this is a really cool way to kill the band – just die after your final show!”
 
Thanks for the chat!
Thanks, cheers!
Interview  Radosław Grygiel
Foto Live Kazimierz Ździebło i zdzieblo.com.pl

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