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Interview: SUSPERIA
Title: Far away from all standards

Susperia will release their second full-length album entitled „Vindication” soon. Once more recorded in Abyss Studios Sweden as the last work Peter Tägtgren agreed to do before closing down his studio.

Peter believed so strongly in the material for the new Susperia album that he decided to co-produce and assist totally free of producer-charge! So the music was recorded in Abyss in November and December 2001 whilst vocalist Athera hooked up with vocal producer Bjørn Boge and recorded all the vocals in BBM studio in Oslo, Norway at the same time.

The debut album „Predominance” made their begin. Now ten new songs are ready in the true Susperia vein, with more groove, and more intense melodies than ever. This statement will have massive updates as the year progresses. Much will happen around this exciting band in the near future, that‘s for sure! Susperia are not Black Metal, not Death Metal, just pure energic, aggressive Metal. Sheer impossible, to categorize them.

Shouter Athera answers my questions.

What did happen after the release of the last album of Susperia? 



„Well, the release of our debut album was followed be extremely good critics from all over, as far as I have registered, so we had a good start, except from the few that still do not understand that this was never and is not a project, but a real band, hehe, but that doesn`t matter, I think they will understand now. We have as of this year signed with Rage Management which we are working closely with now. We have sold a fairly good amount of albums considering we are a new band, and almost 20.000 of a debut album is not that bad, but nothing to live on, but we have just started… The important thing is not how much money you make, but how many that buy your album. Other than that we are still the same people, which we always will be.”

You guys supported Dimmu Borgir during the european part of their last world tour, what‘s to tell about in general?

„We had a killer kick off of this band`s career with the invitation to support Dimmu Borgir on the entire European part of their world tour, following immediately after our release. The two tours gave us a really good start and a good propmotion in all countries we visited, presenting our music and band to many new people everyday all around Europe. Even though we had the opening spot and played quite early sometimes it was almost full everywhere when we went on stage.”

The very best experience for Susperia was to play for an almost full house in Milano, Italy in front of over 2000 people:



„Our name is inspired by the Italian movie Suspira and our live intro features a part of the theme from this horror movie, which made a total riot in the audience when it was started as we waited to enter the stage. Fucking awesome, they were screaming our name so the fences broke down in the moment we entered the stage, amazing... I can`t remember one place of the 30 shows where we got bad response or bad reception, so you could say we had a perfect start with the new album and our first tour ever together!”

What‘s the meaning of the new album‘s title? 



„The word `Vindication` means: To clear from criticism, to defend and to justify.” 



Which concept or theme stands behind it? 



„Without mentioning names, there have been some people both in the business and outside in the scene that have come out with some criticism of our band calling it many strange things, which is not justifiable nor true. And there was some that never believed and showed us their back. People thinking we were Black Metal and called it bad Death, or people that thought we were Thrash Metal and called it Black Metal and so on, it`s complicated. With the first album of people working together for the first time it`s not easy to find your thing immediately, so the first was maybe to some a bit diffuse, and to us a step in the direction we wanted to go. We are there now… We have found our Susperia sound and feeling, and the Susperia music is in place, strongly. So the album titlte reflects this, that we are in place and ready to show the audience and media what we are all about and what our music sounds like, and to hopefully gather a massive group of listeners which can appreciate what we are. We feel we have created something really strong now and want to share it with as many as possible. On a funny note, I have also to mention that when I was looking in the dictionary to check out the word Vindication, belive it or not, it was located on page 666 in the book! Can you believe it?? It had to be a sign!! Haha!”

The frontcover of the album shows a fetus with horns inside the womb ... goes somehow exactly in the tradition of Susperia covers ... who of you guys had the idea for it originally? 



„Well our designer Rune Tyvold is part of the Susperia family and has again made the album cover lay out and design for us, something he will also do on the next two albums, following in years 2003 and 2004.” 


Which concept or theme stands behind the cover picture – a reflection of the album‘s title? 



„It was an original idea by him which he developed in cooperation with us. When you say it is in the Susperia tradition it makes me feel good, cause that`s exactly what we hoped for and the reason why we use the same person. To have a consistency in the covers that people can recognize. It is important to us that the audience gets a relation to the covers as well as the band and its members. Maybe this fetus is the unborn Devil doll Cindy which covered the first album with a great Predominance... who knows…”

Please explain the new lyrics with a few words for each song. 



„`Cage Of Remembrance`: Within the title it lies a message about a man that is locked inside a cage for evil things he did in his life. When you read the lyric you will get an idea of what he did. He was a rapist and child molestor who now gets what he deserves in form of being kept in this cage with a watchman set to give the man a taste of his own medicine… Really ugly; `The Bitter Man` is a double story about a man being bitter on his father for being an asshole and about the father being a bitter man, you will have to go into the story and judge for yourself; `Anguished Scream` is about the ultimate Bitch, yet it is the hurt man that talkes about her in the text, full of anger this one is; `Petrified` is about a friend of mine who succumbed to drugs, and about how he should wake up and realize he fucked up big time; `The Bounty Hunter` is about the bounty hunter, nothing more, nothing less, he is not to be underestimated...; `Completion` is a philosophical story about how the universe came to excistence and how it maybe ends; `Warmaster` is my tribute to one of my all time favourite bands, Manowar, it`s about the guy Conan don`t want to meet in battle, he he, a funny flick totally out of the Susperia concept, but why not, a strange one to enjoy; `Dead Man`s World` is inspired by the movie `The Sixth Sense` and is about a man who suddenly realizes he is dead and walking still among the living; `Cast Life Into Fire` is a continuing story about this friend of mine and other fools that succumb to drugs. This one is more agressive and in your face critical about the lifestyle they lead and how they fuck up their one chance to live and do well; `Bleed Yourself ` is a fictional story about two friends where one is about to kill himself and the other one witnesses it. The story goes on describing how one person tries to take his own life and what the other one does to prevent him from dying and how the friend feels about the attempt and waste of time, and cowardlike decision.”

Who composed the new songs mainly? 



„Cyrus has written all the music. Tjodalv has put his magnificant drum feel in it, Memnock has created some extreme basslines and Elvorn is the rythm master! We are a band working closely together so we have created this album as a group! But Cyrus is unbelievably creative. I remember he started to figure out how the second album was going to be like already when we were in studio recording the first one. And after the end of the Dimmu/Susperia tour summer 2001, he had a inspiration kick and he told me he just threw his bags in a corner when he got home and immediately started to write material. I think he had three songs ready in the first week after we got home from tour, crazy bastard.”

Who wrote the new lyrics mainly? 



„I have written all the lyrics, with great inspiration from Memnock on a few of them. I had most of them prepared this time before entering the studio but still wrote the last ones in the studio while recording. This works out fine actually, cause you`re so pumped up and inspired when you`re recording anyway, so the result turned out good. I worked alone with a vocal producer this time, recording the vocals in Norway whilst the rest of the band where in Sweden recording the music, secret formula, hehe!”

Which were and still are the inspirations for the music of Susperia - books, movies?

„No books or films actually, at least not as far as the writing process of the music is concerned. We draw our inspiration from personal moods and feelings. It`s on a day to day basis. One day you can`t create shit, the next you`re full of natural inspiration and can write shitloads of stuff!”

What is your definite artistic goal with Susperia currently? 



„To get as far as we can. Again I have to point out that money is of no issue to us, as long as we are not broke you know. The goal is to one day be able to live solely off the music and not be forced to have normal jobs as well, this fucks up alot as it does allready. To make enough money to survive as normal and focus 100 % on the band and play live the whole year around is our goal as friends, family and band.” 



Live gigs - anything planned by now? 



„Our new album will be released close to the summer so no point in heading out on a big tour just before the summer holidays. It`s not the best time for touring. So we are working on most of the festivals around the world trying to make a deal with some of them, we will see which we will be featured on and what will happen during the summer. But we will for sure embarge on a tour in the autumn, but with whom and where and when we don`t excactly know yet.”

Main plans for the future? 



„As I mentioned, work on festivals, plan a autumn tour and after that start to work on new material again, to pump out a new album hopefully next year. We have to keep the paste going so that the name Susperia never rests and lies still. That`s the worst you can do weither you`re big or not. Something that is really exciting is something I`m really not allowed to talk about, but it features a golden opportunity for us in marketing and promotion. We will most likely have a major soundtrack to a exciting release planned in 2003…. You wait and see. In the meantime, go check out the new Susperia album ´Vindication` out 6. May 2002 and see what you think! Thank you Markus and Metalmessage for this great interview and thanx to all Susperia supporters out there, see you soon enough! Athera and the gang.”

© Markus Eck, 16.04.2002

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