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Interview: Monolord

Interview: Monolord

Monday 3rd October, 2016 3:32PM

It's been a hectic couple of years for Swedish metal group Monolord. Since coming together in 2013, the trio have unveiled two full-length albums, an EP, a couple of well-received singles - and on top of that they've toured the globe relentlessly. This week brings the trio to our shores for the first time ever, where they are undertaking two shows across Wellington and Auckland with Italian group  Ufomammut in an awesome doom double-header. We managed to steal a few minutes with drummer Esben Willems while Monolord were wrapping up a punishing tour of North America and have a chat about their non-stop schedule, which includes plans for a new album next year...

UTR: Hey Esben! So you're finishing off a North American at the moment. How's that going, how are you doing?

EW: It's been really good, the turnout's been great. The audiences in the US are always fantastic, so it's been fun. We're all tired.

Any stand out moments?

Oh that's a question that I don't want to answer. On a tour like this it'a about doing the best shows and then getting to the next city, so it's mostly been on stage, going to you motel and then sleeeep as much as you can - which usually means three hours at a time and then 10 hours drive to the next venue.

Oh man, that sounds exhausting... do you have any special tips to help get through a punishing tour schedule like that?

Oh well we try to eat properly. It's such a boring answer but we try and eat properly and sleep as much as we can. We sleep in the van, we sleep in green rooms at venues, and obviously at the motels. We just try to take care of ourselves as much as we can, but it's hard on the road.

Will you get much of a chance to rest up at home before coming to New Zealand?

Yeah, we get two-and-a-half weeks. That's going to be nice.

What do you do when you're not working on music?

Well, I'm a sound tech, so I do that in-between band stuff. But nowadays it's mostly the band actually. We've been touring and planning the next album. That takes up a lot of time.

It seems like you guys have gone from strength-to-strength really quickly, coz you formed in 2013, you've already got two really well regarded albums under your belt, and lots of big tours. What's your secret?

Oh the secret recipe, haha...


First of all, thanks! But, I don't know. We've been playing music all our lives and we're old. That's the secret. Hahaha.

How did the three of you come together as a group?

Thomas [Jäger, guitar/vox] and I played together in a rock band before, and this actually started as a side project to that band [Marulk]. And we realised early on that we needed to do something, so we recorded a few pre-production demos and Mika [Häkki, bass] came along and all of a sudden we had a deal with Easyrider Records. Soon after that we released Empress Rising, and on we went.

You guys just released the 'Lord Of Suffering/Die In Haze' double single. Why the decision to release the songs like that rather than save them for an album or EP?

Well, time, I guess. Because we wanted to release an album this year, but we couldn't because we had too much touring so we couldn't get the time. But we really wanted to release some new material, because it's fun. It's fun to present new stuff, always. So this was the solution to that.

You've said already you have a new album in the works? Can you tell us a bit about it?

Yes, oh yes. Well, we're still planning, the tours keep coming at us so we haven't had the time. But when we get back from New Zealand and Australia we'll plan the next year, and when the next album will be recorded and released. So it will hopefully be next year.

So nothing's been written for it yet?

Oh yeah, we have the material. Absolutely. We just need to work it through properly. We have a lot of new material - but no time to work with it yet.

I was reading an interview with you on the Some Girl's Metal site and one of the things you talked about was the mood that inspired your last album Vænir. In particular you were discussing the 'stupidity and destructiveness of humankind' and how that influenced your writing. Is that something you'll still reflect upon in the upcoming album?

Well, yeah. It's not just a decision we made. It's a constant. It's there all the time. It seems like humanity keeps on doing stupid things, and we need to let off stream and frustration over that.

Is this something you've become more aware of as you've gotten older, or have you always been politically and socially inspired?

Ahhh, that's a good question. Yes and yes, I guess. Um, I've always been politically interested and interested in what happens in society and WHY it happens. All three of us have. But of course, getting older means you see things in a different way, a bigger perspective. At least I do. So yeah. That's part of it.

I feel like the kind of access we have to the rest of the world because of the internet, we can watch things like the American presidential elections a lot closer than anyone's ever been able to before, so there is definitely a wave of frustration around the whole globe...

Yes. My point exactly. And the same thing happens in Europe as well. The right-wing extremists are just gaining ground daily. It's so scary. They get more and more followers, and it is frustrating. I mean, all three of us in the band, of course, want to live in a world where we have fun and be nice to each other. It sounds naive, but that should be everybody's goal, always. And then you see these insane movements that are just fuelled by hate, and that's scary.

Yeah totally. I reckon the older I've got I've got better at being kind to other people though...

Yeah, I think I recognise that, but I'm more bitter and happy at the same time.

Awh. So you are touring with Ufomammut, how did that happen?

Oh well we've wanted to tour Australia for a long time, but we couldn't when it was first offered. But then this tour with Ufomammut came up and it fits just right. So we don't know Ufomammut personally, but we know of them. So it's going to be really nice to get to know them and get to to play with them.

Ufomammut And MonoLord

Monday 3rd October, San Fran, Wellington
Tuesday 4th October, Kings Arms, Auckland

Tickets available HERE at UTR


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