Sweden’s Nominon are the epitome of oldschool Swedish death metal. No, I’m not talking about one of the zillion groups of Johnny-come-lately’s wielding boss heavy metal pedals that have recently sprung up out of the underground, I’m talking about the real f’in deal, true UGDM diehards. These guys have been plying their grizzly trade since 1993 and show no signs of slowing down on their 4th album, Monumentomb. I spoke with drummer Perra Karlsson via e-mail to get the lowdown on the new album, which is out now via Deathgasm.
THKD: Monumentomb is Nominon’s 4th full length. How do you think this new album compares to the rest of the band’s discography?
Perra: We certainly have matured as song-writers as well as musicians, so that’s the main thing why the new album sounds so damn interesting with lots of hooks and variation within the songs. Of course we have always pushed the limits within Death Metal also in the past, but now we took more or less everything a huge step further. Personally I’d say that “Monumentomb” were the hardest album to complete in many ways, not really drumming-wise though, since I was very much prepared for the occasion and did my parts in approximately 8-10 hours. The problems showed up when it was time to record the vocals. Due to the fact that our previous vocalist left us like three weeks prior to the actual recording, our guitarist Juha stepped in and said that he could do the vocals for the whole album. But when he started to track the vocal parts we all noticed that his voice were powerless after just a few songs, so we had to call in help from some great old friends that we know in the S! tockholm-area. We had to solve the situation and work things out, which we did, and the final result turned out fucking amazing.
THKD: What is the meaning of the title “Monumentomb”? How does it relate to the overall concept of Nominon?
Perra: The title idea hit me when I was out walking one day. It fits the description for the whole album just perfect. It’s very monumental Death Metal at times, and the lyrics are very aggressive and in-your-face this time around. The cover by Chris Moyen ended up awesome as well together with the title. That was another problem that we had to deal with, the cover that is. We had a cover design already made by an artist from the U.K. But we weren’t really satisfied with the result after all, so we decided to go for another solution, since we wanted things to be done with 100% perfection pretty much. The material on the album are outstanding, so we just couldn’t let such an important thing as the cover spoil the greatness of the material on the CD, you know.
THKD: Tell us about the song “Kevorkian Exit”. Are you supporters of assisted suicide?
Perra: Personally I would say that “Yes, we are!”. You’re supossed to be an adult here in Sweden at the age of 18 or 21 or whatever the age limit is, yet you are not allowed to decide about your own life and when to end it at a later stage in life. Just the thought of having the power to when, where and how to end my own life makes my blood boil. Hail Darkness!
THKD: Another interesting song is “Wrath of Shiva”. What is this track about? Are you interested in world religions?
Perra: We’re not really a religious band in that sense, no. We do however appreciate people that think by themselves and not live by a book, so to speak. Shiva had a close and wellknown relation to war, death and destruction. Those are the kind of themes that we as a band appreciate to write about in our lyrics.
THKD: How would you describe the Nominon approach to songwriting? Do you write songs separately or hash things out together as a band? What inspires you to write songs?
Perra: The music are pretty much written by Juha, Christian and Myself. We work together at our rehearsal room arranging the material. Anyone are welcome with ideas and suggestions, but this is the way we have been writing the last three albums more or less. Inspiration?! Mainly ourselves, we don’t spend time thinking on how the next song must or will sound, we take it step by step and work things out in a smooth way, to make the songs as good as possible. Right now we have like two new songs plus tons of other ideas that we will sink our teeth into when we have the time to do so.
THKD: Monumentomb was recorded at Necromorbus studios. What was it like working there with Tore Stjerna?
Perra: Anyone that know NOMINON also knows that “Monumentomb” were the third album that we recorded together with Tore at NECROMORBUS STUDIO in Alvik/Stockholm, Sweden. Each time we feel like coming home really, it isn’t such a big deal or fuzz about it, we just step into the studio and build things up and start to record when the time is right. We really appreciate to work with Tore, he certainly knows his way around in the jungle of sounds and what’s right for NOMINON as a band, which is very important. Every time we treat Tore like the missing member in the band kind of, we listen to his ideas and shit too you know. On this latest album him and me were very involved in the lyrics, we changed the original lyrics that our previous vocalist had been writing to make them more macabre and extreme.
THKD: You’ve added vocalist Henke Skoog to the band since Monumentomb was recorded. How did this lineup addition come about?
Perra: After we had completed the recording of the new album, we put an advertisment on our website that simply said “NOMINON are looking for a new vokillist!”. We had people from Mexico, Spain, Germany and a few from Sweden searching, but it didn’t seem to show up any serious ones, so we thought that we would continue as a four-piece band for a while. Then all of a sudden Henke sent us a message saying that he definitely were interested to come for an audition, so he did. After that particular weekend we haven’t looked back one second, just pushing things forward as much as possible and now after the tour here in Sweden we know for a fact that Henke is more than just a vocalist in NOMINON, he is a frontman as well, in a sense that the rest of us hasn’t been used to in the past.
THKD: Nominon has been playing death metal since 1993. Does it bother you that the band seems to get lumped in with the new crop of revivalist death metal bands when in reality you’ve been here all along?
Perra: If we would bother about that we wouldn’t still be around here today, isn’t that kind of obvious?! We have seen many bands come and go throughout the years, but we don’t care about that. What’s the main thing for us is the music, we would for example still be a band even if we didn’t had any recording agreement. We’re not playing this sort of music to become succesful. NOMINON consits of a group of people that actually do like to write Death Metal songs, and perform them live.
THKD: Having done this for such a long time, what is it about death metal that you continue to find inspiring after all these years?
Perra: To write new songs, push the limits and become better musicians.
THKD: Chris Moyen supplied the artwork for Monumentomb. What was it like working with such an iconic underground artist?
Perra: As I previously mentioned, we had to find a better solution for the cover art, since the one we had in mind to start with wasn’t as good as the actual music on the album. We have worked with Chris many many times in the past, so he was the main choice for us to contact when we ended up in such a chaotic situation. Chris did our second album “Recremation”, he did the MCD “The True Face Of Death”, the collection CD “Remnants Of A Diabolical History” as well as the cassette release “Blaspheming The Dead”. I am pretty sure that we will continue to work with Mr Moyen on any of the future releases as well, but only time will tell if that will become reality. To sum it up a bit; Chris Moyen is a fan of NOMINON and NOMINON is a fan of Chris Moyen, we simply adore each others work.
THKD: You guys are getting ready to head out on another tour of the US. Are you looking forward to this? How do death metal fans in the US compare to other places you’ve played?
Perra: We certainly look forward to make this tour, yes. When we toured over there two years ago we didn’t really knew what to expect due to the fact that it was our first time and all, but the audience were fucking awesome. And now with a new album in the bag, a new killer line-up we are very eager to perform the new shit also in North America. The fans over there are more dead-on, more concerned about NOMINON as a band.
THKD: Are there any final thoughts you’d like to add?
Perra: Appreciate your support Josh. For further band information, tour dates, merchandise make sure to visit www.nominon.com – www.myspace.com/nominon
See you all on the road. Hail The horned one!!
/Perra & NOMINON May 24th 2010.