The Shocking beauty in Doom Metal – Interview with Draconian’s Anders Jacobsson.

Throughout metal music history, different creative forces have built their path within a genre that started as an abstract manifestation of defiance, meaning this that many musicians created different genres, sub-genres, gathered new followers, lost others and made of Metal Music possibly the musical genre with most different ways to playing it in the same mark.

Why do I start this article this way? Well, I’m just thinking that metal music has so mucho to offer and discover everyday… I made an excelent discovery within my favorite musical genre by finding Doom Metal; believe it or not i just ignored it for so many years claiming “it’s too slow and boring” can you believe it?

No doubt I have that metal music has a almost heroic historic process, and particularly Doom Metal is the example… i won’t extend myself explaining it all, instead of that i will introduce to you all my new friend who I luckily got to interview after many weeks of trying. Yes, i Met Draconian like 4 months ago, but I can call myself a fan of this band at this moment. The good anders accepted my request for an interview and here is the result, i think it’s a kind of interview that the already fans of Draconian will definitely enjoy, but also the ones that do not know this band, just check it out and listen to their latest album “Sovran” that is actually one of the best releases in Napalm Records this year.

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Order their latest album “Sovran” in Napalm Records: http://shop.napalmrecords.com/draconian-sovran-digipak.html

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1.-How is the band feeling after finishing their sixth album? Do you think this is the best Draconian album to date?

The band has been really busy all year with this album and now it’s all about marketing this new work and ourselves as a band coming back from the shadows. It’s a bit chaotic. My personal favorite album is not this one, no.

2.-What’s the meaning of the album’s title “Sovran”?

The connected, conscious universe. The album art is an attempt at portraying that idea… The linking between the earth, the heavens and the eyes as a symbol for the lifeforce behind it.

3.-I must confess that I didn’t know too much of Draconian before getting to know about this album, but when I first knew about it I felt so intrigued by the cover art and that leaded to follow all the release since the announce until I finally could hear it for the first time and I can tell you it worth it. But, now I want to ask you what’s the meaning of the cover art of this album? And how was it created? It’s pretty abstract and artistic but some symbols are very reachable.

I am real happy you found a way to our music and our message. It can never been too late, I suppose. I get into bands that are new to me all the time, and sometimes they are already disbanded. The cover and layout was created by Romanian artist Costin Chiorianu, who’s been making art for among many others Paradise Lost, Napalm Death, At the Games, Arcturus, ect. We are very happy about the turn-out. As it comes the cover art it’s explained briefly above.

4.-Let’s talk about the music! There’s a lot we can talk about the sound itself, but let’s start from the first. How was the composing process of this album?

Long, dragged out and tiresome. The whole process of having more than four years to write an album is not a good idea, if avoided, but ‘cause of Lisa’s departure and the process of finding her replacement with all that entailed it could not be avoided, of course. Sometimes when you have too much time with something it mutates and changes too much… and I speak mostly for myself here of course. Everyone, I think, made a terrific job. But as the infinite self-critic and realist (sort of) I am quite unhappy with my own performance.

5.-Keyboards are a very important part of Draconian’s music, in the creating process of the band what is created first: the symphonic atmospheres or the electric instruments lines?

The foundation of each song is just guitars, bass and drums. We make demo versions that we build upon and re-arrange along the process. The atmospheres keys and add-on’s comes in the end to enhance it all. It’s better that way since we are most often a guitar driven band.

6.-I’ve heard a lot of people saying that doom metal is boring, I thought that before, but actually Sovran is a very melodic and attractive album. Does the band have in consideration to make catchy melodies when writing the songs?

The funny thing is that Draconian does not really consider themselves as a doom band, rather a dark metal band with influences here and there. The “gothic doom” imprint has remained with us and I guess it’s current as well. Genres become so contrived after…. 20 years, hehe.

Well, we do have some catchy melodies, I guess… but I would not want Draconian to sell itself and become commercial like that. As long we can express darkness and melancholy in some way I’m a happy guy.

7.-I wanna recall the last three songs of the album… First “Dishearten”, this song starts with a soft and slow atmosphere but ends with the most powerful melodic metal performance in the whole album beautifully attired with Heike’s vocals, the end of the song breaks a little the structure of most of the songs, what can you tell me about these details in this song?

Frankly, at this point… I have no idea. I could say it’s the most ‘modern’ song of the album.

8.-Then we have “Rivers between Us”. Some metal heads might be surprised to hear that this actually sounds like a doom metal-ballad, including even the growls but still has the atmosphere of a romantic ballad, if you let me call it this way. Do you agree with me?

We always have a song that is more emo, softer, gentler… “River Between Us” is an attempt at a gothic rock ballad, if you will. Lyrics very simple, guitars resembling of early “The Mission” and this awesome solo in the end that reminds me of one of my fave guitarist Steven Rothery. It’s could have been on Marillion’s “This Strange Engine”, easily. Another thing that stands out is Daniel Änghede’s soothing vocals which blend perfectly with Heike.

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9.-And at the end we have “The Marriage of Attaris”, as a fan of symphonic metal I must say that I love epic long songs like this one. Did the band write this song thinking specially of it as a grand finale for the album?

I can only resonate. This is my favorite song on the album and for that very reason as well… The flirtation with 90’s doom/death metal makes it an easy song to cherish, even for us. I think it was understood rather early this would be the finale.

10.-This has been the first studio record done with your new singer Heike, after the departure of your previous singer Lisa. How does the band feel now with Heike? And how did she influence in the creating process?

She does and then some. She’s very involved in the process and we are only thankful.

11.-So far the comments I’ve heard about Heike’s voice are really good! And totally agree her voice is stunning and matches very well the Draconian Atmosphere…

It really does. This kind of dark and bright resonates so well, and the genuine emotion and frailty in her voice has made Draconian better.

12.-Heike is from South Africa but now she lives in Sweden, how did you get to know her?

She wrote us and was interested in an audition. She was the only one of everybody who applied who we agreed to take here for a proper audition. As much of a lovely singer she was back then she’s really blossomed over the years here in Sweden.

13.-One of the most enjoyable part of Draconian’s music are the lyrics, which are mostly written by you… what is Sovran inspired in the lyrical side?

Many things… I’ve realized now it all came down to Love, with my vocals I was struggling with the lyrics as well. Heike was helping out allot and “Dishearten” is her lyric. But it stretches from everything to darkness and depression to cosmic understandings and personal transitions. I plan to take that even further on the next album.

14.-Looking forward to that! How does mythology, Esoterism or occultism influence the lyrics of Draconian?

It’s been a part of Draconian since the first demo, and has appeared off and on ever since. Luciferian themes have re-occurred over the years.

15.-Religion is a very used topic in the lyrics, is the band openly against religion? Why?

Well, it serves to detach the species from the natural world, and likewise, each other. It makes people thoughtless and narrow, unwilling to evolve and realizing the general truth of our world and the universe. It’s one of the biggest reasons of all the wars and all the distortion through-out history, and when you read their scriptures its part of the doctrine. The god of Abraham is a demon, nothing else. So yeah, I am, in particular, very anti-religious. Thinking about what it actually promotes and what it is doing to us I see it simply as fascism. It’s the fraud of the age.

16.-Is the band planning to record a video clip for this album? What song would it be?

We have recently finished a video clip for Stellar Tombs, recorded in Iceland and directed by Bowen Staines.

17.-When some people hear the word “Metal” automatically think about demons, Satanism and else and consider the people working on this kind of music as full of darkness; how would you describe your inner being Anders?

Perhaps, but surely depends on what part you are in the world. If in the Middle-East for example, I’m sure most people of older generation would hold that to be true, due to archaic us vs. them mentality… but it’s been more or less present since its genesis because its rebellious nature. Satanism, the Occult and everything else is part of that… to stick it to the Man. Darkness is the house of light. The source of everything.

I am a rebel, I have always been, and will always been until people take their heads out of their asses. That does not necessarily have to do with metal, but it sides fuel the fire. But my ‘inner being’… hmm… it’s scramming trying to break out.

18.-How does your family take the fact that you work making this kind of music? Mine would banish me forever lol.

I am sorry to hear that. Well, we are Swedes and I’ve been into hardrock/metal since I was like 7. In the 80’s my parents revolved against this music, as so many others. It was a paranoid time and media overstated everything. My parents are fan of Draconian and supports me in any way possible.

19.-What is your relation to the Zeitgeist Movement?

I see for what it is; the biggest movement for global sustainability and change. Change comes with a shift in values and for that we need to educate people on what really works. You can say it’s a movement of information, and times are dire. It’s not about opinions anymore. Either it works or it doesn’t. And either we evolve or perish!

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