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"All hail the lords of monotonous crushing doom from Gothenburg! I suppose that this interview with Thomas V. Jäger, who sings and crushes guitars in Monolord, is something you ought to know!"

Interview with Monolord.
"All hail the lords of monotonous crushing doom from Gothenburg! They built their first wall of sound in 2014 with the debut album 'Empress Rising', cyclic Doom with repetitive riffs and echoing vocals. Monolord's sound is buzzing and primordial, bringing the sense of disturbed and dark trance, but there're people amongst us who like it! The band took their second pilgrimage in 2015 when RidingEasy Records released their second full-length work, 'Vaenir'. Logically more matured new tracks pulled further forward the load of riffs Monolord created for the 'Empress Rising' album, and make it sound different. The band keeps their nearly-funeral pace moving slowly from song to song, and the album really has some interesting points, so I'll leave it for you to find out about it. I suppose that this interview with Thomas V. Jäger, who sings and crushes guitars in Monolord, is something you ought to know!"

Monolord: Mika Häkki (Bass), Thomas V. Jäger (Guitars, Vocals) and Esben Willems (Drums).

Hail Thomas! How are you? What is Monolord's current status?

Hey! The current status is that we are trying out some material that has been lying around for a year or so. The last 6 months of 2015 was pretty hectic with a lot of touring so we have been eager to try new things out.

Your second album 'Vænir' showed notable differences from 'Empress Rising'... And I've read that some people who dig your first album don't get the new one. As for me, both albums are logically connected, yet I'd like to ask - how do you see these changes from inside?

We feel that the songs on Vænir came pretty much out the way we wanted. Empress Rising was recorded without even having a record label to release it. At the time we did not have a bass player. Me and Esben recorded drums and guitars and waited for a bass player to come along. We found Mika and the rest is history so to speak. When we started to play the songs that became Vænir, we where more a band, a solid three piece that had toured a bit together and we also played a few songs from Vænir live before recording them.

Full-length discography: 'Empress Rising' and 'Vænir'.

Did the deal with RidingEasy Records change a lot in the band's life? I mean: how much did you have to do for Monolord's promotion, and how much does the label do? What's left for you to organize after that?

The label wants us to be able to concentrate on doing what we do best, making slow songs. Of course we have a finger in every batter, to see if it tastes the right way, but you can't control everything. Our business with RidingEasy has helped us tremendously and Daniel Hall is a big part of what we do and where we are right now.

How do you see the direction of Monolord's future evolution, after the changes you made with 'Vænir'? Can you already predict anything, and what would you like to gain with the next record?

The songs that we are fooling around with now is heavy, so no worries but it also has a bit more melody I think. It feels that I am a better singer now so I guess you could say that it feels like we have an extra instrument to try stuff with. We are still aiming to do the heaviest album we can, with great hooks to draw the audience in.

Monolord – 'Icon':

Well, I think that your echoing vocals are one of the main features of 'Vænir', so it would be good to hear those again. What does your experience of previous recording sessions tell you about the equipment you'd prefer to use on the next songs?

We record everything ourselves in our quite small rehearsal space. Despite it´s tinyness we feel at home there, we can take our time and we know how everything works. Esben has a mobile studio with some simple, yet effective gear which we know how to use. Sometimes I record vocals or additional stuff in my home studio. Me and Mika just became Orange Amp ambassadors so we will be using a bit of that stuff. But our gear is basically the same as the last two albums.

We have been thinking of using another studio but I think this way we work now suits us really good. We can rig all our gear in a day and record when we want to. It is a good way for us. And cheap.

I saw an ambiguous message on the band's Facebook, dated 13th of January… Have I got you right that the band is in the studio again?

Our rehearsal room is our studio, but no, we are not recording songs for an album. We are making pre-productions to see what fits and what does not.

Can you tell a story of one song from 'Vænir' which represents the best of Monolord?

The lyrical theme lately has been a big fuck off to all of the greed present in the world. The people controlling the worlds poplulation. Like the song You Blew It All is a bit inspired of the lyrics from the song Epitaph by King Crimson. "The fate of all mankind I see is in the hands of fools." This is our interpretation of a world turning into shit.

Such a surprise! I'm glad to meet a Doom band with a social attitude, so dare I ask - how do you, in Sweden, see this process of the world turning to shit, as it's known as one of the most comfortable countries with a proper way of living?

Sweden has been known as a really good and a country open to everyone. Now things are changing. The bigger parties has to change their view on immigration just to get votes from the people which would vote for neo nazi party SD, if they didn´t. So now it is not as open and comfortable as it used to be. People are keeping their right wing ideas a secret, say that they don´t agree but still vote in the far right.

We think that it is really important to be open about it, tell people that you DO NOT agree with that kind of view. We need more compassion in this world.

Monolord – 'We Will Burn':

Usually we talk about bands which influence our respondents, but what's about books? What kind of literature influences you when you work over material for Monolord?

I have read some fantasy and science fiction over the years. Lately I have been trying to understand how the physics of space works. There is a Swedish guy called Ulf Danielsson that is really good to explain how that stuff works, in a simplified way. I don´t know if any of his books is translated to other languages but his works I really like.

By the way, how would you describe the overall mission of Monolord?

When we first started the goal was to just record the heaviest stuff we could. That was the only goal. But then we realized that might be boring. So we added some melody and hooks to it. Other than that, I dont know really. As long as it is fun, we will continue play the heavy stuff.

Live in 2015.

Monolord were touring a lot in 2015, you played Roadburn, Desertfest and a few more big festivals. What are your strongest impressions from the gigs you played?

Roadburn and Desertfest was amazing. Great crowds, both in big venues.I sometimes go on youtube to remind me of how great it was. It sometimes seem unreal that I have actually done those things. I am just a guy living in the woods in the west of Sweden. Nothing really special about me. I think it is really important to remember that. I also remember a few great gigs from the tour we did with Salem´s Pot. Like at Glazart in Paris. A really great crowd. Looking forward to play there again!

You also played in the USA: how did you manage the American tour? And do you plan to return there while your visas are still active?

The North American tour was really amazing. A lot different compared to touring in Europe but still a lot of fun. The biggest difference is that visa, plane tickets and renting backline costed us a fortune. But we managed. Windhand became our mentors and the guys in Danava were really cool guys. I miss them all.

If we are going back to the US, is up to our booking agency in the US. But I do hope so.

What do you usually take with you on the road? What helps you to survive on a tour?

Proper food, sleep, and don't party each and every night. If you´re just out for a few days you can manage a bit of partying, but on longer runs, the lack of sleep is just exhausting. I like to sleep.

How do you usually organize your schedule during a tour? And does merch still guarantee some incoming revenue?

We organize it with our booking agency. Sometimes we have a driver/tour manager/merch guy/girl with us depending on the economy. Merch is one of the reasons we can tour actually. So thank you to everyone that actually buy stuff!

Copenhagen 2015.

You already have few dates for shows in 2016. How do you find the energy and time for such tight tour schedule?

I think we did around 60 gigs in 2015. Two longer tours and a few shorter ones. We have some stuff in the loop for 2016 and as long as we don't lose money, we say yes to almost anything. We can´t afford to accept low paying gigs anymore since we have to be able to pay our bills that pile up when we are away. But as long as it is fun, we love to play, to see places and citities we have never seen is amazing. We wanna tour more.

Where and with which bands do you dream to play? Okay, what is the gig of your dreams? Dead persons and disbanded outfits are available to choose as well :)

To be able to play with Windhand on the US tour was really a big one for us. I bought their first record from the bands bandcamp. I had been listening to some of their demo tracks earlier and I instantly loved it. Such a bunch of nice people!

To open for Black Sabbath, all wearing "BILL SABBATH" t-shirts would be fun.

Thomas, I would like to thank you for your time! It was cool to talk about Monolord and I hope that our readers have discovered more interesting facts about the band. Have we forgotten anything? What do you think?

Thank you. I don't think we forgot anything. If we did, you will have to interview us again :) Cheers!

Click HERE to discuss this interview on the doom-metal forum.

Visit the Monolord bandpage.

Interviewed on 2016-02-24 by Comrade Aleks Evdokimov.
Aesthetic Death
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