With Rusted Angel being one of my favorite albums, I had very high expectations for Insanity. Needless to say, it was worth the wait! After finally hearing this, I immediately contacted guitarist Christofer Malmstrom to see how they created this masterpiece.
Wayfaerer-First off, congratulations on Insanity, it's an intense and amazing album!
Hows the reaction been so far?
Christofer-Thanks!!! The reactions have been mostly very positive. Of course most critics
compare Insanity to Rusted Angel, which is natural but quite hard since the two
albums are quite different to each other. The sound on Rusted Angel was more
brutal but on Insanity it's wider and more mature I think. It's also easier to
hear all the guitar melodies and stuff like that.
W-Could you give a brief band history of Darkane?
C-Peter and I started up Darkane in January 1998 when our former band of seven years
Agretator ran out of inspiration. We asked Jorgen and Klas to join us and then
we wrote Rusted Angel. When it was time to record we still hadn't found a
vocalist so we asked the producer Daniel Bergstrand if he knew any good singers.
He recommended his assistant Lawrence Mackrory, and we tried him out (actually
we had no choice, but it turned out very good I think).
W-Insanity sounds great, how did the recording process go? Are you 100% satified
with this album?
C-The recording process was haunted by very bad luck, but somehow we managed to
finish it. We had some problems with flooding, burning A-dat recorders,
lightnings striking the studio and things like that, and also the fact that we
were constantly after the schecule. I would say that I´m 90% satisfied. There's
always things I think that I could have done better, like my own solos.
W-Will there be any bonus tracks on the Japanese release? If so, what do they
C-Yes, it will be a live version of the song Convicted recorded with Lawrence on
vocals in 1998 in our hometown Helsingborg.
W-You are the main songwriter for Darkane, how do you go about writing new
material? Do you have a specific process that you go through?
C-Peter and I try to write as many riffs as possible during the week, and
then every Wednesday we get together and listen to the things we've created and
arrange it into songs. The songs are always complete when we put lyrics into
them (mostly in the studio).
W-One really weird thing I thought of was because of all of the licensing, we got
Insanity on March 6, yet it won't be out in Europe until the end of April. Usually Europe
gets the releases first. Do you feel that this is a good change?
C-Yes I think it's good! It's because Century Media licensed Insanity in the
States and Nuclear Blast licensed it in the rest of the world. NB wanted to
promote it very hard and decided to release it April 30th while CM (who's also
promoting it very hard) decided to release it March 6th, and I'm happy about it
since it was recorded in June last year and it's very boring to wait that long
to get it released.
W-What was the whole story Lawrence Mackrory leaving Darkane?
C-Lawrence has his own band Forcefeed (now changed to Seethings), and he didn't
want to focus 100% on Darkane. He also lives 7 hours of driving from us, so that
made it hard to rehearse. It was an agreement between us and Lawrence that we
should try to find a new vocalist ASAP.
W-How did you come to the decision of choosing Andreas to be your new vocalist?
C-Andreas lives in our hometown Helsinborg, and I was playing together with him
for a short while in a coverband. We had a tour with Naglfar and Soilwork in The
Netherlands, and Lawrence couldn't come with us, so I asked Andreas to be the
stand in. He accepted and after the first show we realized that Andreas would
fit Lawrence's place very good, so we asked him to join us.
W-Ok, on both Rusted Angel and Insanity the opening track is an instrumental
featuring a choir. What made the band decide to have this in the albums? I
think it provides a great and innovative start to both albums.
C-I've always liked albums and live shows that start with an intro that sounds
dramatic so that the listener will come into the right mood before the album or
show starts for real. When we were on a tour with Marduk they had the intro from
the movie Omen. Peter and I said to eachother that it was very cool, but every
band uses intros from movies and stuff like that, and we thought it would
be cool to write our own intro. So that's what we did. The intro on Insanity
(Calamitas) was sung by a choir consisting of 26 people singing in latin, and an
orchestra consisting of 10 persons playing strings, horns and percussions. I
think it was very fun to do it, and I think it will sound quite cool to have as
a live intro.
W-With US distribution by Century Media, any chance we'll see you guys on tour in
the states? I think a Soilwork/Darkane US tour would be a real crowd-pleaser!
I know you've toured with them before. Does Darkane have any tour plans at the
C-The only tour plans at the moment are in May in The Netherlands together with
Gardenian. I can assure you that we would really love to come and tour in the
States!!! And I really hope we will some day. It's up to Century Media to bring
us over, and it depends on the sales of Insanity of course. Let's hope!!!
W-What kind of a feeling were you going for with the cover art for Insanity?
C-We had taken some pictures where we were wrapped up in plastic, and we sent them
together with the CD to Thomas Ewerhard in Germany, and then he did the rest,
influenced by our pictures and the music. The only thing we told him before was
that we wanted it to be insane! I think it turned out great!
W-Well, it certainly succeeded in looking insane! Many of the Darkane members have some side-projects, do you have any in the
works right now?
C-Peter is also playing in a power metal band called Majestic. Klas and Jörgen
are playing in a band called Defaced and they will release their debut through
italian Scarlet Records. Klas is also playing with a few of the Soilers in Terror 2000.
I have a project together with Meshuggah bass player Gustaf Hielm that is currently called Neurotic, but will probably change in the future. I'm still
writing songs for this project, and we will also record a CD in the future.
W-What are your thoughts on mp3s? I know you've had a sample off Insanity on
your website for a while.
C-I think it's good to promote your band, but it's not good when people download
the entire album insted of buying it. I don't like that at all. We wanted to put
up a full song on our website but Nuclear Blast didn't let us put up a sample longer than
60 seconds. It was hard to find a 60 second sample which would represent the album
in the best way.
W-What have you been listening to lately?
C-The Haunted, Soilwork, Meshuggah and Strapping Young Lad and a cool CD I got
from a band in the States called In Effigy. I think they are unsigned. I also
listen a lot to classical music.
W-What has been your favorite release so far this year (excluding Darkane, of
C-I guess that would be A Predator's Portrait (Soilwork) and last year it was The Haunted
Made Me Do It!
W-What do you do for a living outside of Darkane?
C-All of us work. I'm at the moment working as a caretaker at The municipal music
school here in Helsingborg.
W-Thanks for your time! Any plugs/comments that you want to make?
C-Thank you very much for the interview!!! I hope that the American metal heads
will check out our new album Insanity, and I really hope that we will see you on
tour!!! Take care and stay metal!