Interview with LIK:Playing deathmetal and not being able to laugh at yourself is just lame
During the House of metal festival I got together with Chris, Tomas and Jocke from the band Lik to talk about the new album, the future of deathmetal, and the importance of having fun.
Can you tell me a little about how it all started and the new album?
Chris: It all started back in 2014 when I asked Tomas (Vocals/Rhythmguitar) to come down to my rehearsalspace to jam. We were going to try some kind of pop/rock, i don’t know what the hell we we’re thinking. It didn’t go well. Me and Tomas both love Dismember so we started writing deathmetalsong instead. We spat out three songs pretty fast and recorded a demo then we asked Nille (Leadguitar) if he wanted to join and after he said yes it kind of just kept on rolling. We wanted to keep it simple right from the start. We wanted to be a band that meets up for rehearsal and writes songs together as a band.
After the demo was recorded we sent it out to three labels and War Anthem showed interest. They asked us if we had material for a whole album and yes we had so those three songs later became our first album “Mass funeral evocation”. We recorded it with Lawrence Mackrory at Obey mastering in Uppsala and he has also done all recordings eversince. We put down the album on tape in a weekend and we did the same while recording our latest album “Carnage”. We record drums, bass and rhythmguitar live to get the right vibe. After “Mass funeral evocation” we felt that War Anthem was good and all but there wasn´t enough happening for us so we started searching around for a new label and eventually found Metalblade which we all felt sounded like the best thing for us. Metalblade are very passionate about the music and the genre and that is really important to us. We don’t give a shit if there are huge bands on the label or not, the passion for the music is the most important thing so we decided to release “Carnage” there.
Playing deathmetal in 2019 and to hail from Stockholm Sweden, is it possible to do so and not feel the herritage from bands like Entombed and Dismember to name a few?
Tomas: That is the best deathmetal in my opinion. Entombed, Dismember and those bands, first of all it´s groovy and has a definite punkvibe to it so playing 110% right and perfect is not important while in the U.S it’s a lot more technical and you have to be a fucking ninja on the guitar, which can be cool too, but I like my deathmetal with a punk attitude.
Chris: They are the influences we´ve had since we started playing music and got hooked on deathmetal. Entombed, Dismember, Edge of sanity. Just like Tomas said, I like it when it´s groovy. This might sound wrong but I like when you hear the riff. There’s a special feeling to that oldschool sound and apparently people are missing it and still loving it very much. I think it’s easy to take to the heart. Did we answer your question? If we feel the herritage from the old bands? Yes off course we do, we even have “Stockholmdeathmetal” printed on our merch. That Stockholm sound is special. That is how it’s supposed to be.
What does the future hold for Swedish deathmetal? In Sweden and abroad.
Tomas: It´s a bright future I would say.
Jocke: Everything moves in cycles and right now is a big upswing for oldschool deathmetal.
Chris: I was scared for a while when there was talk about deathmetal becoming a fucking hipster thing, I mean come on! It feels like deathmetal will keep on rolling. Sweden is as it’s always been. We are extremely good at producing music and making music, in all genres. We will keep playing for as long as it’s fun and as long as people will show up on our gigs.
When I listen to your new album “Carnage” i hear a lot of humour in the lyrics. How do you feel about mixing that into your music?
Tomas: Music is supposed to be fun. If you’re playing music you might as well get a few laughs out of it too.
Chris: When we write songs we’re laughing half the time. There’s a lot of smiles. We’re not that evil you know.
Jocke: It shines through live as well, the audience can see that we have fun when we play.
Chris: Someone told Tomas after a gig once that “You’re to happy when you play live” just because he doesn’t growl the titles of the songs. I mean there is nothing more cheezy or lame than doing just that. Playing deathmetal and not beeing able to laugh at yourself is just lame, I mean, standing with your arms crossed flexing your muscles in photos looking tough you will laugh at yourself. If not then so maybe ten years down the line.
Tomas: Yeah better to laugh at yourself now. Easier that way.