On December 5th Swedens Persuader released their 5th album. Stargazed Magazine took the time to a chatt with guitarrist Emil Norberg.
First off how many ”marks” have Persuader gone through
Well fiver or ten…Jokes aside they had its mark 1 on ”The Hunter”, I wasn’t on that record…then what… joined before ”Evolution Purgatory” and I think we had the same line up on ”When Eden Burns”, then Daniel (Sundbom) joined on guitar. It became too hard for Jens to both sing and play the guitar. That line up were intact up until ”Fiction Maze”. So…4th maybe?. We are still pretty young so we will probably have time for more line-up changes. We´ll see how they behave (Laughs)
Your music is straight descending from Blind Guardian?
That is nothing we´ve never heard before. But that is mostly because of the way Jens sing. The music itself isn’t very similar. Only the vocal arrangements and as I said his vocals is where you can draw the parallels. But there are definitely worse bands to be compared to.
Swedish dance bands with disted guitars maybe. But we aren’t that tired yet.
How did you end up on Frontiers Records
It all started around 2017/2018. When the record company we were on at the time decided to stop releasing records. The record company boss wanted to slow down. That’s another thing that slowed us down. We were done with the lyric parts for the record but all of a sudden we had to start searching for a new home. If I remember correctly they contacted us. We had a few more record companies that wanted to sign us, but Frontiers seemed more eager to have us.
Frontiers is best known for all the projects…
Yes and old men…But a band like Seven Spires is there, and they are kind of heavy. So they have really broaden its horizons. It does not feel bad at all, I think we have a great future together. They have a long term plan for us too so.
Too bad that the Covid 19 came between
Exactly, The record were supposed to come out last spring but almost every release was moved forward. But it made no difference. Were at the same spot now as we were back then.
What do the title Necromancy mean?
Considering that it has been a few years since we released our last record. We figured that there must be some Necromancy that we managed to re-emerge and deliver a decent album after all those years
Who is the main lyricist and who’s responsible for the music?
In the past, it has been Efraim who has been mostly behind our lyrics. On this album i’d say it’s mostly me and Fredrik who were responsible for the main part. Then of course we help each other out if needed.
According to the site Metal Archives you write about Atheism, Armageddon, Mythology and Fantasy
Well….maybe. We don’t write fantasy inspired songs that’s for sure. There are no demons and dragons and kings with giant swords in our music. Maybe I can agree with atheism and armageddon.
I have questions about some songs on the album
The curse unbound.
You had a competition surrounding that song on which movie it was based on. Did you get a winner?
Yes we did. Its a German movie called “Krabat”. Maybe nothing that would make it to the big movie theatres. It was actually Thomen Stauchs idea. As he had plans to revive Savage Circus. The whole song was planned to be recorded for that purpose, but it never gotten that far. So we rewrote it and put it as the first song on the record
Rise of the dead.
Its all Fredrik Mannbergs song. He takes a lot of cool words and put it together. Probably gone through some old Kreator songs.
Reign In Darkness,
Also Mannbergs song. I might have been a little involved with it. But as a whole we are no Shakespeare. It’s mostly Effe (Efraim Juntunen) who’s got some thought in what he write but they are not easy to figure out.
Well it’s more exciting when it’s up to the listener to figure out what the song is about than when it’s revealed directly.
It’s nice when its open for interpretations…
The step from “Fiction maze” to today. Where and how do you think you have evolved?
Lyrically for me anyway. It’s hard when you don’t want to write a song with verse / chorus / verse / chorus / solo / chorus. So it takes a little bit of thinking to be able to make everything feel homogenous without making it weird. To get a common thread through everything. Dynamics is perhaps the wrong word on this record, it’s pretty straightforward with some exceptions
Your influences are death and black metal. But nothing in Persuader sounds like that. Thrash metal maybe. What makes a Persuader song.
I think it’s widespread. Death and black comes from our formative younger years. That kind of music was big up here in Umeå in the 90s. Nocturnal Rites started out as a Death Metal band. But we listen to and are influenced by bands all the way from Stryper to Devin Townsend and everything involving Dan Swanö. It’s fun to get all those influences in the mix without it getting too obvious. We often start working with Talisman style of harmonies but with more thrash riffs to make everything sync.
The Pandemic came ”perfect” If I may say so for you. You can pause the band and come back big and strong on stage when all this is over.
That’s the thought. We need to start contact booking agencies to see what we can do. We have actually booked a mini tour in Portugal and Spain next year.
But confirm a tour in the epicenter in Europe of the covid 19 was maybe not the best of ideas
Whats goin on in bands like Guillotine and Purgatorium, and maybe most of all Savage Circus?
I don’t know the line up in Guillotine but they are working with some new material.
Purgatorium just released new music. They don’t go for world domination but every now and then they appear.
Savage Circus is a closed chapter unless someone throws a lot of money at us, but I would not mind it. That would certainly be fun.
So what happens in your world right now?
I am working on 2 different projects right now. And next year we’ll start up the Persuader machine again. I cant say that I sit around rolling my thumbs.
What about a live stream?
Its such a huge thing to do. But it would be nice to do it. A few bands here in Umeå has done it.
How about a live album
I think Frontiers want us to do another new album but we might take it up for discussion.
Finally. What has been the best release this year?
Well…Dark Tranquillity was a good one. Interesting with Chris Amott. Other than that. I don’t know. I usually listen to a lot of new releases….it was a long time since Evergrey released anything new (new album February 2021). So I say that for 2021 then.
And with that I thank Emil for his time and the best of luck in the future with everything