At the Manchester date of Sweden doom riff-machines Monolord’s UK tour, we caught up with the band members Thomas Jäger, Mika Häkki, and Esben Willems to talk.
S] How are you guys today?
E: All good
T: Bit tired from the bad hotel yesterday.
S] What was the issue?
M: The lack of bed. Haha! It was mainly springs.
S] So you guys are in the middle of a UK tour, how’s the UK been treating you so far?
E: It’s actually the last date tonight and then it’s back to Europe. It’s been great.
S] This is the first time you’ve been back since Desertfest last year right?
E: It is, yes.
S] Do you notice any difference in your standing in the UK compared to other places?
T: We’ve only played Desertfest, The Black Heart in London, and Leeds, we’ve not toured here at all really. But it’s been above expectations actually. A few really well attended shows, good crowds, and really friendly people all over.
S] Is there a new album in the works after this?
M: It’s done. We’re playing two new songs at the moment.
S] Do you feel it’s a notable progression from the previous album?
T: Yes and no, kind of. We have long really heavy songs and also progression maybe coming from the Lord of Suffering 10”.
S] Was there any particular inspiration going into it, either musically or conceptually?
M: Conceptually, yes. There’s a bit of a theme about religions and people’s need to have a religion. It’s questioning. We’re not too big on religions, to put it mildly.
S] When you were forming Monolord, what was it that drew you to doom?
E: Playing heavy and loud. Big grooves.
S] Do you feel there’s a strong scene around you that can support you?
T: We have some really great fans. People fly in, yesterday a guy flew from Ireland to come see us. When we played France people flew in from Canada, and they’re super kind and bring us things, so that’s amazing.
M: There are definitely lots of great bands around, full of good people, both bands who have supported us or bands we’ve opened for. The whole doom and stoner thing is at the moment really been growing a lot.
E: I think that’s a good and a bad thing, as it always is, with any genre. When The Hellacopters surfaced everything was garage rock for ten years, everything, and most of those bands weren’t that interesting but a lot of them were.
M: Of course having that kind of a situation where a certain genre grows wider, the audience also becomes wider and a whole community grows.
S] Do you feel that you have to do anything in particular to stand out?
E: Not anything specific but if you just do what you do and do it well people will come.
S] Do you feel that your profile is growing?
E: I feel so, yes. We’re playing steadily bigger shows, and our band identity is constantly becoming stronger.
S] Are there any bands who you look at and think that you’d like to be able to achieve the things that they’ve achieved and leave the same sort of legacy?
T: Slayer maybe? Almost every album apart from the nu metal one is a good album because they keep on doing what they do well, and they keep on touring.
S] Oh we’re saying Slayer here, at first I thought you said Slade.
E: Oh yes them too! Every album rules!