Musicscan: What is it for you guys to be called a metalcore band all the time - is it somehow annoying or fine with you? At least you are still known to be such kind of a band …
Purified In Blood: Haha, well, I guess people called us that after the Reaper of Souls album in 2006. Maybe that was a “Metalcore” album, I don’t really mind. We were 19-20 years old, and angry as fuck. That album is so fucking fast. I don’t know if we can play it anymore, haha. But we are not “Metalcore” band. At least not the last two albums. On the first EP(Last Leaves of a Poisoned Tree,2004), we played more Slayer/Entombed inspired hardcore. Then on “Under Black Skies”(2010) we progressed and brought elements of sludge and doom, in with the more thrash/death metal sound. I guess we have always been influenced by hardcore. In the early days, bands like Integrity, Earth Crisis, Liar, Sunrise, Cro-Mags and Strife was a huge influence for us. And still is. As well as classic metal like Slayer, Iron Maiden, Pantera and Kreator etc. On the two latest albums, “Under Black Skies” and “Flight of a Dying Sun”, our influences range from a mix of all our earlier inspirations to Neurosis, Mastodon, Gojira, St Vitus and The Melvins, just to name a few. Even a lot of classic rock/metal like Judas Priest and Black Sabbath has been a heavy influence.
Musicscan: What has to happen until people realize that you have outgrown the metalcore tag, what do you think? Will Flight Of A Dying Sun change the situation?
Purified In Blood: I guess people like to stick with what they first thought we were. But if you listen to our latest 2 albums, you will clearly hear that there is next to nothing that can link us to that tag. “Flight of a Dying Sun” is a raw album. The missing link that binds everything together.
Musicscan: And are there any principles you would never give up to with the band style-wise? What kind of?
Purified In Blood: Purified in Blood will always be in your face. Aggressive and raw. Even though we now have more mid tempo stuff, everything still sounds like us. The attitude and intensity will always be there.
Musicscan: This whole metalcore-thing has become pretty professional and somehow mainstream for some bands, when it comes to the poppy and melodic edge. What do you think about it? Is the underground losing its D.I.Y. identity somehow? PURIFIED IN BLOOD is having a different approach - focusing on intensity and raw brutality with a good dose of dark melodies...
Purified In Blood: Things evolve. That’s natural. When metalcore first came around, bands like Integrity, Earth Crisis and Liar even Judge and Hatebreed brought more metal into Hardcore. Then other band started doing the same, and things just kept evolving. This was hardcore bands, who loved metal. Now, when metalcore/deathcore has become its own scene, the people involved don’t necessarily have to have roots in Hardcore at all. It’s been really watered out. The mainstream part is just a result of that. For many kids, who are not really into metal, metalcore and death core is more accessible I guess.
When it comes to the underground aspect, that’s a natural evolution as well. The scene got more mainstream, so did the attitude. It lost the raw and direct involvement that the Hardcore scene had. It took only parts of it with it.
There is off course still so much happening in the underground that the mainstream doesn’t pick up. And that’s good. Music needs that. Good bands will prevail, and the less good will mostly be forgotten. Sadly even good bands get lost in the masses of music that’s out there.
Musicscan: Being around as a band with an own identity and vision does it bother you when you see or meet kids who ignore you or have a different understanding of what your music and your style means to you?
Purified In Blood: Good question. When you try to do your own thing, it’s always hard. And when you do what you love, that might involve a change in direction. Some want to follow, and some just want your previous album, or your first album, just with new songs. That’s understandable. If someone ignores you, I don’t really care. We do this for ourselves and the people who are into it. Not to prove ourselves to anyone.
But for us as a band, we grow, and we want to continue to grow. I’m glad that we’re not stuck in the sound we had when we started. “Flight of a Dying Sun” is what we are now. It’s us in 2012. Everything about it. Lyrics, music, artwork, everything.
Musicscan: Since the sound of PURIFIED IN BLOOD changed a bit with Flight Of A Dying Sun: Do you feel that the band has now found its “own” sound, or is it still evolving?
Purified In Blood: On our way to finding our sound yes. As I said before, everything we do with Purified in Blood, still sounds like us. It just grows more for each album. We are always evolving. Our live set usually has one, two maybe three old songs, the rest is from “Under Black Skies” and “Flight of a Dying Sun”. And our live shows have never been heavier than right now.
Musicscan: What has been the impact of the “reduced” line-up to the new album? Has working been easier, or even more complicated?
Purified In Blood: We started out with two singers. Glenn Reaper wanted to focus on his Doom band “Helldiver”. He also wanted to focus more on other things in his life, like tattooing. We are still best friends, and everything is good.
When it comes to PiB, I think we are on a good path now. Everyone is 100%. Everyone wants to be a part of it. As in working on the album, for me doing vocals alone, it has been good. Not that it was bad before. I have just been giving myself more freedom to do what I want to do with the vocals.
Musicscan: If you compare the visions you have had of Flight Of A Dying Sun and compare it to your impressions listening to the songs now – what´s the difference, is there any?
Purified In Blood: Because PiB is a democracy, not made by one man, but by everyone, we all had our own visions about the album. In many ways, we create the songs by jamming riffs. Some stuff is made at home, but everything is tried out at practice. In many ways this is a slow process compared to one guy coming to practice with a whole new song. But then again, it allows us all to be a part of the process.
This resulted in an album that everyone is happy with. There have been many compromises though. Since we all have a direction we want to go, we meet in the middle. And for now this has worked out really well. Some of us also has side projects that ranges from jazz, doom, drone to more old school hardcore. This helps to ease the tension and lets us have a creative outlet that can go the direction we choose.
Listening to the album now, makes me glad that we did what we did. The songs are created and recorded in a period of less than 5 months. Maybe even 3 months effective practice and studio. This has given the album a raw feel. Half the album was put together in the studio. We had the riffs and the ideas, but not the final result. Like “Reaper of Souls”(2006), this album is intense and really aggressive in the sound.
Musicscan: What stands out in your mind about the chemistry of the recording of your new album? How did this contribute to the overall sound and feel of the album?
Purified In Blood: It is a diverse album, with 7 (not counting the intro) different songs. Incorporating different sounds, and different textures, but still connecting everything in a dynamic way. Ending up (for me) wanting to hear it again, right after the ending part of the title track at the end. It has different moods, which I find interesting as a listener. Like with “Under Black Skies” we have Hammond Organ on some songs, even Saxophone and Double Bass. We used a Kaoss pad on some parts , and different percussion instruments. There is also guest vocals by our good friend Erlend Hjelvik (Kvelertak, Djevel) and Glenn Reaper(ex Purified in Blood, now Helldiver). On the intro, we had Albert Kuvezin, a Mongolian throat singer, doing a drone through it. So there is some interesting stuff happening on it.
Working with Jacob Bredahl at Dead Rat Studios on “Flight of a Dying Sun” was a really good experience, and we had really good chemistry and he understood what we wanted. As did Tue Madsen at Antfarm who did the mixing. The album has a more metal sound than “Under Black Skies” which is more organic.
Musicscan: From my point of view your taste in music has become wider over the years. True? Were there any musical elements you meant to incorporate in the music for the new album by choice?
Purified In Blood: It’s not like we think we are doing something no one has ever done before. Our goal is not to re-invent metal. But we want to do our own thing, at least play what we want to hear for ourselves. We have obvious influences like Mastodon and even Slayer, but underneath that, there is links to bands like Crowbar, Immortal, Iron Maiden, Tragedy etc. and even other classic rock bands like Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. The list is long. When listening to it with an open mind, one can find elements that range from Black Metal, Thrash, Prog rock, Doom, Death and classic Heavy Metal
Musicscan: How important are compromises to your band? Should they play a major role at all? To me it seems that you're not willing to take compromises into consideration at all...
Purified In Blood: Not really into making commercial compromises if that’s what you mean. We want to create something that will make us feel good. And something that will make us feel like we did exactly what we wanted to do. For me that’s the most important part. But inside the band, we have to make compromises between ourselves. We are 5 really strong personalities, and that has is benefits and its difficulties.
Musicscan: What are differences between the messages portrayed in the lyrics of the new and your previous albums? What different thoughts are being brought out this time? Have you mostly stuck to the same topics, or have you progressed to another subject matter?
Purified In Blood: We always progress. In every way. Still the overall message is focused on the same subjects. Removing ourselves from the chains of this oppressive society. Liberating the mind from shackles indoctrinated in our lives by the mainstream. By a system which has lost almost all it’s link to the natural world. We believe that in order to be free, we need to change the way we think, live, eat and submit ourselves to false leaders. In many ways, we are only slaves. We describe the world as we see it. We do not believe in any form of oppression, weather it is religion, capitalism, or any form of political enslavement. We believe everyone should live free, even animals, in a sustainable world, not blinded by a set of twisted ideas of an elite few that controls the world. If you read our lyrics with that in mind, I think they will have a new meaning for many.
Musicscan: Is there something like a main theme or a main idea that runs through all the songs on the record, something that perhaps connects the individual songs you‘ve created for Flight Of A Dying Sun?
Purified In Blood: We touch different subjects. The song “Mind is Fire” is about freeing the mind from the prisons we put ourselves in. Lifting the veil that covers our consciousness. And essentially become aware of the fact that we can choose to live free, or we can choose to be slaves.
Iron Hands has a more environmental message about big imperialistic companies draining the planet of its resources, not giving back to nature, or the people who used to live there. It’s about the deforestation of the amazon, the damming of rives and the polluted drinking water that feeds villages of indigenous people. It’s about what Norway is best known for (besides Vikings and church burning), the oil industry and how it destroys our planet. All this, will end in the destruction of everything we love.
As naive as it sounds, the overall theme of this album is death, or the act of dying. I lost my father last year, and that has left a big scar. The song “Flight of a Dying Sun” is a reaction to that. It’s about the soul leaving the body. I’m not religious in any way, but I believe in the spirit of nature, and that everything is alive. And when the body dies, the soul moves on.
The album cover, made by the tattoo artist Jondix Mahashakti, reflects this.
Musicscan: With the direction of PURIFIED IN BLOOD heading a certain way and listeners / fans growing with you over years and releases, do you feel the fans can now relate to what you are feeling or at least understand what you are trying to tell them with your music?
Purified In Blood: Yes. At least that is our intention. I think that our fans see where we want to go with this album. And I think it is a healthy follow up to our previous full length “Under Black Skies”.
Musicscan: A lot of bands claim to not be interested in “a scene” as such anymore. Do you still stick to any kind of scene or group of listeners with “common interests”? Regarding all those trends and the fact, that metalcore has become some kind of a stylish scene for some parts, is it hard to still believe in the things you once did or you grew up with?
Purified In Blood: We grew up with Hardcore and Thrash metal. We will always have ties to that scene. Nowadays I listen to allot of Doom and experimental stuff. Which also has its scene. I appreciate all of it. Things are crossing over, and people and bands find inspiration in many different scenes and styles of music. If you find yourself locked into only one style, then that fine by me, but I think it narrows the choices when you are ready for something new. The fact that PIB as a band finds inspiration in many places is reflected in our music. I think it’s good to have an open mind and to be able to respect and enjoy new things.
Musicscan: What bores you about todays metal-hardcore-scene/-bands, is there something you would like to change?
Purified In Blood: I’m not really bored, if something is boring, or I don’t like it, I turn it off or leave. There are so many bands around, and I’m not the one to judge what other people are doing, as long as it’s done from the heart. But I do miss bands that actually have something to say. For me it’s about expressing yourself. If you are happy with the world as it is, then it’s hard to write angry and convincing lyrics. I like bands that really mean what they are doing, and do it all out. Not just copy what other bands are doing. And I think not expecting people to do everything for you, and get off your ass and making it happen yourself is the way to go.
Musicscan: There are lots of heavier, metal influenced hardcore-bands around. What sets PURIFIED IN BLOOD apart from others? You gained some attention and got signed to Indie, so there has to be something. What is your artistic view on that?
Purified In Blood: Yeah, there are many really good heavy bands around! For one thing, we just released a fucking good album! And I have strong faith in our live shows and this new album. Our set list right now is heavy as fuck. Right now we are better than ever. Focused and hungry to play live. Our music is honest and in your face. And this last album proves that.
Musicscan: What moments in the bands history for you sum up the whole experience of PURIFIED IN BLOOD so far?
Purified In Blood: We have been through allot, been on good tours, bad tour, broke up, got back together. We have so many hours of fucked up tour footage on film that it would make a good DVD! And I’m happy for every single one who has been to our shows or listened to our music! We have some really dedicated fans that make every show good, and that we are truly grateful for! So right now, we want to get this new album out to as many people as possible and tour as much as we can!
Musicscan: And what makes Flight Of A Dying Sun special to you?
Purified In Blood: It’s just what we needed now. The sound, the lyrics, the artwork. Everything came out good. And it has been a really good writing process. The spirit in the band is really good, and that’s no understatement. So yeah, it means allot right now, for all of us.