I spoke with Tobias of WORMWOOD about the delay of the new album, the Suez Canal, the end of mankind due to the revenge of nature, you know, stuff like that. The new album, ‘Arkivet’, is due out August 27th, 2021.
Thanks for joining me today.
Thank you very much.
Hey, we'll start off, give us a bit of a rundown briefly on the history of the band. We'll get to the the new album in a moment, but pretty much what you been doing up until then.
Well yeah, the first seed of what was to become WORMWOOD was planted in I think 2013 it was me coming from another broken band and I really wanted to, you know, get back to metal again because I was playing some folk rock, punkish music coming from metal from the beginning and then I had a few friends and we discussed to, you know, put together something again and on that road. It was, you know, people came and left and in 2014, we had a solid line up for the band. And we also came up with the name and, you know, they're in a quite a few lineup changes, since then I'm the only original original member left, but since we formed the actual band WORMWOOD , Nine, the vocalist also left. So yeah. We've done like one debut EP and three full-length at this point, based in Stockholm.
How would I as an Australian try to pronounce the album title properly? How would I do that?
Actually this it is it isn't that hard, 'Arkivet', it translates to 'The Archive'. So it's pretty similar.
So that leads us into the first song 'The Archive'. Now, let me tell you I've listened to this album twice today once yesterday and once a couple of days before, it's an excellent album and I love the whole story behind it so, can you sum up that concept for us?
Yeah, thank you very much. The story and constant concept behind it. We wanted to do something that's, you know, present in.. how to describe it. All right. Like this, you have your newspaper for today and then you open it and then you can see all this crazy shit going on in the world and then you add some salt and some pepper to it, and there you have it. We wanted to stay kind of true to reality, you know, of course there's a huge genre depicting, post apocalyptic events and all that, but we really didn't want to go that road. We wanted to, you know, avoid the Mad Max stuff, we wanted to stay kind of true, you know, to reality and describe events that could happen even though their spiced up, we wanted it to, you know, feel kind of real and what we describe, yeah, we describe the threat from Mother Earth, the great payback. We criticize humanity for our actions, how we treat animals and nature and we also blame us for being such fools to ourselves, with that said, we don't want this to be some kind of political action or statement. We just want to, you know, put the facts on the table and, and show to everybody, 'Is this us? Is this good or not?' We don't know. But, yeah, for sure, we have a problem with ourselves. Something like that, you know.
Something like that? I think you've done it well, the way you've described what you've described and sort of avoided of the political thing, like you were saying. Now, I love how it's pretty black, pretty dark. But it still melodic, was that an intentional thing? Or did it just come naturally?
A lot of a lot of people through the years, has described us as some kind of Black Metal band or Melodic Black Metal or whatever. I really don't agree on labels but as a songwriter. I you know, I prefer melodic stuff because if you want to make something that's really dark and really serious and heavy, you can't just go with the blast beats a hundred percent all the time, you know, the un-melodical stuff, just noise because if everything is like that, it can't be dark. You have to add some light to, you know, get some contrast and the darker parts will, you know, turn even darker when you compare it to the lighter brighter sides, you know, so as a songwriter I you know, tend to think like I'm painting a picture in that sense. So add light and bright spots you know to enhance more darker sides of it.
Talk about some of the tracks on here. There's not a not a bad track on there but one that sort of stood out to me with 'My Northern Heart'. Let's talk about that one.
'My Northern Heart' lyrical wise, It's like a reminiscence or some kind of nostalgia of, it's of course, set in Scandinavian environment. And it's like reminiscent of what we used to have since the whole album is set in like a few years from now and the when the shit hits the fan, you know, people will be nostalgic to older times. So I wasn't the one who wrote the actual lyrics for it and as the main songwriter, I still don't write everything and it's the drummer Daniel who came up with the, you know, the arrangement for that song. And of course, I added stuff to it and I made the more folk style intro for it also, but yeah, the song is.. I think we flirt a lot with 80s heavy metal in it even though it got some Black-ish features.
Also, intrigued by the, the big one, at the end, 'The Gentle Touch Of Humanity', a bit epic, and in the bio that I've sort of got here, it sort of lists that 'in the wake of Humanity's destruction, we follow the afterbirth of man's collapse'. It's very thought-provoking. What can you tell us about that one?
Yeah, first things first, music-wise, it's the longest track on the record and we wanted, you know, to make a huge bang to end the record and the it got, you know, everything from Furious raging blasts to mid-tempo grooves, and some kind of bluesy solos and long intermission and then yeah, some kind of ending to it as well. Lyric wise, I think it's the song on the record that sums it up the best, you know, criticism towards humanity and there will be a video for it gonna be released in a few weeks and that that video will be kind of graphic, you know. I think it will be pretty much disturbing to a lot of people, there's a risk it will be banned I would say. Yeah. Yeah. And there we, you know, put everything, everything that's terrible on the table and you know, offer it to The Listener and they yeah, I think it's gonna have a few reactions, you know, a lot of people even now, you know, in previous interviews and the reviews they've been speculating if we are some kind of militant technological action group or whatever, you know, but that's not really what what we strive for, but we strive for people going to open up their eyes, you know, and don't just look forward, but because we have to stop now and we have to take action on, and choose which direction we should go. You know, I think I lost track now of your, from your question.
No, no. That's all good. It's all good.
Yeah. But it's an interesting song, and I can't wait to get all the reactions from when you know everybody hears it? I know it's kind of controversial also because it's a long intermission in the middle of the song. I'm not going to spoil too much now to the people that hasn't haven't heard it yet but at first from the demo version of it, it was much longer and much more boring, you know, and I knew that, okay, this is a part that a lot of people gonna skip when they listen to this song, and you know, the thought about that is the ones who feel the need to skip on this section of the song, the message is actually for them, you know, so if you feel like 'this is boring me out', maybe you should listen to it anyway.
Now what's happening to the release of this album, because it was meant to be coming out a little bit sooner. But now we've been postponed, got an email about that this morning and it's the obvious problem with covid. But I'll see the Suez Canal mentioned in there as well.
Yeah, we just got the news the other day and the label wasn't happy at all about it and we weren't happy at all. There was a problem in the Suez Canal. You know, big boats, got stuck, and everybody knows about that. Which means everything, you know, in the chain of production was delayed. So the pressing plant didn't get, you know, the actual material to press records in time and since it's a long chain of events that had to happen from factory to printed record to the customer, there's a delay in many stages. So yeah they contacted our label and the label contacted us saying that we can't make it on time. So yeah, we had to wait and we can't do anything about it. And, of course, since covid is still going on, everything is slowed up. The pace is half, yeah.
How is the situation over there where you are at the moment? Are you locked down? Are you under restricted access to places? What's what's your situation over there?
During covid I think, Sweden has got famous for being the black sheep in the world. We didn't have a proper lockdown and we still still a kind of open country in that sense. Of course we got restrictions and and blah blah blah, but yesterday they they opened up a little more, so restaurants can be open to like later than they could two days ago. And some sports events are also going to start. You can have like concerts for 50 people now but it won't help us because everything is already postponed or canceled, and there won't be any festivals this summer and whatnot. So I have my hopes for this winter, since everything we had like these two years is cancelled, but we got two dates here in Sweden in December and they haven't been canceled. So I really hope to to be able to do them gigs, and than looking forward to next year.
Excellent. I hope you get those gigs too.
All right Tobias. Thanks so much for talking to us. Good luck with the new album which will be out now, on August 27, really like the album, good luck with it and thanks for talking to me today.
Yeah, thank you very much for having me and have a great one.
"Take part of a journey through the past, present and future mistakes of man."
Wormwood are one of the leading bands on the Swedish metal scene right now! The band follows up on the highly acclaimed "Nattarvet" which had the band soaring to the national charts and nominated for several awards. Their third offering "Arkivet" follows on the heels of this success and is a conceptually themed album about humanity's destructive force, the inability to adapt to our nature and our inevitable and well-deserved death.
Alongside the album release, a cinematic music video was created. "The Archive" follows the desperation after an unprecedented catastrophe in Sweden.
The first vinyl versions will include a novel written by author Mikael Strömberg (in Swedish and English) and depicts this tragic incident and the aftermath.
The vinyl edition comes as a 2xLP, beautifully embossed gatefold cover, etched D-side with the "Plague Star"-emblem.
The album was mixed and mastered the renowned pop/dance producer Jonathan Ojeda
Short Info About Each Song from the Band;
Arkivet (The Archive) is a document you write for those who want to make it easier for their close ones after their passing where you can tell how you want to have your funeral arranged, where important documents are located, last wishes, etc..
WORMWOOD uses this as a metaphor for the whole world. The last words to an already dead planet.
The last story written by the few who survived the apocalypse and what man didn't do to preserve what we had.
When nature topples our skyscrapers and when the warning signs from Earth were not heard.
-End of Message
The last message sent out to the endless black cosmos before our protagonist dies.
-My Northern Heart
An hymn to our ancestors and our previous unsullied land.
The sentimental and romantic view from a Nordic perspective as our lands fall into ruin.
-The Slow Drown
A slow and hopeless journey through the minds of an old lady with dementia.
-The Gentle Touch of Humanity
In the wake of humanities' destruction we follow the afterbirth of man's collapse.
Nine - Vocals
Tobias Rydsheim - Lead Guitar/Keys/BackUp Vocals
Daniel Johansson- Drums
Jerry Engström - Rhythm Guitar
Oskar Tornborg - Bass/Vocals
Martin Björklund - Violin
Moa Sjölander - Vocals
Walter Basile - Vocals
WORMWOOD was formed in 2014 when a small group of friends decided to create something different. It started off as a Black’n’Roll band but something was missing. Shortly after its inception Nine joined the band along with J.Engström. With new fuel to the wintry machine they embarked on a journey through uncharted territories.
Their first release, The Void – Stories From the Whispering Well was a hit in the underground scene in Stockholm 2015, but it left them unsatisfied, so they went back to the drawing board after an European Tour.
With this new-found vigor they released Ghostlands – Wounds From a Bleeding Earth in 2017. Now the world started to know who WORMWOOD was. The reviews started to pour in and a plethora of superlatives filled magazines and webzines.
More tours and live gigs throughout Europe ensued and the urge to create something even better, more magnificent started to occupy their minds. In 2018, just a few selected gigs were performed, because something was starting to take form. Soundscapes of forlorn Swedish melancholy, stories of famine and tales of unspeakable horror all of these are the backbone of Nattarvet.
While Ghostlands focused on the awe-inspiring cosmos and grand Scandinavian vistas, Nattarvet (Night-Heritage) is something more personal. It’s about the people who we forgot, people in isolation, families who died because the winters were too harsh, the scarcity of food and comfort within the hamlets in taiga of Sweden.
When Nattarvet got released in 2019 the goal for WORMWOOD was to play all over the world, tour and be as active as ever, but we all know what happened in 2020. Because of the pandemic the tours and gigs were postponed indefinitely. As luck have it they had already started to write their new album in the end of 2019. Instead of clamouring about the loss of gigs, the creation of their latest opus was set in motion.
Arkivet (The Archive) is set to be released in 2021 and it follows mankind’s inability to take care of the earth. The album takes you on a sojourn across lands soon devoid of people, a not-so-far-future where flames become citizens. Arkivet will also tell you about the men and women who lost their minds, their will to leave and homelands.
This is our last transmission to a world we never really knew.
Nine – Vocals
Tobias Rydsheim – Lead Guitars, Keys, Vocals
Jerry Engström – Rhythm Guitars
Oskar Tornborg – Bass, Vocals
Daniel Johansson – Drums