Bloodbath - Blakkheim & Sodomizer

Bloodbath's sound has evolved significantly since the Breeding Death EP, did you ever foresee the band going in this direction and reaching the point it's at now?

Blakkheim: Well you know at that time it was really hard to see anything beyond making a cassette demo because that's just what we set out to do, we weren't even planning on making an album or cd. We just wanted to make a cassette tape for ourselves, just for the hell of it, just for fun but then it took off when Century Media got their hands on it and all of a sudden we were like a project tribute band making death metal glory.

Bloodbath has always said that it's a tribute to old school Swedish death metal but have any other bands from outside Sweden influenced your death metal style?

Sodomizer: Yes definitely.

Blakkheim: Everyone. It's hard to say a band that hasn't influenced Bloodbath if you talk about about old school death metal. The American scene and the Scandinavian scene, we were so into both of them at the same time. We never made a difference. Some people are like " I prefer the technical brutal bands from America" and perhaps the Scandinavian bands had more atmosphere and melody but we were like "we want to mix them all" so that's probably what were doing with Bloodbath.

The production on Grand Morbid Funeral is very different to previous releases, it's more of an old school sound. Why did you choose to do this with this album and not any previous releases?

Sodomizer: The thing is that when we did the last album we kind of felt that we couldn't go any further with the American death metal style, we had done that. We were like we have to do something different so why not go with the old school Swedish death metal sound.


What is your personal favourite song from the album and why?

Blakkheim: From the last album, oh shit. I haven't even thought about that.

Sodomizer: I haven't even listened to the album in a while. I think it's a good album back to back and that's it. I don't have any favourite songs or anything.

Blakkheim: You know we were talking about the songs and if any of the guys wants to play a certain song from the album then I will play any of them live. I love them all. So I'm not like that's not going to fit, all the songs are fucking killer 

So if you like all of the songs then how did you choose the songs that you are playing live from the new album?

Blakkheim: I guess we asked Nick what he preferred do to vocal wise.

Sodomizer: Some songs are very technical so we might not be able to perform them at our absolute best so maybe we took that one out and put another one in.

Blakkheim: It was pretty random actually, there was a lot of gut feeling involved in it. You know it could change over night.

One of my personal favourites is mental abortion actually and that's obviously in your set but another of mine is church of vastitas which you unfortunately don't play.

Sodomizer: That song has actually been one of the ones we have really talked about playing but it didn't happen because we already had enough songs.

Blakkheim: Also the playing times are so restricted that we haven't been asked to play more than 60, actually we cannot play more so we actually had to cut songs from our set. It's a pain in the ass.

Sodomizer: We've had a couple of 45 minute sets, a couple of 60 minute sets which we have today

Blakkheim: People are like "which songs do you want to add to your set" but we are arguing which songs to cut from our set. That's not the easy part.

Last week you played Wacken and had Dan Swano join you on stage again. How did that come about and can we expect any similar surprises at your first ever club gig in London in December?

Sodomizer: If we tell you then it's not going to be a surprise.

Blakkheim: So you just want to know if there's going to be a surprise yeah? Yeah it will be a full headline set. This weekend here is a festival set so obviously that's not going to be but there are definitely going to be surprises but that's all we are going to say.

Each vocalist in Bloodbath has brought a different dynamic to the band, how has that influenced your writing style on each album?

Sodomizer: No not for me. I wrote the songs the way I thought they should be so I didn't have that in mind at all.

Blakkheim: No I wouldn't say in particular the singers but what does influence the writing is the concept we make up before making the album because if we say we are going to make it really dirty and rotten now then that might effect it but if we say this album is going to be high end, technical, triggered, death metal then it's going to sound like someone else's song writing so we kind of agree before making the album what style to go in and obviously the singer is going to flavour that in the end aswell but it's still just death metal. We make it fit. Let's just take another scenario here and say like if Mikael would have come in on Grand Morbid Funeral, he would have made sure that it sounded good aswell. It wouldn't be the style of Nick but he would have his own style. We would never turn in a master to the label if we didn't feel happy with it so we would make sure that the album represents Bloodbath regardless of the singer.

You can see that Nick has put his own twist on some of your songs when performing them live but adding a twisted evil laugh in certain parts of the songs which i think adds even more dynamics to the songs.

Blakkheim: Yeah it's awesome.

There was a lot of talk about the new singer and when you announced Nick was taking over the vocal duties the talk continued, obviously your a massive fan of his but some people were saying that it wasn't going to work, that Nick hadn't sung that way in many years so he may have lost it a bit, how did that make you guys feel?

Blakkheim: The thing is, Nick was not different from anyone else in the way that he actually had to audition aswell. We sent him an instrumental version of the song Eaten so we were like "there you go, let's hear what you got" and when we got it back we knew it was going to be great, he hasn't lost it for a bit. It came back to him right away. We were convinced that it was going to be great and the whole vocal recording was as smooth as it possibly can be so there were never any doubts or any worries. We were all excited the whole time. It was different but it was fucking cool.

Is Bloodbath a way of finding your inner evil that you don't generally get to do with your other bands?

Sodomizer; I'm already very much in line with my inner evil but it's just fun you know. It's challenging.

Blakkheim: What it comes down to at the end of the day is that it's death metal. Death metal is what brought us all together in the first place and that will never go away. Regardless of where we go with our other bands for example if Opeth made an acoustic album or if Katatonia made an acoustic, that's nothing to do with where we came from with Bloodbath. It's entirely different entity in that regard and I mean here we are in our 40's now and were still fucking enjoying playing death metal and that's all that matters.

Obviously your playing twice this weekend, yesterday with Katatonia and today with Bloodbath. Do you find yourself being more excited about one of the sets more than the other and do you have to get yourself in a totally different mind set for each band?

Blakkheim: Well it's a different kind of mind set really. Especially if we go into details like with Katatonia yesterday as we owed the audience a full set as we screwed it up last year here brutally. A full set with no technical screw ups which we actually delivered which was great and we also got to play when it was fully dark which helps a lot but with Bloodbath it's just 100% fun. With Katatonia there's more pressure involved and there's more things to think about, with Bloodbath your just having a hell of a time. From the minute you go up there to the minute you walk off, I had a blast, the whole gig so that's the difference.

You have said that the band has come full circle with this album, your dining album but surely this album cannot be the end of Bloodbath? Is there going to be another Bloodbath album?

Blakkheim: You tell me


Blakkheim: There is? ok.

Sodomizer: We have planned the show in London in December and that's pretty much where we are. There are definitely things I want the band to do still that we haven't done. Only the future can tell so we will see.

Blakkheim: It's not just down to what we want. Our hands are actually tied for a couple of years when our other bands are on their touring cycles. It's not very often that we are all on the same page. It could take 3 years, it could take 6 years, we don't know but no one is interested in just killing Bloodbath. Why would we. It's us against time.

Sodomizer: And were not getting any younger.

Thank you very much guys and I can't wait see you on stage later here at Brutal Assault.