1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
Well, we have sent the artwork for our debut album (called "Trenches of the Netherworld") to SelfMadeGod (CD) and Iconoclast (vinyl) so right now we're just rehearsing for the upcoming Euro-tour and try to do as much press as possible to get our name out. Our split-7" with Pyramido (great psychosludge from southern Sweden) is finally out on Plague Island (http://www.plagueisland.com/). On our side there's an alternative version of the album's title track and an exclusive song called "The Conqueror" which is one of our best songs ever. Get it! Hurry up like hell and you might catch the limited edition (100 copies) which is a double-7", we do two punk covers on our side of the bonus disc. Pyramido does a sick version of "Fed Up" by Judge. And, as you probably know, our 12" "In Permanent Twilight" just got released on CD by SelfMadeGod. Still available on vinyl from Plague Island.
2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album that is coming out and how it differs from previous recordings?
The new album has a much heavier and filthier sound than our previous releases, we also paid much more attention to details than before and we were much more prepared this time, we had made (crude) demos in our own primitive studio before we went into the real studio, etc. Tha album itself sounds very much like Usurpress but more diverse than before, some slower stuff/songs, some riffs/parts are more melodic, some are way more crusty and primitive. We worked with guitar harmonies, clean vocals, more psych/prog-parts and so forth. But - we have not wimped out! Fuck no! The new album is much more brutal than the previous stuff. Everybody (and I mean EVERYBODY!) that had heard the new album think it's way better than the old stuff. We're still a young band but I believe we're starting to find our sound now.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release?
Uh! This is difficult question, it's so easy to sound like a pretentious know it all/know fuckin' nothing metalhead thinking he's a fuckin Nobel Prize laurate in the making when talking about your lyrics, but I'll give it a shot. All individual Usurpress-lyric deals with a topic (or, if you like, message), it seldom tells a story from A to Z (or even A to B) but rather one single image, like a still photo, I get in my head and then I try to evolve that picture into a scene with moving pictures, like a film sequence, you know? We deal mainly with themes of oppression/suppression and the overall setting of our lyrics is a world on the brink of Armageddon. The Usurpress is often the one telling the story, you see the world through her eyes. Sometimes she's active, sometimes she's a passive observer. If people think it's generic crybaby punk bullshit, it's ok with us. If people think it's string-cool-words-in-English-together metal bullshit. it's ok with us. I don't think the lyrics on the album are that much different than before, maybe they are more abstract and distant. I guess the Usurpress is getting jaded, she has seen so much suffering.. Maybe she'll start to become more active on the next album. Time will tell.
4. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
Hard question, since we're never been very active in searching for gigs, when we started the band we weren't sure if we were interested in playing live at all. So far we have only done 7 gigs (for a detailed description, see http://usurpress.com/giglog/) and no gig has been magical, nor has anyone been disastrous. Between the four members of the band we have made hundreds and hundreds of gigs on 4 continents so we have had our share of megagreat and abysmal gigs. No Usurpress-gig has been either one of them. Our stage performance? Well, we're not Watain, I guess... We try to enter the stage with aggression and take it from there. We're not posers neither are we statues.
5. Do you have any touring plans for the new album once it comes out?
Yes, like I mentioned earlier, we will do a European tour to support the album. It's just a short one, 16 gigs or so, but we're a young band and we don't want to over-do it. We'll be doing most of the old "cultural countries" in central Europe (Italy, France, Germany, Slovenia, Czech etc) together with the mighty Barbarian from Italy. A truly great band. We're all really looking forward to this tour since it's our first one and it will be a test to see if we can get along under very trying conditions.
6. On a worldwide level how has your music been received by both fans of death metal and crust?
I don't know really, I have read very few reviews of our records. From what I know, both scenes seem to think we're an ok band. If someone thinks we're an crust-influenced death metal-band and another one thinks we're a death metal-tinged crust band, they're both right. Or wrong. We wanna be neither, we want to steal the elements we like from punk (d-beat, simple verse-chorus arrangements) and from death metal (riffing, vocals) and combine them with dissonance and unorthodox chord changes. We are "D-beat deathcrust".
7. What is going on with the side projects this days?
Danne (bass) plays with Iron Lamb which is a hardrock/punkrock-hybrid featuring ex-members from blahblahblah. Pretty fuckin' good. Påhl (guitar) plays with instrumental progrockers Klotet. Pretty fuckin' awesome. Calle (drums) plays with barbaric and primitive crustband Stäket 1517 but they hardly do anything at all. Steffe (vocals) isn't doing anything besides Usurpress these days. Good for him.
8. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
We are quite convinced that our style of music is D-beat deathcrust and our credo is "No rock, no grind, no thrash, no groove". But apart from that, anything goes. We haven't written any songs after the recording of the album but an educated guess is that the next album will explore psychedelia, proto-black metal and progressive doom much more. We might also do more traditional death metal-stuff like double bass-drumming (something we haven't used at all) and also try even more primitive crust-riffing. It will still be 3-minute songs with traditional "rock"-arrangements though. Everything else sucks. We all adore King Crimson but we know our limits.
9. How has the scene evolved in Sweden over the years with the mixing of crust and d beat with traditional Swedish death metal?
Yeah, well, me, Danne and Calle are all around 40 years old and we have always loved both punk and metal, in the old days you had to keep that a bit hush-hush because there was always people in both scenes that wanted to smash your face in if you didn't chose side. You can laugh at it now, and you should because it's so stupid. Real true punk is great. Real no trends metal is great. If you combine the two styles in a right way, it's fucking powerful! There are some bands who tries that in Sweden now, we're one of them. I think it's great! There are some truly great bands that has the understanding and love of both styles in Sweden now, like Rite, Rust, Modorra, etc.
10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I think our main influences, as a band, are Master/Deathstrike (mainly arrangements though), Celtic Frost (Morbid Tales-era), Anti-Cimex, early Paradise lost, Sodom, Discharge, Voïvod, Autopsy, the first Obituary-album, GBH and so forth. Yeah, old stuff, I know, but we're not a silly "retro band". Nowadays the individual members listens to everything from old Swedish sailor songs to experimental drone-noise. When we get together we mainly listen to Venom, Mob 47, Creedence Clearwater Revival and other stuff that we all can agree is great.
11.Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Mainly the Liberal Arts, I think. Danne has a Master in Film Science and a Bachelor in Art, I have a Master in Literature (and another one in Library- and Information Science), Påhl is an artist and had a Master in Arts. Calle is the black sheep, who has studied Maths and Computer Science. I guess we mainly talk about art, film, local football, history, architecture, winter sports, Biblical aarchaeology, The Simpsons, etc when we get together. Calle is a serious ornithologist and very interested in biology as well, so there is a lot of talk about environmental issues in our rehearse place. And, like every other band, we love scene gossip, hahaha! We don't believe in everything we hear though.
12. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thanks a lot for support! If you wanna contact us or buy our stuff, please check out: