From humble beginning as Nihilist to the mega band of today, Entombed have forged a place in the metal elite to an extent that most bands can barely dream of. Little did we know when conducting this interview, that Entombed founding member, vocalist Lars (LG) Petrov was about to announce stepping out of the band and reforming in a new guise, Entombed A.D. Their latest album Back to the Front will be released under Entombed A.D, leaving original members Alex Hellid and Ulf Cederlund the old name and old material. Chatting with Ghost Cult magazine, Petrov talks about 23 years of death metal and everything Entombed had come to be known for over the years: hate, killing, Satan, and more hate.
It’s been 23 years since the release of left hand path, where do you find the inspiration from to keep writing after all this time?
Life. That’s what we were born to do. Every song is a step forwards so for me that’s what keeps us going. After 23 years still seems fresh. A newborn kid every day, every morning.
How do you keep your sound new with each album?
We don’t think that much about it, you do riffs and you put them together, your excited and you get goose bumps. That’s when you know it’s right; it sounds good. We just make it and record it. You can always do a song and then be picky and rearrange, you can do that for years without completing it so we just say ‘sounds fine, lets make it.’
Entombed is one of those bands that every death metal fan has heard of. How do you feel about your success over the years?
Yeah, it’s great. When we play shows there’s a lot of people turning up and they see that we have a good time on stage. We don’t see it as a routine. Every show and every album we do is because we love it. If it becomes routine it gets boring, but it hasn’t happened yet so that’s a good sign. We just do what we do, particularly now that it’s been 6 years between albums. I don’t know what we’ve been doing, we should have done one more album in between but we kept changing paths.
Despite being Swedish, you sing in English. Have you ever thought about doing an album in your native tongue?
No. I think that would sound ridiculous. Swedish doesn’t go well with death metal vocals. I’m going red just thinking about it actually.
You’ve just finished your 10th studio album, Back to the Front, how do you feel it turned out?
I think it turned out fucking great actually. When we started doing the songs that was about 5 or 6 months before we entered the studio. We were not distracted; we were just working fast and efficient. I like the songs and the sound of the album. The producer, Roberto Laghi, he didn’t want to change our sound drastically; he knew what we were after. He took the time to mix it his way but combine with the old school sound. I think it’s the perfect album for where we are right now.
Back to the front has obvious military connotations. Could you tell the readers what kind of lyrical ideas are running through this album?
Basically it’s the usual song ideas; killing with a little bit of Satan. There’s a great feeling of hate, positive hate, and there’s the total war theme. It’s up to the reader really, we can mean something with a lyric but it can mean something different to someone else. It’s a very open-ended interpretation. It’s hard to say what the lyrics mean for the songs because there are so many other opinions, so we leave it up to the listener.
There’s been a 6-year gap since your last album. Why such a long gap?
Yeah as I said this album is long overdue. We should have done at least one in between, but we’re actually getting older and time goes faster. Some members of the band have had kids so that’s why we’ve waited so many years, but we’ve been touring. Eventually we sat down and made a plan and just said ‘lets do this.’
The artwork for the album is very interesting. Tell us a little about it.
We found this great guy from Poland, Bielak, he’s done some previous artwork for Watain and Ghost so we asked him to do the album and he was really excited. We just gave him free rein basically. He came up with a drawing and we were like ‘OK, we’ll take it’. It looks good and that’s the cool thing about art, we don’t think about it that much, if it gets the result and we like it, we take it.