Anders Jakobsson tells the story of Necrony
During the Swedish Death Metal boom at the second half of the 80’s, after the emerging of acts such as Nihilist, Carnage, Morbid, Mefisto etc. a lot of bands started popping up continuing the musical path, that these bands had created. But, at the same time that were others that tried to do something different, tried to distance themselves from that wave. One of them was Necrony and former bassist/vocalist Anders Jakobsson told us the entire story of this outfit.
Anders, how do you view, that unlike American Death Metal groups, the first Swedish bands were rooted in hardcore punk?
I am pretty sure that the early extreme bands in Sweden picked inspiration from any extreme music they could find; be it metal or punk. I don’t think it really mattered, it was just something that made them want to play loud and hard!
Do you agree with, the first wave of Swedish Death Metal consisted of bands such as Obscurity, Mefisto (previously known as Torment), Carnage, Morbid and Nihilist who fragmented later into Entombed, Dismember and Unleashed?
Sure. There probably were some other early bands that could be mentioned in that collection, like Corpse/Grave, but that’s pretty much the origin of Swedish Death Metal.
Many of these bands used the trademark Tomas Skogsberg/Sunlight Studios „buzzsaw” guitar tone, that was created by using detuned electric guitars (usually C# standard or lower), a maxed out Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal, sometimes in combination with a single guitar through a Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal and the originator of this guitar sound was Nihilist guitarist Leif „Leffe” Cuzner (R.I.P.), correct?
Yes, I guess that’s the legend that is being told.
Was Bathory (Quorthon – R.I.P.) a pivotal group in Swedish extreme metal as well?
Yes, Bathory has had a huge impact on extreme metal in many ways. Personally, I have never been into the band/guy, but it’s no doubt that they/he paved the way for later generations.
Necrony was formed in 1990 by you drums/vocals, Anders Jakobson bass/vocals and Dan Wall guitars. How did you get together? How old were all of you at this point?
I was 17 and Dan and Rickard were 15. I had met Dan at numerous skateboard locations during a year or so and his band moved in the rehearsal room I had with a previous band. He played with Rickard and some other guys and we sort of became friends and started to order records together and at some point, we decided to start a Death Metal band together.
Was Necrony the really first outfit for all of you, that you were involved in or did you have any musical experiences prior to it?
No, we had been playing for some years in other bands and at music schools and such.
Did you have a clear vision of the musical path that you wanted to follow at this time?
Well, in a way. We wanted to play Death Metal and just wrote stuff that we felt sounded like Death Metal. We had a lot of inspirations, but I really don’t think we managed to sound like any of the bands that we really wanted to sound like. Necrony is historically viewed as one of the „Carcass clones that sounded more Carcass than Carcass”, which is hilarious since we never really managed to capture the true Carcass sound at all. I guess lyrically we were in the same isle of the library, so to speak, but nowhere close in quality.
Being based in Örebro, how was the local underground scene?
Örebro has always had a strong local music scene, but from a metal/extreme point of view, only a few bands made something more than local shows. I guess Necrony was the first proper Death Metal band, which didn’t really mean that much since we didn’t do any local shows. There were often shows in the 90’s with bigger national and international bands coming to town, so it was pretty OK, I would say.
What about your rehearsals? Did you start writing originals or were you jamming mostly on covers?
We were too talentless to pick out other band’s songs! Actually, we started with originals from the very beginning and I think the very first song was Masticator of a Swollen Carcass, the opening track of the demo.
In February 1991 you released your demo Severe Malignant Pustule. What do you recall of the recording sessions?
When you play music in Sweden you can do it through different kinds of „study organizations” (don’t really know how to explain it in English) that offers rehearsal spaces for no or very low rent and sometimes even can pay for studio recordings. I remember that we got some funds that not only covered the studio cost but also parts of the first printing of the demo! How about that? I can’t remember that much of the actual recording. We travelled by bus about an hour to Finspång to record with Dan Swanö in his studio. I remember more about carrying the guitars and such to the bus station than the actual recording!
I think it was your first studio experience, wasn’t it?
As Necrony, yes. I had done a few studio recordings prior to this one. I don’t know about Rickard and Dan. It might actually have been their first.
The demo was released only in 725 copies, did you sell all of them? Could you make a name for the band or draw the fans’ attention with the help of this material?
We sold them all. It was printed in maybe 5 or 6 editions. 200 copies one time, 150 another and so on. I think the total numbers was more or less than 725. I still have all the invoices from the printing company somewhere. Yes, I think it helped us to make a name. In those days it was pretty easy getting reviews and selling tapes just from flyers or whatever.
Four months later, in June 1991 the Mucu-Purulent Miscarriage 7” EP saw the light. Did this stuff consist of new songs or were these tracks written during the Severe… sessions?
Yes, it was only new songs written after the demo.
How do you view that Dan Swanö helped out with this vinyl in more ways than one, allowing Necrony to record at his studio and also supplying some of the distorted vocal effects?
I don’t think he did any „producing” of the songs, meaning coming with ideas for changes and such. He just recorded and mixed the two songs. But he was very much involved in the 7” EP being made in the first place, which I will talk more about in two questions.
In your opinion, is the music on this EP similar to bands, such as Masticate, Incision or Gorment?
Well, production-wise I would say that there are similarities because it was recorded around the same period in the same studio by the same guy, but I guess if you go into details, the similarities aren’t that obvious.
The single was released by German Poserslaughter Records. How did they get in the picture exactly? Didn’t bigger labels such as Nuclear Blast, Earache, Century Media etc. show an interest in signing the band?
Dan Swanö went on a little tour in Germany with Edge of Sanity and somewhere, Berlin I guess. He met with Peter Neuber who was a radio guy that had decided to start a label and asked Dan if he knew about any „brutal” bands. And Dan had just recorded our demo and told Peter about us, and soon thereafter we got in touch and Peter helped to sell the demo in Germany and ultimately offered to release a 7” EP. I don’t think we sent the demo to any of the bigger labels so there was no interest at all.
Mucu-Purulent Miscarriage 7” was the first release of Poserslaughter, wasn’t it?
Yes, that’s right. It’s catalogue number PSR 001, but if I remember correctly the three first releases of the label came at the same time.
When did you start working on your debut album Pathological Performances and how were the songs written?
Hm, I guess we started sometime after the 7” EP was released. Most of the writing must have been done during 1992 since we recorded early in 1993. I remember writing most of my stuff in the garage of my parents’ house. It was the furthest away from the rest of the house that I could be playing my acoustic guitar late at night not disturbing them. Then I sat in my room writing these long and complicated „pathological” lyrics, without having any knowledge in the subject at all! I also remember Rickard teaching some of his stuff over the phone. That was quite fun.
Was still Dan Wall in the band at this point or did you compose the material without him?
No, Dan quit after the recording of the 7” EP, I think. I don’t remember that many details regarding his departure. I guess he just quit and there wasn’t any direct drama around it. Rickard and I just kept going as a duo.
Did you develop a lot compared to the demo/single period?
Well, the songs were considerably longer to start with and more mature compared to the demo songs that were really simple. The first song we wrote and rehearsed was Excavated, Eviscerated and Emaciated. We also started adding more and more d-beat parts in the music, that came pretty natural since that always was a big part of the Swedish sound. Also, the lyrics are much more advanced, although I doubt that many of them has correct English… There are some „Swenglish” words here and there.
Were you prepared to record the material when you entered the Unisound Studios during the 8-10th and 15-17th of January, 1993?
I believe we were. It’s only six days in total including soundcheck, recording and mixing. Two extended weekends and we must have rehearsed a lot before the first session. I can’t remember that we had any direct problems during the recording session. It went quite smooth.
Did you have any songs written, that didn’t make up on the record, by the way?
No, at that point, all the songs that Necrony had written had been recorded. We didn’t have any excess material from the demo or 7” EP sessions either. We did however record one song that wasn’t on the album. It was a Discharge cover (Protest and Survive) recorded just for fun. It did some years later end up on a compilation tape. It’s pretty hard to get actually. Something for the die-hard fans to track down.
How did you actually end up having a flute on some of the songs on the record? Were you trying to break any musical boundaries or formulas?
I was playing in a punk band at the same time and one of the guys played the flute, so it was just an idea that actually worked pretty well. Much, much better than the weird jazz solos that I really wished we could have excluded. Oh man, that was a bad idea that got worse…
Did you do a fine job of mimicking the spirit of Carcass’s tongue?
Probably not. I think we lacked a lot of knowledge of the English language, the political and satirical layers that they had, but we did our best to write some sick and twisted lyrics. Some of them have some good lines here and there, and some of them have a lot of words that I have no idea what they mean today!
When did you decide to get Daniel Andersson on bass in the band?
It was boring being a two piece. We had no possibilities to play live and develop as a band and I think Daniel wasn’t playing in any band and we started playing together. It was fun playing with a bass player in the rehearsal room. The sound got fuller and he was a good musician.
What about his musical past?
He came from a technical death/thrash band called Manifrest that made a demo and did some local shows. We were supposed to try their guitarist as a fourth member of Necrony but he bailed on the rehearsal and never played with us. We did however get a fourth member called Johan Brandt later on after the promo tape.
In 1994 you released both a promo tape and the Necronycism: Distorting the Originals EP. Tell us please every details regarding these materials!
The Necronycism mini CD was twelve cover songs that we managed to play, to some extent pretty decent. There are some obvious errors in the songs, but that usually happens when you do covers without having the proper tabs for the songs. I don’t really remember why we thought it was a good idea to do an entire recording of covers but it was quite fun to do it. At that time, I was heavily into writing letters with people around the world and I was in contact with Stevo from Impetigo who graciously wrote down the riffs for their song Dis-organ-ized as well as picking out Carcass’ Swarming Vulgar Mass of Infected Virulency for us. The most memorable thing from this project was doing the front cover. I think we managed to do a pretty good „cover” of the Necroticism artwork with basically no resources. As for the promo I can’t remember if we were supposed to record 3 or 4 songs, but I remember that the recording session had some trouble, so we only did 2. We really tried to use the promo to get a record deal with some bigger label, but we failed. It was released as a 10” picture disc in 2000 or something, but that experience was unfortunately a disaster. It could almost be seen as a bootleg.
Were the songs of the promo written in the vein of the Pathological Performances record or did you try to widen your musical horizons, tastes?
In one way, they were a development from the Pathological Performances sound, and in another way, they were a step in another direction. We had after all been playing for a few years and gotten better and better and the 5-6 songs that we wrote after the album was pretty cool stuff that felt darker and more original. We had tried so hard to be Carcass and failed a lot and finally we did something that felt like 100% Necrony. I have some rehearsals of the unrecorded songs somewhere.
How about the Necrony gigs, tours? Were you mainly opening acts for bigger names or did you manage to do headliner shows?
We only did one tour, which also was the only shows the band did. It was five, I believe, shows in Germany together with Fleshcrawl and some different support acts. It was the guys from Fleshcrawl that put the tour together and it was the first time we did something like that. Most of the shows was terrible due to different things (mainly our inexperience) but there were some fun moments as well. This was during the summer of 1994 and we were a four-piece at that time with Johan Brandt playing the second guitar.
What kind of reasons did lead to the split up of Necrony back in 1996? Were you involved in any other outfits after Necrony’s break?
I actually don’t remember. I guess it just died. It wasn’t fun to play any longer and we didn’t really get anywhere. No gigs or no recordings so it was just natural to call it the quits. Was it as late as 1996? It could have been earlier. Anyway, we were doing Nasum at the same time and that band really took off. I do know that Rickard, Danne and Johan kept playing for a while with some other material under another name. Does that mean that I was fired from Necrony in some way? I don’t know…
With the song Pungent Excruciation you appeared on Requiems of Revulsion: A Tribute to Carcass (Deathvomit Records, 2001). How did it come? Did you exclusively get together again to be able to record a track for that?
I think Matt Harvey of Exhumed, who put the tribute together, suggested that one of the songs from the Necronycism mini CD should be on it, but we wanted to do something exclusive. Rickard and I rehearsed one day and recorded the song another day. It was no real effort for us. The funny thing is that we traded instruments for this recording. I play the drums and Rickard does the guitars, which wasn’t how we did it in the 90’s. The line-up printed in the booklet is totally wrong, but never mind.
How did your choice fall on this tune?
It was just one of those Reek of Putrefaction tracks that we liked a lot. It has a hardcore vibe that made it easy to play. Too bad another band chose it as well on the tribute…
Being a die-hard Carcass fan you were, how did you view the band’s musical change around the Necroticism–Descanting the Insalubrious/Heartwork period?
I still thing Necroticism is a really unique album. It really has a sound of its own that no other band has managed to get. Heartwork was another step towards a more melodic/heavy metal type of sound – which basically is how Carcass sound today after the comeback. But Necroticism is something special. I still remember getting some advance tracks in the tape trading days which had that copy of copy of copy muddiness that just added to the mystery. I love it!
How do you recall of Necrony’s career as a whole? Did you leave your mark on the scene? Is the band’s name still in the fans’ minds?
I have very ambivalent feelings about Necrony. In one way it’s VERY juvenile stuff that borders on the embarrassing compared to what other bands with people the same age did at the same time. I really wished that someone had taught me the basics of Death Metal guitar playing because the stuff I do on the demo and 7” EP is very amateurish stuff. It got better, and the Promo 93-94 is actually quite good. So, this is something I did as a kid and I don’t feel that it’s classic in any way and all the requests I’ve gotten during the years about collecting all the Necrony stuff in vinyl or CD reissues, I have declined. Some things should stay underground, and this is a prime example of that. In another way, I can’t deny that Necrony was the gateway for me to a much more solid extreme music career as a member of Nasum. Nasum started as a side project and put out its first release on Poserslaughter thanks to the Necrony connection and then it got really good and big, and that wouldn’t had happened without Necrony. I still get messages or meet people on tour that really liked Necrony so in some weird way that juvenile shit stayed in people’s minds!
Thanks a lot for the interview! Anything else you’d like to express?
Thanks for the interview. It was quite fun and it brought back many memories that for a moment made me explore the old Necrony stuff that I haven’t done in quite a while. Thanks for that!