Spearheading a new wave of post-hardcore from Scandinavia, Disembarked have just dropped their debut full length, and I caught up with vocalist Pontus C. before they head off on the road in Europe.
When your average Brit thinks of Sweden they probably think of Ikea, ABBA and the chef from the Muppets. Ask your average rock fan what they think about Sweden and you'll get a list of bands (from Refused to At The Gates) that have had massive influence on modern rock over the last 20 years.
Disembarked are the latest in a long line of bands that are keen to express themselves in heavy music, without resorting to genre clichés like bullet belts or straight edge tattoos and shaved heads. The young Stockholm band produce an exciting mixture of hardcore, post rock and emo, revitalising each genre in turn.
Their debut album, 'Nothing Wrong Here', has just been released through Dog Night productions, and the dynamic young band is embarking on a mini European tour.
I caught up with Pontus C. before they set off to chat about the album and the band's creative vision.
"Hey guys, congratulations on the release of your album 'Nothing's Wrong here'. How does it feel to get your debut full length out there?"
Thanks it feels awesome, it's our first full length, so it's a huge milestone for us. And to have a gatefold right away is kinda cool too. It's an album that has taken some time to complete due to different reasons. So it's a very big thing for us to be able to complete this instead of just doing another EP. We're really happy with how the album turned out and very thankful to Dog Knights Productions who wanted to release it.
"You're a fairly new band, how did you come together? Do you all have similar influences, or were you just a collective of friends?"
Wow, that is a long complicated story. Like really complicated, let's just say we met at the mall and just said "hey lets start a band". The forming of Disembarked is a long term thing, to skip a few years, Disembarked is a continuation of an old band Gustav, Olle and I had, that disbanded.
We had another Pontus (Pontus G.) join the band on bass guitar and after the first EP was written we also had Johan join the band.
"Would you say the band has a specific mission or ethos?"
We don't have any ideals, missions, agenda, propaganda or anything we're trying to get across. It's more like self-therapy and wanting to create something we like.
"Stockholm was known back in the day as having a very active hardcore and death metal scene, giving rise to the likes of Entombed and Dismember, what are things like on the contemporary scene?"
Things are pretty fine, thanks to Stockholm Straight Edge, they put up a lot of great shows. There are a few bands as well, I'd say it's pretty good overall. Of course, it could be a lot more active, right now it's a pretty small but active scene.
"Any other young Stockholm bands you see following in your footsteps?"
In our footsteps probably no, but there are a couple of Stockholm bands out there already. Bands such as Grieved, No Omega, Sore Eyelids. It's hard to just point out Stockholm bands, as the scene is kind of all around in Sweden. It's not a big country haha.
"Tell me a little about the process of writing 'Nothing's wrong here', did you have a concept in mind?"
We wanted to keep what we've been doing before, but also, as every other band, wanted to evolve and create something new.
We tried a bunch of stuff, lots of different instruments while writing the songs. Not that it ended up so spaced out anyway, but yeah. We don't really have a concept other that the lyrics are based on personal experiences which mostly are about the same thing. The title "Nothing's Wrong Here" is about facade family. Being forced to uphold the image of a happy family but being the opposite behind closed doors. Enacting those lies that 'no, there's nothing wrong here'.
The artwork goes along with that, having the front picture a nice house with a nice garden. But the backside being a bad side of it with the broken swings and dead trees etc.
"How has your song writing changed from your earliest material to now?"
I guess we're more focused on trying to get a red line through the track, the self-titled EP is kind of just stacking parts. Listening to it now is a big turn off for us. We're trying to get a good mix of emotions of the music and the lyrics now, fitting stuff for the lyrics. And sometimes the other way around. The actual writing process haven't changed besides that we have two guitarists instead of one now. We write 95% of our stuff while in the rehearsal space together.
"What's playing live been like for you? Any career highlights so far?"
It's been the best thing in the world, obviously!! We have had a lot of great shows, really. The one that comes to mind is Fluff Fest 2013. The show we played in Stockholm this year was so much fun as well, our first show for like a year, and the line-up was awesome, lots of friends and label mates.
But thinking about shows are more like thinking of the date, like being on tour. You remember the experience from the day, there is so much more than the actual show. Meeting new people, seeing places etc.
"Now you've released your début album, what's your next big ambition?"
We just want to tour now, that's the only thing in our mind. We haven't toured that much before, so now that's the only thing we're focused on. We would love to get over to another continent, play with amazing bands.
We'll see what the future bring us, we'll continue writing songs and see what happens!
"Any plans for visiting the UK?"
Yeah, absolutely! We've been looking into a UK tour, but might postpone it a bit to get it during a bigger Europe trip. For now we only have a little quickie tour through Europe in Jan/Feb 2015, but there's no UK shows on that. But probably on the next one!
'Nothing Wrong Here' is out now and the band will be on tour in Europe in 2015.Suggest a correction