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 Anders Jacobsson Interview

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President M. Sweetness
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PostSubject: Anders Jacobsson Interview   Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:20 am

Draconian is a band that does not need to be introduced. Since their debut album (“Where Lovers Mourn”) came out in 2003, the band’s popularity has gone over the top. Indeed, Draconian’s music is like a drug: have one taste of it and you are eternally hooked, constantly longing for more. With “Turning Season Within,” this is exactly what you get: more! More passion, more breath-taking music, in short: more of that Draconian magic. I had the pleasure in doing an interview with Anders Jacobsson (vocals/lyrics), prior to the release of the band’s fourth album.




Hi, how are you doing today?
It kinda sucks. Thank you!

Soon, the new album “Turning Season Within” will go on sale. I must say, it is different than your previous works. How did the decision to go into this new direction started? What influences made the band pursuit this new style?
It just happened that way along the song-making process. We needed some up-tempo material for our set and things just went on from there. Personally I favor the slower and more melodic sound, but in order to be attention-grabbing we have to stay a bit diverse.
I have no idea of influences really, but to me most of the new material sounds more Scandinavian than before. I guess the choice of studio put us there as well.

To me, each Draconian album is different in its own way: “Where Lovers Mourn” had more gothic elements, whereas “Arcane Rain Fell” was rather doomier. Is it fair to say that Draconian is a band that’s constantly evolving?
I’d like to think so, but as far as the basis go I think we’ve already found our path and we out to stick to it. You can hear the typical Draconian elements in all 4 albums and this is what is important. You should experiment and try new things as long you don’t stray from the original sound. I truly hate when great bands deviate completely from their sound in order to catch a wider audience. Music is art and emotion and it should stay that way.

Also the characteristic doomy piano parts and female vocals are great as ever, as well as the prominent bass lines. These elements are typically Draconian, is it not? How important were they on “Turning Season Within”?
I guess they are a typical ingredient of Andreas Karlsson (referring to the piano parts). I have no idea really, but I guess they add something to the picture. Personally, I think there should have been more parts like that and some more keyboard structures over all, but even if we wanted to, there was no time for it. Andreas was kinda busy and we had our asses full as it was.

Overall, how satisfied are you with this new album?
Very satisfied. All of us are better and more skilled artists on this album and we finally got the sound we wanted. But as far as the actual style go, I don’t think we are any better or worse. I love all songs we’ve made, but that doesn’t mean I love all of the recordings… far from it even. But with the skill we have today these older songs would be three times better. I think it’s important to aim a bit higher for each album... so the next one will be even better.

Looking back at the albums you’ve made, how satisfied are you with their overall outcome?
Well, I think we would have done a hell better of a job if we’d recorded the previous albums today, because we’ve have become better and better. With the new album we pushed ourselves very much to improve and sadly I think we left that out the other times.
I love the songs of all our albums, far more than the productions and some of the handicrafts. We could have done much more with it.

Can you tell us something about the way Draconian composes its music?
Johan composes most of the music on his own and then he usually gives it to me and I write a lyric. Then we arrange the vocals together along the pre-production process, and make some changes along the process. These days we first record a song in our studio and then we rehearse it. It’s very practical that way.

Concerning lyrics, on the new album the lyrics are more down-to-earth as opposed to previous albums. Could you please elaborate on the importance of lyrics to Draconian?
When I said “down to earth” I meant that I deal with things what has actually happened in my own life. And as cliché as it might seem, I have gone through some really tough situations that I wanted to reflect with this new sound of ours. Love is a wide spectrum and how to deal with life is even wider and to combine these two elements was something that "Turning Season Within" became in the end. The lyrics deal mostly with distances between two people, whether it’s about depression, solitude, drugs, suicide, pride, fear or whatever. All these aspects are very apparent on this album and for me personally this is somewhat of a catharsis. Maybe that was the idea all along, I don’t know, but I guess this is the main difference compared to the other albums because on them I was experimenting with thought and ideas, feelings and dreams about matters important to me, but now it’s for real. And maybe I am finished now… maybe this was all I needed, so next time I can write about something completely different. I cannot really say.

On “Where Lovers Mourn,” you used a famous poem by Wordsworth ("A slumber did my spirit seal"), are you a fan of the Romantics (or literature in general)?
I am a big fan of the old Romantics and when talking about lyrics I think this will be more noticeable in the future. Poetry, especially romantic-style written poetry is the most expressive kind of lyrics one can have in this music and “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal” is true evidence of that, I think. I have lots of poetry I’ve never used so maybe I will deal with that later on.




I know in the past there have been many problems concerning touring; will there be a tour this time around in support of the new album?
In the process. I actually have no idea what will happen yet. All I know is that we have to change booking agency.

Are there any cool touring/recording experiences or any other bizarre story you would like to share with us?
I guess, but I am really bad at recollecting stuff like this, hehe. I know that the guys had a very fun time on my behalf after we played a gig in Västerås with the gothrockband Ghostnail when I had a really bad cold and after the show I could hardly speak. That didn’t keep me from becoming shitfaced that night and talking to the band Hellacopters (like we were old friends or something) who were staying at the same hotel as us. And I asked them a lot of crazy personal questions and God knows what. However, my fellow bandmembers had lots of fun ‘cause of this. Later that night I fell asleep with my hand between my legs in a very strange position (pictures were taken). Early next day on the breakfast I was still drunk and could hardly speak at all… and I spilled a lot of fried eggs all over the place during the breakfast. Gosh, it was a crazy, but kinda fun.

For some time now, Andreas is not a permanent member of the band any more. How is the search going for a new Keyboard player?
We have given that up since it didn’t work out very well with the two session members we had. We use backtracks now and that works just fine. The downside with it is that it leaves very little space for us for experimentation on stage. Everything must be according to click so we must play the song in exact rhythm, otherwise all hell breaks loose. I think this limits us a bit, but it works very well and we have decided to go with this for a while, for practical reasons.

How is the atmosphere among the band members of Draconian? Do you see each other a lot?
Yes, we are all friends but Lisa is working a lot and Fredrik are living in a town quite far, so we don’t see them as much as we’d like to. Me, Johan, Jerry and Daniel are the ones hanging out the most, but all of us have a lot of friends outside the band as well.

You’ve been with Napalm Records for a few years now, how did you get in contact with them? Are you satisfied with their work?
I believe they had done what they could. They are a bit hard when it comes to merchandise though, but none is perfect, hehe. But they are great in promotion and distribution. And that is really the most important thing.
I sent a copy of the last demo we made, “Dark Oceans We Cry” and I think they contacted me the very same day they got it. We only sent the demo to two labels, so I guess this was meant to be.

Could you give me a top 5 of your all time favorite albums?
Well, from an emotional perspective then… this is very hard as usual, but here goes:
1. Elend – Les Ténèbres Du Dehors
2. Anathema – Serenades
3. My Dying Bride – Turn Loose the Swans
4. Theatre of Tragedy – Velvet Darkness They Fear
5. Fields of the Nephilim – The Nephilim
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PostSubject: Re: Anders Jacobsson Interview   Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:55 am

Quote :
When I said “down to earth” I meant that I deal with things what has actually happened in my own life. And as cliché as it might seem, I have gone through some really tough situations that I wanted to reflect with this new sound of ours. Love is a wide spectrum and how to deal with life is even wider and to combine these two elements was something that "Turning Season Within" became in the end. The lyrics deal mostly with distances between two people, whether it’s about depression, solitude, drugs, suicide, pride, fear or whatever. All these aspects are very apparent on this album and for me personally this is somewhat of a catharsis. Maybe that was the idea all along, I don’t know, but I guess this is the main difference compared to the other albums because on them I was experimenting with thought and ideas, feelings and dreams about matters important to me, but now it’s for real. And maybe I am finished now… maybe this was all I needed, so next time I can write about something completely different. I cannot really say.

The lyrics were down to earth. I haven't been through any of the lyrics except Bloodflower but they are still easy to relete too.
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PostSubject: Re: Anders Jacobsson Interview   Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:58 am

Interessitng interview
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