MIDVINTER INTERVIEW (December 2006)


MIDVINTER

Hello Mikael! I hope you and all the things are ok over there since our last talk.
Hi Mystis! Yeah im doing pretty ok, still busy recording and putting bits and pieces together for our 10:th anniversary comeback album "Harmagedo" and just struggling with the normal everyday miseries about life.

Well,firstly I must say that I was very suprised when you told me about "returning after 10 years" of Midvinter,and happy to hear it!So,how did that happen?What made you to think of coming with a release after whole years?
Shortly after Midvinter recorded the ATSOTAD album i ran into some personal problems whick forced me to leave the country on undetermined time, during this time due to several reasons i did not have any contact at all with any family, relatives, friends or the band. This is just a chapter in my past that was the fruit of something that went terribly wrong during a visit to Stockholm and i could at that time see no alternative but to leave the country. Its not music related and not really something i feel compelled to speak in detail about since i would be shooting myself in the foot if i did. I dont really fancy speculations on a grander scale but that is what i will leave for the people to do regarding this. Shortly after the "ATSOTAD" album was released our current label (Black Diamond Production / Invasion Records) made several contract breaches to the current signed deal which included selling licenses of the album for Metal Blade USA and some Polish and other eastern tape labels (yeah cd´s were still scarce in that part of the world back then hehe). Our deal with Invasion clearly stated they were not allowed to take such actions without consulting with the band. In this case we knew nothing, and Kheeroth was surprised to find our cd in a shop with slightly different layout and Metal Blade stamped on it. Ofcourse Metal Blade had no guilt in this at all as they had only pursued this deal in good faith. Midvinter would probably had agreed to these licenses if BDP/Invasion had atleast presented them. But their neglective and
shady way of doing business, and disrespectfullness towards their bands (we heard more stories from BDP and Invasion signed bands at that time). To make a long story short, Midvinter cancelled the contracts with BDP/Invasion and demanded all copyrights for the ATSOTAD album material. The owner of BDP ran away to Germany to his shady business partner who ran Invasion Records and we received some hilarious Fax messages from Invasion threatening us they had "Berlin Kickers" on their side. Ofcourse, all we could do was laugh. Shortly after this we received and offer from Century Media Records which ofcourse was very very tempting knowing CM was a very serious and professional business. However, the current situation and with me out of the country we had no choice but to skip the offer. In 2001 situation changed and i was back in Sweden i then contacted Kheeroth and we decided to reform the band. However the reunion that time didnt go through all the way, we started on new material but then we all became seriously engaged with other stuff and to busy to complete anything. In 2006 we made the final decision to revive the band for sure and here we are today finally making it happen.

Midvinter is back now and you are still working on a new material called "Harmagedo" and will be released in 2007.How is recording now?Also artwork?New logo looks so great!
The recording is coming along pretty good, and better then anticipated at first. This time im also doing much of the production myself instead of rushing into a studio with limited time just to make the recording as was the case with "ATSOTAD". This gives us alot more time to listen to the material, change and better the parts we are unhappy with. The great contrast to Harmagedo compared to ATSOTAD is that the songs are more well thought through and we have alot more time to do the recordings. The cover artwork for ATSOTAD was a joke, the BDP owner screwed up everything with it and receiving the album with the logo printed in babyblue was a disgrace, however to late to change as the press were already done. The cover art for Harmagedo is very pro and the cover art is
exclusively drawn by a very talented girl from Belgium and we are very satisfied with the outcome which also suits the music and lyrical theme rather well. The new logo is actually an old one that has been slightly remade. It was made for us by Cristophe Szpajdel many years ago but it was never used. We felt the "new" Midvinter needed a new logo and that the old one was not representative for us today.

I really wonder how the line-up will be.There is a picture still in my head that Kheeroth is taking on vocals and you are taking on guitars and keyboards.But what about drums?Any other musicians officially joined?
Kheeroth is still doing vocals. Me and Kheeroth are the only original members remaining from the ATSOTAD album, and im the only one who remains since the creation of Midvinter in 1993. Its important for people to understand that Midvinter never was a live band and much so, may never be. However, we currently have several musicians connected with Midvinter. But if they will be used as permanent members or session/Live members is still to early to say, whatever happens they will be unveiled and represented on the Harmagedo cd. For now we are keeping it unsaid. Im still doing the guitars and the keyboards, sequencing and programming. We also have some very talented and professional guest artists appearing on the Harmagedo cd, but we are keeping that as a secret aswell for the time being.

About the new release "Harmagedo",whats the story of that?And the lyrics,whats the main theme of them?
"Harmagedo" itself is just a physical geographical location outside modern Israel and is a sight for archeological exploration. The sight is called Magedo, and Harmagedo means the mountain of Magedo. What makes it an interesting location is that no other place on earth in mankinds history has seen so much bloodshed and wars as Harmagedo has.Beneath Harmagedo is the Jezrael valley which over the last past 4000 years have seen 34 large scale battles, The Egyptians, The Persians, Napoleon, Mammelucks etc, all fought in this small piece of land. Another interesting fact is that John of Patmos (Now Turkey) contributed to the book of revelation in the bible regarding the apocalypse to this very specific place as being the site where the final battle between good and evil will take place. It is therefore that the commonly known word "Armageddon" for the end of the world as we know it originates from "Harmageddon" which in turn comes from "Harmagedo". The lyrical theme of Harmagedo might differ slightly from ATSOTAD but for those who understand, not really that much. "At the sight of the apocalypse dragon" was a message of the end to come in the shape of an apocalypse dragon ( entities are just symbolical, only religious fanatics cannot see this). We did have "The arrival of the apocalypse dragon" in mind for this album, however "Harmagedo" became the ultimate choice. The lyrical concept is more reality reflected this time however, in a dark and cruel aspect. We all live in a time with minimal room for future survival of mankind. Believing the world is about to change for the better or that any situation ( Oilpeak, Effects of inertia, Natural disasters, Wars, Economic collapse, Political tensions, Pollution, Over consumption of natural resources and so on) will see drastic changes in a positive direction in teh coming 10 years.... well.. Its very optimistic but not likely very realistic. Midvinter is NOT a religious band in any way, Midvinter is a realistic band with individuals who shape their own beliefs of good and evil and we dont need a manual to tell us how to live. But we take much of the symbolism used in many forms of religion to use as tools for creating a lyrical concept or to deliver a message.

What are the differences between your first full-lenght album "At The Sight Of The Apocalypse Dragon" and the new "Harmageddo" release?How will be the sound after "ATSOTD" Cd?
The main difference for sure is that alot more time has been spent on the tracks on Harmagedo compared to "ATSOTAD". The sound is still brutal, after all its metal. But we kept the melodic and athmospheric old touch of Midvinter to the concept and blended it with some new and refreshing elements which should boost for a more original and unique sound. Also the running lenght of the songs on ATSOTAD are to long in our opinion, making some of them sound monotonous after a while. The new tracks are more vivid and have a shorter running lenght but with a decent amount of variations in them.

Well,after 10 years,how will be the distribution?Is the deal with labels lasting or just looking for new?
We are still not 100% about this. The recording and production of Harmagedo is self financed, and we have not yet decided for sure wether the release will be self financed as well or if we will look for a label to release the album. What is sure however, is that it will be out in Early 2007 no matter what. We havent contacted any labels yet, because we feel that without a finnished product all we can use as promotion is 10 years old material that doesnt do fully justice to what we are today. Once the recording is finalized we will take all the necessary considerations in mind and work from there.

The cd will be released and its distribution is ok,well what will be next?Whats you futural plans?
Tour and gigs? We dont know yet.... time will tell. We have plenty of new rawmaterial to work on for a followup to Harmagedo as well so i guess we wont have any problems keeping ourselves busy

You told me that new website was going to be ready soon,whats new with it?
We kept the layout fairly clean and easy to navigate. We will add the usual band info and news stuff, as well as a download area. We will also add the "Moments" section again which was a very popular section on the last Midvinter page. The "Moments" section are short stories of impossible and hilarious events that took place during the Midvinter and our surrounding friends during the years 93-97. Last but not least, the real true biography which in detail will explain the hilarious and impossible creation of Midvinter will finally be posted to rectify all the speculations and half true / half lie versions that are spread on the internet now. Its a very long story with some truly funny reading. Just wait til we launch the new site.

Midvinter have lots of fans all over the world but still not many people knows that Midvinter is back.I feel lucky that you told me all before these,but how is the reaction when they hear that?

First of all, we are quite amazed that so many people still remember us and support our music after 10 years. The reactions so far has been surprisingly good and people seem very anticipated over the comeback and the forthcoming "Harmagedo" album. We will do our very best to not let our devoted fans down.

Also you have some other projects,whats new with them?Will we see any new project in the future?
Well, as far as it goes with my prior bands. Apollgon for sure is dead. Apollgon however recorded a full lenght cd that was never released, the recording is still at the studio i think. I might consider contacting the studio and make something out of that old recording. I also recall that a French label called Impure Creations wanted to release the last Apollgon Promo on cd some years ago but nothing really happened with that either. The Noctiluca project was disbanded during the recording of the album "The shadows are the past" due to some complications. There are still studio material already recorded but i doubt it will ever be finalized and released. De infernali was a project that immediately disbanded after the recording of the album and there were never any plans to do anything more with it. Sure.. i actually do have some sideprojects going alongside Midvinter as well right now, and one of them i will probably do something serious with which is a sideproject called Saturn XVII. Moreover there has been a will or suggestion from some "unnamed" people to revive Apollgon and make a professional re-recording of the 95 promo. But its still unsure if it will happen.

Some time ago,I got some news about Jon Nödtveidt and really shocked.It was telling me he commited suicide.As a close friend and room-mate of him,I am sorry to ask but how do you feel about Jon and his suicide?
Well, i used to live together with Jon and we were very close at that time. However, due to several reasons i dont want to go into detail about we parted ways. I dont think anyone that didnt know Jon personally can fully understand and/or respect his choice to take his life. For me, it is obvious that this decision was made with strong determination and was a planned course of action due to his own beliefs. Anyone believeing he commited suicide because he was sucicidal in a weak way, or that he was depressed are very much wrong. Even though our ideologies have parted ways i still respect this individual and will respect the choice he made even though it may sound crazy to many people.

For sure that nothing is the same after 10 years.Well what changed in whole 10 years time?I mean,musically and in ordinary life..Personally how do you feel about the past?
Yeah, alot of things change with time. Musically i had a long break lasting about 3 1/2 years almost without even touching an instrument and my life has been very much up and down after the ATSOTAD album. Looking at the past its an experience richer in the luggage of this carnal life. I live by the principle to not regret any actions taken because they happen for a reason even though i may not be happy with all the choices i made in life thus far. My ordinary life right now is basically quite ordinary however. Musically... i guess my mind and emotive state have changed abit which will be heard on the Harmagedo cd. The old touch is still there however. But naturally, some sort of progression and development should be expected 10 years later.

About world black metal scene.Still there are some good bands around but as it seems everything is releated with earning good money..What do you think about it?Do you still follow new materials?
I actually dont really listen that much to the new wave of black / death metal. For me the market is kind of overflowed with stuff thats pointless today. probably 80% of the quality many bands today produce would never had land them a record deal back in the early nineties when the labels were actually more careful in their selection. There are good bands today also ofcourse, but i guess i mostly listen to old stuff these days. Music for me has to meddle something that will trigger some form of emotions, if it doesnt then the musicians have failed to deliver something on their own. This is oftenly something i feel with "produced" music, meaning music that were made to sell not with soul and dedication behind it. For me making music is not about money. Actually. i dont think its very easy to make any respectable profit even today on this type of music. If you happen to do .... take it as a bonus but dont forget the money shouldnt be the priority. I sincerely believe for me it never will be, but i wont complain if i could land a dollar or two on what i do.

As "Real" Midvinter and Swedish one hehe,how do you feel about some other bands that they call theirselves as "Midvinter"?
Well, i believe there are both Midwinter from germany and Crimson Midwinter from Finland formed after us. Crimson Midwinter is disbanded i think- As for the German Midwinter, they took our name but used the english spelling for Midwinter instead of the Swedish Midvinter in the hope no band would ever come close to use that name again, and to their great dismay we return ;). Anyways, i had a few words with one of their members. It doesnt really disturb us, i think most people will know the difference anyway and i dont think we have to change name to "The True Midvinter" a´la Mayhem to preserve our identity.

And last words for your fans...
Hell yeah! Thanks for staying with us and supporting our music. Were back in business for good. Keep your eyes out for Harmagedo to do some permanent damage to the psyche in early 2007 and stay metal!

Thank you my friend for this nice talking,I am sure you will keep your art at the top as in the past!Good luck!
Same to you Mystis! Thanks for the interview and keep up the good work.


Author: Mystis

 




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