Decadence may not be the first name in Swedish Thrash Metal (yet), but they are surely on their way. Thanks largely to the implacable will and discipline of their larger-than-life frontwoman Metallic Kitty Saric. In this exclusive interview three months after the release of the band’s fourth magnum opus ’Chargepoint’ Ms. Saric talks about video shoots, her early days, and the secret to long, smooth, silky hair.
Hello Kitty Saric. How has life been treating you since the release of the new album ‘Chargepoint’? Have you been floating around on a cloud of euphoria for the last three months?
Hello there, life is never cutting me some slack but I guess that’s a good thing; keeps me focused you know! The release of ‘Chargepoint’ and the pre-release work has been like a storm that sweeps you away until you’re finally brought down to the ground again to look at what has actually been done. So I’m here now and after looking at the complete picture from this perspective I must admit that it all feels good now, very good.
Uh, I actually can’t see any tour upcoming dates on your website. Why aren’t you guys still not supporting ‘Chargepoint’ on the road?
Hey, I can’t do everything at once! As Decadence works without a booking agency, we go where promoters, organizers, or even fans ask us to come and I arrange our gigs after that. So I don’t work by planning deep strategies for a more structured tour – we just play wherever and whenever. In any case, no worries. I’m already on top of it and there will be dates up on (our official website) Decadence.se after this year has passed.
You designed the cover art for the new record. You’ve got the artist’s eye that’s for sure. Did you doodle a lot with crayons when you were a kid? And more importantly, do you find your degree in computers useful for Decadence ?
Thank you! I sure did doodle a lot with crayons as a kid when, too bad I don’t have time for that anymore. At least I get to doodle some with Decadence’s artwork and designs though! Indeed, I could even go as far as to say that I went into computer and systems direction at University because of Decadence’s influence. As a matter of fact, Decadence is an influence in practically everything I do one way or another!
To be honest with ya, I think the album would’ve done better with more songs. Maybe two extra tracks, and epic ones at that. But who cares about my opinion? The band Queen used to pore over every single note on their albums. Are you guys this intense in your perfectionism? When do you know a song is at its best shape?
I don’t agree but I do value your honest opinion because you certainly have a point saying more of the good stuff would be nice. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way and we’re into Metal you know, so less good more bad. Hahahaha! Seriously now, we trust the old school way of compiling an album in a package of eight songs because you always remember them all without any songs being unnecessarily buried by others. Plus, we don’t get a mess out of the album with too many split sounds that would fit more on other albums. Some riffs on ‘Chargepoint’ such as in the songs ‘Fast Forward’ and even the whole of the bonus track ‘The Demons Run’ were written some years ago but we decided to wait and put them on the most fitting album for it later. We are intense in perfectionism but we also keep deadlines. I will actually quote a lyric from the song ‘Discharge’ from our newest album to answer your question: “Perfection is achieved not when there’s nothing to add, but when there’s nothing left to take away.”
You released the first video for the album (‘Silent Weapon (For A Quiet War’) soon after ‘Chargepoint’ hit the market. What goes on during a video shoot that the fans never know about?
No, it was released on the same day as ‘Chargepoint’ hit the market, at midnight. Quite fitting indeed! There was of course the terrible make up session and mosquitoes and ants biting us and funny re-takes because of people screwing up; the shock of the white dress by all of us including myself; and sweating like hell in the green screen room under a bunch of frying spotlights. You know, that kind of stuff!
During the recording sessions for ‘Chargepoint’ earlier this year, was there any part of the process—be it laying down vocals, mixing, mastering, attending to details with your distributor Spiritual Beast—that you found grueling? What do you consider the hardest part in creating a new album?
Well, I guess the hardest part is keeping it together – with all the processes flowing. There are many things going on at the same time like you mentioned. Recording, mixing, mastering, artwork, contracts, press, production, and pressing and on it goes. We do all of this on our own and I’m kind of the spider in the web here. So there are lots of things on my mind, many things to keep track of and still keep a good, positive, and supportive attitude and a strong will—this is very important. Take note though: Spiritual Beast is not our distributor (Universal is). Our label HTI Records is licensing Spiritual Beast for our records.
You and Kenneth Lantz are the magic duo behind Decadence. How far have the two of you been raising musical hell together? Can you go back to the very moment where you first met and decided to join forces?
We have been writin music together for fun even before Decadence so we go backmore than six years at least. We called ourselves Metal Strike and we recorded our stuff with a bad Metal Zone pedal, an even worse microphone, and the Windows Recorder where you cannot edit anything, only record and go – old school style! We kept riffs from that time to be unleashed on future albums. Some of them can actually be heard here and there on our present material!
Let’s dwell on past history a bit longer. Your first serious project was Dekapitera. It didn’t go anywhere and you started Decadence soon after. The first album came out five years ago. What has kept you guys going since even when you’re purely an underground act?
A strong will, most likely. I go with the motto ‘If there’s a will, there’s a way’ because that was something I learnt the hard way at an early age so I also know by fact and experience that it works. So pushing and running an Underground band suits me perfectly. I enjoy a good challenge like that. Dekapitera was a band that never got started, it was a plan and an idea but it didn’t go further than that. I didn’t want to wait so I joined another band instead. That band is what I later named Decadence and this is what we are now.
You already growl and write lyrics. Why not pick up the guitar again? In fact, at what level where you in when you stopped playing? Can you shred and to all sorts of awesome shit with your axe? And what kind of guitar was it (the model I mean)?
It crosses my mind every now and then, but Decadence simply takes up too much of my time to get the full and total motivation to start shredding again. I do play when I write songs but it has been a while now since I stood onstage with the axe, a black and white Gibson Explorer. I also have a Jackson guitar and a Jackson bass here but the Explorer is my precious. It’s not an impossibility though. On the contrary, it’s very tempting but I feel it is not the yet the right time.
Aside from the new album, what else is keeping life hectic for the band at this time of year? You get drunk on Christmas?
You should read your homework more, man! I don’t drink, except for the usual water or tea when I need to refuel. Other things except for band related stuff keeping life hectic for me right now is my other work and my Master thesis at University. And this and that, you know.
Decadence hails from Stockholm. What’s your hometown like? Are there just TONS of bands in your part of the world? There must be. Don’t msicians make up half of Sweden’s population? And please, please,please name some of the places where Decadence has played shows in. What makes ‘em special?
To be honest with you, Stockholm is quite boring . But you are right, practically every band member in a band has another band of his own. So yeah, there are many, many bands here. Unfortunately there aren’t enough stages and a scene as a whole for all these bands here in Stockholm so I think this city is not doing enough for music, or the Metal scene at least. This is also why Decadence is playing around town more seldom. We’ve played at tons of clubs and venues around here that existed a while ago and then shut down due to lack of support. Some of them being: Tantogården (burnt down), Mondo (nowadays Debaser Medis), the still existing Pub Anchor and Kafé 44. What makes or made these places special was the pure Underground feeling of them and their passionate owners. (Sonny, Håkan, Sophie and Tompa according to the order of venues.)
When was the first time Decadence played a gig outside Sweden? If you had the money and resources, how wold you like to travel for touring?
That was in Italy, 2005. As for how we’d like to travel, what matters is we reach the place in a fairly short time and with basic comfort.
You’re a super busy girl. Aside from running the band and screaming all the time, you’re also responsible for its label, HTI Records. That’s almost way too much responsibility for a 22 year old. What’s a day in your life like? You still got time for boys?
Uh, no? Hahahahaha! A day in my life is just like you said: being busy, running the band, screaming all the time, responsible for the label, working on the next album, other work, and University. I escape for some weeks during summers though and I’m practically unreachable then, which is nice but it’s always chaos when I return!
Your iron willed determination has left us in awe. At what point in your life did you decide to grab the bull by the horns and chart the destiny of your band? Was it hard to get four other guys aboard?
That gives me a nice feeling, thank you. I was 15 when I decided that this was what I wanted to do. It wasn’t too hard getting a team together but it was hard to be the one with all the responsibility at such a young age. Indeed I am still young but now I know the system and I work in a whole different way than I did back then. I had to change many things with myself, my life, my way of thinking and all to keep it going. Obviously, some band members have come and gone for various reasons but I see it all as a process of finding the right team. Kenneth has been with us since the start even though his position in the has band changed a bit (he used to be a session bass player and went to lead guitar!), Erik and Joakim later found their place in 2005 after the major line-up change we had back then and now Niklas (guitarist) has joined us too and it feels great.
But I’m certain you’re the object of all sorts of weird crushes. How many funny emails do you get from your, um, male admirers each month? Wasn’t your email account hacked once?
Hahaha! I get approximately 100 emails a day, not all weird of course but it happens from time to time! I just think it’s funny though. I do keep a sense of humor in all of this anyway! It wasn’t only my email that got hacked, my entire computer was! Besides, my whole MySpace page with about 20,000 fans was deleted, that was a disaster.
What would it take to get your band to do a concert in Turkey and the rest of the Middle East?
Make a local promoter call us over and we’ll be there!
If the band were booked for a North America tour but you all had to travel on a Viking longboat, what essentials would you bring along for the voyage? More importantly, which of your favorite albums will you include in your luggage?
I can’t speak for the boys here but I know that except for the usual band gear (I assume there are beds and stuff on the boat) I’d bring my Metallica collection along with some Death, Testament, Kreator and some Volbeat even. Also, lots of Earl Grey Black and my Explorer.
You’re a girl, you like clothes? Which member of the band has the most leather inside their closet? I’d like me some leather pants too, but I’m from a tropical country so leather’s a no-no. This is why I settle on jean shorts.
No, but I do wear custom clothes on stage for the hell of it (so yeah, I’m the one with the most leather in my closet). But as I think of it now, my hair covers everything anyway!
I love fried chicken—what’s your favorite food?
Food? What’s food? Do I look like I eat food? I don’t have time for that stuff! I just eat to refuel!
When you’re feeling down, what gets you back up again and ready to kick the world in the crotch?
The thought ‘Life is my opponent and I will not let it win.’
This is the bitter end. For my last question: You’ve got long, Rapunzel-esque locks. How do you keep it smooth and silky, especially after you’ve been windmilling onstage? You use Mane and Tail?
I use a comb and some shampoo that I can find. That’s it, really. Boring huh? Thanks for the questions, great ones and not dry ones either! Horns up from Metallic Kitty of Decadence.