Where were you born and where did you grow up?
MA: Born in Trelleborg, Scania. Grew up in the countryside outside of Trelleborg.
What sort of kid were you growing up and what did you want to be when you were growing up?
MA: Don’t know really, probably like any other kid. Musician was one of them, there were other things you wanted to be like any other kid at an early age.
Did you have many friends at an early age?
MA: Small village so not many kids around but I had friends. Some are still my friends today.
Now when did music enter your life? What were some of the 1st styles of music that you heard?
MA: At an early age. I have always enjoyed music but Metal was the first genre that had any impact on me.
Now when did you discover metal music? Did you love it right away?
MA: I was 6/7 years old and yes it was love right away. The first Metal album I got was Accept – Restless and Wild back in 1982. A record that I still play and enjoy.
Now when did you discover underground music? What were some of the 1st bands you heard? Was this something you got right into? Are you still a fan of the early bands you heard of?
MA: Late -80/ early -90. I had the privilege to know one of the tape traders in Sweden, the founder of To The Death fanzine and the record label with the same name.
I copied and bought tapes from him and discovered new bands. There were many but Nihilist, Therion, Treblinka, Dismember, Entombed, etc. I was hooked immediately! Yes, I’m still a fan of the early stuff, I still enjoy listening to some demos from the good old days.
So at what point did you want to pick up the guitar? Did you ever take lessons or self-taught? Who are some of your favorite guitar players?
MA: It’s been some time since I played the guitar in this band, the only time I play in In Pain nowadays is when I write new songs.
Had a toy guitar when I was a kid but got my first electric guitar in my early teens. I took some lessons in a short period of time but learning notes and other boring stuff was not for me. So I tried to figure it out by myself instead.
Guitar players… 2 that I enjoy listening to as guitarists and songwriters are Mikka Tenkula (R.I.P) and Gregor Mackintosh.
Now were there a lot of places to get your fill of metal back in the day? By that I mean records stores and stuff. Did you ever do any tape trading at all?
MA: We often went to Malmö and sometimes Copenhagen to visit record stores and go to gigs. There were some great record shops and venues back in the day but unfortunately not anymore. I didn’t trade that much but I bought demos instead.
Now at what point did the coming together of In Pain come to be?
MA: Loui and I met in school and we found each other immediately. We shared the same music taste and we wanted to start a band together. We started to play Punk/HC but after a while, we wanted to play Death Metal instead because that was what we listened to so we started In Pain in 1992.
So you released your debut demo in 1993 on cassette. Did you send it out at the time to many fanzines for reviews and even college radio? Who did the cover? Were these done professionally or did you do the old tape-to-tape thing? What are your thoughts on this demo these days?
MA: We tried but there was not any “big” response. I don’t think it was played on the radio., can’t remember. We did it tape to tape with a cover made on a photocopier. We didn’t have any money were still in school and had no jobs so it was all D.I.Y. The cover was made by our friend Ola Nilsson. I think it sucks, to be honest. The songs are what they are and that’s not the problem, we couldn’t do better back then. It’s the sound that’s the problem, it sounds just horrible even for that time.
That’s the main reason we didn’t reach out I think.
Now you sing and play guitar on your debut demo. Was that the plan going in that you were gonna sing and play guitar on it? What was the feedback overall to your demo?
MA: Yes but actually Loui and I sang on different tracks and even the drummer Christian sang on 2 songs. Both Loui and I wanted to sing so that was the reason. It wasn’t until 93/94 that I started to sing on all tracks and left the guitar as well.
Overall feedback on the demo was not that good, we sounded better live and people enjoyed us more live.
Now who came up with the name and the logo for the band?
MA: I came up with the name. It was from the Slayer track Ghost of War, sounded cool when Tom sings “I deal in pain” so In Pain it was.
The logo was drawn by Daniel Barkman, the drummer of Cursed from Ystad/Sweden. Cursed was another band that didn’t make it back then. Somebody should release their demos today.
Now in 1994, you released demo # 2 called “Corpse Crusade”. How much do you feel this was a step up to the debut? Was this a blank tape-to-blank tape demo or professionally done? Around how many of these did you print up and were you able to start to get a following and were you able to play out live much as death metal was very much alive in Sweden at this time?
MA: The first and second demo was recorded in the same period. So the difference is not that big. These were done like the first one tape to tape and photocopier. These demos were copied when people wanted them, can’t remember how many we did. We played live in Sweden back then in small places. Yes, the scene was alive for sure but around mid -90 I think Death Metal started to get less popular. Black Metal started to be more popular and with the melodic Death and Death ‘n roll, people wanted to hear something else. In this time many bands changed style or quit.
Now how much longer after this 2nd demo did the band break up? Was it at the time a bad break up? What did you go and do with yourself during this time until the band returned?
MA: It was a couple of years after in -96. We did our last gig with the original lineup in -94. No bad breakup. The drummer and bassist left after that gig, one wanted to play another kind of music, and the other lost interest. Loui and I tried some other members and kept the band alive for 2 more years. In -96 I did military service and the band was on hold/put to rest for that year. We have played in other bands besides In Pain and sometimes these bands took more time and that’s the reason In Pain hasn’t been that active during some periods.
Do you still have original copies of your 2 demos?
MA: Yes I still have 1 or 2 copies of the old stuff. Will release a compilation with old stuff next year so we get that out of the way.
Now what event or events led to the resurrection of In Pain coming back? Where did you find the 2 new members that play on the 7″, which I’ll get to shortly? Now did you know right away you were calling the band “In Pain and not something else? How long did it take to find them and how long was it before you started writing songs?
MA: First, this is not a reunion. The band has been more or less active since the start except during. It was when I got back after military service in -97 that Loui and I got together and started to jam. Mattias Flintberg joined on drums in -98/99 I think and later he took over vocals. We have always kept the band alive since -92. besides that year – 96. There have been a lot of members passing by through the years. Matte (drums) joined some years before the 7” and it was Mr. To The Death who put us together. Mattias (vocals) was already a member since many years back. Suddenly people started to get interested after the release of the “7 inches. Why nobody cared before I can’t answer. Part of the Corpse Crusade demo and Warmachine demo for example were on MySpace for years and didn’t get any impact either.
I guess if you play long enough sooner or later someone will notice you, it took us 25 years haha. I mean there must be hundreds of bands around the globe with the same story.
So you are back in business and in late 2015, you released a 4-song 7″ on To The Death Records called “A Call from the Grave”. How did it feel to have some new music out after such a long break? How did you end up hooking up with To The Death Records? Did things go pretty smoothly for you guys in the studio? What was the response like?
It’s not new music actually, it’s old tracks that we re-recorded for this 7”. Didn’t turn out the way I wanted but okay. Like I mentioned before I had known the owner for many years and we talked about releasing something for a while. No problem in the studio.
Where did you end up finding singer Mattias Larsson, who would go on to sing on your next 4 releases?
MA: Mattias has been a part of the band since 1998 I think and was singing for many years. Mattias and I are old friends.
Now with the long break and all, do you feel the sound of the band has changed much from the time you guys took a break up until 2015?
MA: Like I mentioned before we didn’t have a long break. You get better at what you’re doing, hopefully. The core is basically the same, better songwriting, arrangements etc. today than in the beginning.
Now in 2018, you were back with another 4 track EP called “Summoning the Dead”. What can you tell me about this release? Are you happy with the way it came out? Were you playing live much and if so, what were some of the bands you shared the stage with?
MA: The first time In Pain was recorded at Sunlight Studio. First-time Wegren (guitars) appears on an In Pain release. Always things you want to change but overall we are satisfied. No, still more like a “studio” band at this point.
In 2019, you released a split CD with the band Chemical Disaster on the Terceiro Mundo Chaos Discos label. How did this come about? What did you think of the other band? How quickly did the coming of the 5 tunes come to be? Was it finally nice to hear some of your music on CD?
MA: We were contacted by the singer and they wanted to do a split we liked the band so it was a yes. We didn’t have any new songs recorded at that time so we ended up putting the Summoning EP + A Call From the Grave from the 7” on the split.
SouthCoast Productions took a liking to the band and they put out you’re first full-length called “The Sound of Death”. Why this title? How happy were you to finally have a full-length out? How quickly did the songs come together seeing how this was your 2nd release in the year 2019?
MA: I thought it represented the album so we went with that title. It was written in a couple of months I think. The first recording features Nicklas (guitar). For me it doesn’t matter if it’s a demo EP or something else, a release is a release no matter what format. I mean they are all important no matter what format.
Now do you think the sound of the band has changed much from 2015, when you released something new up to your first full length?
MA: Yes and no. I think the core of the music has always been the same but we are better at arrangements, songwriting, etc. We will continue with “In Pain sound”. If you pick up an album from us you shall know what you get.
How was the response from the underground overall and what are your thoughts on it these days?
MA: We got really good responses on the full-length album, better than we expected. So I think it was around this time people started to find us and finally discovered the band after all these years.
So what did you and the band do during all the COVID crap that affected every band and everybody?
MA:: We tried to rehearse as usual and we recorded the album. We didn’t have any gigs booked so it was quite “normal”.
Less time in the rehearsal place, that was about it.
So how did you guys start to put together the music that would end up being on your latest release, which is called “The Thing from the Grave”? What made you decide upon that title and who did the awesome artwork for the cover?
MA:: The tracks were written before the pandemic so we recorded the album during that time. It was time for our zombie Mr. R. Utten to rise from the grave so “The Thing From The Grave” seemed like a good title for the album. I actually “borrowed” the title from an episode of Tales From The Crypt. Ola Larsson made the awesome cover. He has done work for Disma, and Sulphur Aeon among others.
So how long were you in the studio for this and did everything come together rather smoothly?
MA: Don’t remember exactly how long, It was spread over time so we didn’t record everything at once. But in effective time about a week or two.
How has the feedback been so far for it?
MA:: It’s been really good actually, good reviews and the CD has sold really well. It looks like there will be a repress in the near future. The vinyl version will be released in January 2023 I think.
Do you hope to play a bunch of live shows to support it or even do some type of mini tour if that is possible?
MA: Micke: We have a new drummer now and we are rehearsing the live set right now. As soon as everything is in place we will definitely play some shows, let’s see what the future will bring.
For those who have never heard of the band, what would you say the band sounds like?
MA: Death Metal in the old Swedish tradition. Maybe a bit more “groove” and melody than average old-school bands. Still trying to get that old sound and not the modern stuff. It’s Death Metal straight from the grave.
Do you feel it is tough sometimes being noticed with so many other bands out there, and many of them not so good?
MA:: Yes it’s tough to reach out for sure, new bands every day it seems. You can’t like every band, that’s how it is. In Pain didn’t sound good in the beginning either but I know what you mean. If you stumble across about 10 bands in a row that don’t sound good when you try to find new music you somehow lose interest.
Where do you see the band heading into 2023 and beyond?
MA: We will continue doing our thing as long as we have the motivation to do so. I don’t like to look into the future, it will never be as you wished for anyway, good or bad. We are always open to collaborations like we did now with To The Death Records, Regain Records, and Helter Skelter. Let’s see what happens in the future. We are writing a new album right now but how long it takes until we are in the studio is impossible to say right now.
Please plug any social media sites and where can people find any merchandise from you guys or even the new release as well?
Mike horns up for doing this interview, any last words to wrap it up?
MA: Thanks for your interest in In Pain and good luck in the future. Check out In Pain if you haven’t and remember to support the underground, buy records, shirts, or whatever from bands you like so they can continue to release music that you like.