Just a couple of days before the live streamfest of the entire show of “Necrostabbing at Göta Källare – Live in Stockholm”, the last album of STERBHAUS, recorded live during the show on the 17th of October 2015, we got the chance to talk with MARCUS HAMMARSTRÖM, the founder, bassist, singer and much other stuff of the band from Sweden, that started as a five pieces band, then most of the years as a four members band, and recently they become a trio band.
Now we know that this last release is the best selling physical album of Sweden of last week and they´re ready for the third cut of the album, we´re very proud to share with you all our interesting talk about the expectations of the new album, music, tours, videos and also his work as a bass player of SHINING.
How’s work in the new lineup?
It’s been the lineup since 2012 actually, but Simon is not in the band we’re kind of a three piece at the moment, the blond guitarist left the band and we were looking for another one to replace him in the beginning but that was really tough actually to find guitarists in Stockholm even though there’s like tons of bands here and a lot of people playing around, a lot of guitarists as well but it’s kind of tricky music it’s like you have to be able to play all those tricky parts and you kind of need to also take it fairly easy you can’t be like a hard head or whatever, you have to be kind of an easy guy to hang out with and I don’t think we searched for like a year and then we finally said “that okay let’s try this line up like a three piece burn, like a trio” and I think we only did a couple of those shows and that worked out really well, of course you kind of miss out on the rhythm guitar a bit so I had to do for the bass guitar basically, I had to put up a lot of distortion on it and I had to change a little bit how I was playing, especially when the guitarists are doing leads and stuff like that, so it’s a challenge that we rearranged a few of the songs a little bit to fit better but we haven’t been playing live man in a long time, we’re not particularly active with playing live right now, I mean the live album was recorded in 2015 and it’s been waiting ever since so.
Why are so many years waiting to release this live album?
Actually that’s a pretty interesting story because during the time the live album were recording, it was a show of the released album “New Level Of Malevolence” and that was released like in May 2015 and by that time we had four or five tours already booked so there were two European tours, there was a separate trip to Italy and I think another in Germany and stuff like that, but by the time we released the album “New Level Of Malevolence” all those tours were cancelled, all the store just disappeared for different reasons, either the tour was cancelled or we were replaced there was something that messed up the whole situation so we just released a new album and we couldn’t play live because all the tours were cancelled we didn’t get the festival shows because the tours were canceled so that’s why we took some time and we did that release show like in October, so that’s quite a few months after the release of the album and the idea was basically we need to film the show because we’ve been touring a lot before that and with the previous album and we felt that we really need good footage because all we had was people standing in the crowd with a cell phone and filming the show and since we lost all those shows the idea was basically let’s film one show and put it out there so we can promote ourselves a little bit better and try to get back on track with the live shows and stuff but we did the whole thing and we sort of noticed that the footage and the sound and everything was just great so we didn’t want to throw it out there because we didn’t intend to release a live album actually so it was more a situation like well this is really good material if we throw this out right now we’re gonna be throwing all the stuff away so we needed everything cut professionally and have it mixed and all that stuff takes time and also I have to say that I think it was about a year after the release of a “New Level Of Malevolence” I was asked to join the band SHINING and that took a lot of time for me to go out touring in the U.S.A. and stuff like that so I think just the people had other things to do as well and it mostly depends on the time I have to put into the band and since that time was removed and I was out playing with another band sort of just unfortunately I have to say it sort of just didn’t happen that much in quite a while so yes also it’s a situation that I’m doing most of the stuff it can be a little bit stressful…man I was broken down by the end of that period because it was like I did all these videos, we record the music ourselves and all that shit and everything just dropped and it felt like we need to get back on track and that didn’t happen either because we released a video at the same time as this show was recorded and that video got banned on Facebook and different web stores to post videos sometimes and they didn’t even want to post it because there’s some gore involved in it, so yet again it was just a situation where it feels like the industry and everything around you is kind of working against you all the time and I think we had worked for almost six years quite intensively to get somewhere and at that point I felt like “man we need kind of a break” might be a stupid situation to have a break at that point in time but that’s what happened.
Are you thinking of writing a new album?
Exactly we never really stopped writing music that’s why we put out that we did a Christmas EP “Krampusnacht” and the idea with that was the same thing with the live album, that was basically we can’t have inactivity so we put that out and I thought it was a fun idea, we actually gave the album away once a year so during December so that people could download it for free, but shortly after that we were back in the rehearsal space writing a lot of material and at this point the next album is the pre-production, all finished and so we basically need to go into the studio, I think we have to do that in August to record the drums at least we’ll see what happens we got some logistical problems where to do this, also we don’t really have a good deal for the album at this point we kind of have to record it ourselves and we were talking with some partners but it’s hasn’t really ended up anywhere fruitful right now with financing the recording of it so looks like we’ll be recording the album, first the drums for it in August and then we’ll be recording over a longer period this time because the guitarist he actually leaves to educate himself within filmmaking and writing scripts and stuff like that, so he will be quite far away but we’ll make sure to record our stuff but the album is finished written and we did a really decent pre-production, actually recorded three songs as a demo and those demos are almost good enough to be released us on an album actually.
Sounds like another full-length album is coming up this year.
No, it takes too much time I would say so this year I think the plan was to release it if we looked at it a couple of years ago we thought we might get the album out by now but I wouldn’t be surprised if it took a year to actually record it at this point due to the logistical issues and stuff like that so that’s why it feels really good to put a decent live album out there so there’s some really good activity going on.
You have so many projects in mind and you always seem to try to push forward as much as you can, don’t you?
I think it started off actually when we did the lineup change when we became a four piece and I took over the vocal duties as well that’s when we sort of felt like we need to do something decent with this and by the same time we actually worked with a promoter in Germany for quite some time and by that time I always work myself with a two-year plan for instance where I see “okay there’s an album at the end here” we need to have two or three videos and we need to have this kind of activity but on the other hand it takes up a lot of energy of what you’re when you’re supposed to basically play music and write music so that’s why it takes some time sometimes to put out an album, because you have to promote yourself, you have to do all the videos and actually the video stuff that’s just fun actually so that’s not important, that was the first one was really crazy but it really started to set us on a path with all those wacky videos and I love it too and my favorite would actually be “Absolutely do not die!” when we’re like crows running around in Stockholm and just misbehaving or really wants to have the bird seeds haha.
How does the black metal seed react to your stuff to your videos to the humorous approach?
That’s the weird part because that’s why we call our stuff “Metal Deluxe” that was a simple idea because where are we actually in terms of style of music, we’re kind of Thrash Metal a long lot and it’s old school but we’re not really repeating something somebody did before, but on the other hand we’re not reinventing and doing something completely new and then there are actually some Black Metal influences and there are some Death Metal and I’m a Hard-Rock Heavy Metal guy that’s what I grew up when they still listen to, so there’s a lot of Heavy Metal and so we figured out like this mishmash and all these things let’s just call it Metal Deluxe because it’s like a perfect representation of just metal and it comes to the Black Metal genre that you asked about, I think a lot of people kind of just didn’t care about us at all haha because Black Metal and since I meet a lot of Black Metal people when I’m playing with SHINING is sort of you notice that these people might be a little bit narrow minded when it comes to things they want things to be orthodox, they want things to be a certain way if it’s outside of that box and they get a little bit like they don’t want to be involved with it that much and in fact when we did a tour that was that I’m a little bit sketchy with the years here, I think that was 2013. We toured with VADER and MALAKESH early that year and later on with SHINING and that’s kind of how we got to know them and when that tour was suggested there was a lot of people who were like this is such a weird match finding a STERBHAUS completely different one thing it worked out so well and even the crowd and every one just as soon as they got to see us live there was no problem about it because I think it was more about the passion if you’re doing it for real and everybody loves metal in the end, it works out pretty well. Socially really worked, that was one of the better tours I’ve ever done and I know they felt the same way and each evening actually the same thing there was another Norwegian Black Metal band and I think the fit of STERBHAUS and SHINING was perfect life because I don’t know why it just seemed to speak to people, if you’re a support band you kind of have a responsibility also to get the crowd going because the main band will always love you of course if the crowd is all rounded up when it’s time for them to go on and if the support bands have been doing a lot of great gigs and the crowd is all fired up that’s then they’re happy and I think that was the situation so it just comes to show that you can’t really expect anything, I suppose all the expectations go out the window.
Do you have any expectations when you are when you’re getting on stage in front of a crowd?
I think it’s a surprise each time actually especially when you’re going as a support act and most people in the crowd don’t even know about you so you’re in a position where you have to introduce yourself and convince everybody that you´re actually a really good band, but we rehearsed a lot, we rehearsed three times a week for years and we really worked on our live shows there was no real room for anyone to doubt based and that was the idea, we wanted to go out there and build up so people on the first song would be like “okay this is pretty cool and the second one would be…this is actually really really good” and by the third song they should be like “man I fucking love this band” and that was basically the idea and usually it works because by the third or fourth song we got the crowd going by that point it’s thankful when it comes to Thrash Metal, I think if you have all these Thrash and Heavy Metal influences it’s good for live music because it drives people on, I love Black Metal but I also I’m kind of sick of it at the same time, the problem with Black Metal for instance sometimes it could be absolutely awesome on album but when you hear it live it can sometimes be a little bit boring if the band is not doing something extraordinary and I think it’s thankful with stuff that is Thrash Metal driven because it’s more entices people to basically go crazy.
We really enjoy going to the mosh pit, it’s almost like extreme metal party music.
Yeah exactly, we used to bring the humor on stage as well, if you saw the video from the first album, where I’m doing the vocals which, is called “Angels For Breakfast and God for Lunch” there was a song there called “Frogboiler” and the video I’m not really happy about how things ended because the climax was actually supposed to be this goat guitar which was kind of alive but it was obvious a puppet but that guitar is totally playable so we actually did play it sometimes we brought it to live and Jimmy had to play it on, it’s a horrible instrument to play on because it’s huge and hairy and he’s got a mouth in the end and people really like that, I think we got suggestions of bringing sock puppets live too.
Where do you get your ideas from?
I would say it stems from the fact that we kind of it sounds kooky but if you have good chemistry and you really kind of like hanging out and we’re a bunch of guys who likes to party likes to drink who likes to basically have a laugh about most things and so you get your inspiration from everyday jokes or whatever and I have to say that a lot of things that come out, like inspiration for me at that time especially when I was writing these lyrics that was a family guy and American dad and Futurama and Simpsons and stuff like that stupid comedy that’s actually I think we stole a few lines from a few of those shows as well haha, I think to tell them I hate them is completely stolen from Futurama and I think it’s a line also in the in necro stabbing the corpse finder that’s completely just ripped off from what Roger says in American dad “didn’t you hear the puppets demons are coming to rape our skulls” and I just nicked it perfect line I was like “man I’m keeping that one”.
I think you block yourself to a certain degree if you don’t take yourself so seriously you can just let it out.
Yeah exactly I think so, the alternative would be if you really want to do something extraordinary serious and low brow or whatever, then you have to basically have a complete vision of exactly what you want to do for 10 years or something like that to sell that vision, I think for us it was a lot about the chemistry but a lot about the fact that we rehearsed three times a week because we loved playing we loved hanging out and after the rehearsal, it was weekends we went out drinking together and if you keep it that casual and you just enjoy playing then at that point if you start writing material it comes so much easier and you don’t have to force anything basically.
Are you preparing for any tour and what´s the situation there in Scandinavia?
No, the situation if you think about STERBHAUS playing tours or stuff, to be completely honest, it’s almost two years ago now, I think we went out and said that we’re putting the band to death of all the inactivity because we were involved in other things and that started this whole train about me looking at what kind of material is unreleased and I said well if we’re gonna quit the band we need to put up the last album because that needs to be recorded but then it was obvious that we hadn’t released the EP the Christmas eve physically and we had all this footage for the whole show and I wanted to put that out so it ended up me being very busy with STERBHAUS stuff anyway but I found it more fun this time and it was like more laid back and there was a little bit more interest in in the live album I’d say than when we released “New Level Of Malevolence” even though that spawned some interest it seems that the live album is really something that people really want to check out and that’s more fun if you’re looking at a perspective of what might happen in the future then I can’t really actually say much at this point, we have no tours planned definitely not and I think it comes down a little bit to what is on offer basically if someone offers us something that might be interesting we would definitely consider it and we might talk about it but doing this kind of music and as you can hear on the live album it takes so much time rehearsing so we need to be able to find the time to do the material justice if we go up on stage it has to be good again, we haven’t been rehearsing for years now so if we get any decent offers for festivals for instance we’d consider it but to be completely honest, we were paying a lot to play that’s a lot how the business looks, if get two or three hundred euros playing a festival in Germany, if you look at the costs actually traveling back and forth, you have to do quite a few of those shows on one trip in order to even break even and we were in a situation we were paying all the time to play and it becomes draining eventually when you feel like you’re investing all the time and you’re not getting too much out of it, I don’t think we’ve been putting ourselves in that situation again, if we get a decent offer and it’s doable for us we’d consider it but as it looks like right now no shows are scheduled .
Do you miss playing live?
Yes, the reason why I joined SHINING first of all, I wasn’t really asked to join the band it was more of a situation like “can you fill this the spots for all the tours and shows that we’re that we have booked and we need a bass player” and I say “yes I do it because I love playing live” so the reason to accept it was I knew some of the guys and I felt like I get along with them and I definitely want to play more live and we were in that situation where STERBHAUS wasn’t playing live at all, the band really wanted to play live but no one was booking us for whatever reason and so when I got that offer that was mainly because I really wanted to play live and I really miss it and it’s completely different playing just bass for a band that’s someone else’s band basically I’m playing someone else’s material and I really miss going out with STERBHAUS doing our stuff singing the lyrics I wrote and all that shit and that’s the completely different thing because you’re bonding with a crowd in a completely different way at that point because you’re presenting yourself more I’d say because you’re involved in the whole process music, writing lyrics and stuff, I’ve been managing the band and doing mostly producing everything that we’ve been doing and that is actually one of the reason also that we decided sort of to put the band to death because it I wanted the other people to be more involved in it but for whatever reason they found it hard to do this and it becomes difficult with the do-it-yourself situation that you’re supposed to be involved with your band you’re supposed to do everything, in the past there were labels who handled promotions and all that stuff now a band has to do a lot of that themselves which is kind of why I wrote you guys in the first place I was thinking about man I’m going to check out if these guys want to have a chat or want a review or something like that and I found that it’s actually more fun for me as well, you get a more personal contact otherwise you pay a promoter and they’re supposed to hook you up with all these people and there’s no guarantee whatsoever and so you for us we ended up paying a lot of promoters money didn’t really get anything out of it except a few reviews and what I wanted was this kind of chat.
Official website: https://www.sterbhaus.com
Official website: https://www.shininglegions.com