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Interview

Heave Blood And Die Guitarist Karl Løftingsmo Pedersen Talks New Album, "Post People," The Pandemic And Recycling

Metal music has never been a stranger to tackling serious issues. The likes of Sepultura, Megadeth, System Of A Down and Ministry to name a few have written plenty of songs about corruption, slave trafficking, genocide, the environment and the dangers of nuclear capabilities. Now more than ever, it's important to continue to speak up about the perils we face as a species and fortunately, a number of young bands are continuing this approach.

One such band hails from the culturally rich city of Tromsø in north Norway; Heave Blood And Die. Despite their somewhat grizzly name, their music combines doom metal with lush melodies and landscapes, in addition to superb musicianship and a philosophy which isn't afraid of stepping on some toes to get their point across.

Recently, I had the opportunity to put some questions to guitarist/vocalist Karl Løftingsmo Pedersen about the band's brand new album, "Post People," which is out now. You can read the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: Congratulations on your new album, "Post People". What would you say makes this different from "Vol. II"?

Karl Løftingsmo Pedersen: Thank you! I think the main difference between the two records is that Post People is more unique, it brings on more experimenting with both the composition and the sonic adventure, it feels like a breath of fresh air for us.

Oz: The studio where you recorded the album looked very beautiful with great windows overlooking the outside. Did the natural landscape outside help shape the song writing on this album?

Karl: Being isolated with only music equipment on an island by the coast of the western part of Norway surely must have done something for the music, I guess the most important part for us when recording the album was to get away from the anxieties and stress of everyday life. I don't think it would have turned out the same if we recorded it in say Oslo.

Oz: How much did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the recording and release of "Post People"?

Karl: The day Norway went into lockdown in the middle of March last year, I was at my girlfriend's father's place in Stavanger, I was supposed to take the train to Oslo and meet Kjetil and Karin from Årabrot and have a chat about recording the album in their home in Djura in Sweden, which is a beautiful church turned into a studio. I jumped on the train and halfway there I got the news that they couldn't pass over the border. That was a big bummer, but the record turned out really nice any how. I imagine the record would have ended up quite different if Kjetil produced the record alongside our go-to man Ariel, maybe it would be more synthy and less “organic” than it is now. Also Ocean Sound is a really good “professional studio”, while Djura is a big church room so the sound of the record would be completely different. Maybe we`ll hang out with Kjetil for our next album!

Oz: I really like the artwork for this album. It's beautiful yet somewhat stark. Who created the art and how well do you believe it represents the music within?

Karl: My girlfriend did the artwork! Her name is Annika Linn Verdal Homme, she plays in a band called Daufødt where she also does the artwork. I think it very much represents the music, it was created with a lot of experimentation with printers and the base idea was to mess around with shapes that together make up a sphere that could represent a world divided and broken.

Oz: "Post People" is something of a revolution physically too, being made on recycled vinyl. Was it a challenge to create something like this and do you believe that this will become the norm for vinyl releases?

Karl: I`m not entirely certain about the process of making recycled vinyl, but I think they melt old vinyls and press the records as normal, it comes with a no colour guarantee so you don't know what you get, but it's not likely it would end up just black. Ours came out a dark greenish brown, I think it looks great!

Oz: The band has become known for its philosophical lyrics. What subjects are tackled on the new album?

Karl: "Post People" started as a concept we talked about together as a group, the more we discussed the topic, the more it turned out to it could possibly be so many different things:

A fictional universe deprived of an established society, a post-apocalyptic universe of sorts, which the concept “Post People” very much is. It would be humankind as a whole transcending modern society, leaving capitalism behind, laying waste to non justified authority, achieving the climate neutral goal, equality for all and ending the war on drugs. It's a fixation on the concept of time, a literal view on the idea that everything that ever happened and ever will happen
is happening right now. Why do we not feel sadness thinking about the death of Alexander The Great, but we can feel sadness when some distant celebrity is announced dead. Why are past atrocities less sad than modern atrocities?

Oz: Of course, the pandemic has hit the music industry hard and slowed down live shows immensely. Does the band have any plans for any socially distanced or livestream shows to help promote the record?

Karl: We have a couple of digital things planned but I don't know if I can talk about them yet, so I'll play it safe and say that one is an American festival and one is for an established youtube based music session show. We have a tour booked for Norway, but it's hard to say how much of it we'll be able to do.

Oz: Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with me today and I wish you all the best for "Post People."

Karl: Thank you, it was a pleasure!

"Post People" is available to buy now through the band's official bandcamp.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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