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Interview

Perpetual Etude Founder/Guitarist Magnus Mild Discusses Debut Album, "Now Is The Time," The Importance Of Live Shows And Being Influenced By The Eighties

It's always exciting to get discover a brand new band and to get it on the ground floor as they take off. The past decade has seen so many thrilling and fascinating artists make a name for themselves in the metal world and the 2020s, despite the obvious setbacks, have been no exception.

In less than two weeks, October 15th to be exact, another newcomer will burst onto the scene, when Swedish quintet Perpetual Etude unleash their debut album, "Now Is The Time." Though it only features eight tracks, each song is guaranteed to pack a hell of a punch and showcase the talent the group possesses. To find out more about the album, the band's formation, how big of a role eighties metal music plays in their sound and more, we caught up with the band's founder, Magnus Mild. You can watch it in full below.

Diamond Oz: The new album, “Now Is The Time” is out very soon. What I’ve heard has been great, high energy heavy metal. Do you feel you were able to take that spirit from the eighties and translate it into modern day?

Magnus Mild: Thanks very much. I don’t know really. I think it’s the music that formed me as I grew up. I’ve found that it was pretty natural, if I don’t think about writing in a certain genre, then this is the thing that comes out naturally. I think I’m so heavily influenced by the music that it’s purely from the heart that I don’t try to make it sound like this or this, it just pops out from my head.

Oz: I think that’s why it comes across so well. There’s a lot of retro bands now who just copy Maiden or Saxon, but Perpetual Etude has its own energy. As for the album itself, obviously, “Now Is The Time” is a great title for a debut album, but what does the title mean to you?

Magnus: In the beginning it started out as a smaller project. I always like to sit down, play guitar and write songs and I had a bunch of songs that didn’t suit any of the other bands, so I thought, “Why not make a demo of these songs?” So we released the first song, “I’ve Got The Power” and after that we were contacted by two labels, from which we chose to sign with Black Lodge Records and I just felt, now is the time to do something with all these songs. I’ve got a lot of songs on my computer that have never seen daylight but this time I thought, “Why not do something about this?” So it all became very clear, now is the time to do it. It all sounds pretty natural.

Oz: You mentioned signing with Black Lodge. What was it about them that made you feel it was the right label for Perpetual Etude?

Magnus: It was because I only wanted to sign up for one obligation at a time. When you’re in a few other bands and have to release albums, it becomes something you feel obligated to, Music for me is never a “have to do” thing, if you know what I mean? It’s a passion and if I’m in the mood to write a song, I can do it in a day. Sometimes it takes longer of course, but I always want to do it for my own passion, not because it feels like I have to do it. So it felt like the perfect deal for both us and Black Lodge because we’re a brand new band and they never know if people will like this. After we put out the first music video for “I’ve Got The Power,” it seemed like people might like this.

Oz: Well, it’s a really good song. It’s exciting and fun and a lot of bands nowadays think that to be fun, they have to be funny and that’s not always the case. Whereas this is serious heavy metal but there’s no way you can hear it and not smile.

Magnus: Thanks a lot. For sure, it’s deadly serious. I never thought of the music to be nostalgic or something like that. There are some elements that we wanted to bring back, but we look like any other band on stage and I don’t want to bring everything back. We just felt like, “Why not bring some of this music back?” because I miss it a lot. There’s always bands who release new and good things, but we didn’t want it to be something in honour of the genre. It’s our music and that’s how we write.

Oz: As well as “I’ve Got The Power,” you’ve done two lyric videos as well for “Once We Were One” and “Show Me.” These songs are very different from each other, and from “I’ve Got The Power.” What was it about these two songs that you felt should be chosen as singles to represent the album?

Magnus: They’re pretty wide in the spectrum and feel of the sound so I thought it was a good idea to show the whole width of the album, instead of just releasing two songs that sound the same. All the songs on the album are written with the feeling I had while writing them, so it’s all in the same sphere or spectrum of the music but all the songs are very personal and I felt these two songs were the widest apart. We’re a brand new band and nobody knows us, so I thought if we show two different songs, then maybe you can attract people from here and there.

Oz: Cool. “I’ve Got The Power” is on there as well. It’s the opening track. I think there’s only eight songs on the album, am I right?

Magnus: Yes, there’s only eight songs. We had a few more but I didn’t want to put too many songs on the album to reach a certain number because the most important thing to me was to make an album that felt solid and that you can listen to straight through without it becoming repetitive. I know sometimes when you bought a record when you were smaller, there’d be three good songs and the rest was OK but almost sounded the same, so I threw out a couple of songs because I like variety and wanted a record which was wide enough not to have any songs which sounded similar, but I promise, they’re all on the same spectrum.

Oz: As for the recording itself, were you able to get into the studio together or was this done more with file sharing?

Magnus: No, I write all the songs at home, sitting in front of the computer, using MIDI but I never want to have MIDI drums on a record. So when we booked the studio in January of 2020 to record the first six songs, Vidar recorded all the drums for the first tracks, just to get real drums and everybody re-recorded everything to get the band feeling and feel the songs and do their things with it. My goal wasn’t to make it a solo project. When we decided to make things real, I wanted everybody to participate and do their best at what they do because I’m not a bass player or a drummer. I really love all the members of the band and they’re so good at what they do. I can only play guitar and write songs. It came out pretty good, I think.

Oz: You mentioned that you recorded six songs, so I would assume that the virus put a stop to the rest of the recording for a while…

Magnus: In the beginning I just wanted to record everything, to have the starting phase of this band, before we knew that we wanted to go all in and make a whole album. But after we signed with Black Lodge Records, we felt like we had to do this, now is the time, so we recorded the other two songs in another studio in Gothenburg. As I said, I got rid of some other songs. I know nowadays there can be thirteen or fourteen songs on a record but I don’t really care about that, it’s most important that every song feels like it has a place on the record.

Oz: Yeah. I think that’s kind of another way that the band is influenced by seventies rock and eighties metal in that the album was a complete package. For the past twenty years it seems, there’s too many songs just to pad out the run time or to try and help the listener feel like they’re getting their money's worth. But like you say, you want every song to feel unique and to have its own identity and you can’t do that when it’s thirteen for the sake of thirteen songs.

Magnus: Many old albums only have like eight songs and I still love those records today. It’s not about the amount of songs. I won’t say if the quality of my songs are good but on old records, I enjoy a song so much that I don’t need like four more that sound the same.

Oz: The album also has a very cool front cover. It’s a very interesting piece of art.

Magnus: Ah yes. That was the artist Gustavo Sanchez. He’s very talented. I looked up the artists from covers that I really liked and nowadays on Facebook you can contact anybody, for better or worse and he answered and said, “Yeah sure, I can fix it for you.” So I told him my idea about the album, I sent over some old records and explained that I wanted this atmosphere and a broken hourglass in the middle and from that broken hourglass, there comes good and bad memories. He replied, “What the Hell man? I’ll do my best!” and after a few months he sent over the cover and it was stunning. He was talking about some minor changes to the cover but I was happy right away.

Oz: It’s excellent. Just finally, as we’ve mentioned, touring is kind of touch and go at the moment and obviously you have other bands as well, so what plans have you got to further promote, “Now Is The Time”?

Magnus: I really want to come out and play because I think it’s the best promotion to come out and meet the people who listen to your music. It’s the same for me. If there’s something I really like to listen to, then I want to see that live to connect with the band. It’s one thing to listen to records or hear music on your phone, but seeing a band live is everything. It’s been that way with other bands too, like with Air Raid, we always like to go out and meet fans and do what we can do for them. I think it’s the least you can do as a band; get your ass off the sofa and play!

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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