Unleashed's Anders Schultz Talks New Album "Odalheim"
The Swedish death metal vikings in Unleashed dropped new album "Odalheim" last month, which is preparing the metal masses for the coming changes after Ragnarök as the world is born anew.
If you haven't had a chance to hear the hymns of the new age dawning, or even if you've already taken the death metal beating offering by the album and risen again, drummer Anders Schultz dived into the creation of "Odalheim" with Metalunderground.com to let fans see further into the process.
In the full interview available below, Anders discusses recording the album at guitarist Fredrik Folkare's Chrome Studios, staying true to himself and his art over 20 years, the Swedish metal scene, and even the recent trend of releasing lyric clips over full music videos.
xFiruath: Musically, how would you compare “Odalheim” to “As Yggdrasil Trembles” or your other earlier albums?
Anders: It's a definite progression of our sound as well as a more aggressive and furious record this time around actually. But in comparison to the past few albums it's as I said basically just taking it one more step forward.
xFiruath: When did the writing for these songs take place and how does Unleashed generally write material?
Anders: We are constantly writing and this has been the process for a long time now. As soon as an album is done, writing starts and just grows and moves forward with time. Actually, sometimes riffs that have haven’t worked out for a previous song or album might get thrown back in the mix on a later one.
xFiruath: What specific themes and moods are you trying to create with the lyrics and music on “Odalheim,” and what sort of pictures do you hope the music will paint in the listener’s head?
Anders: Well the lyrics are a whole concept, of what will happen after ragnarök and the music is to be the soundtrack of this whole event and story.
xFiruath: Where did the recording sessions take place, and do you guys hole up in a studio far from home to record straight through or do you stay closer to where you live so you can head home at night?
Anders: We recorded again in our own Fredrik’s Chrome studios. We all live a bit spread out but we don't feel the need to travel and hole up somewhere to record. Better to be able to handle everyday life while still recording. Having the luxury of having our own studio means less pressure, or rather the only pressure is from ourselves to perform.
xFiruath: There seems to be a trend lately of record labels putting out lyric videos instead of shooting full music videos. What do you think of this shift, and will Unleashed be doing any music videos for this album?
Anders: Yeah we've noticed this. Don’t really have any special opinion on this, but it seems understandable. In order for us to make a proper video that would be on the level to do the song and theme justice, the budget would just be too high. So this is an easy way to spread the word without going bankrupt I guess, haha.
xFiruath: What do you think of the metal scene in Sweden and how is Unleashed received there?
Anders: It's a constant here I believe. Always growing, and more so now than ever it seems. It's funny, we used to be for the longest time like the black sheep in our own home scene so to speak. Never really figured why, and never really cared. But in any case nowadays it seems we are well received and given due credit.
xFiruath: Unleashed has been around for more than 20 years now. What would you say has been the most important lesson you’ve learned in music over those years of performing and recording?
Anders: Hard to say really. I guess one thing we've learned...or proved, actually, is the fact that it pays off in the long run to keep true to yourself and to what you do. That's why we're still here.
xFiruath: Have you been to any great concerts lately or seen anything crazy in the pit in recent memory?
Anders: I traveled to London the other week to see Boltfest, with Bolt Thrower, Autopsy, Discharge, etc. That was a brilliant show and the whole weekend was more or less crazy...
xFiruath: Where is Unleashed heading out on tour in the near future?
Anders: At the moment we are focusing on playing as many festivals as possible and will try to hook up some touring in support of the new album in the fall.
xFiruath: What albums and bands are you digging lately, and do you specifically listen to or avoid specific types of music while writing/recording?
Anders: We don't avoid anything special whilst writing and such. As I said, writing goes on for years constantly so that would be hard. That latest Vektor and Vomitory albums are examples of stuff I been listening to lately.
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