We’re currently loving the new King Of Asgard album Karg here at Soundscape (our review of which can be seen here), so we caught up with King Of Asgard’s bassist Jonas for a chat. See what happened below…
Thanks for the interview – could you introduce yourself and tell me a little about the band?
Thanks for supporting King of Asgard! Well that’s a long story, despite our pretty short existence. King of Asgard started, though, in short time as a continuation of the predecessor band Mithotyn. A band which both Karl and Karsten was in. The longing of getting back close to where it all (Mithotyn) ended got King of Asgard started though in a new shape and with a new approach. As time went and the band evolved and King of Asgard became a sole creation standing proud on it’s own foundation which probably also became more evident after when I joined in on bass and a creative force. Later on Lars came into picture as well.
So King of Asgard has reminiscence of what once was but took its own turns and led to something of its own yet with the past still there. And what about me, well, not much of interest really, I’ve got a long past in black and death metal movement I guess with my contribution and involvement in several bands etc so that’s basically my musical roots and still is for personal matters that is. Nowadays I put most efforts into King of Asgard as well as the band I recently joined, death metal outfit; Vanhelgd.
You recently released your new album Karg – can you tell me about the writing and recording process?
I guess the writing process comes natural and more safe these days, one just need to loosen up and reach the point of inspiration. Prior writing this album we had a pretty hard and sluggish start. Before we even found which musical path or direction to follow on Karg took really some time but whence there things went smooth and we went with that flow and tried not to act too much in terms of others expectations but rather just follow our instincts and musical hearts. So it was a struggle we had in mind but we made it I suppose though in a slight different and darker way than before.
Anyway, after getting all pieces together, some preproduction recordings and general satisfactory we for the third time around checked in at Sonic Train Studios. I guess it’s a steady relationship we’ve built up and it’s a comfortable and a somewhat safe choice as we’ve got limited recording time in the studio. We have returned to Sonic Train Studios and Andy because it is very comfortable and great to work both with him as person/engineer/co-producer as in his studio. We have built a strong partnership where both parties are pleased and work very effectively together. We are both driven to constantly take this a step further and with Andy as co-producer it gives us a lot and we push ourselves constantly to the ultimate. Andy is an awesome dude who has the right tools for us as a band to use and thus to accomplish what we want to achieve. All of our sessions at Sonic have more or less functioned the same way. They’ve just turned more professional and more effective. So I would say he brings the best out of us and push us further when we stagnate. No specific things but of great importance.
Were there any songs that were a little more difficult to get right than others?
I think for some reason Omma was the hardest one to get finalized. Much due to that we wanted it to sound stagnant in a way and get all the different atmospheres connected. It’s always much harder to keep things more stripped down and kind of monotonous than to put tons of layers in the composition. So, I would say that one. It probably sounds like one of the more less difficult ones but was both hard to write as to release and finish. Things aren’t always what they seem.
Which track are you most proud of?
I think Omma is the one most close to my heart and of personal worth. It really has something and was a struggle of achievement. It’s probably and most likely not the most catchy one but it pleases me most and is my personal satisfactory and something I’m proud of creating. Also The Runes of Hel is a really powerful and bastard of a song which I’m very proud of being part of. Every song has its thing though but these two is the most complete if I put it that way.
Funnily enough, one of my personal favourites is Omma – I like how it’s a little different to the other album tracks. Could you tell me a little more about that?
Glad you appreciate it! As you say it’s a song that different in many ways. We built this song solely on the chorus to start with and thus it turned out being quite different as we wanted it to take turns and show different moods and atmospheres. Me and Karl wrote about half each of the music for this one so that’s also something of importance when considering the song being different. We felt right away it was special and for me personally I rank it really one of the top songs. I think maybe this one has most thought behind and it’s written with intention all through and also at an early stage. This is probably the one song we most hit the spot with harsh and stripped down, really a perfect mix and still with emotion and presence.
On the lyrical part I wrote this one from a local tale on Omma (the Queen of mist) which is one of many myths and legends covering a particular mountain close to where we live, called Omberg. This mountain also being the one being depicted on the album cover.
Are there any plans for a tour in support of the album?
Unfortunately there’s no tours nor any festivals planned at this writing moment which of course is a pity. Hopefully we will be able to get out and support this one in one way or another though. For sure we really would like to give a good run with the new album that’s for sure, things does just not go our way when it comes to live presence for many reasons but might turn one day. So, hope we catch up!
If you could play a show anywhere, where would it be?
Oh, we got so much to catch up in terms of this so we are pleased with whatever really, haha. We’d like to get to all the countries where our supporters are situated first of all. Some great festivals and such as Wacken Open Air and the likes, 70000 Tons Of Metal, etc. There’s so much. Iceland and its fantastic geology would be quite something, put a setting up in and around the erupting geysers and invite friends and foe from all over the world to witness the berserk!
What’s been your best experience in the industry so far?
We’ve all in King of Asgard been in the ‘industry’ or at least the underground one for many many years with all sorts of different constellations and thus has plenty of both good and bad experience from everything and what not. What’s been the best, well, I think signing to Metal Blade was a real highlight as they’ve treated us very well and helped us out a lot and made things work smooth. The staff is really professional and we get the support we expect from them. It’s always good to work with professional and serious people, be it labels, festivals, promoters or whatever as long as it’s down to that we’re satisfied. We don’t require much, that’s for sure but we’re keen on the outcome of our relationships.
And if King Of Asgard could put its name to a product, what would it be?
Why not make your own alcoholic beverage collection? The King of Asgard berserker collection! Complete including all sorts of strong spirits as Vodka, Whiskey and Rum. Red and white wine. Beers of all sort and a Mead to fill the horns with. Approved?