english > Alex Swenson (THEN COMES SILENCE)

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A fascination of death, doom, spiritualism and corruption has gathered the members of THEN COMES SILENCE, together with a predisposition towards noiserock, goth, shoegaze and psychedelia. The band brings darkness and romantic death via music and sounds, performed on guitars at deafening volume. Cathartic, distorted and effect-laden. (taken from their bandcamp page).

You are not well known band in Croatia, so please give me a brief history of how the band started?

I've wanted to start this band for a long time, but I've been so busy with other bands and projects so I had to wait for the perfect moment. I recorded a demo last year and asked three guys I knew were going to fit for the job. You could say I head-hunted them for the band.

Everything's gone quite fast. Forming the group in the fall of 2011, signing with Novoton (the label) and recording the album. All in a 6 month's time span. We also recently received support from the Swedish Arts Council. What a blessing! That will help us go on. We're keeping our fingers warm and I have started working on the next album. No rest.

Describe Your Music in 4 words?

Someone told me the record sounds like: "…it will burn up"

Your debut album is now out. How are you satisfied with the album?

I think we couldn't have done it better. I prefer short albums.
The idea is to lure and pull the listener's attention to the album the first 5 - 6 tracks and then make them cave in and follow us into the apocalyptic final on "To The Bone (We Are Doomed)".

Why the whole mystery about hiding group members?

We are not secret members, we just don't go public with our names. The music, sound, titles and lyrics should be far more interesting than the members. I want you to create your own image of the band. We don't wear masks. This it's not Slipknot or GWAR.
Everything is so exposed nowadays. Isn't it more exciting if you don't know everything about a band? And, if you need to know, you can always find out somehow.

Do you play live? Do you hide yourselves on the stage?

Yes, we play live. That was one of the main things about the band. I prefer playing in front of a crowd than doing sessions in the studio. We've had a couple of gigs already. We try to go thru the visual details with the in-house technicians at the venues before the performances. It's important we get backlighting, specific colors and smoke. We also bring our own smoke machines for the show.

What do you do when you're not with the band?

I try to spend more time together with my family.

Tell us something about the Swedish scene?

This is my opinion, I think Sweden's got one of the most fruitful gardens in the music world and we don't realize it ourselves. We've got great indie, shoegazing, dream popping, drone loving bands, as well as we have a big metal scene and great melody-makers on the mainstream market. Right now it seems to be an interesting scene emerging, with darker bands choosing to stay anonymous. I don't know why, but it feels right.
Swedish press is extremely poor and unified. Same crap on all radio stations and in all media. I guess it's the same everywhere. If you like to hear new music you will have to rely on the blogs and band forums.

Since we're at the end of the year, can you do your Top 5 albums, songs, movies, books…?

1. Daybreak, a graphic novel by Brian Ralph
Released in 2011, but I discovered it this year in Austin at SXSW.
A captivating and interactive book with a post-apocalyptic theme.

2. Hunger Games, a film by Gary Ross

3. The Seer, an album by Swans

4. The Stooges, live in Stockholm in August 2012
It's amazing that Iggy and his friends still can show us how to rock n roll.

5. Cyrk, an album by Cate le Bon

Well, the new one can't compete with her first album "Me Oh My", but anyway…

Which do you prefer, CD, vinyl or mp3?

Vinyl of course and I'm learning to like streamed music. You can't beat the growing streamed system. Join it.

Now we have myspace, facebook, twitter, last fm… and other social networks? What is your opinion on services like that?

An artist can't survive without the networking part. If you don't like connecting it's hard for you to reach out. Pushing the "Like" button on a Facebook band page is like joining a club or something. That's nice! But, it's important to keep a fine balance with all the updating. Sometimes it's close to spam.

Well, MySpace definitely died about 3 years ago. It's a shame. I loved the old MySpace.
It was great to keep everything at the same place. All the info you need, the most important songs and special versions of various outtakes. Every band was a part of it. If you were lucky, you could chat with David Bowie and listen to a small unsigned and unknown band from the north without a name. It was easy to control and all the pages had an ugly design, but we all had the same lousy conditions and tools.

Now it's a full-time job keeping all the different social networks running. You can't only stick to one of them. Shame on you MySpace-Tom. Getting greedy and selling the best band network to someone who couldn't care less.

What do you listen when you're at home, on tour, right now…?

I have a rock n roll heart and I adore good pop tunes. I still listen to bands like Black Sabbath, Ramones, Joy Division and The Black Angels.
The last couple of years I discovered new exciting paths in the brushy forest of music… I'm more into classical music. Especially the 19th century and the early 20th century. From Offenbach to Tchaikovsky and Saint-Saens to Pärt. I'm getting lost more and more, deeper and deeper in that world. Love it.

Tell me something I would never guess about you?

I like Lana del Rey.

Thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else you'd like to say to our readers?

I've been to Croatia. It's a beautiful country. Hope to play there someday too.

pedja // 26/12/2012


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