DISMEMBER Guitarist On The Art Of Making Death Metal

April 30, 2008

Sweden's DISMEMBER is featured on the cover of the June/July issue of Metal Maniacs. In an interview conducted by Nathan T. Birk, guitarist David Blomqvist discusses the band's history, signature sound and new, self-titled album. Excerpts follow:

Metal Maniacs: The album was recorded, from what I understand, in like 12 days. But I guess you guys always record pretty quickly?

David Blomqvist: We try not to be in the studio too long [laughs]. I mean, we play death metal. You put down the drum tracks and then the guitars and the vocals. There's not much to fix, really. It's still death metal.

Metal Maniacs: It baffles me when I hear about bands death metal bands in particular, or extreme metal bands in general taking months and months in a studio, to supposedly "record." It's like, "you're a band, right? Plug in your instruments and play." That's what a "band" is.

David Blomqvist: I can say right from my heart and sorry to sound big-headed or whatever but I hate these kinds of bands. They think they're so fucking important to stand there in the studio for four months, to make what they think is "death metal." These people are posers to me. If you say "death metal," I think you should be able to play it in a month or a month and a half or something. The same goes for black metal.

Metal Maniacs: I've always wondered how you and really meaning you now, as you're the last founding member and one-half of the guitar tandem get that totally gutted, annihilating tone to the DISMEMBER sound. It's become DISMEMBER.

David Blomqvist: [Laughs] You have to have a lot of distortion on it. There's no secret, honestly. There are a lot of people, actually in the States for some reason [laughs], who always ask us questions about that guitar sound. You just have a Peavey or, in my case, a Marshall amp, and you plug it in with this Heavy Metal Box distortion. That's it no effects or anything like that.

Metal Maniacs: Do you think it maybe comes down to how you play, too?

David Blomqvist: It could be a bit like that. I don't know if I could play a DISMEMBER song without that sound [laughs]. We've had it forever.

Metal Maniacs: And you haven't recorded at Sunlight Studio for a few albums now, so it's not necessarily that "Sunlight sound," as eternally cool as that is.

David Blomqvist: Exactly. Most of the albums recorded in Sunlight sound quite similar, but it's nothing to do with the studio, that guitar sound. If you listen to later ENTOMBED albums, they don't even use these pedals anymore. But if you remember the Masters Of Death tour over in Europe it was us, GRAVE, UNLEASHED and ENTOMBED I actually asked [ENTOMBED guitarist] Alex [Hellid], "why don't you guys have the Heavy Metal pedal anymore?" And he was like, "naaaaaah" or something like thatI don't remember his exact answer well, "never mind." With DISMEMBER, at least I'm conservative enough to use it [laughs].

Metal Maniacs: Fred's not on the new record [Note: Now-former drummer Fred Estby was a co-founder of DISMEMBER along with Blomqvist, and both were previously in CARNAGE together]. Is it a fairly friendly departure?

David Blomqvist: Oh yes. The thing is with Fred, he was just honest. He called me and said, "I'm sorry. I can't do tours anymore and things like that. I have three kids, and it's just not possible anymore." There is no bad blood or anything.

Metal Maniacs: Considering you're the last founding member, you're sorta the "holder of the key" of how the DISMEMBER sound should be and how it should continue. Now, you said you're conservative in that regard as a songwriter, how do you go about being "conservative" whilst not repeating yourself?

David Blomqvist: It's very hard, actually. After you've written a few songs and the album is done, you think, "ugh! Now I can't make any more AUTOPSY-like riffs [laughs]!" Or MAIDEN guitar harmonies or whateverbut then, after two years, we record a new album and oops! There, I found a few more basic riffs in the drawer [laughs].

The June/July issue of Metal Maniacs is on sale now.

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