Over the Edge of Sanity
CoC chats with Dread of Edge of Sanity
by: Gino Filicetti
It's been six issues since we've last heard from Edge of Sanity, and all the things Dan Swano promised for the band's new album have come true. Edge of Sanity have now released their newest record entitled _Crimson_ which is a 45-minute, one-track opus of epic proportions. The band manages to capture all the elements that make Edge of Sanity what they are in one song that never bores you, never loses you, and never ceases to amaze you. Chronicles of Chaos sat down with a new face this time around, guitarist Andreas Axelsson a.k.a. Dread (the rest of the band consists of Dan Swano, vocals and rhythm guitars, Anders Lindberg, bass, Sami Nerberg, guitars, and Benny Larsson, drums). Here is what Andreas had to say.

CoC: So what's up? What have you guys been up to lately?

Andreas Axelsson: Well, you know, drinking beer. <laughs> Our singer just got married this Saturday so we had a big party, and we made an album as you probably know.

CoC: Are you just going to take it easy and not do anything until your next record?

AA: Well, we're going on tour on the 25th of May in Germany for nine days only. That's what we're geared up to do in the near future. I've also talked to a lot of people from the States today, and they say they want us over there. All I can say is that I want to go! <laughs> I have to talk to Dan and we'll see about that.

CoC: Have you ever been to America?

AA: Not with Edge of Sanity. I've been to America with my mother and sister once. We went to New York and Philidelphia, it was really cool and I would love to go over there and play.

CoC: How different do you think it is from where you come from?

AA: Oh! It's like night and day. The place where I live is a little out in the country kind of town. Everybody knows each other, everybody fucks each other. <laughs> But in the States it's just so damn big, I mean, I'm just a small town boy and when walked around over there, I was amazed.

CoC: I talked to Dan about six months ago, and he said you guys don't really like to tour. Is that true?

AA: No. Well you know him, he's got his studio and all that. It's his work so what can you do? It's booked until February of next year, so he doesn't really have much time to tour.

CoC: What do you think of Dan being tied up in his studio all the time? Wouldn't you like it better if he had more time to tour and spend with the band?

AA: Well, we've had some bad experiences touring. The last time was in Germany. All we had was a little car for all five of us, and in some of the places we only had five people watching us. That was the first real tour for Dan and ourselves, so he was a little bit disappointed about the whole touring thing, but I'll go on tour, just say the word. <laughs>

CoC: About the new record, was it totally Dan's idea to have the one epic track or was it a group thing?

AA: It was Dan's idea, but the whole band supported it 100%, it was a really cool idea. What I like best about it is the fact that it's never been done before, at least not in death metal. The thing is that EVERYTHING is in that song. We have the mellow parts, the really heavy parts, the grind parts, it's all there, just like an Edge of Sanity record should be. The fact that it's only one song makes it a little more exciting or a little more strange. I think it's strange that time flies so fast when you listen to it. You think you've just listened to a ten-minute song, and forty minutes have passed!

CoC: Does everyone in the band enjoy creating music on the spur of the moment?

AA: Actually, this time it was a new experience for us. It was a new way of working because the whole band really did this album. Before it was mostly me and Dan that wrote all the lyrics and the music, but this time the whole band created it. It was really cool, a great way to work.

CoC: What do you think makes _Crimson_ special besides its length?

AA: It's got a lot of variation. I mean, you got your gothic parts, and you have acoustic guitars, you have cello parts, you have some symphonic parts. The whole feel of it was so different, we didn't put any boundaries on where we could go, we just let it flow, and put everything on it. We had normal vocals, death vocals, bright vocals, and Mike [Akerfeldt] of Opeth doing the black metal style. It's got it all, that's what I think.

CoC: Tell me about the lyrics to the song. What is the story about? I found it confusing.

AA: It's like a futuristic tale. When Dan and I sat down and talked about this world we were going to create, we made it far into the future, as if the world had died a thousand times. The women can no longer give birth and the whole human race is facing extinction. Then a little girl comes and... read the lyrics man! <laughs> I'm so bad at English, it's really hard to explain, but it's all there.

CoC: Tell me about the extra musicians you brought in and why you chose them?

AA: Well, Mike from Opeth is a close friend, and we wanted to use him because he's got some really great vocals. He's got the really high-pitched black metal screams and we wanted that for the grind parts on the album to make it extra brutal. As far as the cello goes, none of us can play the cello and we wanted a real cello, not a synthesized one, so we had to bring in a cello player.

CoC: The album has been out for almost a month. What kind of response have you gotten?

AA: We've gotten great responses so far. I've talked to the Black Mark people in Germany and they were telling me how good the reviews are in the German magazines. It's sold great in Sweden and got excellent reviews in the big music magazines in Sweden. We couldn't really be any happier. I heard we sold 2000 copies in one month, in one store! We are on the top selling charts above bands like Sepultura. It feels unreal when you are above a band that's inspired you to play music.

CoC: What is Edge of Sanity going to do for their next albums? What can possibly top this?!

AA: We'll be going back to basics. We've talked about it this week and we will probably do more of a rock n' roll kind of album. We'll still be death metal though. We aren't going a Paradise Lost kind of thing like start singing normal or anything, but we are going back to basics. Also, we'll be recording it in another studio so that Dan doesn't have as much pressure on him. For _Crimson_ he played guitar, he sang, he produced it, and he mixed the album, but for the new album we'll be going into a new studio so he can relax a bit. <laughs>

CoC: Do you have any other side projects?

AA: Yeah, of course! I play in eleven other bands. I live in a little town and I'm unemployed and the only thing to do is go out on weekends and get drunk and on the working days, just rehearse with all the bands that you're in. I have a lot to do. <laughs> None of these other bands are signed, but we have one punk band called Lucky Seven, and we're signed to a little label in the town where I'm from. We've already put out one album, and we'll be putting out a mini CD soon. But it's nothing big, just an underground punk band.

CoC: What do you think of Dan and all his other side projects?

AA: I think it's cool! I think it's good for Edge of Sanity. This way it doesn't get too weird with Edge of Sanity. We are a heavy, death metal band so maybe it's good that all our influences don't go into Edge of Sanity. I think it would sound strange if my punk influences went into Edge of Sanity or if Dan's pop influences went in. So I think side projects are great.

CoC: How long do you think Edge of Sanity will last? Do you see an end in sight?

AA: Not really. I think we can go on forever! <laughs> There's no one that wants to quit the band, we've never talked about it. Edge of Sanity is the kind of band that if one of us stops, the whole band will stop.

(article submitted 10/5/1996)

1/1/1998 A Bromley Edge of Sanity: On With the Saga
4/9/1997 P Azevedo Edge of Sanity: Swano's Edge
11/8/1995 G Filicetti Edge of Sanity: On the Edge of Complete Conquest
9/29/2003 C Flaaten 9 Edge of Sanity - Crimson II
11/17/1997 A Bromley 8 Edge Of Sanity - Cryptic
4/9/1997 D Schinzel 7 Edge of Sanity - Infernal
4/18/1996 G Filicetti 9 Edge of Sanity - Crimson
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