The Quintessential Quake
An interview with Soulquake System
by: Adam Wasylyk
Prior to the interview, I had heard nothing about Soulquake System. It figures, as the band has been in existence for only about two years and had been mainly confined to Europe. But no more, as Soulquake System signed a worldwide license agreement with Black Mark and now have a worldwide audience. With their debut album, _Angry By Nature, Ugly By Choice_, they demonstrate their fresh hardcore/metal sound. In their native country of Sweden, they are very active in playing gigs and coincidentally were the opening act for the Snapcase/Turmoil tour (see the Turmoil interview in this issue). I had the opportunity to talk with them about the band's rise from obscurity and the success of their new album.

As many readers may be unfamiliar with the band (as was I for the most part before the interview, knowing nothing other than what was on my trusty bio), I asked about the band's formative years and how they came to form Soulquake System. "We started about five or six years ago, but the current lineup for Soulquake System has existed for about two years now. We did some shows under a different band name, Tyburn, before [changing it to Soulquake System]. When the music had changed drastically, we thought a new name would be the best thing to do. Also, we had changed some of the lineup, too."

I then inquired on the meaning of the band's name, what Soulquake System meant. "We wanted a name so that people couldn't tell what the music sounded like. We didn't want a name that someone could say "ok, they play death metal" or "they play black metal," so we wanted a name that didn't put us into a category, and we thought Soulquake was quite intense. It more like described the music, quite heavy."

Prior to the band releasing _Angry By Nature..._, they released a demo called _Disbelief_, so I asked about its success in getting the band's name around. "I think so, we received quite a few good reviews, and many people got in touch with us and we were doing some interviews and they wanted to hear more about Soulquake System, and I think there was quite a good response on that demo." Any international attention? "Not that much, however we did get some good reviews for it with some magazines and smaller zines. We are known in Sweden, in Europe, but not America." Following the demo, Soulquake System signed to Stronium Records and started the recording process for their first album. At this time Black Mark entered the picture. I asked the band about how they came to sign with them. "It was while we were recording the album actually. They had heard the demo _Disbelief_ and they phoned us up and we talked a bit and I explained what was going on with Soulquake System at the moment. They got interested and we discussed some points; we thought this licensing agreement would be great because at the same time we were on a small label, and had the opportunity to get good distribution through a worldwide label."

I then asked what the response was for the record from fans and critics. "We haven't heard that much yet but the reaction has been very good in Europe and here in Sweden, and now we're getting some reaction from America and Canada and they've been great. We're very pleased."

Our chat turned to the lyrics on the album and what they deal with. "It's very different, it's our reaction from how we see things in life, and most of the lyrics deal with how you should make your own opinions and that people shouldn't tell you what to do, you should think for yourself. Some songs deal with racists and things like that." I asked if there's a mix of personal and political ideas within the lyrics. He agrees and goes on by saying, "Everything you do is in some way political. The lyrics aren't preachy, but they are political."

The band holds a number of strong beliefs. Along with racism, the band holds strong views against animal cruelty. One of the songs off the new album, "Info Check", will appear on a compilation that will be released by The Nordic Association Against Cruelty to Animals. "It's a strong subject for us, to be against that sort of cruelty. Two or three members of the band are vegetarians, and we feel quite strongly about it. We haven't wrote any lyrics about [animal abuse], but in private, we're sad about that."

Finally I asked if the band was on the internet, since Chronicles of Chaos is an internet e-zine. "Well, actually I just bought a computer and the other guitarist did too, and we're planning to get on the internet in about one or two months. Then we'll be chatting on the net!"

(article submitted 11/10/1996)


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