Growing To Become the 'Perfect' Metal Band
by: Adrian Bromley
Stockholm's Dismember surfaced during the late-80's thrash/death metal wave that was on its way out of the gutter and into the mainstream. Bands like Slayer, Napalm Death, Death, Overkill and Megadeth were happening and metal's following was on the up and up.

Nowadays, those bands are still plugging away, and almost seven years later Dismember is still around and still delivering those sturdy, metallic riffs that ooze with strength and persistence, a sound that has been associated with Dismember ever since the band's inception (circa 1988 - demos and all) and release of their well-received debut album _Like An Ever Flowing Stream_ in 1991.

The band's sophomore album _Indecent and Obscene_ showed us a much more direct band that was willing to mold into the 'perfect' band whether it be by touring, recording or success.

The album did well but didn't escalate the band to heights that the band wanted to reach with their second outing. Now with their third full length effort (the band released a 3-song CD-EP entitled _Casket Garden_ in February), _Massive Killing Capacity_, Dismember is hoping to stir up some of the intrigue and notoriety that their debut album brought them. Drummer Fred Estby explains the band's transition from album two to three. "I think there has been a lot more involvement and input from all the members of the band this time around. Not that it wasn't like that before, but while making this album the guys in the band did a lot more writing." He adds, "I also think we have brought in influences from the 'old school of metal.'"

But in order for a band like Dismember to see more success, exposure or change, is it necessary to showcase their influences within their music? "We have always shown our influences in our music," explains Estby, "but not to the extent that we have with this album."

The band, also featuring vocalist Matti Karki, guitarists David Blomqvist and Robert Senneback, and bassist Richard Cabeza, has grown over the years through line-up changes, European tours and recording. The one element that has managed to stay the same since the release of _Like ..._ is the working conditions of the band while recording.

Amazingly enough the band has always worked with good friend/producer Tomas Skogsberg, always assisting in twiddling the knobs while shacked up in the famous Sunlight Studios (home to other bands such as Entombed and Grave) to record their albums. Do these two elements help shape the sound of Dismember? "Yes they do," he answers. "It was there (Sunlight Studios) that we found our sound and with him (Skogsberg) we were able to develop our sound. He was very easy to work with and always has been helpful adding ideas."

Working to keep the Dismember sound, going into the studio, what did the band want to come out showing the metal buying public? "We wanted to show people that we kept our sound and that we went another step further. We tried to do a wide album, to show people that we can do different types of songs and still sound like Dismember. We also wanted a better sound." Describing the album, Estby says, "This is an intense wide album."

With such a set plan going into the studio and several releases under their belts, you'd think that this album was a breeze to put together. Not the case. "It was more work to do this album but it felt right," says Estby with sincerity. "We took a lot more time to record (9 months - but he says it was in two week spurts) but it was great."

He concludes, "It was great that we took so long to do the album to have it sound great but it was also frustrating not to have an album out when we should have had one out."

Plans to get back into the studio faster next time around? Estby provides some insight on new material. "We have already been talking about releasing an EP in November because it has been a while between albums and we don't like it that way."

Any ideas on the direction the band will take with newer material? "Sound wise we want to make the songs sound different from each other. We want an album that will show off what we can do."

Breaking away from the work put into _Massive Killing Capacity_, the discussion of the interview turns to the role of metal and the direction that it is following. Estby adds his views on metal: "There are so many different kinds of metal out there. Just watch heavy metal shows like Headbanger's Ball and you can see how it has changed. I hear that a lot of people are saying metal is a dying breed or being written off and that isn't true. It seems to be that the harder music is gaining more press and selling more these days than ten years back. There are so many bands out there doing so well."

What was or has been the hardest period of time (within the eight years of their existence) that they have had to face? He begins, "The first album did well and sold more than people had expected it to do. That was the easy time. The hardest time was when the _Indecent And Obscene_ album didn't do as well as the first album and that we had a lot of time between those albums. And despite the strong support that we are getting from our label (Nuclear Blast Germany) a lot of people are telling us that this is a win or lose album, so I guess that that would make the time leading up to the album being the hardest thing we have seen since forming," he says

But this band has been fortunate, unlike some metal bands out there sludging through all the hassles just to get recognized or develop a following. "I think that when we started out we wanted to sell lots of albums and tour and that is what happened to us. We were able to see it come true and we were happy. I think there are a lot of bands that should have the same opportunities that we had. We've never earned a lot of money from our albums, and we haven't sold a million records, but being able to go out and tour, to talk to people and be able to play music in front of lots of people from the six tours in Europe (and one US tour) we have done, the experience has been worth it."

Any word of advice or ideas to knock some sense into the heads of those that say metal is dead? "I'm not really sure of what has to happen to bring back more interest in metal but perhaps people shouldn't think too much about what the big masses think or listen to. I think when people hear music, they can tell if the band is doing it because they like it or if they are out to make money. I think people who write music need to be honest first."

Finishing up, Estby adds, "I think we are honest and our music shows it."

(article submitted 2/9/1995)

8/6/2004 P Schwarz Dismember: Indifferent and Content
8/12/2000 P Schwarz Dismember: Dissecting a Decade of Dismemberment
4/13/2008 J Smit 8.5 Dismember - Dismember
3/26/2006 T DePalma 7 Dismember - The God That Never Was
3/14/2004 P Schwarz 8 Dismember - Where Ironcrosses Grow
3/5/2000 A Bromley 9.5 Dismember - Hate Campaign
9/14/1997 P Schwarz 9 Dismember - Death Metal
9/2/1995 G Filicetti 8 Dismember - Massive Killing Capacity
8/12/2000 P Schwarz Dismember / Akercocke / Infestation / Regorge Scotland Skinned Alive
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