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I do not think that hard drinking gets connection with the spirit world

True extreme metal fans (who started their gloomy path in the underground in the mid-late 90's) probably remember Runemagick an authentic and very original band. These Swedes always stood apart refusing to follow the trends and for the most part staying in their own dimension. They stood out against the background of many other bands. Runemagick redefined this genre in their own way taking the classical Swedish death metal as a basis. The resulting strange hybrid of Doom and Death was permeated with an otherworldly, witchy atmosphere that evoked in memory grotesque engravings from medieval treatises on demonology. Having released "Dawn of the End" album in 2007, the band fell into deep sleep for a long 10 years. However, Runemagick woke up from a long hibernation this year and just recorded a new album with the symbolic title "Evoked from Abysmal Sleep" without pathetic announcements of the return. I think this album will be enjoyment for every fan of the band. Moreover, there is a hope that there will be new releases in the future. At least, the mastermind of Runemagick Niklas Rudolfson is optimistic, although he is rather cautious in his comments about the future of his group. In addition to possible future of Runemagick (let's cross fingers), I was able to discuss with Nicklas the nuances of the new album, the reasons for such a long break, and also learn some details from the past and present life of the band.
Hello Nicklas! How are you? And what is happening now in the dark dungeons of Runemagick?

Hello! I'm fine thanks. We rehearsed last weekend for the first time in many years.
And I just wrote a new song. That's what's happening now.

Q: Let's start with the background. The band was in hibernation for 10 years! What was the main reason? Why did you stop the bands activity for such a long period?

Mainly due to lack of inspiration, motivation and lots of other things to do. We were very active during the years 1998-2004. Then it dropped a little around 2004-2007 when it was more like a project. We did not rehearse and did not play a live. Only met when we were recording the albums (Envenom, Invocation of Magick and Dawn of the End). I think it felt a bit like it would be enough for a while. We have never quit the band. We see it more like a break.

Q: Tell me about the awakening process. When did you realize that it was the right time to return?

Around 2016/2017 we began to talk a little bit that it would be fun to do something together again. I started writing some music and we were talking about maybe recording a single. Then Daniel from Kill-Town Bookings asked us (again) to play live at Kill-Town Deathfest. This became a kick in the ass so to speak. It felt like it was time to play live again, and then we might as well take the opportunity to record and release new material. The talk about single recording became an EP that eventually became an album when we recorded.

Q: How was the recording process of the new album? Did you save the material all these 10 years, or quickly create new riffs right before the recording?

Most of the songs are written in 2017 and early 2018. Some single old riffs are also here and there. I definitely got huge inspiration when we started talking about it so it was no problem writing new songs. Actually, more songs were written than those we rec
orded. Possible that some of them will be used and recorded in the future.

Q: Has your approach to recording changed over the years? Something new? Or since the times of "Dawn of the End" nothing has changed?

I felt I did not want to continue exactly where "Dawn of the End" ended. The last albums were quite different, obscure and odd in their own way. The inspiration I got in the writing of riffs and arrangements might remind more like some of the previous older albums. It's pretty straight forward songs but still in the Runemagick style (I hope).

Q: I assure you that "Evoked from Abysmal Sleep" sounds 100% in Runemagick way. It has completely kept your branded atmosphere. But it seems to me that to some extent its closer to your earlier works. The album sounds more focused, if compared with its predecessor - "Dawn of the End". I would say that its reminded me of "Enter the Realm of Death" ...

Yes exactly, I also feel that the songs are more like some of the older albums. I've written some more longer and atmospheric songs too, but those were not recorded for the "Evoked From Abysmal Sleep" album. We actually finished a longer song and recorded a demo of it the last weekend when we met for rehearsal. Dont know if it will be used in the future. But, as said, the new album is more of the straight forward Runemagick style.

Q: Also, the new album is permeated with a sense of rebirth and return. This was reflected both in the symbolic name of the album itself, and in such songs as After the End They Rise Again, A Rising Fume of Returning Death, Wisdom Keepers Resurrected. There is a conception. Was this a conscious decision, or did it happen by itself?

You are right. It became a bit of a theme about rebirth/resurrection even if it was not planned so.

Q: Do you still consider "Darkness Death Doom" as the best Runemagick album? By the way, some of the fans said their favorite
one of the first three albums. What do you think?

Yes still think Darkness Death Doom is one of our best recordings in terms of the whole picture. On Funeral Wings is also good but the sound is not as good. Many often say that "Enter the Realm of Death" is a death/doom classic, maybe it is, what do I know, it's up to listeners to think what they want. I also like the "Enter..." album. We rehearsed some songs from that album last weekend.

Q: For many years Runemagick existed in the trio format. However, recently you took the fourth member - Jonas Blom as a second guitarist. Or rather he returned to the band, as he participated in recording the first album! How did this happen? What was the reason for this decision?

He lives near us and I have had contact with him in recent years in other music projects and constellations. When we decided to do some live gigs, we wanted to go with a second guitar player and then I thought about Jonas straight away. First, the plan was that he would only be a session member but when we met last weekend we asked if he wanted to join the band. And he wanted to. And yes, Jonas has previously been in the band but he played drums then. He played live on a European tour in the late 90's.

Q: Does this mean that you want to focus on live performances? Do you have such a desire?

We have planned to do a few gigs in 2018 and 2019 and then we'll see what's happening. We have two gigs booked this year and one next year. But we will probably do a few more if we receive requests that suit our calendars. It was long since we played live together so it will certainly feel a bit "rusty" at the beginning but we will do our best and hope we want to play more in the future.

Q: Let's go back to the past. Recently I got information that in the early years you used corpse paint and labeled your band as black metal. Is it true? Can you tell me about this?

True! Me and
Robert Reaper Pehrsson, who was in the band at that time had different sources of inspiration. Bathory was probably the greatest inspiration during that period. I think we used to call it Dark Necro Metal at some point. The band's first time was sprawling without its own identity and we mixed and change our style in songs. There is a photo session from 1991 or 1992 where we have black make-up around our eyes, so called corpse paint. We wanted look as tough as Sarcófago, Blasphemy and many others back then.

Q: The beginning of your creative activity was at the legendary days of the formation of the classic Swedish death metal. And although the main events took place in Stockholm, your hometown of Gothenburg was also considered a pole of extreme metal. Bands there played more melodic death metal, though. Well, what can you tell about those times? What do you remember?

There were a lot of small cool gigs in the late 80's and early 90's and a number of smaller record stores selling underground metal on cassette and vinyl. Some bands in the Gothenburg and Bohuslän/west coast area at that time were Grotesque, Intoxicate, Mega Slaughter, Dead End, Nosferatu, Dissection, Dark Dimension, Desecrator and some more. This was before the melodic death metal period started. My hometown during that period was Ljungskile/Uddevalla and I was in some of the first extreme metal bands from that area like Masticator, Blasfemia, Crusaders of Death, Grave Desecrator, Eternal Pain and so on...

Q: In Stockholm in the late 80's - early 90's was a cult movement called Bajsligan; from time to time people from other Swedish cities joined this underground society. Have you ever crossed paths with them? And what did you know about Bajsligan?
(Bajs this word means excrements in Swedish.)

I do not remember the term Bajsligan right now. But I remember there was a lot of bajs shit-talk in fanzines with bands like Merciless. In Gothenburg there was the infamous Bajsmannen who started to get reputation in the early 90s.

Q: Did you have in your life some event or incident that strongly influenced your attitude to reality, changed it?

Obviously, becoming a father and having children affects how to look at things in life and the future. To stop following the media, stop watching TV, stop eating shit/fast food and other crap has also influenced how to "look at life". A sense of clarity is revealed. You become more focused on creativity and to prioritize your time better in this life cycle so to speak.

Q: Can you tell me about your opinion to alcohol? What are your preferences? There is an opinion that a careful (or not sometimes) use of alcohol - an integral part of the art. )

In short, alcohol is not good for me. However, I like beer and some whiskey. BUT, it's destroying my clarity for several days if I've been drunk. Hence, I am very rarely drunk but I'm not a sober man. In my youth, there was a completely different attitude with a lot of drinking and party. Earlier it was said that alcohol was a way to get in touch with the spirit world, hence the name "spirit". Possible that it is so, but then it's probably other things that play into the connection. I do not think that hard drinking gets connection with the spirit world.

Q: A lot of Runemagicks records are released in vinyl and cassette format. These formats are more for collectors. Does it have special meaning for you?

I prefer vinyl mostly because of the large format and probably some nostalgia. But I also listen a lot via streaming. We also feel that the demand for vinyl and cassette is increasing. Maybe CD too.

Q: Can we expect that Runemagick will not again fall into an abysmal sleep and release a new album in a couple of years?

The inspiration is here, so it's not impossible that there will be another album. We'll see if our fans want it too.

Q: In closing the interview, what would you say to your loyal fans who have patiently waited 10 years for a new album, while listening to old Runemagick records again and again?

It is clearly an honor to know that people listen a lot to us and have waited for many years for a new album to come. I hope you like our new album. And if you want to hear more of us in the future, we'll make sure to write and record a sequel to Evoked From Abysmal Sleep.
29 2018
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