Intervjui

AT THE GATES - Kako se legende bore sa stvarnošću?
12.06.2016. | |

Kada ste jedni od začetnika nekog muzičkog žanra, a vaši kultni albumi s početka karijere bukvalno su spasili taj žanr od izumiranja tokom devedesetih godina prošlog veka, karijera vam uz nekoliko pauza i mnogo projekata sa strane traje već 26 godina i posvetili ste život muzici koju stvarate - da li je to dovoljno da vas smatraju legendama? Pitajte bilo kojeg ljubitelja ili poznavaoca death metal zvuka na svetu da vam nabroji nekoliko najznačajnijih bendova za nastanak ovog žanra i AT THE GATES će biti jedan od njih. Borba sa duhovima realnosti nikome od nas nije laka, pa ni onima koji tu borbu iskazuju kroz muziku koju stvaraju. Da li je muzički kanal kroz koji izbacuju svoju energiju olakšica ili veliki teret, koliko je teško, ili možda lako, vratiti se onome što ste radili pre čak 20 godina, opstati kao jedan od legendarnih začetnika žanra u kojem svirate i vratiti se na velika vrata (ili kapije)? O svemu ovome je za naš magazin pričao frontmen benda At the Gates Tomas "Tompa" Lindberg, pred njihov dolazak na Petrovaradinsku tvrđavu i Exit festival 10. jula.

Za početak, hajdemo odmah na najvažnije pitanje za nas ovde u Srbiji. Vidim da vam je raspored turneje prilično popunjen za letnju festivalsku sezonu, a takođe dolazite i u Srbiju, što je bila jedna od najboljih vesti ove godine za vaše fanove ovde. Exit festival je postao jedan od najvećih u Evropi tokom proteklih godina, šta očekujete od nastupa ovde u Novom Sadu?
Tomas: Poslednji put kad smo došli sa At the Gates, mislim da je bilo još devedesetih. Vraćao sam se ja kasnije u Srbiju sa drugim bendovima, a publiku pamtim kao srčanu i uvek punu energije. Prošlo je zaista mnogo vremena otkad nismo bili tamo kod vas i jedva čekamo da se sretnemo sa našim starim fanovima. Takođe, čuli smo i mnogo dobrih stvari o festivalu, tako da mislimo da će Exit biti jedna od svetlih tačaka za nas ovog leta.

At the Gates / photo: Andy Hayball

A sad drugo najvažnije pitanje, naravno o vašem poslednjem studijskom albumu "At War with Reality". Izašao je pre oko godinu i po dana i znam da vam je verovatno preselo da konstantno pričate o svakom njegovom detalju, ali da li mi samo možeš opisati kakav je bio osećaj vratiti se i ponovo zakucati na te kapije?
Tomas: Mislim da je ovo najvažniji album koji je iko od nas ikad uradio, u tom smislu. Naravno, znali smo da će se album žestoko ocenjivati i da će ga svi porediti sa ranijim izdanjima. Podrazumeva se da smo mi sada potpuno drugačije osobe, tako da je trebalo poprilično smelosti i hrabrosti da donesemo odluku da uradimo novi album. Kada smo dobili mnogo dobrih recenzija, kao na primer od tebe, a i u muzičkim prodavnicama je prodaja počela dobro, sve je delovalo sjajno.

Ali, ono što je nama bilo najbitnije jeste to da su pesme odlično primljene uživo. Kad smo krenuli na turneju skoro pola seta su činile nove pesme, rame uz rame sa našim klasicima, da tako kažem, i sve su prošle odlično. Bili smo zaista srećni i mislim da imamo najbolje fanove na svetu, jer su istinski pokušali da razumeju zbog čega smo napravili album. Nije bilo lako razumeti, a i sam album je nekako prilično kompleksan, svakako kompleksniji od na primer "Slaughter of the Soul".

Trebalo vam je 19 godina da se vratite, a kada sam čuo tu vest samo sam poželeo da taj novi album ne bude "Slaughter of the Soul – Part II", ako znaš na šta mislim. Potrebno je mnogo smelosti za tako nešto, da se distancirate od vaših legendarnih izdanja i stvorite nešto drugačije i sveže. Novi album je odlično primljen od strane medija, kritičara i publike. Možeš li nam malo više približiti ove utiske o albumu, jer ste vi mogli da ih čujete iz prve ruke na nastupima i festivalima? Šta kažu fanovi? Da li ga i dalje porede sa starim izdanjima?
Tomas: Da, u pravu si. Kao što sam već spomenuo, album je primljen zaista dobro i time smo veoma zadovoljni. Nije dobro prošao samo kada su prodaja i medijska pokrivenost u pitanju, već su i fanovi na koncertima to pokazali svojim entuzijazmom i uključivanjem u nove pesme na nastupima. Kada pominješ poređenje sa starim albumima, toga i nema toliko jer smo mi sada jednostavno drugačiji ljudi, i publika to shvata. Prošlo je skoro 20 godina i svašta se izdogađalo u međuvremenu, odrasli smo, imamo svoje svakodnevne poslove i druge projekte van benda, ali se ipak uvek trudimo da napredujemo i stvaramo nešto novo i nadograđeno na ono prethodno.

Fanovi znaju nove pesme, delovalo je kao da su ih odmah upili i prihvatili iako je ovo daleko kompleksniji album od svega što smo dosad uradili. Kada bih ja bio u situaciji da moram da uporedim novi album sa starim izdanjima, iako je to poprilično nezahvalno, albumi s početka naše karijere su snažniji, grublji, suroviji, dok je novi album mračniji i više okrenut kompleksnosti i atmosferi.

At the Gates - At War with Reality recenzija

Neću te pitati famozno pitanje o tih nekoliko pauza i prekida koje ste imali u prošlosti, ali mi samo reci da li osećate da su te stvari na neki način naštetile bendu ili vas je to samo učinilo jačim?
Tomas: Mislim da nas je to ipak ojačalo, učvrstilo celu ekipu jer smo sada mnogo zreliji. Prošlo je toliko godina i pošto smo se družili i viđali bukvalno smo odrasli zajedno, tako da je to zaista čvrsta hemija uzajamnog poštovanja. Kad smo prestali sa radom mislim da smo imali oko 22 godine i sada smo već zaista nedostajali jedni drugima, tako da sad ne možemo prestati svirati i stvarati novu muziku.

Nešto neobično proizlazi iz ove vaše duge pauze, jer ste došli u situaciju da sada na koncertima svirate pred ljudima koji još nisu bili ni rođeni kada je vaš prvi album izašao. Kako se današnje turneje i nastupi razlikuju od onih od pre, na primer, 15 ili više godina? Koje su najveće razlike koje primetite u publici na svojim nastupima, upoređujući sad i nekad?
Tomas: U pravu si, to su sada potpuno drugi i mlađi ljudi, ali ima tu još uvek i onih starih fanova. Totalno je drugačija atmosfera na koncertima, drugačije su i emocije. Tokom devedesetih je sve nekako bilo sirovije i agresivnije, a scena i publika su bile daleko manje. Tada je bilo bitnije pokazati stav i energiju, pokazati zube problemima u društvu, jednostavno je bilo drugačije vreme, dok je sada važnije odgovoriti na pregršt različitih stilova ljudi koji su došli na vaš koncert, što je takođe sjajan izazov.

Deluje da je scena ranije bila jača, jer je u Švedskoj bilo jedva oko 30 ljudi koji su bukvalno bili underground death metal scena. Svi su se znali, držali se zajedno i to je ono što nam je bilo bitno - imali smo našu zajednicu koju smo izgradili sami, iako smo bili autsajderi i drugačiji od drugih. Sada je ovaj osećaj zajedništva drugačiji, ali je on i dalje jak, tako da ipak mislim da je sada scena daleko jača. Razvila se toliko da sada svaki grad u Švedskoj ima svoju lokalnu metal scenu, što je predivno jer daje raznovrsnost muzici i žanrovima. Ranije ste morali više da se borite za svoju muziku, dok je sada uz tehnologiju i internet sve dostupnije i jednostavnije.

At the Gates / photo: Andy Hayball

Zastrašujuće je kad pomislim da sam rođen samo dve godine pre nego što ste vi oformili At the Gates. Šta vidite kad se osvrnete na ovih dosadašnjh 26 godina karijere? Kakav je osećaj da vas svi prepoznaju kao jedne od začetnika geteborškog death metal zvuka?
Tomas: Pa, nekako to nikad nismo gledali na taj način. Trudili smo se da budemo najbolji što možemo i da se što bolje izrazimo kroz našu muziku, a i sami imamo naše muzičke uzore, tako da zaista ne mogu govoriti iz ugla "legende" jer se tako ne osećamo. I dalje smo skromni što se toga tiče i ne ponašamo se tako, jer to može da te skrene s puta, takvo razmišljanje je pretenciozno i suvišno i dovodi vas do toga da vrlo lako možete da se izgubite u svom egu. Mi i dalje slušamo metal, hard core i alternativnu muziku uopšte i pratimo mlađe bendove, kao i stare koje poštujemo, naravno. Ne mislimo o sebi kao o inspiraciji, jer i mi sami crpimo inspiraciju od drugih, kako to svi uostalom i rade.

Pročitao sam negde da radiš kao nastavnik u svom rodnom gradu u Švedskoj. Da li deca znaju ko si? Možda imaš neke zanimljive anegdote koje proizlaze iz te neobične kombinacije pevača legendarnog death metal benda i nastavnika u školi?
Tomas: Pa, trenutno učim decu koja su nešto mlađa. To je kod nas nešto kao srednji period osnovne škole, pa su ta deca tu oko 11, 12 godina, a takođe potiču iz ne baš ekonomski dobro razvijenih oblasti, iz siromašnijih četvrti, tako da oni slušaju druge vrste muzike, uglavnom hip-hop. Nisu baš veliki ljubitelji muzike, ali znaju da ja pevam u bendu i misle da je to super. Ali ipak imamo takav odnos da ne dozvoljavamo baš da se to meša u ono što radimo u školi. Misle da je to super, ali znaju da sam ja njihov nastavnik i da u školi imamo različite uloge.

Imali smo koncert u velikom zabavnom parku ovde u Geteborgu prošlog leta. Nije bilo baš puno metal bendova, ali je bina bila ogromna i bilo je super. I stvar je u tome što ulaz na takva mesta ne košta mnogo i dozvoljen je ulaz svim uzrastima, tako da je ceo razred došao sa svojim roditeljima. Mislim da je to bio vrlo zabavan trenutak za njih.

Tomas Lindberg / foto: Daniel Falk

Imam jedno zanimljivo pitanje koje često postavljam bendovima koje intervjuišem, ali naravno, nije svako ljubitelj horora. Ne znam za tebe, ali ja sam veliki zaljubljenik u horor knjige i filmove, pa bih hteo da te pitam - koji bi horor film ili knjiga, iz kompletne istorije žanra, bio najbolji opis benda At the Gates i zašto? Ako ne poznaješ dovoljno horor, možeš navesti bilo šta iz nekog drugog žanra.
Tomas: Oh, ovo je zaista zanimljivo pitanje. Ja baš i nisam neki ekspert u tom polju kao što je naš gitarista Anders, njemu bi se toliko dopalo ovo pitanje! Moja žena je takođe filmski fanatik. Verovatno će se stideti mog odgovora. (smeh) Naša muzika sadrži toliko toga različitog u sebi, brutalna je, ali takođe može biti lepa, melanholična, dramatična, pobedonosna, očajavajuća... toliko je mnogo emocija u našoj muzici, tako da je teško tačno odrediti.

Trenutno mi je omiljeni reditelj Michael Haneke. Evo baš prošle nedelje sam gledao čak tri njegova filma. Zaista je dobar reditelj i tek mi ga je nedavno moja žena otkrila. Na primer, film "Funny Games" je skoro pa horor, sa kombinacijom drame i prilično uvrnutog nasilja. Mislim da njegov širok spektar emocija može biti dobar opis onoga što mi u At the Gates radimo.

Da, gledao sam mnogo njegovih filmova, kao i "Funny Games", i to je zaista zanimljiv opis vašeg benda. Za kraj ovog prijatnog razgovora, da li bi mogao da poručiš nešto čitaocima Nocturne magazina i vašoj publici u Srbiji i širom Balkana koja vas očekuje 10. jula na Exit festivalu?
Tomas: Veoma smo uzbuđeni što konačno ponovo dolazimo kod vas da se sretnemo sa svim fanovima. Poslednja dva puta kada sam bio u Srbiji bilo je neverovatno, toliko prijatnih ljudi, fantastičnih pejzaža i kulture. Jedva čekamo i želim da se svima zahvalim što su nas toliko dugo čekali. Exit je velik festival, ali se nadam da će doći i mnogo At the Gates fanova.

Ne brini, biće oni tamo sigurno. Hvala na odgovorima, Tomase, bilo je lepo upoznati te.
Tomas: Bio je ovo lep intervju i možda se i sretnemo u Srbiji.

Nadam se. Vidimo se onda 10. jula!
Tomas: Vidimo se! Čuvaj se, čoveče.

AT THE GATES - How legends fight with reality?
12.06.2016. | |

When you are one of the pioneers of a music genre, your iconic albums from the beginning of your career literally saved the genre from extinction during the nineties, your career with a few pauses and a lot of side projects lasted for 26 years and you dedicated your life to the music you are creating - is that enough to consider you a legend? Ask any death metal fan in the world to name the most important bands for the development of this genre and AT THE GATES will be one of them. Battle with the ghosts of reality isn't easy for any of us, not even the ones who express that battle through the music they create. Is that music channel, through which they express their energy, benefit or huge burden, how difficult, or perhaps easy, is to go back to what you were doing before as many as 20 years, remain as one of the legendary pioneers of the genre and come back in a big way (or gates)? About all of this for our magazine talked At the Gates front man Tomas "Tompa" Lindberg, before their arrival at the Petrovaradin Fortress and Exit festival on July 10th.

For starters, let's immediately get to the most important question for us here in Serbia. I see that your tour schedule looks pretty booked for the summer festival season and you are also coming to Serbia, which was one of the best news for your fans here. Exit festival became one of the biggest in Europe over the years, so what are you expecting from the show here in Novi Sad?
Tomas: Last time we came to with At the Gates, I think it was in the nineties. Well, I have been back in Serbia with other bands afterwards, and the crowd is always full of heart and energy. It has been a very long time since we have been there and we really look forward to meeting with the old fans there. We actually heard a lot of good things about the festival, too, so it will be one of the highlights for us this summer.

At the Gates / photo: Andy Hayball

Now, the second most important question is of course about you latest album "At War with Reality". It was released about a year and a half ago and I know that you probably got sick of talking about every single detail about it, but can you describe to me how it felt to be back and knock once again at that gates?
Tomas: Well, I think it was the most important album all of us have ever done, in that sense. Because, we knew that it was going to be judged really hard and that it would be compared to our previous efforts. Of course, we are different persons now, so it took a lot of guts and courage to make a decision to do the new album. When we got so many good reviews, for example from you, and in the record stores it also started selling well, it was awesome.

But, the most fantastic thing for us was that actually songs went down well live. When we went on the road to play shows and almost half of set were new songs, right next to our classic songs, they all went down so well. We were very happy with that and it seems like we have the best fans in the world because they really tried to understand why we did the record. And it wasn’t easy to understand, it’s kind of complicated record, it’s more complicated than for example "Slaughter of the Soul", I guess.

So, it took you 19 years to come back with this record, and when I heard the news I just wanted it not to be "Slaughter of the Soul - Part II", you know. I think that you need a lot of guts for that, to take a distance from your legendary albums and create something different and fresh. New album was beautifully embraced by the media, critics and fans. Can you explain to us a little bit more about album’s reception, because you were able to see it every day on the shows and festivals? What the fans are saying? Are they still comparing it to the old ones?
Tomas: Yeah, you are right. As I already mentioned in a way, album was received very well and we are pretty satisfied with that. It didn’t go well just in sales and media coverage, but also fans showed their enthusiasm and involvement in new songs during the shows. Speaking about comparison of the new album with old ones, there isn’t much of that because we are different people now and our fans understand that. It has been almost 20 years and a lot of stuff happened in the meantime, we have grown up, we are doing our everyday jobs and other projects besides this band, but we always keep progressing and creating something new and upgraded in comparison to previous work.

Fans know new songs, it seems like they absorbed and accepted them right away even though this album is far more complex than everything we have done. If I were in a situation that I have to compare the new album with old ones, although it’s a tough job, albums from the beginning of our careers are stronger, harsher, more brutal, while the new album is darker, more complex and atmospheric.

At the Gates - At War with Reality review

I am not going to ask you infamous question about few of those pauses and break ups in the past, but do you feel those things made some kind of damage to this band or it just made you guys stronger?
Tomas: I think that strengthened us, strengthened the whole team because we are now much more mature. So many years passed, and since we hung out and saw each other from time to time we literally grew up together, so this is really strong chemistry of mutual respect between us. I think we had about 22 years when we stopped playing with At the Gates and we’ve really missed each other, so now we cannot stop playing and creating new music.

A strange thing came out of this long At the Gates pause, because now at the concerts you are playing in front of people who weren’t even born when your first record came out. How is today’s touring different than it was, for example, 15 years or more ago? What are the biggest differences that you notice in the crowds at your shows, comparing now and then?
Tomas: You’re right, those are now totally different and younger people, but there are still those old fans present. It’s totally different atmosphere at the concerts, and emotions are different. During the nineties everything was somehow rawer and more aggressive, and the scene and the audience were far smaller. Back then it was more important to show the attitude and energy, to show your teeth to the problems in society, it was just a different time, but now more important is to answer a lot of different styles of people who come to your concert, which is also a great challenge.

It seems that the scene back then was stronger because in Sweden there were only about 30 people who literally were the underground death metal scene. We all knew each other, kept together and that’s what was important to us - we had our community that we built on our own, even though we were outsiders and different from others. Now this sense of community is different, changed, but it is still strong, so I still think that now the scene is even far stronger. It has developed so much that now every city in Sweden has its own local metal scene, which is wonderful because it gives variety of music and genres. Previously, you had to fight more for your music, while now with technology and the internet everything is more accessible and simpler.

At the Gates / photo: Andy Hayball

It is a pretty dreadful fact that I was born just two years before you formed At the Gates. What do you see when you look over these past 26 years? How does it feel to be recognized as one of the pioneers of Gothenburg death metal sound?
Tomas: Well, we somehow never looked at it that way. We tried to be the best we can and to express through our music, and we have our own musical role models, so I really cannot speak from the perspective of "legend" because we just don’t feel that way. We remained humble about that and we don’t behave like "legends", because it can take you off your way and that way of thinking is pretentious and needless and it brings you to the fact that you can easily get lost in your ego. We continue to listen to metal, hard core and alternative music in general, and we follow and listen to younger bands, as well as old ones which we respect, of course. We do not think of ourselves as inspiration, because we also draw inspiration from others, like everyone does.

I have read that you work as a social studies teacher in your hometown in Sweden. Do the kids in school know who you are? Maybe you had some interesting anecdotes with that interesting combination of singer in a legendary death metal band and a school teacher?
Tomas: Well, the kids that I have right now are a bit younger. They are in middle school, about 11 and 12 years old, and also they are from not so economically developed areas, like "projects", so they listen to other types of music, mostly hip-hop. They are not big fans of music, but they know that I sing in a band and they think it’s cool. But, we have this kind of thing where we don’t really let that interfere in our relationship. So, they think that’s cool, but they know that I am their teacher and that we have different roles there.

We played a show at the big amusement park here in Gothenburg last summer. Not many metal bands played there, but it was on a big stage and was pretty cool. And the thing is - those places don’t cost much money to get into and they are also open for all ages, so the whole class came with their parents. So, that was a fun moment for them, I think.

Tomas Lindberg / foto: Daniel Falk

I have one interesting question that I tend to ask a lot, but not everyone is a horror fan. I don’t know about you, but I am a huge fan of horror movies and books, so I would like to ask you - what horror film or book, from the entire history of the genre, would be the best description of your band and why? If not horror, you can name anything you think would be the best description of At the Gates?
Tomas: Oh, that’s actually an interesting question. I am not so of an expert in that field like our guitar player Anders is, oh he would love this question so much! My wife is also a film nerd. They will probably be ashamed of my answer. (laugh) Our music have so much different stuff in it, it’s brutal, but it can also be beautiful, melancholic, dramatic, triumphant, desperate… there is so many emotions in our music, so it’s hard to pinpoint.

Right now my favourite director is Michael Haneke. I watched three of his movies last week, actually. He is a really good director and I just discovered him from my wife. For example, movie "Funny Games" is almost horror, with combination of drama and some seriously fucked up violence. I think his wide range of emotions could be a good description of what we do in At the Gates.

Yes, I watched a lot of his movies, including "Funny Games", and it really is an interesting description of your band. For the end of this pleasant conversation, would you say something to the readers of Nocturne magazine and your audience here in Serbia and throughout the Balkans, who are all waiting for you on July 10th at Exit festival?
Tomas: We are so psyched to finally get to go there again to meet all the fans. Last two times I have been in Serbia were amazing, a lot of nice people and fantastic scenery and culture. So, we look forward to it a lot and I want to thank everybody for waiting so long. Exit is a big festival, but I hope a lot of At the Gates fans will come, too.

Oh, don’t worry, they will be there. So, thank you for your answers Tomas, and it was nice to meet you.
Tomas: It was a nice interview and maybe we’ll meet in Serbia.

I hope so. See you on 10th of July!
Tomas: See you! Take care, man.

Ostavi komentar

Da biste komentarisali na NOCTURNEMAGAZINE.NET (u daljem tekstu NOCTURNE) potrebno je da budete prijavljeni na svoj Facebook nalog. Svaki korisnik odgovara za svoju izjavu (komentar) i izjave (komentari) korisnika ne odražavaju mišljenje NOCTURNE-a. Takođe, NOCTURNE ne garantuje za tačnost informacija u komenatrima korisnika. NOCTURNE zadržava pravo da bez upozorenja obriše svaki komentar koji sadrži reči mržnje, rasizma, povrede ljudskog dostojanstva ili bilo kakvog drugog oblika nepoštovanja i ugrožavanja drugih.