One of this year’s surprises was the new full-length release of Swedish Wormwood entitled “Ghostlands – Wounds From A Bleeding Earth”. Quite an interesting work that blends classic Swedish Melodic Death Metal with folk elements, given through a rock ‘n’ roll prism (there is review that you can find on our site). On the occasion of this album, I came into contact with the band, which was more than willing to answer with honesty. Check out what they told us!
Hello and welcome to Metal Invader! First of all, congrats on your debut album “Ghostlands – Wounds From a Bleeding Earth”; It really had an impact on me. Kept listening to it for several consecutive days this past month. Judging by the press and fans’ reactions, I can safely deduct that everybody was pleased by this release. What effect has this album’s reception on you? How do you fell about it?
Greetings. Nice to talk to you. We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the positive reviews. We knew we had something good but we couldn’t really imagine that it would been received as well as it did. It’s been a truly humbling experience and it pushes us to make an even better album next.
Just to cover everything, this interview hopefully will reach to people who aren’t familiar with Wormwood yet. Could you give us some insight about how the band was formed, what connected each one of you and what’s Wormwood’s ultimate goal?
To make a long story rather short. Wormwood was founded by Rydsheim, Borka and Jothun and me (Nine) and Nox joined a bit after. In the beginning we made some kind of rock’n black but it was something that was missing. So we stepped a few steps back and created the sound you can hear now on Ghostlands. We all come from a bit different backgrounds so we all added to the sound. Some could say that there are ‘too many chefs in the kitchen’, but for us it was exactly what we needed. Our goal is to create albums for ourselves that the fans will like. Because if they feel that we are dedicated and having fun, they will like it.
Even though it’s just your second release, you’d already started making a name for yourselves since 2015, with “The Void: Stories from the Whispering Well”. With “Ghostlands”, your reputation is growing stronger each day passes. Does this make you nervous or does it create a stronger sense of responsibility towards your listeners or even yourselves?
The more known we get and the more requests we get it only inspires us. It feeds our fire to travel across the world and show everyone what we are made of. I want everyone who wants to see us should. We have so much to give our fans.
You’ve managed to incorporate various elements in your perception of Melodic Black Metal. In Wormwood’s structures, one can find folk, prog and ambient elements, a bit of rock ‘n’n roll attitude and all that below an atmospheric veil that makes the album feel like a journey through Sweden’s high mountains. Is this something that came along the way naturally for you or was it carefully planned since day one?
All we knew from when we started to create ‘Ghostlands’ was that we wanted to play a different form of black metal. We never really said that “this songs need folk”, “this song needs a long atmospheric part”. All that just came naturally when we created the songs. That’s one of our powers is to create a complex song without thinking about it too much. It comes very naturally, as I said.
Expanding the previous question, based on the multifaceted character of your release, it’s only natural for you to have varied influences. Is that the case? Would you like to share some of your influences?
For me my influences when it came to the lyrics were, Nevermore, Wolves in the Throne Room, Fen ,Agalloch, Warning, the author Isaac Asimov and Cormac Mccarthy, and old Swedish stories from the north and of course just the vast nature we have here.
When it comes to the music, the rest of the band comes form many different backgrounds, so I leave that question for now.
How do you work as a band? What’s the process you follow when composing an album? Do you work individually or as a team spending hours all together in a studio until a good idea pops up?
Usually, but not always, our main composer Rydsheim does a few riffs or a ‘whole’ song. We all listen to it, comes with feedback. Whenever we like the beta product we rehearse it and that’s when our different backgrounds really shines. We all help out with the song then, coming with different ideas, we try things, trail and error and so forth. It’s a real team effort each song.
As far as know, correct me if I’m mistaken, your debut “The Void” came to life with your own resources, no labels or other people got involved. This time, “Ghostlands” came out via Non Serviam Records. How did this change affect the production process of the album? Did you sign with the label before you recorded or did the signing came after your material was finished? Should it be the first case, did the label had anything to do with the way you wrote the album, shared ideas, etc?
‘The Void – Stories From the Whispering Well’ is a zero cost production. The EP was more about to showing the world who we are more than creating the most refines release ever. When we contacted Non Serviam Reocrds our album was already done (Recorded in Wig Studios by Sverker Widgren) After some mail exchanges we came to a deal and we really found a good home. It’s been a smooth ride being with Non Serviam Reords.
Could you please give us some inside info about the cover art used in “Ghostlands”? What’s the idea behind it, what message does it convey etc. Moreover, I don’t know if this will sound farfetched but, on both “Ghostlands” and “The Void” cover artworks, it seems that a bright kind of force dominates in the centre; is there a connection between those two or is it pure coincidence?
That’s a good observation. ‘The Void’ (Artwork made by Lindsey Tiry) and ‘Ghostlands’ (Artwork by Mario Polzin) both have a primordial presence lurking within. ‘The Void’ has the well which is oozing out the evil essence of the forest which the EP is more or less about and ‘Ghostlands’ you can see the spirit and the forest itself is bleeding. Thee is no real connection between them except that it’s the earth, the forest, which is in focus. The first one of about the revenge of the earth and the latter one is about what’s left when there is nothing more to destroy.
The titles and the lyrics of your songs emit a dark, bleak perspective. The themes include the death of Gods and the Universe, among others. Where do you draw inspiration from? Does this sullenness reflect your actual feelings?
I stated in a previous answer who where my inspirations but I can go a bit deeper; the lyrics are meant to be interpreted by the reader. There is no real answer what they’re about. But you could say that you follow the destruction of the universe and the earth in reversed order. Some songs are about leaving your old gods just to die and arise to a higher plane, another one is about staying true to your belief even if it means that you will die alone, one song is about how you watch a world turn into ash whilst you’re locked away high up in your home. My actual feelings is not something I will publicly discuss but let’s just say that everything isn’t made up and must come from something.
What does the future hold for Wormwood? What will be your next steps?
We have many gigs and two tours planed this year and more will surly come. Whilst we’re perfecting our songs we’re writing a new album which I really can’t tell you much about at the moment.
Alright, that’s all from me for the time being, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions! Hope to see you sometime in Greece! Take care!
We would love to play in Greece one day and thank your for wanting this interview. A special thanks to Non Serviam Reords, Wing Studios and our fans out there. Dyrka naturen, dyrka döden!
Photo Credits: Sandra Thulin Photography