In the last few months I ‘discovered’ quite some interesting bands, one of the best will definitely be Nominon. I saw their name come by quite some times already, but I never came to the point of actually listening to it. But with their last album, “Recremation” that changed, and truly for the better. A band that holds dear the true values of the old school death metal scene from around the early nineties (and even the late eighties). Just before the band went off for their tour with Vital Remains I was able to ask both drummer Perra and bassist Joel a few questions about the band’s ideals (and their love for vinyl for instance, which I absolutely share), a little of their history and of course their future and we look ahead a little already to the coming tour days… Enjoy! (FelixS)
Hey Perra, how are things going? What’s new with the band?
Perra: Right now we are pretty much just preparing ourselves for the European tour with Vital Remains that will start next week on the very special day 9/11 in Innsbrück, Austria. Hopefully we will survive this spectacular day and the rest of the tour as well. Ha! Besides that I am just curing/training my foot as much as possible, as I was just super-extra-drunk last week, after our last show in Finland, I became so fucked up and wild so I just ran into a table and broke a toe. Not that clever, but that kind of stuff happens if you are more or less awake because of the alcohol intoxication. The gigs in Finland was fucking killer, we had a great time as usual with our friends in Godhate who played the shows with us there. Also; A big thanks to Ilmari Jalas, the tour organizer. He is the best!
You recently released the “Recremation”-album, if you have to mention one difference from your previously released material what would you say?
Perra: Well, it’s hard to just say one difference from the previous NOMINON work. The production is the best so far I would like to say. The material is also the best so far. The design and lay-out and the outcome of the new album have also been the best so far! So as you can figure out, we are extremely satisfied over here. Yet I think that the next one will be even more written as a whole band so to speak, I mean the guitarist Christian had only been with us for like two weeks before we entered the Necromorbus studio to record the album. So who knows what will come out next time around?
And how have the reaction been on “Recremation”?
Perra: Fantastic! I would say that about 99% of everyone that have reviewed the album, or just listened to the album has been very positive. And it’s funny, because it’s not that often that you as a musician is releasing an album that you personally think are amazing, and then all of a sudden you realise that almost everybody else is saying and thinking the same thing as yourself. It feels unreal! And this release has also been very important for NOMINON as a band, because as you know we have had some line-up problems in the past, and some of the previous members and other folks didn’t even thought that we would survive. So with this release we pretty much kick them right where it hurts the most! And that fucking makes my day, period.
Joel: So far so good! People in the underground seem to like our shit so that’s cool!
It is obvious that your roots can be tracked down to the early Swedish death metal scene, like I mentioned a few of the ancestors of that scene in my review, is it a natural thing for you to play this kind of music or was it somewhat a purposeful decision?
Perra: After years of struggling in various bands and so on I personally was so surprised when I finally meet Juha again and joined NOMINON in 2001. I mean, the people I had played with the years before that were not into much of old school death metal at all. That is just stupid. Because that is some of the best music ever made, so there are no doubts?You HAVE to listen to Death Metal and worship it. I feel really comfortable with the direction NOMINON as a band has been taking since I joined.
Joel: Well for myself, I enjoy Death Metal old school and new school so I’m having a blast! But I can’t say that it’s natural.
You have released your material the old school way, great drawings on them and on tapes and vinyl. How important are these things for you as a band? And what is the extra value in these things?
Perra: For a start, getting our stuff released both on CD and LP is of course a dream come true for all of us. The thing is that we actually recorded for example the previous MCD/MLP; “The True Face Of Death”, only for a 12″ vinyl release. But that one ended up on the MCD format as well. And the new album was first meant to only be released on CD, and then it ended up on the 12″ vinyl format too. So, I don’t know what to say about it actually? We have just continued to work all the time more or less, and then if we have been offered any particular releases we have decided about these releases when the time turned up. We never really haunted a label to release both CD and LP at the same, we were lucky enough ending up getting the stuff on both formats anyway. The extra value for the LP release is that we for example know some people that still only buy LP, and no CD’s at all, so we can offer them our stuff on vinyl as well, which is important. The drawings/artwork on our releases has more or less been ruled by the talent of Chris Moyen, the fucking one and only. He’s a great guy and he is also a very big NOMINON fan. We love the work that he has been doing for us so far!
Joel: It’s just cool to see your releases in every kind of format but the coolest was to see on the vinyl version. Today everybody can release a CD but with vinyl it’s like the old days…hard to get stuff released. But it’s always a cool feeling when you hold your own release in your hand. You feel that you have earned it if you know what I mean.
The CD-version of the album has been released through a small Asian label, how did you get in contact with them and why did you chose for them to release the album?
Perra: I think it’s strange how you putted this question together! I mean, we signed with Konqueror Records from Singapore because they offered us a deal for a new CD album, it is that simple. And maybe they are not the biggest label around, but they are definitely the most honest label I have ever been working with. Konqueror Rds is actually a sub-label to the more known Pulverised Records. We decided to do the record for Konqueror as they are BIG fans of NOMINON and the true Swedish Death Metal in general. So far they have been treating us really good, for example, when we signed the deal with them last year it was only I and Juha left in the band, and they said; “We trust you guys, you will find the right people for the band. You will work this out!” Then when we signed the tour agreement (pretty much at the same time, and still it was only me and Juha in the band), they paid half the tour support for our European tour with Benediction last year. And remember that this was even before NOMINON had even released anything on their label. How many so called underground labels would have done that? Believe me, NONE!! So sure, go ahead, call them a small label, we don’t care! I would like to point out that we are simply interested to work with people/labels that are interested to work with us. As long as we can go on and release our music on our premises.
But the vinyl-version of the album has got a great extra track, a Whiplash cover, why did you chose to cover this band and this song in particular?
Perra: Last summer we were contacted by a french label that were looking for bands that would like to participate on a VOIVOD tribute album. Personally I have been a VOIVOD fan ever since I heard “Killing Technology” for the first time, so the answer was simple: YES! During July last year we went into a friends small studio outside of Jönköping were we live to record the track “Live For Violence” from the debut album “War And Pain”. During the recording of that track we all of a sudden also decided to record another cover, “Spit On Your Grave”, by WHIPLASH. A band that has influenced us a lot, and especially our guitarist Juha Sulasalmi. I remember when I was listening to their old albums back in the late 80-ies, they definitely got a lot of aggression in their song writing. Neck-breaking riffs and so on. We love that stuff! So, we recorded that cover just for the fun of it and it ended up as a bonus track on the LP for “Recremation” as we wanted to release that cover as well, and not only the VOIVOD cover. And back then, by the way, when we recorded those two covers it was only me, Juha and bassist Joel in the band.
Joel: Why? Why not? We add a bonus track on vinyl because it’s a limited thing and for those who buy it, they get a bonus! Ha ha! Whiplash is a great Thrash metal band and that track is real kick in your face! So people out there; Go and buy the first two Whiplash albums instead of The Haunted?Ha ha.
In a few days you will hit the road for the tour with Vital Remains amongst others, how did you prepare for such a thing and how is a band Nominon looking forward to an event like this?
Perra: We just keep on playing the shit more or less?. Ha Ha!! Of course we look forward to get out there and destroy the streets together with Vital Remains and other death metal acts. The preparation we as a band have done is that we rehearsed a few weekends during July and then we did a few shows in Finland now in August, and in the first weekend of September we will play at the Gothenburg Deathfest here in Sweden. As three of us lives in Jönköping and the other two in Göteborg, which is 160 km from each other, we can only rehearse during weekends. Of course we have to do some other preparations as well when it comes to any tour that NOMINON are involved in. Like booking flights, transport of instruments and various equipments, personal luggage, paying bills?etc. So the weeks before a tour is always hectic, especially when you are like me staying out for 5-6 weeks at the time.
Joel: Well preparing by rehearsing the songs over and over and some sleep. Of course we are looking forward to it! It’ll be interesting to visit new countries and play. But most of all, I am looking forward to not go to work! Ha ha! More fun playing music than go to work even you don’t make any money!
How did you get in contact with the tour organisers anyway?
Perra: We meet the Brüchstein booking agency people last year when we were playing support act to MASTER for four dates here in Sweden. We gave them our promostuff and they liked our attitude towards playing live and so on. After that we did the BENEDICTION tour with them Sept. 2004. Everything worked out KILLER and I even started to work for them after that tour, I do some tour managing and other stuff on the road. So far I have worked with bands like Impaled Nazarene, Dissection, Watain, Testament, Divine Empire, Susperia, Yyrkoon and some others. I know the company pretty well nowadays. So I guess we will stick around with them for quite some time.
What can we expect from Nominon in the near future? Some more EP’s etc?
Perra: Right now we are working with some cool stuff for various labels, the plans are to release the following within the nearest six months; an 10″ EP with four tracks (mostly unreleased tracks), that one will be out probably in early February next year. Before that we will hopefully also release an special limited CD in South America with various unreleased NOMINON songs (only unreleased tracks on CD), the same label will also be handling the official cassette release of our latest album; “Recremation”. This is something that we are looking forward to very much, of course. Because then this album has been released on nearly all formats!! There has been some talking about releaseing various split 7″ EP’s as well, so we’ll just have to wait and see what will turn up within the coming months?! The unknown knows!
One last thing I would like to know, about three years ago the news reached us that you were signing a deal with Relapse, what happened with that for no Nominon release saw the light of day through Relapse at all?
Perra: When I joined the band in 2001, one of the first things that happened back then was that we signed an agreement with Relapse Records from USA. Then, all hell broke loose! Early 2002 I got seriously sick in my kidneys, so I had to start with dialysis treatment. But even though to that we still continued with NOMINON, we played a very few shows and we recorded some material. During the summer 2002 former vocalist Nicke Holstenson got kicked out due to his non existence at the rehearsals. And at that time we had to postpone the recordings of another album, so we got some kind of statement from Relapse Rds telling us that they were no longer interested to work with NOMINON due to all the line-up problems and other shit that was happening within the band, me getting sick and so on. So, we got fired, I guess. But the thing is that the most important guy (for us) who worked for them back then, Tom Hailey, quit working there, so I think we got sacked at the same time. Well, that is how this business is? It stinks! I guess a lot of other bands would have call it quits after such a breakdown, but for NOMINON, well?.Just let us say that we continued and ended up stronger than ever!
Ok Perra, I’ll see you on tour in a few weeks, please take your chance to add anything you like and close this interview. Cheers!
Perra: OK Felix, first thanks a lot for the interview. I hope you are satisfied with the answers. It’s always funny to chat with people that are into this as much as myself. If there’s anyone who want to find out more about NOMINON, check out our merchandise or whatever, visit our website http://www.nominon.com/ And yes Felix, see you in a few weeks from now. All the brutal best to the Vampire Magazines readers!!!
Joel: Thanx for the support dude! See u soon!