About Me

Interview with Spelljammer

Spelljammer released their second album Abyssal Trip this year. Metal Imperium chatted with the guitarist Rob Sörling and the vocalist and guitarist Niklas Olsson about the new record, the doom metal scene in Sweden and their future plans. 
“Abyssal Trip” is drenched in almighty riffs, so lay yourself on the floor, spin the record and witness the sonic explosion you are about to hear. 

M.I. – “Abyssal Trip” came out six years after your full-length debut “Ancient Days”. What led to this time gap between albums? 

Rob: It's a combination of many things, but I guess you could say life came in our way - work, family, etc. Also, we let the creative part take the time it needs to let the music ripe into songs that we are content with. Hopefully, we'll get our next album out sooner next time but, much like our music, we're in no rush. 

Niklas: And also “Ancient of Days” resulted in a lot more opportunities to play more shows which led to us taking quite an extensive break from writing new material. But yes, I also agree with us not rushing song-writing. It's a very slow process for us, and that's ok.

M.I. - In your view, what are the most significant differences between both records? 

Rob: When we did “Ancient of Days”, the line-up of the band was all new. When we recorded the album, we were still getting to know each other, both personally and musically, and all the songs were more or less written when Jonathan was introduced as a new drummer. For “Abyssal Trip”, we created everything from scratch as a full band and, at least for me, for that reason, “Abyssal Trip” sounds more genuine. 

Niklas: I agree with that. We definitely gelled more as a band at that point, and I hear that on the record. Musically though, I don't think the difference is that great. Perhaps we spread our wings a little farther on “Abyssal Trip”, but nothing drastic.

M.I. - In regards to the composition, creation and recording process, how did it go? 

Rob: We recorded everything ourselves, just the three of us isolated in a country house. It was very relaxed and made us 100% focused on the music. 

Niklas: Yeah, and having pretty much all the material already written also helped make everything run smoothly. To save time, we had even prepared food that we could just heat up. It was a productive and fun weekend.

M.I. - The songs “Among the Holy” and “Abyssal Trip” began with an excerpt that seems like it was taken from a movie. Am I right? 

Niklas: They are. The one on “Abyssal Trip” is from an old British horror movie called Blood Sabbath (1972). The one on “Among the Holy” is a secret.

M.I. - Both are also amazing videos! Can you tell us about the imagery? 

Niklas: The video for “Abyssal Trip” came from us wanting to do a performance video for the first time. Later on, in the edit, I felt it would work better with some additional stuff. It's a long track, and watching us the whole time might have been boring. For “Among the Holy” I just put together a bunch of old clips that suited the song well.

M.I. - Visually your video clips demonstrate the occultism, but also some psychedelic elements throughout, as the video for “Abyssal Trip” and “Lake”, which by the way, look fantastic when combined with the songs. Would you say the video clips are the visual representation of the music?

Niklas: I guess in a way that is true. But not completely, as the videos are just one way to present the songs.

M.I. - How has been the reaction to the album so far? Has it been in line with your opinions? 

Rob: It's been great, and people really seem to like it. I'm sometimes surprised when people compare us to bands we never listen to or that we've never even heard of, but that's all good, that's the beauty of it - everyone has their own little universe of references and taste.

Niklas: We've gotten some good feedback, and that is a positive thing. You just have to make sure that feedback, good or bad, doesn't start to mess with your head. The only thing that really matters is what we think as a band, and we think it's a pretty solid album.

M.I. - At the moment, Sweden has a bunch of prominent Stoner and Doom Metal bands. It's quite a powerful scene up there! How does it feel to be part of a scene that is really appreciated by the public? 

Rob: Yes, there seems to be amp worshipping blasting out of every other rehearsal place these days! I love it; I'm proud of being part of a scene that still appreciates organic music played live by real people!

Niklas: It is a good thing as a sort of counterpoint to all the shit music out there. Though it's still a pretty small genre, we are a small fish in this relatively small pond.

M.I. - What are your future plans? Do you have any gigs scheduled? 

Rob: At the moment, due to the pandemic, of course, we have only one gig scheduled - Gloomy Days festival here in Stockholm in August. 

M.I. - Metal Imperium’s readers would like to know what would be your dream festival line-up. (Every band counts, no matter if it does not exist anymore.)

Niklas: We were fortunate to be invited to play the, by now epic, Psycho Las Vegas in 2016, and I can honestly say that was as close to my dream line-up as it gets (save for any bands that no longer exist of course). Alice Cooper, Sleep, Electric Wizard, Acid King, Blue Oyster Cult, Pentagram, Candlemass, Death, Truth And Janey, High On Fire, Fu Manchu, Boris, Dead Meadow, Mudhoney, Fatso Jetson… That is a crazy list of bands, and my only regret is that there wasn't enough time to see them all.

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Filipa Lobo Gaspar