About Me

Interview with October Tide

October Tide is a renowned Swedish death-doom metal band that has carved a lasting legacy since its inception in 1994. The band was initially founded by Fredrik Norrman, who was previously a guitarist for the iconic Katatonia. October Tide has undergone several lineup changes throughout its existence, but the band's dedication to crafting dark, melancholic, and emotionally charged music has remained unwavering.Known for their distinctive melancholic atmosphere of Doom Metal, October Tide has consistently pushed the boundaries of the genre. Their music combines heavy, crushing riffs with deep melodies and introspective lyrics, creating a sound that captivates listeners.With a discography that includes standout albums like "Rain Without End" and "In Splendor Bellow" October Tide has garnered a dedicated fan base and critical acclaim over the years. Now in 2023, they make a return with their latest offering, "The Cancer Pledge". "The Cancer Pledge" is a testament to the band's evolution and creativity, showcasing their ability to navigate the darkest corners of human experience through music. As they delve into themes of pain, suffering, and hope, October Tide invites fans to explore the complex emotions that define our existence.

In this interview, previous to the album release, we discussed with October Tide the making of "The Cancer Pledge" and the evolution of their artistic journey. 

M.I. - October Tide's work has been around for almost 30 years now. Much has changed and happened since the band's famous Demo Tape. In retrospect, how does it make you feel about reaching this milestone?

The first thing I’m thinking about is that I’m getting old (laughs). Not sure what I’m feeling or thinking to be honest. I’m happy that I got my health and that I’m still able to play music. That I’m still writing October Tide music is perhaps an achievement and the fact that we still exist after all the changes in the lineup. Perhaps a bigger milestone than I’m aware of.

M.I. - Since you ended your hiatus back in 2010, you have been consistently releasing albums, with the last one being In Splendor Below, which had some great reviews. Did it meet your expectations? How was the reception in your opinion?

Overall, it got some pretty good reviews that I can remember and we were all very pleased with the album. I do wish we would have played live a bit more than we did.

M.I. - Now there's a new album ready to release, The Cancer Pledge. Could you walk us through the meaning of this name choice?

The Cancer Pledge is a commitment to the kind of love that in some cases eats you up from the inside, just like cancer. A destructive obsession you can't possibly get out of. The song ‘The Cancer Pledge’ is about two people born under the sign of Cancer who destroy themselves with the help of their love for each other. 

M.I. - Tapestry to Our End is already available and is one of the songs of this new album. The sadness, the melancholia, the death metal punch, your overall identity is all there. With so many changes since your inception, is it hard to maintain this identity or does it help you feed your creativity?

Not hard to maintain, we have our sound and I’m not sure if that’s something we can change. But what we try to do on each new album is to bring in some new elements. On the new album, you can hear more thrash and death metal-inspired riffs. More metal to put it simply. 

M.I. - In this song, you talk about "The useful constitution of elimination/Feel my passion for art". Is this a hint of a metamorphosis present in this album?

This one should probably be Alex's answer but I guess there is some metamorphosis on the album. 

M.I. - On a totally different spectrum of the album, Blodfattig brings up a more thrashy sound. What inspired you to create this song?

This is what I was talking about earlier, we want to add something new to every album we put out. I have always been a fan of thrash and death metal, never really been that interested in doom metal. So to bring in those elements in our music felt like the most normal thing in the world. This is a formula that I think we are going to stick to in the future.

M.I. - Like Blodfattig, Ögonblick Av Nåd was a song in Swedish included in In Splendor Below. How was the reception of Ögonblick Av Nåd and will we be hearing even more songs in Swedish from now on?

It was pretty good, nothing overwhelming but it was an eye-opener. It was Alex who wanted to try it and the result was really good. Almost felt like we should do all lyrics in Swedish. But maybe we will continue including one track in Swedish on albums to come. We’ll see what happens.

M.I. - You've said before that you rehearse individually and meet in the studio to record. Is this still the process or has the creative weaving changed in later years? Could you talk to us about the creative process behind The Cancer Pledge?

The writing process was like it has always been. We write and record our demos individually in our home studios and then send the demos to each other so everyone gets a chance to come up with ideas. What we made different this time was that we actually rehearsed the songs before entering the studio. I guess most bands do that but we never did that before. I think especially Jonas (drums) appreciated that, but I think it was good for us all to play the songs together before recording. 

M.I. - After some label changes in the early years, Agonia Records has been your label since Winged Waltz. What made you keep working with them?

Like changes in the lineup, a change of record label is a bit of a mess. It takes too much energy so it was convenient to continue working with them. 

M.I - Like In Splendor Below, Karl Daniel Lidén is a part of The Cancer Pledge. What made you keep working with him and what influence did he have on your overall work?

He did such a good job with In Splendor Bellow (ISB) so he was the obvious choice. On ISB we recorded the drums with our friend Alexander Backlund who also recorded and helped produce the vocals. This time Karl recorded the drums in studio Gröndahl which made it easier for him when it was time to mix. 

M.I. - You start your tour date on the same day of the album's release: October 6th. Is there any particular reason for this to happen?

I’m actually not sure if it was a coincidence or if it was all planned out by our booking guy.

For Portuguese version, click here

Listen October Tide, on Spotify

Questions by Carlos Mateus