||DRACONIAN TALK VISA ISSUES, LIVE HIATUS AND THE FUTURE AT 70000 TONS OF METAL
18th February 2017
Words: Ian Sutherland, Pictures Artur Gelumbauskas
Swedish doomsters Draconian took their songs of melancholy beauty out of the frozen north and into the Caribbean for 70000 Tons Of Metal. MetalTalk caught up with vocalist Anders Jacobsson and guitarist Johan Ericson on board.
MT: How are you enjoying the experience so far on 70000 Tons Of Metal?
AJ: "It's nice, it's great. Today is going to be a great day. I've been sleeping for like fourteen hours so no hangover [laughs]."
JE: "Usually it's the other way around [laughs]."
MT: Well there are a few of those around today so that's good! You're not playing your first show until 1.00am though. Is that long wait good for you guys?
AJ: "That's good. It works for our set."
MT: So the pool deck in the sunshine isn't where you want to be for the first show?
JE: "We are very glad that we're not playing there in the middle of the day."
MT: Am I right in saying that the other singer in the band, Heike Langhans, hasn't made this trip and that you are once again using Lisa Cuthbert to stand in for her?
AJ: "Yes, that's right."
MT: Lisa does a brilliant job.
AJ: "Yes she's fantastic."
MT: Are you any closer to getting Heike's visa issues resolved so she can do these kind of shows with you?
AJ: "We are kind of in stalemate at the moment. We are just waiting and waiting and it's very frustrating. The whole situation with migration in Sweden is very tricky and Heike just had to renew her visa but it wasn't done long ago and now with the case numbers it could happen in a week or it could happen in months, we don't know."
JE: "It could take two years to get a permit for two years, which is ridiculous."
MT: That's crazy.
AJ: "Yes. We are kind of two minds as Lisa is awesome and I love her for being there for us but we really are looking forward to being our own band and to progress together and do what we want, you know. There is some frustration but we need to be patient."
MT: I thought 'Sovran' was maybe the album of the year for me from 2015. When will we see the next one? Will we have to wait five years between albums again like last time?
AJ: "[laughs] No, I don't think so. We have some ideas."
JE: "Actually with all the waiting caused by the visa issues we can think about doing an album now."
AJ: "We used the time wisely."
MT: Does all the tension and drama put you in the right mood to write new songs?
AJ: "[laughs] In a way, yeah, that's the incentive at least, to not just waste time. I know that we have had long periods between the albums before and we need to stay focussed now and be productive."
MT: I take it you have no idea of timescales yet though?
JE: "This year we will probably finish writing the album at least."
MT: Will the style of the album stick to the core Draconian sound or will there be any changes?
JE: "Of course there will be some changes but..."
AJ: "You will hear that its Draconian, like always, but we try to add some new elements each time."
MT: Do you have any musical influences on your writing which might not be very obvious?
JE: "I think we are not influenced by Metal at all."
AJ: "Well there are all the bands like My Dying Bride when you grew up, they are still there as an influence but I listen now to other music and that influences me, like singer songwriters, stuff like that."
JE: "I think the Metal influences we have is the same all the time and we are different people listening to a lot of different music and now I'm not listening to much Metal at all, it's a lot of like ethereal stuff and psych-rock stuff and nice electronica. You cannot let yourself be limited."
AJ: "You can still be Draconian, you have that core, that won't change, but it's important to be open to other influences.. As long as you don't change the core sound of the band. I know how I feel about a band who does that so..."
MT: The Draconian sound remains then.
AJ: "I think that the songs will become more personal, more emotional in the future, more mature in a way. Try to challenge ourselves a little bit. We grow as people our whole lives and hopefully it's going to show on the album. This is a kind of music which is very personal."
JE: "That aspect is very important for us."
MT: What touring plans do you have, taking into account Heike's situation?
JE: "We had touring plans but we are actually cancelling everything and not taking on any new shows until this is resolved."
AJ: "Maybe in Sweden."
JE: "We have two shows left after this, one in Slovenia, one in Sweden. In Sweden she will sing with us, that's no problem."
AJ: "We decided to take a hiatus until everything is sorted out with Heike. It feels better, it's more truthful to the fans as well so we will focus on the new album until then. We are going to miss being out on the road of course."
MT: Once it's all sorted will you be looking to include any UK shows?
JE: "I hope so."
AJ: "There's a certain something with South African citizens and the UK and you need special visas, twice we applied for them for Heike and it didn't work out. There seems to be weird stuff going on there so with the UK I have no idea. This was pre-Brexit as well. Do you think that Brexit is going to affect the bands?"
MT: I hope not but personally I think it may increase paperwork, red tape, visa issues so that may have an effect. I hope I am wrong on that though.
Thanks for your time, good luck with your gigs here on the boat and sorting out Heike's visa issues. We look forward to hearing the new album!
Check out more of Ian Sutherland right here.