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‘Carnage’ is the second album by Lik from Stockholm, Sweden. Fans of Dismember should take note because drummer Chris Barkensjö doesn’t deny this band is their biggest influence. Of course we talked about other stuff too.

By: Pim B. | Archive under death metal / grindcore

Hi guys, since your second full-length is out now, we'd like to introduce you a bit more to our readers. You all have been (or still are) active in various bands, so what made you decide to start Lik, which by the way translates to "lijk" in Dutch?
Hi Pim. Yes we sure are a busy bunch. Tomas has his band Nale and does the live duties for Bloodbath on guitar. Nille has Katatonia. And I also play with Witchery. Lik came about when I was playing in a band called the Resistance. I was mostly rehearsing by myself to guitars and a click-track before shows etc. since we were divided in different cities. I got bored with it and missed the feeling of being in a proper band, rehearsing and making songs together as a unit. I therefore asked Tomas if he wanted to jam with me. So we started jamming and one riff lead to another. It started sounding good and we thought why not make a demo with 3 songs? We asked Nile if he wanted to join in. And he did if he got to play guitar instead of bass. Of course he could but then he had to also do most of the soloing. He agreed to our joy. He has his own unique sound when it comes to solos. I get that goosebumpy vibe from them. And that is so rare. The rest of our history is in the making.

When you listen to both the debut and the new album 'Carnage' it is quite obvious Dismember has to be your main source of inspiration. Can you explain what makes this sound (combining that Sunlight sound with lots of melodies) so special for you guys?
That is easy. We simply worship Dismember. They are the kings of death metal if you ask us. So we simply just pay homage to our greatest source of inspiration. I´m friends with both Matti and Fred so I´ve have kept them in the loop on what we have been up to, and they both like it very much. Matti wrote back to me when I sent him our song ‘Rid You Of Your Flesh’ and said that this is so cool and good for them because now they don´t need to get back together, when we are around. Hahahaha! I don´t think they will reunite anyways but it´s a cool comment wouldn’t you say? (I agree – PB)
Regarding the sound. It speaks for itself. It does not get more brutal and grittier than that.

When it comes to the melodies we know that Iron Maiden was a huge influence on Dismember. What would you say influenced you when it comes to the melodies?
Both Dismember and Iron Maiden of course. But the combination is impeccable. It´s a great thing to put in a melodic part to break up songs that normally tend to grind on in its brutality. It´s kind of refreshing in a way if you know what I mean?

Does it bother you when people think you aren't original?
No not at all because we´re not. And we certainly don´t tend to either. I mean all good death metal is already made. So there is no use in trying to be original. That wouldn´t be death metal then. At least that´s my opinion.

To create this sound you once again worked with Lawrence Mackrory, but this time Daniel Bergstrand also added some input. Can you tell a bit more about the recordings of 'Carnage'
Lawrence knows exactly what we are about and brings out our best in the studio situations. He made us record everything live except for bass, vocals and solo guitars all ready from ‘Mass Funeral Evocation’. So why fix something that ain't broken, right? As for Daniel´s input he helped out with setting up the room we all sat in while putting down the basics. The rest is all Lawrence. After drums and rhythm guitars are done Nille tracks the bass. Then it´s solos. And after that Tomas started tracking his vocals. That is more or less how we are recording our music.

Is there any connection to the band Carnage whose history is intertwined with Dismember when you decided upon the album's title?
Yes there is. We thought it would be cool to just go overboard with it. Since we already are heavily influenced by Dismember why not pay homage to their other band and name the album ‘Carnage’ while we are at it. It also suits the content of the songs lyrical wise.

band image

One more question concerning Dismember and then I'll quit talking about them. I was wondering if Fred Estby is a big influence on Your drumming style?
Fred has an interesting style of playing for sure. And he got some really cool accents in his playing that I think is inspirational. But my main influences have always been Nicke Andersson & Dave Lombardo when it comes to metal drumming. But I get inspiration from a lot of different drummers and styles. I try to adapt my playing to the style I´m about to play. Even in Witchery I approach the drums with a different mind-set. It's a different style of metal. Lik is a very straight forward and in your face kind of a style. But I hope that people hear when it's me playing no matter what it is I play on of course. I think that is every drummer’s goal when playing; to have their own voice so to speak.

'Carnage' is the first album coming out through Metal Blade after the debut and split with Uncanny on War Anthem Records. How did the deal with Metal Blade come together and were you free agents after the releases on War Anthem?
I sent our "demo" to War Anthem and they wanted to release our debut album. There was no contract whatsoever. Only a gentlemen's agreement meaning that we just took it day by day. They told us that they totally understand if we would sign to a major label. I mean War Anthem is an underground label meaning that they don´t have the same "muscles" to push their bands as Metal Blade does. The deal with Metal Blade came about when Nille got in touch with a guy named Ula who helped us out with the deal and contact. And it obviously worked out great. We are honoured to be on Metal Blade. It´s a classic label and are taking good care of us. It means a lot to us that they really like us too.

We all know Metal Blade is a big player and I guess this will give you a boost. Is there anything you already noticeable being on Metal Blade?
As I said they like the band, which is important to us. And we have met up with some of the guys from the European office. Just hanging out having a couple of beers and such. This tells you that they are genuinely interested in Lik. There is a mutual love for death metal and that is an excellent start. There is a very good communication, which mainly Nille is taking care of.

I guess promotion is much better too. And the fact there's already two videos (released as so called singles) seem to help a lot. So, does Metal Blade invest a lot in doing these videos? And how was it to film the one for 'Dr. Duschanka'?
Yes the promotion has been excellent thus far and we are getting a lot of good attention on the singles on all social media.. We are to release the last single before the album release, on the 24th of April. And it´s the song ‘Celebration Of The Twisted’. (Check it out below this interview – PB) Nille has filmed it. It´s a simple but very enjoyable piece of art. I like it a lot. ‘Dr. Duschanka’ was filmed by the very talented friend and singer of Nale, Mathias Blom aka Happy Creative. And we shot it at Nille´s workplace in a big mess hall. It turned out really cool just the way we wanted it. It was actually Andreas the boss of European branch of Metal Blade that choose the song to be shot. The budget for these things are very tight so we worked with what we had and Mathias was very generous.

You are doing shows regularly. Any plans on doing a tour to promote 'Carnage'? And who takes care of the bass when playing live?
If you ask us we play live way too little. But we work on getting shows all the time. But it´s hard to get it together financially. When you are a small band you don´t get offered that much so at times we just break even, which is hard sometimes. Especially if you travel far. But playing live is what we want to do of course. We are trying to get a booking agency to take us in and get us on the road. So for touring let´s just say we are working on it. As for bass duties live we have two friends that takes turns in helping us out when they can. They are both great guys and players, so we are lucky in that way.

Before we wrap this one up I was wondering what the current status of all your other bands is at this moment?
Tomas is the live guitarist for Bloodbath so he has a few tours and festival shows with them this year. And Katatonia is on a hiatus right now so Nille has only Lik at the moment (lucky for us.) I have a few shows booked with Witchery, but it´s not taking that much time from me. My main priority is Lik so I hope we will get a lot more to do now when we release ‘Carnage’. That is the goal anyway.

Right, I guess that's all I have to ask. Feel free to add important stuff I might have missed! Thanks for answering.
Thank you for showing interest in Lik. Don´t forget to get your copy of our second album ‘Carnage’ which is out on the 4th of May. Also check out our social media platforms at Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

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