Divinefire tries to combine the heaviness from the more melodic extreme metal with the melodies from the symphonic style of hard rock/metal while also blending on beautiful vocal harmonies. How difficult is it to achieve this goal? Does this come natural to you with you being more into the aggressiveness of music and Christian more into the melodic parts or is it something you have to look for?
This process is a very natural thing for us. We come from different eras in music me and Christian but nevertheless we manage to combine this into a powerful structure. I usually don't think before I compose that much. I go on a spontaneous feeling, do I want to write a fast song, slow, aggressive or mellow. I rarely sit down to record an already thought out structure, I do it right on the spot, I just go with the flow, then I adjust the song and fix the parts or rearrange things in a way that I think is good. This is the way I like symphonic metal and I don't try to go after a certain sound or anything, to fit a certain genre. Do we sound like this or that band, I don't really care about that. It is very hard to make something original these days, but I think that DF has managed to create an interesting mix of aggressive and melodic metal.
Could you tell us about each of the members of the band what they bring to the group both musically and personally to make Divinefire what it is?
I (Jani) am the composer in DF, I write all the music that is heard on each album on my own. After I have a ready song in a final state I send it over to Christian Liljegren and from there my part ends, I give him free hands to write his own vocal lines. Andreas Olsson plays the bass and I give him free hands to do what he feels is right for the song. Lijegren is a fantastic organiser and has a great skill in keeping things in order and arranging the paper work etc. A solid rock that you can rely on when things comes to handle band situations.
Correct me if I am wrong, but was Divinefire originally not supposed to be a project, releasing only three albums? What made you decide to go for this fourth one?
It was meant to be as a project from the beginning, but only for maybe one album. But as we know that did not stand for long, we thought that we had a good concept and started writing on a second album. But now we are at the fourth and final release. The ending has nothing to do with issues within the band but more on a personal level outside the band territory. We are at different stages in our life and this felt as a good decision to make. We had a deal on three albums but decided to make one final album as a farewell.
At Divinefire you have always been working with a lot of guest appearances. Did you never feel the need to add people to the line-up or was the way this were going satisfying for all three of you?
As we started out it was meant to be as a fun project where a lot of people could be involved as we had no plans on playing live. The guest on the albums has still be a part of our recordings to enhance the different elements in our music. But the main line up has been the same from the start and we didn't feel at any point that we wanted or needed to bring more members into the creating process. The few occasions we played live we had friends as session musicians.
With Christian withdrawing from his vocal duties it also means the end of Divinefire. Have you considered trying to look for another vocalist? Why (not)?
No it has never crossed my mind. In that case I would create a new band name and start over. I don't think there's a replacement for Christian and his presence in this band. Surely I could continue to write new material and get a new vocalist but it doesn't feel right to do so.
You are in different bands (Essence Of Sorrow, Miseration, Mehida and The Weakening) and evolved with several other bands and/or projects (ReinXeed for example). Where do you find the time to give all these things the proper attention?
I only mixed the Reinxeed album, didn't play anything on it (editorial: that is totally different from what ReinXeeds Tommy Johansson says in the interview that you can also find in this edition!). Well not all of these bands are live bands. But the thing is to organise things and plan. Each band has its own time and place. So I do not try to make them all to run at the same time, recording and play live. That would never work. I keep on doing that as long as it is possible but who knows what will happen in the future. The Weakening is the band that I play most live with and that also takes most of my time then. The purpose with all my different bands as you might know is that it is all different genres, for me it would not be fun or worth it to spend time playing in several bands that are trying to achieve the same fan base. Essence Of Sorrow and Mehida are slightly similar but at the same time many aspects that divide them.
Is it difficult to divide creativity and time equally between the several bands or could you say that there is a certain band which has your priority?
The creativity I have no problem with since the styles are so different, so there's no way I would write some grind core riffs for Essence Of Sorrow for example. Hehe. So it is no problem for me. I know exactly where and what each song should end up that I write. But I certainly go by feeling, whenever I feel to write something I know for what band I'm going to write for.
In your case different bands also means different musical approaches. Mehida, for example, is quite different from what you do with Miseration. Which musical direction has your preferences? Why?
My interest goes in periods. At some time I am all into listening and writing death, then it goes over into a more melodic period and that goes on forever back and forth. That is also why I like playing in all these bands because I get to explore all my own interests in music. Right now I am in an aggressive mood again, hehe. Have been writing a lot for Miseration and The Weakening lately.
Are there any other happenings or things going on with the band or you personally that you would like me to let people know about? Do you have anything to say or add for closure?
We are just about to sign a deal with Miseration with a Lifeforce, so I'm very excited about that. Then I have been recording with The Weakening and waiting to be able to release that as soon as possible. Had the opportunity to open up before Entombed with The Weakening and also played together with bands like Avatar and By Night. Mehida is in the mixing part of our second album and we will play live for the first time the 21 of June in Finland. Beside my music I'm soon to become a carpenter. So as you can see I have been extremely busy doing all these albums and studying full time looking forward to build some houses, hehe.