For starters, I want to congratulate you with your new album ‘Garden Of Death’. I think it is your best piece until now.
Thank you very much! It’s very nice to get so many positive reactions to our album, especially being an underground band you know that they are sincere reviews as no-one has anything to ‘gain’ on it.
You guys obviously play death metal, and do it good. But why did you once upon a time choose to play death metal instead of any other kind of music?
I think when we started out in the 90’s we were described as death/black, usually bands that had a more melodic touch and used harmonies in their writing got that label. Later on, when some bands from Gothenburg in the genre got bigger it was named after their city. But I think our passion has always been in the death area. Even if we grew up listening to heavy metal and thrash/speed as well as other genres the brutality of death metal has always appealed.
I do like your music since the very beginning, since ‘Silence Of The World Beyond’. But honestly…I lost track of everything. Can you give a brief history of the band since then?
Well, we released an EP in ’94 called ‘As Tears’, ‘Silence…’ as you mentioned in ’96, after that we only released one more album as A Canorous Quintet in ’98 called ‘The Only Pure Hate’. Shortly after that release we split up. I joined Amon Amarth, Linus and Jesper started a band called Guidance of Sin and Mårten sang with Sins Of Omission and October Tide. Around 2004/2005 we decided we wanted to start making music again so we put together a demo and later released our first album as This Ending called ‘Inside the machine’. In 2009 we released ‘Dead Harvest’ and after that just a self-released EP called ‘Systematic Worship’ in 2012.
Can you explain why the band is called ‘This Ending’? To me it has few links with the atmosphere of your music.
When we regrouped in 2004/2005 we didn’t want it to be a reunion of ACQ. We didn’t want it to be some nostalgic trip and I think we felt we needed it to be something new. The theme of the first songs we wrote were very apocalyptic and dark so we wanted a name that fit to that. We first chose ‘The Plague’ but later changed that as there were already too many plagues around so we picked ‘This Ending’ to keep the end-of-the-world feeling. We also wanted a name everyone could pronounce and knew the meaning of. You have no idea how tired you get of explaining the meaning of your band name to everyone lol.
I suppose I am not the only one who one who likes ‘Garden Of Death’. What can you tell about the reactions from other media so far?
It’s been mainly positive so far I think. There have been some bad reviews but that’s fine too. Everyone can’t have the same taste. What I do feel is positive is that those who has given us good reviews seems to be positive about the things we were aiming for so that means that we succeeded with what we wanted to accomplish.
Regarding ‘Garden Of Death’, is the result the same as you envisioned it to be?
Yeah I think so. We wanted to write the best album we could at the time and we didn’t want to make any compromises. We let every song take the form it needed to be as good as it could be and we didn’t stress anything.
What can you tell about the contents of the lyrics of the songs? What are they about?
The themes are still very dark and gloomy. End of the world, apocalyptic stuff. It’s about all the negative sides of humanity and the world today.
Would you say your lyrics are typical for (death)metal?
Probably not. I guess for a pure death metal band the lyrical concept is usually about gore stuff and we don’t really go into that.
Can you give an insight in the process of creating songs?
That really depends on what material we have. Sometimes there’s a complete song almost already from the beginning and sometimes we get stuck somewhere in the middle and don’t know where to go so it takes forever to finish the song. On ‘Garden Of Death’ we re-wrote the song ‘Blackened Shrine’ probably ten times. I wrote the base for that song years ago originally for Amon Amarth, but it was never picked up, so we changed it up a bit, speeded up the tempo and re-wrote the chorus. Still it took a very long time until we were satisfied with the song structure. It’s important to have the right flow in a song, all the passages have to feel natural and sometimes you have to compromise as you can’t get every idea you have into the song.
I have always liked your music a lot. It has that dynamic sound that many other acts lack. In your view, what adds This Ending to the current death metal scene?
I think, and especially with ‘Garden Of Death’ it is that our music is very honest. We have no need to become a huge band and we only play and write music because it’s our passion, not because we are dependent on selling records. I think the difference with our music is our dynamic and diversity and that is something that comes from the fact that there have always been many songwriters in our band. All the string guys, plus me, contributes musically so that’s four guys with four different ideas and views. A lot of bands only have one or maybe two main songwriters and that can make the songs sound too alike.
Is there, in your view, much difference between the most recent albums and the first one in the 90-ies?
Yes and no. I think you can hear that it’s the same band and the same members but I think it’s evolved and you can also tell that we have years of experience both within and outside of music.
In comparison to similar acts like Children Of Bodom, In Flames, Dark Tranquillty etc., This Ending has remained relatively unknown. What is the reason for that according to you?
Well, originally since the 90’s I think it’s because we split up. If we had continued to play in the early 2000 I think the name would have stuck around more. But the main reason I think is that we haven’t been able to play live very much. The bands you mention are all very active live bands that tour all the time. In this genre and music scene I think it’s impossible these days to be more known unless you get to tour.
If you could change anything in your musical career, anything at all, what would that be and why?
Personally I’ve been very fortunate to been part of a band that grew to be one of the biggest in the genre. I have very few regrets of my career. But I guess I’ve always considered ‘A Canorous Quintet’ my ‘baby’ and I wish we could’ve kept on for a while longer.
What is it that you want to achieve with This Ending? Or don’t you have certain goals and just are happy to play in this band?
We are really only happy to play together and create something we enjoy. Our goal is to play more live, since it’s something we love to do.
You have been in the metal scene for quite a while now. As a result you have seen a lot of developments in both the music as well as the scene, and of course the effect of Internet on the music industry. Can you mention some positive and some negative ones from your point of view?
One thing I don’t like is that I read constantly from new bands how they dream about ‘making it’ and getting big. When I started playing it was never about that, of course you want people to like the music you play, but there was never a goal in itself to become ‘big’. I never expected to make any money whatsoever on my music. And I think it’s something that will pass. Historically musicians have never been rich and popular, that is something that was invented last century and I think it has ruined a lot of creativity. Music should not be a product and shouldn’t be a way to become rich.
Can you point out new music that have influenced your sound the most lately?
Honestly, no. I can’t think of any new band or music that has influenced me. But I am pretty conservative about my music, if you would ask our singer Mårten he could probably give a few examples as he listens to more new stuff and buys a lot more albums than I do.
Do you, as a band, care at all what kind of people like your music? When you write the music, do you have a specific audience on your mind?
Not at all. We write the music we want to play and listen to so it’s just a bonus if someone else finds it listenable too lol.
Unfortunately I have never ever been to one of your gigs. Is there any chance we can change that this year? Or isn’t anything planned in Europe concerning a tour this year in support of the album?
There’s not really anything planned yet but we really hope to get a chance to show ourselves live sometime soon, we would love to play for example at the Eindhoven Metal Meeting.
Alright, this wraps it up for now. Thanks a lot for answering my questions. If there is something you like to add to this interview, please feel free to do so…
Thanks for your questions and interest in our band. I’d like to thank anyone who listened to our music and likes it for their support, we truly appreciate it! Ask for us at your local club or bar and demand concert arrangers to book us!