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Dautha

Met Dautha heeft Ván Records weer een pareltje gevonden. Het Duitse label heeft de demo ‘Den Förste’ van de Zweedse doom metal band opnieuw uitgebracht. Dat is maar goed ook want de versie die de band zelf op de markt bracht was zeer gelimiteerd. Hoe dit allemaal tot stand is gekomen en hoe we één en ander in relatie moeten zien met het intussen opgeheven Griftegård hebben we aan oprichter, componist en gitarist Ola Blomkvist gevraagd. Hij geeft uitgebreid antwoord en het volgende interview is dan ook een mooie introductie van Dautha.

Door: Pim B. | Archiveer onder doom metal

Hi Ola, you formed Dautha while you were still active with Griftegård. Even when you have stated on your Facebook page that the history of Dautha isn't interesting I am wondering why one would start a doom metal band while being involved in another doom metal band? I guess this has something to do with ventilating other ideas?
Greetings Pim, and thank you for having us featured on the pages of LOM. With Griftegård I dived deep into the religious/existential, and this demanded a certain form, musically and visually. Griftegård was about sternness and discipline, and me forming Dautha can, perhaps, be seen as a counter reaction to the orthodoxy of my main band. I needed to step out of THE FORM I had created for us. However, being who I am, I did not get far...and another Doom Metal band was a fact. The other passion in my life I have had a hard time to shake is my love for the medieval, and in good old oxymoronic fashion I went to create...another FORM, although this one I believe to have made more spacious.

While at it I have to ask why Griftegård folded. I know lots of people were looking forward hearing new material.
Griftegård folded because I felt I wasn't where I needed to be for the band to continue. And while I am sorry to have disappointed some people, I feel grateful knowing we managed to reach out with our message the way we did.

Okay, back to Dautha. Looking at your past bands (The Doomsday Cult and Griftegård) you always composed material that could be described as classic styled doom metal. Same goes for Dautha. To me the differences are in the details. I suppose that you, as a composer, might see things differently. So, could you tell a bit more how you see Dautha musically and what are your main influences in this case? Could you explain the differences between Dautha and your previous bands?
The differences are in the details, I see no reason to disagree with you there. However the details are what's important. Griftegård had to come out exactly the way it did, no deviation was possible, nor was it desirable. Solemn.Sacred.Severe. The Doomsday Cult was a rather rigid affair also, being an undisguised vessel for, and celebration of, the spirit of traditional Doom Metal. We ate and slept While Heaven Wept, Candlemass, Pagan Altar, Sorcerer, Forlorn, Solstice, Count Raven.

Composing for Dautha is more of a tabula rasa thing. This said there are some boxes to be ticked: The subject of the lyrics, and the artwork, has to connect to medieval times, or to antiquity, and the music must be heavy and dark, although perhaps not in a Metal-way exclusively. Because there are different ways for music to be heavy and dark-hell, folk music, when played right, is the darkest/heaviest music on earth! And among the bands playing it right there's not a single idiotic Ompa or Folk Metal band, that's for sure! I must admit though, that the folkish element in Dautha's music might not appear as particularly emphasized to the listener (save for the violin harmonies). It might even be something that (mainly) is experienced by me as main composer, as a mind-set of mine...but one which grants me a lot of inspiration. Another quite obvious and very crucial thing that makes Dautha differ a lot from The Doomsday Cult and Griftegård is the line-up. Dautha is a team effort (not that Griftegård or The Doomsday Cult wasn't team efforts though) and much more than my mind and will alone. Besides contributing amazing vocals Lars Palmqvist helps to arrange the songs and does violin harmonies (together with his father Bengt-Arne) and Micael Zetterberg handles the drums (in a great way) how he see fit. Erik Öquist is also great at coming up with harmonies (and solos) for guitar, while Emil Åström, besides being an accomplished bass player, also is a true multi-instrumentalist (like Lars) and able to help us untie arrangement knots that otherwise would make us despair.

Regarding our sources of inspiration I'd say they stem from a mixture of folk/neo-folk, Doom/Black and Heavy Metal, and even some jazz (Emil Åström is a real jazz cat). Some names to mention are: The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud, Fire+Ice, Freya Aswynn (her authority can only be rivalled by Alzbeth and Galás), Sol Invictus, Shirley Collins, Bathory, Burzum, Arckanum, Count Raven, Scald, Bathory, Candlemass, Cathedral, Paul Chain, Pagan Altar, Manowar, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Monica Zetterlund.

You are currently also in Wardenclyffe along with Dautha's bassist and drummer. How does that band relate to Dautha?
Dautha shares rehearsal space with Wardenclyffe and both entities needs to relate to the other when it comes to making time for rehearsals and recording preparations etc. However Wardenclyffe is, first and foremost, my dear friend Jacob Nordangård's creation. He writes the absolute majority of the music and lyrics and has the vision.

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Your first demo 'Den Förste' has now been released by Ván Records who have also released material by Griftegård and The Doomsday Cult in the past. So I guess it was quite logical to work with them once again. But what I'd like to know is if you made any special agreement on the packaging. We all know Ván is famous for the great packaging of their releases and the initial self-released edition of 'Den Förste' had some great packaging too?
No special agreement was needed, because, like you state yourself, Ván is synonymous with great packaging. Also, I personally have more than a decade of experience of working with Sven and knew he would make sure to present Dautha in an uncompromising way. Ván is home, Sven is a friend, we could not be happier with our choice of label. Glad to hear you liked the look of the demo booklet!

You only did 78 copies of your demo initially and I assume that was because of the labour intensive packaging you did? Why did you choose this book-like packaging, which you have done before when you did one of the early releases of The Doomsday Cult?
I always ask myself this question as well while I am in it-why am I creating these extremely labour intensive special packages? The answer might be that I do them seldom enough to forget exactly how draining it is, physically, emotionally, economically. Also, I always tend to underestimate the time it takes to do them. But I love it. And to me it has become a mandatory part of starting a new band, it is like I create the spine for the new entity, a spine which is fleshed out by the bands subsequent releases. This special first package carries the spirit in which the band was created and serves as a constant reminder to me during its life cycle. I guess I'm not a middle of the road guy-if something is worth doing it must be done all the way or not at all, and nothing that is worth doing is ever easy.

You later on did some extra copies with different packaging, can you tell a bit more about that as well?
I did a few (twenty, something...) very simple copies in a plain paper sleeve with a lyric insert, just because I had to order 100 copies of the pro-printed CDR. So, it is the same pressing as the first one, featuring Dautha himself on the front, only on a different, not as exclusive sleeve.

The reissue through Ván Records was remixed and remastered. Can you tell a bit more about that and will the people who might have the original demo hear any difference?
Yes, it was remastered, mainly because of the vinyl release, and when at it we took the chance to adjust some levels. The intro, for example, was boosted a bit, and so was some of the vocals. The new mastering became a little less compressed and more open, which I think is clearly audible to someone who owns both editions and would bother to compare the two. P.W. Engel at Temple of Disharmony really impressed us!

One of the features that is quite striking is the use of a violin. Is this a one-off idea that suited the particular song or will you use this instrument in the future more often?
The violin is there to stay in the sound and will be used whenever a song calls for it. We will probably not increase the percentage of traditional instrumentation per song, but we will use other types of instruments besides bass/guitar when the material gains from it.

Plan is you start recording a full-length this summer. Are any other plans like playing live scheduled as well?
Indeed, we plan to start recording the album this summer, and it will be made on different occasions due to our differing individual time schedules. Hopefully we are finished in late summer/early autumn. We are in the enviable situation of having too much material for a traditional albums length, so we will most likely also record one or two song for a single/split-single as well. I think it is safe to say it will be quite a diverse album with a mix of very epic, slow stuff as well as some more mid paced numbers. Also, the songs differ quite a lot in atmosphere to each other, but all are dark in their own way.

That's all from this side. Anything else you'd like to add?
Thank you for this opportunity to get our name out Pim, appreciate it. If this interview has peaked your interest in us please go to our Bandcamp and have a listen to ‘In Between Two Floods’ off the ‘Den Förste’ EP. If you like what you hear make sure to order our EP Den Förste from Ván Records. Our Facebook site is here.

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