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Under The Church

Nu het tweede volledige album ‘Supernatural Punishment’ van Under The Church uit is, is het ook hoog tijd om de band weer eens wat vragen voor te leggen. Er is immers voldoende gebeurd. Drummer Erik Qvick gaf antwoord op onze vragen.

Door: Pim B. | Archiveer onder death metal / grindcore

Hey guys, it’s been a while since we last did an interview, which was in 2014 just after the release of the self-titled EP. So, quite a bit has happened since then like the release of the debut full-length ‘Rabid Armageddon’ in 2015. Since it’s two years ago you probably can look back on that release more objectively, so how do you feel about that album now and how has the feedback been?
Yes, a lot has happened since the EP was released. We didn’t sit around poking our bellyholes and released ‘Rabid Armageddon’ shortly after the EP. By then the current line-up that we have now had started taking shape. I’m really happy the way ‘Rabid...’ sounds and the tunes that are on it.
It got pretty good reviews and there was a buzz around the band at the time....the catch22 situation is that a band has to tour to make something happen no matter how good reviews one gets. At the time it wasn’t really possible to do regular gigs/tours so we have been trying to deal with that for a while. It’s tricky when band members live all over the place.

The next release was the single ‘Confer The Vile / Wake The Dead’ in 2016, which was released digitally only. Can you explain why these songs weren’t released in a physical format?
Yep, we actually planned on releasing those tunes as a 7” vinyl. Then one thing leads to another and we never got around doing that 7”. Those two tunes are great though, I really like ‘Wake The Dead’, lt’s an homage to my addiction to coffee.

Was that single also actually the latest recording featuring Mik Annetts? And can you tell a bit more about his departure from the band?
We recorded those two tunes shortly after the ‘Rabid Armageddon’ sessions at the same studio so they do share that same kind of sound and feel. Mik sang on those two tunes, Mik is a great guy and singer, we just felt like we needed something different in the band, there are no hard feelings and Mik is starting a new band I think.

In addition you released a very limited tape with a live recording from 2016 entitled ‘Horrors From The Tomb’. This was recorded in Berlin during your tour with Entrapment. Was Mik still in the band at that time?
That live tape was one of those “one thing leads to another” things. Andreas was just starting out the Cacodæmon label and asked if he could try out recording the gig in Berlin. It came out really well and Cacodæmon has been releasing some very cool stuff after that so I’m happy for Andreas and for us that we did that live tape. At the time of that tour Erik Sahlström had come into the band, Sahlström is not only a fantastic singer but also a all-around super-dude so we are really stoked about this line-up.

You now are a five-piece with Erik Wallin (Merciless) and Marcus Klack (ex-Morbid) on guitars. I think they already helped you out live right?
Yes, we did a short tour of Europe together with the fantastic Entrapment. Klacke and Wallin have also been a part of the song writing process so it feels like a proper band now.

Mik Annetts was replaced by Erik Sahlström (currently also in General Surgery and Crucifyre and formerly in Maze Of Torment and Serpent Obscene amongst others). I think you already had him in mind when you were about to record your first demo, right?
Erik Sahlström was one of the first persons I contacted when we had the demo tracks ready, at the time it didn’t pan out due to everybody being so busy but I so glad that he’s a part of the band now.

band image

So, did having a full line-up change anything regarding the writing of the new album ‘Supernatural Punishment’? Did the new guys add anything or was it basically the same as before and the changes were merely the recordings?
Yes and no, we had the bulk of music ready when the current line-up was realised but we changed a lot for the recording. Everybody pitched in ideas and the end result is a band effort.

Talking about recordings, you have used 3 different studios right? Can you tell a bit how this all worked out. Referring to our first interview you said that having a certain human connection was vital to the recordings opposed to sending files through the interwebs. So, how did it all work out this time around?
Since we’re a bunch of old farts with a ton of family responsibilities it’s impossible to have regular “rehearse once a week” schedule...also adding in the fact that we live in different countries makes it quite complicated. But we make the best of what we have and what we can do, there’s hardly nothing better than playing music with your best buddies

In some other recent interview you did I read that you thought your new album is rather regressive opposed to progressive comparing it to your previous album. Can you explain that a bit? Has that perhaps something to do with going back to being influences by older bands?

I remember reading an interview with Fenriz where he talks about “going back to the roots of the roots”. That’s a good explanation of how the tunes for this album came about, it wasn’t so much a conscious decision but that’s the overall feel of the album. Our influences have been the same since 1988 so that’s hard to change, on this album there’s a few obvious nods to bands like Sadus, Accept, Venom, Warfare, Celtic Frost and Bathory.

Talking about older bands; you recently released a split 7” with Revel in Flesh where you both covered an old song. You did Razor’s ‘Evil Invaders’. Can you tell a bit more about choosing this great Canadian band?
Probably one of the best Thrash tunes ever written, we had to give it a try.

I think I asked all the things I wanted to know. Anything else you might want to add such as possible tours or whatever? Be my guest and thanks for answering this interview.
Thanks for having us, we really appreciate the support. Hopefully we’ll be doing more gigs on a regular basis next year, summer festivals would be great too. Do hassle your local promoter into booking Under The Church.

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