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Interview: Crister (ISOLE)

Pure metal...interviews

I will always remember Doom Shall Rise 2005 with fondness, and among the many great bands I discovered that weekend were Isole (formerly named Forlorn) whose career Iíve been following ever since, so I was delighted to get the chance to review this yearís release, 'Throne Of Void' and I wanted to ask the band a few questions about how they enjoyed making the album and what the future holds for Isole.

Lead guitarist and backing vocalist Crister kindly took the time to reply.

Isole - Crister

Photo: Viv

Forlorn released their first demo, 'Tired' in 1991. What makes you want to keep making music?

Crister: Simply because we love making music, I think we always will make music for as long as we live, maybe it won't be doom metal 30 years from now but still some kind of music making will be present in our life.

And why the particular style you have chosen?

That's the question, really... why did we choose a style of music that not so many people listens too. We must be plain stupid, or maybe we don't care what trends is all about and just keep on doing the music that we really like ourselves. I really like the music Isole makes even if I must hear the songs a thousand times during recording and mixing sessions and that is the most important thing it makes you wanting to struggle on with the band.

What I like about 'Throne Of Void' is that itís more sombre than 'Forevermore' (if thatís possible!)

Crister: Okay, maybe it is a bit more sombre, I'm not sure myself, the production is different and maybe that has something to do with it. I think "Forevermore" is more emotional and "Throne of Void" is more metal.

Was that your intention when you started work on it?

Crister: We wanted to make a more even album, after the release of our debut we felt it was a little bit shattered (no wonder, the songs are made in a 15 years period). And we wanted to make a heavier, darker and more metal oriented album. "Throne of Void" is much more compact and that was the sound we were after, but I miss the dynamic from the debut a little bit... we'll see what direction we will head in the future.

I like the re-working of 'Autumn Leaves'. Did you always plan on re-working it when you chose to re-record it?

Crister: Thank you! I'm glad you liked it! We always go through a metarmorphosis with every old song we are re-recording, it's many old songs on our debut and you also have "Life?" from the new album which is written in 1994 I think... and all of the songs have been edited in one way or another before they have been recorded on an album.

Are you planning to re-record any of the other material from your demos?

Crister: Yes, we will use more old "Forlorn" material, at least everything that we think sounds good. But as I said we will work a little bit with every song and I'm quite sure they will sound a bit different when we release them.

Isole - Crister

Photo: Viv

I notice that you recorded, produced and mixed 'Throne Of Void', and the 7" 'The Beyond', and co-produced 'Forevermore'. Was it difficult to be detached and how did you decide when each track was finished?

Crister: No, it was a natural step for us, Jonas is an educated sound engineer and Daniel very interested in audio as well... and it's much easier to get the result you want if you are in charge of the recording yourself. But you must let other people with audio experience to come in with fresh ears to say their opinions of the sound now and then, it's easy to be "blind" to your own sound. And we didn't master "Throne of Void" ourselves, we hired Devo from Endarker Studios for that. And we had a time limit, so the tracks were finished when the time ran out I guess. If we didn't have a time limit I think we will still be mixing "Throne of Void". You never get really satisfied so time limits are a must.

Did you enjoy the experience and will you work in the same way for your next album?

Crister: It was a challenge and it was fun and interesting, but it has two sides I think, you have to spend much time in the studio if you are doing everything yourself. I'm rather sure that we will do the same thing on the next album.

How have you enjoyed working with I Hate Records?

Crister: We have a great cooperation with our label. Ola is a great guy and he really work with his heart! They are growing all the time and I hope they will continue doing that.

Your music, as I said before, is sombre - is it difficult to get the mood right when youíre writing new material?

Crister: Well, no I don't feel that way, the sombre music comes natural for us. Maybe it's the darkness in this forsaken country.

How do you guys write new material? Do you work together or separately?

Crister: Most times either me or Daniel come up with an idea for a song, we try it out in the rehearsal room and everyone in the band put their personal touch on the song, and if everybody think it sounds good then we have a new song... but most of the time they will be edited a couple of times before the final product. In other words I think it's kind of a mix of working separately and together.

I was lucky enough to see you play the Doom Shall Rise festival in 2005, and youíve also played at the Dutch Doom Day. What was it like to play at such auspicious festivals?

Crister: Doom Shall Rise is THE PLACE TO BE if you are a doom metal band, it's just as simple as that. It's the best promotion you can get. DSR was really great and I truly hope we will be allowed to perform our music there again. Dutch Doom Day was a lot of fun as well, but it wasn't that crowded on the sunday when we played and that was a pity, I hope DDD will grow and become really important event for the doom audience because doom metal really needs it.

What has been happening for Isole since the release of 'Throne Of Void' earlier this year?

Crister: We have been a little bit busy with other things, Jonas has been occupied with his other band in studio and I had a lot of family matters to attend to this year but we have been in the Netherlands for a short weekend tour and we had a release party for the new album. We have also written some new material and rehearsed a lot. Currently we are working in the studio again with some stuff.

And what are your plans for the near future?

Crister: We are trying to do a tour in Europe early next year, nothing is set yet but probably we will visit Germany, France and Holland. And we will continue writing more material and try to decide which direction we will go musicwise in the future.

Any last words?

Crister: Rock'nRoll god damn it!!!!

Interview © December 2006 Amanda Hyne

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