Forming only five years ago, Wormwood is quite a new band. How did you guys all meet?
T.Rydsheim and D.Johansson met in early 2014 and wanted to form a band, they needed a vocalist so they contacted me via email. J.Engström is a childhood friend of mine and we’ve been in previous bands together so he joined later that year.
Are you involved with any other projects or bands?
Everyone in the band has other smaller projects and live bands. T.Rydsheim plays live with Månegarm, D.Johansson played live with Draconian, J.Engström plays in a death metal band called RIKET and I have smaller projects that I will reveal in due time.
You have recently released your 2nd full-length, Nattarvet. Is there a concept behind the album?
Most of the songs is about the great famine which struck Sweden during the 1860’s. So we re-tell personal stories from the life and death of ordinary people during an unusual time. Some songs aren’t specifically about the famine but still during that time.
How would you say Nattarvet it is different from your debut album, Ghostlands – Wounds from a Bleeding Earth?
Nattarvet is more cohesive and follows the same style while Ghostlands was, I wouldn’t say an experiment, but it was more all over the place. We took the things we liked and thought worked from Ghostlands then we redefined them and created Nattarvet. That’s how we usually create new albums, we use what worked for us and create something new with it.
There are a few guest appearances on your latest album. How did the band go about getting all the musicians and vocalists involved?
All three guest musicians (Erik from Mångerm, Martin from Mercury X and Moa) are friends with T.Rydsheim. So it came pretty naturally to ask talented people if they wanted to be a part of something that we think is quite special and unique.
Tell us a little bit about the album artwork for Nattarvet. Who is the artist and what inspired its design?
Mario Polzin of Moornebheym did it. He is the same person who did the artwork for Ghostlands. We wanted something eye-catching and special. We didn’t feel we wanted an ordinary black and white, gloomy picture. We’re sure it would look cool and all that but it wouldn’t be us.
Is the sun going up or down? Is it the beginning or the end of something? No right or wrong answer. It’s all up to YOU.
T. Rydsheim snapped a couple of pictures of a nearby place to where he lives which is very special to us, we used that as inspiration while sending Mario ideas. We are very, very satisfied with the final product.
In what way would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?
Pure Swedish melancholia dressed in melodic black metal and folk influences.
Do you have a favourite track from the new album?
It’s a toss-up between these three: Av Lie och Börda, because of the heartwrenching story behind it, the voice of hopelessness, the double guitar solo and so on and so forth. Arctic Light with its hectic pace, melancholic undertone and bombastic chorus and tear-jerking end. The Isolationist. The grand opus of Wormwood. Every single second on that song is pure emotion.
Where do you draw your influences from when it comes to writing new material?
To explain in a poetic way: the uncharted wilderness of Sweden, the deep-rooted melancholia which we as Swedes are born with, the for the rest of the world unknown history of Sweden’s hardship. That’s at least the inspiration for Nattarvet. …but in general, we all listen to different things and that’s what makes our music quite interesting. T.Rydsheim as the main composer has been an avid KISS and Iron Maiden fan his whole life. Sprinkle in some Mark Knopfler and that pure Swedish black metal blood which runs deep within us, and that’s quite close to how we write new material.
Is the music industry how you thought it would be when first starting a band?
I didn’t really think anything when I started in the business, but throughout the years I’ve been gradually desensitized by all of the bullshit that comes with it, but I have also been proven wrong and seen positive sides too. It’s a roller-coaster for sure.
What is the music scene like in Sweden?
Better than many other countries for sure. Doesn’t mean it’s perfect but if you’re an unknown band playing insert-whatever-metal-genre-here in Sweden your opportunities are way better here (or in any Nordic country for that matter) than if you were from somewhere else. All in all, I think the scene is thriving but the lack of gig-places which seems to disappear at an an alarming rate is less than ideal.
Do you think image is important when being in a band?
I think it’s important that you show pathos and intensity when you’re playing live. Your image should reflect the music you do. Be true to yourself and fuck the rest.
Is there anywhere in the world you would like to tour and haven’t yet?
Anywhere in the Americas or Japan would be quite the dream come true.
What genres of music do you like to listen to personally?
Atmospheric music, ambience, synth and chillwave and the newest metal releases from the bands I care about.
Were you given any advice from other bands before starting out?
As long as everyone in the band shares the same goal, are focused, I think many bands can achieve what they want.
What are the pros/cons of being in a band?
There is always an economical part when you’re starting to have a name for yourself. It’s not cheap, but on the positive side, it’s the feeling of creating something that people love. That will never get old!
Do you have any hobbies outside of music?
I do yes, but I try not to talk too much about that. But I do enjoy a good movie and a book and nature.
What would you say was the highlight of this year for you?
Releasing Nattarvet via Black Lodge Records and the awesome time we had at Vagos Metal Fest in Portugal this August!
Do Wormwood have anything else exciting planned for 2019?
We will be playing on Månegarm Open-air now in August and playing with our friends in Diabolical alongside Borknagar on Southern Discomfort in Norway, September. We’re looking to plan as much as we can for 2020 also.
Thanks again for your time, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?
An endless thanks to everyone who has bought and listen to Nattarvet. The reception has been overwhelming. It’s a truly humbling experience, so again, thank you, everyone! Witness us!