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Interview with SWEVEN

by Vpower

 

The Band: Sweven

Country: Sweden

Answers: Robert Andersson (guitar, vocals)

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Out of Stockholmcomes SWEVEN, named after Morbus Chron’s final record. Founded by Robert Andersson, previously the main songwriter of Morbus Chron. SWEVEN’s debut album ”The Eternal Resonance” was in many ways a DIY project, with the assistance of Rasmus Booberg, who led the drum recording, and David Castillo, who helped out with the electric guitars. Mastering was handled by Magnus Lindberg of Redmount Studios. The cover artwork was crafted by Raul Gonzalez, who previously worked closely with Morbus Chron as well.

Hello Robert, “The Eternal Resonance” is your debut album, how and when did Sweven project started?

Sweven was born pretty much instantly after Morbus Chron disbanded. I needed to still have an outlet for this kind of music. So while it’s a debut album, for me it’s also very obviously a spiritual successor to Morbus’ sophomore record. One that I started working on while the band was still going. It has taken far too long for everything to finally come together.

Apart of the members in the line up it seems you had the assistance of some people as David Castillo, right?

Yes, we had some technical assistance for the recording. David Castillo helped out during parts of the guitar recording and Rasmus Booberg oversaw the drum recording. Apart from that, it’s been a very DIY effort from the start.

It seems it has been a long cooking process. When did you start composing the songs and how was it?

The first seeds for the album were probably planted as early as back in 2014/2015, while the majority of the writing took place in the following year or two. It was a slower process, but it wasn’t too bad. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t rush things and that every little piece felt right. Most of the material was compiled and put together during trips out to more remote locations, where I had the chance to work in calmer settings.

When you have a so long creative process sometimes it happens that you start hesitating about everything, too many thoughts or reviews, etc, did you pass this process or all was clear from the beginning?

 Yeah, that’s without a doubt the case. As much as you benefit from taking your time and really working stuff out in every detail, there’s always a risk of causing damage by these endless reworks and revisits. I’m guilty of this in every possible way and it caused a giant amount of frustration and long delays. Doing most things yourself, there’s an even greater risk that you’ll lose track and perspective somewhere down the line.

How much have Isak and Jesper helped you with the composition tasks?

The composing is something I do myself. But of course there have been a few instances where ideas are being thrown around during rehearsals. Jesper had a lot of freedom in the drumming department on how to interpret the material and make it his own, and Isak has contributed with some fantastic lead work. So while not exactly helping out with writing the songs, they’ve both been important in shaping the sound of the record in different ways.

What are the lyrics about?

If there’s a lyrical theme to be found, it’s that they often talk about locations and circumstances that were of importance when conceiving the music itself, and in many cases also the emotional response I get when listening back to it. They’re weirdly self-referential.

The cover art seems quite allegorical, how does it connect with the album?

I wanted the cover art to be a metaphorical interpretation of being in a state of flow. When you’re intensely connected to some creative task, as if resonating with something larger, fading everything else into non existence. The obvious connection is that without those states, there wouldn’t have been much music here to discuss. But I also really cherish those moments on a non musical level. They make me a more happy and fulfilled person. I’m a lousy meditator, so these moments are a much needed way for me to turn down the volume of the constant noise floor.

I would like to underline the diversified sphere of sound you offer in “The Eternal Resonance”, quite an example of composition skills

There’s a challenge in composing something this diverse while still trying to keep things coherent throughout each song and throughout the album as a whole. So thank you! I have no recipe that I follow. When I write a song I’m as clueless as you are as to where the song will end up. It’s almost always a journey without a clear destination.

It seems every detail has been studied in the album, so many hours of dedication finally paid off?

A lot of time has gone into this album and its every detail. But with how much frustration and anger this project has brought me, it’s kind of hard to talk about a payoff. It’s a big mess of bitter and sweet. Right now I’m just happy to finally have been able to let go of it.

Any song that had been more difficult to finish off?

I can’t think of one specifically. There are always some parts that come easy while others require lots of work. Most tracks were pretty evenly distributed on the difficult/easy spectrum. Visceral Blight was the only track with an almost pain free composition. Its skeleton was finished in one sitting, which is very rare for me.

After the big effort you will take a rest of Sweven, something like the master painting hanged on the wall, or the project is more alive than ever?

To me the album is very old at this point, and during all this time I haven’t really written much music aimed solely for Sweven. Most energy was spent trying to finish things up. I’m starting to become excited again to get back in the saddle and work on new material. It’ll take some more time, but not too long I’m sure.

Great news, then. Are you thinking to play live these songs?

Yes, we’re looking to grow our numbers sometime in the future. Currently, as a trio, we simply lack the people to do it. The search shall commence eventually.

There are many bands in the planet nowadays, most of them cannot do a living of their music or even they cannot achieve any kind of popularity. Others even they play what they don’t want to play, just seeking success with a commercial sound or whatever… With your experience, what would you tell them?

Seeing music only as a mean for success is so foreign to me. Music doesn’t give me money, but it gives me everything I value. Currently I’m studying, but I’ve worked part time for many years just to afford rent and food. As few hours as possible to support a very minimalist lifestyle. It’s not glamorous, but I prefer it to soul crushing labor. Any artist worth their salt will keep creating, whether money is a part of the picture or not.

Thank you very much Robert and congratulations for your great album, if you wish to add something…

Thanks a lot! The pleasure was mine. All the best to you!

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