G= JOHAN - MAGNUS WIKMARK
D= Inception, Leech, S:T Erik>>EB [ERIK BJÖRKEGREN]>>Inception, Valley Of The Dead, S:T Erik
Deviant was formed in 2002 by Johan, Magnus and EB in Uppsala, Sweden located one hour north of Stockholm. The band was joined by singer Alx and recorded a rehearsal in 2002 and a self-titled demo in August of 2003. The act signed to Italy's The Spew Records in the spring of 2004 and began recording an album in the same year. Having recorded the album at EAR Studio Deviant also recruited bassist Fredrik of the band Inception. The album was issued at the end of 2005 having endured much delay. Gustaf Jorde of Defleshed guested on the album. The band was practically disbanded by 2006.
Nuclear Winter issued a 3” EP, called Apathyphus, in 2007.
DEVIANT - LARVAEON - THE SPEW
With a name like Deviant it is probably an obvious conclusion that the Swedish band is hardly the stuff of the mainstream. The Uppsala-based band has just had its Larvaeon album released through Italy's The Spew Records. Noting the qualities of the death metal band Ali "The Metallian" was quick to get in touch with drummer EB for a chat. - 18.02.2006
METALLIAN: Thank you for the opportunity to conduct this interview. Let's start with the obvious what does EB stand for?
EB: Those are my initials. My name is Erik Björkegren and when I was a little boy there was another Erik so everyone started to call me EB. Nothing more to it really. Now it has become some sort of a 'performance name' for me or whatever you want to call it.
METALLIAN: Let me admit to not having heard of you before coming across your album. Where do you guys come from and what is the background and history?
EB: We come from a middle-sized town in Sweden called Uppsala, which is the same town as Defleshed actually. It all started when myself and the guitarists, Johan and Magnus, who have played together for ages, decided to put together some songs. We thought "hey this was fun" and soon Alx, the singer from my other band Leech, which is now defunct, joined. We then recorded a demo, got a deal with The Spew and the rest is history.
METALLIAN: Which year was all of this? Was there only one demo?
EB: Deviant was formed in 2002. We recorded a rehearsal tape in 2002 as well. Then we recorded the demo, the only demo we have done, in August 2003. It was released in November of the same year. Some of the songs on the demo are on the full-length album also, so some of the songs on the album are like two to three years old.
METALLIAN: You mention Leech, while I had also previously read about the band Inception. Were you or the other members in other bands previously?
METALLIAN: Leech was active between 2000 and 2003 or something like that. Myself and Alx are from that band. Inception was a band I played in a little with for some years because they didn't have a drummer, but I never recorded anything with them and I didn't do any live shows with them either. Our bass-player, Fredrik has been with Inception since the beginning.
METALLIAN: Is Inception still active?
EB: Yes, they are. They have recorded a great demo recently and have an awesome drummer nowadays. Check them out!
METALLIAN: What I was getting at was the band's musical ability. The album indicates a high level of musicianship and mature song-writing. This being your debut, how do you account for this?
EB: I am pretty sure it is because of the diversity of tastes within the band. We listen to so many kinds of music in our band that if had to pick and choose we wouldn't sit and listen to metal. We listen to everything; mostly Pop and Rock. This album is the result of five guys wanting so many different things from one song.
METALLIAN: Having said that, there is nary a hint of pop or rock on this album. In fact, I hear Carcass and Cryptopsy.
EB: (Laughs) I know. All I can say is that Cryptopsy has been a major influence on me and the drumming in Deviant. Flo is the best drummer out there. Flo's influence on me is huge. When I started listening to metal and heard the song Slit Your Guts for the first time I thought "damn this is fast and this guy can groove. I wanna play like this". So I just started copying everything he played and tried to follow his progress from None So Vile to today's Once Was Not. It is thanks to him that I even play metal. He is the best metal drummer alive. Enough said about that!
There is surely some pop and rock on this album and even some parts which are really influenced by hip hop. The only difference is that we have distorted guitars, growling and blast beats. So to every metal head I say, think about that one the next time you complain about other musical genres!
METALLIAN: Can you point out a specific example of hip-hop?
EB: Yeah, the song Larvaeon is an example.
METALLIAN: Another influence that is notable is the original Swedeath sound. There are several melodies on songs like Fleshwork or Tools Of Termination which take me back to 1990 and Tiamat, Treblinka, House Of Usher, et cetra.
EB: No, we are all 20 or 21. Johan, the lead guitarist, listens a lot to old school stuff. That would be the explanation.
METALLIAN: There is also a melody on the song Deviance that is straight off Pestilence's Testimony Of The Ancients. Is there a connection?
EB: Ha, no idea, I don't think Johan listens to Pestilence, at least not that I know of, maybe he does? No, I don't think that there is some kind of a connection there.
METALLIAN: Is the album a concept? The intro, its title and the horror sample on Widowmaker hint at it.
EB: Yes, it is a concept, at least for me it is. There is kind of a red line going across the album. It is mainly that the world goes to an end, you can't really figure out what destroyed earth; just that all life on earth just disappears. The only thing that survives is small bugs and stuff like that.
The bugs, the larvae, start to manipulate themselves in order to survive. They become some kind of a human bug as you can see on the cover, held in a hand. A new aeon starts. That's why the album is called Larvaeon.
Every song on the album is about something, but it can be things that happen before and after this new aeon.
METALLIAN: On the business front, you recorded one demo and obtained a contract from The Spew Records. How did the label and band meet so to speak and what sort of a contract is it? What are your expectations for the next couple of years?
EB: We had just placed some songs from the demo up on our home page before we even released the demo. That is when the Spew contacted us. So you can say we almost had a contract before we released our first demo. Who would have guessed? The contract was for one album so we're practically free and independent now, but Giorgio of The Spew Records is like the nicest guy alive and still helps out with a lot of things. It is an awesome label.
METALLIAN: He was just surfing the Internet and came across your site?
EB: I guess!
METALLIAN: So what has the band been up to and what are your plans for the next couple of years?
EB: I can't really tell you, because I honestly do not know. Things are looking kind of dark right now. There are a lot of problems in and around the band at this point so we honestly don't know what will happen. Right now, I guess you can say that our band is on ice.
But hey, this is not official and stuff, so I guess you are the first one to find out. I don't know how detailed I can be. I have a lot of problems with my health, mainly my knees which are pretty fucked up because of the drumming, but I have other health issues that I feel that I must take care of before I continue. Both the guitarists are gone for the moment as well. Johan is living and studying in Australia. Magnus is travelling around Asia with some of his friends.
METALLIAN: Regardless, let me ask you about Uppsala. Is metal dead with you guys on ice and Defleshed gone?
EB: Nah, there are other bands. Defleshed was the biggest one and then there was us, I guess, but we have many different metal bands here. Enemy Is US is a thrash metal band that is really good. Then we have some unsigned band like Sanctrum, and many other bands. Of course, we have the almighty FKU (laughs).
METALLIAN: Is that a band?
EB: Yes, Freddy Krueger Underwear, they're awesome. They're funny and awesome. All their lyrics are about moshing - funny band.
METALLIAN: On a more serious note, what do you think of the riots going on at the moment and the Muhammad caricatures?
EB: It is just sick. Sickness! Now I have never been so happy talking about religion, but I have studied it a lot and learned that religion is nothing for me. I am a pure atheist. The things that are going on now with the Muhammad caricatures are just plain silly. How the hell can they blame a whole country for some fucking drawings? Moreover, how the hell can they react so strongly about this shit?
I mean for how many years have the Christians and all been teased and so on, and they haven't started some fucking riots just because of that.
METALLIAN: Would you concede that they feel humiliated because of years of occupation and see a conspiracy or is it just plain old stupidity all the way according to you?
EB: Don't ask me how they connect some fucking drawings made in Denmark probably done by some junky who couldn't care less, with the occupations and that it would be a conspiracy. I mean, just chill!
Just look at Hitler for god's sake. All that stuff about Jews being impure... but also because a Jew betrayed Jesus... What the hell! Wake up for fucks sake. Jesus was Jewish!
METALLIAN: It would be mistake to not want to deal with causes and focusing on symptoms. This is what the Americans failed at post September 11, 2001. Regardless, is there anything you would like to mention or plug at this point?
EB: Nah, just check out Larvaeon and keep your eyes open for what will happen to Deviant in the future, because really, no one knows.
METALLIAN: Finally, why is Metallian the best source for metal anywhere?
EB: Because it's... huge.
With those words EB went back into the desolate Swedish night. For more information type www.deviant.se into your browser.
If you enjoyed this, read Cryptopsy