VOID MOON   DOOM METAL FROM SWEDEN Band Questions answer by PETER SVENSSON    
Please introduce yourself and the band members briefly? Void Moon consists of myself, Peter Svensson, on bass, Erika Wallberg on guitars and Marcus Rosenkvist on drums and vocals. Void Moon was founded in 2009 by me and I am the only member from the first line-up.   What does the band name mean and how do you get it? The band name was inspired by a lyric by The Hidden Hand but it also is describes an astrological phenomenon when the moon is between two phases. It is considered to be an unfortunate time and that is a quite fitting name to our band.   Where and how was the band founded? The band was formed by me along with drummer Thomas Hedlund and vocalist/guitarist Jonas Gustavsson in 2009. At that time I was living in Malmö, in the south of Sweden. I was looking to form a band to play atmospheric and epic doom metal with great musicians. A key ingredient was to not sound like a copy of any other doom band and I think we succeeded in that to some extent (the way some „purists“ claim that we are not true doom proves that to me  ).   Just a quick question that does not revolve around Void Moon.You and Marcus Rosenqvist (drum) also play on Assassin's Blade. How did you get in contact with the musicians from Canada? How is the collaboration going and will there be a new album soon? I have been the webmaster of the Exciter homepage (www.longlivetheloud.com) since 2001 and because of that I have been in contact with most members of the band. After Jacques left the band I only had sporadic contact with him, but when we decided to start Assassin’s Blade I sent him a message asking if he would like to help us out! He has been very involved in the band since then and of course his vocals are outstanding. A new album is currently being recorded, we have had some line-up issues but now it is only some guitars and vocals left to record. In my opinion, I think the new album is way better than the first and I can’t wait to have it released.   Have you played in other bands before? I started my first band, Demon’s Eye, in 1995 with some friends. Since then I have played in a couple of bands, mostly traditional heavy metal. At the moment I am involved in four different bands (Void Moon, Cult of the Fox, Assassin’s Blade and Atraptor). For me it’s great to have the freedom to do different things but also to have the possibility to put my energy on one band when another band is standing still.   Was it hard to find suitable band members who fit musically and humanely with the band? We have had very few line-up changes in Void Moon. I am very happy how well it has worked out, but also it was not easy to find the right people. At the moment we are looking for a permanent lead vocalist. To keep us busy we have released stuff with Leo Stivala from Forsaken, who sings on our „Ars Moriendi“ EP. But also our drummer, Marcus, has recorded some vocals. Most recently on our cover of the Death SS song „Dionysus“ (featured on the Death SS tribute album out on the 31st of October by Black Widow Records).   What are the lyrics about and who of you is writing them ? I write all the lyrics for Void Moon. They are mostly about philosophical topics, life and death. Sometimes they are dark stories. I read a lot of books and some of the are directly inspired by books, for example „Of Such is the Desert Born“ (inspired by „Sand“ by Algernon Blackwood) or „Pilgrim at Sea“ (inspired by a book by Pär Lagerkvist). We have not released any real concept albums yet, but I try to keep the lyrics connected on each release. „Deathwatch“ for example was much about relationships, not only between people but between man and nature, between friends and family, between man and society etc. The latest EP „Ars Moriendi“ is more about death and eternity. The coming album, which we have begun writing, will be more of an introspective story.   Which bands inspired you and how would you describe your music to someone who has never heard a sound from you We are inspired by a lot of different bands, everything from 70ies prog rock to black metal. Of course there is a lot of Black Sabbath and Candlemass in our music, but I think one of the bands that we sound more similar to is Solitude Aeturnus.   Why should people listen to our music? I think we have our own style of majestic, but not pompous, doom metal and there are a lot of interesting themes in our music and lyrics. Perfect music for autumn and contemplation.   Your debut album On the Blackest of Nights has just been released by italy label Cruz del Sur Music. How did you come to the label and how was working together? We met the label boss at different festivals and when the time came to release the album, we approached him if he wanted to release it on Cruz del Sur. It was a very good collaboration and I am very proud of how that album turned out.   How satisfied are you with the album from today's perspective and what is your favorite song on the album and why? I am happy about the album. The only thing I would have changed is maybe having a bit heavier guitars on it. But the sound is still very good and clear. The cover painting and layout is great, I think. Especially the gatefold vinyl. My favorite track on the album is probably “Cyclops”, a quite progressive song for a doom album. We used to play it live a lot until we realized that it was too complex for most people seeing us live for the first time. The lyrics are a bit autobiographical intertwined with mythology. A great mix in my opinion.   Your second album Deathwatch was released in 2016. How long did the work take? I began writing songs for „Deathwatch“ right after „On the Blackest of Nights“ was released, so in total it took 3 years to complete. There was a lots of things going on and we were doing some gigs at that time as well. And we released the „Where the Sleeper Lies Awake“ single in between. The process making of “Deathwatch” was a lot harder than the first one, but I am more satisfied with “Deathwatch”. It is more focused in terms of themes and sound.   The mastering of the album was done by Magnus Andersson (Marduk, among others). How did you get in touch with him and how did you work with him? Through some friends I heard that he was doing mastering and so I got in touch with him. Very nice person and very professional and a great sound engineer. We are very pleased with his work and we will keep using him as long as he wants to master our stuff!   The album is released by Sun & Moon Records from Romania and her since there is still under contract. How have you come to the label since then and how have you come to work with it? We meet the guys behind the label when we played at the Old Grave Fest in Romania in 2015. They seemed like nice people and had a genuine music interest. They did a good job releasing “Deathwatch” and I hope to work with them again for the new album!   Leo Stivala will appear as a guest vocalist on your latest release of EP Ars Moriendi from 2018. How did the collaboration come about and was he your wish singer for the song Ars Moriendi? After Jonas left the band, we didn’t know how to continue. I have meet Leo several times at the Malta Doom Metal Festival and he is a great guy (and amazing singer). Two years ago at a festival in England, I briefly asked him if he would be interested in doing guest vocals for a Void Moon song. He was up for it and that was sort of the start for us to continue Void Moon without Jonas. We decided to begin with an EP. The song „Ars Moriendi“ is kind of a tribute to Forsaken and having Leo sing it was perfect. The way he arranged the vocals in the chorus is perfection and his performance gave us a vital energy injection to really make something great out of the EP and the band!   Are you working on new songs and in what form are you planning your next release? Right now we are putting together some ideas for new songs. Most of the lyrics are written already; maybe there will be some re-writes once the music is in place. We have about 5 songs in very rough versions at moment. The album will, like the other albums, have nine songs.   What was your first concert as a fan? And what memory do you have of it? My first concert was AC/DC in Copenhagen in 1996. It was a great and terrifying experience at the same time. ;) It was incredible to see Angus in real life! I love to go to concerts and gladly see several shows of each tour with bands I like.   What were your live highlights and with which bands did you play? Playing the Malta Doom Metal festival in 2011 with Void Moon was great. Another of my highlights was going on tour with Goatess in 2016, I had a great time and many great gigs.   Have already resulted in friendship ? I made a lot of very good friends at gigs and through music. At the Malta Doom Festival we meet a lot of very nice people and since we have been visitors there almost every year since 2010 there is a strong friendship with the people there.   Who would you like to play live with and why?? I would love to play live with Candlemass, just to be on stage and sharing that heavy sound. And of course to play all those great songs.   With what do you earn your money except with the music? I work as a Quality Assurance Specialist in a medical device company. I make no money with music, it is a hobby and hobbies cost money.   How important are social media for you as a band? I think it is very important, it is the easiest medium to use to reach out to people. However, there are so many bands and many that as a lot more active than we are on social media.   What would you (her) want to achieve with the band? To play music that I enjoy both creating and listening to. And hopefully to reach a level where we get invited to do shows/tours and can release albums without having to put a lot of our own money into them.   What do you think about the Sweden metal scene in general? The scene in Sweden is quite good, there are a lot of bands. The only bad thing is that there are not so many gigs and people live quite far apart so it is difficult to organize something other than cover band gigs…   Maybe you can recommend some bands from your area? There are not that many bands were we live that play our kind of music, but Stonegriff is a cool doom/heavy band!   PERSONAL QUESTIONS ! Where did you grow up and how was your childhood? I grew up in a small village called Veberöd, outside of Malmö, in the south of Sweden. I believe my childhood was quite happy. I was always very creative with games and had the possibilities to play with many friends.   How was your school time you were rather the good student or the break clown ? I was an average student, not getting into trouble but not being in the top of my class either. I have always had rather easy to learn so I didn't put too much effort into school. This resulted in that I stayed average in most subjects.   How did your parents react when you started making metal music? did they support you and how do you feel about your music today? They have always been very supportive. I think, they expected me to grow out of the metal scene but now they really appreciate the fun I have and all the friends I have made from it. When the saw the bond between metalheads (on one of my first trips abroad alone) they understand that it was something bigger than a hobby.   Would you be successful in making music as a musician? I never expected to "make it" in the music business. I have always studied or worked besides playing in bands. Of course, it would be great to be able to live off music but I think the chance of making it is so slim that it is almost impossible. I am glad for my choice because this way music will always be my hobby and what makes me happy. Not what I need to do to pay the rent.   Are you someone who loves the hustle and bustle of the big city? or rather looking for peace and relaxation in nature? I prepare the peace of the country side. I grew up in a small village and now we have a house in another small town.   Do you actively practice sports or are you more of a passive spectator? No, no sports for me. I try to go to the gym sometimes but this is very sporadically. I very seldom watch sports on the tv, maybe soccer or hockey when there is a championship.   When it comes to your physical well you can cook or let you cook for you ? I can cook but I married an even better cook, so I have taken a backseat in that area.   What does your environment tell you about your passion for metal (friends / family / colleagues) ? I always wear my metal t-shirts to the office and when I take days off it is usually for a concert or festival. So everybody knows what I do and my interest in metal. Most of my friends I met through music and my family knows how crazy I am...   How do you see the problem with the haters on the internet who have to announce their mental garbage in anonymity always and everywhere? I think it is really bad because it leads to that honest people will not dare to post anything anymore out of fear of being attacked by haters.   What do you think about the internet in general? a blessing or a curse? I think it is mostly good. I grew up before the internet and I am thankful for that because I can see the difference. Some things were better before but generally everything is much easier now.   What would you personally like to do in your life? I would love to be able to just dedicate all my time to creative efforts, music, writing, painting or something.   Which question would you like to have answered and why? Sorry I don't really understand, remove the following if you think I answered crazy.   Sweden I good country to live I think, not the best but far from the worst.   Austria Nice country, I have been there on holiday and I played there with Goatess.   Movie or Series I prefer series, currently watching Star Trek Deep Space Nine, which is ok.   Visby City Wall Never visited it.   Zlatan Ibrahimovic Great footballer, probably the most famous person coming from Malmö.   Malmöhus The Malmöhus castle in Malmö has been turned into a museum. I visited it many times with my grandparents when I was a kid.   Astrid Lindgren Like most Swedish kids, I grew up with her stories both in books and on film.   Knäckebröd The best bread to bring to festivals! It never gets old...   Sockerdricka I like sodas but it was a long time since I drank Sockerdircka.   Family I grew up in a good family and even if I am not the most active, I am proud of it and glad to be a part of it.   Solitude Aeturnus or Candlemass I love both bands, but I have to choose Candlemass since they were so instrumental in my musical evolution at an early age.   Pagan Rites or Grand Magus I have a lot of friends who have played in PR but I have to go with Grand Magus since I enjoy that style a bit more.   Your top 10 album   all time faves Anvil - Forged in Fire Virgin Steele - Invictus Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast Candlemass - Epicus Doomicus Metallicus Savatage - Streets Judas Priest - Stained Class AC/DC - Highway to Hell Hammers of Misfortune - The August Engine Manowar - Hail to England Accept - Objection Overruled top 5   album in time ! Anvil - Forged in Fire Virgin Steele - Invictus Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast Candlemass - Epicus Doomicus Metallicus Judas Priest - Stained Class The closing word is yours? Thanks for this very interesting and fun interview. You asked a lot of questions that I usually never get, so it was fun for me. I hope anyone who reads this and is interested in Doom Metal with a twist checks out Void Moon! Thanks for your support!
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