Interview with vocalist Spice | By Brandon Ringo
Initially formed in 2004, Swedish death/thrash machines Kayser are a band whose impact is hard to deny. Thanks to their infectious blend of thrash metal and melodic death metal, they’ve carved out their own unique place in the scene. Though it’s been 8 years since the release of their last album, the band have struck a deal with Listenable Records and are primed to become a must-watch band in 2014 and beyond.
Read Your Enemy is the first record from you guys since 2006. Could you tell me a little about what led to such a long hiatus and what the band has been up to in the years since then?
A lot of different things made the delay. Sometimes it has been like a long dark tunnel without an end. We were tied to a label and couldn’t get the third album done through them. Meanwhile I wanted to focus on my solo band Band Of Spice. We also needed to let water pass under the bridge to get our heads straight and to get the right focus again. Once rid of the old label and everything else in the right place we financed and produced the album ourselves. After that we spent a whole year of shopping for a new label and preparing for the release. Now, on the other side of the tunnel, we know we came out stronger than ever.
What led to the band’s decision to get back together and work on a new record and at what point did the songwriting process for the new record begin?
We all knew in our hearts that soon or later, the tide would change in our direction. We had songs for an album already back in 2008/2009. But I believe after a gig in 2011 we all reloaded and started to write new songs and we re-wrote some of those other songs we had.
Tell me a little about what the band’s mindset was like going into the writing/recording process for Read Your Enemy.
We were all charged and focus to make the best record we could do. And to record it in Jokke’s new build studio with no time limit was a release. We had all time in the world to make it sound the way we wanted it to sound.
Though there was a long delay in between new records, did you notice any particular similarities or differences between the writing processes of Read Your Enemy and your last album Frame The World?
It’s still me and Swaney behind most of the songs. But this time Jokke stepped up and wrote one and was very much involved in two of the songs. I believe the album is a natural evolution from the first two albums.
When listening to the album, it’s hard not to notice how much catchier it is than your normal thrash metal. When working on the writing of the album, do you guys put a lot of emphasis on creating these type of melodies or do they happen organically?
It pretty much comes naturally. I have [both] the melodic and the more aggressive side tattooed in my back bone. I believe that’s the same with Swaney. When we melt our riffs together, or we write our own songs, we both chase that dynamic to make it interesting for the listener and ourselves.
As far as the album’s lyrics go, where did you draw inspiration from for Read Your Enemy? Also, were there any particular books, albums or movies that helped spark your creativity during the writing process?
I always have my Bukowski side of me that tends to color my lyrics. Writing lyrics for this one I felt the urge to make some comments of what I feel and see that gets on my nerves at the moment. I’m fed up with this political correctness. Mainly here in Sweden. The room of what you can express are so damn narrow that you hardly can breathe. Some issues are so taboo. I strongly believe that we need to have the space to ventilate every topic to stay healthy as humans. Some people want to hijack the truth. For me, the line “What if?” is an important question for progress and anti stagnation.
Purchase Read Your Enemy on iTunes here.