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Tiamat: Iím not ashamed

The Goth-Rockers Tiamat have not released a new album recently, still end of 2010 they went on tour just to show their fans that they are still alive and kicking. We met singer Johan Edlund in Pratteln, where the reserved Swedish musician informed us e.g. about the future plans of Tiamat.

How are you doing?
Fine. A bit tired today, need a shower and a shave but everything is alright.

How was the tour so far?
I donít know. I think this is the 10th show today, so weīre halfway, after tonight. Weíve been to Holland, France, England, Austria and Germany. We have a couple of more shows in Germany and then a lot of shows in East Europe Poland, Hungary, and Czech Republic.

I heardthat not that many people where coming to the shows so far, what do you think is the reason for it?
I donít expect anything, I donít relay on that. We play music and do our best every night. This is totally none of our business. We can not let the people that are not there to affect our mood, because we play for the people that are here.

How do you get along with Stoneman & Orden Ogan Guys?
Fine. I know that they are maybe a bit disappointed about the attendance of the shows, but I think thatís life. If you wanna be in a RockíníRoll Band, you just have to keep on playing, year after year and donít give up! Thatís what selects whoís gonna make it and the ones, you know, If you give up easyly then youíre not gonna make it. We will see about them, itís a good test I think.

You released your last record ďAmanethesĒ in 2008, do you have already plans for a new record?
Not really. I guess there are songs. I write songs without thinking about whatís gonna happen with them, and then at some point we might just decide that we get together rehears and book studios and all that, but we donít really plan so much.

So there is nothing that you could say there is something new coming next year?
I think we are always ready. When everybody else is ready, we are always there. When we are needed, if a record company wants a Tiamat Album, yes call us and it will be delivered.

So you are not anymore working with Nuclear Blast?
Probably not!

So you look for someone else to release it?
Yeah. Well, I donít know just give them away for free on the internet.

Ah no, you donít need that, you are too good to give it away for free.
(Smiles) Hopefully, I donít know.

You did most of the artworks for the booklets of your records yourself, do you like to paint and take pictures and are you doing that only for Tiamat records or also for others, as a hobby?
I am working on a record-cover for a Finnish Band right now, which Iím gonna finish before Christmas when Iím gonna be back home. But itís, to design the booklets, that layouts, itís, I enjoy it but also it is, I think for our band: I am the person that knows most what everything is about. The Lyrics and everything and the mood and the colors and everything, so it makes sense. And I have tried to push record companies so many times to get some really cool, brilliant people to help us, to work with us, but itís always been a budget thing as well and in the end the suggestion I got was that: Well, then I better do it myself. But I donít know if I would like to Ė Iím not so much into the layout stuff Ė Iím getting better because now I done it a lot but itís not really fun, thatís not the creative thing and I like to use my hands and paint and glue stuff and put stuff together in a creative way.

So what about starting a carrier as a painter?
No, no! My interest in art is watching. Painting myself is just a hobby and thatís gonna stay that way. I donít want more.

And can you tell me what Finnish band it is?
I donít remember the name. Itís a guy that is a journalist on a big magazine there and very experimental, weird experience on music with death metal vocals. I havenít really started to go trough and listen to it.

So did they told you what they want as an artwork?
Yeah, they explained a lot in a mail, what the album is about and the lyrics and the attitudes through it. Itís gonna be interesting to try to do something afterwards someone else told you to do.

Last time you told my colleague..
Yeah in Helsinki right?

I read that interview quite through sometimes. It was on my birthday actually! Like two years ago!

Yeah you told her that you moved to Greece and got engaged there, and that you have to plan a Greek wedding one year ahead, so did you already have the party and how was it? Last time you mentioned that you are not really happy about it because it has to be such a big party?
Yeah, we have given up those plans. I donít think we gonna marry; if we do then we will do it not in Greece, maybe somewhere else. It doesnít feel right at the moment, because a wedding in Greece is very very expensive and there is a crisis going on. It just feels so wrong and Iím socialist, I can not imagine spending tons of money on a wedding in a country that is suffering. And I donít have it anyway so..(Laughs) We love each other, so we donít need to marry!

You seem to be a quite open person, you talk in interviews about your relationship and stuff like that, what do you think about bands that try everything to hide their true identity, or even hide behind masks?
Usually they hide because they wanna be something and I donít like it. I mean I think itís ok to be something on stage, to use stage clothing, makeup and so on, thatís part of the show. But Iím not afraid of anything.

So you donít like that?
I donít see the point. I think everybody has bad sides and why pretend, if you try to hide something I think then they start to speculate what is really going on when he/she is closing his door at home.

And if you are open, no one asks about it and let you have your freedom?
Yeah. Iím not ashamed that I went to the Sex-shop and wanked there, I mean we do that (the other guys of the band who are also in the room are laughing) Guys do that, I sorry to say that (laughs) Thatís the truth!

Ok,(laughs) YouÖ
I shouldnít have said that. I have to erase that. Iím sorry!
Band mates Itís too late now!
Yeah! Too late (laughs)

You have been doing music already for 20 years, or even longer, is there something you regret and that you would change, if you would have the chance to?
I never think about the past! Not at all. I can be nostalgic about remembering , you know, we have been here may times before, everybody has tour memories to share, thatís fine, but to start to regret things, we should have done that instead of Ö- you know, there is no point.

What would you like to be asked in an interview, which you never been asked before?
I donít know! No..Well, you have something in mind?

No nothing special, maybe - what are the names of your cats something like that?
I think I have been asked that, because I was pretty good in promoting my cats (smiles) with cute little photos and stuff. I have two cats, one male, one female.

Thank you very much for the Interview and all the best!
Thank you!


Author: Sandy Mahrer, photos: Tiamat
Date: 2011-01-21

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