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Death Destruction: bums, lawyers and David Beckham

Death Destructions members have their roots in progressive metal (Evergrey), power-metal (Hammerfall) and metal-core (Dead By April) but managed somehow to create their own sound. What was started as a hobby of Henrik Danhage, Jonas Ekdahl, Fredrik Larsson and Jimmie Strimell turned out as a new band from Gothenburg.

First of all, I would like you to introduce the band members with their part inside the band as well as their characteristics and quirks.
Jonas: Iīm Jonas, the drummer.
Hendrik: And Iīm Hendrik. I play guitar in Death Destruction. Jonas and I played in Evergrey before. Our bass player Frederik plays also in Hammerfall. Jimmy is also in a band called Dead by April. As for the characteristics, Frederik is the stabile, sensible one.
Jonas: Yes, he always has good thoughts about stuff when we get carried away. Doesnīt matter in which direction - positive or negative. He is sensible and calm.

So he is the man you should have around in crises?
Hendrik: Yes and also if there is something which looks really good on paper. Instead of simply signing it, he is the one who wants to read it all.
Jonas: Five time at least (laughs)
Hendrik: He is probably the easiest of us.
Jonas: Yes, I think so too.
Hendrik: Jimmy is the opposite. If it feels good it is good, even if it is bad for ever after. He is very impulsive.
Jonas: Yes, very…
Hendrik: As for you (pointing at Jonas), you are probably stuck between those two and me too, although Iīm a bit closer to Jimmy whereas you are closer to Frederik in that sense.

What was the idea behind forming this band?
Jonas: To have fun!
Hendrik: Playing with guys you really enjoy playing which improves your own playing. Not becoming a music school thing or something. Itīs still more important that we have a good groove and the heart in it than sit down and think out riffs and stuff.

Your music sounds like you donīt care too much about boundaries inside the genres…
Jonas: It doesnīt matter if itīs the heaviest riff or the fastest riff on earth as long as it grooves.
Hendrik: That is something that really differentiates a lot of the good Rock and Metal bands from the great Rock and Metal bands. When you can hear the heart and the groove in it. Even though itīs very loose, or everybody knows exactly what they are doing. Itīs a controlled chaos.

Who is the head in the band or is everything decided as democracy?
Jonas: Itīs a complete democracy. We all have different roles and everybody does different things. As far as decisions go, we are all equal. Whatever it is, whether itīs a riff or a photo or an idea for anything. The one who got the idea is the leader for that moment and the others are laying back until the guy who had the idea was presenting it totally and then we can talk about it instead of shooting down a lot of great ideas because I want to be the leader. It makes no sense. That is one thing that really differs us from all the other bands we have played or play in – there everybody has their own role there. We are four guys and we split everything four ways and all decisions are made together as well.
Hendrik: If you want to be in a band as the leader and three guys are playing for that leader, itīs like having a garage full of great cars, but youīre only driving one of them. That makes no sense.

The next question is from one of our reader, who commented on our review about your album “Death Destruction” and…
Jonas: What did the reviewer give?
He gave 8/10
Jonas and Hendrik: Cool! You can stay. (laughter)

So, here comes the question: Is this a project for one or two years or a real band?
This is a real band without a doubt. It is not a project.
Jonas: It started out as one just for the fun of it. This was back in 2004. Two years back we really formed a band, because we had so much fun playing together and hanging out together, so we said letīs go and do this.
Hendrik: The result is so good. When we decided to really put effort into it -like a serious band, all the sudden all the really good things started to happen. We were really ready to have meetings with record companies, choosing a producer and be able choose the studio. Because in all those years we were just building up songs as well as the whole vibe for the four of us and especially around us. All our friends in other bands were really supporting us and encouraging us to do something with it as they thought we were really good.
Jonas: Yes, they felt the vibe and how good we were feeling while getting together and doing our thing.
Hendrik: Standing in the same room with these three guys, playing music together – how can this be wrong when it feels so right? So we just kept that whole vibe going. Unfortunately in some shows it could be that Frederik canīt be there, because he is fulltime with Hammerfall, but then we just have work around that. This is because in the end itīs going to be the four of us, as we can only get the Death Destruction sound with the four of us.

You donīt have a stand-in bassist for him?
At this point we have decided that if itīs for some shows that Frederik canīt make it, that we have another guy who is thought up by Frederik. And he is rehearsing with us many times so he getīs the vibe. But itīs still not really Death Destruction then.

Were you satisfied with the reactions and feedback for your debut album?
Well with most of them. There were two or three really fucked up reviews. They were not making any sense. They basically took just the piss out of us.
Hendrik: Because of the bands in which we play or played before, they thought that we would make this as a project or try thinking instead of just feeling. When you get a review and itīs one out of five and they say that these guys canīt play. I mean when you say something like that, you donīt have the knowledge, and still you open up your mouth. You can say you donīt like it, you can say that itīs not your cup of tea, but you can never say that anything what we have done isnīt well played or sung -as far as the craftsmanship goes. That makes me upset, because a lot of readers take the reviews for true. I mean take David Beckham for example. You can say all those things about him that he is a very bad judge of getting a wife and his life in general, but you canīt deny that he is a hell of a football player. Otherwise he wouldnīt be where he is. It starts and ends with him as a football player and not with the sponsorship and stuff. I donīt like people criticizing the wrong part.

In how many bands and projects is a regular Gothenburg musician involved?
One band and a couple of projects, I would say. Except Frederik and Jimmy, they have two bands and no other projects.

What is great on being a musician and what is not for you?
The great thing for me is that I can express myself in music and do what I love.
Hendrik: Itīs the same for me. The worst thing is that itīs hard to make a good living out of this and that the people around us have to do so many sacrifices for me being here today.
Jonas: Yes, and also not being able to plan. Like a vacation with your girlfriend or something. Next day you can get a call that there is a great gig we can play and then I have to be there.
Hendrik: That goes also back to the fact that friends and family have to accept your life as musician and deal with it.
Jonas and Hendrik: But thatīs the only bad thing about it.

If you wouldnīt be musicians, what would you do?
Frederik would probably be a lawyer. I would probably be a bum together with Jimmy. I have no idea. What would you do, Jonas? Music teacher?
Jonas: God no! No, I donīt know.
Hendrik: I do work as a chef and work outside a lot. The more you work in other jobs, the more appreciate working with music I think.
Jonas: Yes, especially these days when we know we canīt make our living out of it. We all have to have second jobs. And I love my second job, even if it often sucks. I work in a terminal and load and unload containers. When I do that, I feel so fortunate to go and play with this guy as soon as we go for rehearses after work. It makes music and our band even greater to me.

What can we expect from you in the future?
What would be smart or logical – that doesnīt mean that this will happen, but within a year or year and a half, weīll probably go cross Europe once or twice again as support. So that more different types of Rock and Metal people can get to know of us.
Hendrik: We also have a lot of new songs ready, but we just take it easy. We are not in a rush now.
Author: Samira Alinto
Date: 2011-11-15

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