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In Mourning's Tobias Netzell: "The story-line of these 3 albums is so deep and complicated that I sometimes do not understand what it´s all about. Even when I sing the actual thing."

Interview with Tobias Netzell from In Mourning
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 19 September 2019, 5:15 AM

An end can be interpreted as a ceasing to exist, finishing up or retiring, yet it can also me a new beginning, the start of something new, maybe fresh, maybe back to the roots. Melodic Death / Doom Metallers, In Mourning, decided to put the final stone in their trilogy storyline with “Garden Of Storms”, yet they aren't going anywhere, just felt that it was time and brainstorm on other things. Steinmetal talked to the band's veteran member, Tobais Netzell about the new album, inspirations, artwork, lyrical content, music, Metal and more…

Hello Tobias, it is an honor having you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing sir?

Hi there, I´m fine thanks. I just got home from my daytime work as a planner in a surface-treatment plant. You gotta work work work right? :)puh…

I think it is no matter for how long folks would keep themselves together for an album by In Mourning, it will always be worth the wait. Currently you guys are releasing “Garden Of Storms”, which also closes a storyline that has been out there since 2012 with “The Weight Of Oceans”. Why close this tale down with “Garden Of Storms”? What can you tell about this closing?

Well…In fact it´s all about the lyrics. It was Tim and Björn “The lyric-writers” who decided to end the story. The story-line of these 3 albums is so deep and complicated that I sometimes do not understand what it´s all about. Even when I sing the actual thing. And I guess we all felt that these 3 records belonged together and ”Garden of storms” became well suited to be the ending chapter of this story. Even musically.

With “Garden Of Storms” ready and about, listening to the end result, what goes through your mind? What is your appreciation of the efforts done to come up with such a record?

I began writing material in 2016. Almost immediately after ”Afterglow” was released. I was hungry and eager to write the absolute most perfect album ever. I wrote a lot of material and broke it down to pieces several times. Sometimes I just sat and played the same riff for 2-4 hours and still I could not tell if it was good enough. 2 years later when Joakim (drums) and Sebastian (bass) joined the band and begun putting their ideas into the songs I was even more eager to really not leave anything to chance. And I felt more and more that everything was falling into place. A majestic puzzle had been solved. Björn and Tim had already started writing lyrics simultaneously to the actual music-writing process. That was something we had never done before.

On the previous albums the lyrics were often written and ready before the music was composed. We all have put so much effort and time into this album and I am so proud that it ended up so good in the final mix. This album became exactly the way I envisioned it to be. Calm, fast, beautiful and sometimes really brutal. We really used all paint on the palette this time.

In Mourning has always been more than a mere melodic doomy type Death Metal band, there has been a constant lookout for diversity, and it has been captured time and time again. What do you think makes “Garden Of Storms” stand out in comparison to your previous works? What did you try here on this record that you never did before?

I think there is 2 types of styles when you are writing music. One style is to come up with really good riffs and just lining them up nice to tie the bag and call it a song. That was my way to work on all previous albums. Luckily they turned out pretty nice.

The other style is to really focus 100 % to make a good song. With a smooth build up and a maybe a heartbreaking climax / chorus. To really picture the whole song from a distance. And maybe remove some super good guitar-leads (even if they are awesome) or to delete some super-cool progressive drum-beats to make space for vocals and stuff like that. I´m talking about ”the less is more” thing.

To find space and leave it almost empty to make the next coming part feel real big and punchy.
That´s the thing we´ve done on this album that we have never tried before.

Last year you recruited two new band members to the band, drummer and bass player. The bass player that left was Pierre Stam, which had been an integral part of In Mourning since its inception. Why did he leave the band?

Pierre was the main brain of lyric-writing for the past 4 albums and he is a really good bass-player and a good friend. He started to drift from the death metal scene during the recording of ”Afterglow” and felt that with small kids he needed to spend his free-time on the right things. And he chose to quit the band to focus on family and other musically experiences.

What is your appreciation of the new recruits, Joakim Strandberg-Nilsson and Sebastian Svalland? Are they In Mourning material?

They are both musically experts and I still can´t believe that I have the opportunity to play with these guys. They have really put their nerve in the new album and their playing is really out of this world. So yes, they are definitely In Mourning material up to their ears.

How can you describe the songwriting on “Garden Of Storms”? Especially with the welcoming of two new members to the band. Did you let them have a piece of the action of contributing to the songwriting as well? Would you say that the album’s songwriting is a team effort?

I make the foundation for all songs, except from ”Huntress Moon” that is a song that Tim wrote the basics for. I just came up with some leads on that one. I think that I am a democratic guy who invites the other guys inside the process and let them change the songs and rearrange them if it is necessary. The most important thing being in a band is that everybody needs to be 100% satisfied with every arrangement in the songs. And if we have a dispute, we just work our ways until everybody is pleased.

Both Joakim and Sebastian have made major inputs and changed a lot of bass and drum arrangement if you compare to the pre-prods that I recorded.

What can you say are your main focuses when you write songs? Unless there were different centers of attention for each you made

My focus would be to really try to create something that never has been done before. And that is quite hard nowadays when there are millions of great metal bands. Sometimes I manage and Sometimes I don’t.

Which of the album’s songs is the one that you find most powerful? Both music and theme, please elaborate on your pick

The most powerful song would be ”The Lost Outpost”. It is incredible dark and heavy and contains a lot of different stages of emotion. A perfect journey to end the album. :)For “Gardens Of Storms” you went back working with your early mixing and mastering engineer, Jonas Kjellgren. What led you to go back working with him? Do you feel that the new album’s sound is more natural?

We just simply looked back where it all begun and felt that we really needed to have control and know how this album is going to sound like. We all had the same vision of the final mix. And with Jonas Kjellgren we could be sure that he would make the cookie crumble as we like it.

The artwork is pretty intriguing, looking at it constantly, it is both angelic and somewhat demonic at the same time, weird to be honest, yet it is a mind opener no doubt. What can you tell about it? Who made it and what was the inspiration behind it.

Kristian Wåhlin is a Swedish album-cover-artist who have painted the cover of ”Weight of oceans” and ”Afterglow”  so it felt pretty natural to give him this job for the last album of the trilogy.

To have a hand-painted album-cover feels a little extra good I think. A painting that takes months to finish. Created without a computer, Just a brush and paint and a pair of creative hands. I think it was Björn who called Kristian on the phone and spoke to him about what we were looking for. Björn told him that we were going to do the third and ending album in the trilogy. So we needed the same touch as the previous ones. The sea, a creature and a dark stormy atmosphere-feeling over it all.  And maybe the real challenge was the choice of color. We needed it to be in the color Magenta. A pink/purple color. That isn't that common in death metal covers.

Next month you are off touring with Omnium Gatherum, which aren’t that far from your musical style. Any expectations from this tour? Have you toured with them in the past? Any new places are a part of the tour that you never played before?

Yes! Due to the facts that the In Mourning camp has been more of a kid-factory in the last 5 years, we are very hungry to go on a tour. To be honest I had not heard about the band Omnium Gatherum before we got the opportunity to go on tour with them. But now I have listened to a couple of songs just of curiosity.

We have never done a show in Germany before. Neither Slovenia or Switzerland. So it will be really nice to breaking new ground with In Mourning. Actually no expectations, just go with the flow and always give 100 % show when we hit the stage. (that's also a promise)

What are your plans for In Mourning’s support of the new album in 2020? Any shows or festivals already sealed?

I really hope that year 2020 all festivals in the world will book us. Some festivals are in progress but nothing is confirmed yet.

Let’s go off topic before closing time. Metal music had various negative stereotypes over the years, yet several studies found that the form of heavy music makes people calmer, actually better, when tuning in. What is your viewpoint on that? Aren’t we supposed to be rebellious and outraged?

Haha, I can only refer to my In Mourning-gang who is the calmest and friendliest teddy bears in the world. I think independent from what genre you are placing yourself in, there will always be rebellious and outraged people. Or is it just a cool image to hide ourselves under.

To which bands have you been listening to lately? Any particular newcomers that you find to be inspiring?

Right now I would say that the new Tool album is the main focus-point. I think I have listened to it at least 50 times :)Newcomers, then I will recommend Sebastian's other band Letters From The Colony

Tobias, I wish to thank you for your time, you guys once again made it happen with a brilliant album, which I have the slight feeling would be a success by your fans and Metalheads

Thanks for kind words and your good and relevant questions.




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Edited 03 June 2023

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