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Konkhra's Anders Lundemark: "If the general public accepts shit and can't tell if bands prefer playback to recording live, then you get a fake scene like we have today. But the real music will return, people will want real stuff sooner or later"

Interview with Anders Lundemark from Konkhra
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 20 October 2019, 6:28 PM

Finally, out of the shadows and back to bash, obliterate and destroy. After being out of the game for quite some time, the Konhra monster returns to take the Metal scene back to the glory days of the early 90s of Death Metal. Heavy, meaty and untamed, they unleash “Alpha and The Omega”. Steinmetal had a chance to talk to the band's veteran member, Anders Lundemark to comment about the new album, coming back to a whole new Metal scene, remaining true to the music, and more…

Hello Anders, it is an honor having you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine. How have you been doing lately sir?

I've been very Well, thank you!

Needless to say that it is about time right? After a decade without a word, and out of the blue I receive the bulletin that Konkhra is back, and it is out of the hunt. I guess that the first question that needs answering is where have you been all this time? Had the band been put in the freezer or mainly life struck and you kind of lost interest?

A bit of both: we had some personal issues, health problems. I had an apoplexy which caused my left arm to be paralyzed. I had to rehabilitate the function in the arm, relearn how to play. On top of that l had a daughter in the meantime as Well, and that naturally changed priorities a bit.

If there is one thing that I am positive that you are pleased is that your early band mates, some from the era of the band’s heydays, are back in the band. How did this fine reunion come to be? Who pulled the strings to pull it off?

It happened step by step. First Martin came back having been out since 1992! That happened and then Johnny. The band just sounds best with original guys, so playing the new songs with them was really amazing. It really sounds like it supposed to so that is very cool.

Not only did the band make a comeback into the present Metal scene, it also came to devour with blasts from the past in the image of a new album, “Alpha and The Omega”. How do you find the ferocity of this release, and damn it is mighty heavy and gut ripping, entangling with the current market of Death Metal releases?

Its real. It's not Gameboy hyper blast dingdong Metal. It very authentic compared to most of the stuff today. Its recorded like these records used to be done in the Golden age. Its real playing not copy / paste computerized. That's the difference

In connection to the previous question, Konkhra, with its return, brought back the essence of mid-90s Death Metal, drenched in the mud of powerful groove, dissimilar to the Core related influences that approached its wretched doors near the millennium. Other than appreciation towards the old days, what motivated you to maintain your devotion towards this direction of extremity? Did you feel that it was right in order to get your old fans back in the fold and “Alpha and The Omega” is an initial presentation before the next in line album that might change things?

We first and foremost try to please ourselves. That's the only thing that really makes it honest and worthwhile. We don't care that much about our marketability, or strategy to keep anybody in the fold. I think our basic thought is that if its pleasing to us, then it should be interesting to a good amount of people. We have some confidence in our taste l guess.

Do you think that there are additional elements on this album that made you guys to standout in comparison to your previous releases?

I always think there is some progression compared to older stuff. We try not to rehash too much. We have a song with some Gregorian choir on it. That is (almost) a new idea. We kind of had it once before on "Crown of the Empire", but this time it's more integral to the song.

Signing with the Dutch Hammerheart Records is also another event that had been around the band in parallel to the creation of “Alpha and The Omega”. Have you received various offers and Hammerheart Records to be your first choice? Was there a mutual interest from both parties?

Yeah, Guido is a very cool man, who has been in the game for as long as ourselves. I think it's a good match. They do honest authentic Metal and revere the classics.

 “Alpha and The Omega” is somewhat cryptic for a title, what can you tell about the foundation for this title? How did you find it to be suitable for this album in particular?

There is lyrical content which was taken from old Rosicrucian manifestos, in which they announce that the pope in Rome is the antichrist. These manuscripts where written in the 1600s, but are as relevant today, in my opinion. So, I used it for lyrical content.

In your opinion, what is the lyrical theme that leads this album? What is your connection to this theme and how can you relate to it?

It kind of as above so below, or as before so today. The follies of men recycle. There are many examples of this and every song revolves around that theme. There is some magical grimoire in there, and hints to ancient truths, that people have to find out about themselves.

Let’s go back to the music. Who nurtured this maniacal monster in the studio? I can find various sound references when I listen, and I like the massiveness, an all-around scorcher. What is your appreciation of the sound production done on this album?

I'm happy. I produced most of it myself, and Tue Madsen mixed it. I have some ideas already about how it can become even better next time.

How would you describe the songwriting portrayed on “Alpha and The Omega”? How did it feel to sit down with the old gang and writing songs? Is there a leading songwriter in the group or anyone can contribute at will?

Anyone can contribute, but some of it almost writes itself, because some ancient sea dwelling god decides how Konkhra should Sound.

With “Babylon” being one of my favorites, well perhaps my favorite as I can’t stop enjoying the bashing riffing and tough as a rock grooves. I wonder, what is the song off this tracklist that rattles your cage?

I like that very much as well. The title track is great to play, although l get a bit exhausted from all the lyrics haha.

Did you have the chance to play some of the songs live prior to the album release? If so, what were the reactions of your fans?

Yeah, we played a couple in front of 37,000 people opening for Volbeat. The response was very good.

When it comes to supporting a release, it is always a challenge, yet not impossible. Do you think that the mega flow of bands nowadays, thanks to the inability of bands to pay less or invest less in their recordings, actually lowered the bar for the entire Metal market due to those opportunities?

It depends on what people want to sound like. If they want to sound like a generic copy of something else, that is already generic and soulless, then no problem. But if they want to sound real, you can't achieve that by being YouTube musicians with soulless skills and triggered sample drums in a computer recording without good mic preamps and a proper production. If the general public accepts shit and can't tell if bands prefer playback to recording live, then you get a fake scene like we have today. But real Music will return, people will want real stuff sooner or later.

What are your plans to keep “Alpha and The Omega”, and your return, in the buzz zone? Any festivals or shows closed for 2020 already?

Yes, we have some shows and a tour in South America coming. We will hit as many festivals as possible also.

To which bands have you been listening to lately? Any new prospects that you believe are to be the next in line Metal gods?

Haha l always like stuff that never makes it really Big anyway. So I'm probably not the right one to prophesize about that.

Anders, it has been a pleasure to have you. “Alpha and The Omega” is not sharpened blade, but an axe. Thank you for coming back, cheers mate.

Same to you, thanks you very much!



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