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Nils Eriksson (Guillotine)

Interview with Nils Eriksson from Guillotine
by Grigoris Chronis at 19 November 2008, 9:30 AM

GUILLOTINE are not as 'rookies' as you may suppose. Featuring two members of Swedish Power Metal warriors NOCTURNAL RITES, they started out as an 80s Thrash Metal tribute' project with 1997's Under The Guillotine (you could judge this from the album's title alone, haha!). Spewing out of nowhere, eleven years later comes the sophomore effort entitled Blood Money, in a kinda more 'fresh' approach but always fulfilling the desired Thrash Metal standards! Nils Eriksson (bass) is willing to help out by answering enough 'timeline' questions plus he provides us with detailed info on today GUILLOTINE's aim.

Hi Nils, greetings from!

Hi! Thanks. Hi to you too.

Would not ask something different for a start: Blood Money is released nearly eleven years after the band's debut, Under The Guillotine! Surely we need a good explanation bout this really, haha!!! You were that busy with NOCTURNAL RITES?

We have been busy but not that busy, after all. Well, we always talked about making a second GUILLOTINE album at some point. Actually, we started already in 2000 and had made some quite detailed plans for a new album, written a few songs with lyrics, titles and everything, but unfortunately our studio computer that we had everything on shut down and took everything GUILLOTINE-related with it down the drain. We thought everything was lost forever, which of course killed off a lot of the motivation we had at that stage. Luckily, now when we started working in some sporadic songs again, I actually found an old shoe box with cassette tapes in my closet - and it had pretty much everything recorded on them. That definitely helped this time around. Some of the stuff actually made it on the album. Dying World, for instance, is pretty much the same as it was about eight years ago.

Were you sure - all these years - that there would really be a new GUILLOTINE CD released, even all these years after?

es, at some point. The band was never split-up. The plan was always to make a new record, but for some strange reason we never reallt did it until now.

So, a new member is now in the GUILLOTINE camp, Daniel. A few words about him: where did you meet him, what made you offer him the job, why did you need a second guitarist…what else, haha? Is Efraim equally new? If so, the same questions apply for him, too!

Both Efraim and Daniel are old friends of ours. You know, the city we live in isn't really that big, so you tend to know everyone who's in a band or at least laying something somewhat related to what you are doing yourself. I think it was Fredrik's idea to bring Daniel in, actually. I think he just mentioned that we were thinking about making a new GUILLOTINE album and that we needed a second guitarist. Daniel was into the idea right away. We didn't even jam together. As for Efraim, when he laid down the tracks for the album he wasn't really a member of the band. But after he was done, we realized we would never find a better drummer and cooler guy anywhere, so we simply asked him if he wanted in as a permanent member.

So, GUILLOTINE is a four-member band and you start to work on Blood Money. How long did it take you to write the songs? Did you use any leftovers from the Under the… days? Are you and Fredrik the songwriting duo?

It took about a year from start to finish, including recording and mixing. As for leftovers; we used some old stuff here and there, actually. Mostly from the tapes I found at my place. Yes, Fredrik is the riffing God and I write the lyrics. We usually arrange the songs together in our own studio, make some changes here and there and we both have our say on the final product. Daniel has written some music for the album too, and I am quite sure he will be even more active on the next record.

Were did you record the new album and how long did it take you? Did you have any obstacles that pushed back the release date?

We did all the tracking at our own studio, Svarta Myran. It took quite long to finish, but that's mostly due to the fact that we took our time and didn't go at it 24/7, like we've done in the past, on some recordings. This was in fact one of the most relaxed and liberating albums I have ever been a part of making.

Nils, what about the lyrics? The cover artwork, the song titles…forgive me for I did not have the chance to read any lyrics…Is it politics/society you deal with in Blood Money? Really, today's world is - unfortunately - an endless source for such conmcepts…

Yes, it indeed is. I would however like to stress the fact that we are in no way a political band. We have no message and no agenda that we want to carry out. Some songs simply touch current events and problem dimensions that border on politics (what does not, really). There are so many things that are messed up in this modern world, and topics that make you pissed off sort of naturally have a way of finding their way into pissed off songs.

Ed Repka is behind the cover artwork. He has again created a magnificent cover, how the hell did you manage working with him? Which album cover - made by him - do you like the most?

It wasn't that hard actually. At first we thought it would be hard to get a hold of him and even harder to get him to squeeze us in to his schedual. But we simply dropped him an email on his MySpace and the next day he had replied, saying he had a vacancy that would make our deadline. We love, love what he did for us on this album. It truly adds a dimension to the record. As fo my favourite Repka cover…well, how about Blood Money?!?

To the music: many may assume GUILLOTINE is one of these bands emerging out of nowhere the last couple of years paying tribute to the glorious 80s. Still, GUILLOTINE released the first album in 1997. What's the 'music' aim in Blood Money? Have you kept the same motives as in 1997?

Back when we did the first album, we deliberately tried to make everything sound and even look retro. We wanted every aspect of the album to breathe the 80s - and it truly did. This time around, however, we really had no plan going in; we simply wrote songs that we liked and started from an absolutely clean sheet. The fact that we're 11 years older, have learned a lot as musicians and song-writers since the first album, together with the fact that we felt absolutely no pressure to follow up the first album I think made this new one really honest and straight to the point.

Is it my idea or the new album is not 100% old-school? I believe fans of most 'current' Thrash Metal bands (like e.g. THE HAUNTED) but also followers of more 'fresh' works of classic Thrash bands (e.g. KREATOR, EXODUS) will find interest in Blood Money? Was this a natural result or you intended do mix the 'old' with something more fresh in song parts and/or the production?

Yes, I think you are correct. Again, the first album was intended as a sort of homage to the old German gods. The new one has a bit more of everything mixed in.

Are you satisfied with the album's production/mix? Does it clearly expose GUILLOTINE's intensions?

Yes, we are indeed. We spent a long time mixing the album and I do believe we squeezed everything we possibly could out of the raw material we brought in. yes, I think it really shows the band from our best side - with heavy, clear and modern production.

Nils, are you - personally - more fond of the moshing or the evil face of Thrash Metal? I see mostly the first one in Blood Money; maybe that's because of the lyrics subjects, too, on the other hand.

I like any kind of Thrash, or music in general really, as long as it's well written. I can dig a million dollar production country ballad as well as a Black Metal song recorded in someone's basement in 1984.

Any news on hitting on a European tour? What's the plan for live dates, in general? Do Daniel and Efraim have any other obligations?

We are working on that as we speak. We have dome some shows in Sweden and will continue to do so until this Winter. Hopefully there will be a tour in the early spring, but we have no details yet.

Nils, thanks a lot for this brief info on GUILLOTINE and Blood Money! Really hope we will not have to wait for another dozen of yeas for a third album, haha!

Thank you! No, you will not have to wait that long for sure. There will be a new album in maybe a year or so. This is too much fun - I refuse to wait 11 years until I get to go back in the studio again!


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