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Ola Blomkvist & Lars Palmqvist (Dautha)

Interview with Ola Blomkvist & Lars Palmqvist from Dautha
by Jean-Francois Poulin at 16 February 2018, 12:54 PM

Murky, Medieval, Folk, Doom band DAUTHA are set to release their debut album on March 16, 2018, titled "Brethren of the Black Soil."  From their Facebook page, DAUTHA "want to transport the listener from today's cesspool age to a bygone cesspool age, making him/her experience a sensation similar to that of being caressed by a flea infested and plague ridden bog body re-animated for the sole purpose of whispering into its victim's ear; “everything is in vain, you are human." Metal Temple Editor Jean-Francois Poulin recently had a chat with band members Ola Blomkvist and Lars Palmqvist.

After the 2016 demo ''Den Forste'', you guys have something planned for the new year?

Indeed we have - our debut album Brethren Of The Black Soil will be out on the 16th of March through Ván Records. The album will also be preceded by our first official video, of the song Hodie Mihi Cras Tibi, which is the first track on the album.

I was wondering where did you guys get the name DAUTHA? How did you come up with the name of the band?

Tihra Dautha was the ancient Swedish name for the black plague which ravaged the European continent during the 14th century. Tihra means Great and Dautha means Death, and opting for the latter was an easy choice really.

I thought the demo really stood out, I was waiting for new stuff ever since, I haven't seen that much work in a demo in a very long time, how was the recording process?

Thank you for letting us know that you enjoyed the demo! And you are right, we did pour hours and hours and effort into the demo, in the rehearsal room, when writing the lyrics as well as wrapping the work up in our special packaging. The recording was done in Sensus Studio in Linköping with Linus Lundgren (Nocturnalia/Year Of The Goat) as engineer and, at times, as a producer. Linus is a really talented and relaxed guy, very easy to work with, so the recording went very smoothly. We recorded on different occasions during several months in the winter and spring of 2016 and given that the studio is not the most luxurious (it was a free of charge studio sponsored by the municipality) Linus still managed to get the best out of his equipment, and us.

I saw the videos of the making of the sleeves for your 2016 demo! Incredible job, what was the idea of doing something so creative for your debut effort?

These laborious special packaging's is something I have done a couple of times before, but in different designs. I did one batch of 93 copies for my first band The Doomsday Cult and 81 copies for my second band Griftegård, and then 78 copies for Dautha. The reason I put in 10 weeks of hard work into each of these editions is because I feel that the visuals of the first release of the band in question need to encompass the kind of atmosphere I want the band to be associated with. Atmosphere is key for me and if I can give the listener something unique (all copies are handmade and none is exactly similar to the other) to behold, feel and even smell I know it will enhance their listening experience in ways no mass produced product can. Also, these special edition has a tendency to sell out very fast, luckily (as they are very expensive to make) and this in turn gives the band a well needed kick start.

What's with Sweden? So many classic bands in so many different styles in Metal that have had a lasting influence on bands of today? Is it the landscape? Is it the social-economic situation? How come that Sweden has had so many awesome bands in Metal?

I think the main reason why Sweden has so many great bands is the municipal music schools, really. Rehearsal spaces are usually free or heavily subsidized, we are encouraged to take up instruments at an early age in school and lessons are free. I also think that there might be something in the tonal language of our folk music that leaks into contemporary Swedish music, a certain melancholic stroke that fits Metal like a glove, and Doom Metal in particular.

A question for Lars Palmqvist, any new stuff coming up for SCAR SYMMETRY in the near future? How did you join the DAUTHA band and what's the difference between both bands, vocal wise?

Scar Symmetry's Phase 2 album has really been a long time coming, I think it is three years since the first album in this to-be-trilogy came out. Most of its elements are done already, and I for one put down my vocal lines two years ago. But it is our guitarist Per Nilsson that composes, records and mixes the songs as well as manages the band these days and lately (for the past two years) he has had a lot on his plate. For example he has quit his day job to start running his studio full time. In addition he plays in Nocturnal Rites and acts as touring stand in for Fredrik Thordendal in Meshuggah. Last time Scar Symmetry toured (November -17) he said he thought the album would be ready this summer (-18), but I doubt it, my guess would be next summer, maybe.

In Dautha I come up with vocal lines and harmonies and bounce these with Ola. Or let's put it this way, Ola sends me riffs or whole songs and I record phonetic/mock up melody lines upon these and then Ola listens to their phrasing and adapt his lyric ideas to them. Usually when I record vocals for Scar Symmetry all song melodies and harmonies are made by Per who hands me them a week, or sometimes a couple of minutes, before the recording. Per's brain is more powerful than even the most sophisticated music program and sometimes I don't understand his ideas at all when I first get to hear them. This can, of course, result in a lot of re-takes in the studio. This said he knows my range and usually he adapts to it. With Dautha the arrangements might, at first, come off as less intricate, simply because I don't like to make things too messy, neither for me, nor for the listener. Also, in Scar Symmetry I growl sometimes and even do some falsetto screaming, something we keep out of Dautha. I think that my will to develop as a singer and my curiosity to explore new music has made me diverse-I can adapt my vocals to what is needed in a great range of differing styles.

Any bands you guys would love to tour with?

To be honest we do not see ourselves as a touring band, or even a live band. But who knows what the future holds…and if we would tour some time in the future it would be great to share the stage with Eternal Champion, Odax or Sumerlands, and I guess we wouldn't mind going out with Maiden either…

What were the bands that influenced you in the beginning of your careers?

Hm, I know Lars has been making music since he was very young and that his child hood heroes are Maiden and Kiss. I (Ola) on the other hand started playing the guitar as late as -98 and back then I were influenced by Count Raven, Candlemass, Stillborn, Trouble, Saint Vitus, While Heaven Wept and Paul Chain. In 2000 or 2001 Pagan Altar came into my life and they have been crucial to the fanning of my creativity ever since.

So what's next for the guys DAUTHA?

At the time of this interview we await the release of the album (March 16th) and our video (beginning if March). Meanwhile we gather inspiration for our follow up album and meditate over a possible split 7” with some band that we feel befriended with musically and spiritually, remains to see whom we will approach. We already have a lot of new material and will start rehearsing it as soon as life allows it.

Any plans of some touring in Europe and beyond for 2018?

No plans for any live shows anywhere, at least not for the moment, but one never should say never.

Thanks a lot for the opportunity to interview you guys and I wish you guys great success in the coming future!

Thank you, it was a pleasure! Good luck with your sermons at the Metal Temple.


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