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Rogga Johansson (Humanity Delete)

Interview with Rogga Johansson from Humanity Delete
by Dorothy Cheng at 05 March 2013, 2:02 PM

HUMANITY DELETE, the new one-man band by Rogga Johansson has released its impressive debut album “Never Ending Nightmares” via Dead Beat Media, an album full of groovy Death Metal. Malaysia has a horrific yet almost exotic stories about creatures of unspoken evil unique and yet unknown to people outside Asia. HUMANITY DELETE bridges the gap combining those stories with first class Death Metal. We opened the ancient gates of Metal Temple to welcome Rogga and have him discuss with our expert in Malaysian mythology, Dorothy Cheng

Greetings Rogga, I just finished listening once again to your new album, "Never Ending Nightmares", and I have to say that it is great. How are you in the wake of this phenomenal release?

Thank you very much for your kind words about the album. Things are great here, and I’m very happy with the way the album turned out, as well as the great response it’s been getting.

The track names really caught my attention as I was going through them. I’m a Malaysian living in Kuala Lumpur and all my life I’ve been told stories about the Pontianak, Jenglot, Orang Minyak and other such Malaysian mythical creatures. I was pleasantly surprised that a Swede such as yourself was in touch with local lore. How did you learn about them?

All the lyrics were written by Jill Girardi (Dead Beat Media), an American friend who has been living in Malaysia (Penang) for quite a few years.  She has been studying Malaysian ghosts and mythical creatures for several years. These types of ghosts and creatures are different from those in the West, so it seemed like a great idea to introduce them to the rest of the world. They are probably some of the most unique and terrifying ghosts I’ve come across.

What inspired you to go in a paranormal, supernatural and mythical direction?

Well this band is a project I started around 10 years ago. We recorded some demo material but nothing ever came of it.  Last year I had been talking to Jill Girardi about the possibility of her writing some lyrics for one of my other bands.  She is actually writing a book about Malaysian ghosts, and she suggested that she could write a couple of songs about these as well. Since that topic didn’t really fit with any of the other bands I’m currently involved in, I had the idea to make an entirely new band just based on that concept. In the end I decided to call it Humanity Delete and “resurrect” an old ghost, so to speak.  It’s kind of funny how in the beginning, the whole topic of ghosts was just going to be a couple of songs, but turned into something a lot more fun.

How has what you learned about such creatures and their significance changed the way you approach heavy metal music?

I’ve never seen these types of lyrics or subject matter before, at least not in death metal music. So it was a fun challenge to arrange the lyrics to fit the music.  The whole creepy atmosphere of the CD from music to lyrics to the artwork and packaging is great fun.

What were your prime influences during the making of this album? For example: bands, movies, even general day-to-day nuances.

Music-wise, I wanted to make the band simple death metal with a grind and punk approach. I wanted the sound to be a bit raw but not totally in a ‘crust punk’ kind of direction.  For the concept of the band I’d say just learning about a new culture is the biggest influence. I’m also very much into post-apocalyptic films, and these will play a big role in future Humanity Delete albums as well.

What is it like being in a one-man-band?

It’s a lot of fun to write all the music and arrange it. I’ve always got riffs running around in my head and I like to get them out there and have them recorded. Really this album didn’t take very much time at all to complete. If you’re having fun on a project and you’re inspired it all comes together quickly.

In addition to the Malaysian mythical creatures, I also see that you’ve incorporated other Asian influences as well. Is there a particular affinity that you share with Asia or Asian culture?

I’ve learned a lot through talking with Jill about ideas for the lyrics as well as through the lyrics themselves.  It’s not often that you learn something new and cultural when doing a band, so I think it’s pretty cool if other people are introduced to Malaysian and Asian culture as well.

Will an Asian tour be a possibility? If not, where are the first several places you will be invading?

I would like to tour Asia someday. I’m not sure if it would ever be possible, and if there were a tour it would most likely be with my main band, Paganizer. But I’d never rule it out, who knows what can happen!

The lyrical content for the album was a diverse and interesting mix of horror elements with moral backstories. What prompted you to interlace morality with horror?

That was Jill’s idea, as she has said that she’s not really into the type of lyrics that are just a bunch of words that only make sense to the writer. And I suppose the lyrics are like little horror stories themselves. I like the way the lyrics are actually part of the concept and overall atmosphere of the album. That way you can enjoy the album as a whole.

How do you believe the rest of the world will receive your album? Here in Asia, you will certainly touch nerves (in a good way) and garner a growing fanbase, but what about other areas that are unfamiliar with such myths and lore?

I hope everyone will receive the album in a good way.  Our goal was to bring a greater awareness of Asian ghost culture to the rest of the world. So far the response has been great, and a lot of people from other parts of the world have said they enjoyed the different style of lyrics.

Thank you so much for your patience in answering these questions. I wish you the best of luck in all future endeavors and hope for more great albums such as this from HUMANITY DELETE!

Thank you so much for taking the time to write these questions for me. It was a lot of fun to do. I hope you’re enjoying the hot weather in Malaysia! Everyone check out our facebook page at www.facebook.com/humanitydelete. You can also order our album directly through the Dead Beat Media website at www.deadbeatshop.net



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