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Rogga Johansson, Ed Warby (Demiurg)

Interview with Rogga Johansson, Ed Warby from Demiurg
by Panos Pagonopoulos at 24 October 2010, 1:10 AM

The progressive death Metal band DEMIURG have recently their 3rdstudio album entitled “Slakthus Gamleby”. I was so impressed by the record that I couldn't resist to the opportunity of making an interview with any of the well known in the Metal scene, members of the band. So, it was great to have Rogga Johansson (RJ)and Ed Warby (EW)answering many questions about the band, the new album and also a few more about some other bands they are participating in. Enjoy!

Your 3rdstudio album “Slakthus Gamleby” was just recently released. Are you satisfied with the reviews from the critics and the response of the fans so far? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Ed: That’s a resounding “yes” on both counts! The reviews have been amazing; I knew we had a good album but I was also expecting some criticism because of the keyboards and female vocals, but fortunately everybody seems to appreciate the more progressive elements.

Would you like to tell us a few words about the songwriting (who writes the music and the lyrics), the recording sessions, and the production of the new album and in general describe the whole process?
Ed: Rogga writes all music and lyrics, but all members are totally free to add their own flavor to it. The album started with Rogga’s demos featuring just guitars and vocals, I added my drum ideas to it and communicated with Johan about the basslines so we could provide a cohesive rhythmic basis to the songs. Once the arrangements were worked out I recorded the drums in 2 days at the Excess Studio in Rotterdam and Johan did his stuff in Sweden. When we were done the recordings went to Dan to add all the samples, keyboards and guitar solos, he also mixed the album.

What do you want to achieve with DEMIURG? Would you consider it as a first priority project that you will put much work on it and try to gain some commercial success , or it is just a side-project you created in order to do something for your personal fun and different from your main bands?
RJ: For me its always about personal fun, I never create something to please others or to try to make it successful. However DEMIURG have taken on a life of its own lately, starting on the previous album when Ed joined the ranks. So I would say that it would indeed be fun if this project could become a bit more known than any of my other projects, simply because I think with DEMIURG we managed to create something that just about anyone should be able to enjoy. For me this album is the epitome, so far, of my career. And it would sure be cool if as many people as possible could get to hear this album.

While listening more and more to the album i found some things that made me consider the possibility that “Slakthus Gamleby” has a concept. For example the common music and lyrics of the female vocals in a part of “From Laughter To Retching” and in the end of“World Burial”. So is this a concept album? And if it is what is the theme?
RJ: Just like the previous album this is also a loose concept at work. The main idea with DEMIURG have always been to have a bit deeper lyrics than the average caveman death Metal album, wich is what i usually do. I guess you could say that DEMIURG is a bastard mix of Lovecraftian cosmic horror and my own thoughts and fear about life, death and existence as a whole. I've always been into concept albums very much, and have dabbled some in it myself from time to time, and with DEMIURG we have a concept wich we think fits very well and I am sure we will continue down this Lovecraft inspired raod even more in the future, but perhaps with an even more recognizable concept.

In “Slakthus Gamleby” it is obvious that there are also some doom/death Metal influenced riffs and melodies along with use of female vocals for the first time in the band. How did you came up with the idea of blending these elements into the music of the band?
Rogga: As for the more doomy parts, Ive always done these type riffs but never really used them. Back in the late 90s I actually wrote several doom Metal songs for a demo, two of them titled “The Hate Chamber” and “The Convulse Meridian”. On the last DEMIURG album I re-used those titles and this time for the new album I decided to do a complete doom song. I think it turned out very good too.

In 2008Dan Swanöbecame the lead guitarist of the band ,leaving his previous potision as the drummer, and Ed joinedDEMIURG taking charge of the drums and clean vocals. Can you tell us a few things about how did you start working together?
Ed: I know Rogga from the Global Domination site, a great collection of different forums. We started talking about music and he sent me some of the stuff he’d done. Around that time HAIL OF BULLETS started working on the first promo, and we thought it would be great if Dan could mix it, so I asked Rogga to check if this was possible. Dan agreed to do it under the condition that I would play drums on the next DEMIURG, and of course I gladly agreed! Besides DEMIURG me and Rogga are also working together in THE 11thHOUR, a traditional doom Metal band.

Also Marjan Welman the female vocalist of the Dutch gothic Metal band AUTUMN participates as a guest in some songs,which proved to be a great addition. How did your cooperation start?
Ed: Rogga asked me if I knew any good female singers and Marjan was the first one I thought of. She was a bit nervous initially because she’d never done death Metal before, but once she heard the parts we had for her she got really into it. She came over to my studio to record her vocals and I had goosebumps the whole time she was singing!

All the members ofthe band are well known in the Metal scene , having participated in many successful bands – projects. Would you agree with the opinion thatDEMIURG can be considered as a supergroup in its genre?
Ed: When I hear “supergroup” I think of bands like BAD ENGLISH or DAMN YANKEES, not us. It’s flattering but as far as I’m concerned the only thing super about us is the music!

Do you intend to make a video clip for any of the songs from the album? If yes for which song will you do it?

RJ: There are no plans for a video, that shit cost too much haha.

All the members of the band work at the same time with many bands which i suppose it makes it really difficult to arrange a tour. Is there any chance we will see DEMIURG touring soon?
Ed: We’ve discussed the possibility of maybe doing 1 or 2 festival appearances, but nothing is planned yet. It would be cool to do something like that, but a tour is definitely not an option.

As i mentioned above you are at the same time in many bands that require recordings, songwriting, touring. How can you cope with all these? How do you manage to find free time for yourselves?
Ed: I devote most of my time to music, but I make sure to take time off every once in a while to watch movies or do stuff with my girlfriend. This year was very hectic with a new HAIL OF BULLETS album, DEMIURG and STAR ONE (Arjen Lucassen project, Dan Swanö also sings on it).

I would like to ask you a few things about your other projects. Rogga and Ed you also work together in the doom/death Metal band THE 11th HOUR. What are your future plans?
Ed: I’ve written 4-5 songs for the next album already and I’ll probably start recording in December or January. There’s no deadline so I’ll work on it until I feel it’s done. Obviously Rogga will once again provide the growls as well as co-write the lyrics, it’s a great way of working together. I think the new album will be a bit more epic than the first, the new songs are all very sweeping, majestic. But above all it’s going to be HEAVY!

Ed recentlythere was also released the second full-length album from HAIL OF BULLETS entitled “On Divine Winds”. Can you tell us a few things about it?
Ed: “On Divine Winds” came out last week and is doing very well, so far we’ve gotten extremely good reviews in all the major magazines and sales are going well too. I’m very happy about this, because apart from playing drums and writing a large part of the music I also produced the album. If you liked “Of Frost And War” I can guarantee you’ll like this one as well, it’s a bit more melodic but still 100% old school death Metal.

Rogga you have also created and participate in many bands. Which one would you consider as your first priority currently?Also what is the current status in PAGANIZER?What are your future plans?
Rogga: Right now my priority is whatever band I am currently working on, and that's the way its always been really. PAGANIZER is on ice right now, mainly because I had to fire most of the members quite recently as they behaved like idiots. I'm sure a new lineup will be gathered in time though, but right now I'm feeling no rush at all really. I'm rather content working on other projects for the remainder of this year.

Thank you very much for the interview. I wish you the best for the future in whatever you do. The last words belong to you.
RJ: Thanx! And thank you very much for the interview!


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Edited 03 June 2023

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