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Sodomisery's Harris Sopovic: "I never had any plans of converting Sodomisery into a band or even recording a full length album… our bus driver Paul (which is now our bass player) convinced me to form a band after hearing the songs in the bus"

Interview with Harris Sopovic from Sodomisery
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 08 May 2020, 11:33 PM

At times, without really knowing it, we think that we can trust the ones who lead us. However, there are occasions where the truth is actually blackened, and slowly, yet too late, there are some dark discoveries, which can create horrible realities. The newly approaching Sodomisery, which started out as a one-man project, now turned into a band, are telling an overall story within their debut album, "The Great Demise". Steinmetal had chatted with the band's founder and leader, Harris Sopovic on the turn of events that led to the band, personal views on lyricism, looking forward and into the present and more…

Hello Harris, it is a pleasure to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, I am positive that this period of time hasn’t been easy, yet I do hope that you are making the best of it. How have you been?

Hello Lior, and fellow Metalheads. The pleasure is all mine. Me and the band are doing just fine thank you. We are doing the best we can to stay active and productive in all possible ways.

I noticed that Sweden has been taking the Covid-19 pandemic rather easily than the rest of the world. Though it appears that there has been a slowdown in the virus’ spread and impact on public health, Sweden hasn’t actually fallen in line with most countries when it comes to preventing further infection. What is your input on the matter? How do you observe this situation?

I think Sweden has handled it pretty ok. I’m not too convinced that all countries should use the same solution to handle this. With that being said, I wouldn’t say that we have been taking it all too easily. There   are   still   a lot   of   restrictions. But   as   always, it’s   up   to   everyone   to   take responsibility. My guess is that a total lockdown would have been a lot more devastating in all ways.

As mentioned, there has been a slow comeback of the early life, yet those wouldn’t really be the same as before, at least for a while, yet, when it comes to the music business, a measure of halt or accurately stated, depression. How does the local Metal scene in Sweden handle the fact that it is not possible to promote one’s music live, yet only streaming online? How has been Sodomisery promoting its music nowadays?

My guess is that this might be a good thing for the local scene. I think people got used to always have a ton of bands to choose from to see live every week here in Stockholm. I feel more bad for my friends that play in bigger bands that were relying on gigs for income though. The promotion side of playing live hasn’t really affected us in the band too much I would say. We got selected to play at the WOA Metal Battle. But bailed out due to the outbreak that had just started. Hopefully we’ll play at WOA next year anyway!

And here we come directly to Sodomisery, the once one-man project led by yourself, turned into a full band lineup a few years back. When did you exactly feel that it was time to create a new kind of monster, upgrading the Sodomisery name into a band? Was it a strong deliberation with yourself if to actually do it or did you know that it was only a matter of time?

I never had any plans of converting Sodomisery into a band or even recording a full length album. I’d been playing in other people's bands and playing other peoples songs for most of my musical career. So I thought I’d record a few songs before searching for a new band join. But while I was on the road with Diabolical on a session gig in 2017, our bus driver Paul (which is now our bass player) convinced me to form a band after hearing the songs in the bus.

Would you say that playing and writing music with an actual line-up of musicians also developed you as a songwriter, composer and music writer in comparison to your time alone as a single musician?

Yes, definitely. I have no idea how the album would have sounded if it wasn’t for the rest of the guys supporting me in the writing process and giving me their thoughts. It was important for me to start thinking like a band in both arrangements and all other aspects when I had all these talented people in the band.

Nearly two years after it was decided that Sodomisery is to become a band, and here you are with a debut album, “The Great Demise”, signed to Testimony Records. Listening to the end product, which I am positive that you did more than a handful of times, what is your appreciation of the general result? Are there things that you would have done differently given the chance?

Hehe, yeah I’ve listened to it a few times and asked myself that question a few hundred times. And the answer is - no. I used to be one of those perfectionists in the past where every single detail needs to be nailed to perfection and sound special. Nowadays, I place most of my time working on a good melody and theme throughout the song and album. I’m really happy with the end result of our debut album.

Looking at the artwork, I understood that I was observing one of the meanings of to be led to the slaughter, yet by someone that its key role is safeguarding that nothing such as this is to happen, like the scenery of the shepherd and his sheep thrown to the fire. Merely out of self-interpretation, should we be afraid of those that are supposed to protect us from harm?

That’s a very good interpretation of it. The general message I had in mind with the artwork is that we are all a bunch of sick sheep following the shepherd to wherever he points.  We need to wake up and start stepping out of the flock if we want to survive.

With the Covid-19 still relevant nowadays, it is hard to escape the fact the album title, “The Great Demise”. Do you also find a relation between the title and what has been going on in the world nowadays?

It’s a weird coincidence that we put out our album with a title like that right now.  But yeah, the theme is kind of the same. Nuclear war, global pandemics or some other disaster made by man will for sure be our demise in the end.

What is your personal connection with the leading themes that guide the philosophical direction of “The Great Demise”? What would you say will make the listener stop and think other than simply listening to the music playing?

The idea was to leave a lot of the lyrics for the listener to interpret. There is a lot of different types of   listeners   out   there.   It   will   hopefully   be   interesting   to   both   those   who   like   reading and interpreting the lyrics, as well as for those who simply just like the songs as they sound.

Though I have been an old schooler at heart, I found Sodomisery offering freshness in its fusion of Black and Death Metal. There is a fair measure of technical display alongside depth and dramatism, echoed by sorrowful melodies. In your point of view, what makes “The Great Demise” in particular, and Sodomisery’s musical antics, uncanny in comparison to the rather popular merger of extreme Metal’s oldest subgenres?

My goal was to create a simple mix between the old school 90’s and 00’s style of death and black. I even did a full orchestral arrangement for one of the songs just to see how it would sound like. It sounded really great, but I felt that everybody is using samplers live and doing orchestral stuff these days. I won’t close that door completely. But I like keeping it pure and simple for now.

While writing the music for “The Great Demise”, what were your sources of inspiration that led you forward and kept you motivated?

The biggest source of inspiration was a near death experience I had back in early 2017. It opened my eyes and made me look at things in a new way.

How can you describe the songwriting process of “The Great Demise”? Would you say that it is better to work with other people, partners, in order to conjure more than one mind to lay down a better outcome?

It’s hard to say what a better outcome means. But it’s of course important for me that everyone in the band is satisfied and enjoys the songs. My primary goal is to create music I think is original and that I and the band enjoy playing. It’s only a bonus if a lot of people like the songs. I pretty much wrote a ton of riffs that I threw at the guys. If everyone would say that they liked an idea, I would go on and complete it. Everything else got thrown in the bin.

I found the self-titled track to be quite eventful, harmonic and catchy, yet quite deadly with its riffs and impressive arrangement. A kind of a mood swinger as well I might add. What can you tell about this song’s development? What is your input about the end result?

I can’t really remember what was going through my mind at that time since it was about 3 years ago. But the title track was actually the first song that I wrote after the EP. It kind of set the vibe and the bar for the rest of the album.

One of the album’s greatest aspects is the sound production, that enticing crunchy sound, similar to the Norwegian wave of Black Metal, yet much more refined, is supreme and empowers the music. Who made it happen for you? What is your viewpoint on the band’s sound?

I had a few reference albums containing both Swedish and Norwegian bands that I gave to Sverker Widgren (Wing studios). I didn’t really have a clear vision of what “Sodomisery” should sound like. It kind of grew along with the recording and mixing process. I think he did a fantastic job and I am really pleased with the sound.

I know it might be a tough one, yet it would be good to know which of the album’s songs is your main attraction, that one song that you deem as your best work and its content is mind blowing. Please elaborate on your pick.

If I were to pick a song based on energy, lyrics and groove it would have to be “Arise”. I think that’s the most energetic song I've written so far. I feel like that one represents the main vibe of Sodomisery's sound.

With Sodomisery being a live band, you probably had plans to promote the new album, yet had to postpone. What were your plans and have you already begun planning for next year?

We only had a few things planned this year. So it’s not all too bad. It of course sucks that we aren’t able to do a release party or gig when the album comes out. But we hope that our debut album will help us get booked to some great festivals, gigs or tours next year.

How can you describe the stage act of Sodomisery? What makes it a spectacle to be reckoned with? Other than being part of the setlist, how is the stage being reflected by “The Great Demise”?

We simply deliver Swedish death metal at its finest from the second we enter the stage until the end. We always give the audience 110% no matter what.

With all the time in lockdown, or semi-lockdown, you probably have the time to start writing your next album. Have you been thinking in that direction or simply waiting to promote “The Great Demise” first?

I really wish that I’d have more time to record new stuff. I’ve been super busy doing album layouts for vinyl, cd, merch and other stuff for the album release. Hopefully it will calm down a bit after the release. I have a lot of new riffs and ideas for songs recorded already. Just need to find the time to sit down and pull it all together and see what happens.

Looking forward in time, where do you Sodomisery going? Let’s call it your so-called five years' plan

The common goal we share in the band is to play at the biggest festivals and tour with bands that we look up to and can learn from. And also release a few albums we can all be proud of. There are no limits really, only the ones we set on ourselves.

Harris, plenty of thanks for taking the time for this interview, it was awesome for me to discover your band and no doubt, you came up with an impressive release. Cheers.

Thanks a lot. The pleasure is all mine. I appreciate all the great and tricky questions that you threw at me hehe. Take care and stay safe!



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