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Interview with Alex Hellid of Entombed

Revered as one of the early pioneers of Scandinavian death metal, the band Entombed have journeyed down many a path. Both musically and within various line-up changes over the years.

Present day, the Swedish death metal legends are proud to put forth their latest album, ‘Serpent Saints’, which takes their sound back to the more classic sound they are known for and are readying to embark on complete world domination with some pretty hefty touring plans for the future.

JH: So what’s going on in the Entombed camp?

AH: A lot. I mean, we just finished the album like a couple months ago. We pretty much do everything ourselves these days which is a lot of work. Now we’re doing some promotions for the album. We always do some shows and stuff when we finish an album. We’re really busy.

JH: Can you tell us a bit about the album?

AH: Yeah. 10 songs of classic Entombed. We’ve just started to get some feedback on it and it seems that people really get it. The old school fans that were getting a little weary of the bands sound are back on board and are really happy. We all thought it was time that we do an album that reflected to the old Entombed sound. We all feel real good about it.

JH: How would you say it measures up to the past releases?

AH: We’re all real happy with it. I think it measures up in a way that you can sit down and listen to it straight through. That’s what we aimed at.

JH: Was there anything you did differently on this album that you may have not done in the past?

AH: With every album we always try to do something different. Like not record it like we did the previous one. The album before we pretty much recorded live so on this one we just set up so we could record straight away while we were writing. So that was the first time we’ve done that. We really wanted to capture that burst of energy with this album on each song as opposed to having the time to rehearse it and change things.

JH: So now this is going to out on Candlelight Records?

AH: Yes.

JH: Is this your first album out with Candlelight?

AH: Ah, yes it is. We have our own Three Man Recordings and in America we did a deal with Candlelight and also with parent company PlasticHead in Europe for distribution. It all works out pretty well. But this is the first full length with Candlelight.

JH: So what does the touring schedule look like for you guys?

AH: Right now we’re just doing festivals and stuff over here. In September we’ll start England, through Scandinavia and go country by country do Europe. We really want to get some American dates in there.

JH: So there are none as of now?

AH: Not yet but we’re definitely looking at it. It’s definitely one of my favorite places to play. So it will happen. Personally I can’t wait to get back.

JH: And everyone here can’t wait to go somewhere else.

AH: Yes, that’s how it is. It’s always like that. It is made for being on the road. Never a problem finding food or anything like that.

JH: Looking back, would you ever have figured that Entombed would have taken you down such a long career path?

AH: (laughing) No. Never. This is like my first band to. I wanted to start a band and…

JH: What, 16,17 years now?

AH: Yeah, half my life.

JH: Is there anything you would have done differently?

AH: I wish that we, we’ve had our ups and downs. You know, fighting with record companies and stuff like that. I believe the one thing I would have done differently is given Earache that last album that we had a year and a half over. It took a lot of momentum out of us around the time it seemed we had everything going for us. Especially in America where Colombia was way behind the band and we went home when they thought it was just the beginning. Half the band just wanted to go home and me and LG could have kept touring forever. Those chances only come around once in a while. I think they (Colombia) were pretty surprised that we went home at that point. I always feel that if you get that second chance you have to take it.

JH: Any advice for younger bands starting out that want to make it as long as you guys have?

AH: Yeah, don’t take any advice from Entombed. That would be my advice. I think that we have taken every bad turn a band could take over the years. But you know over the years through it all, there have been some line-up changes and we still love what we do and would trade it for anything. Too many bands get too depressed by the music business and give up. I personally love the music business, the touring, recording. All if it. I figure if I’m going to be in a band, it might as well be Entombed.

JH: So has the new album, ’Serpent’s Saints’ been released here in the states yet?

AH: I think the last week of July or early August. We were a little late with the artwork. It is coming though.

JH: So what’s up next for the band?

AH: Well, the rest of the year we will try to tour as much as we can throughout Europe to promote the album. Try and build as much as we can. We would also like to work on finishing up a couple of songs that we did not put on the album and release an EP this fall. Maybe. We’ll see.