:: Interview with Nominon
Interview with Nominon
According to band founder and guitarist Juha Sulasalmi, Nominon (Nom-ah-non) takes its name from a demon or host of demons. Juha chose this name during the band’s two-piece, formative years. Their naming from a hellish entity seems fitting for a band that produces death metal of such an ill-spirited, evil nature.
Although participating in the first wave of Swedish death metal, Nominon did not form until 1994 when a second wave of bands spilled their sticky guts all over the scene. After releasing a series of demos in the mid-to-late nineties, Nominon put out its first full-length, "Diabolical Bloodshed" during the final year of the decade.
Said album features a particular “dis-heartening” album cover by none other than Joe Petagno (Motörhead
artist), which found re-release through the band’s current label, Deathgasm Records. Following this reissue, the group released two full lengths ("Recremation" and "Terra Necrosis") along with another mass (murder) of short format albums such as EPs. Most recently, Nominon issued what may come to be their top recording "Monumentomb."
To support this “monumental” release, these occult-inclined Scandinavians traveled across the open seas to America and embarked upon a tour with label mates Quinta Essentia and Infinitum Obscure. Metal Ship sat down, on the curb in front of Zombies in San Antonio, with guitarist Juha Sulasalmi, drummer Perra Karlsson and newest throat shredder Henke Skoog to find out more about this grossly underrated and under recognized death metal act.
Metalship : How is the tour going?
Juha Sulasalmi: So far it’s going good. We’ve played a few clubs and have gotten a good response at each show, even though the turn-outs haven’t been that good.
Perra Karlsson: This is our second time in the U.S. Of course, it would be awesome to do a full tour of the whole continent, but we could only afford to be out here for two weeks, so we had to map the places out that we wanted to concentrate on. We had never played Texas, and now we are here for three shows, and are wondering how you guys will treat us (laughs). I expected a little more last night in Houston, but it was a Monday night, so we can’t expect too much. We aren’t Cannibal Corpse
. I’m glad that we are not Cannibal Corpse
(laughs). We have played Florida, Texas and Louisiana. We are looking forward to the remaining dates as well.
Metalship : Please tell our readers about the tour you did a couple of years ago.
Perra Karlsson: We went out with Quinta Essentia (the group Nominon shared stages with on this tour) on a two-and-a-half week, mostly East Coast tour through Florida, Kalamazoo, Michigan (the author’s college town), and Central Illinois Metal Fest—probably the best U.S. show so far. However, we could only play around thirty minutes and the crowd craved more, but our time was up and we couldn’t play anymore songs. It was a good show, and we have been doing an hour-long documentary on it. It has some live music and live behind-the-scenes material. It is all done. We don’t know if it will be released or shelved. I hope that it will come out somewhere in time. We’ll see.
Metalship : You could do a deluxe edition, digipack CD and package it as an extra CD.
Perra Karlsson: Our label asked us to do that and we straight out said no. Labels think that releasing a double disc video is a cool thing, a bonus for the fans. I don’t know if I’m talking for the whole band, but I don’t see it like that. If you have put in all the work it takes to create a CD, you don’t want to take away the focus from the music with some sort of shitty DVD just to make someone else happy.
Metalship : You would rather put out a separate DVD?
Perra Karlsson: Pretty much, yes. The material on the album is what is important. The DVD is another thing. We don’t want to confuse our fans.
Metalship : How does this tour compare to the last tour?
Perra Karlsson: Atlanta, Georgia was the only place we played on both tours. I would say that the turn out was pretty much the same. It was a great show, even though I almost passed out on stage. It was very hot in the venue. I nearly puked, twice. This (Zombies) is a much bigger venue, so I will get a lot more oxygen.
Metalship : Has Deathgasm provided good tour support? I see Evan March, the founder and owner of the label, has come out on tour with you.
Perra Karlsson: It’s unusual for him to be away from the office for more than a couple of days, so for him this is an experience. We are extremely glad he came out with us.
Henke Skoog: He is a cool guy. It is awesome that we have him with us. He likes to be here with us, as well. He has helped us greatly.
Metalship : Do you feel that the tour is getting proper promotion?
Perra Karlsson: We would rather do a tour like this than make a huge advertisement in a magazine that doesn’t give a shit about us. It’s a “Campaign of Death.”
Metalship : How does your new album "Monumentomb" compare to earlier releases? Did you do anything different writing/recording the album?
Juha Sulasalmi: When it comes to writing songs, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We book a studio when we only have a couple of songs ready. We get going as soon as we have some ideas. This time, I think it came together quite well without pressure. We got some unexpected pressure this time because our singer left three weeks before going into the studio. It was a mess, but it worked out very well with Erik [Sahlstrom]. I think he has done the best vocals I have ever heard on a death metal album! I couldn’t be happier. It seems like his vocals were taken directly from a zombie movie. He screams his lungs out. I love that shit!
Metalship : How did you hook up with him?
Perra Karlsson: He is an old friend of mine. I’ve known him for around fifteen years, since he was in Maze of Torment and even before that. He is a total metal head, like ourselves. He is easy to get along with, and was only a phone call away. We didn’t have to say much; he was ok with the idea from the start. We also contacted some other people—some friends, some more famous than others—but either way, we ended up using Erik on most of the songs. You know the result—it’s killer!
Metalship : How has the album been received by fans and critics?
Perra Karlsson: It has been fantastic. I’ve crippled myself sitting long hours in front of the computer answering interviews from around the world. Over the last few weeks, I’ve answered twenty-five to thirty interviews a week. I don’t even remember how many I’ve done. I’ve done only a few phone interviews, most of them have been emailers.
Metalship : That’s a lot of time spent typing.
Perra Karlsson: Yes, but I don’t really mind it. I have a certain amount of time to spend. I don’t want to answer “yes” or “no” on the questions; I want to give them more.
Metalship : Few bands, especially death metal, allude to Hindu mythology. One other band from your country that does this is Runemagick. Tell our readers about penning the tune “Wrath of Shiva.”
Perra Karlsson: Shiva is an ancient
creation closely associated with war, destruction and damnation. That is fucking perfect for us to write about things like that. We don’t need to write all songs about zombies (the theme of the night) or typical shit like that. We want something a little bit different out of our lyrics than demons ejaculating on the heads of angels, for example (laughs). Johan "Barsk" Thornberg did the vocals on that track. In the past, he did one CD with the band Incision. He brings more of a brutal, U.S. style. He is an old friend and since we were running short on vocals we decided to use him on that track and also on the “Omen
” EP that we used for promotion purposes. We released a four-track EP, "Omen," four months prior to the album release. That album featured one re-recorded track from 2002 called “Invocations,” that was on the "Blaspheming the Dead" EP.
Metalship : Nominon formed in the second wave of Swedish death metal, in the mid-nineties. What groups from your country inspired you to form a death metal band?
Juha Sulasalmi: We were influenced by the bands that were around then in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s influenced us. We were into the bands that were part of the history of metal such as thrash and heavy metal bands. All of those bands came together when the death metal movement formed. I think it was natural for bands to start playing more brutal shit. Before I formed Nominon, I auditioned as the vocalist for Entombed
Metalship : For the “Clandestine” album?
Exactly. I was searching for a band, as was Perra, even though we didn’t know each other. We were a part of that movement. I wanted to start Nominon earlier, but I didn’t have the members. We we formed it, I just had a singer named Peter [Nilsson]. We recorded a couple of demos together. I played all the instruments and he sang. That was the start of it in early 1993. I didn’t think back then of starting a second wave of death metal because I was in the middle of that shit.
added by Darren Cowan, on July 21, 2010 for Metalship