Hideous & Revolting

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Roger “Rogga” Johansson (Bone Gnawer, Demiurg, The Grotesquery, Ribspreader, Paganizer, etc) is at it again! The multi-instrumentalist, composer, death metal warrior, and affable Swede, is pleased as punch with In Grisly Rapture, the excellent new album of catchy, horror-choked death metal from the Revolting trio. And he damn well should be! Everything from the music to the lyrics to the artwork is first rate and will surely end up one of my favorite death metal albums of 2011. Rogga breaks it down for us.

Good goat man, don’t you ever stop working!?

I wouldn’t call it work really. Making g music is fun and doesn’t pay [laughs]. So I’d rather say I it is the opposite of work.

Congratulations on In Grisly Rapture. I believe it is not only the best of the three Revolting releases, but it is also one of your finest works. When did you start writing the music for this one and how long and/or involved was the entire process up through the final recording and completion of the album?

Thanks! I’m very pleased with it myself actually. I started work on these songs and about ten more – which will be for next album – maybe half a year ago or more. And I think they were pretty much finished after a month or two, as I don’t really work on it all day. I usually work quite fast, and then the stuff can hibernate for months or even sometimes years before I finish it up with doing vocals and sending it to mix.

On 2010’s The Terror Threshold you started incorporating more melody, particularly in regard to the guitar harmonies, but on In Grisly Rapture you took that approach much further, as every song is catchy, yet still down, dirty, and horror-filled death metal. Talk about this new level of melody and the balance you struck between aggression and memorable songwriting.

After I finished the first Revolting album I right away started writing more songs, and without really thinking about it I started to use melodies more and more. I think it was because I’d written so many non-melodic songs just before, so it felt right to do something more catchy. The more melodic songs on The Terror Threshold became my faves and that made me wanna do more songs in that style, so that’s why In Grisly Rapture sounds like it does. The next album, which is already written, is all in the same style too, so I think I really have gotten the Revolting sound solid now.

You’ve dedicated the album to several icons of horror cinema. Are there specific songs that pay tribute to Lucio Fulci, Mario Bava, Joseph Zito, Jeffrey Bloom, or Avery Crounse or was it a general inspiration from all of them?

All the songs on the new album deal with a specific movie actually, which you’ll understand when reading the lyrics. For instance the track Dr. Freudstein deals with House by the Cemetery by Fulci. Desmond is a huge horror fan and as he’s doing the lyrics it comes out like this, utterly great.

Did you give Desmond any input with regard to the themes and was the music presented to him prior to his writing the lyrics?

Desmond did the lyrics based on some of his own fave movies, and he hadn’t actually heard the music before. I’ve only had some ideas about what movies to do songs about in the future; that’s about what I’m good for [laughs]. Desmond knows this stuff so I just let him do his thing really, and it turns out killer.

Desmond is responsible for the artwork as well, which fits so well as part of the overall package. Tell us more about the art concepts and this Despicable character.

Desmond Root is actually a very talented artist whose done artworks and merch art for bands like Slayer and Warbringer, and he’s been in the metals scene as well as the horror scene for years and years. And besides being one of my fave artists he is also a great guy, and I’m very happy to have gotten to know him. The work he’s done for Revolting both lyrically and for the layout of the album is just amazing really. This album is one of those albums where people fuck themselves over by just downloading the music, as they really need the whole thing to fully get into it.

You are the sole writer of the music on In Grisly Rapture. Mutated Martin (drums) and Grotesque Tobias (bass) contribute fine performances, but you just couldn’t let then touch the arrangements, could you?

I guess I’m retarded that way. I know what I like, you know.

Your vocals are very well done, both intelligible and sinister as hell. How much work did you put into the vocals on this album or does it just come naturally at this point in your career?

The vocals for the entire album were done in a few hours as usual; I don’t know why I do them so fast really. I guess I’m very impatient and want to finish it up fast, so I can drink more beer or something [laughs]. I’ve never spent much time on vocals; usually a full album takes two hours to do.

The album is available in digital and vinyl formats as well, isn’t it? You’ve stopped at nothing, man!

Yes it is! And it’s all thanks to FDA Rekotz really, and I’m very fuckin’ happy about it!

As you’ve stated, In Grisly Rapture is being released by FDA Rekotz. The last two Revolting albums came out on Razorback Records. Was any thought given to releasing the new album on Razorback? Why did you end up going with F.D.A. Rekotz?

Billy at Razorback came up with the Revolting concept, so it’s thanks to him the band is here at all. This time we didn’t agree on a few things and decided that the new album wouldn’t be on Razorback, and then FDA Rekotz were very interested in doing it instead. Rico at FDA is a great guy, and I’m happy he liked the new album enough to release it.

You’ve got a new Ripspreader release out there now too on Vic Records, which I’ve unfortunately not yet heard. Enlighten us the finer points of The Van Murders.

The new Ribspreader is also something I’m very excited about. It’s gotten great reviews so far and it’s a concept album. I think we got a good mix this time of the debut album, which everyone seems to like the most, and our later more non-Swedish style. It is by far our most brutal album I think, and as it’s a concept album you need to really get into it, and enjoy the lyrics and artwork and that’s something very cool I think.

Any newer albums that have impressed you lately? What have you been spinning?

The new Demonical [Death Infernal] is great [I agree 100 percent – Scott], and so is the last Facebreaker album [Infected]. I’m trying to get into the new The Gates of Slumber [The Wretched] too, as I loved their earlier stuff. Besides that I must say that anyone not knowing them should check out The Lord Weird Slough Feg, any album really [Again, 100 percent agreement – Scott]. It’s a band I discovered just a few years ago, but it has become my fave band of all categories really.

What else have you got cooking at the moment and for the remainder of 2011?

The new Paganizer album has just been finished and will be out this fall. Also I’m working on new stuff for The Grotesquery and Demiurg, which I hope will be out sometime next year. And also, if anyone out there has a fuckin’ awesome clean singing voice drop me an e-mail, as I have some killer non-death metal riffs saved from tens of years ago that I need to use [laughs].




  1. Commented by: gordeth

    Nice interview. I’ve been enjoying the hell out of In Grisly Rapture since I received my copy the other day. The melodies put it a step above most other retro Swedeath.

  2. Commented by: Evil In U

    I like most of the bands Rogga is involved with. The man knows his death metal.

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