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In the early 90s, Entombed paved the way for the Swedish death metal scene and death metal itself with their crushing debut 'Left Hand Path' followed quickly by 'Clandestine'. As groundbreaking as those albums were, however, the band significantly expanded their audience as the result of the overwhelming response to 'Wolverine Blues'. In the wake of their success, Entombed embarked on a journey into death 'n' roll that left long-time fans completely disenfranchised. Thankfully, over a decade since the band's inception, Entombed have rediscovered their roots. The Metal Update had a chat with bassist Jorgen Sandstrom about the new album 'Morning Star' and the band's return to a more metal sound.

METAL UPDATE: How does the band feel about albums such as 'Left Hand Path' and 'Clandestine' now? Do you guys still play those tracks?

JORGEN SANDSTROM: Oh yeah. We've picked up quite a few of these songs to play them live in the last year or two.

MU: Did they have a falling out with L.G. in between those albums?

JS: Yeah, I really don't know what happened, but he got kicked out for a reason. I never really asked what it was, but something happened between L.G. and Nicke. Some kind of misunderstanding or whatever it was and he was out of the band for a while. Another guy Orvar (Safstrom) was in the band and Johnny (Dordevic) was in the band.

MU: Now why did they list Johnny on 'Clandestine' and 'Stranger Aeons' as being the singer when he actually did not sing on those albums?

JS: I thought it was quite confusing myself. I knew it wasn't him singing and I could never understand why they put him there but I guess when Nicke had put all the vocals down for it, they didn't have time to learn any more of the songs and released it anyway. I guess it looks better if they have a singer.

MU: They had me fooled all this time until I did some research and was like, "Wow. No shit."

JS: We went down to Visby, where me and the other guys from Grave originally came from, an island outside of Stockholm. Johnny was in the band. We went out to the pub later and I told Nicke at the pub, "That's not Johnny singing on the album. That's you." And he was like, "Shhhh. Don't say anything." (laughter) And that was back in '92 or something so I was like, "OK." I never really bothered to ask. It was just. . . "Shhhh. Don't say anything."

MU: When I saw the video for "Stranger Aeons", it had the new singer. That's what made me believe he sang on it.

JS: Did you ever get to see him live though?

MU: I saw them on the 'Clandestine' tour but L.G. was back in the band so that was another confusing aspect for me. What triggered the more rock direction that Entombed headed in on 'Wolverine Blues' and afterwards?


JS: I think it was because they got too bored of the death metal scene. There were so many bands coming out and everybody was trying to do the same thing all over again. They got fed up with it. Everyone went into Sunlight Studios trying to do what they did. I guess they started to pick up a little of other influences at the time as well and they started to listen to all kinds of other stuff and just got influenced by that and created a totally different sound.

MU: What are your feelings on 'Morning Star'? Do you think is your best one yet?

JS: It's definitely the best one since I've joined the band. This one and 'Wolverine Blues' are probably my two favorites.

MU: Do you feel that you guys have kicked up the aggression a notch on this one compared with past albums.

JS: It depends on how you define aggression. 'Uprising' was quite angry in itself and 'To Ride. . .' as well. They were both very hard albums, but in a different way. I think we turned a little bit more metal on this one. Turned back a little bit and got more metal influences on this album than what we had for a long time.

MU: It seems to be a very speedy record - a lot of fast parts and everything.

JS: That's Peter, who's totally dedicated to death and black metal. He loves to play fast and it really suits him well to do it.

MU: What influences, if any, were incorporated into this record? I'm sure you are just going with the flow of what you want to do, right?

JS: Yeah. There is an obvious Slayer influence in there. It was deliberate anyway for us to do a tribute to them. I think Peter and Uffe did really well on the Murder Squad album. I don't know if you heard about it or heard it. It's Peter, Uffe and then two guys from Dismember. They did an album with their band Murder Squad and I think that influenced both of them to write more metal tracks as well.

MU: Entombed used to record at Sunlight Studios almost religiously. What triggered the switch in studios?

JS: It was a few things. First of all, we wanted to try out a different place because we had never recorded anywhere else. We were like, "Why not? We'll try somewhere else." Then we started to record in another place and it felt good for a change. It was new vibes. And then also because Tomas, at that point when we were going to record an album, was really busy at the time. He always double booked and bands got put aside and there was a lot of hassle and his mixing table broke down and he had to fix it first. There were a lot of things that made us change studios in the first place. But we've been in there after that to record to do some cover songs and stuff. Nowadays, we can almost go anywhere we want and still get what we want out of it because we learned so much from Tomas in the past. We know what we are going to do in the studio. If we are heading for a certain thing, we know how to get it.

MU: Are you happy with the production on the new album?

JS: Yeah. I'm really happy about it.

MU: Why did you guys part ways with Earache.

JS: Actually I joined them when they were in the middle of things. Earache didn't want to push it further. They wanted to keep it at the same level that it was. Entombed were kind of breaking through with 'Wolverine Blues' and everything. They tried hard to tour a lot. They tried hard to do anything they could to promote the band and make it bigger, but Earache didn't seem interested. They just released the album, did the same kind of promotion and never paid out any money to them and bullshit like that. I think that when they finally wanted to break away from them was when they came to America on tour. When they arrived and there was no backline there they called up and said, "We can't send you any money. We're broke and blah, blah, blah." They were in the states with no tour support and no backline. It was a lot of bullshit like that.

MU: What label did you guys go to afterwards?

JS: Music for Nations.

MU: Is Koch records just a US distributor then?

JS: I think they have a few more Music for Nations acts like Opeth. I think they did Cradle of Filth before when Music for Nations had Cradle of Filth.

MU: They're a pretty good label.

JS: They seem all right. We just started working with them. They seem to be into the album and backing us up.

MU: Why did Nicke Anderson leave after being such a longtime member?

JS: That was just it. He was the guy who wrote most of the songs. He's a really good songwriter. I think he just got tired. He said he couldn't contribute more to the band than he was doing after the 'To Ride. . .' album and we were touring quite a lot and he got kinda bored of it. He wanted to concentrate on his other band the Hellacopters.

MU: That's what I figured.

JS: He was getting more and more into the rock and roll thing and felt that Entombed was metal and he couldn't do it anymore. So, he really wanted to quit the band.

MU: What are the current side projects of Entombed?

JS: Well, I have a band called the Project Hate. Peter and Uffe have Murder Squad. Me and Peter have a band called DevilSun. It's a doom project. It's me, Peter, Kenth from the Project Hate and Leif Edling from Candlemass, and Michael from Opeth.

MU: No way! When is that coming out?

JS: We just started out. We have five songs.

MU: So who will be playing what on that?

JS: Me and Kenth are playing guitar. Peter is playing drums. Leif is playing bass and Michael will sing.

MU: Is it going to be more Candlemass style doom?

JS: Yeah. Candlemass and old Trouble. That's what we are aiming for.

MU: Can't wait to hear that.

JS: It's starting to take form. It's pretty cool stuff. There's another band with a few guys from Misery Loves Co. called Washhoe. Alex doesn't have any bands, but he has his own little production company called Muse Entities. He's produced three records now. He's going to try to get them released. We keep ourselves busy.

MU: You've got to. How do you feel about all the attention the Swedish metal scene has gotten in recent years?

JS: It's well deserved because recently there's a lot of bands coming out of there that are really good.

MU: It seems like it's the most talented country for metal in years.

JS: There are so many bands here that are really good so I'm not surprised that it got a lot of attention.

MU: Are you into any of today's metal acts?


JS: Right now I'm listening to Krisiun, Rebaelliun, fast stuff like that. Darkthrone, Zyklon. There's a lot of metal bands. I try to keep track of what's going on.

MU: Yeah, there's always good things going on. What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?

JS: There's a few things. Opening up for Slayer finally was great. I was like 15 again and that was only last year.

MU: That must have been great.

JS: It was awesome. There's been many times. Every tour is almost like a dream come true as well. I've been doing this for 10 years. Playing with Iron Maiden was a great honor too. We played at Ozzfest in London with Slayer and Black Sabbath. There have been many of those shows and festivals when you're playing with bands you've been into since you were a kid.

MU: What are some future plans for the band?

JS: Right now we finish up a thing here in Stockholm called 'Unreal Estate'. It's a ballet performance based on our music and we are gonna do it. It is eight performances here at the Royal Opera House. We'll play live and they will have choreographed ballet dance to it. That is what we have been doing for the last couple of months.

MU: So you are going to be playing stuff off of the new album?

JS: No. New and old stuff. It's mostly from the new album and Uprising. But there's some bits and pieces from other albums too, but that's basically what it is based on. We rearranged a lot of it and had to mix songs into each other. It is like 40 minutes of our stuff. We are going to play live. The opening night is the 15th of February and it ends the first of March. Then we have a few more shows here in Sweden. Now we are starting to book festivals and stuff for the summer.

MU: Will you be coming to the States any time?

JS: We hope so. We haven't been there since '98 so it would be great to get over there again. Now it finally seems like we have a record company that is going to push us a little bit and stand behind us a bit. So hopefully we can get there before the year is over.


review of Entombed 'Morning Star'

"Chief Rebel Angel" from 'Morning Star'

"I For An Eye" from 'Morning Star'






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