Swedish Gothic Metal band Beseech had broken up in 2006 after the album cycle for 2005's Sunless Days, In 2013, the band was remade with a whole new lineup but still including original members Robert Vintervind (Guitars) and Klas Bohlin switching from Guitars and backup vocals to becoming the frontman of Beseech. Now with the band's brand new album My Darkness Darkness releasing March 4, 2016, I had the distinct honor of talking to Klas about the reformation of Beseech, the new album and so much more!
Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. Been a fan of what you guys have accomplished since I discovered ...From A Bleeding Heart back in High School. So the band got back together and ofﬁcially became active again in 2013 which is leading to the upcoming release, My Darkness, Darkness,;the ﬁrst Beseech album since 2005's Sunless Days. What brought on you guys wanting to come back and start over this adventure?
Well, during the years when Beseech was put to rest, me and Robert (the creators of the Beseech sound and the main composers) talked a lot about doing something creative with Music. We were quite uncertain if it should be as Beseech again, but since we both had written a few new riffs and had some cool ideas that we wanted to present to each other, we took it from there. Then we met during the summer of 2012, two guitars, cold beers and then we started jamming. To be honest we were amazed of how much Beseech it sounded, so we decided to bring the old skeleton back to life again. I don’t know what it is, but when Robert and I are together in Beseech there has always been a core of melancholic energy that ﬂows trough out the music.
This time our music took another direction towards more rock than metal and with me on lead vocals, which might be the most obvious change. Since the start in 1992 my main job in Beseech was not the vocals. I wrote songs and played guitar, but also some harmony and backing vocals here and there.
When the band got back together in 2013, it has gone through quite the lineup transformation. Does the new lineup feel like it does back in the day or is this a welcomed change?
We made the changes that we thought were necessary due to the new sound. Through out the years there has been many members leaving/joining the band. I have very deep respect for all ex members and what they have accomplished in the band. We had a really great time, but that belongs to the past now. For a band that lasts over 20 years, changes within the lineup is often a fact.
The ﬁrst guy besides me and Robert, to-rejoin Beseech was Manne Engström (guitar). Manne had been a member in the later edition of the band and we had known him since the mid 90s through StudioMega, the so called ”classic Beseech studio” where we have made almost all our recordings since the yearly days. In 1996 (?) we met Manne for the ﬁrst time. He was in the studio recording with his death metal band Fatal Embrace, and we have liked him a lot ever since. Many years later when Beseech was put to rest, I also had the pleasure to get to know and to work with the new talented producer at StudioMega, Johan Örnborg (Bass), whom just within a few years developed into an amazing producer. I was there with my new psychedelic experiment/band Depressive Art. From the beginning we were supposed to do most of the work together with Christian Silver (Beseech main producer), but then somehow Johan became the main producer during the process. Also Robert and Manne have worked with Johan on several occasions with other projects. So besides hiring a great bass player, we also got ourselves a really good producer. Today Johan is also a member of the Facination Street Studio, where many great but also some legendary bands have recorded their albums. Håkan Carlsson (drums) and Angelina Sahlgren Söder (vocals) I had experience working with from the progressive band The Fantastic People, also for this band we decided to make our recordings in StudioMega, with Johan during the mixing sessions. Today Manne Engström is also the main owner of the studio, and from time to time they still make amazing recordings with great bands. For Beseech this is also a really good asset and a great head quarter.
Angelina is also a very important complement to my voice, since the two of us have made space for the third generation of singers. This time we have taken a step towards emotional country and have worked a lot with harmony vocals in way that is quite unusual within the Gothic genre. For this album I have also taken a much more deeper responsibility regarding the vocals in general. Except for that I have written all the lyrics (except for Highwayman / written by Jimmy Webb) I have also been in charged of producing and recording almost all vocals. I’m proud of getting the conﬁdence from the others, after all there is a special relation between the singer and the lyric. So this was probably a smart move.
My Darkness, Darkness feels like a very ﬁtting album in 2016. The mood of the album feels traditional in the Beseech sound yet contemporary. Were the songs on the album all freshly written or was there anything left over from the time the band went on break that have been brought back in?
Creative people often stay creative, and so it was even for Beseech during the vacation years. So there is a mix of both new and old, unreleased songs of course. For some of the songs we had to make some arrangements to make them ﬁt along with the Beseech 2.0 sound. Too me a great song can be translated into different kinds of genres and bands. Just like our version of Highwayman. On a related note, was there anything that was left on the cutting room ﬂoor on this album that might make an appearance on a future release? Yes, there was more material in progress. When writing songs, there are always limits of how far you can experiment. So these 11 songs was our perfect match for ”My Darkness, Darkness” I believe. It feels great to ﬁnaly have these on tape. For me as a songwriter it’s really hard to have too many songs and melodies within your head. So another great feeling is that I’m looking forward to get back at the drawing board and continue where we left off.
It has been recently announced that you will be playing the ﬁrst Beseech show in over a decade as a release show for My Darkness, Darkness March 4th, 2016. How does it feel coming back in a live setting with the new album to promote?
It feels amazing. We have spent so much time and effort into this, perhaps more than ever in making an album that we like our selves. The release show will of course be something special for all of us. Too us Beseech is also like a second family. I really enjoy the laughs, the diners and the red wine during late nights in the control room at StudioMega listening to old death metal. It’s like living in a bubble, almost like a time machine, where we can escape from reality for a while. Is there any songs in particular that you will be bringing out special for this show? I think that we have found a great mix in all this. Most people seem to choose Souls Highway as their favorite Beseech album. I’m most anxious about playing the new songs, while others might wanna hear something from the ﬁrst album. Therefore we have made a mixture of material in the set list, including songs from our entire career. For me as a singer it is also a challenge to sing the old classics like Between the lines, Sunset 28, Shadow Scape, Manmade Dreams, but also some of the later material like Drama and The Outpost. Then of course there will also be a few songs from the new album as well.
So what are the current plans of Beseech in 2016? Any possible touring on the horizon?
Of course we wanna play live, travel and meet our fans along with our strange fellows on the road. Exactly how and when is too early to tell. We are working on that.
Beseech has left quite an impact on the Metal world and for me a big impact on how I look at music being dark, beautiful and melodic. Is there any bands on your radar that you feel are keeping this idea in music today?
To be honest, I don’t know much about what is going on within the Gothic scene. A matter fact I haven’t been proper updated since 1998. After our ﬁrst album ”...from a bleeding heart” I some how got to much of the ”good Gothic stuff”. It’s like eating a cake, at ﬁrst it tastes amazing, then eventually the taste of the cake gets too much. I guess it has to do with the combination of both being a listener and a songwriter at the same time. I'm still attracted to dark music, but nowadays it mostly comes from emotional country and singer songwriters. Townes Van Zandt is worth mentioning as an artist which I admire. Then I’m also into more present bands like Soulsavers, Ghost, Midlake, Brett Detar, Ryan Adams, Graveyard and of course the Beach Boys.
How do you feel Music, and in particular, Metal, has changed since Beseech ﬁrst left us in 2005? Is it for better or for worse?
There will always be good bands, as long as people continue writing great songs. From Sweden there is a fresh wave of vintage hard rock and bands like Hypnos, Graveyard and Spiders which I’m really in fond of. I also appreciate that I have discovered more and more present psychedelic hard rock and bands such as Black Mountain and Witchcraft. Thank you very much, once again, for taking the time to do this interview. Before we go, is there anything else that you would like to mention or promote that I have not brought up yet? Another cool thing that happened recently is that Jimmy Webb’s management got in touch with us concerning our cover of his master piece song ”Highwayman”, probably most known from the band ”Highwaymen” featuring Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson. Anyway, Jimmy really likes our version and believes that we have made a proper incarnation of the song, and that is so cool.
Beseech- My Darkness, Darkness is available March 4th via Despotz Records
That Drummer Guy: Radio DJ, Interviewer, Reviewer, overall...an OK guy.