Hanna Tsepesh: Hello Lugal-Hellord! First of all thanks so much for accepting this interview!
Lugal-Hellord: Hell-o. Thanks for the invite.
Hanna Tsepesh: If I’m not mistaken, the band started in 1997 by you and Oscar W., right? Can you tell to us about PANDEMONIUM history and make a little introduction about you and the others band members (what do they play and names)?
Lugal-Hellord: Yes, the band started back in -97 by me and Oscar (former guitars) when our old band End decided to quit. We released our first demo “Emotions” in early -98 and the music then was more in the veins of old melodic death-metal like Amorphis a.o. Through the years the music has gone through changes, which has ended up in the sound of melodic death/black-metal that we play today. In alles, we have made 6 releases. One Demo, two ep’s and three full-length albums. Through the years, as most bands, we´ve gone through some line-up changes. The line-up of today, is the following:
Lugal-hellord: Guitar & vocals
Lahmu: Lead vocals
Hanna Tsepesh: What are your favorite bands?
Lugal-Hellord: depend on my mood. I listen to a lot of different musicstyles which also inspires me in my writing. But if we talk about metal, than I listen a lot to Vesania, Behemoth, Cradle of filth, Dimmu borgir, Meshuggah, Emperor just to mention some. I have to admit that I´ve always been a big fan of Edge of sanity. They were a big source of inspiration for me when I was young.
Hanna Tsepesh: Since what age did you start to play guitar? Any musician inspired you?
Lugal-Hellord: oh, I think I was about 12 years old when I started to play the guitar seriously. Today I´m 28, so it has been a while now… When it comes to inspiration, than I have to admit that I´ve always been inspired by the great guitarists like Satriani, Petrucci, Vai and so on. But I´ve also listened and played stuff written by jazz-guitarist´s like Pat Metheney a.o. Classical music has also been something that I´ve played a lot. I believe the more different styles you play, the better. I also used to teach guitarplaying, so I have been forced to learn different styles of music and techniques.
Hanna Tsepesh: Do you had or have some singing classes or another kind of preparation to help you?
Lugal-Hellord: Well, when I went to high-school, I was singing in a choir, but that´s not a big help when you scream your lungs out which I do in Pandemonium. It is something I´ve developed through the years playing in different bands. The same is for Lahmu (lead growls) I believe. Nirah (keyboards) though, who also do the clean vocals for the band, is doing some singing classes. He has been into the music academy, so I believe it´s something they have to do.
Hanna Tsepesh: What is your inspiration to create the lyrics for PANDEMONIUM?
Lugal-Hellord: In most cases it is me and Lahmu who creates the lyrics in Pandemonium. I can only speak for myself, but my inspiration to my lyrics are dark things and dark happenings in life. It´s often personal stuff. But sometimes I also use other people’s fates and experiences. All this covered with furious, destructive and dark metaphors; it turns out to pandemonic lyrics.
Hanna Tsepesh: One little curiosity, Why do you chose the name Lugal-Hellord? Can you tell to us?
Lugal-Hellord: I used to call myself Hellord only. It was something I found out myself and it fits me and my lifestyle pretty well. Lugal came up during the creating process of “Whispers”. We all had to change or take new pseudonyms to fit in to the concept of the new album. Lugal is the god of death- and destruction in the old babylonic legends, which is a part of the concept of the new album. I still wanted to use my old pseudonym, so it ended up with Lugal-Hellord that way.
Hanna Tsepesh: Why have you choose the name PANDEMONIUM? The band wants to transmit something with the name for the listeners out there?
Lugal-Hellord: It was an old drummer who came up with the idea. The meaning is hellish noise and chaos, and that is what we want to spread through our music. But the listener will of course react and say: The music is NOT chaotic so what´s the point? Than I would say: It´s not the music it self that is chaotic, it´s the feeling of a hellish darkness and beauty combined in chaos that we want to spread. It might sound pretty complicated, but that´s the meaning. The more complicated, the more mysterious. That´s the main thing. Another problem that we´ve been struggling with, is the fact that there some are other bands with the same name… For me it´s not a big deal, but I´ve heard some complains regarding that matter. We will not change though.
Hanna Tsepesh: If you have to choose one big moment at PANDEMONIUM, what will be your answer and why?
Lugal-Hellord: Everyone in the band have their great moments I believe. For me though, it was a big moment when we had our releaseparty for our first album. Before the writing session of the album Insomnia we had lot of problems with the line-up, and we didn´t knew if the band was going to survive, but eventually we found new members and the work could go on. When Insomnia was out in 2002 (released by JCM-Records) we had the release party gig, and lots of people showed up and gave their support. And I really felt that we were back on track. After that things started to work out pretty well.
Hanna Tsepesh: What attracts you the most to play this style of metal?
Lugal-Hellord: For me personally it´s the energy in the music and the mysticism surrounding it. As I mentioned before, I listen to lots of different musicstyles, but you can not compare playing other music with playing metal. It is something very special about it. The riffing, the heaviness, the speed, the energy combined with the mysticism… It´s impossible to describe in words. I feel very complete when I play this kind of music. I don´t have that feeling when I play something else.
Hanna Tsepesh: Talking about your new album “Whispers”, first of all the listeners can download for free at PANDEMONIUM myspace! I liked a lot this album and I must say that I can’t understand why you guys don’t have a label to support more the band! All the riffs, dark lyrics and the 2 voices are so cool together and the band makes a great ambient around the music’s! Congratulations for you and for the others guys for this great album and I am sure that soon you guys will find a great label, but before we talk a little about that, I want that you explain to the readers about this album and the theme and finally what the band want to accomplish with “Whispers”?
Lugal-Hellord: The concept of this album deals with old Babylonian mythologies, where we turn ourselves into some kind of supreme beings. These supreme beings are somehow connected with our personalities. These mythologies are combined with a futuristic apocalypse which is open for interpretation. It creates a dark mysticism which we want to express. I think we´ve accomplished that pretty well with this album.
Hanna Tsepesh: At recording studio, did you guys have all the songs ready to be recorded? Can you talk about the studio process? Is the band happy with the results or do you think that something is missing?
Lugal-Hellord: This time, we choose to record the album ourselves. We borrowed a local and all necessary equipment, and did the recording session ourselves, since some of us are familiar with recording. In this way, not only it would be cheaper for us, we also got much more time and we didn´t have to feel that pleasure which you normally have when you´re in a professional studio. The mixing and mastering-process though, was made in a professional studio (roastinghouse-studios) by us, Pontus Lindmark and Anders Theander. This was necessary since it´s very difficult for yourself to hear the nuances in the music you´ve recorded yourself. We also needed some “extra ears” for the overall sound. I think this turned out very well. In my opinion, this is the best production we´ve ever done. There are always some small details that you´re not 100% satisfied with, but on the other hand, that will hopefully be improved till the next time. Over all though, we´re happy with the result.
Hanna Tsepesh: All the cover artwork was made by the band? Tell me, who was the person that create the cover art? In my opinion, the cover and all of your pictures are very
mysterious! It was that idea that the band wanted to transmit? If not, can you tell me the idea?
Lugal-Hellord: No, the cover artwork was made by a guy called Alex at original art. As you say, the mysterious feeling that you get, is something that we want to transmit, not only through our music, but also through the artwork and the rest of things connected to the band.
Hanna Tsepesh: It was or it still is a difficult journey for PANDEMONIUM? It is easy for a metal band like your band to get supported in Sweden? Who are the things doing with labels? Are you guys searching for one?
Lugal-Hellord: Well, It has always been a difficult journey for us, as for most bands. Today it exists so many bands, so it is very difficult to stand out and be seen. In Sweden it´s even more difficult to get support. There are so many bands here and the audience is pretty hard to satisfy… I think it´s easier in south and eastern Europe and the U.S. to get support. Regarding the labels, we´ve been signed twice. First on a American label (JCM-Records) and than on a Canadian label (prodisk). None of them really gave us the feedback that we needed. The major labels within metal-music have never shown any bigger interest. That’s why we’ve chosen to release it ourselves, only for download for now. It´s our way to say “fuck off” to the whole establishment. It´s better to focus on the job of spreading the word yourself, instead of wasting your time to find someone that will do the job for you. And even if you find someone, probably the job will not be well done. Especially if you make a deal with smaller labels. But of curse, if a label will show its interest, we’ll discuss the matter with them.
Hanna Tsepesh: About concerts, any date/place that you can tell? Do you like to come to play in Portugal?
Lugal-Hellord: For now, we´ve only one gig booked. We´ll have a kind of a release-gig in our hometown on the 17:th January. But we’re in the process of booking, so hopefully there’ll be several gigs in the spring and summer. It would be an honor to play in Portugal. I´ve played in Portugal once when I was down with Deranged in October 2007 on tour with Goldenpyre. It was a great experience.
Hanna Tsepesh: Last question, do you want to send any message to PANDEMONIUM fans out there that never stop to support the band and to our readers as well?
Lugal-Hellord: Believe in yourself! Eventually you’ll stand alone and no one will help you. Download the album and support independence!
Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks so much for your answers Lugal-Hellord!THE GATES OF METAL wish PANDEMONIUM lots of success with your new album “Whispers” and good luck to find a good label for the band! Hope to see you guys in Portugal very soon…
Lugal-Hellord: Thanks a lot for showing interest in Pandemonium, and hopefully we’ll be able to bring the darkness to Portugal as well.
Hanna Tsepesh: thanks for your words!
By: Hanna Tsepesh
Hanna Tsepesh: Hello Lugal-Hellord! First of all thanks so much for accepting this interview!