Hanna Tsepesh: Hello Jakob Batten! Thanks so much for accepting this interview and Welcome to THE GATES OF METAL! First of all: how are you and how are the things doing with your concerts?
Jakob: Hey Hanna, thank you for your interest in the band. To begin with the bad things I was ill the past two weeks so I’ve been canceling interviews and rehearsals and everything. It was pretty bad but I’m getting well now – fortunately because we begin the MTV Headbangers Ball tour here in Denmark tomorrow. We’re headlining the tour and Hatesphere and Dawn Of Demise are with us on the bill. It’ll be heavy!
Hanna Tsepesh: For those who do not know Illdisposed could tell us a little how it all started?
Jakob: Jeez that’s a long time ago. The band was formed in 1991 by singer Bo Summer. For me it started in 1999 when I joined the band. I got to know the guys when my former band Infernal Torment did a documentary movie with Illdisposed and another band back in 1995. Then in 1997 my former band supported Illdisposed on a tour in Denmark and Germany and some time after that the Bassplayer of Illdisposed left the band and they asked me to join. So the first few years I played bass in the band. We’re up on 10 full length albums and a mini album now.
Hanna Tsepesh: What inspired you the most to create the lyrics? The band writes the lyrics first or first the band creates the riffs to comply with the lyrics?
Jakob: I always write the music first and then Bo is writing the lyrics to fit the music. The lyrics are personal to him so they are difficult for me to talk about. They deal with his problems, personal battles and opinions on things. There’s a lot of hate and depression going on.
Hanna Tsepesh: What are your favorite bands? You have any musician that you admire the most?
Jakob: Right at the moment I think the new Mastodon album kicks ass. It’s very honest and full of layers you can explore. But I don’t listen much to metal music, I think I get enough of that with the band. I mainly listen to the radio in my car. If I have to listen to metal it’ll be something like Carcass “Necroticism” og Morbid Anget “Covenant”. I like to hear that people are actually playing for real instead of all these overproduced bands today that are so tight that you can set your watch after them.
I admire a guitarist like John Petrucci from Dream Theater. He can play so it touches me deeply. That’s what it’s about for me.
Hanna Tsepesh: I would like to know when you start to play guitar and why you choose to play this instrument?
Jakob: I was around 13 years old. Before that I played piano, drums and bass. I started with piano when I was 5. I’ve always been a musician and always had music going on in my head constantly. But when I got my first guitar and bought a distortion pedal I knew that this was me. There’s so much power and when you learn to control the power you’ve got it. Many people think that your amp is making your sound, but in real it’s only making 50% of it. The rest is in your fingers.
Hanna Tsepesh: You have another band or project in hands or your time is 100% for Illdisposed?
Jakob: I’m 100% Illdisposed right now. I won’t say that it will always be like that but right now it is.
Hanna Tsepesh: The band has a new album called “To those who walk behind us". For people who don’t listen yet can you talk about this new album and what is the big different for you between this album and the previous one? Also, some people told me that “To those who walk behind us" is the best Illdisposed album…you agree on this?
Jakob: To me it’s the album that is taking the last 3 albums we did and putting them together into one piece. And it’s definitely one of the more melodic albums we did. I think you can never say that the newest album is the best one, it always takes a few years to realize if that’s the case or not. But so far people seem to like it a lot, also the reviews look very good so far.
Hanna Tsepesh: Everything went well at recording studio? It was an easy process? The band feels proud with the final result or you think that miss something?
Jakob: It was more relaxing this time because I produced and engineered the album myself. That gave us the freedom to come and go whenever we wanted to. It’s hard to get your best moments fit into a schedule. So that was great. And we’re very happy with the result. Of course there’s always things you can change afterwards, you just have to learn to stop and say “now it’s done”. And then forget about it. No more changes.
Hanna Tsepesh: How has the response been to the album by the media and fans? I saw some cool review at MySpace…this reviews surprised you?
Jakob: More than 90% of the reviews I saw so far are very good. There will always be 10% or more who just hates you and thinks you’re gay. That’s how it is with reviews. Our fans seem to like it and that’s the most important thing.
Hanna Tsepesh: If one of our readers wants to buy your album, what they can do?
Jakob: We opened our own official webstore recently at illdisposed.dk/store – that’s the best place I know. (laughs)
Hanna Tsepesh: what is your favorite music in this album and why?
Jakob: I’m a sucker for melodies so my favorites are: “If All The World”, “To Those Who Walk Behind Us” and “For The Record”
Hanna Tsepesh: You guys have plains to include Portugal in your tour or something?
Jakob: Definitely, we just need an offer from a promoter there, then we’re off! A good friend of mine is from Portugal and the soccer game last weekend ended 1-1 so we have no reason not to like each other. (laughs)
Hanna Tsepesh: (laughs). Do you want to send any message for the people who going to read this interview?
Jakob: Yeah, hopefully see you on tour soon. We’re doing what we can to visit your country. Until then check out our new album!
Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks o much for your answers and time. THE GATES OF METAL wishes the entire band a big success with "To those who walk behind us"! We hope to see Illdisposed very soon in here…
Jakob: Thank you for the interview Hanna – and hopefully see you soon as well! Cheers
Hanna Tsepesh: You are vry welcome Jakob! All the best...
By: Hanna Tsepesh
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Publicada por THE GATES OF METAL Webzine