Swedish ‘heavy metal’ band Tad Morose was formed in 1991 by key member Christer “Krunt” Andersson. The band’s history becomes a murky bleakness… but in 2013, at Andersson’s urging, they regrouped and released a new album, Revenant. Best described as classic heavy metal with a modern touch, these guys draw influence from the genre’s pillars like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Savatage. Released on Despotz Records, the band’s latest features 12 tracks. Iris North, currently an undercover agent for PlanetMosh, chatted briefly with Andersson about Revenant, the state of the music industry, and the band’s past and future.
Twitter released some sort of world map last week, and it showed that in Scandinavia there were more metal bands per 100,000 people then anywhere else in the world. What’s it like being such an integral part of the most crowded scene in the world? How’s it going with the “Acid Classic” (one of Krunt’s terms for your brand of heavy metal) in Bollnäs these days?
“Acid classic”? Can’t remember saying that. He he he. Ah, well, what ever. Well, I don’t know. I guess we are just used to it. This is the way it always been and we don’t know about anything else. But it feels good and that is of course one of the things that makes all of us still doing all this. Perhaps that there isn’t as many “new” young bands starting up here in Bollnäs nowadays as before. But at least there are still some young bands around here. All the “older” bands are still around as well so all in all I guess things are pretty much the same over here anyway. Ha ha ha. One thing that I really like about all the “Bollnäs” bands is that every one has their own sound. No one tries to sound like the band that are currently doing well. Instead if things are going well for one band, all the other bands just try harder to be better at what they are doing. so it is more like a healthy, friendly competition.
When you say ‘Heavy Metal’ as the catch-all genre term, I think of bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Motorhead, etc. It’s that classic distorted guitar tone combined with not so over-the-top or ‘offensive’ lyrical themes as the newer bands. You’ve got your own sound though. How would you describe your band to a potential new fan: who do you think you sound a little bit like, and who do you not sound like at all?
Ha ha ha. Well, to me Tad Morose is just that. Heavy Metal! That’s it! Listen to it, if you like it, buy the album and make up your own mind of what bands you think we perhaps sounds like or not. We do what we do because we like it. That’s it.
Your newest disc, Revenant, was just released. It’s your first album in AGES! What prompted you to break the silence ‘now’, rather then ‘later’? For Revenant, did you rework older material, or did you start writing fresh, around 2008 or so?
We have been working on this album for a looooong time. And due to a lot of things this is how long it took us to do it. So we didn’t plan to release it in November 2013 a long time ago. Some material on Revenant goes way back and some is pretty fresh. So I guess Revenant kind of reflects us during the whole period since the last release. And perhaps this album just wasn’t meant to be until now.
Who did the cover art?
It was done by Isis Sousa. Great work I think! Look closely on the album cover! There is a lot of” hidden” stuff there! He he he!
You’ve had a few important lineup changes, including replacing your vocalist. How has the song writing process and inspiration changed between then and now? Currently, who’s responsible for writing the music, and who’s responsible for writing the lyrics?
Yes, we have gone through a few changes. Of course that also affects the song writing, since new members bring in their visions. In Tad Morose, everybody has always been involved in the song writing, so that hasn’t changed. But it seems like we can agree upon things in the song writing process much easier now with this line-up compared to the previous ones. I guess you could say that we now think more alike. The lyrics are mainly Ronny’s thing. But we all come with various ideas.
Here’s the Revenant track-by-track question! Nobody asked you yet, so I’ll try. Please tell us about each tune (What is the most important thing to know about the song? Who wrote the lyrics, and who wrote the music? What inspired the overall mood of the song?):
– Beneath A Veil Of Crying Souls
The main idea for the music here was Ronny’s. Then we arranged and changed and came up with pieces here and there. A good mixture of melody, rhythm and weird ideas. He he he.
Again, main idea by Ronny. Then we arranged it togehter and changed a few things here and there. A bit different verses perhaps, melodic chorus and some weird stuff in between. Pretty Tad Morose then I guess? Ha ha ha
An older thing by me. Been having this idea for a long time. But we arranged and threw in some more ideas into it together. Strange song really! Fun and difficult to play. Like a workout for your fingers! Ha ha ha.
– Within A Dream
Pretty much Ronny’s idea all of it. But we arranged it together. Arranged a bit different in a way I guess.
Another “old” song. This dates way back but have been a bit re-arranged over the years I guess. A heavy sucker. Pounding.
– Absence Of Light
Another old idea of mine. Turned out pretty close to the original idea. But we re-arranged some parts over the years I guess. A monotonous pounding song with melodic parts. Pretty varied if you ask me. Fun song to play!
– Death Embrace
Ronny’s main idea. But we arranged it together. Some parts are perhaps “very metal” and some are kind of “prog” which makes it interesting to listen to I guess.
– Dance Of The Damned
Ronny’s main idea. But arranged by all of us. It got an “eastern” touch to it.
– Spirit World
An old idea of mine that’s been laying around for quite some time. We picked it up and re- arranged it a bit I guess. It’s got a cute intro with cheesy vocals and everything. Ha ha ha. No honestly, Ronny sings brilliant here! It shows a bit of his range.
– Timeless Dreaming
An old song that goes way back too. We have changed bits here and there over the years though. A pretty typical Tad Morose song.
– Millenium Lie
Pretty much same as Timeless Dreaming. An old one that has been re-arranged a bit I guess. A heavy, slow song.
A “weird” main idea of mine I guess. Ha ha ha. It’s got a strange rhythmic figure over the verses and it is kind of hard to play over all.
Damn! It was hard trying to write something about your own songs…. ah well, what ever…
You guys had some good momentum there for a while, and then in 2004… the silence began. You’ve returned now. Is it feeling more like ‘picking up where you left off’ or ‘picking up the pieces and moving on’?
Well, we have been here all the time more or less. Apart from a few short periods we have been rehearsing, writing, playing live during all those years. So to us it feels just like we finally managed to get this album out. But as far as putting out albums on a regular basis and touring goes, it feels more like picking up where we left off, actually.
The entire music industry went through a boom – bust – recovery phase in the past ten years, too. The Internet shook everything up. It made record labels (the ones who survived) re-think their business. You’ve had recording contracts before and after the ‘Internet Extinction Event’. What’s different these days? How will a record label help your band in 2013 and 2014, versus how they helped you back around 2003?
It sure has. So far our record company has done a great work promoting the album. You can reach so much more people for a lot less money today then before. Which is a good thing. But the labels have more limited budgets nowadays to spend on tour support for example, which makes it way harder to hit the road. But this is how it is now and it is just to accept it and take it for what it is if you want to play in a band. Crying about it doesn’t get you anywhere.
You are underground warriors – you’ve kept your proverbial day jobs and yet you still fly the heavy metal flag high. The thing is, the underground exploded around 2006 or 2007. There are a lot more ways to reach those people these days. Despotz Records is one of those nice, niche labels, too. Are you finding more fans in faraway places?
Oh, thank you! Yes, we are just regular guys doing what we like to do. It is a bit too early to tell really, but so far we seem to also reach out to other places then before. Which I think is thanks to the “modern” market and also to Dezpots Records since they seem to be a very “up to date” label. So we are excited to see what will come out of this.
If you were stranded on a temperate island – a desert island is too hot – what music would you bring with you to keep you happier, until rescuers arrived?
Ha ha ha, thanks for that! Well, I guess I would bring Heavy Metal! He he he. Remember, you can fit a shitload of music even on a USB stick! But, to answer your question more accurately. On that USB stick there would be bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Savatage, King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Accept, Iron Maiden, and so on.
You guys are almost a well-kept secret. For such a long history, there is very little press: about 4 or 5 surviving online interviews since 1995… So, since you’re secret agents of power metal, can you tell us some of your undercover operations? (Do you have any shows booked, will you be releasing material more then once per decade in the future, etc?)
He he he, so you think 10 years is too long? I guess you are right there, it’s like “hey, we are Tad Morose! But don’t tell any one, okay?” Ah well, of course it has felt frustrating from time to time over the years. I mean, we always tried to do our very best. The crowds always seemed to like us, we got good reviews, but nothing really happened. However, I guess there are many bands that feel the same thing. Not much to do about it really. At least I sleep good at night knowing I always do the best I can. Ok, back to the question then! Nothing is carved in stone as off right now. Our management is dealing with various booking agencies right now so hopefully things starts to get settled in the near future. We are eager to get out on the road and play live! We have been talking over the years about putting perhaps a DVD together. We got tons of material so it is merely just a matter of time to do it. I have no idea if people would like a Tad Morose DVD or not, but we would like to have it ourselves at least. So we’ll see. And yes! There will be albums more then once a decade in the future. We already started writing for the next one!
Do you have any message for your fans and readers?
I hope you like Revenant! If so, spread the word and play it LOUD! And come check us out live if you can! Cheers!