Thomas Josefsson, Evocation – (18/4/17)

Giving you aggressive death metal from Sweden, Evocation are far from your average band and are looking to make more of a statement with this new record. We got to talk to vocalist Thomas Josefsson about their inspirations, their early shows and favourite tracks.

For those who are not familiar, how would you describe Evocation?
A Death Metal collective out of West Coast Sweden, a mix of melodic, technical and brutal DM. We were active 1991-1993, then we split up and were reborn stronger than ever in 05/06. All important stuff at<>

You have recently released your new album The Shadow Archetype, how has the response been so far?
It has been amazing, we knew we made a great album but we could not believe all the positive feedback we still receive every day from zines, radio stations, fans and other media channels all over the world. People from the craziest parts are giving us thumbs up. We really need it and we are so thankful, every day we wake up there is more positive words to consume. I think that “The Shadow Archetype” is one of the most important albums we’ve done and ever will do. Where we take it from here will be very exciting.

Who were your main inspirations for the record?
I guess Janne and Vesa, when they left the band. I felt that it was a big challenge ahead, but for some reason I love challenges. It could have been the end of Evocation if we would have given up but I also felt it could be a new start and tons of opportunities. Marko was a bit hard to convince but me and Gustaf felt that there were more to do so we talked to Marko a bit and there we were with nothing to lose, since we already almost lost everything anyways. So when Simon came in I just felt that I was right in my thoughts. My dream came through when Per Moller Jensen said yes for doing the drums. I have been a huge fan of him since the early 90’s. Having him in the rhythm section was a true backbone and it inspired me a lot. I knew we could not fail if we took him onboard. So here we were, Simon with his new school technical style, Per with his Thrash Metal background, Gustaf with his fast ideas from Defleshed and Marko and me with our old school Evocation style. I cannot say who in particular inspired me, but perhaps everyone who was involved and the fact that we were on the edge to the abyss.

How was the whole recording/production process of the record as a whole?
It was very smooth actually. We made a pre-production with guitars, vocals and some programmed drums and handed it over to Per who is located in Copenhagen/Denmark. He had very free hands and he liked it a lot. When he felt he was ready we booked Crehate Studios in Gothenburg together with engineer Oscar Nilsson. Oscar is a very talented drummer so we wanted to hook him up with Per, they worked really well together. Guitars, Bass and Vocals were recorded in our own studio. Mixing and Mastering were on Daniel Bergstrand/Dugout Productions table and it turned out great as well. Daniel has done really good productions in his life for Behemoth, Meshuggah, Dark Funeral just to name a few. He has been interested in us for some years. We made our cover ep, “Excised and Anatomised” in our own studio and by then Dan Swanö mixed and mastered it, it turned out great as well so we thought maybe it’s better to keep most of the production in-house at home. “Illusions of Grandeur” is a great album but I think it became just a little bit too polished when we turned down our HM2’s and put way too much money in the production. I think we are back on track again and I’m really looking forward to our next album.

Out of all the tracks in your discography, which songs are your favourite and
I can pick one of each album if you’d like.
Early days, demo’s: Veils Were Blown – that song is death metal at its peak, it has got a lot of aggressive vibes mixed with heavy melodies.
Tales from the Tomb: Blessed Upon the Altar – thrashy and very hooky German style.
Dead Calm Chaos: Tomorrow has no Sunrise – we made a video of it and it just kills.
Apocalyptic: Reunion in War – I love to sing it live. It has a very groovy sound and so is my vocals. The audience love it and it is a really heavy and personal song.
Illusions of Grandeur: Metus Odium – it’s the best song on the album and when we play it live people tend to dance to it for some reason.
The Shadow Archetype: Dark Day Sunrise – It has everything and my vocal range is more mixed.

How does the new music fair in comparison to your older material?
Well the new music is more back to our roots but since we now have Simon Exner in the band we get a lot of more technical new school stuff and it’s a great blend to mix. When Janne and Vesa were in the band and wrote music it was a lot more melodic and pretty much built on the same bridges. Now it’s a darker vibe to everything, it’s more unpredictable. I try to do as much difference as possible with my vocals just to keep the music flowing, this time I really had to think but it turned out great.

What got you into wanting to be in a band?
Motley Crue, Live Wire Video, 1981. When I saw that video, heard that crunchy guitar, the double kicks and all that blood and fire… I was reborn. I could not believe what I just experienced. Accept – Restless and Wild has to be the most important album of my life. I listened to that album 24/7 for a whole year, I still love it!

What was your first shows like as the group in comparison to now?
Those old shows were insane, it was total mayhem on stage. We used pig’s blood, crucified girls and were way cooler than most bands back then. We rehearsed a lot back then so we were very tight, not many bands back then could deliver their stuff live. I have to say I love the shows nowadays as well. We are much more technical, focused and have a really good bond with the crowd. Back then it was like you put 5 flies on stage that flew around uncontrolled through the room.

Is there ever an early show that sticks out to you?
Gamlestaden/Gothenburg 1992 with Dismember, Dark Tranquility, Ceremonial Oath, Exempt and Caedes. Hey man we did it all, the whole stage was covered in real pig’s blood, and we crucified and whipped a girl on a big black cross. It was chaos and the audience loved it and we made a really great show over all. It was by the way Marko’s first and ever vocal appearance, he nailed it huge. But I think it was sold out, it was a huge stage and I think we were the best and most appreciated band that night.

What¹s the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself as a human growing in the
band and personally?
It is a whole lot of emotions, devotion and hate/love. When I joined Evocation in 1991 I was still a band leader, song writer, lead guitarist and vocalist in my first band Forsaken Grief. In Evocation I first took the bassist spot which I actually loved, it was great to play bass and I did it for many years later on and I still love it. But back then it was really hard to make a point in Evocation, the frontline was deaf for ideas so I kept my mouth shut until I handled the lead vocals only. I didn’t write much lyrics back then but my throat made great success. When we rejoined back in 05-06 I had a lot more ideas and my head was full of words. For some reason the pen glowed. I also felt that Evocation was something to count on this time so I made my point early and stood up for my lyrics, it is a wonderful feeling when I get cred for it. I was a bit shy when I was younger and let people around me have free space to speak, nowadays I perhaps speak a little bit too much but I really love this band and its members. If I would have the energy I would love to write more lyrics or perhaps a book, I did not think like this a couple of years ago. But for every album we grow, I grow.

What advice would you give to upcoming bands?
Don’t expect anything from anyone. There is more money and fun in the porn business.

Has there been any other bands on your radar you think people should check
Dead Soul. Well this is not a Death Metal band, it’s a band I found out about some years ago when I was looking up a record company called Razzia Notes. I read somewhere that Anders Friden/In Flames is the main man behind it so I thought what the heck maybe he has great taste at least. The band is from Linköping here in Sweden and I just love them all over. The voice, the lyrics and the music just touches me on that very deep spot. I have many bands to give to you but this band has a really close relationship with me.

Is there any projects you would like to work on as well as Evocation
I would love to play bass again, it has been 11 years since I did it, but I just love that instrument. It has been a huge part of my musical life since I left Evocation in -93 and until around -97 when I worked with Cemetary. After that I took a break from the whole scene for some years. I picked it up again in 2001 somewhere and when Evocation was reborn in 2005-06 I put my beloved 4 string away again. But for the moment vocals in Evocation is my no1 satisfaction in life. But projects beside that and if the time was on my/our side, it would be great to do something with the Misery Index camp. They have great style, their message is right on my ideology and their music just makes me go nuts. The timing and flow for vocals is perfect. I have a dream to do something with Mille in Kreator, he is a huge inspiration and he writes great songs.

What would be a dream tour for your band?
Swaziland, Jamaica, Peru, Colombia and Holland together with Kreator and Bolt Thrower.

If you could do a split with any bands, who would you pick and why?
Age of Woe from Gothenburg. Great band, great friends and they are on the move. Really interesting band with really crazy ideas, they will come a long way if they develop more. I think a split with them would be pretty cool.

What items would you associate with your genre?
Blood, fire and death.

If all the band members were involved in a wrestling match, who would be the
victor and who would end up eating the pinfall/submission?
I would be the victor and Marko would be eating the pinfall/submission haha… If he reads this I know he will be very upset. The other guys would be a quite easy to fight but me and Marko has always been like two brothers with a love/hate relationship, we know exactly where our hidden buttons lies. He has been losing a lot of weight lately with strict diet and Karate lessons but in a Clash of the Titans fight I would roll him into a pizza bread and eat him for breakfast any day hahaha, good question btw! He will hate me for it 🙂

Would you take 1,000,000KR but every time you heard a dog bark, you pooped
Haha any day my friend, I’m a sucker for money if it would help me to stay out of regular day jobs, ANY FUCKING day!!!

What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
I really don’t know yet, it’s too early to say but I hope we’ll have some nice shows in a near future. I miss all our friends/fans out there a whole lot. It has been some years without them and now I know how important they really are to me.

Any final words to your fans?
Stay out of the CCTV’s and start a revolution…

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