Interview with Björn Pettersson (Guitar, Vocals) about new album “The Bleeding Veil” and interesting evolution music of IN MOURNING band.
IN MOURNING celebrated 20th anniversary (2020). What are some of the main experiences you remember or have taken away? What plans and dreams did you have in your start?
Wow! Yeah, you’re right, the band turned 20, we’re getting old.. Anyhow, there were a couple of formative years I guess, where lineups changed and different demos got released before setting the sound a bit more on the last demo and first album. I wasn’t part of the band from the very beginning, I joined at some point before the last demo, but I’ve probably been around for a good 15-16 years or so by now. We’ve had a lot of plans and dreams, still do, but we’re at places in life now that makes things look a bit different than earlier, with jobs, kids, families and whatnot. I actually happened to look back at some old gig photos just the other day and I’d say those experiences and memories are what I cherish the most and take with me, traveling, getting to see new places, meet new people, playing live.
Please, can you comment music evolution of your band? Looking back, is there anything that you think IN MOURNING tried musically that didn’t quite work?
Hmm, nah, I don’t think there’s anything I regret us doing musically. If it worked or not is another question and I’d say it depends on the definition of “worked“, I think most of the stuff we’ve done worked out pretty good as it feels like it’s aged alright. I think we’ve refined ourselves throughout the years though, if I listen back to “Shrouded Divine” now it feels young and a bit unfocused, as it probably should, probably was. But I don’t regret it or think it didn’t work out. We’ve always been thinking things over a lot before putting anything out on a record, never really thrown in any last minute big surprises.
What is, in your opinion, IN MOURNING’s position in the European (death) metal area? Is band full time job? Can you live off the music so to speak?
We’ve all got jobs aside of the band, this has always been our hobby or our place for fun, you know, vacation. Although lately we’ve really been putting more work into structuring things up, and with this release and this album we’ve really kicked into some new gears with that. We’re releasing this album ourselves, together with a company called Dalapop who has our backs and helps us out, so we’ve really done a lot more in depth work on this release and it feels really good. Kind of makes this whole album feel like it comes more directly from ourselves to the people consuming it, more personal, cutting out some middle hands between us.
I’m a little sorry that based of how well your music has been accepted in the past, why do you think you guys have not reached a better status? Am I wrong?
No, no harm in that, you’re probably right. There are so many great bands out there working very hard. We’ve always felt humbled and thankful for the positive feedback we’ve gotten on our releases through the years, it’s nothing we’re taking for granted and it really has meant a lot to us, every single word. I mean, we’ve obviously been around for some time now, but it’s hard reaching out through the fuzz. Also, with growing older and rooting ourselves with families, jobs etc. that we care for we always have to weigh our situations and try to make ends meet in everyones schedules and whatnot.
“Garden of Storms” is my favorite record. Is it really great collection of tracks. But now new album “The Bleeding Veil”. Can you tell me something about this release? Was there anything IN MOURNING approached differently with this release? Any different avenues you ventured down?
Sure! We did approach this album differently in almost every way. I mean, the basics are probably kind of the same, the ingredients in the music and such are still much the old familiar ones. But the past three albums were all linked together in regards of lyrical concepts, artwork and a lot of other stuff. This time we wanted to go in different directions, in all those aspects. We were done with our record deal, so we wanted to release this one more on our own, which we did. We wanted to record this album all in studio, to let ourselves really focus on the playing and being in the zone together, which we did for the major parts. We wanted to work closer with people closer to us, which we did. We’re surrounded by a lot of amazing people being really awesome at their crafts, so we’ve really brought this entire album process closer to home. So, a lot of new stuff around the entire process and I think the outcome succeeded our expectations, this album has got a really good vibe to it, to us at least.
How do you expect people will react (or how have they reacted) to your new album?
Well by now they’ve already reacted, or are reacting, and we’re getting a lot of really nice feedback, which we’re really really grateful for. We’re trying our best to learn the internet in our older days, handling social medias and stuff better than we have done earlier, which also has made us feel a lot more directly connected to people getting in touch etc.
Your songs are amazing by huge diversity not only between your albums, but also within each album. Where are you find so much inspiration?
We’re five very different people within the band and it’s always been that way, even through various changes in lineups etc. Vastly different musical tastes, with some mutual meeting points of course. I’d say diversity within the music has also always been kind of important to us.
Can you walk me through the creative process a little bit? Which was central idea of “The Bleeding Veil“?
Well as said this time we wanted to start off fresh, with a blank canvas, which was kind of new to us. I think the overall goal this time was to create something darker and more organic. There was also a feeling that we really wanted to go full on with this one, a looming feeling that we didn’t really know whether we’ll be making another album after this one or not. The title, artwork and lyrics deals a lot with contracts, whether it be contrasts between colors, between light and dark, between life and death, between people, contrasts in small things or large, in music or in general. We wanted this album to feel more “real“ and to express more, both in terms of the music and the lyrics, to be more honest and direct.
Do you have a typical pattern for writing songs? Do your write lyrics, then music? Music, then lyrics? Or does it depend on the song?
Tobias writes majority of the musical structures and me and Tim writes the lyrics. The lyrics and the music are written separately and simultaneously, we check in on each other of course and present stuff along the way but the two are kind of separated at first. Later on we merge things more and more and work with puzzling music and lyrics together, having input on all things in all directions, so when we’re done it’s all welded together. But exactly that, the glue that should make all pieces should fit together is very very important to us, lyrics, artwork and music should all go hand in hand in hand.
What was the inspiration for the title and the artwork of the album?
We’ve been talking a lot about contrasts and the filter between two contrasts, that things aren’t usual all black or white, all one way or another. There’s usually something in between the two that bleeds over from either side, blurring the lines. We wanted to mean more and say more with this album than we’ve done before, yet at the same time we wanted to give away less and give people more room to interpret things on their own. We were really into the idea of having an abstract album cover. I know Caroline who made the cover art and layout from before and I love her way of abstract painting, we presented her some ideas and lyrics etc. and she blew our minds with her paintings.
Dalapop is really your new label? Interesting… How did you found them or maybe they found you? Tell us about it.
Yeah, or no, Dalapop isn’t really your regular record label but we’re releasing this album as a co-production together with those guys. Dalapop is a company who works with and helps local artists from our region. Through the entire process around this album it has been important for us to work with people closer to us, so to work with Dalapop feels like yet another natural step in bringing all things closer to ourselves and closer to home. Plus they’re awesome guys, so.
As far as I know many fans noticed that your music become more progressive and diverse too. What should your fans wait from IN MOURNING in future?
Well, hopefully we can all wait for some live shows in the future, whenever the world allows us to. On the musical side, it’s still pretty early to dive into. It’s interesting that you mention it as more progressive, as it feels to me that these are probably the most ‘normal’ song structures we’ve made. But I think we kind of dipped our noses in diving into some darker vibes with this album, and even if we’ve always been very different people with different tastes in music within the band, this time it felt like we really could gather around those darker vibes. So I think that might be something we would want to explore further.
Has the pandemic Covid – 19 had a impact on IN MOURNING and personal lives or has it been business as usual? Did you have the chance back then to do any gigs?
Of course it has had impact on us as well, as probably on all things by now. The fine momentum we had with “Garden of Storms” went straight down the drain, so it was a struggle to not get to play more on that album. In the aftermath we started writing this new album, and even if we really built up some new steam with this new album it’s still really hard to work around this whole covid situation.
Do you even have time to listen to somebody else’s music? Did you heard anything interesting, some new bands maybe?
Sure! Love to listen to music. Mostly nowadays it’s softer stuff. Love the new album by THE WAR ON DRUGS, good cooking album. Also been really into WOVENHAND lately since they put out a new single, really stoked about that one! Also there’s a great band from Sweden called VIAGRA BOYS, check out their latest “Welfare Jazz” if you haven’t. And we gotta have at least SOME fierce distorted guitars on the list, right? MUNICIPAL WASTE, “The Art of Partying”, not really new but kind of newly rediscovered for me. There you go!
How about your future plans? Is there any particular place where you want to play? Maybe you want to play somewhere again? If you could create your own tour, who would you tour with?
Tons of places we’d love to play, and actually quite some places where we’re planning to play as well. As soon as situations allow it we’ll definitely be hitting some European roads for starters. On our own tour, definitely METALLICA playing the entire “Load” album, MISFITS with Glenn, and us. True definition of smörgåsbord.
Thanks for the interview, it was my big pleasure! Good luck with the promotion of the new album… Bye!
Thank you for having us on, my pleasure was even bigger! Take care and keep on!