Interview: Rogga Johansson

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With which band and at what age did you get interested in writing music?

I don’t know what came first really, I fooled around as a kid at the local rock club, a place where you could jam, and also at home with a home computer and some software, early stuff, but I had a sampler cartridge which allowed me to get own sounds. I think I was in sixth grade when I started doing some bits of music myself anyways, so I was about 12 years old. I’d listened to heavy metal since I was maybe 7, but what made want to make my own music was when I at around twelve understood you could make music on your own too, with no band, as I at that time also discovered industrial music. Before all this I wrote stories and did some drawing, and created stuff in role playing games, so I just think I felt like turning my ways of making stuff into more music stuff rather than other stuff at that time. I still think that if I didn’t start to make music, Id started to write books instead, and now I feel sorry that i didn’t do both really, as I’m shit at writing haha.

You have a lot of projects, how do you approach each of them?

In almost the same way I guess, a need to make something and then I sit down and write something. Then it’s about fifty fifty, if it’s for a particular project or if it’s just that I feel the need to do some music. But mostly though I know what band I will write for.

How do you get all the ideas for all the projects you work on?

I have no idea at all. But often I hear music or check a movie, or just take a walk with the kids and the dogs really, and the need comes like eating away, and when I get back inside I can write a few songs in a few minutes. The last years I actually throw away stuff haha, I never did before but I guess I’m getting old or tired of myself and don’t feel the need to finish all the shit I start to work on.

What changes have you scene that bother you the most in the underground?

I’m not a person that stays in the know of things really, but simply I’d say bad sales of physical formats is the worst thing, at least if you ask me. I don’t like just having digital files, I like real albums on cd vinyl or cassette, with real covers and all that stuff that more and more people are stopping to really be bothered about these days.

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Why are there so many bands that sound the same?

Of mine? I guess because I write the shit haha. I think there’s a difference each time, but to anyone else, I guess it’s the same shit really haha. I hear it every now and then, and to some extent I agree too really. It’s just that I couldn’t release all my stuff and do all my collaborations under just a couple bands or projects, it’d get too big and hard to manage.

What is you favorite band you work with?

Good question… Paganizer because its a real band and not a project could be one answer. On the other hand I love some of the bands I have that are just projects and will never ever have a lineup or play live. I’d say its the band I’m working on for the time being mostly, but sometimes I do an album and dont feel the vibe for it, but finish it anyway haha. So I don’t know…  It’s hard to answer really.

Favorite place to play live?

I’ve lived all my life in the same village, not felt any wish to move from here, I like it here, the nature is beautiful, people are friendly I guess, I don’t bother people and they don’t bother me at least these days haha. Was worse when I was a kid, but back then i didn’t feel like leaving either, it’s my home and I feel no need to move from here, I also like i small and get feeling bad and feel shitty in towns and cities, where there’s people everywhere.

What was the best festival you ever played?

I don’t know… I prefer clubs really, I don’t like it outdoors live, but Party San was rather big and very well arranged, and people enjoyed what we did. But the best festival I think was a smaller one, Protzen Open Air, I liked that one very much, I’d like to play there again actually.

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Where was the largest crowd you have ever played to?

I have no idea, maybe a thousand I’d say. At some festival, but at clubs, maybe 400 or so, we mostly don’t play huge places.

Favorite music? Favorite release by another band?

Is it now I’d say I like everything and have tired of death metal even tho I play it? Haha! Seems like people do that. But still I think my fave music is death metal, together with heavy metal and industrial music. which one that dominates often depends of the timing really, I mean I had a period of no industrial music whatsoever during maybe a decade, same with heavy metal. i only listened maybe to Iron Maiden wich i love, and nothing more of it. But it comes and goes faster after you leave your early twenties, before that you’re much more just into one thing I guess. For me its up and down, back and forth all the time, but nothing beats Iron Maiden, or Edge of Sanity haha. Fave release, I’d need to make like separate lists, I’ve tried before when asked to do top fives or top tens, but its always so stupid, you’d need a top fifty. Or a top five in a whole bunch of genres at least. But if you need some titles that vary and that I never tire of there are Maidens “Somewhere in time”, Edge of Sanity’s “The spectral sorrows” and Skinny Puppys “Too dark park”. That’s just classics, and there’s so much more, from others and from them, but that’s at least three albums that will never get worn out. Or Massacres’ “From beyond”. Best death metal ever made haha.

I know you love industrial music, what is your industrial project called and what is it about?

The earliest, which I reactivated a while ago, is Putashriek. From the very early 90s. We were just kids, its basic EBM I guess, not trying to sound like any other band at all, but just doing it the same way. The other one I have, which i started mid 90s, is Evangelicum and that’s more pure industrial, totally in the way of some stuff from one of my fave labels, Cold Meat Industries. It’s also reactivated, and this or next year the demo from 1995 will come out on CD actually, together with all new material. I am very excited about that.

How many releases do you actually have?

I have no idea haha. I think I have a copy of like 97% of everything Ive done anyways, and that’s well over a hundred things. But then again it all matters how and what you count, but if we talk official release on cd or vinyl or cassette, it should be over a hundred I think anyways.

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What are some of the things you like to do in your free time?

Spend time with my family, that’s what I like to do. My kids, my wife, the dogs. With kids there’s so much to do too, not that I enjoy it all haha, but if they have fun then I have fun too. And I like to drink beer and cook. Both cook regular food but the best is of corspe, BBQ.

Favorite part of Sweden and why?

Right here haha, as I don’t like to move around too much, but it’s also ideal I think, the south east coast of Sweden is nice, and two hours away we have Öland, the second biggest of Sweden’s two islands which is great to vacation on, its only two hours away but it’s different and very nice.

How do you feel about all the posers in the music scene?

I don’t care man haha. I don’t care at all about people and what they do, as long as they don’t fuck with me, and don’t do bad shit. Posers I never cared about, what is a poser really, some of the coolest truest baddest dudes are to me just posers haha, they try so hard and the demo is always the best and blah blah. I couldn’t care less man, like what you like, do what you do, leave people alone. That’s my motto haha.

What about all the bandwagon fans? Gimmick bands copying others?

Again I couldn’t care much at all, it is what it is, trends are everywhere, of corpse it has to be in metal too, every scene is exploited someday. And then they leave and try the next thing haha. People are stupid, that’s how its always been and always will be, until we finally manage to eradicate ourselves from the planet.

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What is you favorite food?

I’m an omnivore, so that’s hard to answer too. Swedish food, meat and potatoes style is great, but I also have a huge love for Thai food. If I had to choose meat tho it’d be chicken I Guess, I think that’s my fave meat, even if it doesn’t fit of corpse in all of my fave dishes naturally.

Do you hunt? Do you fish?

No I don’t, for being living in a small community, I’m not very outdoorsy at all, sure I did that stuff as a kid a bit but I don’t like to interact with people, so I never learned anything needful. Music was my thing apparently. But to tell you the truth too, the times I fished as a kid, man I hated it haha. I understand the peace it gives you, but for me it was just boring, so it wasn’t my thing at all. And hunting I never tried, even though we have hunters in the family naturally, being on the countryside.

Do you have a huge axe or sword hahaha?

I don’t haha. Never was my thing either, I had a knife collection as a kid, some cool old stuff but that I guess was just the normal phase most kids have, fascinated with knives.

What projects of yours are coming out soon?

New stuff with Humanity delete, Eye of Purgatory, Grisly, and some more I think. Then we also have a new Paganizer album finished and done, but that will have to lay and wait a year I think.

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What is your favorite song you have written?

I think maybe “Landscapes made of human skin”. To me that’s a classic, not to anyone else I’m sure but to me, that song is all I wanted it to be and still is. Maybe it could have been a bit slower on the album, but the song itself is my fave I think.

What is your least favorite project you were involved with?

Oh I don’t know, most of my projects have been some good and then some maybe not so good stuff. But some projects also near did get to be released and are gone, I don’t even have it myself anymore on a CD or anything. So I guess those are ones that I like the least, as I didn’t bother so much to get it saved somehow for the future after it was finished. I think from memory some of them were Foreboding, Blood Season and Eaten, among some more. I’d like to listen to them again tho haha, but I don’t have any copies left and neither does anyone else I think.

You are like a music machine, how do you keep putting out album after album? I know you work with other great talented musicians as well.

Well i don’t know man, I just sit down and write some music, and then it eventually seems to get released. I’ve tried to slow down and stop some projects actually, but then something happens and there is new stuff out haha. I don’t know even why there are new stuff coming with Humanity Delete, Those Who Bring the Torture or Ribspreader haha, as I decided not to do more stuff a long time ago but it just comes…

When can we expect some more industrial music from you?

I hope the Evangelicum cd will come this year or next. As for Putashriek The stuff I’ve done is on Bandcamp, so to me that’s not a real release, and I have no idea how to approach that whole scene again after so many years, so I guess it’ll just stay digital which I hate really haha. But I’ll do some more maybe in the coming time, and post there too, and maybe in the future some label wanna put it out, or it’ll just stay like downloads. I don’t know really.

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Last but not least what type of things do you collect? Toys, Comics, Horror Films, Music, Heads maybe?

I used to collect some old VHS films, horror, and McFarlane toys, but these days I only have left I think Leatherface, the edition with no blood on the apron, which was a bit more rare at least when I bought it!

Thank you for your time Rogga!!! You are a staple in Death Metal!!!

Thanx for the interview man!

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Here are some links to just a few of Rogga’s projects. An absolute workhorse and all round purveyor of all things DEATH (well, mostly haha!) Fucking champion of a man!

https://paganizer.bandcamp.com/
https://downamongthedeadmen.bandcamp.com/
https://chaos-records.bandcamp.com/album/garpedans
https://xtreemmusic.bandcamp.com/album/the-van-murders-part-2
https://ironbloodanddeath.bandcamp.com/album/pain-offerings
https://putashriek.bandcamp.com/

 

 

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