INTERVIEW: AXIS OF DESPAIR

As a grindcore fiend I am on the constantly on the lookout for new acts. Members of Axis of Despair are no strangers to the grindcore scene; their line up features members of bands like Coldworker, Infanticide, Volturyon and Livet som insats. The band have released 2 EPs, Time and Again and Mankind Crawls since forming 5 years ago. Last month, they released their first album Contempt for Man via Southern Lord. The album is a ferocious listen and is sure to tear heads off.

I spoke to vocalist Joel Fornbrant to find out more about Contempt for Man, recording the album themselves and also their plans for the rest of the year.

The band features former and present members of such bands as Nasum, Coldworker, Infanticide, Volturyon, Livet som insats, Nervgift and Overtorture. How did you decide to form a band together?

Oskar, Anders and I played together in Coldworker. When that band called it a day the three of us decided to start a new band pretty much right away. We started rehearsing with some local guitar player late 2013 but after a while he decided he couldn’t or wouldn’t do it and sometime during 2014 we found Kristofer instead. He lived in another town but we tricked him into moving to Örebro and we’ve been living happily ever since.

You have been around for 5 years and ‘Contempt for Man’ is your first album. What was the songwriting process for the album?

After our two EPs “Time and Again” and “Mankind Crawls” it was decided that our next step should be writing a full album. This was probably in 2016 sometime. Everybody but me started writing music and I tried to keep up writing lyrics for the songs the guys kept spitting out. We took our sweet time but ended up with 26 pretty good tunes and chose 20 for the album. The remaining six will be on an upcoming EP.

The album sounds ferocious. Do tell us more about the album.

Well thank you. We wanted to do a to the point grindcore album without any bullshit. We recorded instruments at Soundlab studios and did vocals in the rehearsal room. Mixing was done by local guy Johan Berglund and he really went above and beyond what any of us thought possible. The sound is clear yet brutal and I love how distinctly each instrument comes across.

Contempt for Man

Contempt for Man was recorded by your drummer Anders Jakobson at Soundlab Studios and in the band’s rehearsal room. What do you feel are the pros and con of recording yourself?

The benefit of not being on the clock with a producer is that you’re not under any time constraints and there’s no pressure to get x amount of songs done in so and so many days. You’re done when you’re done. The other guys recorded in the studio so I can’t really speak for them but for me laying down vocals in the rehearsal room with Anders producing is a pretty relaxed process. As for cons I guess it’s always good with another set of ears to point out if something doesn’t work but I feel we do a good job with that ourselves. We are really committed to not half-assing anything.

What’s currently on your playlist?

Lately I’ve been listening to Black Flag, Under the Church and the new LIK album.

You recently performed at the Obscene Extreme festival. How was the experience?

We played on the Thursday and after that it’s a bit fuzzy. The show went great and it was a treat seeing folks really into grindcore going wild to the music. We saw a bunch of good bands like Gruesome, Exhumed and Asphyx, met a lot of cool people and drank way too many beers. It’s a great festival.

Do you have any more shows planned for the rest of the year?

We are looking to get some shows done for fall/winter and possibly go on tour but nothing confirmed at the moment.

Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?

Thanks for the interview! Check out our Facebook page for updates on the band and follow us on Instagram if you’re into that. Our upcoming EP is called “And the Machine Rolls On”. Cheers!

You can find them right here!

https://axisofdespairsl.bandcamp.com/releases

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