Danish BAEST released their critically acclaimed third album Necro Sapiens in March. We had a chat with guitarist Svend Karlsson about influences, the gig at The Capital Deathfest, why people become evil, the bands bond and much more.
I read in a interview that you get a lot of inspiration from horror movies but also Cannibal Corpse. How do you turn someone else’s lyrics or music into inspiration when you create your own?
– When I get inspired by music, I tend to go into what element inspired me. For example, the ultralow tuning of cannibal is super evil and grim, so we wrote Gula, super down tuned and slow paced!
You once said that The Forge is about an intergalactic place where things are created, but it can be considered a sort of cosmic hell. How come?
– The forge is the intro for the Necro Sapiens album. It’s supposed to symbolize the creation of this world, as described in the album. This world can be compared to our own, or to some ideas of hell, but that’s up to you!
You have a lot of influences, from Opeth to Carcass and 80´s songs. How do you make sure to mix them into something good? Because I mean, it could go both ways being so different.
– We are inspired from thousands of different angels, not just music. All of us write all the music together, and we try to bring as many influences into the songwriting as we possibly can. From there, the recipe is simple; if everyone in the room likes it, it’s on the record!
I read that you don´t think that people are naturally evil, that it could be depending on experiences in life. But what if they had a great life, and then turned evil all the sudden?
– Maybe some people turn evil all of a sudden, out of the blue. Who knows! There’s definitely evil inside all of us.
Do you think that darkness needs light in order to survive or could they exist without each other?
– I personally believe that there’s a balance within all beings, and that’s a good thing. Otherwise, it would be super a super bland existence.
Music is for many people a direct way to express their emotions, how they are feeling and so on. Do you have any other ways to do this, or is music the best way to do it?
– In BAEST, we find music is our best way to express what we want, as a unit. It’s a powerful bond which we fill continue to explore! We do express it through lyrics and artwork as well. And we express it in our daily lives, be it while watching sports and getting hammered, or while working. Different methods!
I saw you at Copenhell 2018 and you guys were so synchronized on the stage. Which is rare in this kind of genre, because people seem to more do their thing. Is it something that comes naturally or?
– It does come naturally, but I think it has something to do with our method of creating the songs. We agree on each part, and maybe that’s why the audience sees a synchronized band, head banging their ass off at the same time? Who knows!
You guys have a lot of contact with fans through Instagram, Facebook and such. How important is it for you to reach out to them?
– It’s super important, we wouldn’t exist as we do without the huge support from the fans. We try to offer to the fans; what we would want from other bands that we are fans of.
Why was it better to record the album live, than to record it the same way as you´ve done before?
– We felt like it became way more groovy, alive and exciting. We do all of the writing in the rehearsal space. So, it does come natural to just bang out the songs in the studio, as we do normally in that rehearsal.
What feeling did the old Gibson guitars from the 1980´s add to the album?
– Soul, and some minor tuning issues…
What is the biggest misunderstanding you ever heard about yourself?
– That we were some arrogant brats. We aren’t, we’re just shy!
You are one of those bands that gives younger bands a real shot to perform with you at your sold-out gigs. How come that is so important to you?
– Because we got the same kind of shot from Illdisposed and Dawn of Demise. It was amazing for us, so we think it’s important to bring some bands who have the same drive as we do. Maybe they too can do something with it!
Why do you think it is so important to be underground enough or true enough?
– It’s important to be true to yourself as a band. That’s all that matters. Some people will always find ways to hate your band. It doesn’t matter that you tour for real, record for real, send out you own merch and do your own deal for real!
You do a lot of things by yourself; you send out merch and stuff like that, most bands have someone to do that for them. How come you still do it, being on this level that you are?
– We do it so that we can stay in control of the band. We want to know who buys the stuff, and what they want from us. It’s always amazing to ship to some places in the world, that’s far away! It makes us feel grateful, and eager to visit these places.
What statement do you feel like your doing with this album?
– We feel it’s a statement from us, that we are our own band, and we do our own thing.
BAEST were formed in 2015 and have stayed serious with this band all through the years. How do you keep that spirit alive?
– We keep on playing! That helps us to stay serious and focused, we still talk about our dreams and comes up with new ones.
What main goals do you have for BAEST?
– We want to keep playing and writing music that we like! And we want to tour the whole fucking world.
When your not making music, what other interests do you guys have?
– Well, we are all interested in food and wine. And beer, plenty of beer. Some of us enjoy soccer, the rest enjoy some Swedish chainsaws. The Husqvarna 268XP for example. A banger power saw.
If I am new to BAEST, what song or album should I start with and work my way through?
– Start with Marie Magdalene! (2016) That EP really showcases it all.
If you could choose 3 bands to go on a world tour with, who and why?
– Dying Fetus, because they are fucking brutal, Opeth because they are freaking masters and Iron Maiden, because they are Iron Maiden.
What setbacks have lead to the most success for BAEST?
– COVID-19. It forced us to go really hard in the rehearsal, coming up with the best beast songs to date for Necro Sapiens!
Tell me about one funny tour memory that you guys have.
– The whole tour with Entombed AD and Aborted was full of amazing moments. Watching L-G Petrov (Entombed AD)blast every night was incredible. But swing him the morning after, in his undies telling jokes, it was the best.
Have your view on music changed after reaching a new status as band?
– Nope! Music is for everyone, and our music is rock n roll.
So what can we expect when you perform at the Capital Deathfest in Sweden 2022?
– Some Swedish worship, some serious windmilling, a couple of draft beers thrown at you (not to many, because it’s ours) and a fuck-ton of onstage shenanigan. Let’s party, Gävle!