Interview with Chris Johansen (Execration)

It’s quite obvious early nineties Death Metal has made it’s comeback in the last years, in the form of kids copying classic albums, as well as old artists returning from hiatus with new albums. The sounds of horror echoing from Florida and Sweden from 20-years ago are as fresh as they were in the times they were invented, but it’s rare to find a band taking these influences to the studio and coming back with something Alchemically superior! The latest album of Execration was a blast to my ears and soul, and it’s an honour to have a little chat with them.

Hello! With whom do I a have the pleasure of speaking with? How has the winter of Oslo treated you so far?

Hey, this is Chris, guitar player and guttoral performer. The dude with the shouty vocals. So far we haven’t had much winter, it’s all global warming style cold and wet. Usually the frostbite sets in in full force late December.

Execration was formed about 10 years ago, but what can you tell me of the previous (and currently correlating?) projects of the members?

Not much. Execration demands our full attention, and there are no side-projects to talk about. For previous efforts, we’ve all been in various bands, but none of them have made much of an impact really. Our background covers a wide variety of genres. Execration itself started out first with black metal, then thrash, and eventually we settled on death metal as our backbone.

Execration 01

There has been a massive reincarnating of early nineties Death Metal, especially with younger bands. How is the case with you, did you grew up with Death Metal or is this something you decided to start doing about 10 years ago?

We all have long standing relationships with death metal, but I can’t say we all grew up with it. Personally, I grew up with punk rock, some hardcore, thrash and some black metal stuff. I always liked aggressive and dark music, but I didn’t immerse myself in death metal until a little later in life. Some of us were involved in death metal projects prior to Execration as well, but Execration really is the first band where we focused this closely on the genre.

I’m hearing some old Tiamat in your music, some Aura Noir, some “Soulside Journey.” Am I on the right track here, are these perhaps your influences, and what can you tell me about your other musical influences?

I have actually never heard Tiamat, so I can’t say that’s influenced us at all. We’re all huge fans of Soulside Journey, that definitely has been an influential album for us. Aura Noir is also a great band, but not as directly influental to us I think. They operate in a different space, even though I can see how you’d draw some parallels to them on Morbid Dimensions. Some other bands that have been great inspiration is Autopsy, Gorguts, Ripping Corpse, Celtic Frost and many others. We also listen a lot to 70s prog and psychedelia, and I think you can hear that in our music as well.

Execration 03

I’m also hearing something similar in your sound compared to your country-men Obliteration and Katechon (for example), do you agree with me, and if you do, can we speak of whole musical sub-genre here?

That would be taking it too far in my opinion. But there might be something to “norwegian death metal” that sets it a little bit apart from other bands currently operating under the “death metal” moniker. It really is quite a wide genre, encompassing lots of different styles, including a bunch of stuff we don’t really like at all.

You have a certain Psychedelia to your sound, partly coming from the riffs, partly from the two vocals together, partly from the artwork and lyrics. Where does this come from, is every member of the band bringing their interest in for example the Occult or Psychedelia with them?

I think this is the result of our combined inspirations, both musically and from other art forms. We always write together as a band, and we all really enjoy freaky, off the beaten path stuff. In addition to having the right riffs and so on, it’s important that we incorporate a certain atmosphere in our music. If this comes through as a certain hard-to-define Psychedelia, then I think we’ve succeeded.

Execration 02

As you have now released your third full-length already, how has the response been to your music throughout your career? Any major changes at some point during the years?

It’s gotten better for each release. Our previous album, Odes of the Occult, got very good reviews back in 2011 and 2012, as has Morbid Dimensions. However, this time around there’s been noticably more interest.

You have played live with quite big names, and I’m sure you will continue to do so in the future. How important do you se playing live when it comes to marketing music these days? This is probably to you more a part of the culture in general, and something you enjoy doing anyway?

As a matter of fact, we’re playing with Entombed tomorrow. Playing live is definitely important marketing – probably the most important thing to do to get yourself noticed nowadays. Anyway, playing live is a huge kick, and one of the best things of being in a band, and we’ll be doing lots of it the coming year.

Thank you for this short interview! What can you tell me about your future plans?

We’re playing the Inferno Festival next year, which will be great. We’re also hoping to appear on a few more festivals, and will eventually start writing new material. First and foremost, we will focus on supporting Morbid Dimensions in the short perspective.

Execration (Facebook)

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