A CANOROUS QUINTET is a legendary band from Sweden, pioneers in the Melodic Death Metal scene! Existing since 1991, these Swedish guys decided to re-record their superb “The Only Pure Hate” album, creating “The Only Pure Hate MMXVIII”! This fact, gave us the opportunity to talk with their singer, Mårten Hansen! Details concerning ACQ’s past, present and future as also some information about Mårten’s second band, THIS ENDING, are delivered here…
– Hello Mårten! Happy to have you at The Gallery Web Magazine! How are the conditions in Sweden with Corona Virus?
Marten: Thank you Alexandros. At the moment, since Sweden has skipped quarantine, I’ve been working as usual. The only thing that has been really strange is the distancing and the respect for the virus that most people seem to have. I probably had the virus and it wasn’t a great experience although it was not much worse than a regular flu in my case. In Sweden they haven’t started with mastestings, so most of us have no idea if we’ve had it or not.
– In 2018, you re- recorded and released again your second album “The Only Pure Hate” with the addition of one bonus track, that wasn’t included in the original release of 1998. In a way, it was your “new” old album. What led you in such a decision?
Marten: We were never really satisfied with how the original album ended up soundwise. We have always thought the songs were far better than what the original recording could convey. When we re-recorded the songs I think the songs prove themselves by still sounding great and not outdated. They are now with a much better sound according to me, and the songs are shown in the proper way the way it was supposed to be. We had been thinking about doing a re-recording for many years and it seemed fitting to do it for celebrating the 20 years since the original release. The so called “bonus track” was actually a song we wrote not so long before we split up the band and it shows in which direction we might have continued.
– What was the feedback for this re-release? How did your fans react?
Marten: Most reviews I have seen have been great, considering it’s a re-recorded album I haven’t heard anyone who doesn’t understand why we wanted to do it, after the explanation in the former question. It has also been a lot of fun to revisit all the old songs of that album, rediscovering some of them. Personally I really like how especially “Red” and “The Complete Emptiness” songs ended up.
– During the recordings of “The Only Pure Hate” in 2018, you must have felt a bit nostalgic remembering the old days of the band. Going back at those times, can you describe us how was the situation back in the mid 90’s?
Marten: For sure it was nostalgic to go back and revisit all the old songs. It makes a lot of fun to play them and that was also one of the reasons for doing some live shows again. Back in the day, we really lived for the scene and travelled far and wide to connect with likeminded individuals. Around -96 when “Silence Of The World Beyond” was released, we really started to take things more seriously. Rehearsing a lot and you were not allowed to miss out on rehearsals, so quite often we rehearsed although totally hangovered from the weekend’s partying, a thing that was always going on… If there was a show, we always had pre-parties and we even made parties out of our rehearsals from time to time. Overall, it was a really intense period with lots of things going on. The underground was alive in a way I’ve never experienced before and probably never will be again. This was something new that was growing and building a momentum. The Death and Black Metal scene was coming to life and you could really feel that you were part of this movement. When it came to A CANOROUS QUINTET, we had been arranging lots of shows and were always looking for new shows. So we played as often as we could and were constantly working on new material. Some of it has been unearthed from rehearsal tapes and a few of these songs ended up on the “Quintessence” album.
– A CANOROUS QUINTET’s line up is still the same since the beginning (except from Peter Nagy on the guitars). What are the main elements of the band’s evolution since the beginning?
Marten: I think nowadays we think more professionally about our music. Back in the day we played drunk and did the best we could to raise havoc. Nowadays, we make sure to do our best on stage, both musically and performance wise. It should be entertaining to watch a band perform and we always do our best to entertain. We also have another approach to the songwriting, a fact that is not so strange since we all have accumulated lots of experience playing in various bands throughout the years. It’s great to have Peter in our ranks since he’s an old fan of the band and also a really skilled musician, as well as a great guy.
– What made you to have this huge intermission from 1998’s “The Only Pure Hate” album till the “Reflections Of The Mirror” EP, that was released in 2012??! That’s 14 years of absence! Why did this happen?
Marten: Well we actually disbanded A CANOROUS QUINTET prior to the original release of “The Only Pure Hate” album, when we had been offered to tour together with EDGE OF SANITY and FLESHCRAWL but the label told us that there would be no money to finance this tour. We didn’t need much money since we were fine with travelling in a van but we didn’t have the resources back then to finance this on our own. At that moment it felt pointless to continue if we didn’t have the support from our record label. We also had some issues in deciding which way we should go with our music sound wise so things ended up this way, too bad in my opinion. In 2005, when we started playing music together as THIS ENDING, we wanted to try to do something a bit different from A CANOROUS QUINTET. But of course we thought about reviving A CANOROUS QUINTET back then also, since we had the same members. We always liked what we did during the 90’s and when we were approached and asked to record a 7’’ inch, we started digging in the vaults and thought that this might be a good idea that could also result in new ideas for THIS ENDING. One thing led to another and we unearthed more songs and the “Quintessence” was released with even more of these songs.
– 1996. “Silence Of The World Beyond” album was born! A masterpiece in the Melodic Death Metal scene! What are your thoughts and how do you feel about this SUPERB album you once created??
Marten: Well thank you for the kind words. Things went so fast in the early 90’s so our sound evolved rapidly and in 1995 when we recorded “Silence Of The World Beyond” we thought we had found a sound that was different and that gave us our own unique touch to the genre. We were really excited to finally be able to spend more than a few days in the studio. If I remember right, we had 10 days with Peter Tätgren in Abyss studios. We used 9 of these days for the recording and one day for mixing. Being made in such a short timespan I think the album ended up great and Peter was a great help for us, as we weren’t really experienced when it came to record an album. When I listen to both albums today, I’m surprised that they still sound like something of them could have been written today. The biggest difference is that we had no boundaries when it came to songwriting and some of the arrangements are really surprising.
– Do you have any plans for a new album? Any ideas and maybe a couple of titles to share with us? Give us EVERY detail you have, because MANY people are interested for a new album from your band!
Marten: At the moment we have no solid plans for a new album. It would be lots of fun to do a new album but it would have to sound great and have the “A CANOROUS QUINTET” sound. So far we haven’t felt up to challenge our old albums. Time will tell what will happen.
– Is A CANOROUS QUINTET your main band, or do you feel that THIS ENDING is the one? The members are the same. Is it easy to separate those bands in your lives–
Marten: THIS ENDING is for me the main band since we have been more or less active for 15 years now and I’m also really proud with what we have achieved musically. But both bands are in some way equally important since I’m also really proud of what we have done as A CANOROUS QUINTET. It’s no big problem to separate the bands. Only if we were to start writing new music for both bands it might be an issue knowing which parts belongs in A CANOROUS QUINTET and which parts belong in THIS ENDING. The last THIS ENDING album holds parts that I think would have fitted well on an A CANOROUS QUINTET album for instance. I guess we could put it this way the band that has a show or are working on a new release is the band most important at that time.
– You have never been in Greece for a live show. Would you like to visit our country for a gig? Do you have any touring planned?
Marten: At the moment no tours are planned but we are hoping to be able to do some touring during next year, depending on how this pandemic evolves. We would love to come to Greece! Make sure that a promoter books us and we’ll try our best to make it happen!
– Even though the band exists since 1991, a fact that makes you one of the first in the Swedish Death Metal scene, you always kept a low profile. Was there a reason in doing that or this is just yourselves?
Marten: We never had any intentions of keeping a low profile. I think we partly have had bad luck with timing and such. To start with “Silence Of The World Beyond” should have been released first half of 1996 when the wave of the Swedish Melodic Black/Death Metal exploded. The album was long overdue when it was released late in 1996, one year after the recording was finished. Our lack of tour support, which wasn’t unusual to get at the time, was probably also a contributing factor. Nowadays it’s really hard to be recognized in the massive amount of albums being released digitally. It’s also really hard to get good shows which is in the environment I think our music comes to life for real.
– Apart from “The Only Pure Hate MMXVIII” album, you were also recording a new THIS ENDING song that was released as a single. Should we wait a new album from that side?
Marten: We are currently working on new material for the next THIS ENDING album and if all goes well the song “The Hunted” will be part of that album. I think the sound on that song shows great promises for what is to come.
– Have you ever considered playing double shows? One set with A CANOROUS QUINTET and one with THIS ENDING on the same night would be simply awesome!
Marten: We actually had planned doing a tour were both bands would perform. However, the promoter that asked us to do this tour, had problems with other bands that were supposed to join us so the tour got cancelled. But who knows? Maybe there’s a possibility to do this in the future. It’s nothing we would oppose to, except that each set must have a reasonable time limit so we survive the shows ;p
– Please close the interview with your last words to your Greek fans and all THE GALLERY’s readers globally…
Marten: Thanks a lot for this interview and thanks a lot for supporting us by listening to our music, spreading the word about A CANOROUS QUINTET and THIS ENDING we really appreciate it. I hope the future holds great things for all of us. Keep it metal and I hope to see you all in the future. Cheers.
Interview: Alexandros Soultatos
Cover Artwork: Alexandros Soultatos
Design & Editing: Alexandros Soultatos
Date: April 28th 2020
External Link: A CANOROUS QUINTET – Facebook Page
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