Recently the Swedish metallers of Gloson released their new EP called Mara. DutchMetalManiac’s Tim van Velthuysen interviewed Gloson’s Christian Larsson and Anders Persson, both guitarist/vocalist, about it.
Hey, congratulations with your new EP, Mara. It’s very nice!
Christian: Thank you very much! We feel very proud about this one, although it’s merely a two-song release. A fun fact is that we recorded everything in our rehearsal space ourselves. So considering the outcome we’re very happy.
The concept of Mara is about the subconsciousness while being asleep and the personal demons someone can face in that state of being. Can you elaborate a bit on this concept?
Anders: Sure, well first of all you have to see dreams as more than a fluke that interrupts our sleep to understand the lyrics. I think that dreams can say plenty of stuff about ourselves and show a bit of what dwells within the subconciousness of the host, and since dreams have no limits or boundaries, they can be manifested as dimensions and vast deep space for the open minded. I think dreams can be the more true manifestations of our most primitive feelings such as empathy, love, fear and hatred and when dreams wander too far into the more sinister direction it can be quite scary and confusing to be you.
How did you come up with this concept?
Anders: The idea came up when we were talking about concepts in general. Christian has experienced sleep paralysis and I had the most fucked up and disturbing encounters in my dreams while I was in between medications, so the lyrics came out quite naturally.
Christian: As Anders said, it was something that came up while we were having a discussion about themes and lyrical directions. We realized that all of us had something in common with this concept so it was a quick decision to dive in. I wouldn’t wish experiencing sleep paralysis on my worst enemy. And having been on two medications simultaneously for the past 5 years that I’ve also been weaning off from lately, it’s been quite the delve into my own mind…
But to me it is also about facing and embracing these “demons” instead of trying to run away from them. If you decide to listen they all have something important to tell you about yourself. I strongly feel that I’ve grown and evolved in a very positive way.
Did you because of this concept also use your own experiences in that state of being during the creating process of Mara? If yes, how was this creating process influenced by this?
Anders: Yeah like I said in the question before, we tried to take a deep dive into the vast void of our own experiences and put it out there and just like Grimen be completely naked and exposed to our listeners. Very scary but also epic in a way.
Christian: As far as writing the music itself it is our usual writing process of spewing out riffs upon riffs until we find something that catches our attention and that feels right at the moment. We then meet up in our rehearsal space and feel the material out playing together – if our heads start to move then we know we’re on the right track.
Lyricwise it’s a different story. Anders did the heavy lifting on this one, I contributed a little here and there but he really was on a roll creatively, and it’s not wise to interrupt someone in a creative haze.
Your bandname as well as the titles of your releases are based on Scandinavian folklore. What do these folklore mean for you?
Anders: Well none of us are really believers in folklore but we use it as metaphors in ways I think they were originally meant to be. I think that the origins of those entities and events were used to put a name on things that made our ancestors scared or confused, basically we do the same things.
Christian: Yes, these entities and spirits are, in the way we interpret it, manifestations and personifications of real things. Things that you could not explain with scientific methods in the days of yore. We follow in that same path. We are by absolutely no means a “pagan” band, make no mistake about that, but this is our way of looking at it.
In September you signed with Black Lion Records. What was it that attracted you in Black Lion Records?
Anders: Well since it was an EP consisting of only two songs we needed an indie label that could act fast and they were the first ones to respond.
Christian: Pretty much. It also feels good to work with a Swedish label for obvious reasons.
At that same moment you also announced that Seiya from Ogino Design, who also created the design of Mara, would be your new manager, something he now is for 7 months. How is this going so far?
Anders: It’s a very good and healthy collaboration. Christian has known Seiya for a very long time and therefore we knew that we could trust him with everything. He really does some heavy lifting for us and turns every action into a smooth one.
Christian: I have been working with Seiya for, like, 12 or so years now (Goddamn… time flies). I actually helped him come up with the name for his first company as he got started for real.
We know each other quite well at this point, we’ve both grown more experienced alongside each other so, for me, it was an easy decision to include him. So far he’s been excellent! Since we all work regular day jobs on different shifts it’s a real headache to organize communication a lot of the time. So having someone in the manager-role as our voice outwards is truly invaluable. It also allows us to focus more on being creative and writing our next album.
The artwork of Mara, which is also very nice, is made by Sophy Fredriksson. What made her the best person for this job?
Anders: She’s one of the most professional artists out there in our opinion, few can catch horror and weirdness with such detail. We are honored to have been working with her and we hope we will again.
Christian: I remember I was browsing around for ideas and inspiration for the cover and stumbled upon her work on her Instagram page and was immediately intrigued by her style. The fact that she also draws a lot of folklore art wasn’t exactly a bad thing either. So I just contacted her and asked if we could purchase the “Mara” drawing from her to use for the artwork and, as far as I could tell, she was happy we wanted it! I really hope we can do some more future collaborations together.
Gloson now exists for five years. Besides that you’ve released Mara, do you have any plans to celebrate that?
Anders: The only way to celebrate our legacy is to play more shows, make more music and spread it as much as we possibly can.
Christian: I really don’t know. All we can do is to keep writing music and, hopefully, land some more shows. I don’t expect us to do anything “fancy” in the form of some special edition release. We pay for our merchandise ourselves for example, and we don’t exactly make a fortune doing this, so…
You already announced three upcoming shows, two in Sweden and one in Norway. Can we expect more Gloson-shows in support of Mara? Maybe coming to The Netherlands?
Anders: We are currently looking for more shows and hopefully we’ll be able to make some official statements regarding that very soon. It would be an honor to play in the Netherlands, make sure to spread the word!
Christian: We sure hope so. We’d love to come to the Netherlands and of course anywhere in the world to play. Unfortunately we don’t decide that – it’s up to promoters to book us. Make sure to spread the word and hopefully we’ll make it…
Speaking of shows, your tour archive only shows three or four dates a year. What’s the reason for that?
Anders: Well that has a lot to do with us working day jobs and that at least two of us are having families. We are looking into some solutions to go on tours and play more often though and we probably will soon enough.
Christian: We will definitely make touring a reality for us, hopefully sooner rather than later. Obviously we want to play live as much as we possibly can, even with our personal schedules with day jobs and all that. But basically, people need to help spread the word to promoters! I cannot stress this fact enough.
Any other upcoming Gloson plans you can already tell us something about?
Anders: We are always in the process of writing new stuff and that is our current main mission, we have a shitload of stuff to work on and we are always trying to improve this dark, heavy and fucked up formula.
Christian: I’m not going to say for certain when we will be ready as I simply don’t know exactly, but we have actually been working on our next full-length album for some time now. There are two or three songs that are “more or less” finished demos and we have a variable fuckton of riffs in a shared folder we have. Going through that folder is a huge project in and of itself, but it’s probably going to take another year until we can start to look at a release. And that’s me being optimistic which isn’t my strong side.
We’re also discussing having someone produce the next album since I’ve had a big role of that on our releases, in particular on Mara where I did all of the engineering, mixing and mastering myself. I just don’t think it’s the best idea for the final product to have me do it since it’s impossible to stay completely neutral and have perspective on your own material. But we’ll see how that turns out!
Thanks for your answers! Is there anything you want to say to our readers?
Anders: All the support means the world to us. Thank you for sharing and caring and hopefully we’ll see you all on the road.
Christian: It’s been quite a journey so far, considering how we started; simply by putting our first album up for free digitally. The support from each and every one out there makes a huge impact on us. Cheers and I hope to see you out there!
I’m Tim van Velthuysen and I started DutchMetalManiac back in 2014. I’m 29 years old and I live in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Of course, I like metal, but I can also appreciate other musical styles.
In addition to DutchMetalManiac I also have a personal website on which I’ll post various things that won’t fit on DutchMetalManiac, but might be interesting for you as well. It’s in Dutch though.