Draconian Interview

Band Name: Draconian
Interviewed: Anders Jacobsson
Date: 2005-08-03

Previous Draconian Interviews
Bringing forth a sound that symbolizes an emotion of foreboding melancholy, Draconian give listeners a glimpse into the realm of doom metal that few other bands can match. Their lumbering yet melodious sound echoes with an ominous presence on their latest Napalm Records release, "Arcane Rain Fell", as listeners are transported into a world of ethereal darkness…

The Gauntlet: What do you feel is the most fundamental similarity of your new record "Arcane Rain Fell" to your previous effort, "Where Lovers Mourn"?

Anders Jacobsson: The similarities are perhaps the song structures and the basics. A song like "The Everlasting Scar" is more or less pretty close to the "Where Lovers Mourn" sound. But over all, I feel that we have gone a lot further with the latest album. The sound is developed and we are very comfortable with it. As for the next album we want a more muffled sound - not as clean and fresh as on "Arcane Rain Fell". When a sound is too clean, parts of the heaviness and the emotional atmosphere goes lost. Just take a look at My Dying Bride - their sound is not very clean, but it's honest, deep and solid.

The Gauntlet: Did you intentionally move in certain direction with your songwriting or do you prefer to let the music happen naturally?

Anders Jacobsson: It was intentionally. It was decided even before we entered the studio to record "Where Lovers Mourn"… we just wanted to be a part of the doom-scene. We still are the romantic gothic Draconian as well, and on our next full-length album, I hope can unite these 2 directions, and we will have the true Draconian. "Arcane Rain Fell" is perhaps our best effort this far, but it is also a product of our aspirations at that time. I don't think we will be a dead-solid Doom band- we are just inspired by it.

The Gauntlet: What can fans get from the music of Draconian that they cannot get from any other band?

Anders Jacobsson: Tough question. Hmm… I don't know really, but I would like to consider us more honest and conservative than other bands in our genre. I don't think we will change into a more commercial sound, like many bands do. We will also be Gothic and Doomish - we will never quit using grunts. We are very secure in our sound and we have no interest in commercial benefits - we are in it for the music, and that's it.

The Gauntlet: Who are some of the contemporary artists that you most admire?

Anders Jacobsson: It may sound typical, but My Dying Bride of course. They have proven to this day that they love their own sound and they have not diverged from it. I think that is very honorable. I also admire bands that have gone through very hard times and not split up. Not giving up an ambition I admire a lot. As long you love what you do, there is no need to quit. Just deal with the problem and move on. That is what makes a b
and stronger.

The Gauntlet: The music of Draconian is often executed in a very slow, doomy fashion. Does the band find that it can be even more difficult from a technical standpoint to play music at slower tempos?

Anders Jacobsson: Well, sometimes it can be a challenge, considering slow tempos in order to be as tight as possible. That is harder compared to mid-tempo song structures. It has never really been a problem though. You really have to feel with the music a lot more, which is positive, because the more concentration, focus and emotion, the better the song gets. We love the music we play, and therefore we can put a lot of effort into it.

The Gauntlet: What does the statue that graces the new record's cover symbolize?

Anders Jacobsson: It symbolizes Lucifer - the fallen rebel angel, right after his fall from heaven. Torn with bitter defeat and sorrow, he tries to realize his position.

The Gauntlet: "A Scenery of Loss" has an abrasive tone about the guitars that is quite compelling. How did the band achieve this tone in the recording studio?

Anders Jacobsson: I don't really know. Johan recorded the guitars on the pre-production how he wanted it to sound, but it never really got the way he liked to. He thought it could have been better, especially in the beginning of the song - more atmospheres in the wholeness of the sound.

The Gauntlet: Do you see the music you create as being realization of expression of inner tension?

Anders Jacobsson: Yeah, as well, but maybe more of depression and bitterness. Rising up against the oppressor and lose. You know, like the emotional turmoil after a grand failure and refusing to let go and accept it. It's an album of pride and honor as well.

The Gauntlet: What types of external factors produce the dismal emotions reflected in "Death Come Near Me"? What were the circumstances surrounding the manifestation of this epic, somber piece of art?

Anders Jacobsson: The song was written in the end of 2001 and the beginning of 2002. The lyric was written a year earlier. We wanted to make another "The Cry of Silence", I guess. As on "the Cry…" we concentrated on dismal and weeping melodies and atmospheres, where there would be enough room for beauty and epic gloom. After the foundation of the song was build, I edited the lyric a bit and then we began to arrange the song with vocals. The result was quite successful and we recorded it on our last demo. It was just slightly changed for "Arcane Rain Fell", but hardly noticeable. How the song got so very sad and melancholic was because we wanted it that way, and the lyrics help a lot as well.

The Gauntlet: What are some of the more well-known bands that you feel are best suited to share the stage with Draconian?

Anders Jacobsson: My Dying Bride, Novembers Doom, Mourning Beloveth, Saturnus, Necare, Tristania, The Sins of Thy Beloved, Opeth, Officium Triste, Swallow the Sun, Trail of Tears… I guess the list goes on. But to play with My Dying Bride would be the best experience, no doubt about that.

The Gauntlet: Was it a positive experience in making "Arcane Rain Fell"? Is there any aspect of the recording that you might have altered in retrospect or are you satisfied with the outcome?

Anders Jacobsson: Yes, it was. We learned a lot by that experience. We are all very satisfied with the outcome, but I think sometimes the keyboards and too low and also what I explained in the first question.

The Gauntlet: What sort of potential do you see in this type of music reaching a wider audience?

Anders Jacobsson: Perhaps if we produce some epic and melancholic ballads with Lisa, which is thought of. Otherwise I have realized that people outside our genre really like us as well. For many years we have gotten good critiques from "ordinary people" as well. That is very positive, indeed.

The Gauntlet: What types of emotions to you intend to arouse with your music?

Anders Jacobsson: Exultation and a sort of release, I guess. When we have completed a new song we are very excited and high-strung when we rehearse it. That reminds us why we deal with this kind of music, so when fresh meat is coming, it feel like a new start and we realize even more why this music is so outstanding and rewarding.

The Gauntlet: How can listeners best relate to your group in comparison to other bands of a similar nature?

Anders Jacobsson: I have no idea.

The Gauntlet: What do you find to be the most satisfying aspect of performing this type of music?

Anders Jacobsson: I believe I've already answered this question, but I can add that I love the darkness and the emotions within its heavy structure… also the haunting and epic atmospheres - full of gloom and soulful feeling. This music together with the right lyrics is a sure winner.

The Gauntlet: Where will fans be able to see the group this summer? Do you have any festival dates in the works?

Anders Jacobsson: The only festival we are booked for is the Summer Breeze festival in Germany. That is something we really are looking forward to.

The Gauntlet: As of yet, is the band writing new material? When could fans expect a follow-up to "Arcane Rain Fell"?

Anders Jacobsson: We are writing new material right now, and we have perhaps 2 songs finished. Two really great songs. I have no idea when we will record a new full-length album, but I guess sometime in the middle of next year. We have plans to record a "bonus-album" this fall, with a couple of new songs… also a couple of old re-recorded song and a few covers. The album will be released by Napalm Records, as usual.