1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
A lot of planning and waiting. Right now I am working on arranging the new material for the next album and planning the album concept for the lyrics and graphic appearances. Besides that we are waiting with excitement for the response of the latest album, Cursed To The Night.
We’ll see what the future holds…
2.How would you describe the musical sound of the current material?
I would call Cursed To The Night a classic Dracena release, there are a lot of typical Dracena riffs all in the vein of old school metal genres, thrash/black/heavy metal. We asked shred machine Fredrik Folkare (Unleashed/Firespawn) to spice up the songs with lead solos and melodies and he played some really outstanding stuff which took the album to a higher level.
For the sound of the album itself we were looking for a cool and raw sound as a follow up to the previous mini-CD release, Ravenous Bloodlust, and I am very pleased with how great the production turned out, thanks to our main studio - Studio Cave - where all the mixing and mastering was made by Pontus Ekwall
This album was recorded in 3 different studios, I recorded the vocals, the guitars and the bass at Studio Cave, additional vocals by Ola Malmström (Sorcery) and the drums was recorded and played by Jocke at MediEvil Studios and all the lead solos and melodies was recorded and played by Fredrik Folkare at Chrome Studios.
3.Since 2001 there has only been 3 releases, can you tell us a little bit more about the gaps in between releases?
As I am writing all the music and lyrics myself, as well as playing most of the instruments and vocals too, it usually takes a few years to get the whole album arranged and rehearsed for the studio. This means I spend practically every hour I am not occupied doing ”necessary” stuff with my guitar and home studio.
I also design the graphic appearance of the albums, with artwork ideas and lay out, the photos, web sites and take care of all correspondence and social interaction… and working a full time job.
4.Some of your lyrics are based upon the writings of Dante, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this author?
A few years before I started writing on the material for Infernal Damnation I found a book in a second hand bookshop, Dante - The Divine Comedy.
This particular copy is illustrated by Gustave Doré and since I have always admired his engraved illustrations of various classical literature I decided to buy it.
Of course the story in itself is a very interesting work with its medieval view of the Afterlife - Inferno, Purgatory - so I used it as inspiration for the album lyrics… although my story ends in Hell.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name ’Dracena'?
When we first decided to name the band it seemed like all the nominations we came up with already had been taken by other bands. I recall we actually thought of Dimmu Borgir for a while until we were told there was a Norwegian band using that name.
I’ve always been a fan of fantasy and mythology, and ever since I was a kid my favourite mythical beast has been the Dragon, so I decided to find a word for this that we could use and came up with Dracena.
Dracena (the ”c” is pronounced as a ”k” in my version) is a version of the latin word Dracaena, which derives from the ancient greek word Drakaina - meaning ”female dragon”
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We had a bunch of shows between 1997-2001, but that’s so long ago I can’t say any show was better than the next. After 2001 Dracena only had one live show in 2014 in Münster, Germany, supporting local act Savagery for their release party.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
Right now there are no shows planned, perhaps there will be gigs during 2018 depending on opportunities.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black, death and thrash metal?
Actually our audience spans over most of the metal genres despite the listeners main preferences and I guess that is probably because Dracena is playing the kind of mixed metal we do. We mainly get positive feedback both from fans and press.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Dracena will keep creating the kind of metal that appeals to us, I guess we will progress in the same direction as our influences do. Then hopefully there will be a major record deal so I can quit my job and focus on writing new songs and play a lot of shows!
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
My favourite bands are mainly from the 80’s heavy/thrash/speed metal scene, like Bathory, WASP, Running Wild, Metal Church, Kreator, Testament etc and I still listen a lot to those albums.
There’s never been any intention in the band to create any certain style or metal genre, I write and chose the riffs I like the most and then I blend it all trying to create an interesting mix using various tempos to build up the specific song and also the album as a whole.
Nowdays I try to find the old metal bands I never had the chance to hear before, and hope they surfaced digitally somewhere, I am also trying to keep up with all the new releases from my favourite acts like Kreator, Testament, Annihilator etc
but I don’t limit myself to any special genre at all as I also listen to a lot of music that’s non metal as well.
11.Does Satanism or Occultism play any role in your music?
No, the inspiration for the songs are a blend of dark fantasy and horror, like short stories of a strange nightmare reality filled with dark desires, blood and death.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
There will be blood, there will be pain… there will be darkness and death… keep the blood running down the screams!
Thanks for the interview and see you out there!