| Please introduce the band a bit. When did it start and what kind of music does it offer?|
Hello! I did start the band in 2003. I wanted to blend extreme metal with industrial music since I was really fond of both styles and also enjoyed other bands that tried to make a crossover between those genres.
As the band has been active for quite a while, it may be interesting to know what had been the starting point and how it progressed over time.
As I said I started the band in 2003, and although I went solo with the band in 2007 I almost did everything in the band before that as well. The starting point was the fact that I wanted to do something different musically compared to what I had done earlier (music in the more tradional metal vein). I guess Plutonium has progressed in different directions. In the beginning the music and the production were pretty harsh and noisy, but during the years I´ve included more and more different elements and I have also learned more about engineering. So, I think there is progression between every release!
What had been the initial idea in creating this project?
Except for what I mentioned in the first question there is the obvious reason: I have an urge to express myself in some kind of way, and music is probably my way of channeling my creativity!
Why do you play ("extreme") music?
I´ve always had music around me in any way, I grew up in a family where music was a natural part of life. As for extreme music, I guess my way to find that was probably as many others: you grow up with rock music, find heavy metal, then thrash metal and when I reached my teens the swedish death metal wave came... it just came natural.
How does black metal fit into this? What does it offer in terms of sound, style and atmosphere that would go along with the band and the concept of the music.
Well, I really like black metal and when I laid my hands on the first Bathory album back in 1992 I definitely found something that changed my life. Maybe Plutonium isn´t black metal but I think there might be strong similarities: it is dark music with dark lyrics. My guitar playing is pretty related to the black metal scheme (high speed chords), fast drumming, the screamy vocals and so on. The topics are maybe not that related to the typical black metal lyrics – I do not deal with religious or historic/mythic themes, I am more influenced by science fiction and my own experiences.
What does industrial black metal offer that made you play it? Have there been bands or albums that influenced you in this regard.
I think when I heard “In the streams of inferno” by Mysticum in the mid 90s I realized you could create extreme metal in a different way. Some years later I really got fond of some pure industrial bands like Brighter Death Now, No Festival of Light and their likes. Of course I also enjoyed albums like “Grand declaration of war” by Mayhem, “Rebel Extravaganza” by Satyricon and “666 International” by Dödheimsgard. All of these names mentioned are still among my favourites! What I like is the machinelike cold feeling that really embrace me when I listen to these albums!
Leaving the music aside for a moment, what does this band name refer to? How does it fit into the broader picture?
Plutonium is a deadly materia used in nuclear plants and I think it fits the feeling of the music and the lyrics. Some people find it a stupid name and maybe it is.
And what about the lyrics. Judging from the entry at the Metal Archives, they are not particularly cheerful. Could you write a bit about the texts and the conceptions that you like to see expressed.
As I mentioned I view science fiction/dystopic literature as a great source of inspiration, mostly from books like “Brave new world” by Aldous Huxley and “1984” by George Orwell. Books that have inspired me even before Plutonium was conceived. The first album was extremely inspired by “1984”, but after the first album that concept became more mixed up with some personal struggles I´ve had during the years. And I think there is a certain feeling of hopelessness, misery and a bleak future to come in both lyrics and music.
Do you have a philosopher or writer whose works would inspire you in this regard?
I mentioned Orwell and I have read a lot of his other works as well, of course “Animal farm”, but also his reportage books and other less known novels. But since the beginning of the band I´ve read a lot of different authors and books, not entirely from the SF-genre. I guess everything I read or listen to or see influence me in one way or another, but if I shall recommend some contemporary authors I´ve read with pleasure recently I can recommend Anna Lihammer and John Ajvide Lindqvist.
When it comes to "fit into" the broader scope of society and culture, then how would this be the case with your band? What is it that you try to touch on with your music?
I´m not sure if I clearly understand this question. I don´t know if Plutonium fits in anywhere in the metal scene or whatever. However, the important thing for me is to express something which I can stand behind. At least all my releases reflect the state I was in when they were recorded.
How would you describe your music? What are its core essences?
-Dark, bleak industrial extreme metal. Core essence? Well, I can think of lots of elements that could fit as description: how about paranoia?
To make the evolution as well as the conception of your music a bit clearer, why don't you write in a few words about each of your releases and how they would differ from each other?
- Wind of change (demo 2004)
- My first experience recording everything by myself and also a first presentation of the band. Extremely primitively recorded and mixed and so on... didn´t know too much about engineering and sound back then – but pretty good if you consider the conditions! For being the first attempt, it´s not that bad!
- One Size fits all (fullength 2007)
- the first album. I had learn a bit more about recording. However, the soundscape is pretty fucked up in one way. I think it fits this album – it is extremely distorted and raw, but I cannot imagine using it for the coming albums. I like it but it is not an album with a lot of nuances.
- Devilmentertainment Non-stop (fullength 2011)
- Here the sound is a bit more balanced and easier to approach I guess.. on this album I think I went a bit more experimental and allowed myself to have an open-minded attitude concerning how far I could go when making a Plutonium song. Some of the fastest songs of Plutonium can be found here, as well as some of the slowest songs! It took a while to get this released and I got promises from three different labels who fucked everything up so I decided to release it by myself. An interesting experience!
- Born Again Misanthrope (fullength 2016)
- This album took a bit too long to complete thanks to the problems with the “Devilmentertainment”-album. Also I moved to another part of the country and had some personal things to deal with, but when I started to record everything for real it took like maybe one year to complete. I learned from my experience of releasing an album in the DIY manner and did it once again! This album has everything I could wish for as I see it: a clear sound, solid playing and something I really can stand behind. I like all my releases for different reasons, but this is definitely the one I am most proud of!
When it comes to consistency (in song-writing, sound, style, atmosphere) then to what degree would this be of importance to you. "Born Again Misanthrope" was a bit strange in this regard.
Many of my favourite bands and artists are those who can evoke a multitude of emotions in their music. David Bowie for example really did that. One of my favourite metal albums albums of all time is “Sad wings of destiny” by Judas Priest. You will find piano ballads and acoustic folksounding songs blended up with british blues and heavy metal on that album... and it´s brilliant. Of course I can enjoy bands like Slayer and AC/DC as well, but I prefer to listen to bands that can show different faces. And as I said, I like to have an open mind when composing, some find it inconsistent, some don´t – and it´s a part of the game.
Why do you spread CDs for promotion? Even labels have fallen back on MP3s as a way of spreading their promo stuff.
Well, there are thousands of bands sending bandcamp links all over the net so I guess I wanted to distinguish Plutonium a bit. The other fullenghts were released as physical editions so I thought it would be strange to break that tradition (if I will continue that tradition in the future is a different question though). Some magazines don´t review digital files as well... eventhough I send out CD´s it´s definitely no guarantee that the album will be reviewed at all. But I guess I´m stuck in the traditional way of promoting...
There is always the issue of having a label to give some support or to do things on your own. As you have experienced both sides already, what would be your opinion on the matter?
Hard to say, I think there are different aspects of it but I have no idea of what I prefer really. The pros with releasing your own material is that you have the rights and control over your property (counting physical as well as intellectual property). You also get closer to the ones that enjoy your music. The advantages of being signed to a label then: you don´t have to think of promotion (if you are signed to a decent label), you don´t have to spend that much money or time on the “business” side of things. So it´s definitely a lot to consider whether you choose a label or go DIY.
Have you played live and on stage so far? How have these experiences been? If now, what has prevented you so far?
I have given up on playing live with Plutonium by now. I had some ideas in the past, but it will demand too much logistics, time and hard practice to make it the way I want it. And I don´t want people to be dissappointed, so let´s just say it´s no use trying.
Do you have plans for the future already? Where would you like to the band?
For the moment I have some parts here and there written, but no “plans” for the moment. After all, the album was released this year and I have had my focus on that this year... and I guess I still have!
Closing comments if you like.
Thanks for this interview! If you want to check out Plutonium you can find the music on digital music services like Spotify and iTunes, and of course the Bandcamp site. I do have some CD copies of our releases for sale as well, so those interested in owning a piece of my music, just get in touch. I close this interview with some links where you can reach me or listen to the albums: