Vomitory's Ending Point

Swedish death metallers Vomitory has decided that while they have been around for close to 25 years that now would be that time of when they would have it all come to an end. Though they have released eight albums, played countless live shows across 30 countries, met tons of fans, doing what they loved the most with making music, this is it. By the end of 2013 the band mates themselves Tobias, Urban, Erik, and Peter had gone with this decision, that they will definitely without a doubt go out with a bang by playing as many shows as possible from here to the end of the year, thanking the support from the fans and music community together as one. Drummer Tobias Gustafsson was the man to talk about the course of their career, favorite times, releases, and other side projects and plans he and the guys have got in-store.

1. What made you guys decide to form a band?

Tobias: For the simple reason that we loved fast and brutal music. No more, no less.

2. Can you give me a brief summary on the band and tell me the story behind the band's name?

Tobias: Vomitory was started in October 1989, by guitarist Urban Gustafsson and bassist/vocalist Ronnie Olsson. Since then we have released 8 albums, and since 2000 we are working with Metal Blade Records. We have played live in roughly 30 different countries, and we have toured with bands like Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Marduk, Vader, Dark Funeral, Malevolent Creation, Exhumed, Immortal and Hypocrisy. I came up with the band name in early 1990. The idea for our band name came when I looked at the cover of a 7” single of the legendary Swedish band Treblinka, which later became Tiamat. One of the band members of Treblinka was called “Emetic”. I didn't know the meaning of that word, so I looked it up in a dictionary and found the synonymous word “vomitory”. The meaning of the word is “substance and/or something that causes vomiting”. That was the perfect band name for us! I actually met the guy “Emetic” in person in 2009 at a show in Stockholm. He’s a nice guy.

3. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Tobias: We don’t have any special message that we want to send, other than death, gore and violence in general. We play brutal music, and that calls for brutal lyrics.

4. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

Tobias: There are many bands of course, but some “key bands” that may be more influential to us than others are Vader, Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower, Slayer, Terrorizer and the old stuff with Grave and Entombed.

5. As of right now what is the band currently up to?

Tobias: We are preparing for the upcoming festival season and the final tours later this year.

6. After nearly 25 years together, you announced plans to disband at the end of this year, can you tell me why now and why disbandment why not go on a hiatus?

Tobias: Going on a hiatus was never an option to any of us, I think. We were all thinking that either we’re a band or we’re not. And we felt that the time to call it quits was now. Being an active band for 23 years takes its toll of course, and we wanted to quit before the band became more of a burden than it is fun. And unfortunately it is well on its way there already now. For very year it’s getting harder to combine our private lives with the band, and at the same time try to keep up with, and even improve, everything that being in a band involves – write music, rehearse, taking care of business, doing interviews, record albums, go on tour etc. And when you feel that you can’t keep up with that, I think it’s time to consider the future of a band, and that’s exactly what we did. But what feels great is that we’re not disbanding because we can’t stand each other or something like that. The vibe in the band is still good, and we’re really looking forward to go out and play and have a blast during the last months of Vomitory’s existence.

7. How do you plan to go out with a bang once the end of this year comes to a close?

Tobias: We have a bunch of shows confirmed, and still working on getting some tours together by the end of the year. That will be our farewell to our fans. We also plan on doing one final show in our hometown of Karlstad by the end of December.

8. The band is currently with Urban Gustafsson, Tobias Gustafsson, and Erik Rundqvist, with this being the band's last year to shine, is this the line-up to go out with a bang or will we be seeing a possibility of the original members coming back for a show?

Tobias: Fist I want to add that our lead guitarist Peter Östlund certainly is in the band too. And this line-up is the one that will remain ‘til the end. We haven’t planned on getting any old member as a guest. If so, it would not be for an entire show, but only for one or two songs. We will see what happens when time comes.

9. It's been 2 years since your last album was released, do you guys have any new music in the works or plan to release anything this year?

Tobias: There will be no more Vomitory albums. Opus Mortis VIII is our swansong. I do have some material written for new Vomitory songs, mostly only fragments and ideas, but since we are not going to do another album, I will see where I will use it later. Maybe some of it will get used in my other band Torture Division.

10. Do you have any other side projects happening?

Tobias: Yes, I play with Torture Division and The Project Hate MCMXCIX. Torture Division is straightforward brutal death metal, featuring me on drums, Jörgen Sandström on bass and vocals and Lord K Philipson on guitar. These two guys also play in The Project Hate MCMXCIX, which is Lord K’s own baby and musical vision. TPH is different from everything else, really. It’s got so many different elements and nuances, and it’s totally awesome of course. I play the drums on only one of their albums so far, and it’s the previous one “Bleeding The New Apocalypse”. On the last album “The Cadaverous Retaliation Agenda” I only play acoustic guitar on one song. The drums were done by the awesome Dirk Verbeuren.

11. If you could go back and tell yourself something around when you were recording your first demo or even your first album, Raped in Their Own Blood, what would you say?

Tobias: I would say that it was a very exciting time. We were young and extremely dedicated to what we were doing. Sure, we’re still dedicated, but back then it was with a whole different intensity. When we did our first demo in 1992, we had just witnessed (and been a small part of) the birth of death metal as we know it today, and the scene was still very vital. The atmosphere at shows was really something special. There was this feeling of unity and “exclusivity” that now is long time lost. In 1996, when we recorded and released our debut album, Raped In Their Own Blood, the brutal death metal scene had faded remarkably, to give way to “melodic death metal” and black metal, which now was what ruled the underground scene. But apparently we didn't give a fuck about that, and released our debut in 1996. The timing was really bad, but adapting our style to the current musical climate was never an option to us. And in the end, that proved to always be the right thing to do.

12. Through the course of this 25 year career do you have any regrets, remarks, just anything you'd like to NOW get off your chests?

Tobias: Sure when I look back, there are of course many things that I now realize we could have done different to make it better in one way or another. But generally, I am happy with how everything has worked and progressed. We have done eight good albums, worked with one of the biggest and most renown metal labels in the world, Metal Blade Records, we have played in nearly 30 different countries and we have toured with many of the biggest name in death metal. That’s pretty good for a band that never even thought that we would have an album out at all in the first place. One thing that I’m especially happy with is that we have never compromised with what we do. We have stayed true to our style and to ourselves as persons. And we have had a great time together doing it. And we’re still great friends when we terminate the band. Not many bands can say that, and that makes me very proud of Vomitory.

13. As you know there are bands that do disband never returning - but will we be seeing you guys again later on down the line or is this it?

Tobias: One should never say never, but as it feels now this is definitely it. We've had a good 24 years with Vomitory. Now it’s time for something else.

14. You've played shows across 30 different countries but was there a place that Vomitory had never had the chance to play in?

Tobias: There are a lot of countries that we want to play in that we never made it to. Canada, Mexico, Australia, Hungary, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and the other South American countries are some of them. We have covered most of Europe but there are a few countries left that we would have loved to play in too.

15. What is your favorite song to perform live?

Tobias: That differs from time to time, but two constant favorites for me is “The Carnage Rages On” and “Chaos Fury”.

16. What’s the best and worst shows you've ever played?

Tobias: One of the best shows we've ever done is the one at Summer Breeze Open Air in 2009. Everything was just right. The atmosphere, the sound on stage but first and foremost the crowd! That show was fucking magical to me! One of the worst recent shows for me personally (not for the band) is probably the show we did in Athens, Greece in December last year. I didn't have any strength of focus to play at all. And I played shit, even though I managed to keep it together good enough for the band. I don’t think the audience noticed anything, but I was honestly embarrassed behind the kit because I felt like such a disaster. I remember thinking while playing “let’s never play this bad again, OK?!”.  I hope I stay true to that in the future haha.

17. Do you remember your first show as the band Vomitory and what was it like?

Tobias: Yes I remember it clearly. It was in April 1990 in my hometown Forshaga at a rock festival with local bands. We were a three-piece back then and at that very first show we played only Sodom covers – “Outbreak of Evil”, “Sodomy and Lust”, “Christ Passion” and “Bombenhagel”. Nobody in our area had never really heard that kind of brutal music before. Well, many have heard it but never seen a band play it live so most of the crowd that were there (and there were several hundreds) got totally blown away haha. Forshaga also got its first mosh pit and stage dives at that show. Great memories!

18. Out of all of the albums, tours, merchandise, you have released over the years which was your favorite and why?

Tobias: It’s hard to pick just one favorite album. I love all eight of them, for different reasons. But I think “Blood Rapture” and “Carnage Euphoria” are the two albums that are closest to my heart. A lot of cool things happened in our career with “Blood Rapture” and it has so many great songs. Quite the same for “Carnage Euphoria”. It’s a great album, and it’s also the album that marked our 20th anniversary as a band. That was very special to me. Regarding tours, I think that the first big European tour – as support to Cannibal Corpse in 2000 – is the one that I will remember most at the end of my days. It was so great in many ways and the CC guys are just the best! The coolest merch item we ever did was a very limited batch of shot glasses with sand blasted Vomitory logo on.

19. Who out of the band would win in a headbanging contest?

A: Probably Peter. I would be a good runner-up.

20. How many band t-shirts are in your personal collection and why of them is your favorite and why?

Tobias: Oh shit, I don’t have a clue, but they are many! I usually clean out my closet once a year and then some oldies (or new ones I hardly use) has to go to make place for new ones. But it’s not like I “collect” band T-shirts. But obviously it’s my choice of shirt, any day of the week. Some of my favorites are Exhumed “Slaughtercult”, Motörhead England (which by the way is THE coolest shirt ever!) and The Project Hate MCMXCIX with the small pentagram logo on the chest.

21. Do you plan to have any special merchandise to collaborate with this end of the year disbandment?

Tobias: Yes, but nothing too extravagant. We won’t make too much of a big deal of it.

22. What is your opinion on sites posting your guys material and other bands material?

Tobias: I think they should stop stealing from hard working bands and show them some true support instead by buying their albums legally. Respect the copyright laws! Or at least respect the writers and artists!

23. How do you guys feel about the classifications in metal? Like death metal, hardcore and other subgenres and how some get a negative rep.

Tobias: I don’t think of it too much, but sure, there are bands that don’t deserve a negative reputation just because they have been labeled this or that. But I still don’t have a problem with people labeling sub-genres or putting certain bands there. I mean, there has to be some kind of classification. It’s inevitable. It’s the fans who create it and the bands exist because of their fans, so…

24. What is your opinion on the current state of metal?

Tobias: I think the metal scene is very vivid nowadays. A lot of good bands of many different styles get great exposure. That being said, I necessarily don’t like everything I hear, quite the opposite haha. But I think it’s great that the scene is alive and kicking!

25. What accomplishments are you most proud of as a band?

Tobias: That we have been an active bands for 23 years straight and that we never ever compromised with what we do.

26. Describe your relationship with your fans in one word?

Tobias: Respect.

27. How has being in a band impacted your life?

Tobias: It’s hard to tell actually, since I've always been in one or more bands since I was 13 years old. I have been in Vomitory all my adult life, so of course it has impacted my life in many ways. If I wasn't in a band I probably would have gone for a different job career and built a family earlier in life, but I am very happy with how my life looks now. I have a good job and a beautiful family and I have experienced so many great things and visited so many places by playing in a band that most people won’t even get near, so I don’t regret a thing.

28. Being a musician is obviously a hard career path that many people try and pursue, what makes it worth it for you?

Tobias: Being a musician was never my livelihood. I've always had a regular day job, and the music has always been my “hobby” so to speak. We never really tried to make it our living with Vomitory either, because it would be a kind of life that none of us really would like to live. Making your living by playing death metal is a very hard task, and I believe there is only space for a handful of such bands in the world. We have always wanted to keep it on a somewhat high level though, but never wanted to go pro.

29. What plans do you have for the rest of this year as a band?

Tobias: We have a couple of cool tours coming up as well as some festivals and one-off’s. It’s gonna be great fun! Finally in September, for the first time (and last!) we will tour the US! And in December we will do a short tour in Japan. I’m really looking forward to those tours! Then we will do the very last Vomitory show in our hometown Karlstad.

30. Anything else you want to say to your fans?

Tobias: Thank you so much for all the love and support you have given us during all these years!

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