Anders Jacobsson: Vocals, Lyrics
Lisa Johansson: Vocals
Johan Ericson: Guitar, Composition, Vocals
Jerry Torstensson: Drums
Daniel Arvidsson: Guitar
Fredrik Johansson: Bass
Shades of a Lost Moon (1995) Demo
A Rose for the Apocalypse (2011) Studio
1. Tonight we are speaking with Anders Jacobsson the lead
vocalist of the hauntingly brilliant band Draconian. Anders
thanks for your time. Draconian is a band that from the first
listen I knew had something special. I was actually excited by
the quality of the songs and the overall atmosphere of the music. I
am really looking forward to the new album "A Rose for the
Apocalypse" What can listeners expect from the new album?
Anders: Thank you very much. Well, I feel this new album has a quite strong identity. We didn’t exactly know what to expect ourselves when we first started putting these songs together and even when we entered the studio it remained a little bit of a mystery. When I finally got the first mix it felt like I was a new listener that had to get into a whole new album. It was never like that never really, and it was very interesting… and confusing. I would like to say that our new album is a quite natural continuation of Turning Season Within, as well as a continuation of the earlier albums such as Arcane Rain Fell, but with a fat, modern production. I feel we have combined the old and the new Draconian pretty well with A Rose for the Apocalypse and It’s a darker and perhaps a bit more progressive album than T.S.W.
2. The title of the new album is very powerful; in your eyes does it seem to fit hand in hand with the current events (natural disasters, apocalyptic prophecies, etc.) that are happening on a global scale?
Anders: Kind of, yeah, but I focus more on the human value system, culture and thought prophecies contra the laws of nature. This is not really an album about how we destroy the nature around us; it is more about how we destroy ourselves. The planet will remain, we won’t. It is up to us to change if we want to survive and live in a better way. I believe that if you are alive and breathing you are guilty. Period. If you live in this world and the system we have built in the ‘civilized’ world, we are forced to whore for the system and the waste and corruption in it. People accept things because “it’s the way it is”, and even if they suffer like everybody else in this system, their frame of reference only allows them to go so far. We are living in a system decoupled from nature and if we refuse to change we are the one who are gonna pay. We see it all over the world… We are living in times of change and transition, and at the same time the establishment continues their crusade for globalization and greed. They are locked into this box and this is all they know, just like with most citizens. The only apocalypse is the one we create ourselves, but it will also mean change so there might be some hope down the road which includes a redesign of culture, values and social systems- more aligned with how things work in reality; with nature and understanding of the world and society… and not limited by uninformed human opinion.
3. Leading up to the release of the new album, Draconian have had 4 stunning releases. Does this add any pressure when writing new material?
Anders: I guess it does in a way, but there’s not much pressure. In a subconscious way I think it just triggers us to always move forward. As long we are happy we can only hope our fans feel the same. The only thing I found bit hard was to all the sudden get back to the whole writing process after a couple of being passive. For me it was the hardest album to make so far.
4. The world of Metal today has so much diversity, with so many bands. Yet there are very few that can create the atmosphere and feeling that comes from the work of Draconian. From where does the Draconian sound and feel come from, and is there a set idea for the material prior to writing?
Anders: Our sound was born already with our first demo, I believe. We already then felt we had something special, but over the years you change and sounds mutate, but I felt we never lost the core. We are still working from that history because it is obviously a big part of our strength.Usually the ideas are not set in stone. It takes its form under the process and we are adjusting to it. I think too much control can starve the soul of the songs. We must allow things to develop and change in their own way during its course. Very often the songs speak for themselves and you understand what needs to be done if you just listen.
5. Another striking feature of the band is the always amazing cover art. Who is the artist behind the new album art?
Anders: The artist we’ve used on this album is Seth Siro Anton. He is really amazing and has become really popular. You see more and more bands working with him, and he is also the vocalist of Septic Flesh.
6. The Draconian sound is well established, but is there anything you would like to incorporate into the sound that you have yet to try?
Anders: At this point, I cannot say. But I really hope so. I would never want to lose the core, but to have fresh ideas and do things in alignment of progress can never be a bad thing. I am sure all in the band have their own wishes and dreams, but I think we are all pretty happy with the direction right now. Now it’s up to the world to judge us. We have with this new album combined much of what most people consider Draconian, wherever their preferences lie.
7. The lyrics of songs can often be overlooked; however the lyrics of Draconian are much like poetry in their depth and emotion. Do you build the music around the lyrics or the lyrics around the music?
Anders: That varies. Sometimes I send Johan a lyric and he creates music inspired by it and around it. Sometimes it’s the other way around, like this time. In the end we usually arrange the final result together. This time we did some of the arrangements in the studio. It is a very good environment to work in.
8. Draconian is definitely a Gothic Metal band, but there is so much more to it than just a label. This band manages to capture something that seems to be just under the surface of the music itself. I would like to ask you about a certain song "Death, come near me", this song is incredibly powerful. Please take us behind the writing and idea of this song.
Anders: Thank you ( Well, this song might be the most discussed Draconian song ever. I wrote the lyric like 2-3 years before it was recorded as a musical work. All I want to say is that the day I wrote this lyric was one of the most difficult days of my life. It’s the same with The Cry of Silence. That song comes from the same period; a breakdown I had with me ending up at the hospital. Andy (first lead guitarist of the band) and Johan then wrote some incredibly beautiful long passages, which was later to become Death Come Near Me, and these words just seem to fit perfectly, like it was meant to be. I can see the beauty in all this sorrow. I still can see it, because it leads to a bigger understanding about yourself… about everything.
9. I have even heard Draconian referred
to as Dark Romantic Metal which obviously fits very well with the
Gothic sound. How important is the romantic feel to the music of
Anders: Earlier I mentioned wishes and dreams, and my wishes and dreams, when it comes to the sound of Draconian, have always been to widen the ‘romantic’ parts of Draconian. If you go back to the demo days we were working more with emotional parts, and sometimes I find myself missing some that. To call Draconian a Dark Romantic Metal band is probably not too far from the truth, but this is a portrayal which has remained from the demo days, I believe. However, personally I find the ‘romantic’ feel very important to the Draconian I favor, to the Draconian I prefer the most. More important however, we are a metalband. The two last albums (new album included) are a bit more rhythmic and heavier and I believe this is where Draconian should be right now. We are still exploring who we are and the potential we have as a band. That never stops.
10. In closing I would like to say I think the music of Draconian is truly amazing, and I am anxiously awaiting the new album. Please leave our readers with any final thoughts of comments.
Anders: Thank you for saying so. I’m honored. We hope to see all our beloved fans in this part of the world with this album. We yet have much ground to cover and many souls to touch. Thanks for the privilege of this interview.