Interview with Jacob Hansen from Invocator (October 18, 2003)

People would probably call your music old school thrash metal with a splash of 90s melo-death would you agree with me on this or how would you describe it yourself?

Jacob - You are right. Even though the term thrash may be a bit outdated. We don't mind being compared to the old kings like Dark Angel, Forbidden and so on. I think I would describe our music more or less as you say. A mix between 80s thrash and new melodic death metal - but I do believe that Invocator has had their own style since "Weave The Apocalypse", which is apparent on the new album.

As a band, you have always been inspired by Bay Area thrash metal, but what has inspired you personally?

Jacob - All sorts of stuff. I listen to a lot of different music, however, bands that have meant a lot for me are: Fates Warning, Dark Angel, Slayer ("Reign In Blood"-era), Ripping Corpse and Morbid Angel ("Altars Of Madness" and "Blessed Are The Sick"). Now I listen to what somehow touches me, if it's metal it's stuff like Lost Horizon, Darkane ("Rusted Angel"), Soilwork, In Flames, Raunchy, but also stuff like Stina Nordenstram, Elvis Costello and Tim Christensen..

Invocator was on hold for some time why did you decide to reunite the band? And why has the band not been reunited in its original line-up?

Jacob - I didn't directly decide to reunite the band. I had just been writing some songs and I asked Flemming C. Lund if he wanted to join after Autumn Leaves had split up. He said yes and we wrote some songs and I put on vocals and we thought it sounded a lot like Invocator. So we discussed whether or not to start Invocator again and we ended up doing just that. But I do see it as a new band, nothing is like it was, except for the sound and the style. The guys are new (except Carsten (bass), who was on "Dying For Live"), and we do things differently now - compared to 7-8 Years ago. I had done some stuff with Perle (guitar), but he doesn't want to play metal any longer, so he wasn't an option. The chemistry between me and Per was the reason why Invocator split up back then, so he wasn't an option. The most important thing was to put together a band with the right chemistry.

You have established yourself as a producer after Invocator split up. Did you have any second thoughts on producing your own album?

Jacob - No. I knew I could do it and I wanted to do it earlier, but the band wouldn't give me the credit to do it back then. My skills as a producer have improved over the Years. It would have been nice to get another producer's input on the album, but in the end, we don't want to be dictated by some outsider's personal ideas and thoughts.

Is the album recorded in your own studio and how much time did you use on the recordings?

Jacob - Drums, guitars and bass were recorded in the Aabenraa Studio and the vocals and mix were done in my studio. We spent two weeks recording the basics, and then I used something like a week on the vocals and about a week mixing.

You are about to embark on a comprehensive tour of Denmark - why have you chosen to play so many gigs in Denmark. And do you have plans to tour Europe?

Jacob - We have chosen to do a comprehensive tour to test the waters. We have never had so many gigs before, not even when Invocator was at it's peak, but it really wasn't hard for us to get gigs this time. People remember us for something good! We have some offers to tour Europe, but haven't found a great package just yet. We'll see....

How would you compare the Danish metal scene now to the scene the last time you had an album out?

Jacob - I think the bands are a lot better now. Danish metal has a high standard today and that's nice. The rotten apples are gone and forgotten. There is a tendency towards bands being more aware of their sound and production in general today.

Unfortunately I only possess a promo-copy, so maybe you could elaborate on the lyrics and the reasons behind?

Jacob - "Under The Skin": the experience of becoming a father, the guilt involved in bringing life into a dirty and tortured World, a World filled with suffering. Being fragile underneath the secure appearance, to be bound by the knowledge of your child's unconditional love. The World is empty and just a mere impression of use of the moment, and I am filled with deceit that needs to be forgiven. "I am sorry for this but I won't live without you". This is a description of the lyrics in "Under The Skin" and it pretty well sums up the emotions we deal with on the album.

Is there a connection between the (S/M?) cover and the title of the album?

Jacob - Not directly, it was what Chad Michael Ward felt when he heard the title. I see it as something that penetrates her skin or appearance all the way to her soul. We haven't thought of it as being S/M inspired, just as a tough impression. This is not your new Kandis (Danish pop-band) album. We also wanted to send the signal that this is no continuation of the more mellow parts of "Dying To Live".

Jacob, how important a part does the Internet play in the promotion of an underground band like Invocator?

Jacob - It have a very big part. Our homepage is well visited and the many newsgroups are alpha and omega for a band today. I believe that people have embraced the idea of webzines. I used to be a bit afraid that people wouldn't read interviews and such on-line, but now you have a better chance getting noticed on the Internet than you have in an underground mag.

To finish things off I would like you to make a your Top 5 all-time list or the 5 most important releases.

Jacob - Phew, that's a hard one - but I'll give it a shot:

  • Fates Warning - Parallels (The perfect melancholy melody)

  • Slayer - Reign In Blood (Still awesome and the first time I heard this one I looked at our drummer back then and said: "That's the stuff we should play")

  • Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness and Ripping Corpse - Dreaming With The Dead in a tie (Without them no Invocator like it is today)

  • Dark Angel - Darkness Descends + Leave Scars (Their mere existance)

  • King Diamond - Abigail (The teenage room)

I would like to thank Jacob for the in-depth interview and urge you all to support Invocator and the underground. Also a big thank you to Claus (Intromental) for setting up the interview.

Invocator - Through The Flesh To The Soul

Album out on Scarlet Records

Click on the album cover to see more info on Invocator