QUEST OF AIDANCE has existed since 2004 - i.e. almost a decade – and has so far released one demo, two EP’s and now finally the blistering first full-length album, ‘Misanthropic Propaganda’. The Power Of Metal.dk’s Thomas hopes he can steal some precious time from vocalist/guitarist/bassist Christian Älvestam who, he’s told, is a very busy man – and this is no surprise if you look at the impressive list of bands the Swede is involved in.
POM.dk: Hello Christian, if I’m to trust the list on the Encyclopedia Metallum, you’re involved in no less than seven (7!) bands or projects besides Quest Of Aidance (the list mentions Incapacity, Miseration, Solution .45, The Few Against Many, Torchbearer, Unmoored, Atoma). How on earth can you find the time for so many bands?! Are they all active?
Christian: Hi there Thomas! Well, only a couple of them are active in the strict sense of the word. The majority is more project-oriented, being revived every now and then, when the time is right. Also, I only work 50%, job-wise, which helps create opportunities for my musical activities, to the greatest possible extent.
POM.dk: Quest Of Aidance seems to have been a project rather than a band so far. Is this going to change? Are we going to see a touring band with regular releases from now on?
Christian: I doubt it. For us it's more of a pressureless musical playground that we're revisiting whenever there's a window of opportunity and we are in the mood! Then again, you should never say never! ;)
POM.dk: Reviewers, myself included, use genre definitions like death metal and grindcore about your music, but I honestly wasn’t too sure how to categorise it when I sat down put pen to paper. What’s your own definition?
Christian: Haha...well...how does "experimental grinding death metal with a twist of sci-fi nerdery and jazzy virtuosity" sound? :P
POM.dk: Who produced and mixed ‘Misanthropic Propaganda’? And why?
Christian: "Misanthropic Propaganda" was mixed and mastered together with our long-time friend Plec. Not only is he a great guy; he is extremely skilled at what he does as well and also, his studio is located nearby from where we live, so all factors combined, you could say it was an easy decision for us to make.
POM.dk: Who wrote the lyrics for the album? As I understand it, the lyrics are taken from The Predator films?
Christian: The lyrics were written by my good friend Pär Johansson (Satariel, Torchbearer, The Few Against Many) and myself. Actually, "Misanthropic Propaganda" revolves around the 80s sci-fi series "V". We even recorded an alternative cover-version of the original "V" theme, which now starts off the album ("A New Storm Rising"). The thing with QoA is that we've always seen it as an opportunity to make our own extreme metal film scores, to our favourite horror and sci-fi movies and series. When we recorded our demo "Human Trophy" (that furthermore became our debut MCD "Fallen Man Collection") our aim was to make a film score for the two original Predator movies, death metal-style. Then we did the 10" vinyl "Dark Are The Skies At Hand", which you could see as an intermediate stage, concept-wise, leading up to the current theme, described above.
POM.dk: Which track off the album is your personal favourite? Mine is either Anyx because it’s such a blast or The 5th Column because of the amazing riffing and the surprising use of keyboards.
Christian: Cool to hear that you've found yourself a couple of favourites! ;) Personally I think the album works best taken as a whole. Like a movie with different chapters, if you will. It's hard to pick a favourite part, without the risk of losing the big picture; the all-embracing concept. Then again, that is just my way of seeing things! ;) With that said, I like them all equally, in their own way. If I did not, they would not all have been included.
POM.dk: What is the meaning behind your band name – Quest Of Aidance (apart from the fact that it sounds cool)?
Christian: I'm sorry having to disappoint you, but there is no special meaning to it or anything! We just thought it sounded cool, that's all!
POM.dk: When and why did you decide to become a musician? And why metal?
Christian: My dad used to play in different bands while I was growing up and so when I was slowly but surely getting into metal, in the mid- to late 80s, accepting and recognizing the influence just came very natural to me. As for becoming a metalhead, Metallica was the band getting me on the right track! Once introduced to "Master Of Puppets" there was no going back! ;)
POM.dk: I noticed in the comments under the Solution .45 song Lethean Tears that one user said this: ‘Alvestam [sic] is a fucking god’. Do you get this a lot? :]
Christian: Haha...well...it happens I guess!
POM.dk: What do you do to relax when you take time away from music? If at all...
Christian: Nothing out of the ordinary. Hanging out with the missis, friends and family, catching a flick every now and then, going pubbing, and so on.
POM.dk: Who’s the single most inspiring person you met?
Christian: I can't think of anyone, off the cuff. I haven't met James Hetfield, nor have I met Michael Cretu, but if it wasn't for them and their music, I would definitely not be the person I am today, that's for sure.
POM.dk: Which was the last concert you went to (your own bands barred...)?
Christian: That would be a release-party thrown by a local rock band, called "The Gloria Story". It's been a while since I last attended a downright metal show. I guess age is beginning to tell on me...haha!
POM.dk: What is the best music out there right now?
Christian: As far as metal goes, I really dig the latest efforts from "Ghost" and "Kvelertak". Non-metal-wise, I'm in raptures over Krister Linder's brand-new EP "The Great Surrender". It's fantastic!
POM.dk: Thanks a million for answering these questions! Any last rants our readers?
Christian: Thank you, Thomas, for your shown interest. For you who prefer your death metal fast, heavy, technical, melodic and brutal - all at the same time - I suggest you lend "Misanthropic Propaganda" an ear or two, as I am pretty sure it will float your boat!