Interview with Bjørn Jensen (centre), Dawn of Demise (February 1st 2008)

A lesson in death metal brutality and tightness, the debut release from Danish outfit Dawn of Demise has just hit the streets. The Power of Metal wants to know more, and Thomas plays the inquisition symphony for bass player Bjørn Jensen.

As a bonus, you’ll find a report and a few snapshots from the ‘Hate Takes Its Form’ release party after the interview!

Hi Bjørn and congrats on the release of the eminent ‘Hate Takes its Form’! How has the response been from the media so far?

Bjørn: Well, thank you very much, Thomas. The response so far has been truly great! You gave the album 90/100, which is very cool! The other grades have been 84/100, 8/10, 8/10, 5/6, 6/6, 6/6. So it has been so great! We are glad that people like the album. It means a lot to me. Keld Rud from [Danish music mag] Gaffa gave us 3/6. That’s the lowest grade so far, so I can’t complain.

The album is out on US label DeepSend Records. How did the collaboration with an overseas label come about?

Bjørn: Hmmm… We had been looking for a label for some time, and we had been given 6-7 offers. All the offers sucked, and none of the bigger labels where really interested. Well okay, one or two of them gave us some nice words along the way, and came up with some ideas about signing us, but nothing solid. So suddenly one day, out of the blue – Graham from Deepsend contacted us over myspace. He seemed so genuine, and he really liked the band. After writing back and forth with him for a few weeks, we decided on going with him. I remember Martin saying “why the hell not”. Deepsend is handling the album in the US and Canada, but everything in Europe is handled by Listenable. But Deepsend is the label we signed with.

You wrote all the lyrics for ‘Hate Takes its Form’. What is your divine source of inspiration for such a gory textual universe?

Bjørn: It’s not really that gory… Do you think so? Hmmm, I get ideas from films, real life and some time they just come to me. There’s nothing special to them actually. I would call them a necessary evil… You need lyrics, so I write them, and just hope they don’t suck too much

Jakob (g) left Dawn of Demise just after the recording of the album (and went on to replace Heinz in HateSphere). Jakob’s replacement was found soon after. Could you tell us a bit about your new guy?

Bjørn: Not correct. He was in the band for a long time following the recording of the album. It has just been ready for a long time. More than a year. But people don’t know this. The new guy is called Alexander. He is only 19 years old, but he’s a diehard metalhead that plays a decent rhythm guitar. And that was exactly what we needed.

What is this thing with you and Suffocation?

Bjørn: There’s not really a “thing”…ha ha! I just regard them as the best band ever. No one comes close.

Are we going to see you on the road around Europe in the wake of the release of ‘Hate Takes its Form’?

Bjørn: I really hope so, but nothing is for sure yet. We would love to do loads of small tours in Europe. We just would like it to be with a good band, or at least a band that draws a lot of people. We’ve declined a couple of small tours, but man, I tell you, it was with some terrible bands.

Which bands have impressed you recently? Who are the prime movers in metal right now?

Bjørn: A band I am listening to all the time these days is INVERACITY from Greece. They’ve put out two albums, and man they kill! The best death metal I’ve heard for a very long time! Both albums are really good, but their debut “Circle of Perversion” is truly incredible! Besides that Spectral Mortuary, also from Denmark, has put out a great sounding album…. And outside the death metal genre, people should check out Danish band The Burning. Their album is really good, and has an amazing production!

You live in Silkeborg in Denmark. What is the state of metal in Silkeborg?

Bjørn: None existing.

You and (D.o.D. vocalist) Scott are brothers. Your parents must have gone through hell when you were teenagers with two death metal fans in the house?

Bjørn: No, not really. But I tell you, my mom has class. I remember someone telling me, that one day when she was at work – this happened (our parents used to own a pub): Two boys were talking about the music on the radio. Metallica’s “One” was playing. They said “If you don’t mind, could you please turn up the volume on that song”. My mom said yes. They kept on talking about how heavy it was, and how fast the bass drums were. They then asked my mom if she didn’t mind the music being as loud as that, when it was that kind of music. My mom said – “I don’t mind, Metallica is an okay rock band”…ha ha…she’s so cool. They said “Rock? That’s really heavy and fast stuff”. My mother replied – “Well, I don’t think so. It’s definitely too soft for my boys”…. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA… She’s the best!

You are cast away on a deserted island. Luckily, you have your iPod. In best case, which five albums would be on there?

Bjørn:  Suffocation – Effigy of the Forgotten
 Suffocation – Pierced from Within
 Inveracity – Circle of perversion
 Judas Priest – Painkiller
 Nevermore -  Dead heart in a dead world

…. Can I please put more on there?…..ARGHHHHH! 

Thanks for enlightening us, Bjørn. Any last rants for the readers?

Bjørn: Yeah! Buy our CD! Death metal forever!

See photos and comments from the Hate Takes Its Form release party below!

 Dawn of Demise - Hate Takes Its Form

 Album available on DeepSend Records.

 For more info on bandet - click on the album cover.

Hate Takes Its Form release party
Rampelyset, Silkeborg, Denmark
January 28th 2008

Much to the surprise of the band members, Rampelyset with its 200 people capacity turns out to be too small for this evening’s event. Just after 8, there’s more than 200 in there, and the band begins to worry, not only because of fire regulations, but more so because they have to let some of their friends and fans stand outside in the cold.

Dawn of Demise first want to show us the video they’ve done for the title track of the album. It’s to the point, efficient, held in greenish colours, a bit of blood, a lot of headbanging. Way to go. Much cheer from the audience.

The toastmaster of the evening is bassist Bjørn. He promises us that the band will play five tracks off the album and hands out the give-away CD’s that a few lucky people in audience get to take home with them.

Sadly, tonight is guitarist Jakob’s farewell-gig with Dawn of Demise. He recently joined ranks with fellow Danish band HateSphere and is therefore left with too little time on his hands.

As usual, Dawn of Demise is tight and heavy as hell. After a few seconds of bad sound, everything is in place, and the groove kicks in. The crowd clearly enjoys what they hear and go appropriately nuts.

The five-song set consists of Within the Flesh, Degrading the Worthless, Intent to Kill, ...And Blood will Flow and Beyond Murder.

For the latter, Jakob leaves the stage and new kid Alex takes over and is thus introduced to the crowd.

The encore cheers are rewarded with Domestic Slaughter despite vocalist Scott’s complaints. The most brutal voice in Danish death metal is thirsty for a beer now but will have to suffer another few minutes before he can head over to the bar and celebrate his band's killer debut.

One piece of advice: Go see this band if you get the opportunity. You won’t regret it.

The Jensen brothers let their hair down (so to speak)

Jakob's last gig with Dawn of Demise - no hard feelings, that's for sure.

Martin is rocking the set - is this man mean and nasty, or what?

A belly full of metal (or is it draught beer?)

New kid Alex - 19 and never kissed...

Scott Jensen - the voice from Hell!