Interview with Jörgen Sandström (l), Vicious Art (January 2008)

Vicious Art is virtually a Swedish death metal super group. The band released one of 2007’s better death metal discs, ‘Pick Up This Sick Child’, and’s readers deserve a lowdown. Thomas enquires and bassist Jörgen Sandström provides the much wanted answers.

Hej på dig, Jörgen, and congrats on the release of ‘Pick Up This Sick Child’! I take it you’re happy with the brutal result?

Jörgen: Thanx a lot! Yes, I haven’t been this happy with releasing an album since back in 97 when we released the “To Ride..” album with Entombed, haha..
It is great to get back that feeling after so many years. After releasing a lot of albums you kinda take releasing albums for granted and the anxiety and happiness is not present. But that changed this time and I am very very happy about it:-) This is probably one of the albums together with “Into The Grave” with my old band Grave back in 1991 that I like the most as well!


Could you tell us a bit about the history of the band? You are all part of other well-established Swedish metal outfits, right?


Jörgen: Yes, I was in Grave between 1988-1995 and then in Entombed from 1995-2004. Matti and Robert have been in Dark Funeral for a number of years and together with Jocke they had a death metal band in the early 90´s called Obscurity Sthlm. They also did Dominion Caligula together. Matti, Robert and Jocke together with Tobbe, ex Guidance of Sin, The Dead, started Vicious Art in 2002. I joined them in 2004 and the same year we released our first album, “Fire Falls and The waiting waters”. After we decided not to work with our old record label anymore we recorded a EP in 2006, “Weed The Wild”. And then Migthy Music got the EP, loved it and signed us over a few beers in Sthlm and here we are with our second album “Pick Up This Sick Child”.


I assume that you want to get out on the road and show us what you can do. Any plans for touring just now?


Jörgen: We have no tours scheduled. A few gigs here and there though, for example in Copenhagen at The Rock the 15th of February with Thorium.


Speaking of touring: what would the line-up on your dream tour look like?


Jörgen: Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Angel Corpse, Krisiun, Demolition Hammer and Vicious Art.


Morbid Angel is one of the obvious sources of inspiration I hear when I listen to ‘Pick Up This Sick Child’. Which other bands have influenced the sound of the album? In my review I called the album an unholy union of Carcass, Dimmu Borgir and Entombed…


Jörgen: We are metal fans so there is so many bands that influenced us over the years and still do. I can’t say that we think like “hey, let’s do it like this coz that is how Morbid Angel does it.” But sometimes, yes, we do honour our fave bands like for example the riff in “The Topmost Violent God”, it is a way for us to say thanx to Morbid Angel:-). Also when you mention those bands like Morbid Angel and Carcass, I know that we have done something right and get a big smile on my face!


How has the collaboration been with the Danish Mighty Music label?


Jörgen: The MM guys are great and we are happy to work with them and hope to do so for many more years!


Where is Vicious Art five years from now? Will the release schedule be a bit more steady than it has been so far? [Vicious Art released their debut CD in 2004.]


Jörgen: Five years from now is impossible to say, we take it day by day in this band. We have started to write new songs though so we hope to release the next album early next year.


You’ve been around for a while now and have witnessed the ups and downs of metal. What is the state of metal in Sweden and the rest of Europe right now in your view?


Jörgen: Metal is always strong. Sometimes metal gets more popular and gets played on TV and gets media exposure from different media groups. BUT, when metal is not the hot thing, there are still millions of metal fans, like me, that don’t give a flying fuck if it gets shown on TV or in the press. We still love metal and are in it for life! Metal are and always will be the strongest fan based music scene around. Here is a fine example of how things work in Sweden.
Eminem and 50 Cent, the 2 most popular guys on MTV and Radio had to cancel their shows in Sweden coz they didn’t sell enough tickets. Iron Maiden sold 80000 tickets in 2 and a half hours!


Which releases have swarmed your CD player/iPod recently? Any hot tips?


Jörgen: In BattleKingdom of Fear” is great, check it out, very recommended! I have been a lot into AC/DC lately as well. My past comes back to haunt me every now and then and I have the urge to listen to a certain band for a while. Last summer I listened to Motorhead for almost 2 months straight, except for Vicious Art as we recorded the album. Now it is AC/DC that saves my days at work, haha...


Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions. Any last rant for our readers?


Jörgen: Thanx for the interview and support! Come see us at The Rock the 15th February and Pick up our sick child in your record store! Support Death Metal, Support Vicious Art!

Vicious Art - Pick up this Sick Child

Album available on Mighty Music.

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