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Coldworker - Progressing with Insane Speed
Everybody will remember the Asian Tsunami disaster in 2004 where singer Mieszko Talarczyk, from the legendary grindcore formation Nasum, tragically died. Nasum was disbanded, but drummer Anders Jakobson has formed a new band: Coldworker, with roots laying more in death metal but still having a grindcore touch. I asked singer Joel Fornbrant some questions about this new promising band.
Coldworker exists out of former and present members of bands as Nasum, Relentless, Carnal Grief, Ruin and Phobos. When did you all got together and how did Coldworker came to existence?
Coldworker got started in January this year, when Anders Jakobsen (drums, ex-Nasum) announced in his blog at that he was looking for members for a new band. Oskar (bass) and Anders Bertilsson (guitar) responded and came into the band that way, and they immediately started working on the first Coldworker songs. Then in March, André (guitar) joined the band. I'm not sure exactly how they got a hold of him. In April, I received an e-mail from Oskar, asking if I was interested in trying out vocals for this new band he was in. Knowing that these guys were really talented, and listening to the quite awesome rehearsal tracks they had made, it was not that hard to decide that this was something that I really wanted to be part of. At the time, all I knew that they were anxious to get a vocalist, since they had already been booked for a show with Gadget in June. I never imagined that we would record an album just two months after I first stepped into the Coldworker rehearsal room for the first time.”
What progression have you made since you're together?
“It's hard to speak for the others, but I think that we all have had to step up our game since the band's formation. I know that Anders J quickly had to learn to fashion his drumming into a more death metallish-style, for example. For me, it has simply been a matter of going from being a decent growler to a really good growler. We have of course also learned how to function as a band. This was very much helped by an intense rehearsal schedule.”
Your debut album came out pretty quickly after your formation, how did you manage to do it so fast?
“It's actually quite hard to grasp, since everything seemed to progress with such insane speed, but I think it's because everybody in the band has contributed to the songwriting, and everyone seems to have had a shitload of inspiration. It just clicked between us, in some way. For me, those early days are like a blur in my memory.”
Can you tell something about how your songs came to existence with that many songwriters?
“The songs came together in all sorts of ways. Most of the songs are, musically, collaborative efforts, me being the only member not to have written a single riff for the album. André came up with some songs completely on his own though, as did Anders J in one instance. As for the lyrics, we divided the responsibility of writing them up somewhat evenly.”
What influence do the four songwriters have on your overall sound and could you describe the sound of Coldworker?
“We like to say that we have come up with a nice mixture of the American and the European styles of death metal, with a touch of grindcore thrown in. An easier way of saying is: Full blasting death metal.”
Are there also any negative points about having so many songwriters?
“None that I have noticed. This is the first band I'm in where every member is part of the song writing process, and it has been a great way of working.”
Is there a special theme on The Contaminated Void that you're addressing?
“It was decided early on that the lyrical theme of Coldworker should be the dark side of man. This is thankfully a quite broad subject, and all of the lyric writers managed to take their own little spins on it.”
How does the, by the way beautiful, artwork relate to this?
“The artwork was conceived by Orion Landau, and we basically gave him free hands to interpret the lyrics and to come up with a visual representation of them. He used a lot of stark contrast and silhouettes. Empty space contaminated by images all relating to the lyrical theme. I must say he did an awesome job.”
In the song 'Generations Decay' some lines made me think it was inspired by the Tsunami disaster in Asia where Mieszko Talarczyk from Nasum tragically died; is that right?
“‘Generations Decay’ was the last piece of lyrics I wrote for the album. They are basically my take on the end of the world, pure fiction, and were not inspired in any way by the Asian Tsunami disaster.”
Are there any other elements on the album which cope with his death?
“No. That subject has not been touched upon.”
The Contaminated Void will come out through Relapse, which probably will fix you a good distribution; how do you expect the CD will do internationally?
“I honestly have no idea. I hope it will do well, and it of course feels nice to have Relapse release the album, but we haven't really speculated on how it will do yet.”
What are the goals you'd like to achieve with Coldworker in the near future?
“The main priority right now is for the upcoming "Close-up made us do it"-tour together with Path of no Return and Arch Enemy to be successful, and to establish Coldworker as a live act. After that, I guess the next goal would be to tour Europe, which would be fucking awesome.”
You're currently busy with a tour through Denmark and Sweden, do you have any plans for other tours?
“We all agree that a European tour early next year is something that we want and should do. Nothing is carved in stone yet, but I'm sure that something will turn up. It would of course also be great to tour the U.S. and Japan, but that lies a bit further in the future.”
In your short history, do you already have a nice anecdote to tell; a funny story that you will always remember.
“I seem to recall an album photo shoot gone terribly bad, where Coldworker found themselves wandering aimlessly up and down a highly trafficated countryside road, being assaulted by bugs in the sweltering heat, while the photographer stood on top of a pick up truck snapping pictures. It seemed like a good idea at the time.”
Thanks for your time, good luck with Coldworker and I hope to see you guys soon in the Netherlands!
“Thanks for the interview! Anyone interested in Coldworker can keep themselves up to speed with what's going by logging onto Hope to see you soon too, coming to the Netherlands sure would be a blast, and I'm quite confident that it will happen in the not distant future!”