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WHEN NOTHING REMAINS: Premiere + Interview

When Nothing Remains- In Memoriam

On February 22nd Swedish gothic death/doom band When Nothing Remains will be releasing their third full length record ‘In Memoriam’ via Solitude Productions. The core duo of Peter Laustsen and Jan Sallander has been collaborating for over a decade now, and this new effort showcases some of their most heavy hitting and atmospheric moments to date. Today we’re premiering the songs A Lake of Frozen Tears and While She Sleeps which are perfect examples of the band at their best. The former is reminiscent of some of the sweeping majestic leads common in Swedish melodic death metal, only spun into a slower doom framework, while the latter lets the keyboards and guitars intertwine into a hauntingly beautiful melody. We also had the chance to send some questions over to Peter Laustsen to learn more about the new release and creative process behind the band’s music. If you’re a fan of anything death/doom related or gothic metal this is not to be missed!

Transcending Obscurity (Chris Dahlberg): You’re getting ready to release your third full length ‘In Memoriam’. In between this album and Thy Dark Serenity in 2013, When Nothing Remains has been through some lineup changes. Introduce us to your new members and tell us how they became a part of the band.

When Nothing Remains (Peter Laustsen): Well, from ‘Thy Dark Serenity’ we had session members to record the album. Johan Ericson was on clean vocals and Jerry Torstensson on drums, both from Draconian. When the album was released we got very good publicity, and we were looking for a permanent drummer.

We got in contact with Peter Derenius who is an old friend to us, and he played with us on a couple of shows. Sadly he didn’t have enough time to play with us on a regular basis. We started the drum auditions searching for the perfect guy, and found him in Dimitri “Dimman” Jungi who also is an old friend to us. We already talked about him joining When Nothing Remains back in 2010, and as he is very dedicated and a professional drummer he was the obvious choice.

TO: Halfway through ‘In Memoriam’ your material shifts gears briefly with the piano/orchestral ballad The Soil In My Hand which features a performance from singer Ines vera Ortiz. I felt that this fit perfectly with When Nothing Remains’ type of death/doom and vera Ortiz contributed a stunning performance. How did this collaboration come about?

When Nothing Remains: The Soil In My Hand was first written by Jan as an acoustic ballad. But a fan of When Nothing Remains called Sina Patzke made a piano cover personally to Jan. Jan really loved the idea and made an orchestral arrangement around it for the album. Then Jan found a Nightwish cover video on YouTube made by Ines Vera Ortiz. He was stunned by her amazing voice and performance! He contacted her and asked if she wanted to be a part on the album, and she was very excited about it. We are very happy with the result, not many can do it as good as she did.

TO: Your previous albums have featured guest performances from Johan Ericson (Draconian, Doom: VS) and Jerry Torstensson (Draconian). I saw on your Facebook that you had some drumming contributed by Val Atra Niteris (Frowning) and Evgeny Semenov from Solitude Productions stepped in to help with the bass due to Frederik’s departure. Are there any other guests on the album that I’ve missed? What was it like working with so many different musicians over the course of the recording?

When Nothing Remains: At first When Nothing Remains was started as a studio project. We chose to use Jerry and Johan as session musicians as they are very well experienced to this kind of music. We also felt that we wanted people we know and trust for the job! And we are very grateful for their contributions.

As Peter Derenius left us we needed a drummer for the recording. I knew Val since before and asked if he could take care of this on such a short notice when we were looking for a new drummer. During the recording Fredrik left the band due to health problems and Evgeny told us he could take on the bass- duties for this album. We are very happy with the job he did for us.

whennothingremains band

TO: Peter and Jan have been the two members responsible for the compositions and driving the band forward over the years. You’ve both worked together for quite some time now on When Nothing Remains and previously on Nox Aurea. Has your writing style changed at all over the years, and how do the two of you bounce ideas off of each other?

When Nothing Remains: Jan Sallander and I have been working together for over a decade now in various bands. And we work very well together.

We got to know each other back in the old days when Jan had his melodic death metal band The Cold Existence, and when they needed a bass- player Jan saw me playing a live show with my old band Maleficio and asked if I had the time to join them. We had a very good connection from the start, and when The Cold Existence was later put on hold we started to talk about exploring different ideas about creating good music. Our writing style has of course improved over the years, Jan writes the gothic-orchestral aspect of the band, and I (Peter) am responsible for the more funeral and dark aspect of the band. This blends very well together.

TO: Compared to your previous two records, I felt that the keyboards and other symphonic elements were even more prominent than before. Was this a conscious decision or was it more of a natural progression as you started to write what would end up becoming ‘In Memoriam?

When Nothing Remains: I don’t think the keys are more prominent then before, just set on the right volumes. Also the sound is more open and clear then before. That makes the orchestral parts stronger, and as we always wanted them.

TO: Sweden has so many great death/doom and gothic bands, yourselves included. What is it about your country that lends itself so well to this particular type of metal?

When Nothing Remains: I think our music here in Sweden has so much melodic influences based on our folk- music.

And I guess that many metal bands take inspiration from that as well. Bands here in Sweden take inspiration from each other, but also from bands from other countries which makes a very good combination.

When Nothing Remains

TO: How would you compare your live performances to your records? I saw that you’re looking to recruit a cellist for live performances, are you looking to further replicate the orchestral elements in a live setting?

When Nothing Remains: Yes, we are looking for a cellist and violinist to make a more living and beautiful live experience. Jan’s wish is that we someday could have a real symphony orchestra behind us. But it may take some time=). If any of the readers know some good people for this, don’t hesitate to contact us on wnr.official@gmail.com.

TO: With the album almost released, what else does With Nothing Remains have planned for the rest of 2016?

When Nothing Remains: Shows, tours and festivals. We have a new booking agency that will start working with us as soon the album is out. More details about 2016 when everything is official.

TO: Thanks for your time and I’m excited for everyone else to hear this album as I’ve been enjoying spending time with it. Is there anything else you’d like to say about the band in general or ‘In Memoriam’?

We have never done as much hard work for any album before as we have done on ‘In Memoriam’. This is a much more personal and deeper album, and it continues the tragic artwork story from the previous albums that you can read about in the booklet.

We hope you all will love it as much as we do.

Keep on buying and support us. Without you we can’t survive.

Cheers,

Peter Laustsen and Jan Sallander.

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