Trial are an upcoming traditional heavy metal outfit hailing from Sweden. Thanks to Shannon Hush from The Coffins Slave (www.thecoffinsslave.com) I was able to conduct a very informative interview with their drummer, M. Svensson.
Hails M. Svensson! How is life over in Sweden right now?
As I don't actually know much about Trial, could you please give me a quick run-down of who you guys are and what you're all about musically?
It's quite alright over here, though a bit hung-over!
TRIAL is fairly new on the map, so I don’t blame you. We started rehearsing together back in 2007, but due to troubles with members back and forth we didn’t actually record anything until 2010 & that is when we finally managed to record our demo. TRIAL today consists of:
All of us listen to quite different things within the rock & metal scene, but Heavy Metal is the one thing we all have in common so it came natural for us in this formation to play Heavy Metal. It's hard to put words on your own music, but of course we are in some way influenced by all the great bands from the past, it's hard to not be. Anyone who says they are not, are lying, but it's not like we're sitting at home thinking "hey, that Witch Cross riff is great, we should do something similar to that". It's in our blood more or less.
How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard of your band before? What would you tell them your influences were in writing the songs on your demo?
Imagine if early Iron Maiden made sweet love to Mercyful Fate who got pregnant with a child bearing horns.
That child would then be the entity of TRIAL. Of course we have a lot of other influences but those two are the most "obvious". The demo contains songs that were written during a long period of time, and therefore it's hard to name direct influences. A lot of it is subconscious and musical influences can be anything between for example CCR and Captain Beyond to Dissection and Deathspell Omega.
Such an interesting mix of influence, style and taste should get anyone interested in Trial!
Recently there seems to be a "resurgence" of traditional heavy metal with bands such as In Solitude, Portrait, Grand Magus, Enforcer and Helvetets Port to name a few, as well as a large amount of "new old-school death metal" bands such as Tribulation, Bastard Priest, Kaamos, Repugnant and many more popping up all over the place. What are your thoughts on these two "movements"? How do you think these bands compare to the older bands who've been around since the late 80's/early 90's? And what newer bands do you enjoy listening to?
I actually like almost all of the bands that you wrote here, and there are a lot more new bands that are great, to name a few more Swedish bands I would say RAM, Ensnared, Necrovation, Morbid Insulter & Vornth. Other new bands I enjoy are Ascension, Teitanblood, Proclamation, The Devil’s Blood, Dead Congregation, Grave Desecrator, Jex Thoth & the list can go on and on and on to be honest. This proves that music does not have to be old to be good, but of course, the greatness of all the classic ones will almost in every case outshine these newer acts in terms of stage shows and record sales, but they emerged in a time when heavy metal was something popular, today I don’t think it is in the same way. It has become more of an underground movement, but who knows; maybe we’ll se a new golden era of this whole genre. I believe that is it's not that "healthy" for you neither as a musician or a listener to be so close-minded that you only listen to old heavy metal. About these so called "movements" I have not much to say. Sure, there has been a lot of new Heavy Metal acts rising from Sweden lately, but I think that one has to remember that because you play what you have a need to do, you don't necessarily become part of a trend. It is unfortunately inevitable for us to be compared to these bands, since we share a lot of common parameters, although every band has their own charm.
It's always great speaking to a fellow open minded metal fan! You've got excellent taste my friend.
From what I understand, you chose to release your debut demo on an Australian label, The Coffins Slave (www.thecoffinsslave.com). What made you choose to go with them instead of a Swedish Label, and what has it been like working with Shannon? The man puts a LOT of hard work into everything he does!
Since you're an international act signed to an Australian label, I have to ask; What are your thoughts on Australian metal? What bands have you heard? What ones do you like?
Actually, we released it ourselves on a simple CD-r at first, which is not really the appropriate way to do it. Shannon then got a copy and apparently liked what he heard, so he re-released it unto a proper format. We chose to work with TCS mainly because we know that Shannon has put out a lot of great own releases before, and have full trust in that he will do the same with us. He seems to have great connections and respect in the underground scene, and therefore the choice was not hard at all. We simply think he can help us get a lot further in our career. All these things compensate for the 10 hour time difference...
Australian metal is rising for sure, I'm actually not too familiar with that many older acts except for the obvious Deströyer 666 and Sadistik Exekution. But newer bands like Nocturnal Graves, Destruktor, Trench Hell, Ignivomous and Impious Baptism are all acts that I think are fantastic.
While we’re on the subject of the demo, I would like to ask you what went into the recording process? What studio did you use? How did you get certain elements of your sound? Any details you can provide would be great.
I would also like to know anything you can share about the Government funding for musicians in Sweden. I’ve been told that the Government over there will provide a certain amount of money for tours, studio time, help with getting stuff released, and so forth.
We recorded it in our rehearsal place, with a friend of ours as sound engineer. He actually had never recorded this kind of music before, so with that in mind I think it turned out great, though the vocals might be a bit too low. We had, as earlier said, played together as a band for quite a while when we recorded the demo, so as soon as we had found our vocalist we tried to record it as soon as possible. On our upcoming album we will put a lot more effort into getting the right sound and vibe, and we will therefore record it in a proper studio this time.
We get some financial help with paying our rehearsal place, but that's it actually. You can get help to get gigs and record in a studio, but that's more for the bands that are not that advanced yet. Most of these gigs are just music competitions, and we wish not to participate in that kind of events. Music is a form of art, not a sport. You can't compete in it.
Are you or any of the other band members involved creatively in any other projects at the moment, be it metal or otherwise? What have you done musically in the past? Is Trial the first band any of you have played in?
Some of us are involved in other bands besides Trial and we've all been playing in bands before this, but I would like to leave those dead and undead projects nameless for now so that people focus on Trial when reading this interview, but lets just say that we've been making noise before and we will continue on doing that whether it's in Trial or not. This is by far the band that we all have been putting most heart and commitment into and it will without a doubt stay that way.
It's good to hear how focused you guys are on Trial. That's the kind of commitment that separates the good bands from the not so good bands!
So now that your demo has been unleashed, what are your future plans for Trial? Any plans for live shows or a tour? Are you working on new material, perhaps an EP or full length?
As for now we have never played live with this band due to various reasons. We are looking at doing some gigs in the near future and are always open to suggestions, but at the moment we want to remain focused on the recording of our upcoming full-length album, which will be recorded during the next couple of weeks. This is just the very beginning of our journey into an uncertain future but the shape of a temple is rising in the yonder, soon you will see it too.
Well then, it looks like I'll be keeping an ear out for what comes next!
I would like to thank you kindly for taking the time to do this interview, I really enjoyed our conversation and hope to hear from you in the future.
As is the norm in my interviews, you have the last word my friend. Are there any final thoughts you would like to share?
Thanks to you for helping us spread the word. On behalf of Trial I would also like to give a special thanks to Shannon Hush and TCS for the support we get from him! For the latest news and info regarding Trial check out www.myspace.com/trialheavymetal
If anyone wishes to contact us, just e-mail to email@example.com
"Within the circle of truth and far away..."