Hi Kjelle! How are nowadays? What's up with the band? I hope everything all right.

After the departure of Peter and Kalle ther were a time when I was in doubt about the future of Maze of Torment. With a new record deal with Black Lodge, I and Erik dicided to search for new members. The band are a five piece army today.

As I as know this is the first interview for an Hungarian fanzine, isn’t it? Or did you already give some interviews for Hungarian fanzines? Are you in touch with Hungarian maniacs?

I don't know if this is the first interview for an Hungarian fanzine because Peter use to do all the interviews, Erik does them today and this one is an exception for me to do one.

You have started playing under the name of HARMONY. How old were you at that time? What was the line up? What kind of music did you play? Sum up please this period?

I started the band in October '92 and I was 19 years old. The line up was Krille/bass, Tomas/guitar, Odd/vox and me on drums, Peter joined in the end of the year. We tryed to play some kind of metal, but ther were to many opinions about how we sould sound for an example we had some synth parts wich I realy don’t like. We recorded two demos “Blood Angels” Until I dream”, three promos and a mcd called “The radiance from a
star” 92-95. The group had gone thru some line up changes and Pher joined in –94 on bass/vox and it was then the band started to sound as a real band.

How was at that time the metal scene? In your opinion why did thrash metal go out of fashion at the late ’80-s/early ’90-s and why did death metal become more popular? In Sweden are/were always a lot of cool thrash and death metal scene, your scene is very strong, do you agree with me?

Death metal was something new and more extreme. There are a new thrash metal era growing today and it´s realy good. Sweden have alvays had a strong metal scene.

Why and when did you change your name from HARMONY to MAZE OF TORMENT? Did you restart your career? By whom was the band established? What was your goal with the band?

We felt that the band needed a new name, Pher had joined, the band felt new and the name HARMONY is not a good name on a metal band, yeah you could call it a restart. We canged the name to TORMENT in the beginning of –95 and we traveled to Unisound an recorded a three track promo wich gave us our firs record deal with CORROSION records. When we sould release our firs record The Force there were an old band from Germany who shold sue us if we released our record under the name TORMENT, so we had to change our name agan and this time we added Maze of.

As far as the name of the band you seem to be great MORBID ANGEL fans ha-ha! Whose idea was to choose this name?

Yeah I realy liked the "Alters Of Madness" album one of my favourite albums, I think it was Peter who came up with the idea to use the name Maze of Torment.

Tell us please a few words about your early rehearsals, about your rehearse room? How often did you rehearse? Did you take the rehearses serious or was it a fun for you? Drunken jammings, girls, beer and thrash metal ha-ha!

Our first rehearse room was in the basement on an old mental hospital. In the beginning we rehearse three times a week and we were taken it very serious and it was fun. We had some party’s there one to mention was wen we got our first record deal and the boss of the label came to visit us, Beseech and another band that I don’t remember the name of. Our rehearsal room was a mess.

How many demos did you record? Which songs were on them? In what kind of reception were they participated by the fans and by the metal press? It is important for you the what the people think about your releases? Do you care about the opinions of the fans or journalists?

We recorded two promos Blood Angels 1993, Until I Dream 1993, one MC The Radiance From A Star 1994 and we recorded thre promos during 1994 and the first Maze Of Torment promo 1995. The songs were Flame of Life, Blood Angels, Tree of the dark, Psychal War and Dark Feelings on Blood Angels. Creator of DREAMS,
The light in all this dark and Evil sunz logg 2535 on Until I Dreams. Cold atmosphere, The radiance of a star, The lonely kingdom, Conjuration, Mountains of frost and Mysterious on The Radiance From a Star. The Harmony Promos are now released on CD and are called Summoning the past, the M. O. T promo are released as a vinyl ep called Brave The Blizzard. We got quite good response from fans and the metal press. It is not so important what people think, at that time when we recordet those demos/promos we were not so good at playing and we had not found our “sound” we had so many difercenc influences. I care about what people think but today I avoid to read the most of the reviews. I ´m creating the music that I like and does anyone else like it I´m glad for that.

Because you are the only one former bandmember I would ask you to speak detailed about the MAZE OF TORMENT albums. I mean, by whom were the music and the lyrics written, what are all it about the lyrics? How do you like the songs, the cover? Are you satisfied with the sound? Where, in which studio, with whom were the albums recorded? What was the actual line up? On what would you change as far as the album? Let we begin with „The force” (1997).

Most of the music on the Force are written by me and Peter, the lyrics were written by Pher and Peter. The Force are recorded in Unisound between the 4th and 11th of may 1996 with Dan Swanö. I’m satisfied withe the songs, there are allways things we could have done better. The sound is ok, I dont like the sound on the snare. The record are re-releast today and it sounds better now with a remastered sound. The line up were me – drums, Peter Guitars and Pehr Vocals and bass

As I as know the record should have to release in 1996. Why did slip a year the releasing of the album?

The fucking Corrosion did fuck everything up, they coulden afford to pay the studio coast, it was a mess. Now are our first record The Force re-released with a remastered sound and a better looking cover and finaly we have had some royalties for it.

The title of the album is the same like the second one of Britain ONSLAUGHT. Why did you steal the album title? Ha-ha! Do you know this great band? Did you already hear about their reunion?

It was Peters idea to name it the Force. We have heard it some times that we sould have stolen it from Onslaught, I have never been into their music and dont care about the band so it doesnt bather me. There are bands to day who all them self Harmony or releasing their records under the name Faster Disaster…

Your second album was „Faster disaster” (1998)

Faster Disaster are recorded in Sunlight studio between 16-25 feb 1998 with Tomas Skogsberg and Jocke Pettersson, not so good studio in my opinion. The record sounds better to day but no I dont like the sound. Most of the music are written by me and Peter and the lyrics by Peter/Pehr, I wrote Five Inch. Five Inch are about crucifixion. The line up were me - drums, Peter Guitars, Pehr Vocals and Peter Jansson bass. I think that the sound should have been better if Jocke Pettersson had mixed it. Guest vocals apperance on Bite the dust by Erik Sahlström who took over the singing before the next record…

How do you remember about that time? In my opinion at the late ’90-s thrash metal has returned, it has started a retro-thrash movement and such bands have appeared, like INFERNÖ, DODHEIMSGARD, NOCTURNAL BREED, AURA NOIR, MAZE OF TORMENT, WITCHERY, SUICIDAL WINDS etc. Do you consider MAZE OF TORMENT a retro thrash band?

No Maze of Torment are not a retro thrash metal band. I have alvays been into band as early Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Sadus and so on. I´m still listen to the old school bands and are not interested in the retro-thrash shit.

Two years later has „Death strikes” (2000) came out.

…Death strikes, music by me and Peter. Lyrics by Erik/Peter. Death Strikes are recorded in Sunlight May 2000 this time recorded and mixed by Jocke Pettersson. It sounds much better than the first time we entered Sunlight.
The line up were me – drums, Peter - Guitars, Erik - Vocals and Kalle – bass. In your face, fast from start to end, no fucking bullshit.

It was followed by „Unmarked graves” (2002).

The Unmarked graves, music by me, Peter and Kalle. Lyrics by Erik/kalle. Finally we entered The Abyss, this is
the recording that I’m most satisfied with. Recorded between 17 and 27 October 2001 by Tommy Tätgren. The line up were me – drums, Peter - Guitars, Erik - Vocals and Kalle - bass.

In 2003 you have released a 7” „Maze bloody maze”. Is this material still obtainable? Are you vinyl freaks? Do you collect vinyl? Is vinyl in your opinion the classic, underground sound medium?

Yes I’m a fucking vinyl freak and I do collect them. The vinyl are more fun to own, it sounds better, the covers are better... Death Strikes are released as a picture LP and our first promo are released as a 7” called Brave the Blizzard.

The title of the 7” is very similar to „Sabbath bloody sabbath” ha-ha! What do you think about it?

Well, we are playing a Black Sabbath medly on it.

In this year will be released your new album „Hammers of mayhem”. When did you start writing the new material? How were born the new songs? Do you enter the studio, when all of the songs are yet ready or do you still jam in the studio?

Black lodge have now released “Hammers of Mayhem”. We starts writing new material as fast as we are done with a record. The songs were born as all M.O.T. songs are made, Peter did most of the riffs and then we put them togheter in the rehearsal room with drums and bass… We do not have any time to jam in the studio when most of our records are recorded in ten days.

You became a five piece band. Who are the new members? Why did you decide to admit a second guitarist? Did the new guys also take part in the songcomposing?

As I wrote in the first qestion Peter and Kalle have left the band. We have three new members now, Rickar on guitar, Cloffe on bas and Mange on guitar. Rickard an I do all the songcomposing so far and Erik writes the lyriks.

Where did you the album record? Who was the producer? Who mixed and engeenered the record?
How many times dd you spend in the studio? How was your mood during the recordings, during the studio sessions?

Hammers of Mayhem was recorded and mixed during two weeks in August 2003 in The Abyss by Tommy Tätgren. Music by me, Peter and Kalle. Lyrics by Erik/kalle. The sound is not so good this time. The line up were me – drums, Peter - Guitars, Erik - Vocals and Kalle – bass.

This is the last recording with Peter and Kalle. All songs are ready before we enter the studio and we only changes small things in them. Everyone was in a good mood during this recording.

What would you say about the new album compared to the previous ones? Are there similarities and differences between the new record and the previous ones?

There are always things we could have done or played better, the sound is not the best all the time but we have newer been into the studio more than about 10 days.

The album will be released by Black Lodge Records. In my opinion they are the supporters of the Swedish underground scene, aren’t they? They have a lot of great bands.

Black Lodge are the greatest, they are realy easy to work with.

Are there in Sweden good underground labels? Which ones would you mention?

I don't know of so many underground labels I can only mention Iron Fist.

As far as the labels, you have always sucked, they have the band always fucked up. What would you say about it? How did you get well with We Bite/Corrosion Records, with Iron Fist Productions and with Necropolis Records? Didn’t they believe in the band? Didn’t they support or help the band?

They didn’t have any mony to promote the records, people couldn't buy our records an so on. It sucks they are the reason that we have sufferd all these years. I dont think that they have signed us if they didn’t beleive in the band. This is the reason why we haven’t got further. Today we got a relay good record company which we are satisfied with. It’s up to the people now to buy our records.

In your opinion is there an ideal label – band (artist) connection? Do the labels want to earn a lot of money?

I’m very pleased with Black Lodge and their work that they are doing for the band. All labels want’s to earn a lot of money.

Do you have to work in regular jobs or do you earn enough money with the band? What’s your job? What do the other guys do beside the band? Do you have a permanent workplace?

I don't think I’m going to be any rockstar so I have to work. I dont earn any money with the band(not much any way) so I have to work in a regular job and yes I do have a permanet workplace. The others also have regular jobs.

During the career of MAZE OF TORMENT you have had several line up changes. In your opinion, did the line up changes hinder the developement of the band? Is the current line up permanent? It is hard to find the suitable members?

It's hard to find good musicians in a smal town like Strängnäs. Some people dosn´t officiate with each other. The line up changes has most of the times been a step further in the development of the band. You can newer know if the current line up would be permanent, I hope so. It realy works well today.

What’s your opinion about the present Swedish scene? Which bands would you offer us? As for myself, I like MAZE OF TORMENT, UNPURE and SUICIDAL WINDS.

The Haunted they still plays their to your face music. I
think that there are to many power metal bands today.

How would you define thrash metal? What’s the essence of thrash? What does mean thrash metal for you?

Speed and Aggression, screaming vocals metal to the bone.

In the last two years have a lot of great thrash bands returned, like NASTY SAVAGE, DEATH ANGEL, EXODUS, HEATHEN, NUCLEAR ASSAULT or still earlier DESTRUCTION, MERCILESS, HOLY MOSES, ASSASSIN, NECRODEATH etc. the list goes on. What do you think about it? What kind of motivation are behind the returns of these bands? Did you already listen to their comeback albums? Did you like them?

I think it’s cool that the old thrash metal bands are playing again. I liked the Destruction and Merciless albums.

What’s your opinion about such „modern” thrash bands, like THE HAUNTED, CORPORATION 187, SCENTERIA? Do you prefer the new school thrash or rather the old school one? In your opinion is thrash metal popular nowadays?

I perfer the old school, that is wath I grow up with. The metalscene are growing stronger again and that is good as hell

Last year have Quorthon and Dimebag Darrell passed, I think so, their death is a very big loss for the scene. Your comment…

yeah it’s tradgic

As far as Dimebags death, why couldn’t prevent the security guards that fuckin’ asshole from killing? Are the bands in danger on the stage?

It’s dangerous to walk the streets, there are so manny insane people out there.

How often do you read fanzines? Which fanzines do you like? Do the fanzines play an important role in the underground? How can the fanzines support the career of a band?

I don't read any fanzines today unfortunately. The fanzines has alvays played an important role for the underground. If you can not be seen, you doesn't exist. The fanzines are supporting the bands by giving them some space, if people can read about them they get interested and hopfuly they will buy their record.

Do you also like webzines? In your opinion, are there similarities and differences between fanzines and webzines?

I do read some webzines, the webzines are of course more reachable and for free. The kids today have grown up with computers, it's easier today to reach more people with an webzine than an fanzine I think.

You have a very good and cool website. Who did it? How often is it updated? How often do the fans visit your website? Are you satisfied with your own website?

The webside are created by a friend of mine and it is not updated as often as it could be. It has had quite many wisitors so far and yes we are werry satisfied with it.

What are the disadvantages and advantages of the internet? What do you think about the downloading of music? How often do you use the internet? Do you like writing e-mails or doing e-mail interviews?

It is easy to get in touch with people and to get information and it is very possitive but I dont like the downloading of music, buy the records and support the bands instead. I´m not so good in awnsering e-mails or interviews, Peter have done this so its new for me. This is the first interview that I’m awnsering in about 10 years

What does it mean for you underground respectively to be underground? What do you think about trends and riding the trends? It is important to be original or to play original music?

Is there so much that are underground today? Every band are getting record deals today even we are being played in one of Swedens bigges radio chanels. I dont care about trends and are people joust playing/creating music to be famous its up to them. We are and have alvays been doing what we like and its not important to be original as long as the feeling are there.

What are your future plans? Will you go on tour? Will you come perhaps to Hungary? Have you ever been in Hungary?

We are writing new songs which we perhaps soon are
going to record in my studio. There will soon be a new M. O. T logo. There are no tours planed and I have never been to Hungary.

Kjelle, thanks a lot for your answers, I hope my questions weren't boring. I wish you all the best and good luck my friend, MAZE OF TORMENT rules! Please, tell your closing words!

Thanks for your patiance and support. To all metalheads out there, buy our records so we perhaps can go on tour som day and visit Hungary, visit www.mazeoftorment.com
Stay dark - Kee

Peter Karlsson
Björkvägen 6C
645 40 Strängnäs

Interview: David Laszlo