SUFFER was a really cool Swedish death metal band, which put two discs out of Napalm Records, before they splitted up. My partner in blasphemy was Perra Karlsson, nowadays in NOMINON and IN AETERNUM. Check out the records, also from NOMINON!

Hi Perra! What's up? How was the touring with your actual band NOMINON?

Everything is OK now, just got back to Sweden the other day. The tour with BENEDICTION and GODHATE was very impressive. We played 16 gigs in 17 days in the following countries: Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and Austria. The response was awesome and the guys from BENEDICTION rules! I love 'em. We would easily tour with them again if we got the chance to do it.

First of all, let's check it with your name. I got three releases from SUFFER and on every release you got another spelling: Pär, Per and Perra. What's that, haha?

My name is actually Per Karlsson, but I usually go under the nickname Perra. My name was written as Pär on the early SUFFER stuff because Ronny Eide did the lay-out and he is Norwegian and I guess he just fooled around with me back then, since I was the youngster in SUFFER.

Ok, let's go back. I have really no infos about the beginning of SUFFER. You started in 1988, but who was in the band at that time, were you in other bands before it and and what was the biggest point to start the band?

I joined SUFFER in the autumn 1990. Before that SUFFER had put out one demotape called Cemetary Inhabitants in the early 1990. SUFFER started out as a trio by Jocke Öhman (Guitar/Voc), Putte Andersson (Bass) and Conny Granqvist (Drums) during 1988. They were all inspired to start a band because of their love to acts such as NUCLEAR ASSAULT, VOIVOD, SLAYER and so on. I personally played with a band called ALTAR at the time I first auditioned for SUFFER. I was not playing on any official demotapes or other releases by ALTAR, just for your information, I was only one of the four original members. OK!

One year after you were formed, you released the first demo called "Cemetery Inhabitance". I have also no infos about the music and the recordings in general. How was the sound back than? Was it more in the Thrash vain, as many other bands played it at that time?

You're right, a year and a half after SUFFER formed the band recorded and released their debut tape; Cemetery Inhabitants. The music was recorded at a local music studio outside of the town Fagersta, were SUFFER came from. The style was more thrashy with a lot of attitude and aggression, even some comparissions can be made to acts like POSSESSED and the early death metal bands.

Your second demo "Manifestation Of Time" came in 1991 and same procedure as the last one. Don't really know anything about it, haha!

The title of the 2nd demo tape is Manifestation Of God and that was my debut recording for SUFFER. It was more death metal orientated as I joined and also SUFFER got a second guitarist, Ronny Eide from the mighty MORBID MAGAZINE. Both Ronny and I was mainly more inspired by the underground (especially US) death metal bands such as PRIME EVIL, VACANT GRAVE, DECEASED, MACABRE, PHANTASM, EXMORTIS, MORTICIAN, IMMOLATION&etc. Both of us did fanzines, so we had a lot of things in common when we joined SUFFER. And this recording was also the first one that was recorded in a proper studio, the now legendary Studio Sunlight in Stockholm, Sweden, with producer Tomas Skogsberg. We were (and still are) very pleased with the result of this recording, even though I remember having a hard time to record the drumtracks on some d-drums (not real, acoustic drums!). But it turned out well and this demo was highly appreciated in the Swedish underground at the time.

After that New Wave Records seems to been interested in you. How did you get in contact with the French label? Do you know, which other bands released something on the label? How were the guy behind the label and did you get some free copies from it?

Well, SUFFER was contacted by Aline Richards of New Wave Rds and he told us that he wanted to do an 7 EP vinyl single as well as having a song on an compilation album for an underground soundtrack. That was in the summer of 1991.
We went on and recorded three tracks in November; On Sour Ground, My Grief and Wrong Side Of Life at the Sunlight Studio (there were never ever a single talk about recording anywhere else after the Manifestation Of God demotape). But the single On Sour Ground (also featuring the track My Grief) was not released until May 1993, so we were very pissed off. And the compilation with the third track Wrong Side Of Life was never released. But we re-recorded that track for the first Mini-CD later on. About the 7 EP On Sour Ground, I guess we received about 150 copies after all, but we was so disappointed about the labels work so it was not fun when we finally saw the result of it, if you get my point!

The music on the 7" was very, very old school Swedish death metal in the vain of Entombed or Grave. Were the two tracks from the demos or new recordings?

As I said in the previous question, the recording on the 7 EP is only available on the 7 EP (at least so far!). It is funny though that you compare SUFFER to bands like GRAVE and NIHILIST/ENTOMBED. Because I can remember that a lot of people that was listening to death metal at that time had a hard time getting used to our vocalist, Jockes voice. He was more screaming out the aggression, like Mille of KREATOR for example, not growling like John Tardy or alike. But we didnt care, we wanted to sound different and a lot of people still remember us for being just that. Dont get me wrong, we still have a lot of fans (I have noticed that throughout the years!!!).

The 7" were recorded in Sunlight, but what's up with the demos? Did you also recorded them there?

The debut demo "Cemetary Inhabitants" was recorded 1989 at a local studio called Fragg and it was released early 1990. The second demo tape Manifestation Of God was recorded at Studio Sunlight, and after this one SUFFER recorded all the stuff at Studio Sunlight,

After that, you were signed by the Austrian label Napalm Records, which was at that time very death metal orientated and released CD from Disastrous Murmur, Wombbath and you. How was the contact to the label? I think it was not the worst, cause you released two CDs?

I still remember the day we got a deal with NAPALM RECORDS. I mean, we had sent out over 50 promotion tapes to some labels and finally we heard from Max and his, by the time, very small label Napalm Rds. We were great friends for at least two years or something, but then he turned into more black metal oriented stuff as well as some atmospheric kind styles, which I didnt, so I guess we ended the relationship right there. I know that he was interested in doing another record after Structers, but I quit the band after we lost both the guitar player and bassist in 1994. More about that later!

On "Global Warming" you got a new guitarrist in Ulf Samuelsson. What went wrong with Ronny Eide and did Ulf play in another band before SUFFER?

Ronny Eide quit the band in December 1991, just one month after the recording of the 7 EP. He became tired of the whole situation, I know that he was depressed and just wanted to get back to Norway. Which he did, but he saw SUFFER live in early 1992 with the new guitar player, Uffe Samuelsson. Later Ronny married a chick from Thailand and I heard that he
worked for a bunch of international magazines as advertisement manager. But thats about it! Regarding Uffe, he hadnt been playing in any other band before SUFFER. We just knew that he was into the music, played a bit of guitar and had long hair! Hahaha!

The music on this recording were not that old school death metal, than on the 7", but more thrashier. Why didn't you went on with the old style and why not the rockier Entombed style?

Personally I had grown more as a drummer and I guess on the Global Warming mini CD we pretty much was in the middle of everything. Some death metal, some thrash metal, some psychotic shit and a lot of experiments here and there. I think that the production sucks and I even think that the songs sucks pretty much too. Thats the worse recording we ever did, believe me. SUFFER never followed any real trends or what-so-ever, we were just a bunch of kids who were influenced by a lot of psychotic and mean music. Thats why, I guess we never followed Entombeds more rockier style. By the way, I hate all the bands who follow any trends or what-so-ever, thats just lame.

No I got a fact, that there is a 7" called "Human Flesh" you released in 1993, but I have to say that I never heard or read about it... Is it a mistake or only a very, very bad distribution?

That is true, we released an live 7 EP in 300 copies entitled Thrashing The North Away on a small label in Sweden during December 1993, and I guess that this limited edition pretty much sold out directly. Thats why it wasnt that well distributed, it is only released in 300 copies, thats it. It was two tracks recorded live in Lulea, Sweden in May 1993; Human Flesh and Wrong Side Of Life. That particular show was actually engineered by Pelle Gunnerfelt (Now producer for ENTOMBED, THE HIVES&etc!).

And in 1994 your debut was released through Napalm Records. How were the reactions on "Structures"? Did you get some good distribution from Napalm?

Yes! We finally did the ultimate album. I'm still damn proud of the Structures album today. I brought my own drumkit to Studio Sunlight and recorded the drumtracks in like 7 hours, it was awesome. Both the producer, Tomas Skogsberg, and engineer Fred Estby of DISMEMBER was amazed by the material and the production. Structures sold around 5000
copies I guess, we never saw any sellingstatements, we got ripped off like the rest off em, you know. Who cares?! It was distributed by SPV and at that time they were one of the biggest Metal distributors in the whole fucking world. Sadly we didnt tour on that album, so that pretty much killed the band, as some of the members couldnt get along in private.

But in the same year you also splitted up SUFFER. Why did you do this? Wasn't it a little bit frustrating to quit the band, shortly after the debut?

To tell you the truth, I was disappointed when first guitarist Uffe walked out of the band, and the month later bassist Putte quit SUFFER as well. I was very depressed. Jocke wanted me to stay in SUFFER and wanted us to move on with two members from a band called KAZJUROL. But it didnt feel any good at all, they were a bit older (thats not the point, though!) and wasnt that much dedicated to Metal as myself. They were mainly into hardcore and punk, which is OK, but not for a band like SUFFER. I moved home to the town I was brought up in: Kumla, Sweden and began to search for other bands to play with. More about that later!

Didn't you have the hope to play a small European tour or something like that?

Sure, that was the plan. There was some talking about an SUFFER and DISASTROUS MURMUR tour. But nothing happened! There was even talk about an full European tour after the release of Structures, but that was also postponed. So I guess we just ran out of luck about touring.

How was it in general with gigs? Did you ever played outside from Sweden and which were the best gig you played with SUFFER?

SUFFER played a lot of gigs in the whole country of Sweden, no doubt. But we never ever did a full tour or something alike. They played a gig before I joined the band in Norway, but beside that show SUFFER never played abroad. The best gig for SUFFER musicwise and with the right attitude both from the band and the audience was the last gig we ever did, at Kulturhuset in Jönköping, Sweden in March 1994. That was awesome. The biggest show SUFFER ever did was at the biggest festival in Sweden, called Hultsfredsfestivalen, that was in August 1992 and we played in front of around 1500 people. Huge!

How were your connection the Swedish scene? Did you often get drunk with other people from other bands and which bands were your neighbors in your hometowns Fagersta/ Lindesberg?

Well, sure. We hang out with all sorts of people in various music categories. In Fagersta we hang out a lot with members of bands like KAZJUROL, 59 TIMES THE PAIN and NO FUN AT ALL, Lindesberg didnt have so many bands besides MY TRUE CONFESSION at the time. I personally hang out with a lot of Swedish bands back then, like EXEMPT, MERCILESS, TRIBULATION, DECORTICATION, VOMITORY as well with my old mates from ALTAR etc.

If anyone is interested to rerelease the whole old stuff, will you be agree with it or do you think that's ok, how it's now?

Yeah! Sure! I would be interested. I dont know about the rest of the band, though, but I would definitely be interested. I have being in touch with a label in Singapore named Konqueror Records (the label for NOMINON). They might want to do it later, but nothing is for certain yet.

Are there any unreleased tracks you never release or only put on a small compilation tape?

I guess you can say that the first recorded version of Wrong Side Of Life that was recorded at the same time as our 7 EP On Sour Ground is the only really unreleased thing we got. The re-recorded version is featured on the Global Warming mini-CD. The funny thing is that we did a promotion video with the first version of that track, which turned out to be a pretty cool low-budget promovideo. We sent it out to a few TV-stations, but no one ever showed it.

Do you know, what the other members did after SUFFER splitted up? I know that Uffe and you were playing in SERPENT after that, but the other ones?

Yes, me and Uffe joined SERPENT in 1995. The debut album In The Garden Of&Serpent was released in 1996 by Radiation/Nuclear Blast Records. Bassist Putte Andersson joined a surfrock (or whatever one can call it?) band named IN BETWEENDAYS and released two mini-CDs with them. Jocke Ohman played with BAD DREAMS ALWAYS for a few years both during the SUFFER period and after. B.D.A released two mini-CDs as well. A cool thing is that B.D.A featured the drummer from the now very wellknown THE HIVES. Jocke was also playing with an Hardcore constellation after B.D.A, but I dont know if they ever released any albums or mini-CDs. But I do know that he used to work as a roadie for NO FUN AT ALL on a few tours, though. Thats all.

I got some infos that Mats Blyckert and Jörgen Kristensen from ABHOTH both played in SUFFER. Was it on the demos or did they only play for a short time in the band?

Jocke tried to go on with SUFFER after the rest of us had left the band. He was playing with two guys from the band ABHOTH, which is correct, but as I dont know which of them it was I better not guess, OK! One thing I know though is that the drummer he used was very uncool& I was later informed that he had told Jocke that he couldnt play exactly like I had done in the past, so he just didnt want to go on because of that. To me that just sounds lame. I mean, of course no one can exactly copy one another when you join a new band, thats not the point. The thing is that if one really want to join a
band you do your best and then if it doesnt work out, well then you have to face the facts. But never ever try to play like the guy before you, one must always have a personal touch and you dont get that by copying others.

You also played in Altar (later more), Dion Fortune, The Everdawn and Nasum. Is that right? Please tell me a little bit about Dion Fortune!

Yes, I was one of the original members of ALTAR, but I was not playing on any of their releases. I joined DION FORTUNE after I quit SUFFER, simply because I was asked to do it and as I didnt had any certain band to play with I joined in right away. That was the first time I meet Juha Sulasalmi, who later ended up being my comrade in NOMINON. He was incidently removed from DION FORTUNE during the autumn 1995 by the mainman Mattias Berger. We recorded a demo with DION FORTUNE in 1996 featuring four tracks that was never released (it was actually not even finished, the guitarsolo parts was never recorded). About NASUM, I was asked to play session drums on their two first gigs ever in 1995. I knew both Anders and Mieszko pretty well at the time so it was not a big problem for me to do it, that was pretty much at the same time as I was jamming with DION FORTUNE by the way. We rehearsed with NASUM for a few months and then we did the two shows, one in Sweden and one in Berlin, Germany. The guys never asked me to become a member of NASUM after that, I guess they wasnt even sure if they would continuing with NASUM at that time. But when they finally released their debut full-length album Inhale/Exhale I wasnt even on the thanklist, that pretty much upsets me. A thing like that is just stupid. THE EVERDAWN spot is much funnier to talk about, because it was just a funny thing. The guys had been my friends for a few years (well, of course they still are!) when they in 1997 was supossed to play a show in Stockholm, Sweden. I was just amazed since I was a very big fan of their at the time just released debut mini-CD. They arrived like two days before the show and we hang out and getting loaded as we always did back then. But the day before the show they received a call from their drummer that he couldnt make it, because he was about to record in a studio with another band during that weekend. They were about to cancel the show when we came up with the idea of me playing stand-in drums for that certain show in Stockholm. We rehearsed for one and an half hour in the rehearsal room of A CANOROUS QUINTET and everyone was shocked as it sounded pretty good even though I was not a member of the band, just a big fan and because of that knew the songs since I had been listened to them for a thousand times. The day after we did the show and we played the songs from their mini-CD as well as an cover of W.A.S.Ps L.O.V.E Machine. After the show people walked up to me and the rest of the band and just told us how great we sounded, and when they were told that I had just been rehearsing with the guys for an hour and a half they were all thinking that we was full of shit as it actually sounded pretty good. But thats the truth and I am still to this date getting reminded of that certain show every now and then.

Nowadays you are playing in Nominon and In Aeternum and are doing a label with Heathendoom. So it seems, that you are still a big metal worshipper!

Absolutely! I have always been a huge fan of Metal and underground metal especially. Even through the period when I had a break from playing drums (six months during the year 2000) I kept listening to the bands I adore like MALEVOLENT CREATION, MORBID ANGEL, ANNIHILATOR, KISS, KING DIAMOND, SADUS, NIHILIST/ENTOMBED&etc! When Juha called me up during 2001 I was releaved to receive a call from someone who knows me personally and understand how Death metal must be played. In the late 2003 David from IN AETERNUM contacted me for playing drums on a few tracks that they were about to record in Abyss studio, as they had a hard time getting a suitable drummer. We rehearsed the three tracks for a bout 6 hours (4 times a´1,5 hour) and then I laid down the drumtracks within 2 hours. I was excited about the whole thing, and it worked out great and the production is awesome. So after that I had to stay in that band as well. About Heathendoom, I dont actually work that much with the label anymore. I have released a few singles during the past year, but for now I dont have any certain plans. I hope to release the new DARKLANDS album next year sometime, but only time will tell if that will happen or not.

Perhaps a little introduction to your both bands and your label!

NOMINON is all about old school death metal with a certain Swedish touch, formed 1993. We have signed a new deal with Konqueror Records from Singapore and the new album will be recorded during January 2005 and released after that. Hopefully NOMINON will tour Europe after that as well. IN AETERNUM has been around since 92-93 and has released a few album on Necropolis Records. Nowadays we are signed to the label Agonia Rcords from Poland. The next album will be recorded at Abyss studio in December 2004. Propably it will be released during early next year, 2005. IN AETERNUM used to play only black/death metal, but since I joined the band a bit of thrash influences has clearly shown as well. He he!! About the label, Heathendoom Music, I started it together with Pierre of HELLTRAIN (previously known from bands like: THE MOANING, EVERDAWN, SCHEITAN&etc!) during 1995 and the name Heathendoom I took from one of my fave bands at that time; MEMENTO MORI. The funny thing is that I didnt knew them (the band) back then, but only a few years later we became really good friends, I still hang out with some of em when I get the chance to. I have released a few CDs and some vinyls on Heathendoom Music, the bands are: MEMORY GARDEN, INSISION, FIFTH REASON, SERPENT and DARKLANDS. I love them all! If I will release something in the future, my guess is that it will be more death metal oriented, besides DARKLANDS which I still consider as one of the best modern dark rock bands.

Ok Perra, that's it till now! Thanks a lot for your time and answers! Cheerz!

Thanks a lot to you for doing this (should we say "In-depth") interview!! I am always honoured to answer good ones like this. Sorry that it took me like two weeks to answer it, I hope it was worth the wait. Everybody can contact me by email. Also, check out the websites that I am part of! Thats all! Cheers!


Interview: Leif (2004)

more infos about SUFFER