KHARVA: Old-School Death Metal from the Heart of Sweden

Kharva is an old-school death metal four-piece from Karlstad in Sweden, and they have just dropped out a demo release available through Bandcamp. In an interview for Rocking Charts the guys talk about kicking off their career with this release, future, and more.

Hey guys. How are you doing?

We’re doing great, thank you.

In February you launched a demo. How do you feel about the release?

Micke (guitar): I’m very pleased with the result. We have put a lot of effort in to the demo and we did all the recording and mixing and stuff ourselves. You’re always going to feel like there is more that could have been done and this and that could have been done better or differently, but at the end of the day I have to say that I’m very pleased.

Devan (bass): I’m satisfied with our release, would been even better if it was on 10″ vinyl, but you can’t get everything.

Jacob (vocals): I’m happy about the release. We did everything ourselves so it took a while, which made the feeling even better when we got to release it. I do agree with David, however, a 10″ vinyl would have made it even better!

Charlie (drums): Well, I’m overall happy with the release. There are always things to improve and one certainly learns a lot from recording in a studio. Lessons to bring to the next studio sessions. I’m already looking forward to spending time in the studio again, whenever that will be.

Kharva - Demo

How much of a challenge was to put these songs together?

Micke: We have been working fairly hard with the songs and they have all changed and been re-arranged in the process.

Devan: I play bass, it’s not much of a challenge.

Jacob: The songs were basically ready for lyrics as I joined the band. All it took for them to suit the lyrics was a bit of rearrangement, since all the riffs and different parts were already written. It was probably a harder challenge for the musicians since they wrote every single riff and everything else.

Charlie: I also play guitar, so I think I might have a different perspective when arranging songs, where I try to focus on making a song dynamic and interesting to listen to, with both a drummers and guitarists perspective. We all have different types of influences, so the biggest challenge, if any, is to glue all those influences together in order to make a song work and to make sure everyone gets the opportunity to contribute to the music.

What other artists similar to your genre that are coming from Sweden are you friends with?

Micke: I have a lot of friends that are musicians. Not necessarily in my genre, but I know a lot of musicians in the town where I live.

What is your opinion about the current metal scene?

Micke: Metal has evolved quickly over the past years and there are so many extremely good bands with technical skills that just blows your mind when listening to them.

Jacob: It’s still going strong. The general feeling is that it’s getting a bit plastic and cuddly, though.

Charlie: The metal scene is doing great, I guess. I don’t care much about it to be honest.

Can you tell me something about your influences?

Micke: I listen to all kinds of music and it is almost impossible to say what has influenced me. Life itself may be my biggest influence.

Devan: I like kängpunk.

Jacob: Inspiration is everywhere, I guess. In everything from Bob Dylan to jazz to At the Gates to Bad Brains to Black Flag to anything of your choosing. It varies.

Charlie: I listen to all kinds of music, but when writing metal riffs, I think the death metal scene has a huge impact on my writing. I listen to bands like Cannibal Corpse, Nile, Hate Eternal and Cryptopsy, so it’s inevitable that I get a lot of influences from those bands.

What are you listening to these days?

Micke: Recently I’ve been listening to Sweet. I liked them when I was a kid, but I think it’s not until now that I’ve come to appreciate what a fantastic band they actually were.

Devan: Hardcore punk, jazz and 70’s rock music.

Jacob: To everything from Joan Baez to Death’s early stuff to Don Ellis Band, I’m not bound to a specific genre as such.

Charlie: Well, the bands I mentioned above, as well as a lot of acoustic 1960’s stuff. I usually describe my music taste as everything between The Beatles and Cannibal Corpse. Also last couple of years I’ve been listening to neo-folk bands like Wardruna and Heilung.

Your 5 favourite records of all the time? 

Micke: That is like the hardest question ever to answer. But I have to say Slipknot – Iowa, Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here, The Stooges – Fun House, Judas Priest – Stained Class and Einstürzende Neubauten – Kollaps.

Devan: Totalitär – Sin egen motståndare, Refused – Shape of punk to come, Pink Floyd – Animals, Totalt jävla mörker – TJM, Black Sabbath – Paranoid. Today. If you ask me another day it could be five different artists with five different records. Maybe.

Jacob: Bob Dylan – The Times They Are-a Changin’, Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine, Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power, Bad Brains – Bad Brains, At the Gates – Slaughter of the Soul.

Charlie: Wow that’s really hard! The White Album with The Beatles are simply genius in my opinion. Other albums that’ve influenced me a lot is Slayers Reign in blod, Megadeths Rust in Piece, Cannibal Corpses Tomb of the mutilated and of Course, Alice in Chains Dirt.

Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you use to record the demo?

Micke: The demo is recorded in Logic X and mixed in Studio One. I used an Ibanez RGIB6 through a Peavey 5150 and a 4×12 cabinet with Celestion G12T-75’s, which is pretty much what I use both at rehearsals and playing live. We recorded all guitars with three microphones on three separate channels simultaneously.

Devan: A borrowed bass guitar (Jackson Dave Ellefson Signature).

Jacob: A borrowed microphone.

Charlie: I just used a standard Tama kit with a Sonor snare and some random cymbals of different brands. As long as it sounds good and fits the overall sound, it doesn’t matter much what type of gear one uses. Whatever works works, you know.

Are you working on a new material at the moment? What can we expect from Kharva in the near future?

Micke: We have a bunch of songs that we are working with and new ideas pop up constantly. Hopefully we get to record again soon, and hopefully we’ll find some label to release our stuff.

Devan: Yes we are, constantly. World domination

Jacob: Yes, always. Something.

Charlie: Yeah, we ’re working on some new material that just needs some polishing and perhaps some rearrangement before it can be considered finished. I think our next release will probably be even heavier than the present one.

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