Could you tell us about the new album - what were the recording sessions like?
Wilhelm > We recorded the album at three different places, the drums were done at studio Armageddon in Croatia.
Vedran > It's recorded in Armageddon Studio Osijek, I had a great help from Eldar Ibrahimović-Piper, and I had a great help from Janos Toththe guy from a Artbeat drumstix for sending stix for recording, it's recorded in 8 hours. It was easy to work with Piper. Everything went okay. And I wasn't happy with my playing.
Wilhelm > The guitars and bass were done at my home studio, Funky cat studios. I prefer recording like that cause you have all the time you need, I often get very nervous when recording in a studio. The studio reassure isn't very good for me, so instead of spending money on studio time, I invested in recording equipment. The guitars were done in a few days, with me engineering myself, I used a Eleven rack guitar preamp hooked up to my sound board. My guitar session went well, the hardest songs were actually the simplest songs, A horrible disease, for some reason I was constantly messing up on that one. But after two days or a lot of swearing I nailed it. The Darkthrone cover was also a bit tricky, mainly because I was making it up as I was recording it. My idea was originally just to make a short cover snippet, but since I liked what I was recording I decided to cover the entire thing, and I'm glad I did. The bass was recorded in two sessions I believe, using a line 6 bass pod pro pre-amp. Not too much to say, things went smoothly and we got a great bass sound.
The vocal sessions were at Ninja studio in Malmö, we did two sessions with a week apart. My main memory is the confusion of using equipment new to me, and trying to get everything to work, since it was not set up the way we needed it to be. So we had to spend a few hours messing around with the equipment to get it to work. Kind of annoying, but the result speaks for itself.
Could you name some of your influences?
Wilhelm > The main idea when starting this band was to infuse doom and death metal, but in a bit more brutal way then what is commonly done. What I had in mind was to create the lovechild of Bolt thrower and Katatonia. But besides that I'm very inspired by Death, Broken hope, Cannibal corpse and Acheron. But I also get inspiration from my fav singer songwriters, Bob Dylan, JJ Cale and John Prine. For example the finger picking pattern in a horrible disease and the main part in Transilvanian hunger is inspired by John Prine, I guess it is a simplified Travis picking pattern. Simple to do but it sounds intricate. Both Bob Dylan and John Prine inspired me to write topical songs.
Could you tell us about the Doom metal scene currently in Sweden? Any bands that you support?
Wilhelm > To be honest I'm not that up to date with it, I do support and listen to my friend in Morito Ergo Sum.
From what I have understood is that the scene is growing, with a lot of bands playing more traditional doom and stoner music. I'm not that into that kind of stuff myself, I'm more into the death/doom and black/ doom smelling things. Here in the south of Sweden where I live, the scene isn't as vibrant, for any kind of metal. I believe it is better farther north, around Stockholm. But since I'm a few hours away, I don't keep tabs on it. I'm still listening to my old Katatonia records!
Do you listen to Swedish punk and metal - old school bands?
Wilhelm > Not so much punk, there is a band called Ebba grön, which is a old punk band that has been defunct for many years, but I think almost every Swede under the age of 60 listened to that band at least at some point in their life. And I would strongly recommend checking out the bands main man Joakim Thåström's solo work. It is more mellow but totally fantastic in my opinion. When we are talking old-school metal I listen mainly to death metal, like Dismember. They are one of my favorite bands, today the retro wave is growing, but I'm sticking to Dismember. I have always listen to more bands from outside of Sweden. Sure we have a lot of really killer bands here, but my favorites for the most parts are none Swedish.
You have been influenced by Bob Dylan and john Prine in your writing - how to do you meld these influences into the framework of doom metal?
Wilhelm > Maybe in the way of the kind of mood I like to have the songs in. And also maybe it has influenced that I like to have a lot of clean parts in the music, but I guess that is nothing new in metal music. I guess that might be more a influence from let say Katatonia. But all music I listen to gets thrown in to the big melting pot that is The Gardnerz. I think out of those three that I mentioned in the earlier question I would say that JJ Cale has been the biggest influence on my song writing. I really like his mellow and laidback style of music.
Are you interested in the occult and in occult writings - do they influence your work?
Wilhelm > No not at all actually. I'm an atheist and materialist (in this sense), I don't believe in anything like that. Our first album was inspired by the French writer Baron d' Holbach, and his book the system of nature. Our debut album has the same name. The book is a dissection of religion and pointing out all it's fallacies and the impossibility of a god.
Where does the name of the band come from?
Wilhelm > It is inspired by the greek pre-socratic philosopher Epicurus, he talked about that everything you need in life to be happy is a garden, good friends and simple food. And I really like the garden symbolism so I wanted to name the band "The Gardeners" but that was taken and a Google search yielded about 9 million hits so, I changed it around a bit and added the z for good measure. Now when you google The Gardnerz, you will almost exclusively get hits about us.
Any live shows planned for the band upcoming - maybe rock festivals?
Wilhelm > Not at this moment, we had a tour booked for September but it fell through, we really would like to do some shows, so if someone wants to book us we are game. We have been talking to a smaller festival in Sweden but I don't know what happened to it.
Is the doom sound a longing for the rock of the 70's - Black sabbath, Deep Purple sound etc.?
Wilhelm > Maybe for other people, since a lot of new bands try to emulate those bands. And a lot of fans picks up the new bands. But not for me, don't get me wrong I love Black Sabbath, but I'm more in to creating slow death metal. I love a lot of the brutal death metal bands but I always wished that they would lay of the blast beats abit, and use slower drumming for the fast and technical riffs. So that is that I'm trying to do. Not always of course, still want to doomy it up a lot aswell. I guess I should have add Black Sabbath as a influence, since when you play doomy shit, they are the grand daddys. But i have no desire to get a '70s sound. I just want to do dirty raw death doom metal, and what we end up with and what other people think it sounds like, well that is another question.
What lies in the future for you - any "Gardnerz" side projects that you wish to tell us about?
Wilhelm > The main thing I'm doing now besides working is studying Portuguese, that takes up a lot of my time.
Regarding The Gardnerz, we have some stuff up our sleeves , but nothing I wish to unveil just yet. The priority right now is to support then new album in any way we can. Besides that I play in a black metal band called Pandemonium, and we are working on new stuff right now. The other guys have different bands also, Niclas plays in Vandöd, Francisco in Sacramento, Inner Santvm and maybe more I can't keep track. Our drummer Vedran isn't playing in anything that I know of.