!!!SWEDISH HEAVY METAL!!!
We had a conversation with Robin (Guitars / Vocals). Enjoy!
Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
1. Tell us a few things about COMMANDO (Members, Starting Year etc).
We started to play together in January of 2016 but didn’t get started for real until the spring of 2017. The first few months of the band was just a total worship of bands like Exciter, Enforcer, Lethal Steel and many Swedish underground bands from the 80’s.We were fascinated by those bands who made one song/Ep/record and just disappeared. Bands like Scratch, Jonah Quizz, Onyx, Gotham City, Hiroshima etc were just some bands we liked and wanted to sound like. But, coming from a thrash background, we wanted to incorporate more attack and malice into the sound so that’s when we started to think more for ourselves and not just ripping bands off. We want to think like the bands we listen to and not necessarily sound like them. Now I think we have a pretty solid mix of everything.
Robin Bidgoli - Guitar and vocals
Felix Einarsson - Guitar
Eric Björklund - Bass and backing vocals
Aron Torstensson - Drums
2. You are going to release your new EP ''Rites Of Damnation''.Tell us a few things about this project.
Well, for starters, it’s basically just a collection of songs that we’ve written during these 2-3 years (some riffs date back to ‘16) with some minor basic connection. We didn’t write these songs for a specific release or something, we just wrote them so we could call ourselves a band and get the thing going. It has taken a long time to actually get started, but I realize now it was a good call to not rush things or release the songs like they sounded just two years prior. Now we’re 99% happy with the songs and can release them with pride. I’ll admit that I was really stressed out at times when things weren’t happening and I just wanted to get things done.The EP was recorded at Studio Mantel by our good friend Rickard Nygren, who plays in Insane and Nattramn. We’d talked to him on numerous occasions about him recording us, ‘cause he liked our demo from 2018 and was willing to work with us. We knew he had some recording experience prior to us and that he understood what we wanted. All the songs were done before going into the studio with minor exceptions of some acoustic guitar parts.
When the recordings were finished (and we got the wicked artwork from Joel Sundin) we contacted some labels and asked if they’d be willing to work with us. Our minds blew when we saw an email from Steffen at High Roller Records! A bunch of our favourite records has been released by him so it was the best possible outcome for us. Now we’re just eagerly awaiting the release of ‘’Rites of Damnation’’ and the effects it hopefully will have on us as a band.3. Label or DIY and why?
A label is obviously better for the sake of releasing your music and getting it out to people. We are signed to a label so I can’t really say that DIY works all the way. But, it does work for certain things. For the 2nd edition of our demo we did the copying of the tapes ourselves for example. It’s things like that that’s really fun and you get the satisfying feeling of doing things yourself. Now, we’d never gotten the chance to release our music on vinyl if it wasn’t for a label helping us, we’d probably never gotten our music to certain people etc etc.We do try to keep most of what we do close to us and our friends. The shirts and stickers are made by Niklas Nord from Ofog & Motvals who we’ve known for a while now and he’s a real hero here in Arvika who books lots of shows and does very much for the music scene here.We recorded the EP with Rickard who some of us has known since 2015 and the artworks are made by Joel who I’ve known since 2016. So we’ve had the opportunity to always give direct influence into these things.
4. Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
I prefer physical format overall, but I don’t agree with the whole ‘’digital-destroys-the-scene’’ or whatever. I grew up with burned CD-s that my brother gave me and such, but if I hadn’t watched Kiss on Youtube when I was 8 years old for example, I would probably never have answered this interview. I like physical music the most because it’s more immersive and gives the record a whole other meaning when you can touch the sleeve or case, while reading the lyrics and looking at the artwork, all while listening to the great music. I also like digital just for the convenience aspect of it all and that it gives the music instant reach all over the world.What I don’t like about digital is that it has shrunken my attention span when coming to music. When I don’t like the first 5 seconds of the song I can just turn it off and go to the other song, all within two clicks. I know that it’s not a good thing and it’s something I want to change, but I also know it’s a mindset I’ve grown up with. Man searches for the easy and convenient way.5. Your music style is Heavy Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
Our music has much more to offer than JUST heavy metal. At least that’s what we are hearing, as we wrote the songs and know where all the riffs are coming from. I can understand that other people don’t hear our music the same way we do, but we want to show people that we have other things to give. It’s hard for a band to label themselves, that’s really up to the listener to decide and then lump in with other bands, if they like.But to actually answer your question and not ramble on; we all have different (and much of the same) influences and taste in music. Mercyful Fate, In Solitude, Metallica, Slayer are some bands we all like and take some inspiration from for example. Personally, I always cite Dissection as a band I admire immensely and that, subconsciously, I think about when writing music. I like so many records and bands so if I pick some now I will change my mind in five minutes. Some bands that’ll always be with me are Metallica, Motörhead, Slayer, Exodus, Dissection, Morbus Chron, Rush, Possessed, Sepultura, Kreator etc etc.As for newer bands, I like Antichrist, Vulture, Enforcer, Insane, Mystik, The Third Eye Rapists, Beastiality, Vampire, Initiation, Source etc.6. Which things, do you think, a Band should sacrifice in order to succeed?Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future of your Band?
First you have to decide what success actually is. It’s a subjective and relative term, so for instance, we have succeeded at releasing a record and getting a record contract.The only thing a band should and must sacrifice is their time. If a band doesn’t put in the countless hours of rehearsing, songwriting, gigplaying, car-driving, non-sleeping or what have you, you can’t get anywhere. Now, there’s a lot of things that can be affected when giving up your time for music, such as friends, family, jobs or whatever. Luckily, we haven’t had to sacrifice anything significant yet.
7. Describe your ideal live show as a performance Band. Have you already experienced that?
We have actually! Our show at The Abyss in Gothenburg in ‘18 with Insane was a turning point for us as the crowd, after watching our show, literally just turned around from the stage to the merch table and just went crazy buying stuff. That was the same night we got our demos and we sold like half of them. People were really positive towards us and were genuinely surprised, so at the time it was the ideal show. Then we played Muskelrock in ‘19 and people went fucking berserk. We played in a sort of a cage and people were banging on it and pulling the bars so the whole stage would be shaking. Beers were flying, heads were banging and it was pure chaos.That’s an ideal show for us, where the crowd are just going nuts and living the show.8. Which attributes, do you think, that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
That’s an interesting question, because if there were guidelines for that, no band would have been unique. The only thing you really can do is believing in what you do, not following stupid trends and not bowing to what heavy metal is or is not.Heavy metal to me is just pure rebellion, physical or psychological or in any shape or form.It’s a way to express yourself and just bash out, in your own way. If there ever was a ‘’this’’ and ‘’that’’, the genre, or music as a whole, would be dead a long time ago.
9. Do you believe that Bandcamp and other Digital Platforms help the new Heavy Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a Band to promote its work?
Definitely! You can reach out to thousands of people at once, so it’s obviously the best way quantity wise. Now, how many of those thousands who’ll actually listen is another question.You have to find a way to keep those people interested and willing to invest their time into your work, digital or not. We’ve gotten many new fans because of Bandcamp and I have as of yet to experience something negative, so I think it’s a great thing.10. Tell us a few things about the New Underground Heavy Metal Scene in Sweden (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
The new scene has been new for about 20 years. That’s approximately the time I’ve been alive so I can’t really speak for the whole scene. But when I think about it, Sweden has some of the best bands, and has had some of the best bands in the world, ever.Everyone knows about Bathory, Europe, Candlemass, Entombed, Dismember etc, so I’ll list some of the newer bands;
Mystik, Insane, Antichrist, Guilliotino, Source, Portrait, Vampire, Initiation, Succubus Seducers, Beastiality, Witch Blade, Lethal Steel, Entrench, Enforcer, CC Company, Tribulation, Eternal Evil, Armory, Tyrann.There are around 5 fanzines that I know of in Sweden and I’m behind one of them, Sentinel Fanzine. I’m currently working on the fifth issue. The rest are Black Pages, Trifixion Zine, Turborock and Urkraft Zine.The Abyss is the best metal club in Sweden and they currently need help in these fucked up times. So go to their Facebook page, look up their gofundme link and help them out. Their festival also has the best lineups!Truckstop Alaska was a cool place that I had the chance to go to one time, sad it was shut down due to stupid buerocracy and people in suits wanting to clean everything up and making society sterile. I also know of Klubb Fredagsmangel in Stockholm which I have yet to visit.
11. Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
Unfortunately not. I only know about the band Flames and one band we played with at Raptorfest in Gothenburg and in Denmark, Rapture. I would appreciate some tips on ruthless metal!Thanks for the interview, Stavros.
By Steve the Filthy Dog.
Live photos : Joe Destroyer
Band photo: Johan TinforsCOMMANDO CONTACT: