Hearse - Armageddon... Not!

By Sgt. Deth

There is so much talent that comes from the heart of Europe. I love just about any metal band that comes from the region, from King Diamond to Arch Enemy. Speaking of Arch Enemy, ex-singer Johan Liiva has formed a quite impressive band called Hearse following his departure from his former outfit. The three-piece is based in Stockholm, Sweden and "Armageddon, Mon Amour" is their second release and by the sound of it, not their last. These guys are so full of energy and reminds me of why I love metal music so much.

This is a pure metal band. Yet they have their own unique sound that I am sure will become classic someday. Ten years from now, we will hear youngsters comparing new music to this standard. I was very interested in asking them some questions about the origin of the unique sound they've come up with. Both Johan and Max Thornell were happy to share some thoughts on Hearse with us...

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES:Hello from Just heard your new CD, I must say that I am very impressed. What is the driving influence for this album, because I can sure tell that there is one?

MAX THORNELL: Hello to you too! To begin with I´m very pleased to hear you like the album. Hmmm... the driving influence? This is a tough one! I guess that when I started out playing music like 200 years ago you could definitely point at a certain band that influenced me. But nowadays...well, I most likely get influenced in some way, but I can´t really point at a certain band that influences me. We all listen to a great deal of different kinda music and I guess some of it sure leaves some tracks. If you check out the bands I like in the answer to Question 7, I guess you won´t really hear any influences from those bands in our music. Anyway, Alice Cooper and Kiss were the bands that got me interested in music back in the middle 70´s and also influenced me to begin playing myself.

WC: How do you achieve that very unique guitar sound on the first track?

MAX: Hmmm... is there anything special about the first track? The guitar sound of the whole record is based on Gibson Les Paul and Ibanez through a Boss Metal Zone box and then through a Mesa Bogie amp and a Marshall amp. There´s also some parts done on a Fender Strat.

WC: Johan, What have you achieved in Hearse that you never could have achieved in Arch Enemy?

JOHAN LIIVA: Well, that's kind of a tricky question in a way because I don't look at and compare things that way. I achieved
some things in Arch Enemy and I am achieving things in Hearse. Maybe the most important thing with Hearse is that I've broadened my vocal abilities a bit more, daring to experiment and relax a little when singing. At least that's the way I feel about it. After all, it's mainly about having some fun and enjoy that special feeling of being part of a band that works together.

WC: Can we expect many more CDs from Hearse in the future?

MAX: I definitely hope so. Guess it all depends on how this one is going. So everybody: Buy two copies, OK!? Anyway we already have like ten songs ready for a possible third record, so hopefully our record label will let us do another one! It seems like we´re always one step ahead with songs. I´m just spitting out songs at the moment. And if we can keep up this one-album-a-year pace. I´d be more than happy!

WC: What kind of tour plans do you have for 2004 to support this awesome new CD?

MAX: It seems like we´ll be doing some touring this Autumn. Nothing´s really set yet, but that´s at least what we´re aiming for.

WC: What are your favorite bands?

MAX: We all listen to quite a variety of music. I´ve always felt that just listening to one kind of music is quite boring and also not very evolving. If I were to mention some fave bands, though, I´d say The Cult, Motörhead, Steel Dragon, Johnny Cash, Carcass, Napalm Death, Radiohead, Rush, Morbid Angel, The Runaways, Uriah Heep, Discharge, Stillborn, Alice Cooper, Kyuss, Rudimentary Peni, Noa, Cheap Trick, Rainbow, Conflict, Subhumans, Poison Idea, Entombed, Alanis Morissette, Trouble, Macabre, Venom, Enya, Bad Brains, Pixies and like 3000 other bands!

WC: Whats your favorite beer?

MAX: Beer is for wimps! We smoke crack! OK, I admit it! I don´t like beer! I prefer cider actually. But don´t tell anybody, OK!? (Cider!...the choice of death metallers everywhere!--Dr. Mality)

WC: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you like to live?

MAX: Gotta admit I like it quite well here in Stockholm. I´ve got like everything I need here. Only place else I´ve felt that I could enjoy living is actually San Francisco. Really liked that place when I was there some years ago!

WC: What do you guys do for fun?

MAX: Well, I say playing music! Can´t really come up with anything else that´s so much fun! Otherwhise partying, hangin´out with friends, downhill skateboarding, answering questions from Wormwood Chronicles, going to the movies etc.

WC: What is your best Spinal Tap moment?

MAX: It´s hard to choose just one moment from that movie. But of course the classic scene with “This one goes to eleven” is a blast! “Hello Cleveland” in the catacombs is cool too. We actually drove through Cleveland in the middle of the night some years ago and I just had to shout out through the window “Hello Cleeeevelaaandd!” Their freeform jazz era was cool too. Goddammit, I love everything about that movie! Everything! And of course I also learned that you can´t record a rock album in dobly!

WC: Any final words?

MAX: Thanx a lot for showing interest in Hearse. I really appreciate it! Live well and be happy!

Visit Hearse's Website here

Visit Karmageddon Media's Website here