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In Words: Debase

- Micko Twedberg - May 2002 - Claudia Ehrhardt -
- Micko Twedberg - Jan. 2004 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Debase - Micko Twedberg - January, 19th 2004 -

It's been more then 1 ½ year since I met the guys of Debase at the Annihilator tour. A good band, nice guys and so I did an interview with bassist Micko Twedberg during the tour (see below). Now their new - their 3rd album - will get in the stores and I took the chance for another chat with Micko. I remember that someone from Sanctuary Records - beside people from other labels - came around on tour to see the band live. "Well, Dirk Butke from Sanctuary Records come to our first show on the tour and after the show he was like 'we'll see...'. Then there were talks on and off for about a year. But finally we signed and now we have a fair chance." The new album Unleashed is harder, more powerful. "We wanted to go back, more basic and harder stuff. On the last album we haven't had this power. Some of the songs we have already played on that tour." They kinda tested how the fans react on the new songs. Most people didn't know the band at all and so all songs were new to them. "But the songs changed on tour and afterwards. They might sound familiar, but they are different to the versions we played live." The band recorded the album last fall. "We recorded in my studio and did the mixing in Gothenburg at Studio Fredman." The album production is something Micko can be proud of, coz the sound is really good, powerful and you can hear the different instruments clearly. At the same time it sounds almost live through some elements like the different guitar lines which you can hear on different speakers... Know what I me? Best to hear with headphones. "I came up with it. It's more or less how I experience it live, coz I have Jonas on one side and Sigge at the other. When they play different guitar lines you get this effect and I like it. It makes it sound more live, even if you can't get a 100% live sound." With Studio Fredman they had one of the most famous European studios involved in the mixing. "Actually I was pretty nervous, coz it was the first time I produced an album fully. We went to Gothenburg and they listened to my production. They liked it and it was like 'What you want me to do with this shit?' they asked with a smile." And that shows that they were right to do it that way. There are albums of known bands who spent thousands of dollars and have a shitty production.... "My main goal was to get the sound as similar to our live sound as possible..." And he succeeded in my opinion. With signing a deal with Sanctuary Records they have now a world-wide deal. "It's great to have the possibility through Sanctuary to have the album released around the world. We already got emails from the U.S. asking why the albums aren't released there. Now they have a chance to get the new album at least. Beside that it's better not to be on a major label, coz there we would have zero priority. Sanctuary Rec. isn't too big, so they care about every band they signed and also have the contacts and partners around the world to make a lot happen." Due to the fact that the release is in early spring, they are in time for festivals... "Well, we are trying. We just signed with a booking agent who is now trying to work things out for us. But it's hard, coz this is like our debut. The first albums been released on a small label and they didn't do much promotion, etc. So this is like our first release." At the Annihilator tour they made a good impression live and so I think that they will get the chance to tour. Perhaps we have to wait 'til fall... But media has problems to categorize them, they are metal, but have elements from different shades of metal. "It's not just the media who don't know how to call our style. Also the labels didn't know how to place us and were insecure, if they should spend money on us." The band decided to call their musical genre NWoSHM which means New Wave of Swedish Heavy Metal. When you look back it seems that it was a good decision of them to do the Annihilator tour on their own to shop around for a deal. "Actually we still had a deal when we got the offer for the Annihilator tour, but our label didn't want to support. We were already on the way to record our 3rd album. They didn't want to invest money into the tour. We decided to do the tour and contact labels to see us on tour, trying to get a deal. We found some kind of sponsors who helped us money-wise. Then we set up a paper and let it sign by our old label, so that we were free to look for a new deal for our 3rd release. So we felt unleashed from them." That's just one reason to title the album Unleashed. "Well, it fits in a lot of meanings for us. But all that, kind dictate the name!" And it seems that they do everything right at the moment... When I mentioned that I like the artwork Micko told me that he did it. The cover shows partly a face in shades of blue with a kind of structure laid on it. The logo is like cut out and only the outer margin in a silver metallic makes it visible. "I had some ideas for the artwork and also did realize it. I wasn't pretty sure about it and showed some to Sanctuary Records, coz they have to do the marketing. They know better and it's good to have a second, a different opinion." Now it's time to wait for them, to wait and see if the people will like their album and if they can go on tour... I wish them luck and I guess I'll see them soon somewhere!

Claudia Ehrhardt

Micko Twedberg - Offenbach (Germany), May, 25th 2002 -


After we've been on tour with Annihilator, Seven Witches and Debase for a few days we decided in Offenbach to ask bassist Micko Twedberg of Debase for an interview. He was so kind to spend time answering our questions. Actually we had almost no information about the band and so this is just a short introduction, a more detailed interview will follow when their next album will be released.

So far a few people know you were on tour with Alice Cooper. Now you are on tour with Annihilator, but a lot of people didn't know who Debase are. Could you tell us a little bit about the past, the present and about the future?

Yeah... We started the band in '96. Johan, the drummer joined us in 2000 after the recording of the 1st album which is called The World Is Listening.

But the world wasn't listening. It was just a few people listening that time...

Yeah, we got a very poor deal with a poor distribution, but than we got the tour with Alice Cooper in 2000. Then our label got bankrupt right during the tour. Then we recorded the 2nd album. That one was released August last year. We haven't done a tour for that album. So this is the tour for Domination, the 2nd album. Now we have recorded our new album and we have a new label for this new album.

Again?! New album, new label.

Actually, the first albums were at the same label. But we will change.

How comes that you now do the tour with Annihilator without having a record deal and it ain't easy to tour these days anyway, so...

Now we are doing this only to promote the band. We have invited many labels to our shows and most of them have shown up so far and there is still some to come and we have good response!

It seems that also the audience give good response so far at your shows. Do you see a different between the responses of the audience from one country to another?

So far the big city's has been the best. It has nothing to do with the country. London was much better than the other ones in England. Paris was good, Milan was good... I think, the big city's. It's less good in the country.

So what can we expect after this tour from Debase? The album is recorded, but not mixed yet?

That's right. We haven't mixed it yet. We still have some small things to do with it. But we have plans for release in fall and a hopefully we can tour for that album.

How did you do the song writing?

I write the songs and sometimes someone has an idea. We write the songs in the rehearsal studio. And while Johan and I wrote the songs we were in this studio and just jamming and there was a new song. So it is different from song to song. Most of them we did together.

So what influence has you and it's very hard to categorise your music. And than it's easy to say its new wave of Swedish Heavy Metal. But people always want to label it.

Yeah... We was labelled many times, but in different categories Thrash Metal, Power Metal... I don't know! I can't categorise that. Just call it Metal. It's heavy with an attitude.

How did you come up with the idea to do an song about Star Wars?

I was thinking about the movie Star Wars. But the lyrics are about wars and suffering and there is always something bigger and it takes charge of other people's life.

Best example we have at the moment is September 11th.

Yeah, it is...

Do you see a difference between the tour with Alice Cooper and this one? Sure it was a bigger tour with Alice Cooper and some other things are different in that way, but...

Nadja: Especially the tour manager *laughter*

How was the reaction from the audience? You have had a bigger promotion, right? Something with backdrops and you didn't have to be roadie for the other support bands like on this one.

Yeah, we don't mind sharing our stuff. We've been doing that for 15 years, so that is not a problem. But I think Alice Cooper's fans liked us more. And that's very natural, because Annihilator are Thrash Metal and we're not.

But at the other hand you have the chance to get attention of fans of another genre.

This is good for us anyway...

So can we expect to see you on some festivals? Or just have to wait for the new album and probably festivals next year? Or will you do some shows in Sweden?

We don't have any festivals booked this year, because we wanna mix the album during the summer when we are back home.

Where do you think will you mix the album?

We haven't decided yet. It depends on which label it will be and how much they wanna spend on the mixing.

So you don't offer the finished product to the label...

We could do, but it depends on what the label offers.

So, it's all wait and see?!


So we have all to wait 'til the album is released...


So, this was our little chit-chat with Micko about the band's situation. More will follow, that's a promise. In the meantime, give them a chance and listen to their albums.

Claudia Ehrhardt


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