Here’s an Unleashed interview, cleaned up, that first appeared in archive zine issue #5. It took place in 1992 in Washington, DC—we’re guessing at club called the Bayou.
Sweden’s Unleashed just put out its new album, Shadows in the Deep. Here Johnny Hedlund, the bassist and vocalist, talks about his death metal band, among other things.
How do you like the way the new album came out as compared to Where No Life Dwells?
I would say it’s [pause] well, the whole production is a little bit heavier; that’s the first thing. And I would say this new album is a little bit more varied than the first one, which was the purpose of it. And that’s the way we wanted it to be. For example, when we play more than an hour, I want people to hear not just fast death metal, because I know people like a lot of different kinds of death metal, which is what we headed for on this album. So we were definitely 100 percent satisfied.
Did you set out to have your vocals more aggressive on this album?
Yeah, well, what I’m doing on this album is actually that I am singing, uh, pretty much 100 percent by the tones. So if the riffing goes in a higher tone, I sing in a higher tone. Usually death metal vocalists just sing in one tone no matter what the guitar plays, and that I wanted to change.
Do you support the European Community? Do you think it’s a good idea?
No [laugh]. Well, for some countries it is a good idea, but for Sweden it’s the worst thing that ever could happen.
Why is that?
Well, because of the fact that Sweden is the richest country in Europe, [which] means that you will have to pay the poorer countries. I mean, it’s like if you earn $1,000, would you like to give away 700 of those to people who don’t have so much money? Y’know, I do want to pay taxes to poorer people. I’m not a fascist or anything like that. But see, the EC is gonna [want] all the countries to be as poor or as rich as one another. Which means that countries like Sweden, Norway and Denmark is gonna be as poor in maybe 50 years as Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and countries like that.
Well, there is of course a lot of people in my country as well that wants to join this EC, but mostly those people are the people that that owns the production, the industries and stuff like that. Because they know that if they enter the EC, they can do whatever they like with people, y’know, ‘cause all the laws and all the things that makes workers healthier and stuff like that is gonna go down. It’s gonna be just like countries where unions, for example, don’t have so much power, and in Sweden the union has the most power in the entire Europe.
Is Sweden voting against the EC?
Well, we haven’t had an election yet, but see, the government that is ruling Sweden now has for some reason just brutally entered the EC. They haven’t signed it yet, but they have told the EC that we will be there in, like, two years, something like that, which is pretty strange, because usually in a democracy you vote about things like this. So what’s gonna happen is prob’ly that if they are not gonna make the whole thing a big election, then people are gonna get really mad.
But I think they will make it an election. And, well, as it looks like now, I think it’s gonna be pretty much 50-50, and it might just turn both yes or no. I have no idea. But will definitely vote no [laugh], because I know what the results gonna be like. But there is of course positive sides to the EC as well. I mean, it’s not just negative sides, but I think the negative sides are bigger than the positive sides. ■