While Wormwood are working on their second album, Fée Verte asked some questions to their guitarist Tobias Rydsheim :
- Hi Tobias ! First of all, can you introduce your band Wormwood ? Your music is very rich and is made up of numerous influences, from black metal and folk to rock and atmospheric music. How would you define your musical style ? On your official site, you use the terms « Atmospheric Blackened Folk’n Roll ».
Hey and thank you for having me! Wormwood is now (late 2018) a band of 4. Me (RYDSHEIM), the other guitarist NOX, drummer JOHTUN, and the vocalist NINE. Unfortunately we had to go separate ways with our bass player BORKA a few months ago. We are all living in different parts of Stockholm County, Sweden. Yeah, I think our style is based around some kind of melodic black metal. But since we frequently use elements from various styles and genres it would not be fair to label us as a stereotype Black Metal band. Therefore something like « Atmospheric Blackened Folk’n Roll » is a more nuanced description of our sound. It is kind of cliché to say it, but I don´t really care about how to define or label my own music. But on the other hand it could be useful when explaining to people what we are doing. If I talk to people that don´t play music themselves or people who´re not in the metal scene I just tell them that I am in a rock band. They wouldn´t get it anyway.
- The lyrics of your songs are sung sometimes in English, sometimes in Swedish, how did you decide that you would sing a song in this or that language ?
It has just ended up being in that way. Some things are impossible to express in English, and Swedish tend to be the perfect tongue to use for describing, stuff from here. And I personally think that Scandinavian languages go along well with metal music. NINE who writes most of the lyrics have no problem to express himself in English though. It comes natural for him. So yeah, the mix comes natural for us as a band. And we don´t ever fight about whatever language we should use.
- At the moment you prepare your sophomore album, can you give an approximate release date ? Do you have some details to give about it, for instance, will there be some guest-musicians or singers, or some new influences ? Given that Borka recently left the band, will there be a session bassist ? Alexandra Moqvist’s participation brought a plus on the first album, will you work together again ?
Yes, a new album is being recorded now as we speak. We have no deadline for it, so it would be hard to promise a release date. But if everything goes as expected from here I would like to say that the new album could be released in the first half of 2019. It will be the same WORMWOOD on this album as well. But picked out the things from GHOSTLANDS that we liked the most to perfect it. I can assure you a lot of melancholic soundscapes, Scandinavian folk, and furious metal in both English and Swedish. Since BORKA is out of the band I´m recording the bass myself for this album in addition to the guitar. But we will use a session bassist for the next upcoming gigs until we find someone who we want to have as a permanent member. We will have a few guests as it seems like right now, and somehow a female presence. But I can´t and won´t go into further details regarding how and who, yet.
- When your first album Ghostlands – Wounds from a Bleeding Earth was released, the team of the webzine stated that this album could have been the worthy successor of Legions of the North by Manegarm. I know you’re also a live-guitarist in Manegarm, is it a band which influences you a lot when you compose ? Are there other artists or bands which inspire you ?
I keep hearing this pretty often, that we have some musical similarities with MÅNEGARM. But I don´t really think so, and they don´t think so either as far as I know. Well, we´re both metal bands who share the same kind of instruments. But in that sense we also have similarities with IRON MAIDEN or a random guttural death metal band. Of course it´s because of the folk melodies that pop out here and there. I get it. So yeah, I can see a connection. Maybe it´s something in the water we drink here who makes it sound like that. Me and the Månegarm guys are all living in Norrtälje, outside of Stockholm. I play with them as a live guitarist, but I have always wanted WORMWOOD to be something different that any band in the « extreme metal scene ». So I can´t really say that I get inspired from them. Except for playing metal music and use some folk tunes here and there. I get the most influences from music that aren´t metal in any sense. Like Dire Straits and stuff like that. But the biggest source of inspiration comes from nature, art, movies, folklore, history, feelings, dreams and life in general.
- Let’s talk about gigs. There is already an important event next year which is the first Manegarm Open Air. The festival has been sold out very quickly, did you expect such an enthusiasm ? Apart from this festival, do you have other planned gigs ? Can we expect for a new European tour with a visit in France in the near future ?
Månegarm Open Air will be a great festival, a lot of good bands and it seems like there will be people attending from all over the world. You´re all welcome! I hope that this will be an annual festival which will grow into something big. At least it would be smooth for me, to have a great festival to visit by walking for 15 minutes, haha! We will also play Vagos Metal Fest, Portugal in August. We´ve got both good and bad offers for a European tour next year, nothing is certain yet. But France has been mentioned. I would like to go on tour for promoting the new album next autumn. The first part of 2019 will be spent at home being a first time dad with my yet unborn daughter. Apart from that, when I got that figured out. Yes, there will hopefully be a lot of shows around Europe announced sooner or later for 2019.
- Nordic folklore and nature seem to be your main sources of inspiration, do you have other ones ?
As mentioned earlier in the interview Nordic folklore and nature among other matters is very important to me. So that is an obvious choice of inspiration for music. Mankind in not treating old culture, mother nature or the animals to good, and I think that giving nature a voice could be meaningful in many ways. Doesn´t matter in what shape or form, and that is more for the listener to interpret. I thank you for this interview! Keep doing what you´re doing and I hope to bring you some new WORMWOOD music as soon as possible. We´re working really hard right now to make the album come out of your speakers. Also, let´s hope to see as many of you guys as possible out when we´re on the road again! Cheers!