Tuesday 3 December 2013

20 Questions w/ Rising

Abominor Line - up

Back in 2008 I think it was when I was more a Metal Hammer reader (Oh the shame), rather than an internet fanatic Sludgelord.  I happened to come across a band, hailing from Denmark!! Rising was the band and back in ’08 their debut EP was met with wide acclaim.  Indeed before bandcamp was the phenomenon that it is today, I immediately bought that CD based on the review I read.

Fast forward 5 years and 1 EP, 1 7”, 1 Full length behind them, Rising have recently released their new record, Abominor.  It is not surprising that a band is releasing a new record, what is more surprising is the fact that Rising survived the last 12 months intact and  are still dishing out their own unique brand of filth. 

Bands come and go, yet this band was determined to carry on despite their difficulties.  So with that in mind, I wanted to talk to the band, in order to get the low down all things Rising in 2013.  Here is what founding member Jacob Krogholt had to say when we hooked up a few weeks back.

Debut EP

(SL) Jacob, welcome to the Sludgelord, I’m pleased to welcome you to our humble abode.

JK: Thank you and thanks for having me!

(SL) I am saying this with slight trepidation, but how are things at Rising HQ?  Things seem to have rather tumultuous, with members leaving etc? 

JK: Yes, it's been quite a time of chaos and change. A lot of things has happened since July, when the other two left. Finishing the album, forming a label, releasing the album and not least contemplating the future for Rising. I decided to carry on Rising with Martin Niemann, a good friend and an excellent drummer and musician, with whom I originally formed the band. We've just been reconnecting on a musical and personal level, and it's been beyond positive. It's an exciting time creatively for Rising, and the music we're doing right now feels very good. So despite all the recent chaos, things are moving in the right direction.

(SL) I am not often able to say this, but I have followed your band since your very first EP back in 2009, which to this day, is a scorching debut.  Before we get onto the good stuff, new record (vinyl release),  Can you perhaps give us an idea of the roots behind Rising? Who are you, that kind of thing? It is your opportunity to tell the world about your band

JK: The roots of Rising is just really love of music and especially heavy, dark music, and this and the initial musical chemistry between Martin and I started of the band.  Rising is place where things just come natural to me musically; it's all the years of playing and listening to metal music, both all the influences and also the individual vision pouring out. Death metal, black metal, classic heavy metal, doom and sludge – all these traits and directions pouring into one coherent outlet that is Rising. I consider Rising to be heavy, aggressive, dark, atmospheric and still melodic metal band. Go judge yourself.


(SL). You’ve gone all DIY for your new record and set up your own label, Indisciplinarian to release it.  Tell us a little about the label and what your aims are for this new venture, will it be strictly Rising releases? 

JK:Me and my good friend Nikolaj Borg, a great drummer and a pro graphic designer, had been talking JK: about doing a label, well, half a year prior to the Rising release. We just wanted to put out some good stuff on vinyl once in a while. As Rising fell apart with a new LP at hand, I really didn't wanted to go shop the album at labels, which was the original plan before the demise. So I thought ”why not put it out as the first release on our own label”. So we did and it's been a great start. Indisciplinarian is not an exclusive Rising label, it will of course serve as a outlet for our own projects, but we're also planning to release other bands than our own.

(SL) Is there a specific person or persons that you looked up to in terms of modelling your label upon? Did your experience of being on a more established label like Exile on Mainstream inform the decision making about started Indisciplinarian?

JK: Not directly. But when mentioning EOM, I really like the way Andreas does things on that label. There's love for music, no bullshit and action behind words. So in that way, EOM is a role model for me in this otherwise weird business. Also the label is a consequence of both me and Nikolaj having worked in the business professionally. We've experienced the do's and don’ts and accumulated some experience and a vision of how we want things done. It's important to use the ears and the heart at certain occasions and your brain and common sense on others, and finding the balance in that – that's what we try to do, I guess.

(SL) As a music fan yourself and given that music seems to be so disposal at times, was it is important to offer a great package to your fans, and yet not alienate them by producing something which is not affordable. Did you approach the record release with trepidation, were you nervous or confident that you would produce not only a great batch of songs but also a great product for your fans?

JK: Yeah, speaking both as a band and a label person, we definitely wanted to give people a great release to an affordable price - which I think we did with the Rising album, and this we will do in the future. I haven't been worried really, even though the whole scenery surrounding the release with a dissolved band was quite odd.


(SL) Taking the vinyl release out of the equation for a moment, what are your thoughts about Abominor now.  You went back to work with the same guy who worked on your EP, is that correct?  Was the record written as a band or a solo effort?  How did it come together? 

JK: I have a complex relation to the album I guess. I think it's a strong album and it carries some of the best material I've participated in writing yet, but at the same time, it represents a hard time, chaos, demise and therefore my feelings about it are mixed. I guess, it's not only an album to me, but something more as well.

Yes, as mentioned, I've re-united with Martin Niemann, whom I formed the band with in 2008. He co-wrote and played on the EP and also co-wrote the Legacy of Wolves 7” and a track on “To Solemn Ash”. He stepped out of the band in 2010 to get away from music and focus on other things, but really we've been wanting to play together ever since. So now we're continuing the band, and the new music is also a departure from the style on “Abominor”, looking forward but also reaching into the past of the band awaking some of the heaviness and psychedelics of the early Rising. As for Abominor, it was a band effort. Most riffs and parts originates from me, but the others contributed with music as well, and we arranged everything together. In this last creative process it became clear, that we had drifted apart, even though we managed to pull a last good effort off collectively.

(SL) How would you compare the process of putting this record together, in comparison to your previous releases?   Was is an easy process, anything you would change looking back? 

JK: Even though the basic ideas came really fast on this one, it was a hard album to write. There was a lot of creative disagreements and a lot of material was dropped in the course of the writing. It became clear that we wanted different things out of this, and the material you hear on “Abominor” is the stuff on which we all could agree and stand for collectively. I learned a lot from it, and I didn't want to change anything on the album, but it was not a pleasure, and to be frank, I'm relieved that I don't have to write in this environment again.

(SL) Without getting too philosophical, are you more of an optimist in terms of moving forward with the band, given that you have lost two members 

JK: Yeah, I guess I am. I never wanted to end the band, and since I'm still writing this music and are still up for working for it, so why not? I have moved on.

(SL)  As music fans, we are often guilty of placing significant emphasis on the loss of key members of our favourite bands, for example Slayer losing two members this year, (RIP Jeff Hanneman), Helmet reforming with only one original member.  As a fan and a member of a band losing members, what are your thought about this viewpoint, are fans right to be sceptical about a bands intentions to carry on?  Or should we be more concerned with the quality of the music? 

JK: I think the output is the most important – does the material move you? That being said there's off course key members in bands, who's writing and playing are crucial to the expression and sound of a specific band. And some just can't carry on without losing identity. In Rising, I guess I view my self as a key member with the right to carry on the name, hahaha. And having Martin back in the band, it's clear to me that he's a key member as well, producing a sound and a vibe which is essential to what I want Rising to be.

2010 7" Single

(SL) Steering away from the serious stuff, sorry about that!  Tell us some of your influences/heroes both musically and artistically, both metal and non-metal? Was their a specfic band or artist turned you onto music and specifically introduced you to Heavy Metal/Rock and wanting to form a band? 

JK: The beginning for me in regards to rock n' roll was when I was 10 years old, and the teenage son of some of my parents friends played me “In Rock” with Deep Purple. I was instantly blown away. It was unbelievable, the sound and the fury. Ritchie Blackmore is to this day my favourite guitarist and riff maker. He and Purple turned me on to the electric guitar and heavy music. From there it just went ahead, listening all kind of rock and metal music, also more and more extreme stuff. As of later, I also begun to appreciate good classic songwriters as especially Neil Young, Nick Drake and Bruce Springsteen. But my softest spot will remain heavy, I guess.

(SL) Using those influences as a reference point, did they form the basis of the direction where you wanted to take the band and how approached writing Abominor or previous records?

JK: Not consciously. But I guess my influences indirectly show in my music some way or the other, as with any other musician. For me, when forming the band and doing each release, it's really been based on a feel or an atmosphere, a certain place I've wanted to take things on an emotional level, without being too formal or calculated about it. Scheming makes music boring.

(SL) Given that you started your own label, did you consider using websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to fund your new album. Some people and bands are for it. Some are not?

JK: No, I didn't. But I have no problem with artists and bands doing that.

(SL) If you could have released or played on any record past or present, what would it be and why?

JK: Hehe, well, there's so many great records, and I've been blown away a lot of times thinking, “jeez, why didn't I come up with that?”. But really it's kinda unfruitful for me to use too much energy on wanting to be in other's place. I'd like to think that the next record I'm doing is one I really want to hear myself.

(SL) Lets talk gear, I’m assuming you  like to talk about the gear you  use, so with that in mind what do you use in terms of guitars, amps and why? Also what tuning do you use? 

JK: I'm really not a big gear nerd, and my setup is pretty simple. I mainly use old Marshall amplifiers, I have a 77' JMP 2204 and a 73' Super Lead I use a lot these days. Also been using an Orange Rockerverb, but I'm turning to the Marshalls more and more, they just nail the sound I like really. For Rising and mostly in general I use Gibson Les Pauls. And throw in a stomp box now and then, mostly analog delays, phasers, vibes and wah. I'm really old fashioned in my gear, I guess. My tuning for Rising is C# with drop-H, but on the brand new stuff, we're experimenting with other and lower tunings, as well.

Debut Full Length

(SL) How valuable are blogs and social media? 

JK: Being an underground band or label, blogs and social media are pretty much the cheapest marketing tools you have, so in that sense they can be useful. On the other hand, the amount of info and updates coming from bands and music business on the internet is becoming nauseating. It's too much, and the mystery of music is vanishing to point, where I lose my interest in bands that inform me to much. I'd wish everyone would calm down, and concentrate on writing and listening to the music instead of the next update or how many likes. But yeah, still it's helpful to spread the news, so definitely a double edged sword.

(SL) Quick fire question, what’s your preference? Cassette, CD, Digital Download or Vinyl? And why? 

JK: These days I'm returning, as many other music lovers, to the vinyl. Objectively cd/wav files might be of better quality, but to me vinyl and the compression it has just sounds better, also it's not loud as fuck as everything else, so you turn up your amplifier to make it loud instead. And the artwork is so much more enjoyable on LP's. I'm not a snob about this, but I only buy cds if releases are not available on LP, and I've never bought a digital file in my life. Not that I'm against at all, on the contrary I think it's a great and easy option, but it just never thought of doing it. Vinyl and actually paying for music, I'm so old, hahaha.

(SL) What are your thoughts about digital era (I am referring to bandcamp) and the difference between buying a physical copy? Is that helpful to you? Are you a fan of offering a DL code with your own releases? 

JK: Long answer. I think the availability which the digital format on Bandcamp brings is great, and I do think it exposes people to a lot more music, if they're willing to seek it out, As long as people are paying for the music, why would I have a problem with it. These days I'm actually turning away from the whole free download/pay what you want and definitely “it's ok to steal music”-attitude. I'm sick of it. I think it's the wrong mentality, and I think musicians are undermining themselves by giving away their music for free. They're co-building a sick culture where art and music will be looked down upon as cheap and solely a promotional artefact. And I'm afraid that streaming is contributing to this attitude as well. I think its bullshit, a depressing tendency. The music is fucking work, lots of work and there's money invested in it too, so people should pay – a reasonable price, off course, but they should pay for it, if they want it. I don't expect everyone in the world to like my music, but if someone likes it enough, he or she must be ready to acknowledge the amount of work and money I've put into it, and pay the reasonable price like for every other service or work done. It's as simple as that. When people are ready to do that, the digital format is definitely helpful to me as a band and a label. And thankfully there's a healthy culture in heavy underground music for buying releases, both physical and digitally, and supporting the artists.  As for the DL codes, we didn't do that on the Rising LP, but we're considering it for future releases. Anyways, both the LP and the DL on Bandcamp are quite cheap, so I think people will survive until we've implanted that kind of package solution for our coming releases.

(SL) As a new label starting out on their own, how will you measure the success of Abominor?

JK: Under the given circumstances surrounding the band and its demise, I think its gone pretty good. Press response has been predominantly positive and the vinyl is selling fine. But it's a hard release with a band not touring and with that in mind, I thinks it's been better than I could expect. On Indisciplinarian we normally want our bands to tour, but this one is kind of special, I guess :-).

(SL)   What are your plans for the rest of the year and 2014? Any exciting releases to keep our eyes on, fans may be anxious to know if you’ll be touring this record?

JK: As for Rising, we will not be touring the new record. Firstly it doesn't make any sense to us at this point, and secondly even if it did, we don't have a line-up to tour it with. Our main focus is really to push the band forward creatively and write new music, and we're actually demoing a lot of new stuff the next couple of months. Early next year we will begin to seek out new members to complete the new line-up, and from there the plan is to finish writing a new record, record it and play some shows by the end of the year. We hope to get all this done in the course of 2014 and have a new record out in 2015, but we take one step at the time. For now we're just tripping on new music! As for Indisciplinarian, we have a great noisy rock record by a Danish duo FOSSILS out in March, and me and my label mate Nikolaj are doing a band called ANTI RITUAL together, which will be releasing an EP on the label this spring also. That's the plans really.

(SL) Thanks for answering my questions, but one final question, you got anything you like to say to your fans and what can we expect from Rising, in the future, new record? Tours? 

JK: I guess I said the most in the last question. But for those who like Rising: Have patience with us! We're writing lots of new music, and I really feel that we're hitting our own thing hard with this material. There will be a new record, and it will kick fucking ass. And we will be out touring in a year or so again. Until then, check out Abominor and our previous stuff, if you don't know that. Thanks for the support, also to the Sludgelord and Mr. Pickford!

Thanks to Jacob for the interview.  You can read the review of Abominor here

 Words and interview by : Aaron Pickford

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