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Cupio Dissolvi

Frederik Soderlund and his new project “Carinou”, music business, politics, and… Dr. Dre.

coverFabrizio Garau (FG): Carinou started as a collaboration between yourself and Maggie. What did you learn from an artist with such a different musical background and what was it like working with her?

Frederik Soderlund (FS): Well we work in different ways, she is a lot more structured so in many ways it was a step by step production, I showed her ideas for a track or lyrics and she would add some of her thoughts and then pass it back. Strangely enough the work went quite fast and was very interesting. In regards to technology we did have some exchange but since we recorded in my studio it was mainly using my equipment and no real big surprises.

FG: I must say that “Vivid” is a really “killer song” and a really good start to the album. Could you tell me something about this track?

FS: We thought it could be a good way to start the album off since it is a high energy song but still in the spirit of the rest of the album. The lyrics deal with everyday lies, hypocrisy and are as the album in general fairly desolate.

FG: If I listen to “Purge”, I associate it to your work with Puissance; when I listen to “Chris” and “Dead”, your project Tripwire comes to my mind. So the question is: how much were you influenced by the previous bands which you have been part of? How much has Tripwire contributed to show you new paths?

FS: The inspiration comes mainly from my past, both in the black metal as well as the drum&bass genre, naturally there are also influences from Puissance since that has been a special project of mine for a long time. Carinou really started out as a outlet for songs that really have no place in the
music i generally do, the album is as you may have noticed quite varied and covers several styles of music. Since i started working with Maggie the pieces fell into place naturally and Carinou was eventually formed. Just as much as Tripwire has contributed to the sound of some songs there
has also been significant influence from Maggie’s electro background.

FG: Sorry, but I have to make comparisons with other bands, because it is the best way to describe an album to readers. Do you perceive some similarities between Carinou and bands like Orgy, Nine Inch Nails or Skinny Puppy?

Frederik SoderlundFS: I’ve never heard the band Orgy, but i appreciate the comparison with Skinny Puppy and Nine Inch Nails. There are no intentional similarities but I guess it’s impossible not to be influenced by bands with such special sound. I don’t see any direct connection with any particular songs of Carinou, but an overall similarity in emotion could very well be there.

FG: It’ just my point of view, but I believe that your vocal interpretation is very fitting with the mood of every song, but I can imagine that some people will be surprised by the way you sing. What’s your opinion about yourself as a singer?

FS: I try to express how I feel and use my voice to do that, I don’t think the actual sound of the voice will surprise anyone, but if it does I hope the surprise is a pleasant one. It’s really not possible to judge on how it sounds, I’m just trying to put words to music in a fitting way.

FG: The lyrics of Puissance are often associated with nihilism. With Carinou you apply this nihilism to the classic “love story”. Why did you give a more “intimate” dimension to this project?

FS: To keep this answer short and concise, it is a more personal and intimate project, the nihilism in Puissance is really just a more extrovert way of expressing the same feelings, I guess i´m simply not a very happy person, at least not with life and people in general.

FG: I have already asked this to your label mates Atrox.
Usually, mainstream musicians have only one band; non-mainstream musicians (i.e. you) have lots of musical projects. In your opinion, why does this happen?

FS: I think the answer is simple, mainstream labels usually tie an artist up with slavecontracts, say you sign on for 5 albums over 10 years, the record label pays you an advance for 1 or 2 albums thus locking you up. Since the advertising and distribution cost are not recouperables the band cannot sign onto another label until the either buy themselves loose from the contract or until the contract is fulfilled (10 years later). You can see clear example of free artists in the mainstream music scene, Dr. Dre and many other of the hip hop elite enjoy recording projects with friends and producers
anyway they like. I think the major label slavecontracts and the constructed talentless mainstream artists are to blame for so few multiproject artists in the mainstream.

FG: Some people listen only to specifical subgenres of music (call them black metal, punk, or techno). You seem to be more open minded: how do you choose what you like and what you dislike? What captures your attention when you listen to a new artist/album?

Frederik SoderlundFS: Well written music with a well articulated message, that’s all, this is a view I share with some of the now diseased black metal elite, I don’t believe in stereotypes and I find it hard to respect people who desperately cling to a genre just for the hell of it. Without any form of evolution musically you’ll just end up being another Rolling Stones who in my opinion is a tragic example of never letting go.

FG: The future. What are your expectations from “Bound”? What are the next projects
with Carinou? What will be the role be of the third person involved in this project?

FS: We are currently working on a new album and there is the possibility of a split mini cd with Diabolicum, our third member Sofie will be doing some vocals and possibly lyrical contributions on the next album. But Carinou isn’t a fixed line-up and it is just like technical specifications on
everything from software to bread knives subject to change without notice.

FG: I’m always interested in the relationship between musicians and their social context. I have already asked this to Mr. Henrik Nordvargr Björkk Swedish Welfare State is (was?) a model for Europe. Sweden has serious problem with drunkenness and depression or suicides. The government provides to satisfy material needs, but something “spiritual”
doesn’t work.I would like to know your opinion about it, especially because your music
seems to me a way to exorcize a certain inner disease.

FS: Yes as a resident of Sweden I can inform you that there is indeed something fundamentally wrong with the way our country works. Until quite recently Sweden had the highest suicide rate in the world, Japan passed us in the 90´s but we are still quite close to the top. Part of this can of course be attributed to our climate, but there are also other elements, we generally have self abusive personalities up here in the north, this probably comes from a history of alcohol use/abuse and as I mentioned before from the climate. But another contributing factor is our nanny state which persists on keeping us from making our own decisions, for 70 years we have had a social democratic government and this has lead to a society with a high level of citizen control and a fairly low grade of individual freedom. Not freedom in the sense that we are not allowed to travel or anything like that, but a much worse kind, we have a tendency to conform to views and morals that really don’t have any natural counterpart in the human psyche. It’s really a quite tragic position that we are in because since we are all
too eager to conform there is really very little hope of any real change, this does in its prolonged form create people that are quite desolate and hopeless but very intelligent and productive in their respective field. Technically and educationally we are second to no other country, especially when compared to our relatively small population, but when it comes to
spirit the Swedes are broken hollow creatures that all too often lack both hope and stamina to progress and shape the future into something better.

Frederik SoderlundFG: This is not intended to be a politically correct (I do not believe in politically correct people) examination of Frederick Soderlund. I would just like to say that I approached Carinou without prejudices. That’s maybe why I like the album. At the end of this interview I can’t see any connection between yourself (who I can only describe as an absolutely
eclectic musician and producer) and the “stereotypical black metal guy” who’s also part of Puissance, who has been the subject of debate (“Is he a naïve musician playing with fascism?”) by the media and also by myself along with my friends . I think it would be interesting for Fucine Mute readers to read your opinion about the whole thing (whatever your opinion will be, I’m sure it would be of interest).

FS: To make the answer short, I have never been really interested in politics, I am not a fascist nor am I a communist, I believe that either of those systems would be very quick to get rid of people like me if they ever came into power. I also believe that both systems are highly self destructive, fascism in itself tend to seek elitist improvement and can probably not exist without an inner enemy, the enemy being the non elite population. So eventually after cleansing the society over and over again the fascist government would be left with nothing but the dictator and the executioner. A pointless system in my view and even in theory a very boring concept.
Communism on the other hand is a bit more amusing in its tragically flawed design, imagine that someone actually wants to put the power into the hands of the average people, leaving the decision to judge to the most mediocre
part of the population even in question that this population know nothing about. That such an idea even has been conceived is really a sign of how tragically easy to manipulate people generally are, which in itself simply shows how utterly crazy the idea is. Regarding the question if I am a naive musician? Yes I am, do I play with fascism? No I don’t, if I want a fire to play with I believe there are much warmer flames then that, especially nowadays when everyone is so afraid of each other. I may not be the stereotype of modern black metal, I’m glad I’m not, I don’t really feel like singing about forests and vampires, others do that much better than me, I prefer to sing about things that matter to me, even though they sometimes
tend to upset people too much, and other times too little.


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