Summon: How did the band get started?
Mats Helli: In the mid 90’s, Jan and Mats started playing in a band together. Mostly Metallica, Pantera and Sepultura covers. After a couple of years the band evolved to a melodic death metal-act with keyboards. We recorded several demos and EP’s and during this time several band members left, were replaced, left and were replaced. For a couple of years it felt almost as we constantly were teaching our songs to new members. Anyhow, things stabilized when we arrived in the 21st century and our current line up has been going strong since 2012 when Rikard joined us to deal with the solos.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Mats Helli: Melodic Death Metal with a strong symphonic vein.
Summon: How has the fan response been?
Mats Helli: Overwhelming! MDM-fans are really passionate about the music. We knew we were going to tread a narrow path with the symphonic fans on one side (who wants us to skip the growl and get a female vocalist) and death metal fans on the other (who wants us to ditch the keyboards). If we did either of those things, we wouldn’t be Meadows End. Sure, we like to try different stuff and on The Sufferwell there’s both male and female clean vocals, but that’s more to spice things up. The growl will always be the main vocal style.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Mats Helli: Back in the day, we were a lot into fantasy and I think the band name came to be out of a feeling. In fantasy there’s always golden meadows and everything is peachy, but what lurked under the shadows of those trees beyond the meadows? I think it was “At The Meadow’s End” at first. Too long. Then it was Meadow’s End for a couple of years but we ditched the apostrophe for graphic reasons. 🙂
Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band.
Johan Brandberg: Vocals
Robin Mattsson: Keyboards
Jan Dahlberg: Guitars
Rikard Öqvist: Guitars
Daniel Tiger: Drums
Mats Helli: Bass
Summon: Who writes the music? Lyrics?
Mats Helli: Jan writes the guitar riffs and builds the foundation of the songs. He often has strong ideas for the keyboards as well and he loves to write lyrics. Johan writes most of the lyrics and Mats writes lyrics as well. The rest of the band listens through Jans material and then we start to add instruments and build on the songs. Mostly it goes swiftly, but sometimes we disagree whole heartedly on how the songs should sound. A couple of songs has been thrown in the bin over the years.
Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?
Mats Helli: There are a few recurring themes in our songs, mental illness and critique on religions being the strongest two. But then and again there comes a lyric about resurrecting people, plagues and all kinds of stuff.
Summon: What is your view in Satanism and Occultism?
Mats Helli: To each his own, really. People worship Jesus, Satan, God, Money, LCHF and well…
We’re not really into worshiping anything (except from good music and whiskey), but there are people that are so fine. Worship what you want, but don’t hurt other people because of it and don’t force it on others.
Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?
Mats Helli: Two full length albums. Ode to Quietus and The Sufferwell. Three EP’s. Somber Nation’s Fall, Dead Calm Rise and Devilspeed Loathekill. Before that, several demos.
Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?
Mats Helli: There are a couple of “firsts” on this album. It’s the first time we’ve incorporated clean male vocals (Insurrection). We just wanted to try it and liked the way the song sounded. Although it took a great deal of time to make the final call to use it or not. It’s the first time we’ve incorporated clean female vocals on a full length album (Under a canopy of stars.) Mimmi did the vocals on an acoustic version of our song My Demon and the response was really positive, so we wanted to do a collaboration with her on the album. When we decided to go with “Canopy” there was a no brainer to ask her to sing it. It’s the first time we’ve used a stick guitar in our music. (Insurrection solo) This was also a case of “let’s try it!” and we were really excited of the results. Rikard plays both the background calm bits and both the calm and distortioned solo on the stick. Now we try to talk him into using it live as well. It’s the first time we’ve used Swedish lyrics in a song. (Ur askan) I (Mats) have been trying to get the rest of the band to like the idea of Swedish lyrics for years. This time I didn’t even ask. I wrote it in Swedish and when we rehearsed it with Johan the first time it all felt very natural. And of course, I have to name Devilspeed Loathekill. We did a collaboration with Ed Veter (Infidel Amsterdam) to make a video for that song. Lots and lots of people filmed themselves going bananas and sent the clips to us. We edited the video and it really was a fun project to do! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33GHEos_ayo
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
Mats Helli: Johan also growls for Soul Decay and Rikard has some other projects, but other than that there’s currently nothing much going on.
Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?
Mats Helli: That’s a really hard question. Anything from Mark Knopfler to Katatonia, Enya to Deicide, Elvis to Opeth… It’s never one influence, it’s always lots of stuff we listen to and get inspired by.
Summon: Which current bands?
Mats Helli: Watain, The Duskfall, Katatonia, Opeth, Ghost and lots and lots more.
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
Mats Helli: Intense. We really shouldn’t be going on tours, we’d destroy ourselves before we got home again… It’s like, “Shit, I’m sick as hell so I better take it easy tonight” and 30 minutes later on stage – “OUUUWWRAAAAAHHHHHGGGGG!!!!! BRING IT ON, MOTHERFUCKER!!!!”. Every time… But hey, playing gigs is the most fun part of the deal anyhow. 🙂
Summon: Have you guys ever played in another country?
Mats Helli: Not yet, but plans are being made right now to play a small tour in a European country and maybe a gig or two in a neighboring country next year.
Summon: How big of crowd shows up at shows usually?
Mats Helli: That depends on the city and venue. Anything from 20 people to a couple of hundred. It depends a lot on marketing as well and we try to make noise when we’re going on gigs to make people close by to come and bring a friend or two.
Summon: How is the crowd response when you play?
Mats Helli: Awesome! We usually stick around and talk to people after the shows and we get to hear a lot of great response. This Friday we played in a small place for not so many people, but it was a great feeling in the place and we really loved it. The more we get the crowd fired up, the more energy we get ourselves.
Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal/Death Metal scene?
Mats Helli: America has black metal bands? 😉 There’s great music from USA for sure. My personal view of it is that the productions are often a bit too “neat” and would benefit to sound a bit more gritty to be more “believable” if you understand what I mean.
Summon: What do you think of the Overseas scenes?
Mats Helli: We’d love to try them out. Americans love our music and it’d be truly great to go there, meet up with the metal lovers and give them good shows.
Summon: What are some of new favorite black metal/death metal bands?
Mats Helli: I’m the wrong person to answer that question. Jan and Johan has better knowledge of new bands.
Summon: When do you guys plan on writing any new material?
Mats Helli: That’s a constant process. There’s always new material seeing the light of day.
Summon: What does the future hold for the band??
Mats Helli: Well. First up we’re re-recording some songs from 1999-2009. We released several demos and EP’s then that actually is a concept album, so right now we’re recording them to get a good production on the saga. After that, we’ll start working on our next album and at the same time doing some gigs and small tours here and there. So there’s a lot of work ahead of us and it’ll be great!
Contact them at: