The GARDNERZ (Sweden) Interview by www.heavyhardmetalmania.net

The GARDNERZ (Sweden) Interview

by www.heavyhardmetalmania.net

By Nuno Ribeiro / Pedro Ribeiro

Nuno Ribeiro – Obrigado por falar com HeavyHardMetalmania, para quem não conhece apresenta-nos os The Gardnerz.  Quem são os seus integrantes, o que fazem na banda e aqueles pequenos detalhes/segredos que ninguém conhece.

Wilhelm Lindh – Olá meu amigo, não há problema. Eu vou tentar escrever um pouco em Português, eu espero que tu vás entender. Eu estou muito feliz que tu queiras falar comigo. Nós somos, eu, Wilhelm Lindh, guitarrista e compositor, Francisco Martín, ele toca baixo, Niclas Ankarbranth o vocalista e Vedran Bencic o baterista. Todos os homens na banda gostam muito de gatos.

N.R. – Thanks for talking with HeavyHardMetalmania, for those unfamiliar with the band, present The Gardnerz. Who are your members, and what they do in the band and those little details / secrets that nobody knows.

W.L. – Hey my friend, no problem at all I’m just happy that you want to take the time and talk with me. The band consists of me, Wilhelm Lindh guitars and main composer, Francisco Martín bass player, Niclas Ankarbranth vocals and Vedran Bencic on drums. Well what to say, I know we all like cats! Every one in the band have at least one little ball of fluff. I’m not one hundred % sure if Francisco still has a cat, but we still like him anyway. I do know that he used to have many white cats when he was living in Chile. Francisco also handles the layout for our albums and shirts and such. Niclas does most of the lyrics, and Vedran is our web master.

N.R. – Bem, começando por “The System of Nature” lançado em 2011 uma das letras que me chamou mais a atenção foi  “Born to Consume” fala-nos um pouco disso “We are born to consume…” A humanidade está no caminho errado?

W.L. – Sim, tens razão. A música é sobre o mal do ciclo do consumismo e produção. Nós estamos presos num ciclo sem fim.

N.R. – Well, starting with  the debut album “The System of Nature” was released in 2011 one of the lyrics that caught my attention the most was “Born to Consume” tell us a little bit about that one… “We are born to consume …” Humanity is on the wrong way?

W.L. – Yes, you are right, this song is about the evil circle of production and consumption. Inspired by the thinkers in the Frankfurt school. It is about how in order to cope with the increasing demands from our employers we need to consume more, or at least we are fooled into believing so. Think of it like this, you work your ass of and and to coupe with this you need a dream to keep you going. You are working really hard so you can save up for a new tv or what ever it is you desire. Then when you one day get the TV, you are content for a minute, then you start eying something ells, a new couch maybe, for your new TV. Then you must work even more. And the one who is really profiting from all this hard work, is the one you work for and the one you buy the things from, big business. As I see it, a lot of us are not working for our selfs because we are fooled into believing that we need so much junk, and because of that we are slaves to a society that is not based around compassion, but rather greed. Hence we are born into the hamster wheel of consumption.

N.R. – De facto todo o album, e como o próprio titulo indica é um alerta para a actual forma de vida, como é que tu vês o “sistema da natureza humana”?

W.L. –  Mais uma vez, tu estás correcto, para mim, muitos problemas têm inicio na religião e no capitalismo.

N.R. – In fact the whole album, and as its title indicates is a warning to the current way of life, as you see the “system of human nature”.

W.L. – You are right again, as I see it most of our problems today comes from religion and  uncontrolled capitalism. I view humans as at their core a greedy animal, and I do not view this as something negative since this greed  is what drives us forward. I know this might clash a bit with the answer to the previous question. But “foda-se” I’m only human, what I think is that this greed is good if it is kept in check.At the same time, I’m as strong champion of compassion and helping your fellow man. But for me this does not come from a religious point of view, it is from a humanistic point of view. I don’t need any one to tell me to act like a decent human being, for me this should come naturally to everyone. If you need a priest to tell you to love your neighbor, well thats just ashame.

N.R. – A aceitação do público para o “The System Of Nature” foi muito boa e no ano seguinte aparece “It All Fades” porquê um EP? E porquê tudo desvanece?

W.L. – Gravar um álbum fica caro, e nós não temos muito dinheiro. As musicas são longas, então nós conseguimos quase um álbum.

N.R. –  The public acceptance for the “The System Of Nature” was very good and the next year “It All Fades” appeared  Why an EP? And why “It All Fades”?

W.L. –  Well the honest truth is that it cost a shit load of money to record an album, and we are not rich people. And we don’t make anything from our releases, ok we get some money through sales but if you put in contrast to the amount we spent on making the first album, its nothing. Our first album was made on the cheap and much of it was recorded by our selfs in our homes. Don’t get me wrong I’m as happy as can be that our albums are put out and that people are enjoying them. The response of the public is what keeps me going, but I can’t feed my cats or myself for that matter with happiness, unfortunately. And thats why we decided to do an ep. And when you think about it, our ep is as long or even longer then a lot of metal bands full length albums. And since what we make is fucking fantastic (at least I think so) we are a way better value. The title and the song “ It all fades” is basically my view on the environment issue. I’m a strong believer in that our planet will survive the human race and that in time all traces of our existence will be erased. This does not mean that I think we should just go nuts with pollution, as with our fellow human beings I think we should try to be nice and helpful to our planet. But I do not believe in all the alarmists that claim that we are bringing the end of the world. And if this now were the case, I think our planet will heal it self and keep on spinning. Tellus have existed for such a long time, and gone through so many fazes, in the big scheme of things, us humans, are not even a footnote.

N.R. –  O sentimento anti religioso refloresce e é notório neste EP! Comenta a seguinte afirmação: “A crítica da religião liberta o homem da ilusão, de modo que pense, actue e configure a sua realidade como homem que perdeu as ilusões e reconquistou a razão, a fim de que ele gire em torno de si como seu verdadeiro sol.” in Escritos de Juventude Karl Marx.

W.L. – Sim, é verdade! Para mim, essa afirmacão é muito linda. Porque eu vejo a religião como um cancro no mundo. Tanto tempo tem sido desperdiçado com essa merda.

N.R. –   The anti religious sentiment is flourishing and it is clear in this EP! Comment the following statement: “The criticism of religion frees man of illusion, so think, act and defines his reality like a man who lost his illusions and regained his reason, so that it will rotate around each other as their true sun.  in Escritos de Juventude Karl Marx (free translation).

W.L. – Oh yes, I think this statement is very beautiful, I view religion as a cancer on all of humanity. To much time has been wasted on that crap. I view religion as oppression and a sort of extortion. The rulers of old wanted their subjects to act in a certain way and then they invented the scary man in the sky. To me it is amazing that this old superstition is still around. I totally get that a peasant (I mean no disrespect to farmers) in the sixteen hundreds was totally blown away by entering a majestic church, and total awestruck by it’s grace and power. Since I feel a certain sense of awe when I enter a beautiful church, I can only imagine how it would feel if you came from a small village and such. The idea of divine help, the total power of the church and so on. But today, come on, with all science has proven and all the advances our society has made. How can people still be lost in mystery when it clearly is not reality. The title of our first album “ The system of nature” is borrowed from a book by the same name written by Baron de Holbach, a writer living in the age of enlightenment. It is a bit of hard read cause of its scientific nature, but it has so many good arguments and considering that it was written in a time when these kinds of ideas where very harmful to your health. I think it is a book that more people should read or at least read about. For me there are so many arguments against religion that I can not understand that it is still around. I have never heard a valid argument for being religious, only arguments like “well people need to believe in something”, that kind of stuff drives me insane, since why then not believe in the flying spaghetti monster. At least no one has gone on a killing spree for your spaghettieness. I would have no real problem with religion if religious people would practice what they preach, I know its a bit of a cliché but for me that is a big deal. Most of the people that have mistreated me and misjudge me has been people with a dying man on a piece of wood around their necks. And those awful “what would Jesus do” arm bands, Well I don’t think he would be an asshole to me just because we don’t share the same beliefs and I happened to rock a sweet ass beard. I will leave this now cause I’m getting pissed off haha.

Pedro Ribeiro – Voltando um pouco atrás, fala-nos um pouco do processo da criacão da banda, como conheces-te a formacão dos The Gardnerz?

W.L. – Ok, agora eu vou escrever em Ingles, porque meu Português é uma merda, e eu estou cansado. Desculpa-me por isso, mas… foda-se.

P.R. – Going back a bit ago,  talk about the process of creating the band, how did you met the rest of the band members.

W.L. – I started the band in the summer of 2008 as a solo project, I had been living in Florida for a while and I needed to get out some ideas. The original idea was to have a female friend of mine to do the vocals. But unfortunately that did not work out. So for a long time I was looking for another girl to sing, but after two years with no luck. I ended up using a guy, but that did not work out either. Then I met up with Francisco and he wanted to join the band and since he is the best bass player I have ever met, I let him join. Francisco knew both our former drummer Juan Pablo Donoso and our current singer Niclas Ankarbranth. And with this line-up we did our first album “ The system of nature”.

P.R. Why the name The Gardnerz?

W.L. –  It is a mix of ideas of the pre-socratic philosopher Epicuros and some ideas by Nietzsche. But since writing it like “ The Gardeners” it think both looks pretentious and also yields about 10 million hits on google. So i decided to play around a bit with it. Loosing one “e” and then changing the s for the z. I like it, but I know a lot of people thinks it is stupid. But to quote Heath Ledger “ why so serious?”. I love metal but the constant stick up a lot of metal heads assez is a bit annoying. So thats why I wanted to play around with it a bit. I know we have lost people along the way, but que sera,sera. I would rather play for no one and be myself, then play for everyone and try being someone ells. ( I’m not sure if I got this quote entirely right, and I don’t remember who said it).  So I say worship the Z and be an individual. ( That is a nice little contradiction)

P.R. – Comment the following: The union of thoughts of each member must be in harmony so the final results can be positive!

W.L. – I totally agree with you, for me  one of the most important parts is that I enjoy my fellow band members as persons. Every one has to pull in the same direction and want to do the same thing. If not the band will suffer a lot. I have been in bands where I just wanted to tell members to go and have intercourse with them selfs, and I don’t want to be in that situation again. Since that is no fun and it drains all the enjoyment out of playing music.

P.R. – What are the main influences of the band and how do they intercommunicate when you are playing?

W.L. –  Well the main idea when creating this band was to create a mix of old Katatonia and Bolt Thrower. Then after writing some songs I decided to add some more technical stuff as well. The other guys bring their influences and it all becomes a nice mix. When I get a new member in the band I explain my vision and if the person thinks it is ok, great and if not, then it is not meant to be. I have a clear vision of the band, and I don’t want to deviate to much from that since I think we got a good thing going. Our own sound and so on.

P.R. – Is it difficult to mantain the band in the same direction without letting it fall in pieces? Have you or some member of the band forget the reason of existence of The Gardnerz?

W.L. – No not really, as I said before I have a clear vision of what I want to do. And if a member feels that this is not what he /she wants to do, well then we part ways. I write all the music, but of course everyone comes with their suggestions. And sometimes some really cool stuff has happened when we take one of my ideas and change it around. When I write songs I always create demos with guitars and a drum machine and then I give them to the rest of the members and they tell me their ideas and so on. And then drummer Vedran creates his version of the drum parts. Niclas does most of the lyrics and all vocal parts, I give him total creative freedom. I guess I do to all the members but, the drums I program mainly so I have something to play to, because by now Vedran knows what I want in the drum department. For the bass I often show Francisco the riffs and he takes what I have done and changes it around to fit his style of playing and preferences.

P.R. – What have you learned about union with your experience in other bands that can help you in The Gardnerz?

W.L. – Hehe well, I will never work with alcoholics again. And I will never work with mythomaniacs again. Since I have done that in the past, and it cost more then it is worth. And one more practical thing that I have learned is that I’m a total asshole when my blood sugar gets to low. So I always have some chocolate or something with me, so if I feel that my blood sugar is getting low and I’m getting a bad mood. I just eat that, and we are back to business.

P.R. – Initially the front man (vocalist) was in fact a girl and only later a male voice came. You have worked with at least two female vocals. Do you like to create a different atmosphere with “angelical shouts”?

W.L. – Yes, I’m all for dynamics in music, and have both of those voices, I think the music becomes way more dynamic, and interesting. I hope that we can use more female vocals in our upcoming releases, but we shall see what happens. I’m not that big of a fan of the opera metal style, mainly because I think those bands are way to over polished and over produced. I’m a big fan or the Norwegian band Funeral, and on some of their albums they have a female vocalist. And a in my mind good production, not to sleek.

P.R. – The cover song “Transilvanian Hunger” is one of those covers that aren’t easy to forget and Paulina plays an important role in this. Why did you want to do an acoustic cover of such a heavy song with Paulina and were you listening to Kansas “Dust in the Wind” while doing it?

W.L. –  Hehe, it all started with our bass player Francisco telling me that I should do an acoustic version of a metal song as a bonus song for our Ep. And after some thinking I remembered that I already had figured out the main riff of Transilvanian Hunger as a acoustic piece. And actually yes I was listening to dust in the wind. A few years ago I was working as a guitar teacher and a few of my students requested dust in the wind. And when I was learning it, I played it wrong, using the chords in wrong order. And voilá, we had transilvanian hunger. A perfect mistake!! The original idea was to just make it into a one minute interlude, but I liked it some much when I was recording it that I decided to do the entire song, or almost anyway, I actually think I forgot one loop of the intro or something like that. And then of course Paulina did the vocals and we had magic. I can’t tell you how much I like her vocals on that song. I think she really made that song shine.

P.R. – Your music stands out in the metal scene for being so innovative and mantaing the roots of Swedish music. After being well received by the critics is it difficult to maintain or even “raise the game”?

W.L. –  Oh you are trying to charm my pants off!! Thank you very much for those kind words, I just want to keep on doing my deadly doom. I think the new stuff we have is the best we have ever done, but I would think most people creating something thinks that way. The hardest part is to not create the same song over and over. Since I have some ways I really enjoy creating riffs, scales and ideas. Basically my way of creating riffs and song, and as you say we have a bit of our own sound and to maintain that sound and also create something new, that is for me the biggest problem.

P.R. – I know that you realy like Bob Dylan, you are a true fan of country especially Dylan and you have been in a lot of his concerts! Has Dylan influenced you in some way?

W.L. – Oh yes, my relationship with Bob Dylan has been called perverted on more the one occasion. In a way I think it has effected me, not so much in writing riffs and so on, but maybe more in trying to get a certain sound or mood of the songs. But the main influence by Bob Dylan is that I want to write topical songs, I want the songs to say something, lyrically. Since I have the possibility to get my ideas out, I want to voice my ideas. Now day most of the lyrics is written by our singer Niclas, but I often give him what idea I want to convey with the song. And then he writes something around my idea.

P.R. – As a Swedish man and as a musician  it is natural that you are influenced by the “dark” environment of Sweden to create melancholic yet powerful soundscapes. What’s the best place and time to create sound?

W.L. – Most of my music is written on acoustic guitar while I am watching documentaries or movies. Since then I don’t over think things to much, if I decide to sit down and actually try to write something, I think it often comes out sounding forced or stale.  I also enjoy creating music when I am a bit tired, since then I don’t over think it and just let it flow. Most of my music is created in front of my computer while sitting in a red chair.

P.R. – Besides the guitar you also play drums! As a composer when you are writing  do you imagine how do you want the drums to fill the music?

W.L. – Well lets not get carried away, I know how to play drums, yes, but I’m now drummer. Yes, I always create demos with a drum machine, creating the basic patterns that Vedran can use as a blue print. I actually don’t enjoy playing to a click track, I think it is way easier to play to a drum machine, it’s a bit odd since it is basically the same thing. But if I’m only playing to a click I think my playing often feels stressed. Sometimes Vedran has commented that my drum programing doesn’t make sense, so he has to create something totally new to make it listenable. And also sometime I just leave parts blank when I cant think of anything and Vedran gets to go nuts.

P.R. – What do you think of your growth? It is notorious that you evolved a lot since “System of Nature”, your installment as musicians matured quite a lot! Which can be the main reason of that evolution?

W.L. – I guess as with everything you do, if you just keep at it, eventually you get better at it. And one day, I hope that will happened to me muhahaha. Now I have a bit of a more focused idea of what I want to do, or to say I know exactly what I want to do now days. On the first album I was trying different ideas and  trying to find my own voice. And I’m still proud of that album and I like it, but there are things that I would have done differently today. But I think that  is one of the beautiful things with making music, it is sort of a snapshot in time, where you were as a musician and as a person in general.

P.R. – I can say we are good friends and as such i know well that you are focused in a new work. Wanna talk about it?

W.L. – For you I’ll talk about everything, darling. Yes! We have recorded two new songs, Exiting Reality prt 1 and prt 2 for a single with the same name. And I will unveil them to you right now. This is actually the time that I have shown them to anyone outside the band, so lucky you!!! This single will be released by Abyss Records in the summer as a 7 inch single. Guitars and bass was recorded at: Funky Cat studios. Drums were recorded at: Armageddon studio. Vocals were recorded at: Natas  sinep.  The single was mixed and mastered by Cristian Rodríguez Lunecke at 15Hz Studio.

W.L. – I think this is our best work to date, but hey, what am I supposed to say. I mean I really think so, if I ever feel that what I’m producing is not up to snuff, it will not be released.

N.R. – You were on holiday in Portugal … At my house :), what did you think of our country, for those who don’t know what would you advise to visit?

W.L. – Your house, oh no my good sir, this is my house now!! No but seriously thanks a lot for letting me stay at your house and treating me so good.I must say that I’m having a very good time, Portugal is extremely beautiful. And everyone has treated me fine, sure, as I have a lot of hair and a massive beard some people have been a bit suspicious, but a smile and a “Olá” has solved most problems. But fuck what is up with your dogs, they are always barking at me. I found people very nice and calm, and for me that is fantastic. I’m Swedish and we are a very quiet people, we don’t like when people are loud, generally speaking of course. We have our share of loud idiots as well, but I prefer when people are quiet. I have to say that I really enjoyed walking around in Sintra, that was like walking straight into a fairytale. Bu I have enjoyed all the cities I have visited so far. But as you know I would like to buy a holiday home in your home town (Porto) , and I guess that says a lot about how I feel about this city.

P.R – will thanks for everything you taught me, I learned a lot about Sweden and your customs not only that but I also had a great time with you around my friend. Putting friendship aside I absolutely love your music and wish you the best luck. I hope I can see you some day here in Portugal not only as a friend but also as a musician in a concert. Any last words Kompis?

W.L. – Thank you very much my “amigo de foda-se,” for letting me staying here and also for embracing me into your heart and family. I hope that one day I can put on one hell of a show for you.

Interview link: www.heavyhardmetalmania.net/2013/02/the-gardnerz-wilhelm-lindh-interviewed.html

The Gardnerz links:

Official Website: www.thegardnerz.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/thegardnerz

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thegardnerz

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/thegardnerz

Last fm: www.last.fm/music/The+Gardnerz

Abyss Records links:

Label & Online Music Store: www.officialabyssrecords.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/abyssrecordsofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialAbyssRecords

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/label/abyssrecords

Last fm: www.last.fm/label/AbyssRecords

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/MinionfortheAbyss

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AbyssRecords

Other links:

To purchase The GARDNERZ “It All Fades” CD EP, “The System of Nature” DIGI CD and other The GARDNERZ merchandise go to: www.officialabyssrecords.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=the+gardnerz

To preview a song from “The System of Nature” go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iXL-YXoWSk

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