EUCHARIST interview circa March 2016

EUCHARIST interview circa March 2016

Originally intended for The Monolith, we are grateful to Radical Research enthusiast Chris Warunki for allowing us to run this interview that he conducted with Eucharist’s Markus Johnsson and Daniel Erlandsson in 2016. This stands as a supplement to our 69th episode, which focuses on the band’s 1997 opus, Mirrorworlds.

Dissolving, as if born again… For the first time in nearly 20 years, on April 16, 2016, melodic death metal band Eucharist will reunite for a very special live festival (“PDT3”) in Sweden with several other cult Swedish melodic death metal bands. After their 1997 album, Mirrorworlds, the band split and remained silent — until now. Chris Warunki chats with founding members Markus Johnsson (vocals, guitar) and Daniel Erlandsson (drums) in what is the most extensive interview in the band’s career as they delve deep down into the blackened night of the worlds within Eucharist… 

 Chris Warunki: A Velvet Creation (1993) was an album extremely ahead of its time. It’s hard to imaging teenagers writing and recording music of this caliber — especially well before the days of internet and YouTube. What is your musical background and what was your inspiration for Eucharist?

Markus: Well, we were very young of age when the material to the Velvet album was being developed; I was 13 years old when I started with Eucharist but we had a couple of years where the line-up were different before I took the vocals and started to create music for the band. So what I am trying to say here is that we probably had no clue whatsoever whether we were before our time or not — nor did we have those thoughts. We simply created, rehearsed and did gigs. My musical background was nonexistent at the time I started out with Eucharist (another band name at that time). I had played only in school and at home listening to old school hard rock and metal. When it comes to influences, and especially musical such, I can tell that one record that had an impact on us all was Darkthrone’s first album, Soulside Journey. Besides that one there was Death, Paradise Lost, Celtic Frost, Nihilist, Dismember, Morbid Angel — to name a few. 
But as for me the greatest influence has always been nature itself. It might sound cliché nowadays but that is the fact no matter what. I used to spend a lot of time outside in nature among open meadows, dense woods, on mountains and some harsher terrain as well. I lived in the country, as now but elsewhere, and there was this old church ruin from the 12th century that was extremely withered but still held its four walls plus an inner altar and a surrounding graveyard with very old graves and great dead black oaks that stretched towards the black night skies as if wanting to flee into the cosmos. Now, I am anti-Christian, just as then, but this place had a very mysterious and profound atmosphere and thus had a great impact on me this place of death and ancient spirits. You could almost hear voices coming out of the ground where the graves were, the trees and the very stones of the ruins; voices from the past that kind of spoke to me in a bizarre kind of way as I was lying inside the building on top of its altar watching the stars. I managed to interpret them, later when I came home, by putting tones on the feelings I had gathered roaming around on this dark place at late/early hours. That was a long answer but there you have it, I think.

Daniel your drumming was very progressive on the Eucharist albums… where did this influence come from? 

Daniel: Naturally the drumming style has a lot to do with the guitar riffs, and that process just flowed naturally. On A Velvet Creation I occasionally got input from Thomas (Einarsson, ex-guitar player), who had some pretty unique drumming ideas, whereas on Mirrorworlds it was just more of a jam-based process, and the songs are a bit more classic in terms of structure which affected the drumming too. As we started out, the general idea was usually to put down quite a technical foundation on the drums with lots of speed. Some early influences were Nicke Andersson (Entombed), Pete Sandoval (Morbid Angel), Adrian Erlandsson (At The Gates), Chris Reifert (Death, Autopsy) plus the more obvious ones like Nicko McBrain, Dave Lombardo and Neil Peart.

How was the band discovered and signed to Wrong Again/WAR? 

Markus: It was sometime back in 1992 and Eucharist had split up after recording the demo. I couldn’t get along with the other guitar player and told him and myself never to go into the studio again together with him. Now this is a long time ago so I have absolutely nothing against this person now whatsoever! However, that led to a first split-up. So all instruments were down when WAR contacted this person (former bandmate) after hearing the demo cassette. They told him they were starting up a new label and told him that they’d like to sign us and finance the recording and release of an album if we were interested. He, Thomas, called me and told me about the news, obviously very excited. I, however, couldn’t really grasp the big deal and was still stuck in being pissed off and very determined not to enter a studio with him again. And to be honest to you guys — I actually did not enter the studio! Well, I did. Let me make this clear… this is not very known, but still a fact. As I said, I was determined not to enter the studio again due to his extreme way of fucking my life up no matter what I did. So we agreed to sign the contract — all the songs were already made — but I would only do it if I wouldn’t have to be in the same room as Thomas was. Very ridiculous! 

Then how did  A Velvet Creation ever get done and released?

Markus: We had hours and hours of telephone communication in which I taught Thomas all the riffs and harmonies that were mine so that he could record both guitars. I only agreed to enter the studio to record acoustic guitars, my leads and the vocals. There you have the truth — I never recorded most of the Velvet album. Thomas did and he had a totally different style than I had so my opinion was that the guitars were played without the same feeling, and the sound so dry and hard to work with. I had created almost all the material on A Velvet Creation and it feels very weird to listen to it now because that’s my riffs played in a way that I can’t agree with. I did, however, attend on the recording of subsequent recordings but after Velvet was recorded, the only song that featured Thomas again was the song titled “The View” (for a Peaceville compilation CD), after that we split up. Later Me and Daniel Erlandsson took up the pieces again. We have a wonderful friendship  which makes us work very well together.

There’s something almost neoclassical about some of Eucharist’s early compositions. Does classical music have an influence on you as a composer? What about classic prog rock?  

Markus: That was an interesting view there. I will have to elaborate a little on this one. You do absolutely find tunes which can  remind you of classical works, yes. I have listened to a lot of classical composers such as my ultimate god among the classical composers according to my opinion, namely Frederic Chopin and very high up on the list is Liszt [laughs]. Seriously Franz Liszt is a very interesting character when it comes to composing. I also enjoy listening to Bach, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Scriabin, Vivaldi, Brahms, etc. So yes, you might find some influences in our music as well as the composition of the songs. I do not listen to classic prog rock.

Daniel, were you and your brother Adrian competitive with drumming growing up? 

Daniel: There was a time in the very beginning when I picked up the sticks and started playing, and during those formative days I took big steps very quickly in learning how to play — as opposed to nowadays when ideas take a lot longer to move into realization. I’m sure its the same for most drummers! We had somewhat of a competitive vibe going during that time, but it was just very healthy and inspiring. Every time he played me a new rehearsal tape or recording, or showed me some new beats, it was very influential to me. 

To many true fans of Swedish melodic death metal, Mirrorworlds is one of the greatest albums released in this sub-genre, yet it is still somewhat underground. Do you feel it got the recognition it deserved at the time or do you feel that it is just being discovered now? 

Markus: Oh, is it being discovered now? Haha, no seriously — I had no clue but yes, I feel it is an underrated album worth more attention, to be honest. It is a great album and I think many would like that kind of music if they knew it existed because it is honest melodic death metal and pretty unusual still. We’re very proud of Mirrorworlds. It is work that we felt has got presence, you know; as if it has its own essence. It lives!

Your vocal style is very unique. It is raw and pure, filled with anguish and emotion. You don’t hold anything back in your delivery and the lyrics are very introspective and deep throughout Mirrorworlds. What were you going through personally at the time? 

Markus: Wow! What was I going through… I was amidst an IV amphetamine addiction, drugs in general and daily consumption of alcohol so I was pretty much a wreck back in 1996-1997 when Mirrorworlds was being created. I am now clean since 2007 and I only drink occasionally.

There were some very cool arrangement ideas on Mirrorworlds such as incorporating use of oboe on the experimental and very chill track “In Nakedness.” Was this controversial to the rest of the band or the label? 

Markus: To tell you the truth, many of the listeners have different opinions of the quite bizarre track “In Nakedness.” The story about that one is that I was so fucked up by drugs that suddenly I couldn’t produce any riffs; whenever I grabbed the guitar those fucking tunes went over and over again inside my head and that was all that ever came out (the “In Nakedness” riffs). I was trapped in a psychosis-like state, man, where I couldn’t get rid of those riffs and I was devastated and told Daniel that the only way to get rid of this obstacle is to record it to make it the past — and not present. It helped. That pretty much explains the state I was in. I’m quite amazed we succeeded in creating an album at all that period. It was only me and Daniel alone who created Mirrorworlds. No other musicians were involved in the creation but we had to hire a session bass player while being in studio. So no one but Daniel could have an opinion and he is a an amazing friend. You wouldn’t believe what a caring and understanding man he is. He was positive to recording “In Nakedness” and never complained as I can remember; he rather thought it was pretty cool. And my idea of bringing in my old junior level guitar teacher was welcomed as well… but I do not like the track myself! To me it is anxiety and evidence of a psyched out mind that was just not working at all. I rather hate it. But never mind… 

Daniel, was the drastic tempo change on the other instrumental track, “The Eucharist,” deliberate? Did you guys record with a click? 

Daniel: The whole album was done without a click track, but that tempo change was actually not accidental, it was deliberate!

What prompted you to downtune your guitars so much? Pretty low for the time! I believe you tuned a 6-string down to B?  

Markus: You are quite correct. There was no question about it. When we started out back in ’89/’90 the death metal bands of the time such as Nihilist and/or Entombed , Dismember, Unleashed I think also downtuned, so we started out by simply tuning down the set of strings we used to B and of course the strings went sloppy as fuck but we managed until we got the possibility to order thicker strings from our local music store and then we simply continued. There was never a discussion of it, only a collective acceptance.

Daniel, What was it like working with Markus? It seems as though his riffs and your drum parts go hand in hand. 

Daniel: He is a very talented guitar player, singer and songwriter. There is a musical connection or understanding that has remained intact over the years even when we were not talking. 

The production on Mirrorworlds is very warm and retro sounding — with a ridiculously pingy ride cymbal sound way high in the mix. What was this recording session like and could you describe some of the gear used? 

Markus: Man, you ain’t making it easy for us! Just kidding, but I have no clue what amps and cabinets were used for guitar and bass. I couldn’t even set the sound. I was too wasted to even care so I got help by the producer and I just yelled when it was right or wrong until it sounded how we wanted it to. We were obviously trying to make it sound like a hard rock album from the early ’80s. The guitar I used was a black BC Rich Ironbird with Floyd Rose and passive pickups. Strings I can’t recall. Probably D’addario. As for the ride and drums I let Daniel explain…

Daniel: Well, the true story is that at the time I only had two drumsticks and one them was a Tommy Lee signature (it was a beefed up 2B with a huge red nylon tip), and I used that one with the right hand, effectively playing most ride patterns. That, and the fact that I used a thick Z Zildjian Ride that cut through anything made that huge ride tone. Naturally it’s a question of EQ and mixing as well, but that is the background. It’s hard to imagine that I actually got through an album recording using only two sticks. Nowadays I change sticks several times a day in the studio!

Daniel, how do you feel about the drum sound on A Velvet Creation versus Mirrorworlds? 

Daniel: There was a few things affecting the outcome of the drums on A Velvet Creation. For one, the band had been split up for about six months, during which time I hardly played any drums. I think I was a bit out of shape to be honest. Also A Velvet Creation was the first album we made, of course, but it was also the first album the engineer Fredrik Larnemo did. All in all it’s maybe not the most pleasing drum production but I’ve learned to live with it. On Mirrorworlds we consciously set out to create a drum sound reminiscent of the early albums by Black Sabbath, Celtic Frost and Mercyful Fate. In hindsight I think we got pretty close!  

 You did a small run of tours for Mirrorworlds, could you describe this short-lived live experience? 

Markus: Holy shit! It was short-lived but hysteric! It was total chaos! Utter idiocy! Completely crazy! I don’t remember much of it but on those two mini tours we slept in hotel rooms maybe two nights, as for the other nights we slept everywhere we were welcomed; at the organizers home, a girl’s who was working at the club (the floor was crowded with people that night because we shared the apartment with Dew-Scented… Hail to you guys, btw!), one night we slept in a fucking outhouse without isolation and it was minus-something degrees outside and it also got almost as cold inside. I was trying to sleep in a cupboard with my jacket over me while the rest continued drinking, smoking and eating shrooms all night long. I was too drunk to keep them company. As for the gigs it was also crazy but some good memories. We played in East Germany, Holland and Belgium divided in two trips: one October ’97 and one March ’98. The first trip was Germany.  I can’t begin to tell you what miserable places we played at. There was this city called Eisenhüttenstadt, a very grey and post-war marked city as if the war just had ended. Bullet holes everywhere and crushed phone booths, graffiti everywhere with political messages from left-to-right, to left extremists and politicians and the citizens. Grey buildings, and the streets were completely empty and I saw no stores open. The city seemed dead. City of the living dead, perhaps. The place we played at that night was more of a coach house or shed but with concrete walls and no doors. The sound technician sat in a fucking tower like those you use when hunting and there on the top up in the roof he sat with the PA and mixing board. It was a communist club and they warned us about skinheads that used to come there and beat people to pulps for fun, smashing bottles on people’s heads and beating them with bats and anything they could grab. They never showed up that evening though. 
        Another memorable gig was in Weimar. We headlined that tour in Germany but the band before us continued and played longer and longer and no one interrupted them despite our complaints because we were told that the military police would come and shut the power off at 1:00am. We had time to play three songs before the MP stormed the fucking place dressed in green with black boots and machine guns in hands yelling loud as fuck! They were all over the place and threatened us but I recall shouting “FUCK THE POLICE!” and then we continued playing for a minute or so until they found the power switch. It was chaotic and a potential dangerous situation. I was too drunk to care but we were told the day after at the next place (because the reputation had proceeded us about the night when Eucharist refused to stop playing and yelled ‘fuck the police’) that we were quite lucky that we didn’t get jailed. I guess I can think of better things to do but the shit holes we slept in we might as well be comfortable in a warm jail cell with a bed! In short, it was a mess. One gig was fucking awesome and that was at a metal club in Hengelo, Holland. It was very successful and we enjoyed it a lot. We enjoyed every night but that one felt very good.

There seemed to be a trend in the mid to late ’90s of Swedish melodic death metal bands releasing a brilliant album and then disbanding shortly afterwards (At The Gates, anyone?). Did you feel like you were going out on top after releasing Mirrorworlds or what was the reason for — pardon the pun — dissolving?  

Markus: I never thought of that to be honest. At the time of our post-Mirrorworlds disbanding we were okay with the album; happy with its result but not very proud. However, as the years has passed, or decades rather, I have become proud of it. It has grown to me because I have such a distance to it nowadays as if somebody else recorded the album so it is easier to appreciate it as the piece of work that it is. Today we are very proud of Mirrorworlds because it is a great album. But I never thought of whether we left on top or not. I was too drugged up to reflect on such matters. Today I can reflect and reconnect to that time in the past. I also enjoyed recording the album very much. We were fully free to do what we liked and this time the producer Fredrik Larnemo, who fucked up A Velvet Creation (his first metal album ever), was a lot more relaxed and had obviously gotten more experienced and worked more professionally and gave us the freedom to use the mixing board and analog tape recorder so that he went away sometimes a full day and me and Daniel were alone with the studio for ourselves and that particular day Daniel handled the board and recorder while I did all the vocals. It was nice and a relaxed atmosphere and no stress. I made the intro to “Demons” along with a guy called Staffan, we brought in Martin Karlsson on bass and Kenneth Grönberg on oboe as mentioned before. So to sum it up I guess we left on top as far as Eucharist went but we had a short life and only two full albums so our legacy wasn’t much, but what fascinates me is that people still remembers us to this day. We get such a positive response on social media that it is quite unbelievable that we aren’t forgotten. And now someone has awoken the corpse and you know what characterizes the undead, don’t you? You can’t fucking kill them again! Unless you knock their heads off with a shovel — but please don’t do that to us! 

Daniel, when the band split, was it a relief to you? 

Daniel: Those were different times to say the least, and I also had lots of personal things going on, plus I was getting back with Arch Enemy. I wouldn’t say it was a relief but at the time I needed to make the space in my life.

After Eucharist disbanded, Markus, you kept a very low profile personally. Daniel went on to play for several other well-known bands, but you kept quiet. What is the reason for your reclusion from music or “the metal scene”?

Markus: I know. I have been miles away mentally from the music scene and business. After Daniel joined Arch Enemy I felt there was just no reason to even try to do something because I can only work with him, or so I thought/felt, thus no production from my part. I actually had a period where I was planning to make a new album with musicians that didn’t exist yet but I figured I’d find them when I’m done with the material and so I contacted W.A.R. and promised a new album. But could I get a new guitar, please? Yeah sure, no problem; cool, new stuff for Markus. So I ordered a new BC Rich Warlock, this time. I ended up selling the guitar for 50 Euro to buy some weed and pills. Since then I haven’t spoken to the ex-label owner. I am not proud of what I did but I know I am guilty. Too bad I didn’t do anything. I had lyrics and  some new material but it needed to be arranged and musicians needed to be found so it could have been an album.

So what have you done with your post-Eucharist time then?

I totally buried myself in bizarre literature written in English because all the interesting stuff isn’t translated into Swedish and I was mainly into French, Czech, British and a mix of various literature. I started to write myself. I wanted to write and publish novels. I wrote a lot of poetry during six or seven years in which I dedicated myself completely. I wrote and wrote and wrote, night in and night out, but I only published some of my stuff on the web and never actually tried to get a deal with a publisher. Too bad, I still wanna release poetry but it is almost all written in Swedish but I guess I could translate it since I never bothered to do rhyme. It was expressing myself that was important to me. I rarely talked to people, I lived, and still do, in a very isolated spot outside Norrtälje, about one hour north of Stockholm. I had serious health issues also, I was extremely sick for years and medications fucked my life. But they also made me turn and come back again and now I am as stable as I have ever been. I started doing drugs at the age of 14 and from there it went on and I guess life took its toll.

Your two studio albums were both remastered and remixed on the reissues many years ago. One thing that I did notice is that the “guide me out of this nightmare” line is completely missing from the reissue of Mirrorworlds on the song “Bloodred Stars” — as if forgotten in the remixing process. Markus, your name was also misspelled in the liner notes. What do you think about the re-issues? Do you prefer these or the originals?

Markus: I most certainly prefer the originals and you are quite correct about that line missing in “Bloodred Stars” (which is the voice of our tortured producer, by the way.) Well, I do prefer the originals anyhow. I don’t think you can hear very much difference, actually, but it was nice to put the two compilation tracks from ’94 — “Wounded and Alone” and “The Predictable End” — as bonus tracks and I also think it was lovely to release them on vinyl! That is definitely the way metal should be played. The sound won’t be better than on vinyl. I prefer it although I don’t even own a turntable. Guess it is time to buy one. Wolfsbane Records also released a smaller amount of a collectors edition of Mirrorworlds with only 500 copies including 100 copies with clear vinyl and a 7″ with “The View” on clear vinyl as well. Great release! Thanks Ronny and Jigs!

Daniel, looking back are you proud of the drum tracks on both Eucharist albums? What would you have done different now? 

Daniel: Those albums were both very important to me as a drummer, as they were some of my first steps into this life. I am proud of both of them, both generally and also in terms of drums. Knowing what I know today after 20 years doing this, there would surely be things I would do differently. However, since they are both snapshots of their time, and I know we gave 100% making them, I actually wouldn’t wanna change anything! 

Who owns the masters of your studio recordings now? 

Markus: No one because they are either destroyed or on their own journey somewhere where perhaps someone knows about them, but I’d bet they’re thrown away unfortunately. Eucharist now own the rights of all its material. That is great and soon you’ll know why!

What is your personal favorite Eucharist song and why? 

Markus: Hard question. Seriously! But I do like “Into The Cosmic Sphere” from the demo because of its powerful drive and the riffs and its cool structure and the demo is actually what I consider the best production Eucharist ever got on a release. But I enjoy “The Eucharist” a lot and “Fallen” too. I find them quite unique in every aspect.  And “Fallen” is also so full of anguish and despair that I get drawn into it each time I listen to it, which isn’t very often.

Daniel: It’s not easy to choose one song, but I am personally very proud of the Mirrorworlds album, and I like all the songs on that album, especially “Demons”!

The only other Swedish metal band I’ve ever heard that reminded me of Eucharist, even in the slightest, is Cromlech. Is it a coincidence that you are personal friends with this band and also playing the reunited PDT3 festival coming up in 2016? 

Markus: Well, we all lived in the same small town city Varberg or in its vicinity and most of us were in the same age add or take a few years and we were all into the metal scene and some of us went to the same high school so it sort of came of itself because there was only one building where they offered rehearsal rooms. So many bands got together there but I, Daniel, Thomas and Tobias — the lineup from the demo-era — all lived a couple of miles outside of Varberg in small villages called Kungsäter, Veddige and Derome. We started out rehearsing in Veddige Youth Centre around 1989 and stayed there until around 1993 then I moved to Varberg as a 16-year-old young man and we started to rehearse in Varberg but not in the same place where all the other bands were hanging. But we got to know each other anyway. You know, on weekend nights out on the town while partying, they gigged together (Eucharist never did a gig in Varberg ever, only in Veddige, Falkenberg, Gothenburg here in Sweden) and we went to the gigs and so on. Also, I went to senior high school with Manne Engström from Fatal Embrace. But as for Cromlech, I got to knew them when I started to hang out with Henrik Meijner from the band. We met on a community service workplace for unemployed youths. We became instant and great friends and has been ever since — we met around ’95. And I also hanged a bit with one of their vocalists, Fredrik Arnesson, a damn great guy. I am also familiar with Jonas Eckerström a bit, however we never hanged out together except for a party or two and on nights out. Same with their drummer Matthias Beck. I only got to know them so/so. Did you know that I came up with the name Cromlech for the band? I did. I got it from the Darkthrone track “Cromlech” from Soulside Journey

How were you approached for the festival and did it take much for you to agree with it? 

Markus: Evelina, the main arranger of the mini-festival contacted me but was unfortunate the first couple of times but eventually she caught me because I had recently opened a Facebook account and there she found me. At first I said “No. There is no way it will happen!” Then she told me that Daniel hadn’t said no. So I asked her if she’d asked him and he told her “maybe.” And so it was. Then I got unsure so I got into contact with Daniel again for the first time of a very long time apart (I moved 600km north from Varberg in 2002 which didn’t make it easier for us to bump in to each other any longer). However, he told me that he had had plans for a reunion on his mind the last year but this hastened the process and made our contact a bit premature than what was planned. Anyway, we decided to go for it, as you know. As soon as I heard that Daniel was positive, we agreed to take part of it.

Daniel: To be honest I had been thinking about reuniting the band, but hadn’t come to any conclusion yet when the call came. To me the reunion is a return to where my musical journey started! 

Will you have the time to play most of Eucharist’s catalog live at the festival? Any new songs you’ve been jamming? 

Markus: Well, without revealing too much, I can let you know that, since we headline, our show will last for approximately 60-70 minutes. There will be no new material. The thing with this gig is that it is supposed to gather bands that were active back during the mid ’90s, and it is desirable if it is possible to use the same line-up as of that era as well — even if the line-up today would be different. But as far as I know, all the bands were inactive when being asked about this so I suppose there were no current line-ups. I think most of the bands have been able to do this. I know that some are to play new material even if it is said as a rule that it should be strictly ’90s material. I know of three bands that will perform new songs, but Eucharist will not. Only old classic, known songs from our back catalogue.

Daniel, How does it feel to play these songs again for the first time in many years? 

Daniel: We just rehearsed once and it was lots of fun. It was really a trip down memory lane, and very cool to revisit those old songs and ideas once again!

What are the chances that this could lead to more shows or even another studio album? Hey, if At The Gates can do it, then anything is possible, right?

Markus: It is possible! At the Gates showed us exactly that, as you say, but they were far more known than we were and they also had an extensive back catalogue compared to Eucharist. However, we have decided to go through with this gig and feel what it feels like; will it feel good? Will we perform well? Will it be appreciated? Do we have what it takes to please the audience? Those are questions we can answer after the gig is performed and we know of just how successful it was. Our goal with the gig is to make the audience feel that they recognize the songs as they are performed on the albums, that is the songs will be performed as they are recorded on the albums except for the sound. Unlike some of the other bands we have not made any changes to the songs apart from some subtle details. One problem is that I decided consciously to buy a guitar without a Floyd Rose bridge and with no whammy-bar and almost all the solos on Mirrorworlds are made using this. I knew it would be a problem but I decided that I didn’t want one so I have to adapt the solos as good as I can to my Schecter guitar’s capability playing the solos differently. That will be heard but there is nothing to do anything about and it won’t completely kill the songs, so to speak. It is not that important, but the bends do bring a certain character to the solos for sure. I wish there was a way of explaining this for the audience before the gig so that they will know why I play the solos differently. But it will still be the same tunes, of course. So they will not feel alien to you. I am sorry, I lost the track here and went away from the subject. Will we stay alive? Well, all four of us are extremely excited about this gig and this reuniting and surprisingly, at least to me, is that Daniel seems to be almost the most positive of us and that fires me up as well and thus all members are blooming as individuals in this familiar vehicle, so to speak. And what I meant before was that if we succeed in reaching our goals at this festival there is certainly a chance that there could be a continuation; as I said, those who have risen from the ashes are hard to kill and if that will apply on Eucharist, which is my personal wish, then there is a good chance that we will continue. We are actually very curious in creating new material and I can promise you that I will play my part in trying to keep this ship afloat — first we use the gig to see if the ship even sails.  There is a good chance Eucharist will stay reunited but don’t forget that Daniel has Arch Enemy which is a band that is touring probably as much as possible year after year and that leaves little room for the man to rest and utilize Eucharist. It is, of course, a question of how bad my friend wants this to be reality. If he is in, I too am in, and then nothing can stop us. So keep your fingers crossed if you wish for it to happen.

Daniel: If we are to release new music or not, it’s only gonna happen if the new material is up to par. At this moment it might be too early to say. We have kind of said between us, “lets see how the first show feels and take it from there.” I could imagine making some new music would be cool too, so lets see what the future will bring!

What are your thoughts on bands like At The Gates having major come-backs?

Markus: Well, as for At The Gates, I feel stronger for them since Adrian Erlandsson is Daniel’s brother and we are familiar with most of the guys so I, for sure, am very happy for their fantastic success that followed their return to the scene. And they did it with pride and glory too. They fucking rule live! I saw them in Sweden in September last year. They are gods on stage. Very high energy and extremely tight performance. Congratulations to you, guys! As for other bands that have returned from the dead I think it is just fun that they pick up the instruments again or go back to their old setup if they are active in new projects or other bands. It adds to the scene a certain quality. It is not only death metal bands that are coming back — everyone does it! The last decade thousands of old bands have reunited with or  without success in many genres. Of course I am happy for those who succeed. It is only natural. We want these bands back! Many fans are fans of dead bands and so many are lucky to get to see their favorite band reunite and go watch them perform live. I remember back in the ’90s when Black Sabbath reunited with its original lineup, I almost cried, man. That was unbelievable to me because I never even thought about the possibility of them reuniting, you know, and this is quite soon after Kiss reunited. After that there came a boom and bands all over the worlds came back to the scene with new albums and performed live their old gems to the people’s amusement. Kiss sucks but they started a trend, obviously. No, I can’t see anything negative about it if they do it well! It is very sad with those who try but they have lost their touch and feeling and thus they fail in producing new music that can follow up their back catalogue with dignity. 

How does it feel to be reunited after all these years? Did you ever foresee this happening?

Markus: It feels awesome! I’m very excited and very much looking forward to this gig to begin with. The other guys are feeling quite the same, as far as I can tell. We are very focused and each member has been rehearsing on his own as good as he can and we will begin to rehearse for real within mid-March and we’ll go real intense the last two weeks. No, I never thought this would happen. It’s a very natural feeling about it, but never in my life had I thought this would happen but I adapted to the fact very fast. It has been an expensive wake up, though, being completely out of equipment [laughs]. But now, soon fully equipped, I feel very satisfied and calm about the whole thing. I do not worry — I believe there will be a continuation. At least I can tell you that I at least won’t stop here, or after the gig, no matter what!

Name 3 metal albums on your playlist.

1.Mayhem – De Mysteriis Don Sathanas
2. Darkthrone – A Blaze In the Northern Sky
3. Celtic Frost – Morbid Tales

1. Dissection – Reinkaos
2. Judas Priest – Sin After Sin
3. Metal Church – Metal Church

Name 3 non-metal albums on your playlist.

1.Black Sabbath – Vol. 4
2. The Velvet Underground & Nico
3. Anita Lane – Dirty Pearls

1. Captain Beyond – Captain Beyond
2. Goblin – Roller
3. Queens of the Stone Age – Like Clockwork

What would you like to say to Eucharist fans who thought you were dead and gone?

Markus: I would like to thank each and one of you for your tremendous support on social media and for showing so much interest in our reunion and especially those who will travel from far abroad to the little Swedish city of Varberg on April 16! Coming all the way from Australia, Russia, USA, UK, Ireland, Germany, Holland, France and Slovakia — you are awesome!!  And all of you who still remember us and buy our records and support us and like our music — thank you! You are the reason that Eucharist now reunites and possibly continues to stay reunited. I am eternally grateful to all of you, including you Chris Warunki, thanks for this fantastic interview! It has been a pure pleasure answering your great questions. 
To all of you who can’t make it to the gig but would like to see Eucharist perform live, I hope as much as you that we will one day come to a place near your town in the not so distant future; hopefully to represent a new album? You are the means that keep our metal from corroding, so to speak; you are the reason we once again exist. Thanks for keeping us alive during the decades instead of forgetting us and our metal — you fucking rule!!

Daniel: That it’s great to hear that there’s still people who remember us! Makes me humble and grateful! Hopefully we’ll see you all somewhere out there!