Interview with Pyramido, Swedish Sludge/Doom band with a hardcore edge
Pyramido has gone from strength-to-strength and the latest album ‘Saga’ is truly that – an epic album in all intents, destroying the myth of this style of music being too “stoner” and psychedelic and churning out a beast of an album that will melt your ears with the grittiness and yet remaining somewhat true to the style. It’s Sludge with the Swedish Hardcore/Crust influence, or so it sounds to these ears, something devastatingly heavy at the same time evoking emotions that only a few genres allow. It takes real talent to do that and this band is at the top of its game presently.
SMNnews (Kunal Choksi): Please tell us what made you call the new album ‘Saga’. All your album names are unconventional, the first one was called ‘Sand’ and the second one ‘Salt’. Why aren’t there any sentences for album names?
Dan H: A nice word that fit together well with the two albums before beginning with the letters S and A also. We just came up with the title and then we adapted this word to the idea of the cover art. We like to do things our way and one part of that is to not be generic, so that’s maybe why you find the titles for our records to feel unconventional.
Dan B once said, “don’t be shy, be different”, in a drunken haze. I think you can apply that “logic” to our album titles/art.
PW: A short, strong word sets the tone for the album, and fits the atmosphere of each of our albums hopefully.
Dan B: Agree with the guys. Plus it’s fun to find just one word that fits for an album title. We like to have fun in our band. We’re not evil metal dudes. We are an ordinary band that play ordinary music for ordinary people.
SMNnews: Secondly, please tell us about the album concept. Also your logos have varied since the band’s inception, how important do you think is the image to your band and to what extent would you keep evolving, like your music?
PW: I like when bands takes each album as far as possible, to delve as deep as possible into each specific aspect. When you have left nothing undone, it means you can let the album go, and do something completely different next time.
Viktor: I think that Pyramido’s image is to have no image which of course in the end still is an image. We wanna do songs we think are good, and we wanna do covers for the albums that we think looks good. Usually we get an idea and then we go all in. Musicwise we will just continue to do new songs, and they will sound the way they will. I really have no idea what will happen.
SMNnews: How would you compare in your own words the evolution from your debut album to your latest one?
Dan H: Sand – Too generic
Salt – Not so generic, but still…
Saga – Beautiful, great art. Kinda like Bror-Eric Bergqvist or ABBA.
Viktor: We’ve gone from crappy to decent. If we make another three or four records I think I will get to a place where I’m satisfied.
Dan B: We might learn to write ok songs one day. The ‘Saga’ album is the best album we’ve done…
SMNnews: I can’t help but detect an all-too-palpable sense of emotional fragility in your devastating music. Please explain its place in music of this kind, which adds a contrast and immediate memorability.
Dan H: It’s great that you notice that! A friend of our said that he heard a kind of hopefulness in our music and that has really grown on me. We never intended it to be that way, we just really wanted to work with a lot of melodies and harmonies on ‘Saga’, so I’m really satisfied that people can hear something besides the obvious doom n gloom in our music!
Dan B: A good song needs variation, brutality and some hooks. I think we got those ingredients in the ‘Saga’ album.
SMNnews: How has Sweden, your home place, contributed to your sound? It’s all too apparent in your music if ‘Saga’ was to be judged. Is it deliberate, is it something you’ve always wanted to play, or is it just natural progression?
Dan H: Hard to say. I guess it has affected us in some way since it’s the place we live in. It must have to be about the influences you pick up and I don’t know how much that has to do with Sweden really.
I think it’s way more interesting to hear your perception on Sweden and how you think it has contributed to our music, being from a place so far away from where we’re living!
Dan B: If you listen to our albums you can hear a progression towards more classic song structures and more bangable riffs and melodies that stick to your head.
SMNnews: I noticed the band members of Pyramido being a part of many other bands, most notably Deranged which is one of my favourite bands. How important do you think the band members’ influences should match the sound of Pyramido or the style?
Dan H: Very important, but that has not got much to do with any current or previous bands that we’re in. Those bands have not made such a big impact on Pyramido’s music. The way we sound have much more to do with the music we listen to at home than any band we play/have played in I think.
Dan B: No impact at all. I played in Deranged for 4 years or so. I don’t wanna play that style of music again and I am proud to play the bass in Pyramido!
SMNnews: Please tell us about your shows and memorable moments. What is your take on this style of music in the future? It’s role and accessibility.
PW: Hopefully more great bands will come out, and stand out more from the generic masses of de-tune and distortion. Our last tour was really amazing, I think some of our finest live moments happened back then. Can’t wait to get out on the roads again!
Viktor: One of my favourite moments is when Wendel got his chewing-gum stuck in his hair during a show. He tried to play and get it out of there at the same time which made the gum stick even worse in the hair on his left side. After the show he tried to fix but it was impossible so he had to cut ALOT of his hair off on that side of the head which made him look like Marilyn Manson -98.
SMNnews: Thank you very much for your time. Before you conclude, tell us about the creation process and the idea behind the now famous video of the song ‘År av onåd’.
PW: Well, thank you! The creation process of the video started with “let’s NOT make a video where we are playing live, or doing anything cheesy”, and then there was just one way to go from there.
Dan B: It’s me and a friend who did the video. As PW says, we didn’t want us, Pyramido, to perform so I came up with this simple story of two kids in animal costumes that fight over a Pyramido tshirt. I think it came out kinda fine with no budget what so ever…
And if there are any band/artist that want a video made contact me!