Beseech is a Swedish gothic metal band that has been around since the early 90’s and is considered in some circles as one of the first pioneer bands in the genre along with The Gathering and The 3rd and The Mortal. They are even contemporaries with Nightwish‘s early beginnings. After 10 years and 5 studio albums Beseech broke up in 2003. Almost 10 years later Klas Bohlin (vocals) and Robert Vintervind (guitar) decided to re-start the band again with a new mentality and a new line up.
The new reincarnation of Beseech consists of Klas Bohlin / Vocals, Angelina Sahlgren Söder / Vocals, Robert Vintervind / Guitar, Manne Engström / Guitar, Johan Örnborg / Bass, and Håkan Carlsson / Drums. This lineup recently released the band’s six studio album titled My Darkness, Darkness which is an 11 track record that keeps the legacy the band alive, but allows the new line up to add a more vintage and more organic sound to the style that Beseech used to have.
To expand more about the album we talked to vocalist and founding member Klas Bohlin about the new album, the idea to put the band together and the direction that Beseech is taking.
The Age Of Metal: Hello Klas, how are you?
Klas Bohlin: I am fine and you?
TAOM: Pretty good, let’s start talking about the process of bringing Beseech back from retirement?
Klas Bohlin: Well, during the years when Beseech was put to rest Robert Vintervind & I were the creators of Beseech, but also the main composers throughout the years. Even if Beseech was down Robert & I talked a lot about doing something creative with the music again, but all along we were quite unsure if we should do something as Beseech, But once we meet and starting jamming we presented some material, and we were quite amazed on how we succeeded to bring back that melancholic core, which categorized us as Beseech. So, we thought that maybe it was time for another run with Beseech again.
Later we called Manne Engström who was my replacement as a guitarist in 2003, and then the three of us figured out the new direction for Beseech. I think that has been a really important part of laying the present lineup of Beseech. During the last years when Beseech was down we Manne, Robert and I we keep on playing with our other bands and projects using Studio Mega as our main studio.
That studio is something that links everything together involving all the members of the present line up. So, Johan our new bass player was one of the guys that really wanted to have in the band because he had experience from working with all the bands that we had during the years that Beseech was put to rest. Johan is like a multi-musician, but also, perhaps one of the best producers in Sweden when it comes to metal music.
So, having Johan on the band is a really good asset. The other two new members Håkan Carlsson (drums) and Angelina Sahlgren Söder (vocals) both of them I had experience from working with another band called ‘The Fantastic People‘. With this band, we went back to Studio Mega and worked with Johan. So, for us, an important part of the reunion was to choose people that we had musical experience from working with from before.
TAOM: Talking about the new album, My Darkness, Darkness which came out in March. What are the main ideas around this album?
Klas Bohlin: The musical direction has something in common with our early albums and musically I think we have taken a step more towards rock than metal on the new album. I think most people would compare it with the third album of Beseech‘s Souls Highway. Lyrically, it is an album about our daily darkness, common events that could happen to me or you or anyone close to you, somehow what we have learned to live in a symbiosis with both the darkness and the light in life.
We are always kind of happy bragging about all the good stuff that happens to us, but on the other hand, we are rather silent about all the bad stuff that happens to us. Like cancer diagnosis within the family or an accident or death. All the lyrics on the new album are dealing with that kind of inconvenient stuff,
I also believe that all these kind lyrics on this album are something that would have been impossible for me to write when we started Beseech in 1992, at that time I was only like 16 years old and I had no experience from life in general. I think you need to have more experience from life and have a more humble attitude for life, in general, to be able to write that kind of lyrics.
TAOM: How has been the reaction of the fans so far after knowing that Beseech is back?
Klas Bohlin: It’s been mostly good, and the response from the media has also been good, better from what we were expecting actually. The reviews have been mostly very nice, and of course for a band like Beseech we kind of need all the attention we can get in order to keep rolling again. After all, we must create a great impact with this new album so that we can take Beseech to the next level, but like always its hard to please everyone, there is people who still believe that the first album from Beseech From Our Bleeding Heart its the best Beseech album ever. It’s just that we have to deal with people liking different stuff.
TAOM: How has been the chemistry and the experience with this new Beseech line up?
Klas Bohlin: I think that once Robert, Manne and I noticed that what we wanted to achieve with the next era of Beseech, we somehow looked within our surroundings for the people that we thought could fit along with a new sound and direction of the band. At first, it was said that I should do the lead vocals, this is my first album as a lead singer earlier I only have done some backing here and there, but always been strongly committed to the production part of the vocals involving the new members this time, for this album we have made space for the third generation of singers which includes Angelina and I. Somehow we have brought some new energy into Beseech influenced by dark country music as well as some elements from the late 60’s since we are using a lot of vocal background layers. I also think that working with Johan, when the songs were finished he was the one that created the basic structure setting different tempos and had some ideas about breaks and stuff.
TAOM: It seems you also have a new role in the band, not as a guitar player like before, but as a singer. A which point you decided to take on the vocal duties on Beseech?
Klas Bohlin: It was something that happened during the years that I was away from Beseech, at that time I wasn’t satisfied with the songs that I wrote in Beseech, so my best option back then was to do something completely different, then I started The Fantastic People and at that time something really interesting happened to me as a musician since I found a way for me to express myself with my own voice which I thought it was good enough to continue as a lead singer. Actually, when Robert & I got back together again and started writing and once we tried the new material, we realized that I was probably the best choice for a singer due to the new direction.
TAOM: 10 years ago the gothic metal scene was quite different to what it is now. In your opinion how do you see the gothic metal scene now, and what would be the best way to revamp it?
Klas Bohlin: To be honest, I don’t know much of what is going on within the gothic metal scene, and I haven’t keep myself updated on the new bands that are coming and stuff.
TAOM: Now that album is out, are there any ideas about get back on the road and tour again?
Klas Bohlin: Once we talked about the reunion there were two things that really matters for us, number one was, of course, to make an album that we would like ourselves, then the second part was to play live again, so this is absolutely something that we would do more in the future. So far we have only done one concert with the new line up and we have another festival in Sweden this summer, I think more and more people are rediscovering Beseech again, both new and old fans are day by day looking into our new album and I think that is taking a little more time than for a bigger band that gets back with a new album. Of course, we will do more live shows, and visit the states would be amazing, we haven’t been there before so, it’s actually one of the things that I need to put up on my to-do list.
TAOM: What is next for Beseech for 2016?
Klas Bohlin: We talked about it a bit early about getting Beseech back on the road & do more gigs, and I think this would be possible during the fall because now we are kind of making an impact with the album so that booking agencies and all the people within the music industry they are re-discovering Beseech again, and that is out important goal now to really tell the world that there is a new Beseech out there.