Interview by Tom Saunders.

Tom Saunders was pretty impressed with Switchblade’s [2012] album. Drummer Tim Bertilsson was more than happy to share his insights on the record. He also discussed playing on the prestigious Roadburn Festival, the band’s influences and the rise in prominence of doom metal in general.

First, how did you settle on the name Switchblade? When I sat down to listen to your most recent album, I was expecting hardcore or crust, not skull-crushing doom!

Well, it was a band name I had in my head for quite some time before starting the band and I wanted to use it for the next band I was in, no matter what type of music. I like band names that are not that obvious. There are a lot of bands where you more or less can describe their “sound” with just hearing the band name.

I didn’t realise how long you’d been around. Since forming, what do you think has been your proudest moment?

Yeah, we’ve been around for about 15 years now. There are quite a lot of moments that we are proud of in one way or another. It’s hard to name just one moment but the Swedish Grammy Award nomination we received today is something special of course.

Is there anything you’d still like to achieve as a band?

Of course. Otherwise there would be no use to continue doing the band.

Where do you draw your influences from? To my ears, you sound like an incredibly dark version of YOB. Do you draw any influence from bands outside of the doom metal genre?

I think that we draw more influences from bands outside of the doom metal genre than anything else. There is quite a lot of early 70´s prog/heavy rock and death metal influences on the new album though it might not sound like it. There is a big difference in being influenced by something and to copy a certain sound or approach.

What are the songs on [2012] about? The song titles (‘Movement I’, ‘II’ and ‘III’ respectively) don’t give away much!

The lyrics are a passage from the book “Maldoror” by Lautréamont (1868). You will have to read the book yourself to get the whole picture.

I see you’re lucky enough to be playing Roadburn festival this year. Have you played before? Are there any bands there you’ll want to watch yourself?

Yeah, we’re really happy that we’ll be playing Roadburn 2013. It’s something that we have wanted to do for quite a few years now. We have not played the festival before but we did play the Roadburn pre-sales party in Tilburg a few months ago. There a quite a few bands that I look forward to seeing like Nihill, The Ruins of Beverast, My Brother The Wind, High On Fire playing “The Art Of Self Defense” and so on. I’ll be there for all four days so there’s a lot of bands to check out.

From what I gather, your early releases were pressed on vinyl, your first release being a 7”. Is vinyl still your preferred format? What do you think has caused the apparent resurgence of interest in vinyl recently?

Yes, I am a big fan of vinyl but I think that CDs and digital files are a good compliment since it’s pretty hard to carry around a vinyl turntable and listen to music on your way to work and so on. With the right equipment, the sound of a vinyl record is superior to CD or digital files. I think that the vinyl is on a steady rise again because the value of an LP rarely drops, rather rises over time whereas a CD is something that people have no respect for when it comes to handling it. And the artwork size and packaging of vinyl is of course superior as well. People want to have something to hold on to and not just a digital file.

Continuing with the vinyl theme, if you could release a split with any band, who would it be and why?

Hmm, good question. There are lots of bands that would be great to do a split with but I’ll keep it reasonable and say Eagle Twin who are one of my favourite bands.

Doom also seems to have enjoyed a resurgence lately, 2012 has been saturated with quality releases from all over the doom spectrum. Have you noticed an increased interest in your music in recent years?

Not really, to be honest. The interest and feedback for our latest album has been better than ever but I think that has more to do with the album being our best material ever rather than an increased interest in the genre as a whole.

Having been around for a while, do you have any opinions on the recent horde of bands reuniting? Have you ever come close to breaking up yourself?

I don’t mind reunions as long as they’re done for the right reason and done the right way. It’s a great chance for people to see great bands who they didn’t manage to see while the bands were active the first time around. No, we have never been close to breaking up. We love what we do and we do it at our pace.

Switchblade – Facebook Page