Initially known as Hellslaughter, the mastermind behind Sweden’s one of the most successful metal bands, Johan Edlund relied on death grunts for singing but later shifted to a more deep and baritone style. This period is famously defined as pre/post Wildhoney era by fans. Tiamat went through a significant shift in musical style during the mid 90s and even though many fans were disheartened by their much Goth influenced turn, they gained more fans than they lost, mostly because of their never ending habit of being unpredictable. Though every album post 1997 classic ‘A Deeper Kind Of Slumber’ has had a mixed and unpredictable approach like Gothic Rock/Metal, Dark Rock, Doom Metal, Psychedelic Metal and even showing some signs of their initial extreme metal days, a very Wildhoney like album ‘Amanathes’ (2008), they have hardly released any weak record. Tiamat is one of the few bands who have songs and albums that cater to every kind of metal and rock music followers.

Tiamat had made a habit to make their fans wait for the smallest of updates, so much so that post 2003 great album ‘Prey’ they have released just two albums; namely Amanethes (2008) and The Scarred People (2012), all three were hailed by both fans and critics alike. Even though they are not much into regular updates, Tiamat are extremely good in giving fans power jolts from time to time.

A recent post by Tiamat founder and frontman Johan Edlund on his Facebook read:

 

Just like Tiamat’s ‘Open to interpretation’ content, this teaser was enough for us to get excited and after a long chase we got in contact with Johan Edlund himself. He was as humble and down to earth as he was witty and unpredictable, just like his music.

Poetbabu – Hello Johan. How are you?
-Hi, I’m very fine. Counting money. Right now we’re speaking I’m trying to rid alcohol, having just proposed to my lady, might move to Canada and enjoy two bonus kids, both teenage girls. So, yeah, I’m fine.

Poetbabu – Are you still living in Greece?
-Yeah, technically I am. Means no more to me that any other country. But all of us.. Somewhere we need to be.

Poetbabu – How has your time in Greece changed you?
-Good question. My ex taught me good things for going further in life. How we don’t need to follow others. In a way of not being impolite.. Just.. Do your thing. Learned that from my Greek pals, definitely! They rock!


Poetbabu – You shared about not feeling great health wise, what had happened and are you better now?
-I’m fine, no worries. I am honestly the strongest person on the planet. I worry over people worrying over me. Real fine, wanna cut alcohol. Don’t care much myself, but there are kids here now, and I need to drive and work. Alcohol has to leave.

Poetbabu – What are your thoughts on concept albums? Share with us your favorite ones.
-Best concept album is Prey. No one got it. So, perfect concept album, right?

Poetbabu – Music is a powerful tool for achieving altered states of consciousness and Tiamat’s music does that to many. While crafting a song, do you have an intention to make the listener get into a certain “vibe” or feel a certain emotion?
-That would come as a nice bonus. I don’t know what I do. If it means something to people, that’s so lovely. We honestly don’t have a clue. Still, we’re a bit proud of something we’ve done. We could do more and that is what we aim for because we don’t give up either.

Poetbabu – Have you ever experimented with the occult or esoteric art? If yes, could you please share which systems of magic or the occult you have experienced with and how it has affected you and your music?
-Ok. Yeah, Thelema, Church Of Satan, Egyptian and other lore. OTO, Golden Dawn, Masonry and odd Fellows. Honestly, we wanted to find it out. We’ve been not bit closer to anybody else, sorry.


Poetbabu – Have such things affected you on personal or professional level?
-Yes, of course. Closer to Pope!

Poetbabu – While fans had made it clear on social media that they were worried for the band, how did your friends and family react to this incident?
-No one was worried. As always we dealt with the problem head on, as professionally as possible.

Poetbabu – Also, there was a video shared by you recently where you stopped a guy from harassing a lady on your show.
-I did the right thing. No more, no less. A woman was being harassed by a man, needed to be stopped. I expect others to do the same.

Watch the video here:

Poetbabu – The band, Tiamat is known for its extreme religious contexts, blasphemy and controversial lyrical content. What does God and Religion mean to you?
-We promote love in many of our songs. From our hearts. I am a Christian, I stand by my cross. Simple as that. God for me is good…with a lot of humour. He lived with us for over 6 billion years. He knows.


Poetbabu – A lot has been spoken about musical evolution of Tiamat, but back in 1999 the band showed their first goth influences. How much has the band changed today musically and in terms of production and inspiration?
– I got into early post-punk/gothic at the end of the 80s/early 90s. Bands such as Joy Division, The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, Fields and others  were huge influences to our sound. We tried to mix that new inspirational force with what we might have invented that was called Swedish Black Metal. The mix of two good worlds.

Poetbabu – Can you tell us the story behind the song ‘Thirst Snake’? What does the name mean? What are the musical and lyrical inspirations for that song?
-Inspiration is from Paradise Lost by Milton. Thirst Snake was a name for the devil; devil always being thirsty.

Poetbabu – You have made your appreciation for Lana Del Rey when you covered her song ‘Born To Die’ on The Scarred People Album, but out of all the songs why did you choose that one in particular, especially since it has feminine essence to it? For example, the lyrics ‘You like your girls insane’.
-I love Lana and I don’t see any problem with feminism. I chose ‘Born to Die’ because I feel it is a brilliant song with brilliant lyrics. I like all my girls insane!

Poetbabu – You have taken a lot of time coming up with new albums in the recent past. In fact post Prey (2003) you have released only two albums. What’s the reason behind this and is it going to be the same in future too?
-No, see, we plan to release one album and one double concept album within the next short years. There’s been much in between and so be it.

Poetbabu – There was no music video for Amanethes album. What was the reason behind it?
– I was out fishing!

Poetbabu – Even, ‘Wildhoney’ is a landmark album on many levels. Even considering Tiamat’s diverse catalog, this album is unique. There are lyrics which are inspired by psychedelics ( also on Deeper kind of Slumber). How much of a role did psychedelics play in inspiring you and the band. Which has been your preferred psychedelic drug of choice and what has been the most profound psychedelic experience for you personally?
-I don’t suggest drugs, and my own experiences I keep to myself. But when I do, grass turn pink and I can’t watch that dinosaurs on TV.

Poetbabu – Will Tiamat be continuing with Napalm Records?
-No.

Poetbabu – If you had a chance to tour India with another European band, who would that be? Why?
-Moonspell, our brothers.

Poetbabu – Tell us who you admire and would like to work with, not including any members of Tiamat.
-no——————————————————————————————-

Poetbabu – What books are you reading right now (lately) ?
-Your Mom.
Poetbabu – What music are you listening to right now (lately) ?
-Your Mom.

Poetbabu – What books and music albums do you recommend?
-Ours are good. stay away from the Bob. Your Mom.

Poetbabu – How would you define Darkness and Light?
-They go well together.

Poetbabu – What are your future plans (Solo/bands) ?
-Write and record the two Tiamat albums as stated. Don’t give up on the idea of my solo Swedish album. Record a couple of country songs with my new good friends in Canada.

Poetbabu – There was a bug like symbol used for ‘A Deeper Kind Of Slumber’ album and also featured on The Scarred People box set as a necklace. What is it and what’s the inspiration behind it?
-It brings sweet to the queen! Symbol, aim to sell honey and metal.

Poetbabu – Tell us what comes to your mind when I say these words:
Syria
-Beautiful people.
Religion
-God
Thelema
-Will
Orthodox
-God
Priority
-Love
Parallel Universes
-Still Love
With Every Tear A Dream
-Yep, love
European Union
-Not working good, still working ok.
Online Piracy
-Bring it on. I got a shotgun!
Family
-Please
Game Of Thrones
-That’s dragons, I need food.
India
-Got Milk?
Future
– Time bending.

 
Poetbabu – Any message to the Indian fans?
-“Here’s to the first of the day, fellas. To old D.H. Lawrence….Indians”.

Poetbabu – Thank you for your time and good luck for your future. Have a great health.
-To you also. Thank you.


– Manmeet Singh Bhatia (Poetbabu)

(Special thanks to Amon and Luane Vella)

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