Global Domination: We at Global Domination saw fit to add
your release, “Crimson”, to our esteemed Class 6(66) hall of fame. Do
you feel this album is worthy of such an honor?
Dan Swanö: Of course! “Crimson” is of the greatest
achievements for me in the world of metal. It wasn’t the smartest thing
to do from a commercial standpoint, but I am sure this album will stand
the test of time well and it is a great legacy to spread to future
generations of progressive-minded death metal fans.
GD: What was the ultimate goal for you while recording this album?
Dan Swanö: To make it flow and make it feel like
one piece and not just a bunch of riffs stapled together. It was
important that the album was a “back to back in headphones” kind of
album, like so many of the epic 1-track concept albums I grew up
GD: Name something of interest that you remember from the recording sessions.
Dan Swanö: That it all went so fast! The guys arrived on Thursday evening, we
started writing Friday morning and around midnight on the Saturday some
of the guys already packed up and went home. We wrote the whole piece
sitting in a circle in the control-room (except Benny that was in the
drumbooth in the next room) and we just kept adding ideas we finished to
a DAT tape. All in all it took 24 hours of
jamming to write and record the “sections” demos for this album. All the
basic tracks were recorded in a few days the following week and then I
think there was like 14 more days of solid work incl. writing the
lyrics, tracking my guitars and vocals and then mix it.
GD: If you could change any one thing about this album, what would you change?
Dan Swanö: I am not too crazy about the sound. I
had just bought a Sonic Maximizer and wasn’t really 100% clear on how to
use it, so I maxed it out (!!) and compensated on the individual
channels when it sounded to harsh or boomy. Looking back, that was a
stupid thing to do, but it sounded fat in my speakers and pretty massive
in the mastering-room (with Peter in de Betou) too. But I didn’t make
enough reference-listening to make sure it sounded up to par with other
albums released at that time. There is also a few “happy” goth-riffs and
some “nu-metalish” riffs that I could live without, but they all serve
their place in keeping the whole thing floating and in order to make the
next part kick in just right in either tempo or key, they had to be
GD: Why do you think this album means so much to those who consider it a classic?
Dan Swanö: Some of them might have heard it at just
the right time and it opened a gateway to more progressive music. I
mean, honestly, I was so inspired by Opeth at this time that I even
included Mike to sing and play on the album. But who had ever heard of
them?? I mean, I was one of the first persons in the world to “worship”
Opeth at all, having the privilege to record them the very first time
they ever were in a studio!!
GD: Finally, as an artist and musician, what special place does this album hold in your heart?
Dan Swanö: I like the fact that I had the guts to go ahead and do it, despite the
fact that Black Mark resented the idea all the way to the
pressing-plant! The other band members weren’t that crazy about it
either. They even showed up at the doorstep with “2 song for the album”
and I was like… ehh… we agreed to make a “one track concept album”. We
later recorded those 2 songs and used them for Japan bonus and stuff.
For me, this is the start of a new genre, Prog Death, and I will gladly revisit this genre in the year to come! Hint, hint!! (No.. not a “Crimson III”… but something else in the same style, might appear!). Thanx a ton for this “award”.