Göran Jacobson – Vocals
Patrick Backlund – Bass
Today we are with Göran Jacobson of Quicksand Dream, which in this year re-released their 2000 album “Aelin – A Story About Destiny” (we have reviewed it) thanks to High Roller and Planet Metal.
Welcome on Aristocrazia Webzine, how is talking about your work after ten years from its birth?
It’ll be fun! Everything about this release is just a happy ride I think. We’re immensely humbled and grateful that Thorsten and Steffen at High Roller and Chris at Planet Metal have made this possible.
Why did you choose the name Quicksand Dream?
The name was taken from an unreleased album by Necromandus, recorded in 1973 I think (and produced by Tony Iommi), which was bootlegged on vinyl in the early nineties. Later the album has been released officially and ironically we would find that song title was a mistake. Actually Quicksand Dream was a song by the band Slowbone, which also had been bootlegged by the same label. Anyway I think it’s a good name, it looks nice in print and also carries an eerie sense of uneasiness which I like.
How were Quicksand Dream born? What happened from 2000 to today? Why didn’t you work anymore on your project?
Actually we started off in our mid-teens in the late summer of 1988 inspired by Candlemass, Cloven Hoof, Manilla Road and stuff like that. Our first line-up consisted of brothers Thomas and Mikael Svedlund on guitar and drums, respectively, Patrick Backlund on the bass and me singing. We also went through a couple of second guitarists during our first year of existence but it never worked out very well and from May 1989 on we were down to a quartet. At first we were called Epic Irae, under which flag we released two demo tapes in 1990 and 1991 (there was a third one also but that one was completed by me and Patrick after the band was no more). We changed name to Quicksand Dream around 1992-93 when we had been asked to appear on a local metal compilation CD (Metal North, released by Massproduktion in 1993). I wasn’t very comfortable with Epic Irae as none of us did know any Latin and I was unsure if it made any sense. By the time the Metal North compilation was out the band had already folded, mostly due to the members being spread geographically for studies and stuff. We rehearsed very little during the last few years so the split was sort of a welcome release of burden, albeit a sad one too. We’ve remained friends over the years, though. Then during a couple of years of hiatus, Patrick kept writing and recording ideas and from 1996 and onwards he started assembling stuff for this concept “Aelin” which had it’s origin in a song called Road Goes Ever On from the first Epic Irae demo (Ballet of Desolation). It appears on the Aelin album in completely different musical shape. Also Caress of the Breeze and The Lighthouse Dream, both of which are featured on the CD were rehearsed by the full band during the Epic Irae days. The basic recording of Aelin was done on a four track porta studio with one track of drums and bass and three tracks of guitars. At first we were just keen on getting it onto tape. So we actually considered recording the vocals “live” during mixdown to a stereo tape. Haha! That’s when our good friend Henrik Flyman (Moahni Moahna, Zool, Evil Masquerade) stepped in and saved us by offering us to record the vocals and mix at his digital home studio. He added a bit of keyboards too. When we were ready Patrick designed a really neat booklet and we made about 30 copies of the album (CD-R). Shared a few with friends, sent some to labels. It got it’s sole review in the German Iron Pages Glory magazine, resulting in two guys ordering one copy each. Then not much more happened, except us being quite happy with the result. Both me and Patrick got ourselves digital equipment to keep writing and recording. We made a few demos, showed it to one another. I recorded the vocals on one of Patricks songs called When Tomorrow Is Calling in 2001 I believe. Then Patrick gradually started writing more modern and aggressive music which I couldn’t really deliver good vocals for. So he started what was to become Mortalicum with a few other guys. They’ve changed line up since and gotten all round-edged and melodic (but HEAVY!) again now so I’m actually a really big fan of theirs!
I didn’t know “Aelin – A Story About Destiny”, Scott of Clawhammer recommended me to listen to it and since in this year i found so many good heavy and epic works i decided to try it. The album is good and reminded me to something ancestral, the ambience is one of its most important parts.
Can you tell us how was it composed? Which are its main lyrical themes? I think it’s some kind of concept album, am i right?
Yeah, I guess you’re spot on about the mood and ambience being really important. What can I tell you? Patrick wrote, arranged and recorded most of it by himself, he also wrote all of the lyrics. I just put the melodies and vocal arrangements on top of it basically. And it’s a full-on concept album, no doubt about that! It tells the story of an old sorcerer who has to go out to seek the chosen one, his succesor. Eventually he finds this baby (Aelin) and convinces the parents that their child is the chosen one. Then they let the Sorcerer take Aelin with him to begin teaching him about magic and sorcery. Aelin grows up and accordingly proves to be the chosen one in the eyes of the Sorcerer. Still he developes a yearning to step out of his decided path in life and just sail away – to be part of the sea basically. The Sorcerer then must use his magic powers to convince Aelin of his duties and inevitable destiny. I guess you could see it as a coming-of-age kind of story. One of the things I believe adds to it’s ambience is the fact that, though there are some elements of conflict in the story, it never gets violent or ugly. It may also lack much of the sentimentality, bombastic heroism and meaningless pride that you can see aplenty in the Epic Metal/Power Metal field, and that is a good thing I believe.
When you self-produced it and gave it to some labels no one answered you? No one trusted you?
Haha! I believe we sent a few copies around (must have been to lables like Iron Glory, Dragonheart and such). The only one I remember answering was Denis Guelby at Sentinel Steel. Can’t really remember but I believe he wasn’t too keen on my voice. Can’t say I blame them for not picking us up though. Haha!
Did you make some live show in that period? And now will you make some gig?
The only gigs we ever did were between 1989-91 with Epic Irae. We were talking about getting a band together about a year ago, but as Patrick’s current band Mortalicum has done pretty well since, signing to Metal On Metal, releasing their debut Progress of Doom and since we’re pretty much busy with work and family stuff already we’ve kind of left that to the future to decide. We recorded four new songs a while ago and put them on our MySpace site though.
Which are your main listenings, both metal and not?
Mostly Hard Rock and Heavy Metal from the seventies and eighties. Other favourite “genres” would be seventies Progressive Rock and traditional Swedish/Norwegian folk music. Bands: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Manilla Road, old Fates Warning, Adramelch, Dark Quarterer, Jethro Tull, Van Der Graaf Generator, Roy Harper, Saracen, Angel Witch, Slough Feg, Sacred Blade/Othyrworld and the list goes on…
The band was born in 1993, it lived and is living the musical Sweden since almost 20 years ago. Which are your memories about it and which are the swedish bands striked you? Are there any among them which could’t stand out from the underground and that died?
Well actually the band died it’s first death in 1993. I can’t say I was too keen on very much new music during the nineties. I spent most of it buying older stuff dirt cheap, as real Heavy Metal was considered dead by those who counted. I probably missed out on a lot of great new things, but you kind of have to limit yourself, don’t you? I have never been in closer contact with the “scene” but I guess Henrik Flyman made it hard for himself doing what he did with Moahni Moahna during the mid-nineties. They were the absolute opposite of trendy but somehow they seemed unaware of it as if they thought that quality just had to conquer eventually. You’ve got to respect them for that!
Which are the main differences between the today metal scene and the past one? Both in the point of view of listener and musician.
I’m unsure about which scene you are talking, but if were talking generally I guess the main difference is availability. Back in the old days there were little possibilities getting to hear even a small percentage of what is offered today through the internet. I was never involved in tapetrading or such back in the eighties/early nineties. So I had to rely on magazines, record stores and mail orders whereas today you can find any information, and of course the music itself even, from all times and every corner of the world through blogs, forums etc. I don’t really consider myself a musician, but as a music maker of course you’ve got all these tools and stuff which can help you making recordings and publish them onto the net. It can be a lot of fun, I guess for people like me… not taking quality into account. I mean you may have to go through quite a lot of crap before finding some of the rare gems.
Do you read specialized magazines or webzine? How do you see these medias? Which are the merits and the defects of the old and new ways of talking about music?
I read and support Snakepit, the best mag ever!!! I also buy Sweden Rock Magazine, to get the mainstream info. Mostly into reading old magazines though. Still trying to complete my Metal Forces collection. As for the web I mainly use the Corroseum forum, Metal Archives, record labels and webshops I like for information. I don’t read any webzines regulary but stumble upon them all the time when googling bands and stuff.
What do you think about the out of control diffusion of music through internet?
Not sure what to think, since I prefer vinyl anyway over any form of digital music. As for being able to make money on music. Sure, there’s been a revolution lately and it’s out of control. For some it’s frustrating whilst others may thrive.Whether it’s a good or bad thing, the future will tell. Each living or future generation probably will have their own view upon what happened I guess.
Now that the name Quicksand Dream came up again, which are your projects for the future? Will you make a new album?
Well as I said, we let the future decide. Patrick has another Mortalicum album in the making. But there are lots of songs and ideas in the drawers for sure. I hope we’ll be able to do something together in the future, but whether it would be for a commercial release or just for our own pleasure really doesn’t really matter much.
If you could go back, what would you change of the past of the band? And if you could see the future how would you take advantage of it?
No reasons to change the past, but as a thought experiment it would be cool to have known what we would had done musically if we hadn’t split up in the first place in 1993. I can’t think of any advantages in seeing into the future, sorry.
Thanks for the time spent with us, the last message is up to you.
Thank you Gabriele for conducting this interview and also to the readers for their interest and stamina. Please check out our website. (www.myspace.com/quicksanddream) We’d love to hear your opinions!