Initially, Swedish groove-monster Humanity’s Last Breath planned to go on tour with Cabal and Black Tongue, right after releasing their new album “Välde”. Songwriter Buster Odeholm isn’t anxious because the band was never touring right after the release of an album at all. But on “Välde” the band changed something else, as Buster tells in the interview.
The new album sounds way more mature. How do you explain this to yourself?
It’s probably just the nature of having done a bunch of records before and making a new one. You get better at what you do and remove what you don’t want for your future music. Also, you accentuate what you really want.
Which parts or aspects did you remove on “Välde”?
I’d say we’re less breakdown-centered. We still have them, but I’m trying to make heavy music, that is heavy in its nature, and not just based on build-ups to breakdowns, and stuff like that. I mean the maturity might be the removal of these obvious breakdowns, or obvious deathcore, and djenty stuff.
And what did you accentuate?
As far as the melodies go, we tried to do more black metal sounding melodies and atmospheres, but still, keep some sort of groove-based riffing.
So that’s why you didn’t put an epic breakdown after the orchestral interplay on “Tide”? Haven’t you been afraid that people won’t dig it, because HLB has been very breakdown-centered in the past?
Well, I was very surprised because people seem to like that exact part more than anything we’ve done before, haha! So, I thought: “Okay, maybe they don’t like the heavy parts at all, haha.” I’m never worried about what people think because it’s not about what they think for me. I was surprised anyways. I don’t really have plans on making a lot of clean vocal stuff in the future. I’ll just add it if I think it fits. But, it’s not that I feel about having to add a bunch of clean singing. It’s not my process when writing music, but it’s great to see that people are open to different stuff from us!
But why do clean vocals on your music work so well, without getting people upset at all?
It might be the black metal influence, as far as the melody goes. A lot of bands that do clean singing are just doing pop melodies and then they go back to their heavy stuff. I still think the ending of “Tide” is a heavy part. Because that’s what we do: we do heavy music. And we happen to have clean vocals on that part, which makes the part still heavy. I think it’s about the way you connect it to the rest of the music, without disconnecting the vibe.
I’d say it creates another stage of heaviness in this exact situation.
Yeah, I can buy that, haha!
So, will you stay within these bleak spheres in the future, but change on a musical level?
As far as the melody language goes, I’d say Humanity’s Last Breath will always be bleak. If I ever feel like expressing other feelings in music, I’d probably start another project. But musically, it’s definitely changing. According to my band, who feedbacked me on the stuff I’m writing on now, they think it’s very different, but they like it. What they say is that I’m distilling what Humanity’s Last Breath is. I’m distilling it down into smaller and smaller parts. As I said before, I’m removing what I don’t want and accentuating what I really want to hear. So while the sound will definitely change, the melody language and expression will probably be the same.
I think that’s a good point to keep things fresh! Does it also help that you’re working with many other bands?
Yeah, I have to be excited about the stuff I write. Working with many metal bands all day, shows me where people are at as far as riffs and song structures go. So I tend to like stuff that doesn’t sound like this at all. I kinda get a feel for what I want to do with Humanity’s Last Breath to make us stand out.
According to Spotify, “Thall” is now a genre that features many bands you worked with like Reflections, for example. What do you think about this genre and how it’s created?
I mean I understand what people say when they say Thall like a genre. We never used that, we don’t use it as a genre amongst ourselves. I’m not going to be against people categorizing it this way. But we certainly don’t use that. But any movement, when everyone is liking the same sounds and connecting with each other, is cool. When they connect over that and call it “Thall” that’s a wonderful thing. I mean, “Thall” comes from Vildhjarta, and Vildhjarta claimed to be prog metal as something for the genre. If we’re (HLB) in the “Thall” genre of Spotify, that’s perfectly fine, people will find us more easily maybe.
Thank you for your time!
You can pre-order “Välde” on this link!