I don’t think they need much of an introduction by now, but for those who have been lost until today, please let me introduce you to the Danish doom metal band KONVENT. Keep reading…
Subterráneo Webzine: Welcome very much to Subterráneo Webzine. Who is answering these questions? And what is on your playlist while you do so?
KONVENT: Vocalist Rikke here! I am currently spinning my own playlist (laughs). All four of us created a playlist each with our own personal favourites. If you want to check them out then go to Spotify and search for ‘(Name)’s Artist Playlist’.
Subterráneo Webzine: KONVENT’s story is what every band would like to tell its grandchildren, right? You get the chance to play live, display all your talent and power and get noticed by a big name in the music business. Napalm events in this case. Did I get the story right?
KONVENT: Pretty much, but we have had to go through a lot of internal conflicts, invest a lot of money in equipment, recording our album and touring, make a lot of mistakes while playing live on stage and learn from it all to get to where we are now. That’s a side of it I think is important to remember. Nothing has just come to us, we have had to work hard for it.
KONVENT: In 2018, we were invited to play at a yearly event here in Copenhagen called When Coppenhell freezes over. They always invite a lot of people who work in the music/metal business around Europe and after our gig we were approached by Thorsten Harm from Napalm Events who wanted to offer us a booking deal. After we signed the deal we were offered a record deal as well.
Subterráneo Webzine: I am guessing that must have been a goal changer for the band, right?
KONVENT: It definitely feels like a step up, having released an actual album that we’re all really proud of. We love playing tiny shows but it could be fun to challenge ourselves and play some of the bigger festivals around Europe and perhaps even the world too (if they’ll have us). That seems more within reach now that we have an album the bookers can listen to.
Subterráneo Webzine: I wouldn’t want to turn this interview into a political debate, but I have to say that I don’t totally agree with the approach of a few reviews I have read. They seem to put a lot of focus on whether you, being a four women doom metal band, deserve all the exposure you have gotten or not. It might just be my perspective, but I would like to ask you if you have ever felt that you have to extra justify yourselves music-wise in order to “fit in” the m(ale)etal scene.
KONVENT: So far I think we have been pretty lucky and haven’t run into that many sexist comments, though there have been a few. I think people are generally curious about our music, but as you mention yourself, this is a male dominated genre and being a female musician immediately makes you stand out from the crowd. I suspect that some people associate all girl bands with something that has been constructed by a record label. Hopefully more girls will want to join the metal scene as active musicians in the future and it won’t be an issue anymore.
Subterráneo Webzine: The fact is that Puritan masochism is a great record and it has been welcomed by every kind of metal fan. So I shouldn´t even ask, but… Now, five months after its release, COVID-19 in the picture… Are you happy? Would you have done something differently?
KONVENT: Considering the circumstances, we have been so lucky! We released the album and went on the release tour, which ended a week before the lock down. We know a lot of other bands who have had to cancel major concerts and whole tours. And yes, we have had to cancel or reschedule some summer shows, which sucks, but it could have been way worse and we just try to remind ourselves of how lucky we have been compared to other bands.
Subterráneo Webzine: I have to say that the sound of the album is quite amazing. Sombre, obscure… And I could swear I have read you recorded it live at Ballade Studios. Is that right? Did you mean to achieve a more organic sound with it?
KONVENT: That’s right, we recorded it live. That’s just how we prefer doing it and we couldn’t be happier with the sound Lasse created.
Subterráneo Webzine: There is a vocal collaboration on the album, Tue Krebs Roikjer, which is one of the voices and guitarist from MORILD, right? His voice gives “Waste” an agonic feeling that suits the atmosphere very well. Did you feel like that particular song needed an extra vocal range?
KONVENT: We had talked a lot about the possibility of doing a duet with a guy for a long time and «Waste» seemed like the perfect song to do that. Sara suggested Tue and we all agreed that his vocals were a perfect match.
Subterráneo Webzine: On another note… There’s always someone, or something, that pushes us a little bit towards what we want to achieve. Call it influence. Are there any names with enough weight on your musical career to be mentioned? Do you guys like VALLENFYRE? Particularly Rikke. Is it possible that Gregor Mackintosh may have been some kind of vocal example for you?
KONVENT: I have actually never listened that much to PARADISE LOST (one of Gregor Mackintosh’s other bands) and I don’t think any of us listen to VALLENFYRE. We don’t have one or several other bands that we achieve to sound like, we just like to do our own thing. When it comes to vocals, my biggest inspirations are John Gallagher from DYING FETUS and Simone Pluijmers.
Subterráneo Webzine: So, which albums have you been more into lately? And the albums that you keep on going back to, no matter how many years have passed?
KONVENT: Personally it’s been CATTLE DECAPITATION’s newest album Death Atlas and I can always go back to their album The Anthropocene Extinction from 2015.
Subterráneo Webzine: Besides KONVENT, do any of you are, or have been, involved in other musical projects?
KONVENT: I am the only one who haven’t been involved in any other band. Julie played in a punk band before joining KONVENT, Sara played in a rock band in high school and Heidi has also played in a punk band.
Subterráneo Webzine: I haven´t seen a single comment on your social media without a like, or a question without an answer. You are very active on them and also very close to the people that follow you. Do you believe it is important for a band to establish some kind of relationship with the people that supports their music and reaches out?
KONVENT: Yes, it has been a major priority for us from the beginning to be involved with the people who actually spend their precious time and money on going to our shows, leaving us a comment, listening to our music on Spotify, buying our merch etc. That still blows our minds and we owe them so much!
Subterráneo Webizne: You were in the middle of promoting your new album live when this world-wide pandemic popped. You were actually confirmed for GEFLE METAL FESTIVAL this summer, which has been postponed for next year. Has this situation affected your plans very much? Did you have to cancel any other festival/gig/tour?
KOVENT: Unfortunately yes, but our summer wasn’t completely jam-packed with shows. It will be very interesting to see how concerts and tours will develop in the autumn and next year…
Subterráneo Webzine: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Right? What have you been up to during this quarantine? Any pastry cooking? (laughs) Maybe new compositions?
KOVENT: We weren’t able to meet up IRL for a long time so we have focused on writing riffs and lyrics at home, but it’s been tough without a drum kit (laughs). But we have been able to meet up in our practise space for the last couple of weeks and work on new material.
Subterráneo Webzine: You have recently signed with Barsk agency for managing purposes. You seem to have everything under control. Which will KONVENT’s next step be?
KOVENT: With COVID-19 still lurking around the corner, everything is still kind of up in the air. But our new manager Esben from Barsk Agency is very ambitious and such a positive asset to the KONVENT family and we couldn’t be happier with his commitment and his visions for the band.
Subterráneo Webzine: I always tend to think that bands must have a specific question they would like to answer in an interview but it is never asked. Would there may be any for you?
Subterráneo Webzine: I am really looking forward to see your career evolving, so I hope this is not the last time we talk. But for now, you may say your last words… Thank you very much!