Answered by: Ryan
1. You started you playing Metallica cover songs. How did the vocals sound back then? I guess you singer was only 16? Do you have any demos from back then for demolition man?
- Well the sixteen-year-old Jesper wasn't as cool as Jon Nödtveidt so he tried to sing like James Hetfield, and it sounded quite a lot worse than the "No life till leather" demo. We're trying to make a cd with all of our good ol' hit songs but our cd writer can't write 90min cd's. Anyway it sure is fun to hear some of the songs from the days where Jesper was learning to growl. Is Jacob Hansen still doing some reviews for your magazine? He was so lucky to receive the finest selection of early Compos Mentis recordings with some of my best guitar solos and some incredible tempo changes (Not on purpose, that is). We'll send you the cd for a "review" and surely a good laugh.
2. You are one of the new bands from Denmark playing melodic death metal. What made you choose this path, which bands inspired you to the sound you have today?
- We didn't actually "choose" this style of metal, it just kind of came to us after we began listening to more heavy stuff than Metallica. Obviously we couldn't follow them after "Load". No way! I guess the bands that have inspired us the most are Withering Surface (there you go...), In Flames, Cradle of Filth and Embraced (Sweden). But we listen to almost all kinds of music, for example classical, jazz, rock and/or roll (!!!!). Yeah, and various styles of metal of course...
3. Do you think it is a matter of personality when you choose to play melodic death metal compared to playing brutal grind/death?
- Yeah, maybe sometimes... It's difficult to say but if you look at us, you probably can't imagine us playing really brutal music. But no, I don't think that the difference between grindcore people and melodic death metal fans is that big. Or at least it shouldn't be!
4. You released the promo-CD "Quadrology of Sorrow" and promoted it heavily in the international underground scene and got signed! Can you please let all the unsigned bands outthere know what it takes to promote a demo/promo, both money/time/energy wise?
- First of all I think it's important to have a decent production on the record. I personally think it's depressing when a band has written some good music but the production is too lousy. We did that twice (except the part with writing good music...). After having recorded "Quadrology of Sorrow" we searched the internet and various magazines (for example some of the early Mighty Mag.) for all the adresses we could find and sent our demo out. Then other magazines and radio stations started to contact us because they'd seen some reviews of our demo or something like that. It seems as if we've been quite lucky as I don't remember it to be so difficult to obtain a record contract. We didn't actually expect it but then one day, Lost Disciple Records just contacted us and that was it! Of course we had put a lot of energy and time into it but as we enjoyed it, it can't be considered as hard. We recorded the demo during one weekend and payed 6500 dkr for the work with Jacob Hansen. After that we had a friend to help us with the cover art and then we printed the demo in 500 copies which cost 8000 dkr. Until now we have probably spent about 2000 dkr on postage.
5. You signed with Lost Disciple from the US. Can you please describe that label (the bands, the profile, the ambitions)? What made you sign with them, did you have other offers?
- Actually we hadn't heard about Lost Disciple Records before finding the address somewhere and then we just sent our demo to them. The label is not very well-known here in Denmark but we consider it to be our quest to change that. In USA they get quite a lot of attention, not least because of Pessimist's massive success. I guess the other LDR-bands (Pessimist, Burial, Averse Sefira, Noctuary, Pandemia and Enter Self) are more extreme than us playing brutal death and black metal. The ambitions... well as Rich (the label-boss) says, LDR is not Century Media or Relapse Recs. but he can get us to the next level. While negociating with LDR, we got another offer from Nocturnal Music from Italy. However, we talked to various people from the Danish metal scene who helped us choosing LDR instead. Recently we also received an offer from MS Records.
6. Would you say you are strongest in the studio/on record or on stage/playing live?
- We don't consider ourselves as technical geniouses but we work hard with composing the songs and we don't give up until we find the perfect structure of a song. So we feel that the record is worked through if that's what you mean. But every time we play live, we try to deliver the best performance that we possibly can. Not just for the audience but mainly because it is far more fun to play when we put as much energy into it as possible. In my opinion everything works stronger when it's played live - of course it strongly depends on the sound, especially when it's a band that you haven't heard before.
7. Who is the best musician in Compos Mentis? Who has the nicest, longest hair? Who scores most girls? Who is the most embarrasing member, and who has the largest penis?
- It's impossible to say who the best musician is - at least I don't think that I can say that (obviously I'm the best!). I consider our abilities to be quite equal. In the songwriting process we each have our different abilities which we contribute with. As far as the hair, it must be Bo - if the rest of us were bald. Otherwise it is probably Andreas. The person who scores the most must be Jesper - the competition isn't all that hard as three of us are in long termed relationsship, however Jesper isn't all that lazy when it comes to girls. Embarrasing? Well, obviously you don't remember our gig with Thorium in Aalborg!! Morten Ryberg had to brutally awaken Andreas from his sweet dreams in the bar. But then again, the sleep prevented him from acting as stupid as the rest of us! I can't reveal who has the largest penis (well, I could, but then I had to kill you afterwards...). But without having to cope with various dreadful consequences, I can tell you that the total CM penis size is 83 cm - give or take 50...
8. What are your expectation for your debut album? How do you think the press will receive it and which bands do you hope/fear to be compared with?
- We think that our album is as good as possible for us at this level. We have also put all our - and others' - efforts into it (cover art etc.) so we feel that everything is something that we can vouch for. Of course we could have used more time in the studio but I guess you always feel like that. Until now it seems as if people around us really like the album so of course we hope that the international press will like it as well. But naturally it is impossible to say. We'll just wait and see even though it is very difficult to keep waiting for the release. We hope not to be compared with any bands at all, but that won't happen. Obviously people will know that we have more than one record with In Flames and Cradle of Filth in our record collections but of course it would be nicer to be called original. We don't think that we copy any bands in any way, however. We just take influences from different genres and mix them together in our own special blend. Therefore we sure hope that people will think that we have contributed to the metal genre with "Fragments of a Withered Dream".
9. Thanks for the interview - promote yourself!
- Thanks to you too. We expect our debut album, "Fragments of a Withered Dream", to be released in March. Until then you should check us out playing live or drop by at http://www.composmentis.dk for news, further information about the band and downloads from our forthcoming album.