Answered by: Andreas
01-To start the interview, who are the actual Compos Mentis line up?
- Actually there haven't been any radical changes in the line up at all. Three of us, Jesper (vocals, guitar), Ryan (guitar) and myself, Andreas (drums), started out playing some Metallica-covers and within a few months Dan joined in on bass. After a couple of years we found out that we would like to incorporate some more atmospheric parts in our music so Bo (keyboard) was hired as a new member of the band in the beginning of 1999. Since then the line up hasn't changed in any way.
02-How was the beginning of the band in 1996?
- Hmmm, a rather embarrassing question... To tell the truth we were just a bunch of teenage guys wanting to play some of that good ol' rock 'n' roll but our problem was that none of us had ANY musical talent whatsoever.
So at that time we just played to have fun, and it wasn't until later on that we found out that we had become quite serious about the band and the music. I guess that around the time when Bo joined the band, we had begun to write actual "songs" instead of just putting riffs casually together so maybe it would make sense to talk about this time as the beginning of the actual Compos Mentis.
03-At the beginning you played Metallica's songs. Now what do you think of that band?
- Well, the truth as we all know it is that Metallica hasn't been Metallica since the black album. Since they all cut their hair, that is! Sure, Load or even Reload is decent rock music but it's really nothing more than that. Especially now when Jason has left the band, there's not much left. He was the only one who had some balls left, I think. But all the old albums deserve a spin in the cd player from time till time and they are still very much worth it. (Ed: though I'm sure that Jason Newsted never had the freedom to compose in that band. For the few ones that still have doubts, Metallica died when Cliff Burton died. The band touched in Bogota on 1999, but I didn't go to see them, there were just homosexuals!)
04-For you, which bands are the kings of metal?
- This will be a personal one. I guess that Metallica was the main reason why I began listening to metal in the first place but I can't consider them kings of metal anymore. Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth will always be among my personal favorites but bands like Opeth and Arcturus both have that special something which makes their music worth listening to again and again. You can always find something in their music that you haven't noticed before and I think it's cool enough if music is really catchy and melodic but I also believe that is very important that there are more layers in the music so that you keep discovering new aspects in it. This way you never really grow tired of an album, which is something very valuable.
05-Which Denmark bands do you respect?
- Actually it seems to me that the Danish metal scene is extremely healthy right now and there are lots of bands that I consider excellent, like Withering Surface, Saturnus, Aurora and Hatesphere just to mention a few. There are also many great upcoming bands on their way right now (for example Illnath, Urkraft, Fairytale Abuse, Ferocity, Koldborn, Contempt...) so I can promise you that you haven't heard the last from Denmark yet!
06-Have you listened to American bands? Or particulary from Colombia?
- The most American bands that I have heard either play more or less old school death metal or very brutal death metal or grindcore and I'm not a very big fan of either of the genres mentioned. As far as South American bands, I'm not aware of any Colombian acts but I might very well have heard some without knowing that they were from Colombia. I know some Brazilian bands (like for example Krisiun and Rebaelliun) and their style of death metal is too brutal for me. It's not that I actually dislike the music, I just feel that it lacks something. Melodies, atmosphere or dynamics, I don't know. Tastes differ, I guess.
07-How do you imagine the underground scene in ten years?
- This is a rather difficult question as I think it almost impossible to speak about the metal underground in general. However, it seems that the media focus more and more on simple pop music instead of rock, metal, techno, hip hop or whatever genre it may be. This is a serious problem, I think, as it is a kind of standardization of all people. We are simply deprived of our opportunity to choose for ourselves.
In my part of Denmark, it isn't possible to hear (or see) metal music in neither radio nor TV. The only way is through the Internet. Already now it's very easy to make contact with people from all over the world through the Internet and I'm sure that it will become even easier in the future in line with the technologies getting further developed and more and more people getting access to the Internet etc.
So I think that the conditions for the underground will be better in general but it's still necessary that a lot of people really dedicates their time and energy into keeping the scene alive and healthy. This way I can look forward to still having my long hair as a thirty-year-old, haha.
08-All your time is dedicated to music or do you have another jobs?
- Each member of Compos Mentis has got a job or is under education. We cannot (yet) live completely by playing music even though it would be cool. Ryan (guitar) is planning to study at a musical college, however, so he should be able to dedicate the majority of his time to music.
And we all spend most of our spare time on music, both in Compos Mentis and in other bands - not on quite the same serious level, though.
09-Which is the beautifulest place in Denmark?
- Well, that's one thing about Denmark that I just can't take: there simply isn't any untouched nature anywhere. In all the other Scandinavian countries, they have all these huge forests, giant mountains and thousands of beautiful lakes but here we haven't got anything like that. The tallest point in Denmark is 175 metres above the waterlevel or something like that and you would probably be able to swim from one end to the other in the largest lake without problems (sigh). So this is not exactly the right place to go if you want a holiday stuffed with beautiful sights...
10-When will Lost Disciple release the full lenght album?
- So far we haven't got the exact date but it will be sometime in late summer or early fall. We have had some delay due to ourselves not actually having planned what the cover should be like. But now the artwork has been finished so we just have to be patient and wait for the release as Rich (labelboss on Lost Disciple Records) has planned some other releases before ours.
11-A message to our reader...
- First of all thanks for reading this interview - hope you found it interesting. We might find the time to go to South America some time but it probably won't be in the nearest future so until then you can check out our website at http://www.composmentis.dk where you among other things can find further information, news and downloads from our forthcoming debut album, entitled "Fragments of a Withered Dream".
That's it for now, take care and keep banging those heads!