How did Monolord come together?
Thomas Jäger: Me and Esben, we started the band mainly to be able to do some low end rumble, apart from playing the boogie rock in the band Marulk. Later on we found Mika on bass and it was a perfect fit.
How did you get into doom and who are your influences?
TJ: I listened a lot to stoner rock and roll in my early twenties and gradually found my way into doom as time went by. You can actually hear us paying homage to Goatsnake in one of the songs on the album. I won't tell you which one, though. Other than that, I always listen a lot to Blue Oyster Cult and mostly the album Secret Treaties, which is one of the best albums ever made.
Describe the process of recording Empress Rising.
TJ: The process of recording Empress Rising was a bit weird. At first, the bass player/vocalist from our other band Marulk played with us. We split ways and me and Esben started to record the album ourselves, without a bassist/vocalist. When we were done with drums and guitars, Mika joined and he laid down some really heavy stuff. After that I tried to put some vocals to all of that and it sounded great so we decided to be a doom power trio.
So the original idea of Monolord was not necessarily to be a doom band?
TJ: When we jammed with our other band, we often got into groovy psychedelic stuff but since our tuning was just one step below standard tuning, it didn't get that heavy. So we decided to tune down a lot and just go for it. Empress Rising was made at the first rehearsal.
Did you look around for a singer before you decided to record the vocals yourself, or were you planning to sing all along?
TJ: We all like the idea of being a trio, but when we recorded the album we had not made up our mind. I just made a few tries and we liked it.
What kind of gear did you use on the album? Did you use any crazy equipment on Empress Rising, or just your normal setup?
TJ: I play Flying V’s only and I have this old Orange amp from '73, but with a Matamp front that sounds awesome. Mika plays through a Death By Audio Apocalypse fuzz that is insane. Esben has a sweet sounding Gretsch kit with a huge ass bass drum. Pretty normal for us.
Do you have any plans to tour in support of Empress Rising?
TJ: We are going to do some gigs around Sweden this spring and hopefully we'll tour as maniacs after the record comes out.
There seems to be a lot of doom coming out of Sweden these days. Is that just a coincidence or is there a large doom scene over there?
TJ: Can't really name many doom bands from Sweden. I don’t feel that it is that big. It is still on the uprising, me thinks.
Sweden has a great heavy metal history, from Candlemass through the 90’s Gothenburg scene. What's going on over there that inspires such great metal?
TJ: Don't know really. Maybe it is because of the eternal winter? Summers of eternal raining that make us pissed off? We have been lucky with a few big bands that have been setting some trends. Entombed and At the Gates for the death metal scene and as you said, Candlemass for the doom scene. So maybe that's why?
Is Marulk still active? If not, what's next for Monolord?
TJ: We're focusing on Monolord now and Monolord is gonna tour, tour and tour. We can't wait for it, really.