With the Internet the whole music scene has changed. Things are easy accessible and people write, share and spread information and most likely also misinformation. There are though someone out there that can be fully trusted, like Demonia's webblog. The Swedish nr. 1 webblog is popular, there are regular updates and you get an insight into the Swedish metal scene that you will not get anywhere else.
photos by Marcus Norman
First off, you are Swedish and your blog is now quite popular as far as I understand. How did the urge to begin your blog and to develop it come from?
"I first started when a friend of mine was nagging me about doing something with all the photos I had from different gigs and festivals. I usually bring along my camera and I have been taking a lot of photos over the years. My friend thought it was a good idea to do something with all the photos I took on different festivals, partys, gigs and so on, showing them to people and also do like reviews or something like that... I was not into it at all, for me it was MY photos and I kept them for myself. But after some years I thought that this might be a good idea after all, and I have now been doing this more than three years, still going strong!"
For people who have visited your blog, it's obvious that you know a lot of people in the metal scene in general, and not only artists and bands from Sweden.
"I have been in the scene for a long long time trawling around the world to different gigs or festivals, so of course one gets to know lots of people. I haven't had any problems with people not wanting to be in a picture on my site - the pictures I post show friends of mine and not some unknown people. If some of my friends don't want to be on the site they tell me and I respect that. Of course the picture will not be posted. I never post stupid, ugly or too private pictures of my friends! I take lots of photos and not even half of the pictures usually end up on the page.
I have only had good response from the filming and the photos, I think like you say that I do it in a respectful way so I think most people really enjoy reading and watching the blog. My site is the biggest metal-blog in Sweden with between 700-1200 individual readers every day. Big thanx to my readers."
I guess the work with the blog is more like a routine to you know. Perhaps it's even a drug in the sense that you have to post something quite often and regularly. How much time do you spend on the blog-site itself, counting out all the time you spend on concerts, festivals and hanging out with bandmembers and friends?
"I spend a lot of time with my page. Some days I have more time and then other days I really don't have any time at all so that's very different, but usually we're speaking about at least 2-3 ours every day. If I'm working on bigger festivals-posts with both pictures and videos, one post may take 6 hours up to 2 days to finish. So it put lots of time on the page and I really hope people are enjoying what I'm doing."
You also post a lot of videos from concerts and festivals, as well as pictures, which I guess is the reason that you have visitors from in example the US of A. What kind of response is it that you get the most, and what do foreigners (not counting in Norwegians and Danes) comment?
"People from all over the world read my blog, I write in Swedish but you can easily change the language to your own (most of the languages are there). I think that's why I have so many readers from all over the world and then of course I write about great music, posting pictures/videos of bands/friends. Maybe people from countries far away from here never have the chance to see these bands... I really don't get so much response in form of comments from people outside of Sweden so I really don't know?
You listen to a lot of music, no only black metal. Do you see your blog as a "Demonia's point of view" only, or do you perhaps give room for friend's post on matters that concern you?
"I only post music that I really like, I try not to keep anything for myself even though it does happens sometimes, he he."
You do visit concerts and go to festivals all over the world. Even though you behave as a tourist, it seems like you don't go anywhere if there's no concert at the same time. What does it mean to you to watch Iron Maiden in Singapore (!) comparing it to watching them in Sweden?
"Of course I am a metal fan and my biggest interest is the music so why not do it everywhere? For me it's a lifestyle, not something I do on the weekends if you know what I mean? I am totally dedicated to the music, it's my life! If I'm going on vacation I will book a trip to see some of my favourite bands at the same time.
For example I bought a three weeks trip for me and Alex to Indonesia for his birthday. I chose Indonesia because I knew that Iron Maiden were going to play two gigs there. It was fantastic to see Iron Maiden in a totally different country. There were more than 30.000 people at the latest gig with Iron Maiden here in Sweden in Gothenburg, while in Indonesia there were about 5000, so it was very different. Of course it was cool to meet the metal fans on the other side of the world!"
Image is one thing, and many bands as well as fans are considered to be fakes since they don't live the life they're preaching. You're 100 % metal and your life is influenced by metal in various forms. How did you evolve from being a little baby to being a Demonia? When did you know that metal was your life?
"I have listened to metal as long as I remember, so for me there is nothing else! When I was a little child Twisted Sister, Black Sabbath and Dio were my babysitters for different reasons and from there it just evolved. When I was old enough I began to go to different gigs in my hometown Umeå and when I was about 14-15years I started to take trips to Stockholm, which means some 9-10 hours on the train. My first gig in Stockholm was Morbid Angel back in 1993 and I still remember it as one of the best!
When I was about 19 years I moved to Stockholm. I still live in the capital and travel all over the world to see great music... I'll never give that up!"
The pictures at the blog have the same size, and the videos are sized the same way as well. I guess now, a few years since it's beginning, that you get some kind of withdrawal if you don't update your blog for a few days? I mean, it becomes kind of a drug to be there all the time, or...?
"Yes, I think I have found the right sizes and I think that the page will look like this for a time now, easy for everybody to read and find their way! Usually I update the page every day or at least 6 times a week sometimes. Not everyday if I'm out of town, but if I'm at home I really feel like doing at least one post per day and of course if I haven't posted something in a couple of days it starts to itch in my fingers, he he... Maybe that's a good sign, I don't know? At least I like what I'm doing except that it takes too much time... Maybe I have to change that in the future, who knows..."
What does it give you to listen to metal on the level you do (basically all the time, or...?)? Do you ever get tired of metal and the life you live? When you discover a band that is great to your ears, do you automatically write about it?
"I listen to metal everyday, don't you? (Of course I do - Roy) Right now when doing this interview and a couple of days back I have had a Judas Priest marathon. Listening to every record from start to the latest release. Judas Priest is one of my favourite bands! If I find a new band I never heard of that I like (it's very rare), maybe I write about them, I don't know? It's all about the mood of the day and if I have time... I rarely find "new" bands that I really like. Most the music I listen to are old records that have been in my collection for several years."
Do you get offers to promote bands/artists via your blog? As in, do you actually make some money on the blog?
"Some bands contact me but I don't work like that. I write about what I like and whatever band I want to put up on my page it's up to me. I don't make any money at all, I get some free stuff and that's about it. Feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions about working together: Demonia.firstname.lastname@example.org"
Sweden has many of the best bands in the extreme metal scene, naming Watain, Funeral Mist, Necrophobic, Marduk and Ondskapt, not to mention the dead artists. From your point of view, what's with Sweden and extreme metal? And why is it more orthodox compared to in example Norway where the bands are more image-based, being metal on stage and just party party off?
"Sweden and Swedish blackmetal are growing stronger, and I think that Sweden have some great bands. Some of the bands are really into what they are doing and it's not just a performance on stage, it's a lifestyle and it is for real. I don't really know what to tell you about "being metal on stage and party off" - people like that should not be into this kind of music, it makes me sick *spit*. I don't think it's about witch country you are from, I think it's just about what kind of person you are and what you believe in."
What were the highlights for Demonia, musically speaking, as well as coming to festivals and such? I guess the final Hole In The Sky was something special to you as well as most attendees...?
"Hmm... There have been so many highlights during the years. I have been travelling all over Europe since I was 15 so let's see if I can remember some, he he...
I have great memories from my hometown Umeå (north of Sweden) where I in the 90s saw band like: Tiamat, Unleashed, Dissection, Black Sabbath, Throne of Ahaz, Merciless, Naglfar, Dismember Necrophobic...
Travelling 70 miles just to see Morbid Angel back in 1993 with Grave and Dismember, sleeping at Johnny's (Unleashed) small apartment and at some record store floor
was and still is a great memory.
I have lots of great memories from Dissection from the early days until the comeback here in Stockholm at Arenan and the Midsummer Massacre show at Hovet here in Stockholm.
To see two gigs with Iron Maiden in Indonesia are of course memories that I always will remember.
I have great memories from the Open Hell festival in Czech Republic back in 2005 where Dissection and Mortuary Drape played.
The King Diamond/Mercyful Fate tour back in 96-97 was amazing.
I visited Norway's Inferno festival the first 6-7 years, maybe I have to go back soon (I haven't been to Inferno since 2008).
The final Hole in the Sky was of course a great weekend, I have lots of great memories from Bergen from all the years I visited Hole in the Sky, I've met a lot of new and
old friends over there and we had some really fucked up parties before and after the festival.
I could go on and on, I have seen so much and there are more to come...
If you could listen to just one more album..., ever, which album would that be and why would you go for that one?
"Dissection "Reinkaos"!!! By far Dissection's greatest album. The album means a lot to me, Jon Nödtveidt was a very close friend of mine."
Now the clock has tick tacked into 2012 and new releases are upon us, naming the Norwegian Nekromantheon as a good start. What else is up your alley, that you look forward to?
"Nothing really! I can't say that I listen so much to "new" music, I prefer to listen to the music that's already in my collection, maybe if we are lucky there are two ore tree albums
2012 that are good, at least we could hope for that. I think one of them have to be the new Masters Hammer album "Vracejte konve na místo"!"
What kind of development can we expect on your webblog? Any surprises in the coming?
"Every day is a surprise, he he... In the near future you can expect some Festival reports, I have been to so many festivals this summer so I am still doing festivals from the summer. Sooooo Hole in the Sky is up next, Eindhowen Metal Meeting in Holland and House of Metal in Umeå are coming up in the near future. I don't know of any surprises yet, I usually do the post on the same days so whatever happens that day or weekend you will see, he he...
Probably some walks with mr LG, good food, some cool music, gigs and awesome parties... That's the life of Demonia!
A big thank you to Roy for the questions and thanx to all the readers, see you around soon! Cheers"