Musicscan: Since Rising is a relatively new band, what’s been your biggest accomplishment to date?
Rising: It's hard to pinpoint specific accomplishments for us as a band that are “the biggest”. We've gone through a lot of changes as musicians and as individuals during the relatively short history of the band. Looking back at the progresses we've made and all the experiences we've had so far feels like an accomplishment in itself. That being said – writing, recording (and soon releasing) our first album has been a milestone for us.
Musicscan: What were the influences for Rising in the early days? As you were forming the band, what was influencing the direction you would take the sound?
Rising: Rising started as a jamming/demo-recording project with Jacob and our former drummer Martin. I joined shortly after they had recording the first demo. We didn’t really tap into any main inspirational source back then. I guess it was more about being fed by the energy and excitement of each other, about playing loud and aggressive and see were it would take us.
Musicscan: You were tagged with having a post-metal-hardcore-sound when you came up. Do you still feel attached to this label, or have you outgrown that now?
Rising: It might sound like a cliché but genre-labels have always been applied to what we do by outsiders. They seem like a necessary evil that people need in order to communicate different kinds of music more effectively. We can never feel attached to a label nor can we outgrow one. Its in the hands of others.
Musicscan: Where does a band like Rising fit in with today’s scenes? Do you care about fitting to any of them?
Rising: Again, this is a thing that is out of our hands. We write and perform music we care about and its great when people like what we do. But trying to fit into something defined by others is not on our agenda.
Musicscan: In general: Do you feel like you’re out to make a difference, or more to make people more aware of heavy music?
Rising: I would be humble to learn that our music makes a difference for someone but it is not a goal for us as such. I doubt that all the bands that have made a difference in my life set out to do just that. It seems like they just did (and do) their thing.
Musicscan: It seems that your sound is continually changing, while other bands are stagnant. Your full length debut To Solemn Ash just seems to prove that. Is it a challenge for you guys to continually write and record new exciting songs and records?
Rising: As friends an bandmembers with equal say, its always a challenge to make all the musical influences and wishes fall into place. But I think that this is a big part of what makes it rewarding and worthwhile for us to write music together. We all assume different roles at different times in the process of writing new songs. Somehow, we've managed to harness a more or less steady flow of ideas so far.
Musicscan: To Solemn Ash seems to stand more stripped down and less epic compared to the earlier releases. Do you agree, or do you have a different view on that?
Rising: Its really interesting that you have that experience! I see the song structures on the album as being more “stripped down” than what we've done previously. Nevertheless, the flow of the album and its sound as a whole seems to me to be pointing in a more epic direction.
Musicscan: On the other hand: As far as I’m concerned, the most interesting thing about Rising is your ability to make dark and heavy music that you still can listen to without getting depressed, cause you are working with emotional gut instinct and organic songwriting. Is this close to what you are heading for with your sound?
Rising: I haven't thought about it that way but it you make it sound good! I've listened to a few bands that, to me at least, have some kind of depressing vibe going on (and I mean this in a good way). I tend to associate this emotion with down tempo and more “space” between the notes. In our band, we are generally drawn to a faster and more compact approach. Hence, a lot of the “darkness” or darker mood stuff in Rising stems from the lyrics.
Musicscan: Your debut has a very dark mood to it. How did you approach the songwriting to have that dark mood in it as well as have aggression?
Rising: The album evolved on different levels from the moment we started writing the songs. Some levels we were aware and in control of and some that came as a surprise. I know it might sound weird but we didn't really have some kind of grand overview of what the album was like before listening to all the rough mixes right after recording, beer in hand. The combination of our thing for aggression in the songwriting, the lyrics and the sound we ended up with just came together in the end.
Musicscan: What do you remember best about the recording sessions and the chemistry of the whole process of writing and recording To Solemn Ash?
Rising: When I think back and try to put a few words on the whole process, its a bit blurry. The strongest memory has to be the aforementioned experience of finding out what kind of album we had made when listening to the whole thing for the first time.
Musicscan: You didn’t have that much time in the studio, right, so you must’ve been pretty well rehearsed? In retrospect, is there anything you’d change about your debut album?
Rising: Somehow we always end up with time pressure no matter how many weeks we have designated for certain things. There are things we feel we could have done better but instead of getting frustrated with it, we have tried to accept these “imperfections” as a part of the album. A lot of times – they end up being something likable. I wouldn’t change a thing – its a lot more inspiring to move on and start to write the next album.
Musicscan: What message where you trying to portray through To Solemn Ash? Do you feel you were successful in this respect?
Rising: Rising has always been somewhat of an introverted thing when it comes to messages. We've never had a political agenda or a wish to tell people what they should or shouldn't do. To put it short; the album touches some aspects of being human and what we carry with us in life. Its hard for me to judge whether we are successful in conveying these things. I think we should let the listener be the judge.