The first gig I ever did was at a Battle of the Bands in Uppsala with my heavy metal band Frenzy back in 1987. Another band that also played that evening was the black/thrash-band Third Storm and they made quite an impact on me since they looked like Voïvod, were by far the heaviest band I have ever seen on a stage and they were also quite drunk. Frenzy didn’t win that competition because we sucked, Third Storm didn’t win either because… well, bands like that doesn’t win anything.
Third Storm split up the following year but I have remained close friends with their demonic singer Heval Bozarslan through out the years and I was quite surprised when he announced that Third Storm was back together and that Daniel from Usurpress was their new bass player! I figured that I’d better learn more about this. Let’s party like it’s 1988.
You have to tell me why you and Jimmy decided to resurrect Third Storm after 26 years? What were the thoughts and motives behind it? Did you ask any other old members to join as well?
Jimmy told me a year ago that he would want us to work together again, I thought about it and listened to some stuff he had done and liked it a lot. I wasn’t thinking about the name so much. Some time went by, he was busy doing other stuff, then he contacted me a month ago or so and said “ok, now we can begin” and presented me a full 10 minute song he and his son David have written. I was blown away by the heaviness of the song, so slow and dark. You know, Jimmy is a doom metal guy at heart and when it comes down to heaviness he knows what he’s taking about and David too definitely. Jimmy wanted to call this monstrous project Third Storm. I wasn’t sure about that at the beginning and thought a lot about it. Third Storm in the very beginning had a lot of doomy dark elements, and since this song was so heavy I thought, well there’s a connection there. It sounds like what we done at the very beginning but still is very much new so why not I thought to myself. And since it is very dark I also wanted to bring back Third Storm’s satanic aura to this project. Without that Third Storm cannot be, that’s very important to me. And everything suited very well in my mind. Black/Death/Doom you could say with the emphasis on doom. No we didn’t ask other old members. There was no point, and who knows where Roland (old bassist) and Jonas (old drummer) are nowadays and I know for sure that they are so far from metal scene nowadays that there’s no point you know. And we already have David as the second guitarist and co/songwriter there was no point contacting Nisse either. We are very pleased with this line-up.
The other members of Third Storm 2014 are David (Anguish), Johan (ex-Sarcasm/Defleshed) and Daniel (Usurpress/Iron Lamb). On what grounds did you choose these guys? David is a young man, 24 years old, and also Jimmy’s son, which is beyond cool and quite Van Halen-esque, but the other guys are seasoned veterans, was that something that was important to you? Choosing people that have a connection to and understanding of the old Swedish underground?
Yes, David is Jimmy’s son, and like Jimmy, a doom meister so the choice was natural of course, and they write the songs together. I wanted Johan in the band first and foremost because he is a great drummer, he’s also drummer/songwriter in his other band called Violent Silence which is very different from what we are doing. Johan is very talented in every way and I think he can contribute something unique to the band. And Daniel is a great bassist and has a good understanding of the underground in general which I think is important in this band. And both Johan and Daniel are also good friends of mine so I think it will work just fine.
Smell of Vomit in the Torture Hall, demo 1988.
Not the easiest demo to hunt down.
The original Third Storm existed roughly between 1986-1988, what was the scene for extreme metal in Uppsala like back then? Did people understand what the hell you were doing or did they laugh at you? There were some thrash bands going on around that time in Uppsala (Damien, Tradore, etc) but you must have been the only black/death band? Maybe Convulsion?
There were some thrash bands in Uppsala that period; Damien, Midas Touch and perhaps some other, those bands were good but not extreme in my opinion. Thrash exploded those years everywhere but extreme form of thrash was not taken seriously. You have to have talent, in those years when everything evolved so fast, primitive extreme metal was not tolerated. Uppsala especially was infected with Anthrax and Testament kind of mainstream thrash. Almost everyone hated bands like Hellhammer, Sodom and Bathory. I think I was the only one in my whole school who adored those bands, and when I tried to introduce those bands to people, they thought I needed some professional help. Now all those people are into extreme music. Yes, people laughed their asses off at our shows. And you couldn’t go far with satanic imagery those years. It was done few years earlier and was completely dead. You had to have political lyrics or glam lyrics to get people’s attention. But we didn’t care, we didn’t change.
Did you have any contact with other bands around Sweden (or beyond) in these days? Were you aware of the start of the Swedish death metal scene in nearby Stockholm? If Third Storm would have managed to stay alive a little longer, do you think you would have been part of that movement and gained some recognition?
No, I wasn’t in contact at all with those guys in the beginning. I Knew of Obscurity and Mefisto and I became aware of the whole Stockholm scene when Third Storm split up in 88. I remember thinking, wow! Treblinka and all those bands are doing what we were doing, perhaps we should have stayed alive a bit longer, there is a scene now and is growing fast and we could have been a part of the whole thing. But none of us wanted to play music for a while. I was tired of everything and didn’t want to be in a band ‘til I formed Sarcasm with Fredrik Wallenberg two years later. We went separate ways for a long time. Jimmy and I met two years ago for the first time since 87 I think. I don’t know what the other guys are doing. Nisse, I have some contact with.
Heval 1986, after the first gig with the band and the only existing photo of Third Storm.
Unfortunately band photos were never taken.
Live photos were taken but no one knows were they are or if they still exist.
You told me that you are aiming to record a 12” in 2015 with only new songs. Did you at any point consider re-recording any old songs like “Sacrifice to Evil”, “Nightmares from Death” and so forth? Will you play any of the oldies live?
I don’t think we’ll record old songs but I’d love to play “Nightmares from Death” live again. I remember particulary that one we did live ages ago. So fast and insane song. A very VERY chaotic song and worked great live and “Soulburst” (I think the title was) were another hyperfast song we did would work excellent live today. But those songs are a bit different from what we do today haha. Back in the day I think we had something like 15-20 songs, some of them were so awful that I don’t even remember them. But I remember we had this song called “The Pain is Back” which was the only song people actually liked, because it had a catchy chorus and had this heavy metal kind of mood to it, a song you could remember, haha.
While we’re on the subject; can you please tell us as much as possible about the new songs/sound of Third Storm. Are you still as primitive as in the old days? What are, in your opinion, the biggest differences and similarities between Third Storm now and then? What were your biggest influences back then? And now?
We have at this moment written two songs so far. I can tell you for now that both songs are very very heavy and dark, we also have a few surprises that won’t be revealed now. They are not primitive as before no but the same atmosphere is there, but darker, heavier and more evil. The biggest difference would be that there are members now who actually can play their instruments, I mean we’re not 15 anymore and it’s on a mature level now, there’s a focus and no fooling around. Similarities would be the spirit and passion for extreme and dark occult music. As I said our biggest influences were the first wave of black/death metal bands and extreme thrash bands from Germany at that time. The influences now varies a lot, the most important for us is to create our own sound, the retro stuff many do today is not for us, we want to include many elements as long as it’s dark and heavy. And that’s why I wanted this line-up, five creative minds who understand the core of the thing we do and open other dimensions in the process.
Is it fair to say that Third Storm had a satanic image back then? Or were you just extremely inspired by Bathory? Would you say that you have kept the dark/satanic and chaotic atmosphere, lyrics and imagery around the band now?
The whole satanic imagery of Bathory and other early black metal bands inspired the band very much in the early days. The first black metal wave was all about rebellion, to create chaos, drink beer and make noise and to shock, not much different from what the punks were doing, it had the same attitude. I’ve always and still believe that Venom was the most genuine black metal band in metal history. The “second wave” as people call it had nothing to do with the first in my opinion and that’s why I was very quiet about Third Storm and didn’t reform the band in the 90’s, I didn’t want to be associated with that scene. These days are different of course. The satanic/demonic elements are there now of course, as I said it’s a very important part of the spirit of Third Storm but it’s on a different level now. More sophisticated, sinister and horrifying.
What’s your opinion about the fact that your current bass player wrote “Unfortunately Third Storm’s songs sucked and they could barely play” in his book on Swedish death metal? Is there any truth in this?
His punishment for that remark was to join the band, haha. He’s heard some old songs yeah and of course what he heard sucked and we could barely play. But that’s not the case today and that’s why he joined, he likes the new songs and the atmosphere of the new storm..
Well, I guess that’s it. Do you agree?
Yes, thanks for the interview! Cheers!