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Provenance, The - More than just Gothic Metal - September 2001


Surprisingly flowing and very mature is the debut of THE PROVENANCE from the country of elks and Ikea-furniture. The label Gothic Metal is not really the right one for a band that has so much more to offer. Comparisons to TRISTANIA or TRAIL OF TEARS are rather at hand. Ralf got in touch with drummer and songwriter Joel Lindell!

Hi, this is Ralf from "The Metal Observer". How's the weather there in Sweden?

Hi Ralf, wie gehts, he heh. Joel Lindell here. Right now the rain is pouring down on us here in Gothenburg. We've got dark clouds hanging over us so I guess you could call it real shitty weather.

THE PROVENANCE was formed in 1995. What did you do before the band?

Well, most of us have played since we were young, some of us in different bands but none of the bands were very serious though.

Please introduce the band and describe the different characters!

Tobias Martinsson - guitars and vocals, was one of the founding members as were Emma and Joel. He's the kind of guy that makes things work, a great organizer, we call him Father Tobias, he heh. Tobias works as a 3D graphic-designer so he's real used to computers and stuff.
Emma Hellstrom - keyboards, flute and vocals, is a bit scatterbrained sometimes and can easily forget things. Right now she's attending a drama course, in short, a good friend whom you can rely on.
Joel Lindell - Drums, he's the guy making all the ugly faces when playing, heh. Works as a sound engineer in Boiler Room Studios where the album was recorded.
Joakim Rosén - lead guitarist, always shouting and complaining a lot, he heh, seriously, a nice guy with a lot of musical ideas. Works as a teacher right now.
Jonnie Täll - bass, wouldn't kill a fly even if it was trying to murder him brutally, the nicest guy you could ever imagine, works as a postman and has two, I repeat, two kids with his wife Rebecca.

Most of the writers put you in the category "Gothic Metal". Are you satisfied with it? I think you have many influences included like Black Metal, Folk, Prog Rock of the 70's

I strongly believe that it is up to people themselves to categorize music, so Gothic Metal really says nothing, there are as many opinions as there are people. Are we satisfied with it? I guess, why not. You can find a lot of influences in our music and the most accentuated one is probably 70s Progressive Rock, but as you say, Swedish folk music is another one. To mix different genres is not our aim though, it is just something that happens when we write music together.

What do you think if people say that your music is too complex?

Well, that's up to them to decide. But I think if they gave it a second or even third chance, they'd soon discover that it's not so complex. Provided they are willing and musically aware they'd understand. That doesn't mean they have to like it.

What's the meaning of THE PROVENANCE for yourselves?

The band, THE PROVENANCE, means a lot to all of us I think. It is people you have a lot of fun with, people you share things with. We've got the opportunity to play the music we always wanted to play. But the name, The PROVENANCE, was something that just happened I guess. It was a name we felt could represent the music we played, it's as simple as that.

Why don't you put Emma on the front-cover and use her look for better sales?

Heh he, that's a cheap sales trick, and we don't want seem cheap. We write music we can enjoy ourselves and as pretentious as it may sound we are trying to express and create something artistic. Sure, we could have put Emma on the front cover, but not for the reason of selling more records. If we did so it would have been because we wanted to say something with it, something that related to the music and lyrics on the record.

What shows the cover? And what is the 25th hour?

The 25th hour is sort of a mindgame. In this lyric I write about mankind living on borrowed time, and how we somehow stepped outside the normal timeframes we have. The 25th hour doesn't really exist. Strange? Yes. The cover shows just this. And it contains a little secret.. I don't want to say too much, but it has to do with the song titles. (My guess is that the clock in the background doesn't have numbers, but the initials of the songtitles instead! - Alex)

How about some live gigs for promotion? Did you often play live with THE PROVENANCE?

There haven't been so many gigs in the past, I mean, we've played all around Gothenburg with bands like TIAMAT, DARK TRANQUILLITY, SWORDMASTER and stuff, but we hope to get more gigs outside Gothenburg now when the record is out.

What do you expect from the album?

Expectations aren't set too high, but we hope that people will like what we're doing and hopefully buy our album. And as I said earlier, we hope it can produce more gigs for us.

What are your influences and which CDs are in your player at the moment?

We have a lot of influences, I think everyone in the band is influenced by different groups, but to mention some which most of us share;
ANGLAGARD - Swedish Progressive-gods,
MY DYING BRIDE - British originals,
BIGELF - BEATLES meet BLACK SABBATH.

Anyway, the CDs in my player are;
THE CURE, MESHUGGAH & MY DYING BRIDE.
In Jonnie's; THE BEATLES, SLIPKNOT and DEPECHE MODE,
Joakim; OPETH, LANDBERK, HYPOCRISY,
Emma; SILVERBULLIT, BJÖRK and MASSIVE ATTACK,
Tobias; LANDBERK, BIGELF and dirty Blaxploation-themes.

Which question have you never been asked?

Well that's a lot of questions since we haven't done so many interviews yet, but to mention one, "How would you like to have your groupies?" The answer would be "From behind." heh he...(Old pig! - Ralf)

Are your members involved in other projects, too?

Me, Joakim, Jonnie and Tobias have a little Thrash-project with Niklas Sundin from DARK TRANQUILLITY. Nothing serious though (yet...). We rehearse very seldom. But you never know what the future holds.

What can you tell me about the booklet and the lyrics? I have only a cardsleeve-promo-CD!

You are better off not reading the lyrics, heh. The lyrics are mostly documentations of different events and people I've experienced and known. They might seem strange since I tend to write very personal, I use a lot of metaphors in them to accentuate my feelings toward people, which makes it hard for outsiders to understand what I mean. Regarding the booklet, those who buy the record get to know... But I can reveal that it contains lot of nice pictures of the band members. (What? Incredible - I need to buy the complete CD! - the Joker)

Future plans and last words to our readers?

We hope to be on tour soon but if we're not, we still hope you'll be satisfied with the record. Since it was some time since we recorded "25th Hour.." we have plenty of new ideas and material, so don't be surprised if you stumble across a new album signed THE PROVENANCE in a not so distant future..
Cheers and take care! Ich hoffe wir sehen uns gleich! (Sure, just come over - Ralf)

Discography:

2001: 25th Hour: Bleeding (CD, Scarlet)

Ralf Henn



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