CHINE: Smorgasbord


Self-proclaimed Dystopian Death Metal metallers from Sweden, CHINE are on the verge of launching their new EP release. Titled “Like Vultures,” it is scheduled for the March 2nd, 2019 release, and it brings four new tracks of uncompromising death metal sound intercepted with technical excursions. In an interview for Prog Sphere, Swedes talk about the upcoming release and more.

Define the mission of CHINE.

We’re striving towards delivering brutal music with substans and a character of it’s own, and with our own liking in mind before anyone else’s.

This is the goal, getting there is of course something else.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your upcoming EP “Like Vultures” and the themes it captures.

You know, you gather a lot of stuff from your everyday life not necessarily involving you directly, but still. You end up giving a lot of thought to subjects that you’re being exposed to, and there’s a lot of awful stuff constantly happening around us. It’s a smorgasbord, just take a pick or several.

What is the message you are trying to give with “Like Vultures”?

Each song has it’s own meaning, even though it started out as a concept album. It ended up being four different tracks handling subjects as being pushed beyond your boundaries leading you towards your end, being proud of who you are even if the world is against your ways, but also questioning if you really like yourself and the person you have become. A lot of people can probably relate to these things, so the message I guess is that there are more people like you out there, no matter who you are. This can be interpreted as either a good or a bad thing.

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

We put a lot of work into our pre productions, which we still ended up changing quite a bit in comparison to the final product this time. I usually come up with an idea and the backbone of riffs and arrangement, then we usually try it out in the rehearsal room and swop the parts to where it feels “locked into place” when you actually play it with some volume, and the energy of syncing together with other people. Nowadays it all ends up in Pro Tools quite early in the process, but it starts with little bits and pieces from the iPhone, humming and hammering on stuff in random places where something might have popped up in your head.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

I would say that it actually is. I mean even if it doesn’t always sound that way, we try a lot of combinations to make the different parts fit. Using dynamics is a great way of keeping the song interesting for the listener.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

As with every new album you feel that “this is the one, these are the best songs we’ve ever written and we now have better circumstances than ever compared to previous album recordings”, and this might later show itself to be true or not, but when you stop getting this feeling with your new stuff its probably time to question if you should keep on doing it. For us that point hasn’t come yet, despite that we have played together as Chine since 2005.

CHINE - Like Vultures

How long “Like Vultures” was in the making?

If you count the actual recording I would say a few months. Unfortunately It’s not a very glamorous thing to record an album for us, and the band members are never in the studio at the same time, more like two at a time; the one that is pressing the rec button and the other one thats being taped. We live in cities quite far apart from each other so it’s sort of a long distance relationship.

Where does “Like Vultures” stand in comparison with previous releases “Immanent” (2015), “Betray Your Own Kind” (2012), and your debut “Repulsive Sonatas”?

Since our albums has been released with some time in between they differ a lot from each other. With ‘Immanent’ I think our song writing improved, and if you look at ‘Like Vultures’ we have been writing together more than ever before which has been very developing. Sure it’s a matter of compromise at times, but it feels quite good to let someone else decide which way to go, and to just trust that person instead of having to be a part of every single detail and “winning” the creative arguments.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the new EP?

Sometimes I think that would be for the impartial listener to decide. We like bands like Gojira, The Haunted, Soilwork from our home town Helsingborg, but I doubt that we sound that much like them. Parts here and there perhaps. You can always count on someone outside the band to have references to other bands, a lot of times that you’ve never heard of. I often try to just place my fingers randomly on the fretboard and see if any interesting and eerie harmonies comes up, after that you can start building tempo, groove and foundation of rhythms. Of course a lot of stuff is common riffing, which can be found in a million other metal bands. A vision is, as I said earlier, to make truly original stuff, but we are not there yet and maybe never will be. The easiest way to be original nowadays is to go back in time to the 70′s or 80′s and play on peoples nostalgia.

What is your view on technology in music?

Well, feel free to use it as much as you like if you find it to be enhancing. I know that we have tried to walk a more old school way before, but you can’t deny the awesome features that technology brings, and it keeps on improving at an escalating pace. I know that we will look into it a lot more than before on upcoming productions.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

It’s hard to defend a purpose beyond music for other people than ourselves, considering the amount of all the similar music that is being released every day. For me and hopefully the rest of the guys in the band it provides the greatest feeling available in life, creating and performing music that you’ve put together. I get extremely happy and grateful when showed appreciation from someone that has heard Chine and liked it. One positive comment and I feel good for days, but one mustn’t forget that negative response also serve a purpose and indicates that someone actually bothered to express something, even if it is bad.

What are your plans for the future?

We do this pretty much in the present, but among upcoming things in a near future are a couple of videos, release party with hopefully the opportunity to sell a bunch of our newly pressed 10″ vinyls, very nice product to have in stock as a band. We are going to focus a lot on ‘Like Vultures’ and promoting each of the tracks separately giving it the attention it deserves considering the energy, time and money we spent on writing and recording it. You wouldn’t want to make the mistake of releasing it all at once and letting it become a thing of the past in just a couple of days.

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