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Interview: Vocalist Rikke on Konvent’s debut album ‘Puritan Masochism’

Posted by on January 30, 2020

 

Copenhagen’s Konvent have unleashed one relentless debut album with Puritan Masochism, which was released on Friday (24th) via Napalm Records (order here). Despite how fresh they are in the industry, their explosive sound is exactly what we need in 2020. These Danish metallers consist of four women, which being an all-female band was unplanned. However, these women sound just as brutal as other newer acts, including Vitriol. Their new album could potentially make it on year-end lists, and we don’t think this prediction is coming in too early. We can only hope Konvent will join forces with Nile, Jungle Rot, or Hate Eternal for a North American tour sometime soon. Because we are curious to see how they can present their volatile material in a live setting. We recently caught up with vocalist Rikke and had a chance to get to know more about the band, their new album, and their hope to one day perform on the Caribbean waters at 70000tons of Metal.  

 

For those who are unfamiliar, can you talk more about Konvent?

So basically we’re all from Copenhagen Denmark and we play death-doom metal. Think the best way to describe Konvent must be heavy, simple, doomy with a twist. We made a demo back in 2017 and now our first debut album was released on the 24th of January.

When our first drummer Mette started taking drumming lessons in 2015, her teacher (Nicolai from the band Dirt Forge) told his roommate that he had started teaching a girl. His roommate was our bass player Heidi and she instantly contacted Mette, asking her if she wanted to start a band. It had been a dream of Heidi’s to start a band for a long time but all the musicians she asked didn’t have time in their schedules to start a new project. Given that both Mette and Heidi were more or less on the same level on their instruments, a band also seemed like an ideal opportunity to practise as well as write music. They looked for a guitar player and asked Mette’s study buddy Alexander (also from Dirt Forge) if he would suggest the idea to his girlfriend Sara, who Mette knew had previously played in a band. They also needed a vocalist and asked me (Mette’s sister Rikke), because I had been taking extreme metal vocal lessons with a metal vocalist for about six months at that time. I was game and we all met up at a rented rehearsal space for an afternoon and tried jamming to The White Stripes’ 7 Nation Army (haha!). The vibe was good and we decided to form the band and get our own rehearsal space.

After three years, Mette had to quit the band due to her studies and we were very lucky to find Julie. Julie was only 18 at the time but had played the drums for six years and blew us away with her talent when she auditioned, and it was a no-brainer. Our final formation was established. The fact that we’re all women is completely random and we never sat down and decided to be a death-doom kind of band. It just happened naturally with the riffs and songs that came along.

 

 

What was the overall process like getting your debut album, Puritan Masochism, out?

The first year we pretty much spent on getting to know our instruments and each other, but we quickly started working on our own material, and the demo that came out in 2017 was a result of that. Then we played a lot of shows around Denmark and that really helped us grow as musicians and as a group! During all these shows we were also working on songs for Puritan Masochism, but it was a very slow process! It wasn’t until after we got on Napalm Records, that we really stepped it up and got to finish it.

When we signed the deal in 2018, we only had a few finished tracks, so we were far away from going into the studio. Since we had so many concerts in 2018, we didn’t have a lot of time to work on the album. So half of the record was made in the beginning of 2019, and some tracks was even made 1 day before going into the studio with Lasse Skov at Ballade Studios in Copenhagen.

We really wanted that raw, gritty sound, as if the music is coming from the abyss! And that’s why we choose to work with Lasse Ballade, because he had made a bunch of cool records that we really admired. Lasse Ballade has a studio in the middle of Copenhagen and we got together for 14 days and recorded the whole album live. We have allowed ourselves to be more creative with playing with different riffs and rhythms this time. When we recorded the demo we weren’t as relaxed with our instruments, as we are now. It comes more naturally and we’re only getting better at experimenting with new stuff.

Our producer Lasse Ballade used a lot of time on finding the right sound for the guitar and bass and it was his idea to record some of the drums in his basement, to give it a more deep and kinda creepy basement sound. So he was definitely the one who really helped us find our sound, and we couldn’t be happier! 🙂

 

 

Can you discuss some of the themes on the album?

Our album isn’t a concept album, but if you were to put a theme on it, or around the lyrics of the songs it would basically be losing control over your life. The song “Puritan Masochism” (which is also the title of the album) is about how everyone has a tendency to do things, or thinking things that actually hurt us, but we keep thinking/doing those things because we feel we have to – in order to fit into something or to live up to some imagined expectations. And sometimes we keep doing these things without even realizing it because you just go on autopilot. It’s sort of our way to say that we don’t have to live like that.

But we would really like people to listen to the album and get their own feelings listening to the music and their own meaning of the songs. Hopefully it’s music where there’s nothing forced on the listener. We don’t like to go into too much detail with the lyrics, because we value the listener being able to create their own stories and images in their heads.

 

How was the experience when you signed to Napalm?

Personally, signing with Napalm Records was a very big deal. It showed us that others believed in us and what we were doing and that there was a potential. It shaped us a lot being given that trust, because at that point we were still very new in the game and sometimes after finishing a song we would still question ourselves, asking if this even qualifies as an actual song, ha ha.

 

 

What’s the death/doom scene like out in Copenhagen?

All four of us live in Copenhagen and there are so many awesome Danish metal bands that we have the opportunity to go see. Looking at the live music scene in Copenhagen today it seems like it’s only getting better and better. There is a big underground metal scene and loads of great bands to check out! There are a lot of venues putting up metal gigs, with both local and international bands, and our calendars are basically always full of shows that we want to go to. But it does happen that our favourite bands go on a Europe tour and then don’t visit Copenhagen or Denmark at all. Generally, people are very supportive when it comes to the doom metal scene. Morild, Eyes and Katla will be warming up for us at our Aarhus and Copenhagen shows, and of course we would only pick the best, so definitely check them out!  Other bands that we highly recommend from Denmark are Solbrud, Afsky, Dirt forge, Sunken, Ligæder, Halshug, Bethmoora, Alkymist. .

 

Do you have any touring plans in the works for outside of Europe?

On our upcoming tour we’re going all around Denmark and then Sweden, Norway and Germany for 11 shows in total ( with a UK show just being announced). We are really excited about this, especially because we’ve never played in Sweden, Norway or the UK so that will definitely be fun! But right now we haven’t got any shows outside Europe. But people have been really nice and writing to us from all over the world and asking us to visit their country. So hopefully we’ll be visiting the US or Asia. That could be sooo cool.

Another dream we have is to play 70,000 Tons of Metal! We mean, playing a concert on a big cruise ship in the middle of the Caribbean wouldn’t be too bad and it pains us to see all our favorite bands, who we would love to play with, being booked while we’re stuck in rainy Denmark, ha ha! ;D

 

 Is there anything else you want to add or say about the album?

Thank you so much for wanting to do this interview! We just hope the readers of Metal Insider will check us out and give us a listen. And we hope to see some of you on the road!

 

 

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