An Interview with Maim

Swedish death dealers Maim were against tough odds when recording their new album, Ornaments of Severity. Left as a two-piece, Maim guitarist Christian Sandberg and drummer Henric Ottosson had to write, rehearse and record the album themselves. Decibel got in touch with Sandberg to learn more about the process and what comes next for this new iteration of Maim.

Ornaments of Severity is out now on Soulseller.

You’ve been a band for over ten years. How has your music changed from your first album From the Womb to the Tomb to your newest album Ornaments of Severity?
The music and our sound has not changed that much over the years, in my opinion. But definitely the writing process. From the beginning, we were four persons, and everyone shared ideas and riffs. And we rehearsed a lot back then. When we wrote the material for our latest album, Ornaments, it demanded more out of us as musicians since we were down to two persons. But we still write songs the way we did 10 years ago. Henric and I have always sort of being the core of Maim. And almost all of our songs come out from me and him jamming riffs together.

You’ve faced a few lineup changes, losing a few important members and recording the album as a duo in the studio. What challenges did that present?
Recording the album definitely was a challenge. Since Rikard left, I took over the vocals and I also played the bass on the record. So, getting tight and rehearsed before the record was tough. But songwriting also gets faster when your only down to two persons to satisfy. As for the line-up changes over the years, it made it hard for us to do shows and to tour, but nothing has really changed that much in the way we work.

Conversely, was anything better about the album because it was recorded by two people alone?
I think the songs fit together better now as a whole album. Since I wrote most of the riffs, I could work with the fact that i had to write for a full album. And with that in mind, the songs were more carefully constructed. But of course we miss hearing riffs from both Rikard and Joakim.

Where is the future of Maim? Will you take a break between albums again or will you launch yourself immediately back into the recording process?
We already have begun working on new songs. We recruited our friend Niclas Löfgren on bass, so we are now operating as a functional live band again. Our goal is to make more music and try to play live as much as possible.