Necrony formed in 1990 as a three-piece, but by the time the Swedish deathgrinding pioneers recorded their debut full-length album, Pathological Performances, they were but two men: drummer/vocalist Rickard Alriksson and guitarist/vocalist Anders Jakobson. Around the same time, Alriksson and Jakobson formed Nasum with the late Mieszko Talarczyk. Perhaps it was Nasum’s success that led to Pathological Performances falling through the proverbial cracks, but recently a stateside label has taken it upon themselves to do their part in rescuing Necrony’s debut from eternal obscurity.
With Pathological Performances soon coming out on tape from Gurgling Gore, we caught up with Anders Jakobson to get some deeper context into Necrony and the forthcoming reissue of their debut album.
Pathological Performances was first released nearly 30 years ago. How does it make you feel that the record is still sick and relevant enough to demand a repress from a new, up and coming death metal label?
First of all, it makes me feel fucking old… 30 years? Ouch! I am slightly reluctant to speak about the Necrony stuff with pride, because for me it’s very juvenile stuff that doesn’t really match the stuff that actually were good that our colleges from that time did back then. I have understood that there is some kind of cult thing going on for Necrony, and that has always surprised me. That said, a repress of the album could have been done easily 10-15 years ago, judging from all the requests that has come my way during the years. More about that later. But how does it make me feel? Well, a little bit weird, but I am excited about this very specific reissue.
What do you remember about recording Pathological Performances?
I remember that it was recorded and mixed over two weekends, Friday to Sunday and Friday to Sunday. Six days is a very short time for an album these days, but I guess we knew our stuff well going into Gorysound. I can’t remember that we felt any stress during the last days, so I guess everything went smoothly. Have in mind that 30 years have passed – I can’t remember everything! I do remember that we invited Johan Liiva (then Axelsson) from Carnage/Furbowl for some guest vocals. That’s the only time we have met. That was great.
You’ve since played for numerous sick bands. How does Pathological Performances sound to you now?
Working on this reissue has made me rediscover the album and it brought back a lot of memories. Almost all recordings I have done, no matter which band, is closely connected to the time of the recording, who I was at that time and what was going on in general. I was 19-20 years old when we worked on the songs for the album, and Rickard was two years younger. I remember sitting in my room in my parents’ house writing these long and intricate “pathological” lyrics with words I can’t understand today (and loads of incorrect English, obviously), or late nights in the garage strumming lightly on my acoustic guitar not to wake my parents. And obviously hours of rehearsals, just Rickard and I. And I remember borrowing a very early Apple laptop from Rickard’s father and creating parts of the booklet layout – something that led to what is part of my profession these days. All that comes back to me when I hear the album. In that sense, the album is very important to me. With my modern ears, I really wish that I could go back in time and teach myself a thing or two about how to write, arrange and perform songs, because there are some serious quality issues… Bits and pieces are cool, but you know, it’s a tough listen at times…
What songs hold up as favorites?
I would say that “Gynopathological Excav-eater” (now, that’s a title for a business card!) probably is the best song. It’s one of the few that Rickard wrote, more or less on his own, and it has a really cool drive and great riffs. Rickard had more talent writing stuff that actually sounded like songs, compared to the riff collections that I put together that sometimes lacked some kind of common vision. But there are many parts of the album that I like and when I look at all the songs, I feel that they are quite different from each other, which is good. But “Gynopathological Excav-eater” is probably the best and with the slightly re-arranged song order on this release (which has to do with creating a side A and side B that basically had the same lengths), it opens up side B as a real kick in the nuts. Good stuff!
How did the deal with Gurgling Gore come about anyway? How did it feel to be approached by the American label?
As I mentioned earlier, I have been approached by several labels during the years that [have] expressed their wishes to do everything from album reissues to complete discography releases. I get a few of these requests every year, but we have always said “Thanks, but no thanks”. Partly because we don’t feel especially proud of the old stuff, and partly because some things should perhaps stay underground. There’s been so many of these reissues and discography releases of more or less every fucking band that did something in the 90’s. Do we really need everything? So, when Ryan contacted me, I had my “thanks, but no thanks” lined up. However, the format he suggested was a limited edition cassette and that intrigued me. I could immediately tell that Ryan was a true fan of the album and that helped with the decision. I had a brief talk with Rickard and we agreed that it was true to the release to do a cassette reissue in a limited edition. Ryan was upfront with that he really wanted a “clean” reissue, not remixed or remastered with additional tunes and so on. I like that and I also liked reverse-engineering the original CD layout and create a cassette version that really matched the original release. It was a lot of fun working with this and I was very excited every time I found a new email from Ryan in my inbox. He always wrote “more” than just the usual stuff and that made me think of all the letter writing that went on during the time of the CD. It was a few years before the Internet and those who were in the scene then wrote a ton of letters and got a full mailbox every day. It was exciting times, and I was happy to relive that sensation working on this release. So, I am quite happy that the “thanks, but no thanks” turned into “yes, why the fuck not?”!
What about the other reissues of this album? Why are they considered as ‘unofficial,’ according to Metal-Archives?
To begin with, I am very doubtful that it is Poserslaughter who actually released the bootleg LP. I believe it’s some unknown “label” that prefer to keep their identity hidden as the artwork is scanned from the CD, including the Poserslaughter logo, catalogue number of the CD and their old address. Actually, I bought a copy of the bootleg a few months back because I wanted it, and there are no clues who actually released it. It looks kind of cool, but at the same time it’s something of a hack with multiple spelling errors and such. I have seen a lot of bootleg Necrony stuff and it’s slightly annoying. On one hand, it’s in line with the underground approach I want for the stuff, but on the other hand I am disturbed by the low quality of the products. Poserslaughter did release a reissue of sorts in 2005, the “Poserslaughter Classics Remasters”, that collects a lot of stuff in 99 minutes – on one CD, which should be impossible… This isn’t fully authorized by us. I remember getting an email from the label letting me know that a reissue was coming (“to fight of bootleggers”) and that seemed fine, but I didn’t expect the CD to include a lot of other stuff, including just parts of the first demo, which they didn’t have the rights to include. So, that one was really disappointing.
Any message for a new generation of death metal fiends who may be hearing this album for the first time? And what about those diehards who will remember you from the early ’90s. Any message to them?
New kids: Don’t judge us old farts too hard! Even though this might be hilariously bad, we helped to pave the way! Get inspired and create sickness! And for the old fans, I hope the tape might bring back a lot of memories of the 90’s underground scene and what went on then. Dig in your attics or basements for old tapes and fanzines!
Finally, does this mean Necrony is back? Would you ever consider a reunion?
No, this is not a comeback. I can confess that I have thought from time to time that it would be fun do a few songs but I don’t know if I can write in this style anymore. It requires a certain mindset for sure. We did a brief “reunion” back in 2001 when we recorded “Pungent Excruciation” for the Carcass tribute “Requiems of Revulsion” that Deathvomit put out. They originally wanted to lift a track from our 1994 cover MCD “Necronycism: Distorting the Originals” but we wanted to do a new recording. The funny this is that the line-up was flipped this time, which means that Rickard and I both have played every instrument in Necrony! Anyway, that “reunion” lasted two days – one in the rehearsal room, the other in the studio… Guess that was it.