Interview with vocalist and guitarist Anders Odden
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: March 26, 2020
Norwegian Death Metal veterans Cadaver were one of the more extreme Metal bands crawling up from the underground scene that I became familiar with in the late eighties. The band's second demo, Abnormal Deformity, released in 1989, caught my attention via the underground tape trading scene back in the days.
This trio's music found its way to Jeff Walker who was running Necrosis Records, a sub-label of Earache Records. Jeff signed the band and their debut album, Hallucinating Anxiety, was released at the beginning of December 1990. The album was well received and many called them Norway's answer to Carcass.
In 1992, the band's follow-up album ...In Pains saw the light of day on Necrosis' parent label, Earache Records. The album also did well, benefitting from better promotion and distribution by Earache. A year after the album's release the band seemed to be adrift, not really knowing where they wanted to go musically so they changed their name to Cadaver Inc., recorded one album under this name (Discipline, 2001) and got in some serious trouble with Norwegian authorities because the band's official website appeared to offer professional disposal of murder evidence and supposedly even had a working 1-800 number. They wisely chose to switch their name back to Cadaver and recorded their most recent album, Necrosis, which was released in 2004 before the band split up for many years.
Cadaver got back together at Tomb Studio, Råde, in Norway, in the summer of 2016 when two old friends, Dirk Verbeuren (drums) and Anders Odden (guitar) thought it was time to resurrect this old corpse after rotting underground for so many years. One thing led to another and the Death Metal legends were back.
Anders Odden will be our guide and fill us on some of the latest news from the Cadaver camp...
Luxi: How's life, Anders? It can have some unexpected twists and turns that aren't always nice, eh?
Anders: I am doing well actually. I was diagnosed with colon cancer in October 2019. I got rid of all the cancer with surgery in January 2020 and am undergoing chemotherapy now to make sure it's not coming back. Now that we are all heading into this apocalyptic time of plague, I am prepared for death.
2014 – CADAVER REBORN
Luxi: You reformed Cadaver officially in 2019 with your longtime friend, Dirk Verbeuren (a guy behind a million bands). However, you already jammed some Cadaver's old stuff back in 2016 with Dirk. How did you guys get connected?
Anders: We first met on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise in 2014. He filled in on drums for Frost with Satyricon and we played two shows together. When I learned that he was a true Cadaver fan I just asked if I could send him some songs. He has an electronic drum kit at home where he can record demos. I think I sent him about 10 songs and he just blew my mind with his style and playing. When we jammed in 2016 in Norway, we recorded a demo of a song called "Feed the Pigs" and we set the direction of the new album.
Luxi: You guys have been working on Cadaver's fourth (and last?) studio album for some time. Was it a challenging process to get it done, keeping in mind it's been a while since the last Cadaver record, which was Necrosis from back in 2004, some frigging 14 years ago?
Anders: Time just flies. We do not intend this to be the last record. This is our legacy and we will keep on doing music for a long time. As we are both full-time professional musicians, we spend our time wisely when it comes to work. We recorded everything over 14 days. As we make demos all the time, we have a new album or two of material that we just need to assemble. Inspiration is coming to me all the time, so I will do this until I die.
Luxi: You released a nice teaser video for a new song called "Circle of Morbidity" in April 2019, featuring Jeff Becerra from Possessed on backing vocals. The song sounds awesome in my honest opinion, really paying homage to the old Cadaver sound with a twist of something new. What made you choose this song for the first single?
Anders: I chose to release this as the first single for all the reasons mentioned in your question. Getting Jeff Becerra onboard is still mind-blowing to me. I have listened to Possessed so much in my life. My vocal style is also leaning toward his way of doing it instead of what I call "cookie monster" stupid grunt vocals that Death Metal is associated with and which is far away from what I like. I like singers like Jeff, Cronos, Quorthon, Tom G., Mille, David Vincent and Jeff Walker etc. - not Cannibal Corpses and other Death Metal vocals that are impossible for me to relate to.
Luxi: How did you team up with Jeff B.?
Anders: Possessed did a photo shoot for their album in Hannah Verbeuren's (Dirk's wife) studio, which was where I was staying during the recording. We hooked up and I got him into the idea on the fly. The right place at the right time is always the best way to get things done.
Luxi: You actually performed this song in already, much to the surprise of many, at the Inferno Festival in Oslo, Norway last year during Dirk's drum clinic. When Dirk invited you to come on stage, did you feel nervous about how people would react to the new Cadaver song?
Anders: I was kind of nervous, not about the song but about performing something brand new. We had played it maybe 20 times (if that much) between making it, recording and rehearsing it. Having Dirk playing drums makes me relax, though. He is just that good.
RECORDING THE NEW CADAVER ALBUM
Luxi: Back to the new Cadaver album. Obviously, it's fully recorded and mixed now, so how would you sum up the whole process, starting from the actual songwriting all the way up to the recording and mixing?
Anders: The songwriting spanned from 2012 up to the recording. I had a lot of material I sent to Dirk; just tons of riffs, etc. Then I started to listen to our old things and kind of wanted to make music that could have been written between the first two records. I wrote 25 songs I guess, then threw away a lot of it and kept half. It's just what feels right that matters.
The recording was done in North Hollywood, in a studio where Dirk has his drums set up. I have to give a lot of credit to the engineer Adair Daufembach who is a magician. His recording style was super pro, effective and we had too much fun to mention. As I did almost everything else but drums it was brutal for me, but I managed and I cannot wait until get people to hear it.
OF RECORDING AND LIVE MUSICIANS IN THE BAND
Luxi: Destructhor (a.k.a Thor Myhren) played all the lead guitar parts on this Cadaver opus. Was it easy to persuade him to play those lead parts and is he going to play live with the band, too?
Anders: I talked to him a year in advance, so he was well prepared. Thor is an old friend and just lives to play Death Metal. As far as he has the time, I will bring him out in the live lineup. But, as the world of touring is an uncertain enterprise, I have several musicians that will fill in.
Adair (the engineer) also did a guitar lead, which stands out on the album.
Luxi: You also have both Kam Lee and Jeff Walker on backing vocals for a couple of songs. I guess it was a no-brainer to ask these gentlemen if they would rip their lungs out as guests on this album? On which songs did they provide their growling talent and what can you tell us about their performances?
Anders: Kam reached out to me a long time ago in the MySpace era to see if we could do something someday. When Dirk and I had our first real demo session in 2016 the song "Feed the Pigs" materialized. I had the chorus, but no verses. I sent the song to Kam and he wrote and arranged the verses of the song. It was very different from what I pictured, in a good way. As he is one of the inventors of growling, it seemed logical to me to get him onboard on my "comeback" album. Jeff signed Cadaver to his Necrosis Records in 1989 and when I met him in LA during the recording of the album, I asked him to scream "I don't give a fuck" into my phone. The song "D.G.A.F." will appear on a special vinyl EP, which will have artwork that pays tribute to the first Cadaver and Carcass albums.
Luxi: I read that you have signed a contract with some label that will eventually release this new Cadaver record. Is this something that can be revealed at this time?
Anders: We have signed with Nuclear Blast USA and the album is due for release in July 2020.
CADAVER CONQUERING THE STAGES
Luxi: As far as playing live is concerned, Cadaver played its first full show in 15 years at Hellbotn Metalfest in Norway at the end of August 2019. What was it like to be on stage after so many years? How was the crowd's reaction?
Anders: It was the most satisfying feeling in the whole world. Everybody there seemed to enjoy the return of Cadaver. I will never give in to anything and continue the band until the day I die.
Luxi: When you were preparing for this show, did you find any of the old songs trickier or more complicated than you remembered? It's obvious those old songs really aren't your typical Death Metal songs as they do have quite a lot of progressive harmonies...
Anders: It's typical of what I want to play, so I do not find it tricky. The biggest difference was for me to learn how to sing and play the songs at the same time. I started to prepare for this long before we played live, so I knew how to do it. I enjoyed this very much and wonder why I didn't do this 26 years ago when we first imploded - but there is no regret there as I have had a career beyond my own dreams.
Luxi: 2020 seemed to become a big year so far for Cadaver when it comes down to having a new album out and playing live at least. Then the Coronavirus hit the world, messing things up totally. You had festivals like Steelfest in Finland and Maryland Deathfest in the States, Hellfest in France and probably some other festivals lined up, I assume. Are you postponing some of these events?
Anders: Yes, unfortunately with the coronavirus crisis on the table, these will be done in 2021 and we will play as many shows as we can next year, if the end of the world passes by...
Luxi: You worked as Cadaver Inc. between 1999 and 2001 and recorded one album, Discipline, which was released on Earache in 2001. Were the different musical stylings on that record the main reason for the name change? What do you think of Discipline after all these years? Are you still very proud of it?
Anders: That time felt very futuristic with the Internet emerging and the year 2000 stuff going on. It feels like a window into a forgotten time now. I love the album and have a surprise for fans of this record on the coming album.
Luxi: It's time for the last question. When can we, the mortal ones, expect this new Cadaver album and what do you expect from 2020 as far as the band's further comings and goings are concerned?
Anders: The new album is coming out in July 2020. We still have (as of March 17, 2020) MDF, Hellfest and Wacken coming up this summer. We also have a European tour to be confirmed in September but, as we all know, right now things might be postponed. Still, we will come out to play as many places as we can and make more music for future releases.
Luxi: Alright, Anders, that was it from me for now. I wanna sincerely thank you for your time with this interview and say thanks for bringing this old Norwegian Death Metal beast back to the daylight again. Just to wrap up this conversation properly enough, the final say is yours, sir...
Anders: Thank you, my friend. We will make all fans of old school Death Metal as happy as we can.
A message from Anders Odden/Cadaver - Saturday 28. March - Post Apocalyptic Corona isolation
I am writing this as an addendum to the interview we did just while back because the world as we know it changed too much over the last couple of weeks. First of all, I am fine. I have had colon cancer and had successful surgery in January. However, I am still undergoing chemotherapy until the end of May. The chemo gives the patient a lower immune system and I need to protect myself from any kind of illness - not only Covid-19.
If I get a 38-degree fever I am supposed to go straight to the hospital, no question asked. I am healthy and getting stronger every day as I live by myself in an old farmhouse 1 hour away from Oslo. I work out, walk in the woods, work on promo for Cadaver, selling merchandise and making new music. We were supposed to release the new Cadaver album in July, but it's been postponed since all manufacturing plants for records are down at the moment. Instead, we are planning to release a visualizer video and a three-song digital EP in April 2020. This EP has cover art that pays tribute to Carcass and Napalm Death circa 1989 - and we got Jeff Walker to scream the title in the song named "DON'T GIVE A FUCK!"
We hope that everybody holds up well during this strange time in history and that we can see you out there again at gigs and festivals when life gets back to a more normal state again. Meanwhile remember to stay safe, wash your hands and throw sticks as the apocalypse.
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