After a four-year studio hiatus, EBM staple Covenant is back with their new album Modern Ruin, and this time they have brought Daniel Myer, the mastermind behind Haujobb, among many other electronic acts, along for the ride. We had the opportunity to talk about the state of this predominant EBM group with band member Joakim Montelius, and together with Myer and frontman Eskil Simonsson, it is clear that there are more new and different chapters to be written to their story.
interview by Aaron Andrews and DJ ArcaTek
Can you tell us a little about the new album Modern Ruin? Are there certain themes, ideas, or techniques that have been important to its creation?
Joakim Montelius : Like every full-length album, Modern Ruin is a collection of ideas and reactions. So there is no overall message. It’s a selection of songs that we think represent what we felt over the last four years. The title itself refers to the loss of some of the ideals that Modernism was about: the idea that we can make a difference, our ingenuity and our power of will can help us build a better world, that positive feeling and the ideological eagerness to dedicate a lot of work and energy to such a project. Somehow it got lost and grew into cynicism and confusion and our new technology, our knowledge, even our art became tools to maintain the old paranoia and selfishness that Modernism was supposed to oppose. So, to me, that’s the ‘modern ruin’.
How long was the process of making Modern Ruin? There were push back dates on this album; was it due to record company issues or was it you going back into the studio to perfect the Covenant product?
JM : There were many reasons for the long delay. We toured a lot after Skyshaper, we made a DVD of the tour, then we moved our studio twice, we were busy with personal matters, our record label went bust, we lost our founding member Clas Nachmanson and Daniel Myer took his place, Eskil got married and divorced, I got a daughter… Let’s just say that for us these last four years were anything but quiet but it made the process of recording the album slower. We worked on it on and off for the last couple of years, wrote songs and shuffled demos back and forth, but the work in earnest only started last year. It’s hard to say exactly how long it took since it was so split up and fragmented. A somewhat realistic estimate would be perhaps four to five months in total. Something like that.
read the full interview in the February/March 2011 Issue