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Sweden's Arise have recently released their newest offering, Kings of the Cloned Generation. Being a big fan of The Godly Work of Art and Kings, I decided to get ahold of the band. Fortunately, drummer Daniel Bugno, was able to respond to me and give me the inside scoop on this quickly rising band.

Wayfaerer-For those unfamiliar with the band, could you give us a brief history of Arise?

Daniel Bugno-We started back in 96-97 playing covers of bands such as Sepultura, Pantera, Machine Head and Slayer. At that time we could hardly master our instruments and by doing covers we became better at handling our instruments. After a couple of years playing covers we thought it was time to do our own stuff. By now we had started to listen to a lot of Swedish metal like Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, Hypocrisy, Edge of Sanity, At the Gates etc. So we got inspired and recorded our first cassette-demos entitled "The last of centuries" and "Statues". Still we couldn't play very well, but a lot of people like these demos. We gave it another year and recorded the demo "Abducted Intelligence" at Los Angered studios in Gothenburg. This time it was on CD and we played pretty well too. By this demo we got our record-deal with Spinefarm.

Now for the important question, how the hell do you guys manage to come up with all of those really nasty, angry riffs?

Maybe we have a lot of anger inside? No, I don't know really. Mostly it's me and Erik who write the songs and since we often share the same way of thinking, it's coming down pretty natural to us. I have no good answer for that.

How would you say you distinguish yourselves from other Swedish bands?

Perhaps that we are a mix of it all. We are both agressive, yet melodic AND heavy at the same time. Most of the bands possesses one of these things, and maybe thats why people says that we are not an original band at all, but still we are in some way...

What is your personal favorite song you've done with Arise?

Uhm, that would maybe be "Strangled Love" from our latest album. However I think our demo-version of it was even better! But it turned out pretty good anyway, and I'm very satisfied with the arrangements on that one.

Have you intentionally gone for the H.R. Giger look on your album covers?

Yeah, I must say that we have in a way. Giger has always been my absolute favorite when it comes to art. I love his cold, sterile paintings and I have most of his books. So when it was time to discuss album cover which would fit our music I could easily make a picture in my head, which I translated to Niclas Sundin, who did our booklets.

The lyrics from both albums have a sci-fi/aliens type of feel to them (Abducted Intelligence, Another World to Consume just to name 2), is this an interest of the band?

I think it is! But it's not only about sci-fi though. It's a lot about the human mind - our psychic side, and what we are capable to do. For me personally I think this is very interesting what you can do with the human mind. For example, you can brainwash a human to do whatever, and thats really scary.

Arise, after two very solid albums, continues to be very unknown, at least here in the States. Are you trying to get any kind of distribution for the USA, or Europe, for that matter? I know Spinefarm is prettty limited in their distribution.

They truely are. And we can do nothing about it. The only way for us to get well distributed in the states is to get licenced to Century Media or any other big label which are working with metal music. For the first album we had upcoming deals with Nuclear Blast for Europe, Toy's Factory for Japan and Century Media for the states. But somehow it didn´t happen, any of it. I guess you can say that would have make the difference, eh?

You had a recent tour with Vader, how did that go? Do you have any more touring planned for this album?

Vader! One of my absolute favourite bands! It was such an honour for me to do this tour. And to watch them play every single night, which I did. We didn't play at very large venues, because Vader is touring Europe like three times a year - and you could tell that by looking at the venues. But we got very good reactions in most of the countries and several times we were told that we sounded best along with Vader, and I think thats really good proof! Because we have never been out on the road before, and we were four bands in all. However, we have nothing more coming up for the moment. I guess that sending the bands on tour is very expensive for the companies, and we don't have the highest priority on Spinefarm. But this week we got a booking company here in Sweden, so at least we will be able to play more for our audience here. It's a good start at least.

Do you have plans to start writing new material in the near future?

We will start on the new material during this autumn and record it next year during september I think. And once again it will be Studio Mega.

Who is your biggest musical influence?

Ooh...there are many. Most of people are probably expecting me to say At the Gates first, but I listen to a lot of music. I have a very wide musical perspective. I think its very important not to listen to only one type of music. That will truly make you boring. I listen to music like: Vader, Behemoth, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Red hot chili peppers, U2, Alanis Morissette, Lynrd Skynrd, Hellacopters, Turbonegro, Shakira...and the others in the band are all the same way. But, most people are correct when they say that we remind them of ATG, Hypocrisy and Carcass - because thats what we are: fast & agressive, heavy and melodic. And yes - we like all of the mentioned bands very much.

What is one question about Arise that you are never asked, but you would like to answer?

I don´t know really...maybe why we are doing this - but thats obvious. We don't earn any money for this, and we spend a whole lot of spare time instead of being with our girlfriends, and we do gigs sometimes almost for free - just because we love playing. The best thing to hear is when a fan is coming up to you after the show and tell you that you were amazing. That makes all this work worth it.

What are you currently listening to?

Right now I'm listening much to Turbonegro, Vile, Suffocation and some Swedish music with swedish lyrics. It´s never the same - next month I'm listening to some other stuff.

Random Question: Whats the funniest thing you have ever seen?

Thats a really hard question..I've seen a lot of weird stuff. But I remember seeing a German at the Wacken Open Air last year who had passed out on the ground where all the piss and shit came running from the toilets - and he was lying face down in it. If it would have been me, I would have killed myself the next day! As I said, I've seen a lot of these things. Its hard to pick any favourite ha-ha!

Thanks for your time! Anything you'd like to say in closing to the Harm.us readers?

I really hope to go to USA touring, so that our fans would be ablse to see us - because it's for you that we are doing what we do, and I think that everyone that likes our music should be able to see us. But that is not in our hands unfortunately. If it would, we had been everywhere already. Hope that you like the new album and I'm sure you will like the next one too! And keep visiting our homepage (www.ariseonline.com) and signing our guestbook - it means a lot to us.

August 29, 2003
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