The Vault Blog - MONTH: July, 2012

Behind the scenes: The Farewell tour is completely booked

With the addition of the Ieperfest in Belgium just before our Asian/Australian trip, we have confirmed the very last show of Nasum's Farewell tour. We thought we’d share something about the thoughts behind the shows we have done and will do.

One big issue has been to figure out exactly how many shows we should play. There are a lot of opinions about that particular matter, within the band as much as with fans. How many shows is enough? How much is too much?

Initially, we talked about only doing one exclusive show in Stockholm, Sweden to end it all. That idea was quickly discarded – we knew that there were a lot of people in all parts of the world that wanted to see this thing live and to share the farewell with us. It felt presumptuous to think that everyone who wanted to see Nasum could have the possibility to go to Sweden to see us blast. Even more importantly – we wanted to take the show on the road and and show you people what Nasum was supposed to be about. Besides, we would have to prepare and rehearse almost as much for one show as for an entire world tour. So what the hell, right?

In order for the shows to feel exciting, we decided to limit the amount and spread them out over a few months. And when we are done we will not play a single note again. We wanted to avoid milking this thing too much, and even more importantly, we wanted to make sure we had enough energy to blast full throttle all the way and make the performances as totally fucking blasting as Nasum shows were meant to be. Thus, three month tours and playing every pile of bricks imaginable was out of the question.

One thing was especially important: above all, this tour must be about having a good time. It should be about celebrating the great, great genre of grindcore, about honoring the ideas and history of Nasum, but also to get a chance to hang out, party and basically spend some insane times together. Everything else is secondary. This must not be a career move, a cash-in, a degradation of Nasum's legacy or something that would take advantage of Mieszko's tragic destiny. Grindcore in general, and Nasum in particular, is supposed to be about spitting in the face of the mainstream, about musical ferocity and jagged energy. We will not become what we despise.

With the conditions set in stone, we set out booking shows. Booking a tour that covers more or less the entire world in a very limited time frame is not something that’s done in a heartbeat. Since October of 2011, we have worked constantly with a booking agency to work out where we want to play, who is interested in having us, how we can make it work personally, etc etc. It's been a fucking ton of work. Visa applications, travel arrangements, designing, printing and ordering t-shirts, online stuff, trying to make ends meet, interviews, and a thousand other things has almost killed us. Many bands have a manager that takes care of all that boring biz, but in Nasum we choose to do as much as possible ourselves.

Even though we drew the line at one, or in some cases a few, show(s) per country, we somehow ended up with a daunting 61 shows! And still, there are many, many places we have been forced to leave out. Believe us, we really tried HARD to make it to Malaysia, South Korea, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Mexico, South Africa, and especially Indonesia and South America and other countries where there has been strong demand for Nasum. In some cases we couldn't find any time, in other cases we couldn't afford the travel, and in some cases sketchy concert organizers, or even religious holidays (!), kept us out.

Looking back now, we sometimes ask ourselves if we should have limited the amount of shows even more. But every (yes, every) show we have played this summer - from the first gig in Örebro via North America to the European summer fests, from the small, packed punk shows to the enormous festival stages - have been the best shows we have ever played. And we know we wouldn't have changed a single thing. As someone put it, ”doing this tour was a good call”, a pretty good summary.

Our expectations for shows ahead, from the Wacken, Vagos, Resurrection fests in Europe to Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, Japan and the final Euro tour in September/October, are through the roof.

We want to send special thanks out to Silvester, Greg, Martin and Johanna for working so hard to help us put this together, and huge kudos to our crew Janne, Antti and Hannes for going above and beyond to make the shows the blasting frenzy we want them to be. See you out there! NOW LET'S FUCKING GRIND!

Behind the scenes: Tattoos!

During the years I've seen a fair share of Nasum tattoos. Some in real life, some as pictures in emails. I've sent high resolution artwork to people who want to ink Nasum stuff into their skin, and since May 23 of this year I see one tattoo daily as I graced the inside of my wrist with the "A" in the logo.

Obviously the Nasum tattoo sightings have increased during the Farewell tour, and of course it's very flattering to see what people have done. And we want to see more of it. I encourage everyone with a Nasum tattoo to snap a picture and email it to us at and sometime in the future I'll compile some sort of gallery of all the pictures.

In the meantime, here's a few we've seen on the tour so far:

Travis Bacon from Grudges displaying two of his four Nasum tattoos. A clever mash-up with "Human 2.0" in the "Helvete" font. A quite odd logo tattoo spread over three parts of the body.

The ever so popular "Shift" icons and three versions of the "Grind Finale" artwork.

Behind the scenes: 2 year anniversary

Exactly two years ago today, the seed for the Farewell tour was planted during an Indian dinner in Stockholm. I've told this story in many interviews but since it's the anniversary, I'll tell it one more time.

It was during my Summer vacation. I decided it was about time to go to Stockholm and meet up with Jon, Jesper and Urban as it was quite some time since we last saw each other, especially all of us at the same time. We emailed back and forth for some time to set a date that suited us all.

The idea of getting together for one last time to say goodbye had been in my mind for quite some time, and I believe Jesper and I had talked slightly about it earlier, but it hadn't been properly discussed. So after a couple of drinks and some food and the usual small talk/catching up I unveiled my secret agenda for the meeting: One final Nasum show. Jesper was into it at once, while Urban and Jon were a little bit uncertain. I clearly remember Urban saying that he never even had thought of it earlier.

We discussed the pro's and con's for a while and someone - not me - suggested that we should do a tour instead of just one show, and that really got the ball rolling. Jon and Urban got into the idea and a few drinks later we had as a start decided to do a couple of rehearsals just to see how it would feel to play the songs again. And then we went and caught the last song of a Converge show.

Two years later we are a little bit more than halfway into the Farewell tour and what ever worries that have been bugging us during this two years are completely blown away: We made the right decision and we are having a hell of a good time.

Thanks for your support and hope to see you on the remaining dates of the tour!

Obscene Extreme and Ilosaarirock

On the very first Nasum recording, ”Blind World” - the split 7” EP with Agathocles, I wrote some lyrics to a song Rickard wrote. It was ”Scarecrows”, in which I described stale politicians as scarecrows ”on a field”. A few recordings later I wrote ”Black Visions” for the ”Smile When You’re Dead” split 7” EP with Psycho and yet again I used scarecrows as a description for politicians not doing Omega Replica anything. So the song got the parenthesis title ”(Scarecrows II”).

Then, yet another few recordings down the line, I concluded the trilogy with "The Final Confrontation (Scarecrows III)” on the ”World In Turmoil” 7” EP. I don’t know why this theme didn’t continue on further recordings (although that type of ignorant politician described as scarecrows certainly figured in numerous lyrics during the years), but now many Rolex Cellini Dual Time Replica years later ”Scarecrows IV” is here - as a t-shirt.

I was contacted by Darius Alas, an artist in Estonia who wanted to do a t-shirt design and when we started discussing ideas I re-read some old lyrics to see if there was something to work from and got stuck on ”Like scarecrows on a field, you stand stale and quite” - the chorus from the original ”Scarecrows”. That felt Nasumish and easy to work with from an artistic point of view.

So Darius got cracking and after a couple of weeks the design was finished and is now available from Selfmadegod Records. It’s a great design and doing a white t-shirt for a change felt really good and fitting for the design. Thanks a lot for your work, Darius!

Check out his design studio Midiankai Arts at Facebook.

Extremefests and Roskilde

Yet again we had extremely early flights from Stockholm and Helsinki and after a layover in Frankfurt we landed in a very hot Vienna where we were picked up by our Czech driver Tomas. For the Extremefest dates we slept in what could be described as a very large van with beds or a very small bus. It had nine casket like bunks where one had to be used for our guitars and other equipment. We were really crammed but it worked surprisingly fine, especially since the bunks got comfortably cool during the nights. During the first trip from the airport they were so hot that I doubted that we would be able to sleep at all. We have not been particularly graced with long nights during this tour so far, but during these dates we actually got a good night's sleep while Tomas drove like a champion.

One bus and one Tomas, and then the sleeping area.

Extremefest was a quite original set up with three three-day festivals at the same time at three different places and with three "packages" trading places with each other from day to day. Unfortunately they were quite poorly attended and I would guess that the organizers weren't that pleased with the ticket sales. Was it because of too many European festivals at the same time or because the Austrian and Swiss shows had to change locations? I can't say, but the one in Germany felt like the best one of the three and despite a quick and stressing changeover our best show of the three.

A quite dramatic vista during the German show.

During these dates we decided to change the setlist quite a lot from night to night, mostly to "air" some songs that we hadn't played in a while. That made all nights unique and fun. The headline band on all these nights was Suicide Silence that we sort of bonded with, which we are very thankful for - considering what happened after the third show… I'll come back to that later. They are a very professional band combining death metal with heavy breakdowns. Cool stuff, and we look forward to meeting them again at Wacken.

Traveling the way we did gave us a bit more time to kill than what we usually have, so in Pratteln, Switzerland, Jesper, Urban and I took a walk with our tour manager Janne down to the river Rhine and just sat there for a while. It's really nice to get away from walls of trigged bass drums, growling vocals and all the "extreme" stuff when you are on tour. Something that is really different gives you a lot more energy. Not that we were displeased with the venue Z7 where the Swiss Extremefest was held. On the contrary, it was a sweet return as Jesper and I were there during the Napalm Death tour in 2000. It's a cool place with outstanding in-house dinners.

Hanging out down by the riverside. This is actually two photos from two different cameras and different photographers, but the angle was almost identical that it was easy to combine them into one manipulated shot.

In Germany some time were killed by doing some technical work on the bass, and since that work was done by our crew I think it's about time they get a proper introduction. Antti is our front of house, our sound engineer - a very experienced dude with lots of ideas and obviously a great talent. After the show at the squat in Bologna a couple of weeks ago some people approached him and said that he had made the impossible - getting a good sound in that room. Talented for sure. Our other crew member is Hannes, whose main chore is to take care of the monitors, but he's doing so much more. He basically takes care of all our backline - together with Antti - and make our lives a little bit easier. Both guys are really professional and super nice, funny people so we are very pleased to have them with us. And then we have Janne, of course, who keeps track of everything just like a good tour manager should do.

Hannes, Antti, some hang-around that insists he's the bass player and Janne enjoying an alcohol-free beer.

After the Swiss show we had an early flight (what else…?) to Copenhagen, so we left at 4 in the morning and had just a short hourlong drive to the airport. When we got there we realized that we had forgotten our three backdrops at Z7! Janne got hold of the production manager at the venue who was just about to leave and he put the backdrops by Suicide Silence's bus as they were heading to Copenhagen with a later flight, and luckily they were able to bring the backdrops to Roskilde. You see why I felt that bonding with them was important? I seriously thought that we had seen the last of those backdrops. On another note Janne managed to forget his laptop at the security check-in in Zürich… Shit happens on tour…

Roskilde then - well, this is a festival that has been around since 1971 (!) and they obviously know what they are doing by now. What a professionally run festival! Everything was perfect and we could relax at the super cozy backstage area and have a couple of meetings. Many months ago we were approached by a film crew who wanted to shoot the show. We finally met the crew and talked through a number of ideas. In the end the show was shot by seven different cameras, where I had one of them strapped to my chest! I felt like Iron Man. We don't know what we will do with this recording in the end, but the film crew wants to incorporate as many sourced as possible so if you were at the Roskilde show and shot something with your phone, get in touch with and find out how to submit your video.

The fact that the show was filmed and also recorded by the Danish radio added an extra layer of tension to the show. Every little mistake felt like something massive, but in the end it was a fine show and a truly fine festival.

Next up: Obscene Extreme and Ilosaari and then a well-deserved break...

Nasum breathes black

In case you missed the announcement, Nasum will team up with Black Breath for the final leg of the Farewell tour. We feel that this is a really good package that will be completed with other bands as well. On all the Swedish dates Skitsystem will appear, and in Malmö doomsters Pyramido will play and in Stockholm Massgrav will grace the night with some blistering crust.

Speaking about the Stockholm show, this will be a FREE show. Nice, right?

There are a few TBA among the dates. These shows are booked, but can't be announced yet for different reasons. They will be quite soon, so keep visiting - your hometown might be on the list!

Peace and Love and With Full Force

We've had some strange weeks already, but I wonder if the Peace and Love/With Full Force weekend takes the price for the weirdest one in the end. Usually we fly somewhere, play, fly somewhere else, play and so forth. This time, as Peace and Love - which is Sweden's biggest festival - was just a few hours by car away from us we were able to drive to the festival, play, drive home and sleep in our own beds. Not the Finnish part of the touring party, obviously, but I guess it was as odd for them as it was for us Swedes.

Anyway: usually we end up on metal stages or whatever, but as this is a huge festival with "everything" on the bill, we shared stage with some debates and lectures about ungrinding things. Yet another addition to the weirdness. But never mind that - it was a small venue for music never the less so we did our shit and apparently did it good as the local press gave us five out of five for the show. I thought the show was okay, but apparently we are so far into the zone right now that we don't really know when we do really good anymore. We blasted shit to bits without knowing it.

Peace and Love vs. With Full Force

The weirdness of a day trip and a split debate/grind stage aside - that was nothing compared to what followed the next day. We did another day trip to Germany, but it was during the night and some shitty things happened… We had a stage time at With Full Force at 02.45 (which technically was Saturday morning) and we weren't even the last band on stage - not even the second last! Considering the late time, our flight was at 07.15 in the evening so we all had a lazy day before even getting to the airport. We had a round trip booked with Air Berlin, where the Finns and Jon would go to Helsinki on the following day as Jon was playing at Tuska with Victims. Oddly enough we got our boarding passes for the return trip already in Stockholm and in hindsight that might be the reason for the fuck up that was to come.

The flight was slightly late leaving Stockholm. The captain said that the "window" for the landing was full in Berlin so we might have to wait for 50 minutes before we could take off. 50 seconds later we took off… Weird. Anyway, about 90 minutes later we landed and waited for our luggage only to realize that four pieces of luggage were missing - two guitars, the cymbals, our backdrops and a big case of expensive microphones. After some detective work, it came to our knowledge that the luggage - all part of the Finnish party's booking - already had been checked in for the return flight, as if they wanted to fly from Stockholm to Helsinki via Berlin including an 8 hour layover… Not likely!

It took about an hour before we had all our shit and we went in the rainy night to With Full Force and got there about midnight. None of us weren't in a particularly good condition to play some grind at that point, but after some food and drinks the energy returned and we did a pretty good show for 40 minutes. An hour later we went back to the airport to catch our early flights. That's right, no sleep!

We split up in two parties and Urban, Jesper and I ended up on a flight that in the end got an hour late to Stockholm, so three very tired guys touched Swedish ground again around 11 in the morning. By that point, or even at the airport in Berlin, we had already forgotten that we had been on stage just a few hours earlier… Such a strange notion, but considering how weird this weekend was, it was no surprise.

Charity t-shirt for Obscene Extreme

For the Obscene Extreme Festival there will be a limited Nasum-esque charity t-shirt where all the profit goes to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). There will be only 100 copies available and the starting price is 350,- CZK but you can pay how much you want for your copy.

Read more about this at the OEF website.


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