Dimwind Founder Jonas
"We've Got To Take Care Of This Planet"
Dimwind recently released their great debut album "Slow Wave Violence". Because I was so enthusiastic about the record, I decided I needed to do an interview with founder Jonas. We talked about the album, climate change and the connection between heavy music and veganism.
Anne: Hi Jonas, thanks very much for taking the time for this interview! Congrats on your excellent debut album "Slow Wave Violence"! Do you like it?
Jonas: Hi Anne, it's my pleasure! Thanks for doing this. Yes, we are delighted with the outcome. It's the first time we decided to make a full-length album. Previously, with other bands, we've only released singles and demos. So it was a fulfilling challenge to write a coherent body of work.
"It was a fulfilling challenge to write the album"
Jonas and Andreas aka Dimwind. Picture: Dimwind
Anne: How long did it take you to record it? Did you do some of the work remotely due to the pandemic situation?
Jonas: Writing and recording go hand in hand for us. When a song is written, we record it and then move on to the next one. So from beginning to end, maybe 18 months or so.
Our way of writing is already quite pandemic-safe. After drums are recorded on the groundwork of the song, Andreas writes different melodies and records guitar, bass and keyboards in his home studio. And then we discuss all details back and forth via text, which usually leads to some darlings being killed, some curse words are mentioned (or invented), but in the end, we have a song that reflects our vision from back in the rehearsal room when it was born.
"We wanted to create some narrative with instrumental music"
Anne: What's the story behind the album? Does it tell one? The title kind of assumes there could be one.
Jonas: That was another challenge, to create some narrative with instrumental music.
But yes, there is a story. We won't reveal our take on it, but the artwork, titles and samplings ties together. One has to make their own interpretation, which might differ from ours, but that's just interesting.
Anne: The album lives from its spontaneous-seeming changes, which lead to a very well-balanced mix of lightness and gloom. Is this how life is?
"Our music reflects life"
Jonas: I guess so. I'm not sure whether we're reflecting on life when making music or escaping it. We try to be as dynamic as possible to create this balance you're referring to, simply cause we like it that way, the music gets more interesting, we think. But we can't get too gloomy in the music!
Anne: You told me that you want to push boundaries with your music. Although it's quite post-metal(ish), it's clearly inspired by several other genres, which I love. Why is it that music (most of the time) seems to need to fit into a specific genre to attract certain audiences? I can imagine this quite exhausting for a musician who gets inspired by so many types and forms and styles of music. I mean: Come on! We all don't listen to just one genre, do we? Or are most people consuming music like this?
Jonas: I totally agree with you there. The epithet "post", be it -rock or -metal, is something we describe ourselves with by exclusion method, in lack of better-fitting genres, in an attempt to address listeners that might like what we do. We could just as well call it "heavy music". We are not conforming to fit any form, but rather trying to find the right term that fits our expression. But it seems to be essential to brand your sound to reach an audience.
"Melancholy can be inspiring"
And heck yeah, we listen to a variety of music and genres. Even if we both grew up on all kinds of metal, we have broadened our input with age.
Anne: What inspires you when you are writing new songs? Is it other music? Nature? A certain feeling?
Jonas: I think it's impossible not to get inspired by other music unwittingly. Your frames of reference construct what you devour, which in our case is all kinds of music. In most situations, we just use our last song as a take-off point and create something different that feels fresh and fun to work with. But a feeling of melancholy and some kind of movement is always the backbone of the process.
Anne: Would you say it's more the negative feelings that drive you to write a new song then? Or the positive ones?
"Our writing process always starts with jamming"
Jonas and Andreas aka Dimwind. Picture: Dimwind
Jonas: Can't say that we are driven to write by negative feelings, but maybe we get an outlet through music. I think that is true for most musicians and artists alike. Regardless of the mood, we always start a writing process by just jamming and see what happens, and when suddenly there is a mutual smile going on, we know we're on the right track.
Anne: When I wrote my review on "Slow Wave Violence", you sent me a picture of Andreas and you sitting in front of some lockers. Where was it taken? Looks like an ice skating rink?
Jonas: Hehe, that's an eerie locker room right next to our rehearsal studio. Andreas has his own business, and we've set up our studio in his storage room. It's in the basement of a building for municipal workers, and hygiene is probably not a top priority for them. You should see the toilet! If habitat reflected the outcome of one's creation, we would play the most lo-fi black metal you'd heard.
Anne: There was a time before Dimwind. Do you want to tell me about your former projects?
We know each other since 1998
Jonas: Me and Andreas met back in 1998 and had a couple of bands that played some sort of melodic death(ish) metal, typical of that era.
Around 2005 we settled as a duo and played a more progressive/post-metal kind of style, under the name Sizm. We made songs that only saw the light of day on MySpace. After 2009 we took a more or less involuntary hiatus due to kids being born and other circumstances. But in 2016, we revitalized Sizm with a vocalist and are still active and releasing music on streaming platforms, but at a very slow pace. It's actually that slow workflow that made us start Dimwind to be recreational without considering other members. For the moment, Dimwind is our main priority.
Anne: OMG MySpace! I loved it so much! Where has all the time gone?
Let's get to a completely different topic. You told me that you are no longer eating any meat. Congrats on that decision! What/who convinced you to give up on eating animals?
"Most people can do something to reduce their climate footprint"
Jonas: Well, when we talked about subjects that struck me as common ground for us, you being the "Rock 'n' roll vegan" after all!
It was a decision that came naturally when I met my wife some 18 years ago since she had given up meat already. I'm not totally vegan, though; I don't eat pork, beef and chicken. I was already leaning towards that way of thinking, so it felt like the right way to go anyway.
We've got to take care of this planet together. If everybody can "sacrifice" something, we could better the odds. I mean, everyone doesn't need to go vegan. I'm sure most people can do something to reduce their climate footprint. You know, like cutting out meat two or three days a week or taking the bike instead of the car to work some days (if possible) or make any other active decisions to turn things around so that at least a few more generations can walk the earth before it's too late.
Yes, I know the big difference is made higher up on a political level, and I really hope significant changes for the better are coming soon. I'm afraid we're fucked anyway, but it would feel even worse just to give up.
"People are getting more aware"
Anne: Why are still so few people vegans or vegetarians? Do you think that will change over the next few years?
Jonas: Despite my dark outlook on the future for humankind, I think people are getting more aware. You have to literally live under a rock not to get the message anyhow. But a lot of folks are still too lazy and comfortable to care, though. Of course, food and animal keeping is not the sole reason for climate change. But it would make a massive impact if millions did a shift in their lifestyle whilst the politicians got their shit together.
Anne: There are so many people in the biz who decided to quit meat-eating at some point. Do you think there is a connection between music and veganism?
Musicians may be prone to decide to become vegan
Jonas: There was a huge trend in Sweden during the 90's with the straight edge movement and all hardcore and punk bands that followed. At the time, I only absorbed the music, though. But if not eating meat equals rebellion, then yes, I think musicians and other artists may be prone to make such choices.
Anne: Enough about food. What's up next for Dimwind? Are there any ongoing projects? A tour coming up?
Jonas: The evergoing plan is always to write new music. Touring, on the other hand, will most likely never going to happen. The creative process drives us more. We have some really exciting plans for a collaboration with another artist shortly. But that's in its infancy, so I don't want to jinx anything by telling too much. But if all goes well, the next release you'll hear from Dimwind will be with vocals. Speaking of which, isn't that's some genre-defying behaviour for an instrumental act?
Anne: Thank you very much for this very sympathetic interview!
Jonas: Thank you so much for doing this interview Anne, it was nice talking to you!