JONAS ERIKSSON – «We were the loudest in the town…»


On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the album «Headstones», we decided to talk about the times of LAKE OF TEARS formation and the period when albums that have become classics were recorded with a member of the original cast of the group, ex-guitarist – Jonas Eriksson.

– You, Daniel and Mikael played in the band CARNAL ERUPTION. No information about this project is available. Please tell us what musical style it was. 

– Well I’m not sure there’s very much to tell except from maybe that this became the seed of LAKE OF TEARS and this was also the first moment for some of us that we ever picked up an instrument. And everything that came from that and made our sound at the time :) I’m mean we even had our friends to come over to help us tune and stuff like that. But I would say it was from the beginning not so far from early sound of LAKE OF TEARS. Maybe a notch darker and heavier. Especially it was loud. Loudest in town.

– Was there a strong metal community in Borås in the early 90s?

– I think at this time it was pretty good actually. And I guess that’s a part of what helped us up and going. There was death metal bands like CEMETARY, EVOCATION, BESEECH and heavy metal band CRYSTAL EYES. And EVOCATION and CRYSTAL EYES still going strong.

– Did you use any materials made for CARNAL ERUPTION later in LAKE OF TEARS?

– To be honest I couldn’t say. Maybe some riffs or stuff like that.

– Album «Greater Art» was recorded in just two weeks. For a debut album it was sold quite well, but there were almost no concerts.

– I think we did a few gigs in Sweden, but not many. I guess that was the situation for us at the moment. It all went really quick for us. From when we started to play until we did our first demo it was like 9 months. And at once we got a record deal with Black Mark. 

– The booklet of «Greater Art» says that all the guitars for the album were recorded by Daniel. You did not take part in the studio work, did you?

– At the moment I had an employment and I couldn’t get the time off basically.

– To record «Headstones» you needed twice more time. Today, after 20 years since its release, I can safely say – the album had become a cult, and most of the songs from it have become the hallmark of the group. In what atmosphere did you record the material?

– It was in a studio in the north part of Sweden and we were kind of isolated. 

So for the time of recording it was basically only us in the band hanging around. Not much to do late at night either. I think that had a big influence on the whole experience. Without going in to much details :)

– Did Ulf Petterson play an important role in the success of «Headstones»?

– I would say he was kind of crucial for this one. Because of our lack in experience and he did some great work for us with the atmosphere on this record.

– I have listened to this disc more than once, but did not understand – what composition has Annica Karlsson’s vocal?

– She’s singing with Daniel in the refrains on «The Path of The Gods…»

– Immediately after the release of «Headstones» You went to «Live's But A Dream Tour» in Poland. Was it the first tour of LAKE OF TEARS? Please share with us your memories of this journey. Certainly there were a lot of funny episodes.

– Yes this was the first real tour for LAKE OF TEARS. I’m sure the was a lot of things happening on this tour but my memory is very good, but short :) I do remember we had the local newspaper from our hometown coming along. And that was a god thing because driving of the ferry in Kiel we were to back drunk to drive so the reporter helped out =) In Poland we also stayed in some shady places with women sitting in the corridors waiting for young men with money. We didn’t have much money!

– Video of the concert in Sosnowiec (Poland) is available on YouTube. Your set list was supplemented by a cover on the «Paranoid» by BLACK SABBATH. Was it only once, or you did you play covers regularly that time?

– I think we did play it all through this tour. 

– What did you do after your return from Poland? I am asking because next live shows of LAKE OF TEARS are only in the spring of 1996. Perhaps you've been writing the script for the video clip «Raven Land» all this time :)

– Well some twenty years later it’s har to remember. But I guess we did some small shows in Sweden. The video was a great experience and was made with the help from lots of friends.

– In 1996 at the end of May – beginning of June LAKE OF TEARS had some shows in Germany. 

– Yes It was the Summer Metal Meeting with bands like SAVATAGE, TIAMAT, VADER, CREMATORY, ICAD EARTH and THE GATHERING.

– Did you leave the band after the tour in Germany? What were the reasons of your leaving?

– The short answer is, I was a bad lazy guitar player :)

– Did you participate in any other musical projects? And when was the last time you played the guitar?

– No I basically haven’t played any guitar since late 1996. Except from some riffs in my bedroom maybe. Still have the guitar though. My son uses it now and takes lessons. He’s probably already (13) a better guitar player than I was.

– Do you still communicate with your former colleagues? Have you heard last LAKE OF TEARS albums?

– I run in to them occasionally. And I try to listen the new albums to see progress. 

– What kind of music do you like now?

– I listen to all kind of music. Progressive rock, Metal, soul, funk, jazz. Basically every genre. I love artists like Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, THIN LIZZY, RUSH, PINK FLOYD, FUNKADELIC, James Brown, Sean Rowe, etc. List could go on for ever. 

– Now you are a Creative Brewer. I think it is the dream job. Do you really drink beer all day and being paid for it? :) Seriously please describe your job responsibilities. It’s very interesting.

– I used to be a homebrewer and finally me and two friends decided to start a small craft brewery. Said and done we were up and running in January this year. And now we deliver our beer locally in my hometown. We will see how this will progress. But it’s still more like a professional hobby. And we still have our daytime jobs. And brewery on week nights and weekends.

– In Russia we don’t have much Swedish beer, only Old Gold and Öl Mörk Lager in IKEA and a few types of Omnipollo in specialized beer shops. What Swedish beer you would definitely recommend to try?

– I would say Brekeriet, Brewski, All in Brewing maybe. To name some of the great new breweries in Sweden. Omnipollo is great to I think.

– There were a few craft breweries which produce a decent product opened in Russia in the recent years. Do you know any Russian beer? 

– No unfortunately not.

– You are a fan of London «Chelsea», right?  How did you become a fan of the club?

– I’ve been a «Chelsea» fan for about 15 years now. Before Abramovitj :) actually it started with FIFA, the TV game in the end of the 90’s. And from that moment «Chelsea» was the team.

– In November Swedish National Team will participate in the play-offs for the right to take part in Euro 2016. We wish you good luck!

– Thanks!

– Thank you, Jonas that you agreed to answer our questions, and gave us a chance to go back in the glorious 90s for a moment. We wish you success and good luck!

– My pleasure. Thanks and cheers!!!


Boris Rodionov, Ksenia Gorina

October 2015

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JONAS ERIKSSON – «We were the loudest in the town…», 8.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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