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Illdisposed (band)
Back in July of 2011, I had the chance to sit down and interview Jakob “Batten” Hansen of the Death Metal band Illdisposed about their tenth full-length album, There is Light (But It’s Not for Me). One year later, I had the opportunity to review their follow-up, Sense the Darkness, thanks to Massacre Records. A chance to play catch-up and talk about this release arose, and I sent some more questions the band’s way, and Jakob answered the call once more!

Please note: This interview was returned in late September of this year. Due to computer issues, I was not able to retrieve the .doc file until recently. Sorry for the delay…

Last time I spoke with anyone of Illdisposed was back in July of 2010. Has everything been going well for the band since then? Any new positive or negative developments?

Yeah sure, we’ve been celebrating our 20th anniversary with a tour and a “Best of…” digital release. And then we’ve been busy writing and recording the new album.

Looking at the list of band members I see that Smukke Ken has joined the group on guitar in place of Franz Hellboss. Has he been adapting to the band well, or is there still room to connect the group?

It’s going very well with him. When he joined the band he already knew all of our songs. So it didn’t take that long to get him into the vibe.

Did Smukke contribute a good deal towards the material on Sense the Darkness, or was much of it already composed before he entered the picture?

Well, when he joined the band half of the new songs were already written. And then he needed to get completely into our music before he could write anything. So the one and a half songs he wrote were kind of last minute songs. But they both turned our pretty well I think.

Earlier this year, Massacre Records issued a best of compilation for Illdisposed. How did this idea come about? Was this something you and the label had been in talks with for a while?

It was something Massacre Records suggested that we did to mark our 20th anniversary and to have something to offer the new listeners who want some mixed highlights of our songs. It’s a digital only release so it’s pretty cheap.

Why did this compilation start at 2004 and not go back any further? Were there any problems getting the clearance for anything earlier, or even for the songs that appeared?

We could only use the songs that Massacre Records released or licensed. It’s impossible to make different labels co-operate on such a release.

Well, speaking of Sense the Darkness, this is your third through Massacre Records. Was this towards a contractual obligation, or did you present an album the label loved that they signed you for another release?

We’ve got a 3-album deal with Massacre and this is the 3rd release. So it was a contractual obligation.

Who was it that decided to release “Eyes Popping Out” as the internet single for Sense the Darkness, and why was this song chosen over, say, “Sense the Darkness” or “Stop Running?”

We decided that this was the right internet single because it’s fast and catchy, it’s a song we all like very much. And when we asked the label which song they would prefer to release they said “Eyes Popping Out” – so I guess it was the right choice.

What are Illdisposed and/or the label’s plans to further promote the album? Will there be another audio stream available prior to the release of Sense the Darkness, or anything else you can perhaps comment on?

We’re planning a tour in parts of Europe in November. And we’re having a big release party coming up in Copenhagen on the day of the release. We’re planning to shoot a video after the tour as well.

Listening to Sense the Darkness gave me the impression that Illdisposed wanted to keep their signature sound, but mess around with the intensity a bit, having some lighter songs, and some really heavy ones. Was this intended, or do the songs seem to vary more due to the production quality?

The album is back to basics. On the past few albums we’ve been goofing around with synths and electronics so I think it’s natural that we went back to the more basic way of playing deathmetal. It feels right.

I read that Tue Madsen did the production on Sense the Darkness. From what I read online this would be the first time working with him (please correct me if I’m wrong). What was the process and experience like, and would you work with him again on future albums?

It’s actually the 4th time we’re working with Tue Madsen. So we’re rather familiar with him. We’ve known him since the early 90’s when he was playing metal music himself. And the fact that his studio is just around the corner makes it all quite comfortable. He’s a guy with a lot of experience and a lot of skills. He knows how to cut a metal cake.

Illdisposed did a tour back in May. How did everything go? Any interesting stories you’d like to share, or any problems you’d like to mention?

We’re normally doing 2 tours a year and we’re not exactly sober all the time when we’re touring. So it’s all just a blurry mess, I can’t tell one tour from another. But our tours are usually doing well, we’ve got some dedicated fans everywhere we go. We do feel the metal scene going in the wrong direction at the moment though. It’s like people got fed up with concerts or something.

Will Illdisposed be hearing back out on tour to promote Sense the Darkness in the time coming, perhaps talks about heading over to North America at some point?

So far we’ve only got plans for Europe. We would really like to go to North America but the offers we’ve gotten so far were “pay to play” and we won’t do that. I think we need a good contact over there but as far as I know it’s as tough over there at the moment as it is over here.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention before I let you go?

Check out “Sense The Darkness”, you can already hear samples at Itunes. Cheers!

Thanks again for the interview! I hope everything goes well for you and the others, as well as with Sense the Darkness! Take care!

Illdisposed: Sense the Darkness
Interview conducted thanks to Massacre Records.