The Vault Blog

Shift: Drums & Scratch in the vault

The other week I found a box of CD-R's and DVD-R's with some different stuff on them. One actually had some scribblings on it and I realised that it was a "work in progress" CD from the recording of "Shift", with the drums and a scratch guitar.

As I started to listen to it I discovered not only one or two but THREE unifinished songs from the session, which made this a perfect addition to The Rare Nasum project. Of the 33 songs recorded for the session, I picked out a total of 10 including the three unifinished songs and made a digital album at Bandcamp.

Accompanying notes are available for your reading pleasure here at nasum.com.

I have loads of interesting stuff boxed up and every little dollar or EURO from each purchase of The Rare Nasum stuff is put aside and will sponsor a THOROUGH vault excavation after the summer. So loads of stuff will be added, most of it totally for free.

The vault has been updated



In case you have missed it, The Nasum Vault is where I collect different things from the years, be it exclusive audio recordings, videoclips, artwork or some written stuff.

Today the vault has been updated with some of the latter. I begun when I searched for something else over at Archive.org where snapshots of webpages are collected in the Wayback Machine. Some how I checked out the earliest snapshots of nasum.com and found some stuff that I had forgotten we had there.

To start, I found a tour diary from 2000 when we toured Europe for seven weeks with Napalm Death. That was from the time of the "Human 2.0" album and I also found a bunch of reviews that were fun to read. With those in place I had some "Human 2.0" related material and decided to add the liner notes from the 2014 LP reissue to the vault.

As I continued going forward in time in the Wayback Machine I found another tour diary, this time from 2003 when we did a shorter thing in Finland with Rotten Sound. That was quite a fun read.

This might not be as exciting as a rehearsal with unreleased stuff but it still fun stuff from the past that I wanted to add in the vault. With that said, I can tease that I plan to do a focused and thorough excavtion of the vault this coming fall. That might bring the really exciting stuff to light...

The show from a parellel world?



Today I got this image in the mail. It's a poster for a Nasum show at Kafé 44 in Stockholm together with Murder Squad. But: it didn't happen. And I can't even remember that it was supposed to happen! It's like it's a poster from a parallel world!

The date, September 29, is not a clue to this unknown show. Most likely the poster is from 2002 or 2003, but there are no other historic Nasum shows particularly close to that date that can boil it down to a certain year.

I have digested this for a few hours and I might have slight memories of a possible show with Murder Squad but that might be an afterthought. One possible explanation is that it was part of the “Helvete” tour that was cancelled due to different reasons, but it would surprise me a lot if Kafé 44 had made posters for the show.

So, it’s basically an enigma of huge proportions. If anyone has any info, please get in touch at nasum@nasum.com!

A new (sort of) release! A green tape!



It's time for a new Nasum release, if you by "new" mean "old shit rehashed in a new format", that is. This time it's a tape, a green tape to be specific and its content are the songs from the "Regressive Hostility" compilation CD, thus the release is called "Songs of Regressive Hostility".

Why is this released now, and why a tape and why a green tape in particular? Well, I will answer those questions:

Why now? This recording is one of my personal favorite recordings with Nasum. It's the second recording we did after I started playing the drums and doing part of the vocals. This was the first one in the first version of Soundlab Studios (then called Punkpalace) and the sound was far better than the previous recording ("The Black Illusions"/"World in Turmoil"), that had its definitive charm but was on the rough side. Anyway, I was – and still am – very proud of this recording and I have always thought that had it been a stand-alone Nasum release it would have been a classic. So, I have sort of been longing for an individual release of these songs for years and years.

Why a tape then? Well, last year, when the whole pandemic shit put the world on hold, I saw that my friend Doug Brown, the director of the "Slave to the grind" documentary and the man behind the Death by Digital label, asked if someone could help him with some Photoshop work for a few cassette releases. I said that I could do it and I helped to do the J-Cards for tapes with Agathocles, Meth Leppard and Lurid Panacea. Quite recently Doug asked if he could do something with Nasum and I thought of my old idea once again. I fooled around with a few different titles before settling on the most "on the nose", as I didn't want to give the impression that this was new or unreleased stuff, so it's named after what it is. The artwork I acquired after discovering a fan made Nasum t-shirt on Instagram. I got in touch will Ill Will that screen-printed a few t-shirts and we came to an agreement and I could use the design for future projects. I was going to do a t-shirt only first but it's such a good and fitting artwork that I really needed to use it as a front cover for the tape.

And finally, why green? This recording was done in 1997 and we had begun talking to Relapse about doing something together. I had previously done two demos with a band called Stationwagon where the first one was blue and the second green, and I had some green tapes left. So I recorded the songs on one of the leftovers and sent it too Relapse and they liked it and it eventually led to a record deal and obviously "Inhale/Exhale". At some point they referred to "that green tape" and it really stuck with me. I doubt that any of the current Relapse employees knows what "the green tape" is, but it stayed in my mind and it was of course obvious that this re-issue should be green!

So, completists or tape freaks, this is now available for order. It's limited, as it should, so act fast. The artwork is of course available as a black t-shirt with green print, but it is also done with grey print as the latest addition to the official merchandise selection over at Selfmadegod Records.

LINKS:
https://deathbydigital.bigcartel.com/
https://selfmadegod.com/

Live stuff from 2000 added to the vault!



This is a VHS from Fuck The Commerce III. A German festival held in 2000. This VHS has been laying around for years and I finally found time to rip it to digital. The result is... well, it's something for the die-hard fans!

Here are some notes about the festival and the clip, and you can also see the video embedded or at The Offical Nasum YouTube Channel.

Announcing The Nasum Vault with a free live show

In 2014 I started The Vault Blog as a way to publish "interesting, semi-interesting or uninteresting things" from my archives. It's been everything from rants with memories from tours to the origin of the Nasum logo and some audio and video goodies. Along the way The Rare Nasum was added as an audio feature over at Bandcamp. Currently there are two "rehearsal albums" available for download. I have also occasionally uploaded some video to The Official Nasum YouTube Channel. So it's been a bunch of stuff at different places.

Today I announce The Nasum Vault as a permanent part of nasum.com. It's basically a portal of sorts collecting all these different things in some kind of chronological order. It feels great to have everything organized in some way, which will make it easier to add things in the future, because that's the point of it all. The legacy of Nasum will be documented through The Nasum Vault.



To celebrate, as you should, I have uploaded a complete audio liveset to The Rare Nasum. As this is a pretty rough recording it's available for free (for a limited number of downloads, I am afraid) or "pay what you want". The source is a fanmade CD that was handed to me during the Farewell tour in 2012, but the actual show is from Berlin in 2004. Pretty cool!

Here's the show and here are a few notes that I wrote down, and The Nasum Vault is right here!

Rare Helvete rehearsal released!



Today would have been Mieszko's 46th birthday and to celebrate this I have excavated something from the massive, not really, Nasum vault: A rehearsal for the "Helvete"-session 2002! This is quite cool stuff as it has early versions of album songs that differ in some cases quite a lot from the final versions.

A few years ago I found a rehearsal tape with songs, some never finished, from the "Inhale/Exhale" sessions and created a page at Bandcamp called The Rare Nasum. This "Helvete"-rehearsal is the second installment, and I hope to release more stuff in the future.

I have written some comments to a few the songs which could be interesting reading material for the die-hard fans. Check it out here!

Anyway, raise a glass for Mieszko tonight (he was a whiskey guy) and have a listen to this old historic recording that never before has been heard by anyone outside of the band!

Preorder new/old merch!



Today the merchandise page has been updated with four ”new” Nasum t-shirt designs. I have decided to do a new round of ”on demand” printing for the fans. It’s not ”on demand” in the common sense, but almost. To begin with I did a little research on the Nasum Facebook page regarding which past designs people was interested in. A lot of people wanted to see the old Shift and Red Factories again. As I always think bands should offer a plain logo t-shirt I added that to the lot and as a special bonus I decided to do a reimagining of the first Nasum design ever, the Blind World t-shirt.

So those four are available now in sizes S to 4XL. The preorder window is open from May 26 to June 10, then I will order all the t-shirts that has been preordered AND paid. Last time I did this, I did do a few extras of the common sizes (S to XL) but I am not entirely sure I will do that this time. So if you really want one of these designs, order and pay before June 10!

One final thing: from now on I will only accept payment in SEK, which is easily done for those using PayPal. The currency rates are always going up and down so it’s much easier to have a fixed price in SEK. I have added aprox. prices in EUR and USD on the page to give you a ballpark figure of what the price is.

So place your orders at the merchandise page, use the GREEN BUTTON to the right to place your order!

Human 20.0



Today, April 18 2020, is the 20th anniversary of ”Human 2.0”, the second Nasum album. Wow, time flies…I guess I should start with thanking Ove Wiksten of Sayyadina who reminded me one day in advance. If not for him, I would have totally missed this anniversary.

I’ve written a lot of stuff about ”Human 2.0” over the years. There’s the detailed discography entry here at nasum.com and there’s the liner notes in the vinyl reissue from 2014. Since only those who got the LP have read it, I dug out the original ”manusscript” (actually from 2009) that was a bit longer and reused most parts of it to this this birthday blog. Here we go:

As we were about to record our second album, a lot of things had happened with the band: We had had something of a little success with “Inhale/Exhale”, we had gone from a duo to a three piece with Jesper as the bass player, we had started to play live and we also had changed the tuning of our guitars. From “Human 2.0” and through out the career we played with a drop-A tuning that I introduced on a recording we did between the albums. I was aiming for an even heavier sound but what the drop-A tuning really did was bring more harmonies to the sound. Just by changing one string we were able to strike chords that sounded different from your average grindcore band. This was an important key to the Nasum sound that was developed even further on "Helvete" and "Shift".

We went into the process of making “Human 2.0” with a different mindset. We were thinking “album” and not a collection of songs as was the case with “Inhale/Exhale”. We knew what kind of songs we needed to write to get a good variety and make a more complete product. We decided to split the recording into two sessions, mainly to spread out the vocal recordings. The recordings was done in the same garbage smelling basement as "Inhale/Exhale" but on updated equipment. After the two sessions, Soundlab moved to another location and built a new studio from scratch. It was in this studio Mieszko and I listened to the mastered album for the first time digging the song but wondered what happened to the sound.

Unfortunately “Human 2.0” was blessed or cursed, depending on how you see it, with a strange production. It sounds gritty and broken and while some have declared it impossible to listen to, others loved the crushing sound of the album. I think it’s kind of interesting how the production is a counterpart to the very clean and white album cover. At that point every band had very dark covers and we wanted a white one to have the album stand out, thus starting a sort of color theme for all the Nasum releases ("Inhale/Exhale" - brown/yellow/sepia, "Human 2.0" - white, "Helvete" - red, "Shift" - black/gold, and "Grind Finale" - blue/green).



We had a meeting with our artist and photographer Robert Ahlborg discussing the options. We wanted something sick to be enhanced by the white theme, and Miezsko had the bizarre idea of having Robert photoshoping us as corpses, an idea that eventually ended up as the "execution" photo. Robert shot pictures of a skinny friend of his and painted the chords and holes and added the logo tattoo in Photoshop.The "execution" photo has a story of its own as it was conceived under very different circumstances. Robert shot (with his camera, that is) the picture of Mieszko and I in his apartment which was just under mine. He then moved to Stockholm and it was there the picture of Jesper was shot, and Robert then managed to combine everything into one final picture of the three of us. The image was supposed to be only on the album but each and every publication wanted to use it. I don't blame them, as the picture is very cool, but I have always thought that the splatter behind me looks like a stupid hat!

As you might have figured out, we payed a lot of attention to artwork and photos and all that, but everything came out of the title "Human 2.0". The year was 1999 and it was all about the new millennium, the big change or the final act. The media was covered with worries about the Y2K bug that would end all electronic devices and systems. It was also a couple of years into the Internet revolution and updates of programs and applications were released in their point-something versions. It was also the year of "The Matrix" which had an enormous affect on us and all this combined became the "Human 2.0" concept. Now, this "modern" title was a clever choice, as it was almost too easy to call the Japanese version, "updated" with a few bonus tracks, "Human 2.01". I believe we talked about naming the vinyl version "Human 2.02", which unfortunately never happened.

Contrary to “Inhale/Exhale” more than 50% of the songs made it into our live set and most of them stayed there for most of the career. A prime example would be Mieszko’s “Shadows” which is one of the fan base’s favorites, perhaps due to its melodic qualities. But also songs like “Mass Hypnosis“, “A Welcome Breeze Of Stinking Air”, “Fatal Search“, “Corrosion”, “Multinational Murderers Network”, “Words To Die For”, “The Black Swarm”, “The Idiot Parade” and “Den Svarta Fanan” were frequently played live, the last two glued together to almost an overdose of aggression often played last during the shows.

“Alarm” is a song that we tried a few times but it never got into the set. I wrote the lyrics after we had recorded the song as the hollering guitar note in the intro sounded like an alarm, so that inspired the lyrics. “Resistance” was probably the first song written for the album. It’s a very strong song that never was played live. The closing track - “Sometimes Dead Is Better” - is something as grindcore unorthodox as it is a love song, or rather a broken heart song. As with “Can De Lach” on “Inhale/Exhale” it was evident during the writing process that it should close the album. Listen closely during the last parts and you will be able to hear a bass guitar solo, which also is quite unconventional.

The tracks that were excluded from the album were chosen by reasons that I can’t really remember today. One song - “A Bloodbath Displayed” - were given to a compilation, while the others laid dormant until the release of “Grind Finale”. As I wrote in the liner notes then, these songs could today easily have been on the album instead of some other songs.

The many covers of Nasum



Last week, in the midst of all the Corona madness, the third official tribute album to Nasum was released. Yes, there are THREE full albums of Nasum covers available. In 2009 Power-It-Up released the international "A Tribute to Nasum" with 53 bands, two years ago, Playloud Records put out "Indonesian Tribute to Nasum" with 28 bands from Indonesia, and this week "A Brazilian Tribute to Nasum - Mieszko Lives" with 40 - yes, you guess it - Brazilian bands was released by The Grind Records.

That gives a total of 121 bands on these three records. But there are plenty more bands that has covered Nasum over the years. I just heard Slavestate from Belgium doing some blasting all though they officially are a sludge band.

It's very weird being the object of three full albums of tributes. How did that happen? Imagine if I could travel back in time to 1983-84 and tell that little boy that just had decided to start playing the drums and had no song writing capabilities whatsoever, that roughly 35 years late his music would be covered by bands all over the world... It's WEIRD in capital letters! What excites me the most is that the stuff I have been a part of has inspired so many bands and that they really have listened to the songs when they learned them. I am happy about some of the odd song choices some bands have made. Really cool.

But it's still very weird to listen to the albums. To be perfectly honest, not a lot of these 121 bands have managed to play the songs as they were written. Some are slightly wrong and others have completely failed to play the riffs. But that's understandable - it's not particularly easy picking out a riff when it's played with a raw guitar tone to blasting drums. I have recorded my fair share of covers during the years and I would guess that not a lot of them are 100 percent perfect. I remember back during the "Helvete" sessions when we recorded Napalm Death's "Unchallenged Hate". I had listened to two studio recordings and looked closely to "The DVD" and managed to pick out the song, but when we played it for Shane Embury when he came to record some bass for us, he said that it wasn't entirely right. And last year, I picked out the song "Dragnet" with Napalm Death, which was close to impossible to get right. There were two mixes from "Scum" to listen to and a chaotic live rendition I found on YouTube. And there were also some tabs and midi versions online that were completely wrong. In the end it was just a matter of making a logical version of what I thought I heard.

And that might be it. I believe every song writer has as a certain gallery of melodies and patterns when they write riffs that are based in taste and logic and when picking out some other song writers stuff that gallery is applied on what you think you hear. It becomes the logical rendition of the songs - unless you hear it completely clear.

I think a lot of bands have done this on these tribute albums. "This must be the logical way the song is written". And again, that's understandable and fine, but it really fucks with my head when listening to the songs! If someone really KNOWS the Nasum songs, it's me. All though I can't play them all on guitar I know every melody, nuance, rhythm and detail and when something isn't right, it really messes me up. It's like if someone was to list the members of the Beatles and repeatedly saying that they are John, Paul, George and Bingo. It's almost right but it isn't!

And again - for the third time - I understand this and I am very fine with it! For me it's very obvious when a band has gone that extra mile to get as close as possible (but adding their own touch along the way). That I appreciate, as well as every time I hear a drummer mimicking a detail I added to the song just to keep myself entertained. That is very cool.

I'm not going to list any favorites or rank the songs on these tributes. I am just happy that they exist and that I have inspired these bands with something. Perhaps they found something new in Nasum's music when they learned the song that they can develop in their own stuff.

YouTube bonanza!

A TRIBUTE TO NASUM (POWER-IT-UP, 2009)



INDONESIAN TRIBUTE TO NASUM (PLAYLOUD, 2018)
[Only 5 out of 28 songs...]



A BRAZILIAN TRIBUTE TO NASUM - MIESZKO LIVES (THE GRIND, 2020)

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