The Vault Blog

The Studio Guestbook Pages

In May I did a little recording with my new band Axis of Despair, and we did it in Soundlab Studios. The studio still exists and bands record there every now and then, but not as frequently as in the old days. While in the studio I flipped through the old guestbooks where the visiting bands wrote and drew shit while killing time in the studio. As did Nasum, and on the last day of the recording I brought a scanner to make digital copies of the Nasum pages in the books.

There were ten entries in the books, from the first real recording in Soundlab (the "Regressive Hostility" compilation tracks) to the final one ("Shift", obviously). Here you have them with some additional comments. Click on the images for larger versions.

Recording #1, June 1997

This recording was primarily done for the "Regressive Hostility" compilation and we recorded 16 tracks for it plus a Discharge cover for a tribute album. That's basically what's written on the page. It's pretty clean for a guestbook entry, and obviously I spent quite a long time drawing the Nasum logo as precise as possible.

Recording #2, December 1997 - January 1998

Oh yeah, it's the mighty "Inhale/Exhale" session! It was done on real tapes and the lengthy entry is actually a list of the three tapes it took to make the recording. The die hard fans can notice one thing - or actually four things as there are a couple of songs not featured on the album in the list. Track 13: "Truth Fed Through a Tube", track 25 "Need some…", track 27 "Dark Thoughts" and finally track 36 "Crash".

If you have read the lengthy liner-notes to "Grind Finale" you might remember that I couldn't find copies of these tracks in time for the production of the compilation, apart for one song, which I opted to exclude mostly because it sucks, but also as I felt it was incomplete without the other three. The song I found was "Dark Thoughts". I have slight memories of "Truth Fed Through a Tube" and "Crash" and no memory at all of "Need Some…". It's been well over 15 years since I heard those songs, but I am still looking for them. If I ever find them, I will make them public, even if they suck...

Yet again, these pages are pretty clean and with a good rendition of the logo...

Recording #3, October 1998

A "ten hour session", according to the page, where we recorded eight tracks. Four that we sent to Relapse for multiple uses (in the end they became the split 7" with Warhate) and four that were supposed to end up on a very exciting split 5" box set that never happened. Read the "Grind Finale" liner-notes for the whole story.

Pretty clean page this time as well, and the logo came from a promo sheet or poster for "Inhale/Exhale". Notice the old shortcut URL

Recording #4 - part 1, October 1999 and part 2, November 1999

The "Human 2.0" recording was divided into two two-week sessions and about a month between the sessions. The idea was an attempt to avoid destroying our voices, which didn't really work that well. The little word balloon in the lower left corner says that my throat hurts.

This is a weird entry. In a quite short form and with a Yodaesque language, it reports what we did and where we ate (!) each day. All righty, then… On day 13 we "show went", which meant we went to a show, and if I remember things correctly it was a Neurosis/Today Is The Day show in Stockholm. Imagine that.

According to the first page, Jesper recorded his bass tracks in just two days. That's good.

Recording #5, March 2000

This is the only recording session in the history of the band where we went into the studio solely to recording one song. It was a Carcass cover for the "Requiems of Revulsion" tribute. We recorded "Tools of the Trade" with the almighty Lord Mazza (ex The Project Hate) supplying a Bill Steer-ish quitar solo.

Most of the page is covered by the actual lyrics to the song and the logo was obviously made just for this page… Perhaps it should have been a t-shirt design?

Recording #6, August 2000

This was the recording for the Asterisk* split 7". Another quite clean page and this time a "Human 2.0" sticker was sacrificed to supply the logo.

Recording #7, May 2001

The by far messiest page we did. It's quite embarrassing to read this. I tried to write something in the same style as many other bands who wrote funny journals about their recordings. This isn't really that funny, and today it just feels like a poor attempt to be cool. One funny thing is that a working title called "Krångel-Jeppe" is mentioned in the text, which most likely is referring to the Jesper written "X Marks the Spot" on the split 7" with Skitsystem, as it's that recording session. And "Krångel-Jeppe" himself drew the little guitar player saying "Naagnum" (a call back to a poster in Spain on the tour with Napalm Death back in 2000)...

Recording #8, November 2002 - January 2003

I believe I did the Napalm Death-ish logo, but that's my only contribution to the page for the "Helvete" session. The other stuff is the signatures from all the guests, Shane Embury, Jörgen Sandström, Rickard Alriksson and Mazza once again. Cool stuff!

Recording #9, June - July, 2004

As a sad ending to this story, the entry for the "Shift" session is quite sad in it's own way. I made the tape logo during the first days of the recording and then never wrote anything on the page. Mieszko wrote "A record to piss people off!", which it did when we switched record labels. The boss' name is on top of the page.


Before posting this I remembered that the old Unisound guestbooks were featured on and in the "brown" one I found one Nasum page. It's not dated but by viewing the pages before and after this entry it's pretty clear that it was made during the "Smile when you're dead"/"Grindwork" session.

Not much to say, a pretty messy page, from a time when we had long hair and beards. Mieszko has written some anti-black metal remarks, and Rickard obviously had some issues with the band namn Crux Mortis, while I promoted my amp setup (yes, this was from before my drumming phase) - a Peavey bass amp and a Boss DS-1...

And by that, this little excursion in the vault is over!

A tale about Corpse, Flesh and Genitals

During the first couple of years of Nasum's existence, Mieszko was pretty new to the underground world. His way into the extreme music came from "overground" records, so as we became friends I educated him slightly making some copies of classic demos and such. Soon Mieszko felt the urge to contribute to the scene in some way, and decided to make a compilation tapes. In case someone doesn't know what a compilation tape is, it was a mix tape with songs from bands that decided to send a demo to the comp-tape producer who made up a track list, did an insert and gave it a cool name.

Mieszko's compilation tape was dubbed "Corpse Flesh Genitals", which was his humorous way to pin point the three main ingredients in gore related lyrics. So he contacted a few bands and got some songs. Looking at the track list today, it's a really good collection, but what made this particular compilation tape stand out is that it actually features a few - at least at the time - exclusive songs. The Edge of Sanity track "Pernicious Anguish" was one of the first songs they wrote in their early days, but this version was an unreleased re-recording (possibly from the "Spectral Sorrows" session) that didn't get officially released until 1999. Even more rare is the Necrony song "Protest and Survive" - a Discharge cover recorded at the same time as "Pathological Performances". It's so rare that it isn't available on YouTube!

I don't know how many copies Mieszko made of the tape, perhaps a hundred, but it was a cool release. I actually did the insert and a little booklet that I didn't find at the moment on my old, old Macintosh LC II. The "gore" you can see in the background was a photo of a squashed hedgehog that Mieszko found at the side of a road…

I remember that he planed for a second volume, with some international bands - all of the bands on the first volume were Swedish - and Nasum wrote and recorded a "theme song" for the compilation, of course entitled "Corpse Flesh Genitals". That song also remained in the vaults until "Grind Finale" was released, but it was never released as intended as the second volume was never made.

Later Mieszko started a fanzine together with a friend, the tabloid sized "Scenkross" and continued to contribute to the scene with the "Grindwork" compilation MCD. But it all started with Corpse, Flesh and some Genitals…

Nasum vs. American festivals

As many of you know, it's the Maryland Death Fest weekend. It's all over my Facebook feed and it made me think of when Nasum played there two years ago. This year Nasum is "back" as Jon is playing with Victims at the festival.

Well, the thought of Nasum's day at MDF made me think of all the American festivals Nasum appeared at, which aren't that many, and thought I'd share a few stories straight out of my memory bank. So here it is:

The Overly Long and Wordy History of Nasum vs. American Festivals

Part one: Milwaukee Metalfest XIII, July 31, 1999

This was my first show as a drummer in Nasum and it was Jesper's first as a bass player in Nasum and come to think of it, it was actually Mieszko's first show as a guitar player in Nasum. And it was Nasum's third show ever. What's up with that? Well, the first two Nasum shows ever had a quite odd line-up where I played the guitar (semi-poorly), Mieszko played the bass and we both shared vocal duties. Behind the drum kit we had temporarily put Perra Karlsson, a Swedish death metal legend, who did a great job. Well, that's really a story for another time - back to Milwaukee, IL.

Actually, back to Lancaster, PA. We had arrived in the US a few days prior to the first show of an eleven date long tour we did with fellow Relapse bands Soilent Green, Today Is The Day, Exhumed and Morgion. The festival wasn't really part of the tour, but it was the beginning of our first US tour. Anyway, we landed in Philadelphia and travelled for two hours to Lancaster where the Relapse offices were at that point. We hung out at the office for a day or so while the staff members packed a lot of shit to sell at the festival. Now, there's a pretty long distance between Lancaster and Milwaukee and I was more or less sure that we would fly there. "No, we're driving" they told us. "It'll take 16 hours". I was flabbergasted. I had never taken part of such a long drive earlier, but the Relapse guys acted like it was just another day at the office.

Well, 16 hours later we were in Milwaukee. Fortunately we didn't play at the same day as we arrived, but the next day if memory serves me right. Relapse had their own stage - and a backstage room were we hung out a lot - and I remember that we had some trouble with FOH who had been smoking something sweet smelling and wasn't really present to 100%.

Anyway, we played our show. We started with "Inhale/Exhale" which was planned as a warm up song and also a possibility to take a break after if the monitor mix was fucked up. It's embarrassing and weak to think of it today, but we were really new kids on the grind block and lacked the proper confidence and experience. I don't really remember much of the show in retrospect (especially not if we took that little break after the first song or not - we probably did!), but I remember that it was a great feeling when it was done. We had had our first show and the tour had begun!

Three nervous dudes and a quite pleased crowd

It was quite a good weekend in Milwaukee. I saw Nile, Neurosis and The Dillinger Escape Plan for the first time. I met Mark from the legendary Impetigo in that backstage room, and I also by my own will helped Relapse to sell merch and records at their table. It was a fun time for sure!

Part two: Milwaukee Metalfest XV, August 11, 2001

The second time we travelled to the US we went there solely for Milwaukee Metalfest, and this time we flew directly to Chicago and shared a ride with Anathema to Milwaukee (or, perhaps we shared that ride on the way back to the airport…). It was quite strange to be in the US for just a few days. I guess we got there, played the next day, and went back home the day after that. You don't really get rid of the jet lag in such a short time.

This time we weren't part of the Relapse party in the same way as the first time, although we met a few of them of course. Especially a new face - a guy called Greg, who will be important to this part of this long tale - and the next.

I remember even less of this show than the one in 1999. We had released "Human 2.0" and had done roughly 80 more shows since the first festival, so I would assume we had a completely different setlist without taking that safe road with "Inhale/Exhale" as the opening song… What I do remember, clear as yesterday, was that I had some equipment trouble. The bass drum moved around like crazy when I got blasting and I had to lift it back to it's original position when ever I could. The stage hands tried to adjust the legs and put some weight on it, but nothing helped. In the end I got the bass drum to stay in place thanks to Greg, who sacrificed himself and sat beside it holding it firmly into place during the remainder of the show! Now that's a record label employee for you all!

Another thing I remember clearly from those few days was that it was the first time I saw and heard a little metal outfit called Mastodon. They had yet released their first EP, but was already the talk of the town. Obviously we had met Bill and Brann two years earlier as they were in Today Is The Day at that time, but the other members were new faces. I remember that Brett appeared crusty and drunk so when he introduced himself I became the introvert and reserved me and didn't really greet him back, whereas he set me straight: "You know, when some one introduces himself it's customary to say your name in return", he said (I'm totally paraphrasing now) with a smile on his face, and I felt stupid…

One final note. Look at the date. One month later the world changed…

Part three: Maryland Death Fest, May 25, 2012

Eleven years later, and some 80 shows more in our backs, we returned yet again to an American festival, this time the ever so popular MDF. It was the first confirmed show for the Farewell tour, and something of an early highlight of the tour. Some in the current line up of Nasum had been to the festival earlier, but for others - i.e. myself for instance - it was the first time.

Three dudes getting pumped up for the show

My first thought was that it was much smaller than I had expected, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it still was quite a surprise. There were two outdoor stages where no band I heard managed to get a proper sound. And then it was the big indoor stage where the sound was much better, and there we played. Thanks for that! No thanks for the heat though, because it was crazy hot during the show. Easily among the top five hottest shows on the entire Farewell tour. There were some Swedish black metal band performing at the stage just before us, in full gear with corpse paint and the works, and I could not really understand how they managed to get of stage without passing out.

Apart from the heat, which nearly broke me totally, I remember it as a fun show. We had Jason from Misery Index doing some guest vocals and we also had the son of Kevin Bacon on stage. Imagine that. But what about Greg? Well, Greg and his now wife Meghan got in character and appeared as Mr and Mrs Gasmask during the intro of the show. It was fun to bring that stunt to one US show, and extra fun that Greg was the dude as a follow up to his prior stage duties with Nasum.

It was also fun meeting a lot of people at the festival, but Baltimore as a city freaked me out. Urban and I went for a walk to get some food a few streets away from the venue, and even though it wasn't the seedy part of the town I was really tense all of the time. I've seen "The Wire" too many times…

Part four: Chaos in Tejas, May 31, 2012

Less than a week later it was time for the final American festival appearance and also the final American show at all. It was great to be in Austin, TX - the multi-venue-festival capital of the world. I remember fearing another insanely hot show, as the temperature in Austin was as high as that FOH in 1999. But the actual venue was cool, and it also was a cool place.

There isn't really that much to say about that day in Texas. The final show was good and it was a nice ending to the US part of the tour. I don't think anything went wrong. The FOH wasn't doped up, the bass drum remained in it's place and the heat wasn't an issue. A great day, indeed.

Farewell rehearsal with unused song

During the 18 months or so we prepared for the Farewell tour in 2012, we tested a lot of songs from the Nasum collection. A few songs never left the rehearsal room, and one of those was "Evicerated (By the Fiend)", from the "Regressive Hostility" compilation.

During a couple of rehearsals we did some multitrack recordings of the songs on my little setup. Mostly because the equipment already were in the room, but also to listen to what we really sounded like. Keijo also did some demo recordings in Finland, first dubbing over the albums and then singing to these rehearsals.

This song, that was posted on Facebook a while back, is instrumental and one of my personal favourites of all Nasum songs. Enjoy!

The original Nasum logo

One of the most frequent fan questions is: "What the font of the Nasum logo?". The answer is none. It's handmade and other than the five letters of the band name there are only a few extra letters available, and very far from the entire alphabet.

The logo was hand drawn back in 1992 and the inspiration came from Disharmonic Orchestra's logo. Here's the original Nasum logo and the one that inspired it:

Now one can argue that the two logos are not particularly similar, but if you look closely on the bit of paper with the Nasum logo you might see that it's patched together and that the N, A and S are drawn separately. There are even some dried out white-out in the S. As originally drawn the letters was more alike the Disharmonic Orchestra style, but as it didn't work out another approach was applied and thus the Nasum logo as it is know was born.

Well, that's not _entirely_ true as you can see that the black line is very thin and not as strong as it eventually ended up. A few versions were tested and ultimately the stronger-line version became the winner.

A close up on the patched part, and the flip side of the paper where one can see the original-original letters.


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