19 April 2024

Saturnalia Temple – 17-03-2024

Interview with Tommie Eriksson

The Swedish psychedelic doom band Saturnalia Temple recently released their fantastic album “Paradigm Call”. Having been an avid listener and longtime fan, I was mesmerized by the album and wanted to know more.. so here it comes! Enjoy our interview with Saturnalia Temple about the new record, the band and much more!

Hello! Firstly congratulations on the release of “Paradigm Call”. It has been worth the wait! How are you feeling so far?

Thank you! The band is currently better than ever! After some years of great change, ST has come out with inspiration and musical rejuvenation. It feels great to play now together with people who are both musically and magically 100% focused and dedicated. As soon as we begun rehearsing it was like coming home and I felt like being reborn in the moment.

“Paradigm Call” carries the Saturnalia Temple essence but feels also different. Could you tell us about the process of songwriting and making of the album? Was there anything that you did or tried differently this time?

I am glad you notice a difference, but also the essence. I feel there is a backbone of the band from day one, that is timeless, immanent and permeates everything that is being done. Starting this band was like taking the magical and timeless state of mind and hammering it alchemically into metal music. Since the music entails such hard hammering, the challenge is to make the sounds of the smithy of Tubal Cain into something unique every time. It takes time for the inspiration and magical process to be grounded and come out naturally. This time, I felt I wanted the most simple and effective sounds to come out. The writing was thus a work towards minimalism and cutting away the unnecessary. It takes experience and a certain insanity to pound one riff for 8 minutes. But, if it feels great to play a riff and you never want to stop, it is a sign it is the right riff. Only those riffs that can become timeless gates are allowed on board. The process and the vibration in the creator is the only important thing, and one must allow the hammered metal to go through the athanors and be transmuted in the proper way.

One big highlight for a lot of fans is of course seeing you (re)unite with Ahman brothers. How did the collaboration happen, and will you work and play more as a trio in the future?

I wrote and recorded the album on my own pretty much and when it was time to consider playing live again after 3-4 years, these guys where the only ones I had in mind. I am very lucky they had the time and will to join. As it stands now, they have agreed to record a split vinyl with a really great band, soon to be announced. So at the moment we are focused on also recording music together. But since this is such a special thing, we do not know for how long this can proceed. We take every gig and every recording as a thing in itself, and the future is only what feels right to the three of us. I will keep the band going forever surely, and I hope the guys can join the ride for a very long time. But special things must be respected and cherished and one should never take anything for granted.

Was the album a collaborative process, where all of you contributed to songwriting and the composition?

This album I did on my own, pretty much. So they did not contribute to the recording. But, after we began rehearsing the new songs together they did contribute certain developments and changes in tempo and dynamics, so some songs sounds even better now live, than they do on the album. This leads me to realize that we could work together more creatively as well, if time allows.

Obviously, a lot has happened between the release of the previous record “Gravity” and “Paradigm Call”, with one of the events being Covid-19. How has the pandemic affected you as an artist? Did you get more creative or has this been a time for introspection for you?

Living in the country side of Sweden made sure that life was probably less affected than if I’d lived in a capital in Europe. But the madness of the world was of course very scary to see. One can only hope that it was a one off and that such terrible things will not happen again. It mainly affected the festivals for the Gravity album, since we did not a single gig after the tour in 2020. I instead focused on creative pursuits and wrote and recorded the Eldhamn album which I am now looking for a label to release. I believe it is perhaps the best album I have ever recorded, so I am looking forward to getting it out there. I also began working on an old school Death Metal project called Logrus, and have recorded man songs. I guess it is mainly a matter of time when I can release something of that. More recently I have started an old school speed/thrash project with Viktor, the bassist from our old band The Tower. We are calling it Skeleton Hammer and are just about to begin writing and recording our first demo now. I generally always enjoy working on many different projects in different musical styles. I prefer that, since it allows for great freedom. I prefer having many projects rather than doing 5 very different ST albums, which I think would confuse people.

Each Saturnalia Temple album carries certain spiritual elements with them. How would you interpret “Paradigm Call” from a spiritual perspective? What does this record mean to you?

The Paradigm Call of the title refers to a magical and spiritual epoch that is currently taking place in the universe. This epoch has been previously mentioned on an album for us in the Aion of Drakon (2011). All lyrics and musical work is related to magical and initiatory progress both of the individual and of mankind as a whole. All the changes that happens both in the world and in the consciousness of mankind can be better understood from a magical perspective. It is evident if you study both consciousness and the hidden history of the world that creation is an ongoing process and is aligned to a structure of emanations. Everything begins on a non-physical level and is then taking more solid form as it emanates into the four elements. Since Creation is not a singular event that took place once far back in time, but is an ever ongoing process, mankind’s role in it becomes more active. Rather than being stuck in a fixed and possibly negative world, which is often a dead end station of the uninitiated mind, one can influence one’s situation to a very large degree and also the world around oneself. This responsibility is too much for most people to grasp however, and the dead end fixed concept, however dreadful, seems to be preferred since it allows one to stay in a sort of child-like state of being a created being without power. The magical work that is expressed in Saturnalia Temple calls into question the power of mankind to influence and progress the here and now. We understand of course, that this is something only very few will pick up on, but what does that matter? The only duty a human being has is to do one’s best in influencing the world around in accordance with one’s level of energy and insight. 

Photo by: Basak Gunel

You recently played in Brussels and London. It must have been especially an interesting feeling playing in Brussels after four years! How was the atmosphere for you compared to 2020?

The release party in Brussels was truly amazing! A gathering of the best friends and also an art exhibition by Louise / Nox Ithil and Pelle. This felt like a proper rebirth of the band and so suitable to have it among our brothers and sisters from A Thousand Lost Civilizations. The atmosphere was even better than in 2020 for many reasons. Back then it felt like the last legs of something and now it felt like the first steps of something new and great. I came home from that weekend buzzing with joy and love and it felt like the Serpent had really bitten its tail in the best possible way. It was also the best response I have ever had in this band.

Are you planning to play in any other cities/countries and are there any places you would love to play live?

We have some gigs planned, but we will see which ones we are able to do. We would love to do as many as we can, but it has to do with practical reasons of course. Thank you for a well made interview and see you out there!

Special thanks to Tommie Eriksson and Steffie Girot!

“Paradigm Call” is out now via Listenable Records, more info can be found here:

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