An Interview with Rogga Johansson of Revolting
Rogga Johansson is a very, very busy man. The Swedish vocalist/guitarist is currently a member of six bands; Revolting, Paganizer, Putrevore, Down among the Dead Men, Johansson & Speckman, and The Grotesquery. His list of former projects is even more exhausting. His discography includes must-have slabs of old school death by Demiurg, Megascavenger, and Ribspreader, to name a few.
I recently had the opportunity to talk to Rogga about the upcoming Revolting release, “Visages of the Unspeakable”, in addition to some of his other projects.
Derek: Hi Rogga! Thank you very much for granting me an interview! Revolting has a new album, “Visages of the Unspeakable”, coming out on May 22nd (which just so happens to be my birthday, excellent timing!). Can you tell me a bit about the recording sessions for this album?
Rogga: Yes haha, excellent timing indeed! The album was actually finished almost two years ago; it’s been ready for a very long time. What can I say about the recording sessions? Well it went on as it usually does, I put down guitars first and then the other guys arranged their parts to my written material, it’s usually how we work. This time we went for a darker more ominous sound, I think it’s harder than the previous albums too, I hope people will like it.
Derek: Your Facebook page states that the new album will feature “songs based on original material instead of horror films”. Can you elaborate on this decision?
Rogga: Desmond, who does the lyrics and artwork and layout, decided that this time he wanted to write his own stories rather than base the lyrics on different movies. I think it turned out excellent; it’s even darker and more terrifying than any of those old movies could be haha. Desmond is a true horror writer, it’s really awesome stuff he made for this album, I think people will be surprised.
Derek: Will Revolting be hitting the road in support of “Visages of the Unspeakable”?
Rogga: We had plans, very recent plans too. But as usual it fell apart. It might happen though, but at the very earliest next year. If so, then we will definitely release a mini album before, about early next year, which I hope will be something people would enjoy too.
Derek: Back in January Putrevore hinted at a new album in the works, it’s first since 2012’s fantastic “Macabre Kingdom”! Can you give us any more details?
Rogga: It’s finished! Or it’s being mixed right now at least, and I just was sent the first mix of the first song today and its really dark and dirty stuff. It’s a bit of a change too from the previous album, as we didn’t wanna repeat ourselves, so this time it’s slower, but just as ugly and horrible of course.
Derek: Paganizer’s last studio album was 2013’s “World Lobotomy”. In November of 2014 you released the compilation, “20 Years in a Terminal Grip”, containing a staggering forty-six tracks of crushing old school death metal! What’s next for Paganizer?
Rogga: This year we will do a 7″ ep and that’s it. New album will be next year earliest. We are very pleased with the anniversary 2cd and hope that it will also please people and maybe get one or two more fans.
Derek: You play guitar for The Grotesquery, which just released their third album, “Curse of the Skinless Bride”, on April 10th [edit: no, I obviously can’t read a calendar. What were you expecting from a bass player?] . How has the response been to the new album? Will you being doing any shows to support the album?
Rogga: Oh the album isn’t out just yet, when I write this, but from the few early comments I’ve gotten it seems people love it! Grotesquery won’t be doing any shows though, we are a studio band only, and I don’t think that will change either, as we feel comfortable working like this.
Derek: Your body of work is just mind boggling! In addition to the three bands we’ve talked about you also have Down Among the Dead Men and Johansson & Speckmann. And those are just the active bands! I’m still working my way through your ex-bands but I’m already a huge fan of Demiurg, Humanity Delete, Megascavenger and Ribspreader! Where do you find the energy to keep up with all your various projects? As a songwriter is it difficult deciding which songs will go to which bands?
Rogga: Well I don’t know haha. The music just flows sometimes I guess, and ends up in lots of material which I can use. It’s not hard usually to choose which band a certain song goes for. Sometimes I sit down to work on a specific band and then the material will adjust to that. Sometimes I just write a song and then I’ll take it out later on when a certain band needs something and this particular song might fit. Very basic stuff, haha.
Derek: Now it’s time for The Marvelous Three Round of Questions! What’s your favorite breakfast cereal? Most metalheads have large concert t-shirt collections. What’s your favorite band t-shirt? And last but not least, are you a cat person or a dog person?
Rogga: I don’t eat cereal haha. Never been a fan really, I usually eat knäckebröd(Swedish thing, it’s a hard crunchy unsweetened bread) and cheese and ham and salami, stuff like that, and coffee. Concert t-shirts? I have none haha, but band t-shirts I have loads, both from other bands and my own, I usually just wear plain color t-shirts though or simple ones with just a logo. My fave would be the one with the silver Asphyx logo I have, awesome t-shirt I got from Bob in Asphyx years ago. I’m a dog person indeed, and I’m allergic to cats too. Besides two kids and a wife I have two dogs, Vader and Iza.
Derek: Thank you taking the time to talk to me about all your awesome bands! I can’t wait to get “Visages of the Unspeakable” on May 22nd!
Rogga: Thanks for the interview! I hope you will like the album!
Check out “Psychoplasmics” from “Hymns of Ghastly Horror”