Interviewer: Piotr Spyra.
  Interviewee: Micke Därth.

  PS: Why did you disappear from music scene for so long?
  MD: Basically I just lacked inspiration. I came to a point where I couldn't find any new ideas in terms of making music, and in my whole life playing an instrument has always been about making new things for me. I find playing old stuff tiresome, not to say that I don't appreciate picking up a good cover to jam on now and then, but music for me is first and foremost to create, find new things to do with the instrument. My first instrument was drums at the age of four and I played jazz with my father and rock with a couple of friends of mine growing up. The band never came to anything and I really wanted to create and that is not so easy with drums, so I picked up the guitar at the age of 15 and started a band with Henrik Johansson (drums), Jörgen Svahn (bass) and Thomas Andersson (leadguitar) called Hellrats, so Henrik and I go way back. The band changed a couple of members and turned into Coma which after a new split - where Henrik left - the band turned into Detest which was what I was doing when I first met Finn Zierler back in '91.
  Secondly in '98 my wife and I decided to raise a family, we bought a house and I couldn't really keep up with Finn and Beyond Twilight neither time wise or musically, the two things was very hard to do simultaneously considering the distance between the bases of the band, both in Denmark and Sweden. Beyond Twilight also progressed into more technical stuff than I was able to play, so that part was kind of chosen for me. Of course some parts of me didn't want to leave the band but after a couple of months being out of it, it did not really hurt that much. It was not my thing anymore. I think Finn and I kind of knew that after I finished putting the rhythm guitars to the songs on Lurking Fantasia.
  PS: Who came with the idea to create the band Nocturnal Alliance?
How was the band born?

  MD: Henrik called me up and said he had some songs he would want me to put guitars to. The songs were alright but the most important thing was that I really enjoyed playing again, almost not having touched the guitar for about four years. We discussed a little after those recordings and started off by thrashing his four songs turning it into two songs instead; Tranquility Lost and Dark Voices. We thought the result of those two songs were more what we looked for so we started making new music in that fashion and the ideas just keeps coming. We love doing this!
  PS: Could you introduce us the members of the band?
  MD: As steady bandmembers there is only me and Henrik Johansson. We keep it that way because we have similar taste in music and work very well together. Then we have the singer and leadguitarist, Andreas Lagerin, whom I played with in the mid 90's when he for a short period was a member of Twilight. He enjoy what we're doing a lot and did not hesitate a second to do the vocals on "Dark Voices" for us and didn't think for more than two seconds to do the vocals on "What makes that evil tick…?" neither. Which is great news for us. We love his crunchy, edgy voice. It's very personal and fits our music perfectly, we wouldn't want to have it any other way. He is foremost a guitarist - and a good one at that - and I can't really say when he started to sing but even if he struggles sometimes holding the vocals dead in key he is just a terrific friend to work with and is never wining about anything, like retakes and stuff. He just rocks on and that means more to us than getting perfect, exquisite vocals. We're not looking for a pop singer, which almost every band uses nowadays in the heavy metal bands, we would certainly pick Tom Araya over Tobias Sammet if you get what I'm saying.
  PS: Could you tell us the storyline of "Dark Voices"?
  MD: Well, we rewrote the lyrics for the first two songs we made to make a better fit to a whole concept we decided to do. We're telling the story about a man who loses everything and finds himself in a deep, deep depression as where he can't control his feelings or doings. From Dead Calm to Lunatic Solitude we go through the last 24 hours of his life and we're thrown back in time twice to get why he is feeling as he is and why he is doing these terrible deeds to other people, and he ends up at his own deathbed regretting everything he's done wrong to the one's he met.
  To cut it short, in Dead Calm we describe his deep depression and that he knows he is going to die. In Tranquility Lost we describe how these, to him, yet unknown aggressions unfold and takes him to a place where everything is dark and how that reflects on him. In Astray we can hear his last call for help before the shit hits the fan, which it does in Silent Scream where he hooks up with a prostitute and kill her off slowly in a sleazy place… Not that funny, huh?
  In Devious Mind, after his first kill, he knows there's no turning back and in Black Sleep we're painting that picture a bit bigger, that he is out of control and there is no way saving him. Of course, he blame's it on God but in The Nocturnal Abyss he's actually in confession after where he passes out and starts to dream and the first flashback is revealed in Forsaken where he dreams about his life where his wife was everything to him. He wakes up before Forsaken has ended and he actually takes his wife's life at the end. In Mendacious Sympathy he is leaving his wife's house in anger, frustration and he starts to hear words that ultimately will mean he himself will die. In Work of evil he kills again, which you can explain sort of like "just because someone was in his way" and he feels powerful and untouchable. His whole life now circles around avenging all that he lost. In The Saving Remnant his rampage is put to halt because he stops and starts to think about what he is doing. In Dark Voices we're being thrown back and forth from present to past, past to present and it ends with that he finally realize that the voices he hears is the voices he must follow, which means he has to die himself. In Lunatic Solitude he speaks his last words and that's it.
 
PS: Are you satisfied with the final result of making "Dark Voices", or would you change something if you could?
  MD: If you as a musician analyse too much what you've done, rather than putting your mind to what you should do next, you will lose the power of writing good music. Of course the production could have been better and the songs could have been even better but I'm proud of the body of work that is "Dark Voices". We learned a lot in the process which we put in our effort to better next time, and we're doing everything we can to use that knowledge. The most important thing isn't to try, and try, and try to do perfect, there is no such thing as perfect in music. You can only do what you like yourself and since we're a low budget band, doing everything ourselves except mastering, I think this is actually album-worth material and not just a demo.
  PS: I'm very curious about the drums on "Dark Voices"... Sometimes they seem too pure, too synthetic... but I also can't believe that this is all drum machine, because in almost the whole album the drums sounds natural... Could you enlighten me?
  MD: We're working in a very small studio at Henrik's house. There is a possibility to actually put down real drums on the songs but we have come to the conclusion that we should use a sampled drumkit for a couple of reasons. That does not mean that we're talking about a drum machine, nothing is programmed when it comes to the drums. Henrik has played every single beat into the computer. And I think that you yourself hesitates whether it's real drums or not gives Henrik a lot of credit for the work with the drums. Never once on the album is he playing like an octopus with three arms or three legs, every drumtrack is playable with real drums. It would, however, take us too much time preparing the drums if Henrik should play his drumkit instead and we would have to move out of his house and into some other studio, the room where he keeps his drums now is too small to get a fair sound out of them. Main reason is though that we can work that much faster with sampled drums both creating new music and recording.
  PS: When you will get a contract with a record label - are you gonna publish both albums?
  MD: We really don't consider the possibility of getting on a record label. We're not a touring band and never will be. Getting a record deal was the dream when we were young and if a record company would consider signing us they sure would get an album out of us every year or so but we wouldn't lift our asses up to do anything else than writing music and record it. So, we're not working on scoring a deal, the deal has to come to us and there is not that great chance that we will be "discovered" in that way. We do this for our own satisfaction and the fans that finds our website can share it with us, we're not sending any copies to any A&R:s at any record company. That's the decision for today, anyway. We would come cheap though, if any company showed interest in us, but they have to put down the effort to find us, ha, ha. And of course, they would have to agree on putting out both "Dark Voices" and "What makes that evil tick…?" before they get anything else from us. That's a promise!
  PS: Now you are recording second album. Is it conceptual album too?
  MD: We're in the process of making "What makes that evil tick…?" which is not a concept album at all, not in that sense. But we challenged ourselves to write about different evil's which can be all from asking questions about why we're making wars on each other or the evil and selfishness of taking your own life for the one's left behind and so on. So, in a way, there is a concept but the stories are not connected this time, it is eight different ones.
 
PS: Could you compare it to your previous albums?
  MD: Comparison, hmm? That's not easy. The thing I can come up with is that the songs are built a little different. On "Dark Voices" we didn't want to play the best individual parts of the tracks 'til death, over and over again. We deliberately did not write the songs in an ordinary fashion, intro-verse-pre-chorus-verse-pre-chorus-solo-pre-chorus-chorus which you can hear on a lot of albums. We've worked a little more basic on "What makes that evil tick…?" though but as a challenge we have instead worked with the verses and choruses so that they're not repeated the same way twice, but with a slight variation to each one and as a big difference to "Dark Voices" we really let good pieces run for a longer time so the album, thus only eight songs is on it, is about an hour long.

  PS: Are the same people involved in making second album?
 
MD: Andreas Lagerin has not put his vocals to it yet but he's going to start sometime in may. As for now we have a few songs that lacks drums, others lack some keyboard tracks and we haven't put the bass in there yet. The only thing that we have finished recording is my guitars. And they mosh hard, man!
We've also asked a couple of other guys standing by to do some work on it. I won't let you know anything more than that now. Sound wise where not wanting to sound anything but like Nocturnal Alliance.
 
PS: When can we buy your new album?
  MD: If things work out well it should be available on our website early this fall.
  PS: What do you do for living?
  MD: I do economics at a truck driver firm in Skövde and I'm also a freelance journalist, writing about sports events.
  PS: What did you do before you played in Twilight?
  MD: I've been in the offices of truck driving firms since I first landed a job and musically I was in Hellrats, Coma and Detest.
  PS: Why did Twilight split?
  MD: Twilight worked more as a project and except for short periods of time there never was a band. The split came natural, people wasn't burning for it as much as Finn did. I came the closest and was in there for seven years but then my flame also faded. So, there is no why to answer actually, it just happened. People wasn't ready for Finn's grand plan or just considered themselves to be project players. I loved the whole concept as long as I was a part of it, I must underline that. Finn is truly one of the nicest persons I've ever got to know and I would do almost anything for him. Being a master at his instrument and so highly gifted coming to producing, writing and arranging doesn't make him less interesting as a person.
  PS: You also played in the beginning of Beyond Twilight. What was the difference between Twilight and Beyond Twilight in those days? What was the lineup, when you played in BT?
  MD: Finn changed the name, I think. It's been a while now, but I think it was because with Exo and Devillian we actually came up with a lineup that wanted to push Twilight further and form a band out of it. I could be wrong here, but that's how I remember it. Tomas had at that time been a steady member for some years. The lineup when we did Lurking Fantasia was us five guys and Andreas Lagerin put his vocals to it, but after that he quit. Shortly after that I myself quit, or got fired… Either way, doesn't matter.
  With Twilight the lineup changed monthly sometimes. It was very frustrating, Finn and I seemed to be the only ones who really believed in Twilight and when Finn and I counted a few years back I think we came up with over 20 guys which had been in the band or whom was just in there for a short trial period. That was sad, I think we could have done much with the lineup we had for "Eye for an eye", but Tomas went to Los Angeles and Janne Strandh had his own band, Master Massive, he wanted to put his efforts in and Anders Engberg was in Lion's Share. So, it was only me Finn and Kim after the recordings of "Eye for an eye". It felt like we had to start over every single year with the band and that was not so funny. The music was great though.
  PS: Do you know current band of your ex-bandmates?
For example - do you like new albums of BT and Section A?
  MD: I haven't listened to anything except that I am a huge fan of Beyond Twilight. I just love the flow of Finn's compositions and as a musician I appreciate all the odd spots where he turns, shifts and take the music to unpredictable levels. He is a true genius at that. And I can't say enough good words about Tomas' drumming, it has such a backbone but still played with finesse. He is a dream to play with, steady as a rock. He's funny too!
  Exo and Devillian I only had a couple of sessions with in the rehearsal room but their talent overshadow mine by far. They're excellent at their instruments and very easygoing, nice guys. It should have been fun to be in all that but I realize that I'm not supposed to, but I'm thankful for everything they gave me those seven years musically and most of all socially. I'm expecting my copy of their new album in the mail next week.
  PS: What are your inspirations? When you listen to something, has it influence to your style of writing compositions?
  MD: My biggest influence undoubtedly is Jim Matheos, guitarist and writer in Fates Warning. I also find the work of U2:s guitarist, The Edge, very much to my liking. Both are similar in a way that they really put an effort in making each tone count and they can build a song only using a few notes. That's just how I write music today, not that I compare myself with those guys by any means, but I usually try to come up with two tones that I enjoy hearing for a long time, either together or after one another, and builds it up after that. Other bands that inspire me which can be found in my writing is Judas Priest, Slayer, Anthrax and early Metallica. But I think Fates Warning has meant the most to me and I think the best way to hear it is that I try to colour the rhythm guitars in a way which I think Jim and FW was the first act to do at the late 80's. Their latest album "FWX" is the best album I own, I think.
  PS: Who are your favourite guitarists?
  MD: Jim Matheos, The Edge, Mark Knopfler, Janne Strandh, Jeff Hanneman, Scott Ian, Ty Tabor and Mikael Åkerfeldt.
  PS: What albums do you listen to, lately? Any favourites?
 
MD: Oh, I'm a music man so there is a lot of music in my ears everyday. I'm passionately in love with every symphony written by Dimitri Shostakovich and I can play Anastacia's latest album at full volume just to hear that edgy voice of hers. So, the spectra is wide. But speaking about metal I'd say I listen the most to "FWX" by Fates Warning, "The human equation" by Ayreon and "Ghost reveries" by Opeth.
  Those albums are also in the category "my favourite albums", but there are so many. Too numerous to mention and I haven't really thought of putting one before the other.
  PS: Have you been in Poland?
  MD: Yes, just passing through though, I'm sorry to say.
  PS: What are Swedes opinion about Poland?
  MD: That's a tough question. I have to speak for myself then, I think that lately your industry is picking up and getting to be one of Europe's best. I hope though that your salaries will pick up soon and get to German or Swedish standards because a lot of our industries pack up and leave our countries and end up in Poland. Good for you! And polish truck drivers eat a lot of noodles, ha, ha…
  PS: Do you know any Polish bands?
  MD: No, sorry, can't name one.
  PS: Last words for your Polish fans?
  MD: Keep on Nocturnally rockin' you devils, the Alliance will kick your ass! And to be serious; stay healthy, never hesitate on picking to do what's fun rather than necessary - life get's better that way, and somewhere, somehow it would be nice to see you guys! Thanks!