Interview with Rogga Johansson, the man behind PAGANIZER, RIBSPREADER, THE GROTESQUERY, REVOLTING among others. We will know about songwriting, gear and collaborations with some Death Metal Legends.
Hello Rogga and thanx for the interview. What is your actuality right now ?
Hey man, and thanx. Right now we are recording a new REVOLTING album actually, hope to have it out by early next year. We just finished recording the next PAGANIZER album too, also for release sometime next year.
You have released 7 albums (THOSE WHO BRING THE TORTURE, DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN, REVOLTING, RIBSPREADER, THE GROTESQUERY, JOHANSSON & SPECKMANN, EYE OF PURGATORY) and one EP in 2018 (TO DESCEND), how do you do it ?
In a few words, what can you say about those records ?
Haha thats quite a lot yeah… And just this week GRISLY also is out. Well all albums are different to me, they
all have different feels, sure its basically mostly Death Metal but thats how I work I guess, to me it’s all
different but maybe to others it’s the same deal haha.
How do you write a song ? How do you know when a riff is for one band or another ?
I just sit down with the guitar, most the time I know what it is for, but sometimes I just write a track, and then
some time later it will be decided where it fits best. But mostly I know what I write for, right from the start.
Now let’s speak about the guitar. Tell us more about the discovering of that instrument and your beginner’s
I started as growler, so I didn’t play guitar in the start of my bands, I started playing guitar later, just to be
able to do my own riffs, so I think I was 17 or 18 when I started fiddling around with the guitar. I’m not a very
good guitarist, I just use it to riff, to write music and I am a terrible solo player haha.
What were your influences or musical heroes at that time ?
Well, I grew up on stuff like Iron Maiden and Accept, but for extreme metal I must say that Massacre is the band
that got me into wanting to do my own riffs. And to be a better growler, as Kam Lee is the legend of all legends
in that style of vocals, alongside Dan Swanö.
Talking about gear, can you tell us more about the evolution of yours ? From the beginning until now :
guitars, pedals, picks, strings, preamps, effects, etc…
Oh, I’m not very interested in gear haha… I have owned very very few amplifiers, but many guitars, but mostly
just cheap guitars. I still own my second guitar ever though, and still use it. It’s something I love and it’s a
Vantage Avenger, with a Seymour Duncan Invader pick up on it, that’s been my fave pick up for decades.
For pick I use Dunlop, always have done so I think, these days I use Dunlop max grip as they are great, I usually use the 0.73 size of them. Strings are the cheapest ones too I guess haha, the gauge I use is 0.56-0.11 mostly.
And pedals I never use either mostly, besides sometimes the classic Boss HM-2, and I also have the very good and cheap copy by Behringer, Hm-300 wich is excellent as a copy for much less money haha.
These days I mostly though play my Stratus6 guitars from Serpent King Guitars, I have three of them and they are my main guitars, and they are among the best guitars I’ve ever used, so it’s really cool to have them and have
been able to get them as I wanted them from SKG.
What kind of advices can you give to a young/beginner metal guitarist ?
Hmmm, it depends. I never took any lessons at all, I’m self taught. And now many years later I can feel that maybe I should have done some lessons as I don’t know proper chords and scales. So maybe get a good learn guitar book, and then do the usual thing and try to learn to play some of your own fave riffs from fave bands, but also from the start try to write your own things.
Any tips for the warm up before recording and/or rehearsal ?
Im very bad at that too… I never do warm up. We usualy consider the first song on stage as the warm up haha… I
know it’s a bad idea, but when you are lazy, and often just sit around drinking beer before the show then that’s
how it is.
We dont play technical or superfast music either, I guess warm up is much more important for those type bands.
You have bands with Death Metal Legends (Paul Speckmann, Kam Lee, Dan Swanö, Dave Ingram), how is it to work with them ?
It’s very humbling and very cool, I’m very happy these guys like to work with me, and concider the stuff we do
together something they love and wanna do. All these guys are also very easy to work with, and we are very good friends too. So it’s just a very cool thing indeed.
What is the future with your differents bands ?
Well I’ve done very much music… And I feel that maybe some of the bands and projects might not need to do more music.
And I feel that some others have many more albums to be done, so the ideas and plans is doing more music
of course, but maybe with less of the bands. And maybe let there be a bit more time between each release.
On the other hand, I dont plan writing music much, it just happens and that’s how it is, and if labels wanna release it that’s cool too. So I dont know exactly what the future will be of course.
So far though there are many finished or almost finished albums waiting to be released, so I guess next year will be a year of many albums again, but I will try to not write as much new music next year haha…
Here is the end this interview, if I forgot something, it’s time for you to tell what you want..
Thanx for the interview! It’s not often I get asked questions about my guitars and gear so that was cool!
Thanks to Geoffroy Lagrange.
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