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read an interview with In Solitude frontman Pelle Ahman

by Doug Moore

Pelle Åhman with In Solitude at Irving Plaza, 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)

Sweden’s In Solitude achieved surprising critical dominance with last year’s Sister — a straight-ahead set of golden-years-inspired metal jams with a dark, creepy undertone.

We caught up with Pelle Åhman, their reclusive, wise-beyond-his-years frontman, for an extensive interview over at Invisible Oranges. Here’s an excerpt:

You mentioned Leadbelly. Do you listen to blues music?

Definitely. I’m a huge fan of Delta blues. I’m looking at my record collection right now and it’s a lot of Charley Patton and Howlin’ Wolf. That simplicity of one person with an instrument and what he has in his heart — I appreciate it. By today’s standards, some of the old blues is some of the most haunting and horrifying music that I’ve heard, especially Skip James and Leadbelly. It’s deeper than most black metal.

One of the things about those artists is that many contemporary artists have to imagine suffering and those artists lived in a world of segregation, racism and poverty.

It’s the primal calling that I really appreciate. There’s a Gospel song I like — “Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed.” I’m not sure he’s addressing the Jesus you think he’s addressing. There’s something very primal about Gospel songs that don’t have to do with Christianity.

I got a mix tape from a friend about 10 years ago. It’s an old John Lee Hooker mix he inherited from his father. We went fishing and the only music we had was that cassette. I think it was called like 16 Great Hits. It’s an old collection of songs; there were songs like “Dimples” that are very peculiar.

Is Sister a bluesy record?

To some degree. Not that much musically, but certainly there is a primal calling there I was talking about. It’s an important part of our music.

You can read the full interview over at IO. If you missed Sister last year, you can stream a tune from it below.

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