The Obelisk Questionnaire: Alex Risberg of 10,000 Years

Posted in Questionnaire on February 17th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

alex risberg 10000 years

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Alex Risberg of 10,000 Years

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I’m a musician who plays in a band. I just look at it as playing metal, basically, and I have been doing just that for about seventeen years now. Music has always been an incredibly huge part of my life and it’s something that’s always there. I think about it all the time, I listen to it and play it myself as often as I possibly can. I started my first band in 2004 with my brother and a couple of friends and I’ve been playing in bands from then on. It’s just something that I absolutely love to do and I can’t see myself ever not doing it.

Describe your first musical memory.

My first really vivid musical memory, that I actually remember for myself and haven’t been told by a parent or something, is my dad buying me and my brother a copy of the Kiss-collection “Greatest Kiss” back in -97. I’m sure there are several other instances where music played a part in my early life, since my dad’s a drummer and there was always music playing at his place, but this is something that I know for sure is my memory, and mine alone. I distinctly remember sitting on the floor of my dads old apartment and putting that CD on, and when “Detroit Rock City” kicked in… Wow. There was no turning back from that. That record blew me away in so many ways and besides getting me truly, deeply hooked on music it made me a lifelong member of the Kiss Army.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

In 2012 my old band Pike released our debut album, To Cross The Great Divide, but since we all lived in different parts of Sweden we unfortunately couldn’t play live as much as we might have wanted to. But one of the shows we did play that year was so epic it made up for the rest.

My buddy David Johansson from Kongh told me they had gotten offered the support slot for Baroness show in Stockholm that July. They had turned it down but he had told the promoter about Pike instead, and sure enough we got an email that same day. This was like two-three days before the show was scheduled. Of course we said yes, Baroness being one of our favourite bands, and then we scrambled to get the logistics together, being so spread out, plus we hadn’t played together at all for about three months then. But everything went great, above and beyond any expectations, and it was probably the best show we ever played. And just to be there, to get that opportunity, everything about it was just so amazing. It was our first really big show and that’s something I’ll never forget.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

I absolutely, truly believed that “Danzig Sings Elvis” would be amazing. But alas, that was not to be. Someone needs to give Glenn a stern talking to.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Hopefully to more art and more music and in the long run to a better, more caring society. On a personal level I hope it leads to a deeper understanding of my own, and others, art and to a more profound expression of that art.

How do you define success?

If you’re doing something that makes you happy, that’s pretty much it for me. Like with 10,000 Years, I know we’re never going to take over the world, but we really, really love what we do and we have found a home in this band and with each other. The fact that other people that we’ve never met from all over the world seem to like what we do as well is just insane to me and I appreciate that so deeply. So in my mind we’ve already achieved all the success that we’ll ever need.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

I can’t really think of something that I would like to have unseen actually, at least not in any personal way. But there’s a lot of shitty movies and concert footage I might as well never have seen.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

The ultimate riff, the ultimate song or the ultimate album is always in ones future and I always look forward to creating the next attempt at that.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

To bring happiness and joy to people and to bring people together and in the long run hopefully improve our collective society.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

I am looking forward to this pandemic hopefully coming to an end soon. So wash your hands, keep your distance and take the vaccine when it becomes available to you!

10,000 Years, 10,000 Years

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10,000 Years Sign to Interstellar Smoke Records; Recording New Album Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 25th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Recorded in June 2020 and released in July 2020, the self-titled debut LP from Sweden’s 10,000 Years (review here) has been picked up for release by Olde Magick Records. That was months ago, but still good news, if not entirely surprising — that’s kind of what happens to cool records that get a decent response these days. To go along with that, however comes word that the Västerås trio will also head back into the studio next month to record a follow-up to the self-titled for Interstellar Smoke Records, continuing the sci-fi plotline detailed below.

Will the Albatross make it back from that other dimension? Well, if they’re going to try, I might suggest creating a coherent subspace bubble by routing plasma energy back through the bussard collectors and taking power from auxiliary systems. There’s no guarantee, but it might work just long enough to get them where they need to go in crossing one dimensional plane for another. Just a suggestion though, of course.

The PR wire brought word:

10000 years

10,000 YEARS sign with Interstellar Smoke Records!

10,000 Years are very happy to announce that we have signed with the mighty Interstellar Smoke Records for the vinyl release of our upcoming first full-length album.

We will enter Studio Sunlight in February to record eight songs which will tell the continued tale of the ill-fated class III exploration vessel “Albatross” and its crew.

More news and announcements regarding the album, artwork, release date, various formats etc will follow in due time.

“10,000 Years” Story:

The crew of the terran class III exploration vessel “Albatross” have been assigned the mission of exploring the Milky Way and nearby galaxies in search of a new planet for the human race to possibly inhabit.

During its journey the “Albatross” accidentally, and without the crews knowledge, travels through a wormhole and the ship and its crew ends up on a strange, new planet undocumented through the annals of earthly science. Unbeknownst to the crew, the planet in fact exists in another dimension, one inhabited by ancient gods of unknown origin and purpose. The most powerful among them known only as the Green King.

While on the planet the crew encounter strange creatures and deities as they try to find a way to return home. After much labouring they finally make it off the planet and start their journey from suns beyond back to earth.

10,000 Years:
Erik Palm – Guitars
Alex Risberg – Bass/vocals
Espen Karlsen – Drums

10,000 Years, 10,000 Years

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10,000 Years Stream Self-Titled Debut EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on July 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

10000 years

Swedish trio 10,000 Years will release their self-titled debut EP through Death Valley Records on July 10. Two-thirds of the band were formerly tenured in the hard-hitting Pike, and with 10,000 Years — true to the early High on Fire track for which the band is named — they take on brasher and meaner-edged sounds. Their EP runs five songs and 20 minutes, so the investment on the part of the listener is just about minimal, but what’s delivered is an encouraging start for a new trio as bassist/vocalist Alex Risberg and guitarist Erik Palm (the ex-Pike contingent) group with drummer Espen Karlsen to undertake the project. With Risberg‘s shouts overtop, 10,000 Years not only take on the meatier side of heavier riffing, they do so with a particular nuance that stems from their national underground heritage.

When one hears the phrase “Swedish death metal,” very often what that’s referring to is a cadre of bands who made landmark recordings at Sunlight Studio in Stockholm with producer Tomas Skogsberg at the helm circa 1989-1992. Entombed, Grave, Dismember, even At the Gates worked with Skogsberg during this time, and in addition to the aesthetic elements they shared between them, the ‘Sunlight Sound’ (which I’ve spoken about here before) is a massive piece of what10000 years self titled defined those acts and that era that still has relevance today, both because those groups are still active — some in more than one incarnation — and because a band like 10,000 Years is able to take the ‘Sunlight Sound’ and bring it to a new and exciting context as they do on this first EP.

Bookended in quiet passages between the delayed launch of opener “‘Albatross’ Landing” and the final subdued stretch of “From Suns Beyond,” 10,000 Years10,000 Years boasts a sharp efficiency of craft and winds up someplace between sludge metal and heavy rock at its root, but the rumble of Risberg‘s bass at the low end and the grit that seems to extend even unto Karlsen‘s crash cymbals lends an overarching rawness that helps immediately define the band’s personality. “Master of Oblivion” is downright sinister in its aggressive filth, and the three-minute centerpiece “Lee Van Cleef” echoes out its nasty thrust, but at its heart it’s essentially building off a Kyuss-style riff. It’s how 10,000 Years make it their own that makes all the difference.

That continues to be the case as the penultimate “Into the Jaws of the Green King” digs into the muck about as far as 10,000 Years seem willing to go at this point, and mud-shuffles into the creeper “From Suns Beyond,” which bursts out its instrumental moment of rage before receding back into the Sabbath “Hand of Doom”-esque quiet bounce.

For a 20-minute outing, there’s a lot to take in on 10,000 Years‘ five inclusions, and whatever the band does next, they’ll have an interesting task before them in expanding on what this first outing presents while (hopefully) maintaining the ferocity that drives them here. As they’ve got the established chemistry between the guitar and bass at their disposal and a clear idea of what they’re going for in terms of style, I have no trouble thinking there’s a masterplan at work here somewhere. It just may be one that involves a good deal of slaughter.

EP is streaming in its entirety below, and Risberg offers some background on the group beneath that.

Please enjoy:

Alex Risberg on 10,000 Years:

Me and Erik (Palm, guitars) previously played together in the original lineup of Pike. But we’d kinda drifted apart a bit during the years since he left the band even though we kept in touch and everything, but we hadn’t played together in a very long time.

Then one day he sent me a text like “I got a bunch of riffs, you wanna do something?” and that was it really. We jammed a couple of times, just me and him, and the riffs were amazing. We had to do something with them, so we decided to start a new band and just blast the heaviest, most uncompromising stoner metal we could.

We thought finding a drummer would be a challenge, since they are usually few and far between if you don’t wanna settle. And we never settle. But the first guy we tried out just clicked. We jelled immediately and that guy was Espen (Karlsen, drums) and we decided then and there that he was a part of the band and we set about writing more and more stuff.

When we had five finished songs we decided to record them and release an EP and that’s what we’re releasing now on July 10th. So from that first rehearsal to the release it’s been about four months, I think. So everything has gone very fast. But it’s just been such a smooth ride, very easy work, so we just keep going and see where we end up.

As far as influences it’s the same as it ever was. Black Sabbath is the foundation for everything we’ve ever done, regardless of which band we’ve done it in. We see our music as stonermetal and the bands I think of when I hear that term is stuff like High On Fire and Black Tusk so there you go. The inspiration is all the same bands we’ve always loved ever since long before we started Pike in 2008. Kyuss (without whom etc), Mastodon, Kylesa, Fu Manchu, El Gordo, Sleep, I mean the list goes on and on, haha.

The music and songs we’ve been writing and playing is all based in some sort of weird scifi-concept inspired by stuff like HP Lovecraft, Planet Of The Apes and other cool shit like that. It’s all about a team of astronauts who venture into space to find a future home for humanity. But obviously there’s problems and they crash through a wormhole or something, a rift in the space-time, and end up on a strange planet in neighbouring dimension that’s inhabited by ancient gods and strange creatures and this EP is about the journey there and what happens on this weird planet. The last song, “From Suns Beyond”, is when they finally get out of there and travel back to earth, but that’s a story for another record!

Recorded during one weekend in June 2020 in Studio Sunlight in Norrtälje, Sweden
Produced and Mixed by Tomas Skogberg
Mastered by Magnus Andersson in Endarker Studios in Norrköping, Sweden
Artwork and design by Francesco Bauso, Negative Crypt
Logo by Dominic Sohor

10,000 Years are:
Erik Palm – Guitars
Alex Risberg – Bass/vocals
Espen Karlsen – Drums

10,000 Years on Thee Facebooks

10,000 Years on Bandcamp

10,000 Years on Instagram

Death Valley Records on Thee Facebooks

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