(Comrade Aleks interviews Jacob Nordangård of the Swedish band Wardenclyffe.)
Sweden outfit Wardenclyffe were named after one of the most ambitious Nicola Tesla projects, so this doom band moves a bit aside from the main occult direction which was set to the scene by dark gods. Wardenclyffe consists of Ola Blomkvist from doom congregation Griftegard, Micael and Emil of death metal project Terrorama, guitarist of the black metal band Misercordia, Robert Karlsson, and former Doomsday Cult member and the band’s mastermind Jacob Nordangård.
I asked Jacob about Wardenclyffe, their debut record Control All Delete, and other stuff. It must be said that some of the answers were pretty unexpected. So, don’t waste time, and let’s read this interview in the name of Nicola Tesla!
Hi Jacob! Van Records released Wardenclyffe’s debut record on the 31st of January. What is the band’s state now?
We are preparing and rehearsing for a recording of the two new songs, “The Omega Point” and “Rockefeller”. Set to be released in December.
It’s stated on the band’s official web-page that you have already started work on a new album with the code name “Temple of Solomon”. Does this mean that you already have a ready conception of it?
The ideas for Temple of Solomon have been around a long time. As we recorded Control All Delete I was already thinking about the next chapter. We have songs ready for the album. The song “Mortlake” was played at our release party. Some other titles are “The Hydra”, “Temple of Solomon”, “The Violet Flame”, “Georgia Guidestones”, “Inevitable”, and “Worship”. We will also include a new version of “Behind the Shadow of the Goat”. It will follow a defined thematic path that we started with Control All Delete. But I will not reveal the general ideas yet.
Yet you aren’t mentioning “The Omega Point” and “Rockefeller” songs. Do you plan to release those separately?
Yes, it is meant to be released as a single. The songs are a bit different from the ones that will be on Temple of Solomon. More catchy and direct. “The Omega Point” is a quite fast song and takes its inspiration from Coroner and Dead Kennedys. I listened a lot to old punk (like Plasmatics) at the time I wrote it. I think the mood it delivers suits the theme of the song really well. It is not doomy stuff, but it will sound like Wardenclyffe anyway.
Jacob, I can understand “Behind The Shadow of the Goat”, but “Rockefeller” is a strange title for a doom metal song. Can you lift up the veil from it?
The song “Rockefeller” is about one of the most influential families on the globe. They are spinning a net of control with the help from their oil-soaked fortune. They were important actors in the political play that I analysed as a doctoral student. I see them as masters of manipulation, and the lyrics reflect my critique against them.
Wardenclyffe consists of five men who play in different bands, so how did you meet each other and come to a fruitful collaboration in the name of Nicola Tesla?
I hadn’t been in a band since The Doomsday Cult was disbanded in 2004, and I started to get hungry for creating music again. In 2009 I bought a guitar for my eldest daughter and started to play on it. It was so inspiring that I bought my own guitar. I played bass in The Doomsday Cult and hadn’t played guitar since 1989. A lot of ideas and riffs started to evolve and it became obvious that I had to do something with the material.
I contacted Ola Blomkvist from Griftegård whom I had played with in The Doomsday Cult. He had some riffs that didn’t suit Griftegård and the ball started to roll. We talked for some months before Micael Zetterberg was approached in 2011. He was interested, and Wardenclyffe was born. We were a trio without a bass player until Emil Åström joined the month before Control All Delete was recorded in July 2014. We asked Robert Karlsson to take over my guitar playing in the fall of 2014. I had actually been in contact with him about a project, then I moved to my home town Norrköping as early as in 1997. Nothing happened at that time but this time it was the right conditions.
How did you choose such a name for the band? What aspects of Tesla ideology and explorations would you like to reflect in Wardenclyffe’s songs?
It just came to me. Tesla has come up a lot of times in my research and he was a very interesting character. I suggested the name early on, but it was considered a strange choice at first. Some thought it sounded like the name on a beer. But I insisted and the name started to show its real meaning.
We are named after Nicola Tesla’s experimental facility in New York that bore the name Wardenclyffe. He had a dream to free humanity with wireless energy, and the Wardenclyffe tower was a part of that. The world was, however, not ready. I admire Tesla’s vision and humanitarian drive. He was a true genius, but some of the things he made were sadly misused.
Wardenclyffe is quite symbolic for me. It reflects, in my interpretation, the connection with the divine and creative energy that everyone can tap into. The realm from which artists, musicians, authors, and scientists gets their inspiration. It also reflects the sexual union between man and woman that creates new life. It is a true divine experience. The drive for Wardenclyffe is to reestablish that connection to humanity. Great powers usually try to suppress the true knowledge that we all have a right to obtain. We want to overrule them and instead ignite the tower of knowledge. That’s why our motto is “Let’s Conspire to Ignite”.
You and Ola play (or played in your case) in doom bands, but Micael and Emile are from death metal outfit Terrorrama, while Robert is from the black metal crew Misericordia. Does all this experience of each of the band’s members reflect in your work on Wardenclyffe’s?
Yes of course. We are a diverse and experienced band and everyone has abilities to contribute. My idea from the beginning was to mix my experiences with my previous bands and make something new out of it. Not to stick to some kind of formula, but be open for new directions. I have not only played doom but also thrash and death metal in Captor. Since Emil and Robert became members after the material for Control All Delete had been written, their contributions and style will be obvious when the next record is recorded.
Control All Delete sounds like a classic and traditional doom album with heavy, solid riffs, sharp solos, and mourning chants. Where do you see the strongest sides of Wardenclyffe?
We have a great band chemistry and don’t stick to rules. Lyrics with deep meaning. We have a unique concept that makes us more original than the average bands. Yet we have the tradition in our blood. And we have the commitment to create something that will ignite.
Who are your teachers, speaking about the doom scene?
I can only speak for myself. But we share some influences. The most important is of course Black Sabbath. Both music and lyrics. Never get tired of it. But I like bands from the late ’80s and early ’90s like Trouble, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Sadness, and Celtic Frost. But the styles and moods reflected in our music come from a lot of our sources as well. Not just from the regular doom scene.
From first glance it seems that Wardenrclyffe’s lyrics on Control All Delete deal with science or at least sci-fi topics. But I read it and it reminds me of your previous band Doomsday Cult, or Ola’s Griftegard, because of texts connected with eschatological stuff and some Christian symbolism… How do you see the general “message” of Wardenclyffe?
That is of course a case of interpretation. But we do have some similar ground. Ola and I have always shared an interest in these subjects and we both contributed with lyrics in The Doomsday Cult. I am, though, the architect of the Wardenclyffe concept and have written the lyrics to all but one song (which Ola contributed with). But Ola is very important as a creative partner, and we have discussed our topics extensively.
Wardenclyffe warns of the dangers from destructive and invasive technology that wants to transform us into beings without the human spark. We deal with the transhumanist agenda and the bizarre connections with the occult and New Age (like the teachings of theosophists like Alice Bailey). It connects to Bailey and her “spiritual masters’” “Great Plan” that works to unite humanity (global governance) in order to create a new human root race and prepare for the “spiritual masters” to reign us in physical form. The cleansing of the planet. The New Age. The stories, though, are draped in Christian and mythological clothing with inspiration from The Book of Revelations. Our message is to wake up and take control over our selves. Overthrow the predators that feeds upon us and ignite the divine connection.
Do you share Tesla’s bright vision of the future as you see the point where humanity is today? Well… though I suppose Wardenclyffe would be playing some happy power metal if things could be so positive…
I think we have a bright future. We just have to beat the hydra that resides in us and the powers that want to take possession of our planet. It might be a harsh battle, but evil will never win the game. Wardenclyffe will be a beacon of light that will shine as long as we have to. In the aftermath we might write a requiem and bury the band.
Jacob, it’s said that your demo record was released with the dissertation “ORDO AB CHAO: The political history of biofuels in the European Union – Actors, networks and strategies”. What is it?
It is my major work and was the result of 5 years of doctoral studies. I found a lot of the themes we deal with in Wardenclyffe in the process. Strange connections in high politics to both occult and transhumanist thought. I therefore decided to include a soundtrack to the book with the same title as the doctoral thesis. The band has been tightly connected with my research. In the thesis I mapped the behavior and connections between organisations and found out intriguing stuff about the “big global agenda”. How power manipulates opinion and shapes politics behind the scenes. How we march towards global governance in order to solve problems created by the masters themselves. A politician involved with a think-tank that I had mentioned as influential actually tried to prevent the thesis from being approved. It was a real thriller to both write and navigate in the academic world.
Where can people who don’t have the “Ordo ab Chao” demo read this work?
It is available online but it is written in Swedish. I have, though, translated parts of it, and it will be available through my own and Wardenclyffe’s webpage.
What was your favorite book in school?
It is hard to say, as I have always been self-taught. I dismissed the stuff they wanted me to read in school and instead studied things at home. My parents had lots of books. I have not been that much into fiction but instead studied facts. My favorite book was the Atlas and the maps of the world. I have always wanted to know how the world works and it started with learning the countries, cities, rivers, and mountains of the world. I did much later obtain a Master of Arts in Geography. But I had learned most of it as a curious and introverted child.
Jacob, I know that this question has a weak connection with music, but after all I’d still like to ask – what is your occupation?
I am a free soul working as an author, scholar, and musician. It all connects. I have also done a lot of teaching at the university. Now I work for my own. The book Domedagsklockan (The Doomsday Clock) came out late in 2013, and my latest work An Inconvenient Journey will soon be published. The first one deals with how the elite (like the Rockefellers) use scare tactics to reach their goals, and the latter is about my academic experiences to get out my work. A real thriller.
Indeed… the band’s name and general conception are pretty original. Do you sense a lack of new ideas in doom music nowadays?
It seems that it is much easier to copy than to really do something unique. But it is a matter of mixing influences into something that sounds fresh. I hope we will be able to live up to that. But we can never get back to the days when Black Sabbath created a totally new sound.