La Baza Gatului: When have you started digging metal, when have you started playing it and when did you figure that this was going to be your “path”?
Rogga Johansson: I was starting to like metal sometime when I was around 7 or 8 years old. An older kid from where I lived showed me the stuff and I was hooked. I guess that’s the way pretty much anyone gets hooked really.
And I started playing music when I was maybe around 13 years old, but then it was industrial music as me and my friend who I did music with couldn’t really play any instruments, so we used sampling. We mixed the metal and the industrial stuff we came across back then. A few years after that I got more into pure extreme metal, around ´92 and then I knew what stuff I was meant to do.
La Baza Gatului: You are well-known for being a prolific musician and for participating in many musical projects (Demiurg, The Grotesquery, Revolting, Paganizer, Ribspreader to name a few). Where do you get all this energy and inspiration? What keeps you motivated?
Rogga Johansson: Fuck man I have no idea really. I just think it’s fun to do music and different projects. Back when I was a teenager I always started projects, just as I do now. It is always for the fun of it, to record some stuff and that’s all. So the motivation I guess is to always have fun, to do some stuff that is fun to record and make happen and get to life, musically.
La Baza Gatului: As a parent with many children, even though this might sound a little unfair, could you please tell me which musical project is the dearest to you?
Rogga Johansson: Paganizer is my "live playing band", and the band I’ve basically had going since ´94 (then under the name Terminal Grip) so that’s a fave that way. But also The Grotesquery is a fave as it’s a great album and has the legend Kam Lee on vocals, and I also love Demiurg as it’s simply a great project. The latest album Slakthus Gamleby is probably the best album I’ve worked on.
La Baza Gatului: On a funny note now, do you remember all the bands you’ve played in?
Rogga Johansson: No haha. Almost I guess, but I’m sure I forget something haha.
La Baza Gatului: With you being so active, one question comes to mind: what do you eat and what do you drink that makes you so creative?
Rogga Johansson: I fuckin’ love Thai food and beer. I breathe beer haha! Mexican food and Chinese food is also massively great. I live for food really, food and beer and music haha.
La Baza Gatului: Do you manage to make a living out of music?
Rogga Johansson: No, unfortunately not. There’s not money to be earned in this scene these days, I guess its all in the touring.
La Baza Gatului: What is your opinion on the death metal scene in general and the Swedish one in special? What old and new bands do you appreciate?
Rogga Johansson: I think it’s very much going, especially in Sweden. Lots of new bands are coming up which is very cool, I don’t know them though. As for old bands I must say my faves are Uncanny and Megaslaughter. Awesome fuckin’ stuff.
La Baza Gatului: As far as I know, you write the lyrics for most of the bands you’re involved into. Weren’t you ever tempted to publish a book?
Rogga Johansson: Haha well, I don’t think anyone would be interested in a book done by me. I’m not interesting enough I guess, or did you mean my lyrics alone? Anyways, it’s a cool idea, and if anyone is interested I would love to spew my fantasies onto paper haha, or simply submit my lyrics thru the years.
La Baza Gatului: On our previous discussion (exclusively about Demiurg) you’ve told me that it is kind of hard for you to manage to financially sustain and fund a tour. Is playing live that difficult for your other projects also?
Rogga Johansson: Well now when Paganizer once again has a functioning line-up any offers can be taken, but for larger projects as Demiurg and Grotesquery it’s all a question of logistics. If the festival or promoter can’t get Kam Lee or the guys from Demiurg on a flight and pay for it, it’s not gonna happen. These guys are not gonna get in a row boat and paddle across the ocean really. But I’m quite sure that Demiurg will get to some festivals, perhaps next year or perhaps the year after, depending on if the world is still here then haha.
La Baza Gatului: I see you are quite active on the internet (MySpace, Facebook). What is your opinion about these social networks?
Rogga Johansson: MySpace I’m not using at all, really. That place I can’t stand, these days when it’s not even working. Facebook I’ve used only a short while but it’s cool to use to connect. So yeah, I like the net, and I welcome any fan to contact me if they wanna ask something at all really.
La Baza Gatului: Metal doesn’t usually sell that many units. With the free circulation of the mp3 files that seems to be getting out of control, the situation of the metal scene appears to be quite grim, especially for underground/brutal bands. How do you see the future of metal?
Rogga Johansson: I think the future is as good as it’s been lately. Sure, it doesn’t sell and no one gets any money, but people are having fun, just like 20 years ago it seems. I mean just understand that Asphyx is going again, or the fuckin’ masters of Divine Eve. That’s cool as all fuckin’ hell, and they don’t do it for the cash, as there is no cash. So the scene will live on I’m sure, the net makes it available for anyone which is great, and if it kills the labels it’s shitty but in the end the music will still live on and thats the main thing, isn’t it?
La Baza Gatului: I know you live in a small city in Sweden, Gamleby? How do you spend your free time? Is there some kind of a metal community out there?
Rogga Johansson: Well here there’s no metal community, so I spend my time doing music, drinking, eating and spending time with my dog and my wonderful wife. I could have a worse life eh? Haha.
La Baza Gatului: What was the highest point of your career and what was the lowest?
Rogga Johansson: Releasing an album and going on tour. These are the high points I guess. Low points would be cancelled tours and members dropping off, when stuff is planned. Yeah I guess that’s a pretty accurate list of pros and cons.
La Baza Gatului: Do you feel accomplished both as a musician and as a human being?
Rogga Johansson: Haha, as a musician yes, I mean I can’t really wish for much more, I’ve done so many albums that I love already. As a human being I’m not fulfilled yet, there’s still some stuff to do there I think.
La Baza Gatului: Where do you picture yourself in 10 years from now?
Rogga Johansson: In a house instead of an apartment together with my Lisa and hopefully a bunch of kids, that’s pretty much it. That’s the thing I need to work on more, all else is just finished really. Musically.
La Baza Gatului: Could you please name the perfect metal band (one that does not exist in reality and one that does exist)?
Rogga Johansson: Hahaha, well the perfect death metal band would’ve been Six Feet Under if they stayed together, which answers both questions. The first albums and the mini album are just classics, they should’ve gone on further I think.
La Baza Gatului: What was the latest movie you’ve watched, the latest book you’ve read and the latest album you’ve listened to that really impressed you?
Rogga Johansson: I really liked Machete, it was a fun movie that was also enough impressive. As for books I usually just re-read old Lovecraft stuff, I’m boring like that, but the novel collection Frontier Cthulhu is quite ok if nothing real good though. And as for album, the new album of Demonical is fuckin’ killer stuff.
La Baza Gatului: What are your future (musical and non-musical) plans?
Rogga Johansson: Ah fuck knows haha. I guess playing live with Paganizer during 2012, releasing some more albums and then trying to get my soloproject with a huge amount of guests out too.
La Baza Gatului: In the end, before the thanks and saying goodbye part, I’d like you to describe the following bands in only one word each:
1 Demiurg - FUN
2 Paganizer - OLDSCHOOL
3 Ribspreader - EXTRAFUN
4 The Grotesquery - OMINOUS
5 Bone Gnawer - CANNIBALISTIC
6 Revolting - CATCHINESS
7 Bloodgut - DIRT
La Baza Gatului: Thank you very much for your time and kindness in making this interview happen. A word for our readers?
Rogga Johansson: Check my bands out, mmmmmkay?