The Oath Vocalist Johanna Sadonis Talks New Album, Fascination With Death + More
European band the Oath are putting out some of the most interesting music today as they take you back decades with their old school, raw and heavy sounds. Loudwire had the opportunity to pick the brain of vocalist Johanna Sadonis, who discussed the group's new self-titled album (available at iTunes) and some of the tracks from the disc. Sadonis also spoke about working with Watain’s Erik Danielsson, plus she offers her thoughts on death and the beyond. Check out our interview below:
The music on the record ‘The Oath’ is eerie and psychedelic yet dark and hypnotic. How was the overall creative process for you?
The creative process was quite magical as [guitarist] Linnéa [Olsson] and I work very well together when writing music. We both share a vision and have a very synced understanding of how we want our music to sound and where we draw inspiration from. Things fell quite magically into place for us on many levels. We wrote two of the songs on the album just one day before we flew to the studio in Stockholm to record the album.
Where do you draw inspiration from when creating music?
From music first of all, we both are big music fans and dedicated our lives to music in every way since a very early age. Into play comes spirituality, death, loss, sex and drugs and all kinds of other demons you summon within yourself.
In the band biography it states that there is an “unhealthy fascination for death and the beyond.” What is it about death and the beyond that is intriguing for you? When did you realize you had this fascination?
Death has always been very present for me and became a main core of my thoughts when I was a teenager. Death is the inevitable, it is the crown of all things living. My encounters with death by the loss of people I used to be close to and my own destiny and journey into the arms of death are on my mind night and day. It is a curse but also a comfort, an emergency exit or simply self-determination when chosen. It is the pain and beauty of all moments forever gone in this world and the fear and excitement about a bridge into an unknown sphere.
Were there any specific songs for you that were your favorites to record or to write off of this album?
‘Leaving Together’ actually is about the death of a very close friend of mine who died by his own doing many years ago. I can relate very well to this and often think of seeking the same shelter. There is a sisterly comfort I offer him from over here at this point of time where I reside now, reaching out to take his hand and leave together at least in my thoughts. It is my tribute to him and our connection that we have now. Another favorite is definitely ‘Death Delight’ for me and the second part of ‘Psalm 7’ as I find it very powerful.
How was it working with Watain’s Erik Danielsson for a logo design?
Erik is a personal friend of ours. A logo works like a sigil [magical symbol] for me. To have him create this and therefore charge it with his energy means a lot to me as Erik is, like me, a very spiritual soul. I considered it a blessing of another very talented musician who does everything in his life with meaning and purpose.
Did you go to shows when you were growing up? Was there one show in particular that you saw that made you want to be in a band and create music? Elaborate on this experience.
I started going to metal shows when I was 13. Growing up as a teenager in Berlin I was luckily exposed to many concerts. One of the first important shows for me was to see Danzig play in 1993. They were the first satanic band I saw and are a heavy influence up to this day, definitely one of the first bands that drew me towards the devil.
For anyone who is not familiar with The Oath, how would you describe your sound to them?
The Oath is a hard rock / heavy metal band influenced by '70s hard rock, '80s heavy metal, NWOBH, classic doom, some classic black metal and punk.
Just curious, where did the name The Oath come from? Were there other band names in the running and if so what were they?
The first drummer of the Oath, Vincent Wager, and I came up with the name when we founded the band. It is a wink towards Mercyful Fate but also an oath sworn to the gods of rock 'n' roll. There were no other names in the running.
What does 2014 hold in store for The Oath as a whole?
At the moment we are just enjoying the release of our debut album. The future I'd prefer to shroud in mystery.
Listen to The Oath's New Single 'All Must Die'