Grind Finale

9 August 2012 | 9:01 am | Mark Hebblewhite

"For a long time I don’t think any of us could really fathom playing together as Nasum without Mieszko."

On Boxing Day 2004, grindcore lost a true visionary when Nasum frontman Mieszko Talarczyk perished in the catastrophic South Asian Tsunami. Not surprisingly, the remaining band members decided that they couldn't go on without their friend and it seemed that the Nasum story had come to an abrupt and unjust end. Fast-forward to 2011 and grindcore fiends everywhere salivated at the news that Nasum had decided to reform for a limited run of shows. Once the excitement subsided, the questions began. First amongst them: 'Why the change of heart?'

“For a long time I don't think any of us could really fathom playing together as Nasum without Mieszko,” reveals Jesper Liveröd. “But at the same time there was something unspoken there among all of us that we'd like to do something to say goodbye properly as a band, because we never got the chance to do that. Then in late 2011, Anders (Jackobson – guitar) came up to Stockholm with the rest of us and we all got together, had some food and some beers, and talked about everything. The decision was made to put something together that could be a dignified end to Nasum. Once that decision was made, it's amazing how quickly everything came together.”

Don't expect Nasum's once-off reunion to be the spark for any future releases, however. “There is no chance that we will record a new album,” answers a very blunt Liveröd. “It's important to all of us that we stay true to the reasons we decided to do these shows in the first place. That is to give Nasum as a band a dignified and fun end, and to give fans that may not have had the chance to see us live – like you guys down in Australia – the opportunity to do so. If we did anything more than that it would just feel wrong somehow. We want to stay away from any hint of capitalizing or profiting on Mieszko's death - we would never do that.”

In the context of Nasum's decision to reconvene, the band's choice of frontman was particularly symbolic. Liveröd stresses that the band wanted someone who really understood Nasum and the ethos that drove the band. In the end there was only one real candidate.

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“We didn't want some mercenary to join the band for these shows,” he explains. “That's why we chose Keijo (Niinimaa). Not only was he a friend of all of us in the band, he's an amazing artist in his own right. His band Rotten Sound are incredible – definitely one of the best grindcore bands on the planet right now – and his voice is absolutely brutal and suits our material perfectly. Because we didn't want to make a choice lightly, we pondered about it for a couple of months, but when we settled on Keijo it was like a bolt of clarity struck the band and we knew that he was definitely the guy.”

As they've never reached our shores before now, a large percentage of their Australian audiences will be bona-fide 'Nasum virgins'. This presents something of a problem for the band who admit they have a pretty wide range of material to choose from and simply not enough time to play it all. What to do, what to do?

“What do you guys want to hear?” laughs Liveröd, who admits that it will be difficult for the band to construct a setlist that suits everyone's tastes. “I think what we'll do is try and construct a 'best of' set, but at the same time play some of the lesser-known material from some of the seven-inches to mix things up a bit. We've done hundreds of songs over the years and we plan to make the set list for our Australian shows as unpredictable as possible.”