De Arma is a Swedish Gothic rock band founded in 2009 by guitarist, vocalist, and bass player Andreas Pettersson. After enlisting drummer Johan Marklund, the duo recorded three epic tracks for “Towards the Shores of the End” (Nordvis), a 2011 split with British band Fen. In the very earliest incarnation of De Arma, the founder’s black metal roots shine through quite a bit. But there are also plenty of musical elements present which remain a fixture in the band’s sound today.
Photo by Nicklas Lundqvist
MetalgodZradiO: How did you first get into music? Who or what turned you on to rock?
Andreas Pettersson: I’ve been listening to music for as long as I can remember. I bought my first cassette – Europe’s Out of This World – at some point during the 80s, and that’s how it all began. MetalgodZradiO: What got you started playing music and how old were you? How did you become a guitarist?
Andreas Pettersson: I took up playing guitar at some point in high-school. I was never especially interested in playing an instrument just for the sake of playing – composing music has always been my foremost motivation. MetalgodZradiO: Are you proficient in any other instruments? Have you always been creative?
Andreas Pettersson: I wouldn’t necessarily call myself proficient, but I can play a few different string instruments as well as keyboards. The creativity has always been there in several different guises. It hasn’t always necessarily been about music, but art in general.
MetalgodZradiO: What was the local scene like where you’re from, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?
Andreas Pettersson: There wasn’t much of a local scene where I grew up. I was aware of a few local bands who never passed the demo stage, but that’s about it. I don’t have a favorite local band. MetalgodZradiO: How did De Arma come about? Where did you develop the name? Where is it derived from? What other band names were considered? How would you best describe your sound? De Arma is a name which is rather difficult to translate into English in a satisfactory manner. Translated verbatim it means something like “The Poor Ones”. Not “poor” as in bereft of funds, but rather as a term for people who carry unpleasant burdens and their lives in melancholy – a misery not of their own making. If forced to come up with a categorization, we tend to call our music Gothic rock. MetalgodZradiO: How else do you feel Strayed in Shadows differs from your debut Lost, Alien & Forlorn?Andreas Pettersson: I wouldn’t say it’s all that different. If anything, I feel the arrangements and song-smithing is better on Strayed in Shadows. Furthermore, the production is a bit better. MetalgodZradiO: Can you discuss lyrical inspirations?
Andreas Pettersson: Life events, often traumatic ones that leave behind deep scars. MetalgodZradiO: What has the band been doing to keep busy during the pandemic times, and what are you looking forward to as restrictions ease up?
Andreas Pettersson: We have recently recorded new material for an upcoming EP. We are also working on our third album. I can’t really pinpoint anything in particular we’re looking forward to. We are currently not a live band, so we haven’t been affected by the restrictions. MetalgodZradiO: Top 5 albums or songs released in the last 12 months?Andreas Pettersson: Regarding the last twelve months, the only record springing to mind is Pyhä Kuolema’s ‘Uusi panssaroitu Suomi’.