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Thrown: Fifty shades of Grayout

Thrown hail from Sweden, but if their debut single ‘Grayout’ gives us any indication, they’re headed straight for the stratosphere.

Gut-punching themes of self-loathing and angst drive this balls-to-the-wall hardcore rager, with a full catalogue’s worth of impenetrable might and venomous rage packed into just two short minutes. It’s the kind of song that incites an immediate visceral response – a tight and turbulent sliver of pure, unrestrained sonic catharsis. And according to frontman Marcus Lundqvist, that’s exactly what it is: he and his bandmates – Buster Odeholm on drums, and guitarists Johan Liljeblad and Andreas Malm – aim to use Thrown as an outlet for their own intense and inescapable anguish. It’s heavy as fuck because their minds are heavy as fuck, and all that weight, barbed and bristled as it is, gets poured directly into the music.

What’s truly insane is that ‘Grayout’ comes as the very first song to be released by Thrown – in fact, the band themselves made their debut altogether today. But they’re certainly no strangers to Sweden’s ever-bourgeoning heavy music scene: before leading the fray in Thrown, Lundqvist was the frontman of acclaimed outfit Grieved, who ruled the underground like its kings. Not only doubling as Thrown’s producer, Odeholm also tears shit up in Vildhjarta and Humanity’s Last Breath. With so much raw talent behind them, it’s no wonder why Thrown were scouted by German Warner imprint Arising Empire before they’d even whipped up their first song.

Alongside an equally explosive film clip directed by Lucas Englund (who’s also minted visuals for the likes of Parkway Drive, Architects), ’Grayout’ officially crash-lands onto streaming platforms today. To celebrate, BLUNT hopped on a call with Lundqvist to learn a little more about how it came to life, what the future holds for Thrown (spoiler: a goddamn lot), and how with pandemic-incited restrictions on touring now stripped, the band are looking forward to making an explosive assault on the live metal scene.

Let’s start right at the beginning: what’s the origin story behind Thrown?
The origin is that me and Andreas, we’ve played in other bands together before, and we just felt like we wanted to do something new. This was like two years ago, maybe – we had been touring with our old band, where  the other guitarist, Johan, he was a stand-in on the last few tours, and we just got along super well with him. So it felt natural to ask him if he wanted to be in this new band. He was just like, “Sure!” 

But we actually first got in contact with the Buster, the producer and drummer of this band. He’s also in Vildhjarta and Humanity’s Last Breath, and we got in touch with him because he we wanted him to produce [our music]. We had some pre-production done and we wanted him to just listen to that and see what he could do, mixing- and mastering-wise, and if he if he was into it – but he ended up joining the band because we just started hanging out so much, so that was great. 

We needed a drummer anyway, so we couldn’t have been more perfect! And he had recently moved to Stockholm, only a few months before that, so it was really good timing. We just started hanging out – sometimes we were just talking shit, and sometimes we wrote riffs. We had no proper plan for what we were gonna do with them.

How does your approach to Thrown differ from the approach you had with Grieved? Is it the same kind of atmosphere, as far as the creativity goes, or did you want to try something different?
We definitely wanted to try something different. We wanted make it sound a bit more modern, I guess. Buster produces some very modern metal styles, and we’ve all been listening to more of that lately. We still wanted to make heavy, anxious music, but when you make something completely new and fresh, you can shape it into whatever you want it to be. 

And of course, you never want anyone to think that your new band sounds too much like your old one. I’ve still got the same vocal cords, so it still sounds like me, but I wanted to do something a bit more hectic with my vocals – a faster  flow and more vocal rhythms, and a bit more… I wouldn’t say “rapping”, but you know, like early Slipknot – it’s very fast-paced and there’s lot of fucking syllables going on. So for me, it was just that I wanted to up my vocal game a little bit. 

For the songwriting itself, we just wrote whatever we thought could be cool. Most of the songs are written to be played live – every time we write a breakdown or write in any form of impact for the song, we think about how it’s going to sound live.

“We never knew what fucking year it was going to be when we get to play these songs, but now it feels like there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel…”

Have you guys played live yet?
We’ve been jamming a bit – we had to before we started shooting these videos. But that’s something we’re really looking forward to now, to start rehearsing more freely and actually prepare for the live shows. That’s the best motivation to actually get together and jam, and play through all the songs, now that we’re actually going to be able to play them live after this fucking pandemic. We never knew what fucking year it was going to be when we get to play these songs, but now it feels like there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel.

So was ‘Grayout’ the first song that you guys worked on?
I think, yeah, ‘Grayout’ could actually be the first song that we ever finished. Because of the pandemic, we’ve had a lot of time to write songs, and now we’ve got enough that we’re able to throw some songs away and write more new songs. So ‘Grayout’ is one of a few old songs that we’re still into.

How much material are you sitting on right now?
It’s hard to say, because we have a lot of songs that are half-written. That’s the hardest part with writing heavy music, because you always want to up the game a little bit. Especially with our own sound… I can’t spoil too much, but most of the songs are kind of short, to keep it more hardcore sounding. So when you write shorter songs, it’s even more important for them to be explosive. 

I’d say we’ve got quite a lot of songs, but not as many that we’re happy about. But we writing more now than ever, since we know they’re actually going to be released. Just because we’re so fucking stoked about something actually happening. The pandemic made a lot of bands super creative, from what I seen, but for us it hasn’t really been that way. We’re more creative now than we were during the pandemic…

What is it about the track that made ‘Grayout’ the perfect song to launch Thrown with?
One of the reasons is that it’s got a proper intro. Some of the some of the songs that we’re about to release, it’s just straight into it, y’know? So it felt natural for us to release a song where people can at least think, “What is this? I wonder how it’s gonna sound before it actually hits?” And, also, I think  the sound of ‘Grayout’ is, like, right in-between the other songs we’re about to release. 

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‘Grayout’ is out now via Arising Empire