When guitarist Richard Lagergren left the mighty Portrait back in 2012, he immediately worked on forming his own band. He called Patrick Dagland, who had been sitting in as a drummer for Portrait (on the 2012 tour). Richard had already penned three original numbers: “Crossroads Calling”, “Let Him In” and “Wither”.
However, there was still a missing piece to the puzzle as Richard Lagergren (who is handling guitars, bass and keyboards for Source) explains: “The main reason for why those three tracks weren’t recorded any sooner than almost four years later, was our struggle to find a decent vocalist. The remaining parts of the band could always be scrapped together later, but that’s what we needed in order to at least start recording. Damn have I wished I had the vocal chords for it myself over the years, being the type of songwriter to compose all of the vocal melodies and parts on my own from the beginning anyway. My attempts at singing them have however this far proven unsatisfactory. Well anyway, in 2015 Oscar Carlquist, whom you might know from the band Ram, expressed an interest in recording and possibly singing on the material. During the recordings he would subsequently become a full-time member. Last year he would however leave, after which we would find ourselves sort of back on square one, as far as recording and performing went. Until now, when we have new vocalist Emil Busk in our ranks, and have managed to assemble a full performance line-up.”
“Crossroads Calling”, “Let Him In” and “Wither” now constitute Source’s debut EP, adding a fourth track by the name of "The Serpent Is Rising", originally penned by American AOR band Styx in 1973. Quite an unusual choice. Richard Lagergren explains: “We listened to the »The Serpent Is Rising« album by Styx during a period of recording the demo, and would soon find that this number would be a nice one for the repertoire. So last spring, we went in and recorded it as a bonus track for this EP issue of the demo. If you listen back to the original and our version, you may find a few rearrangements were made. There is also stuff that Styx had played on keyboard that I do on guitar and so on, and we sort of did our own take on the middle part of the song.”
With Richard Lagergren on guitar and Oscar Carlquist on vocals it would be tempting to describe Source’s debut EP as a cross between Portrait and Ram. According to the guitarist, however, this description could not be further from the truth: “Often I’ll get the feeling that such ‘descriptions’ are based merely around people’s prior notions of what this or that band member otherwise does or has done before, rather than on them having firstly given the actual music a proper listen. From this viewpoint I can understand the ways of these bands whose members will try and remain anonymous, in order to give the music a chance to stand alone. The human - or at least metal fan’s - mind is otherwise all to prone on making these lazy, premature assumptions of what something is. Mix this, mix that. It’s a bunch of songs I wrote, period. You know, I have not been on any Portrait recording since 2010’s »Crimen Laesae Majestatis Divinae«. You could likely hear melodic resemblances to Source on that album, for which I wrote the majority of the music, but Portrait have since released two albums, and I wonder if these two bands sound all that similar today. After all, mine and Lindell’s styles of writing always were quite different (becomes apparent if you compare his and my material on the first album, for instance). I think the bands could well stand on their own. Would anyone hear any Ram in Source, I’d suspect it would be due to the possible associations to come with Oscar’s vocals on this recording. And then again, I think he sung in quite a different way in Source. His voice aside, are there really many other similarities to Ram in the music?”
Probably not. Point taken. “Crossroads Calling” for example (well, there is a Portrait ‘reference’ there in the song title) is quite a long and epic number with lots of tempo changes, the song structure indeed being a bit similar to »Nuns Have No Fun« and »Melissa« era Mercyful Fate … Richard Lagergren has the full story: “That song I actually initially wrote with a third Portrait album in mind, and the title for that album was set before my departure. I simply took the song with me. My first bedroom recording of it dates to June, 2012, and little changed in the song since. As for any Mercyful Fate similarities in the song structure, I don’t think I have considered it much, but it's possible. I actually don’t remember at all what I was thinking when I wrote it. Then on the other hand it’s rarely a matter of actively thinking much when I write music. To me, in hindsight, ’Let Him in’ would be the by far most ‘Danish’ sounding piece on the recording.”
All in all, the four tracks are quite technical in the sense that they contain a vast array of different riffs. Riff-wise bands like Diamond Head and also Angel Witch were known to incorporate numerous different guitar parts, was their way of approaching things an influence on Source at all? “I guess that’s how I tend to go about from time to time,” confesses the Swedish guitarist and songwriter. “There could be a couple of riffs and parts before I feel done. Then again, if you look at a song like ‘Wither’, it is based on quite a traditional rock structure and not so overtly progressive or pompous to its nature. And ‘Let Him In’, if you will, could be Black Sabbath on 45 rpm. I have never had the mindset of going ‘technical’, or however the songs are perceived, for the sake of doing so, but am just going where a song takes me. I like both Diamond Head and Angel Witch, and I’m sure they may have influenced me to some extent (how »Lightning To The Nations«, in its own right, can not be a more famous album is beyond me). Along with a possible and vast number of other bands and artists, of which you could say the same regarding how they’d from time to time build up a song.”
As the seeds for Source were sown way back in 2012, it’s no wonder that a full-length album is already in the can: “An album has long been in the plans, yes. There is plenty of material laying around, older and newer. However, since there’s been so much time since the demo release, and to introduce our new singer and all that, next up will as of now be a 7” release, which we intend to go record in the beginning of this coming autumn.”