There is a great new Nocrutnal Rites album out in the stores. Please describe the reactions to the CD so far. The reactions have been amazing! I don't think we've ever had an album been recieved like this before. Everyone seems to like the album and we're just thrilled and very happy about that.
What are the differences between "New world messiah" and it's predecessor in your opinion? Shadowland had a rougher production and maybe didn't sound much like a "power" metal record. This one sound new and very up to date but still heavy
and loud. Songwise, I guess all our records sound unique. Actually, I don't think we have two records that sound exactly the same or similar. Maybe that's because we never look back on what we've done before. A very big part of having fun while writing songs and recording them is to experiment and try new ideas. However, this record sounds very much like us but still new, innovating and fresh in my opinion.
What are the reasons for these differences? Beacuse we love writing songs and taking on new challenges all the time. Writing the same record again and again would end up being boring - to play and to write. I think the fans expect a new record to offer something part from what they already know you can do or already did.
I like your melodic speed sound very much, for example the title track or the furious pair at the end of the album. But most of all I like two songs that are a little bit different from the others. My favourite one is "Against the world". Can you tell us something about this song and it's history? This song is actually one of my faves too. It took some time to complete and maybe wasn't as easy to write as some of the other songs on the album. Fredrik came up with the main riff at home and brought that to our little
studio. Then Nils and I joined him in completing the other parts. The first version of the song lived on for quite some time, but in the end we changed like half the song before we went into the studio. I'm glad we did because it turned out so much better. Some songs really have to "mature" before you decide they're ready. This was one of those songs and in the end it turned
out to be one of the best heavy songs we've ever written.
And what about "Egyptica"? Nils wrote the whole song and showed it to me and Fredrik. We like the main riff so much, it has so much energy even though it's really heavy. Then we worked out the vocal parts together with Jonny. This song really sticks out fom the rest of the record and it feels nice to have it on the album.
Which are YOUR favorite songs from the album and why? My faves are "Against the World", like I said, "Awakening" and "Avalon". "Against the World" because it has a really big and singalongish chorus that sticks to your mind like crazy. It's also a great live song. We just did it at some shows we had this weekend and it's perfect for the live format! "Awakening" because it has a lot of changes and elements. It's not just melodic and has a strong chorus - it's fast, heavy and agressive. "Avalon" because it's so uplifting. It sort of makes you happy and full of energy. I love songs that trigger some sort of emotion.
How and why did you choose the album cover? Is there a further meaning behind it? We always like to have a song title represent the album and we chose "New World Messiah" because it had a nice ring to it and was easy to illustrate. The meaning of the actual cover has little to do with the song. In some way they're connected though. Mankind has always looked for something to worship or something to transport them somewhere in thought. Be it religion
or something else, it's always been a fact. I guess as the world grows colder and sometimes seem really sinister and selfish, people seem to turn more and more towards drugs, alchohol, TV or religious fanatacy. Times are changing and we constantly need new things to worship.
Are there some lyrics that are special to you? Tell us something about them. I usually don't write personal lyrics. I use other persons to portray something. I am not the one that ends up singing them anyway, so... Which by the way you should be lucky for, because I couldn't sing at gunpoint even. But I guess all lyrics are equally important because I wrote them and spent time thinking about them. Some more than other of course, but in the end all songs are equal because they generally take as much time writing.
What about the recording process of your new album? Any funny stories or curiosities to report? Well, we always have fun. We make jokes and pranks all the time, but right now my mind seems to be blank. Maybe because we have too much fun to single out one event? It would be easier if everything was so boring we almost couldn't stand it and then one day something funny happened... But luckily that's not the case.
Any plans for some further stuff of "New world messiah" (like singles, video, DVD etc.)? We have shot a video for "Awakening" that should be on TV all over Europe soon, hopefully. If you don't see it anywhere, make sure you request it till they hate you and start playing it to finally get rid of you! It's quite
funny and looks amazing. Part from that we haven't had time to plan any other things yet. We've had plans of making some live recording for quite some time now and as soon as we find the ideal show and cicumstances we'll record something for you all. I would love a DVD with lots of crazy extra material.
Please tell us something about the Nocturnal Rites process of songwriting. It's worked out the same way for years now. Fredrik or Nils come up with an idea, then the three of us sit down in our studio and work around it. Sometimes Fredrik or Nils writes larger chunks at home before they bring
them in, but in the end it's always a team effort. After we have a rough idea of how the song should be, we make a recording of it and bring in Jonny. Then we work on vocals together and finally I bring the song home and put words to it. Then I guess, like every other band, we practise it and make final changes and evetually a new song is born.
What are your musical influences in your opinion? We all have different musical tastes, which surely is an asset when we write together. We're into everything from really melodic hard rock to country and even death metal. We listen anything - fusion, jazz, classical
and pop. So, I can't single out specific bands that we all can agree on as influences, there are too many. I think this in the end works to our benefit because I'd like to think that we in some way sound like no other band even though we act in a genre where many bands sound almost identical.
We'd like to know something about your background in making music. How did you learn to play, what are your experiences and which musicians are your main technical influence? I started by playing the acoustic guitar at school when I was about 10. You know, Twinkle Litte Star and those kind of songs. I started my first band together with a friend though not long after, but for some reason I began as a drummer. My friends had had drums in the garage and Marcus, my friend, played the guitar and organ (!). We were called Frightsyts and had two song - Fright night and Fright King, haha. We were horrible. We later had some other bands as well. But in 1990 I joined Nocturnal Rites as a bassist. From the moment I first took the guitar in my hands I knew that I would devote my life to music, it was that much fun. I still consider it the most important thing in life (part from family, of course) and I am really proud of the work
we've accomplished over the years. I don't really have any influences. I just play and laugh!
What do you think: How will Nocturnal Rites sound like in let's say five years? Probably the same but still different. We don't try to be more than we are - we do what we love and feel comfortable with. It's all about having fun and I wouldn't dream of trying to do something that I didn't feel strongly for.
Please name some lately released CDs that you like to listen to at home. Masterplan definetly did a nice record. I just love Jorn's voice. He's definteöy one of the top singers out there. Part from that I rarely have time to listen to music that much at home. If we're not writing, we're practising or doing something else. When I'm home I usually watch TV or movies. But sometimes I like to put on some old Journey or Bon Jovi to get me out of the couch. That always gets me going.
Do you still watch other bands play? Have there been some shows lately that impressed you? On tour or at festivals I watch the bands that play, for sure. Slayer last year at Wacken was really cool, In Flames too. Twisted Sister at Sweden Rock Festival was of course an experience (as will Judas Priest and Europe be this year, no doubt). Part from that I haven't seen anything lately that stuck on my mind.
What makes the difference between Nocturnal Rites and other Swedish Melodic Power Metal bands? We walk our own way, we sound like a unit and we always deliver... I'm trying to say that and still be humble, but I do think it's true. We don't take ourselves too seriously. The music is always really serious, but we're in this band for the fun and we want to share that with the fans. We don't like to strap on leather and chains and look evil or cool, it's all about the music. We've also come to be a really loose and entertaining live band.
We'd like to know something about the underground in your hometown. Are you still in touch? And if so: Where do you hang out? Are there some yet unknown bands that you like? We have quite a lot of bands up here. Back in the early 90's Umeå was known for its many death metal bands, a few years later for its hard core scene with bands like Refused or Abhinanda. Nowadays we have bands playing all kinds of styles and it's actually quite a few shows and things happeing. We have a few rock clubs and bars, like Rock Side and Rock garden where
pretty much all the metal heads gather and get noisy together. So, we do have fun even though we're way up north in a cold town called Umeå.
What about the Italian Melodic Speed Metal Scene? Do you know some bands, and if so, is there friendship, rivalry or more or less nothing special? Well, we toured with Labyrith a few years ago and that was fun. Very nice guys indeed! Part from them I don't know that many Italian bands, part from Rahpsody and of course Lacuna Coil. But I bet there are tons of great bands that I still haven't discovred yet. There is no rivalry, at least not from our side. I don't think there is much of that in the metal scene in Europe, at least I haven't seen any.
Please tell us something about further Live activities. You will be on tour with Edguy. What do you expect from it? This tour will blow you through the roof. Three great bands that sound unique and special in their own way can't go wrong. It will be so much fun to get back out there again - we haven't toured since Japan last year. We've just been writing songs and recording so we can't wait to do what we love the most. This tour will be the best and biggest one this year, no doubt in my mind.
Do you know the Edguy Guys already? What do you think of them? No, I still haven't met them which maybe is a little strange. But I'm sure they're nice - they seem to have humor and it looks like they're in for the fun and the right reasons
We are looking forward seeing you on tour in Germany. Best whishes to you all. Any last words? Come see the shows, have a good time and make sure to play New World Messiah loud on your stereos before you go. See you soon, people.
That will be no problem. "Loud" is the only degree on my stereo. See you on tour!!!!