Hi there. Congratulations to your great new album. Please describe the reactions to the CD so far.
Thank you very much! The reactions have been very positive with very high scored reviews and lots of fan emails that state that this is the best we have done so far and that they really love the new sound of Steel Attack.
Do you care for the opinion of your fans, the press and people in general? Or is it just you and your music?
All reviews are a personal taste of music, so we never think of pleasing a certain type of listener. We end up with the sound that is present at that time for the band and so on.
Some of our readers may have not heard about you yet. Please give us a short briefing in the band's biography.
It all started out in 1998 with the contract with AFM records then we released the first album in 1999 ³Where Mankind Fails² and in 2001 the second album ³Fall into Madness² was released the only change in the line up for that record was the drummer. In 2002 we signed for Arise Metal in Spain and 2003 we released the album "Predator of the Empire", with another lead vocalist, bass player and drummer from the first two albums. Now we got the following line up Ronny Hemlin lead vocal, Johan Jalonen guitar, Anden Andersson bass / back vocal, Mike Stark drums, who been in the band since the 3:rd album and John Allan guitar, the only one that are still around since album one.
What are the differences between "Enslaved" and "Predator of the empire" in your opinion?
The music, the lyrics, the cover, the logo, the works. I mean all of it, it got another kind of attitude then the previous ones, listen to it and judge, but this time it may not be as easy listenable as the previous ones, so give some spins and then you will probably agree with us regarding the sound.
What are the reasons for these differences?
Naturally the change of the line up and that we are all much more into the same kind of music.
Is there a message in "Enslaved"?
Religion is VERY dangerous if you are enslaved. Of all fucked up things that happens all over the world, no matter if it is war, kidnappings, Murder, terrorism or some other shit... Religion seems to be the foundation to it. There is also a lot of question marks to some religious behaviours, such as "I¹m killing in the name of the lord and that makes it all right² what the hell kind of good god wants people to kill each other to honour him? And why do some religious cults scare people to believe "Believe or you shall forever burn" etc. etc. That is our point of view to it all.
My favourite is "Forsaken". Can you tell us something about this song and its history?
Thank you, don¹t know what to say about its one of the songs on the album and the feelings we got as well if you listen to the lyrics.
And what about "Son of a thousand souls"?
Probably the one that are the most different song of them all, to some people they think of more progressive, I think just pure music and in the Steel Attack sound and where the band are at now.
Which one is YOUR favourite song from the album and why?
They are all favourites, cant give you one that are more fun to play then the rest, this feeling are so based on the day, place where to play at, audience etc, we changed the song order from each day during the tour with Exciter and Black Abyss so its very hard to give a favourite song.
How and why did you choose the album cover? Is there a further meaning behind it?
We let Pierre Hillberg get the song lyrics and then he came up with that great idea that we think got the meaning behind the enslaved concept.
Are there some lyrics that are special to you? Tell us something about them.
As I said earlier, the are all special to each song and not to one in person, the sound behind the words give the story its right potential so since each listener shall take the words behind each song up on them self (to see if they are slaves, or not) then I will not and cant give the story, see it as I said regarding the reviews, its up to each listener to judge and decide if they are into or not.
Any plans for some further stuff of "Enslaved" (like singles, video, DVD etc.)?
Nothing that we have in plans but there are some songs that could work very nice as a video.
What about the recording process of your new album? Any stories or curiosities to report?
Nothing special or stories that could make it as a anecdote or so. The recording was just pure fun and fucking metal.
How do you create your sound? Which equipment do you use?
The recording was done with Ibanez guitars and the ENGL amp, the bass was lined and the drums where the ones that Jonas got at his studio Black Lounge. We recorded everything on the computer hooked up with Pro Tools.
Please tell us something about the Steel Attack process of songwriting.
The writing process was done in a perfect way for all of us in the band, we decided to start fresh with ideas, since we where a new line up, so we got together with all ideas we had recorded on either computer, digital recorders, tapes or what ever kind of recording gear we had stuff on, parts could be either whole ideas or just simply a riff that was working fine as intro, verse or chorus etc. then we ended up putting parts in a working fashion for the songs and we only rehearsed the song Enslaved and thousands souls with lyrics and the music then the rest was just recorded with a click track and a couple of guitars. We entered the studio and since we never had heard the lyrics or the melody that would hold the lyrics then we had to wait with guitar lines and lead guitars so Ronny could put down the words on the recording, this whole process like this made us never tired of the songs and was great because I personally think that you listen to the songs with much more of a open attitude towards the sound then you would if you where ³over rehearsed² then you would fall into the frustration of nail it in the way it was suppose to be in. this is a great working fashion for us in the band, not to recommend to all but give it a try with recording on a computer and let the music breath till the recording stops.
What are your musical influences in your opinion?
All that sound good, but it must be melodic would be very hard otherwise to listen to. There are other things that can set you in the mood of influences, from daily situations with the kids to what not.
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 influences?
For me it started out in the beginning of the 80s with all that great metal, but as a fan, I started out playing way to late in my opinion, I was nearly 20 when I started out playing myself, I started out playing with friends to form the first band, then 4 years later I decided to go for a year at GIT, September 88 89 which was a total blast of inspiration. I played in other kind of bands as well during the years, everything from cover to other kind of music styles, but with a rock touch in the bottom. Technical influences, hmm, very hard to say, there are to many great musicians around and there are impossible to name them all.
What do you think: How will Steel Attack sound like in let's say five years? Is there a masterplan?
No masterplan, only time will tell. The inspiration and the feel for music is living with you, so five years from now is no chance to think of.
Please name some lately released CDs that you like to listen to at home.
I rarely listen to music at home, most of my spare time is spent with my kids and my wife, but my favourite band right now and who also been so for some time is Symphony X.
Do you still watch other bands play? Have there been some shows lately that impressed you?
Yes of course, I love to go to shows and see band playing live, the live situation is the best way to get the right feeling from the music at any time, then of course the sound can be bad due to many facts like the venue building, the sound engineers own will to get ³his² sound etc. but since I got kids and specially my son who enjoy playing guitar then the live shows with him just started, so it will be very special to go see Iron Maiden here in Sweden next coming year with my son, I saw them myself the first time in 1982. shows that impress me are shows that you tell that the musicians are not just doing it strict up to them self, the best show is the one that interacts with the audience and the bands that you just by seeing them onstage now that this band really are into it and love to play music.
What makes the difference between Steel Attack and other melodic Heavy Metal bands?
Listen and judge with your own ears. I never look for differences/similarities with other bands.
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?
I am from a small town in Sweden the population is just around 20 000, but there are bands here that you probably know of, Carnal Forge, Asperity, and bands that are not working anymore like In thy Dreams, Wombat, etc. then there are other bands as well that are in the progress like the band formed by the guitar players in Carnal Forge and goes under the name Grasp. The place that you can hang out at is found here www.rockland.nu that¹s about it. Then there are just typical clubs that run discotheques etc, so its not for me anyway.
What about the Metal Scene in general? Do you know some bands, and if so, is there friendship, rivalry or more or less nothing special?
The metal scene in general is there. Friend ship with other bands is like a party at least with the ones that we hang out with, like the friends from Carnal Forge, Asperity, The Storyteller and others like Nocturnal Rites when we get together with bands or just a few persons then you know there is a party and laughs nearby. I personally think if you are a band that feels the rivalry then you may be a band that really look for it, music is suppose to be pure fun and done by humans, so don¹t spend time on the bad side of it look for the fun and the cool parts then it gives back so much energy to you.
Please tell us something about further Live activities.
We just got back from the tour with Exciter and the band Black Abyss, and that was the best thing happened so far, you see 3 different bands together for the first time in a single buss and nothing else then pure fun and a memory on live, we had a blast together and hope to reunite again and to it again. Next thing coming up 6 November at Rockland then we will see what happen with other shows but we will look into the chance to play as mush as possible live.
Some statements about "Sweden Rock", please!
Do you mean the magazine? I read it as a subscriber, very cool. Do you mean the festival, and then go there, its great fun and pure fucking party.
Is there something that you have never been asked but always have been eager to say?
Im a fishing fanatic, thanks to Rex Hunt and others.
We are looking forward seeing you in Germany. Best whishes to you all. Any last words?
Thank you very much! Hope that you all that never got to listen to Steel Attack will enjoy the new sound of the band and to all that been with us, hope that you will enjoy this album too as much as we did making it.
Petri Heil, denn, würde ich sagen!