First of All: Congratulations to your album. “The Dark Epic” Are you satisfied with the Album in all the Detail, and what are your expectations for this Album?
Thanks! I´m very satisfied. We couldn´t have done it better. We´ve worked extremely hard to form this album and it has taken us longer than usual because of line-up changes and just plain and simple recharge of the batteries. I really hope that people will enjoy the album and see this as a new, fresh and improved One man army.
Can you describe the new Album in your own Words comparing it with its predecessors?
t´s definitely more aggressive compared to the old ones. Not that much melody but more straight riffing. The songs are mainly longer, more epic and includes more surprises for the listener. Jonas Blom, the new guy has written most of the music which has put a couple of different elements into the whole approach even if you still can hear the basic Army sound. And personally I think I sing better than in years.
What are the Lyrics about? – Are there any lyrics which deal with personal experiences or what are they about in general?
The lyrics deals with a lot of different topics. A lot of stuff is inspired by true events and some stuff is pure fiction but I try to mix it all to get them a more personal. I´m truly happy with how they turned out this time. They really fit the music and they are more brutal compared to the previous work. Earlier I sometimes used a lot of dark humour but now it´s only darkness.
Let’s have a closer look to the music of “The Dark Epic” now. For me the Album sounds fresh and with many new Ideas, although it’s still Death/Thrash. Tell us about the development of the Album and the Songwriting Process? Where there any changes in your way of working on the new material?
Well, Mikael quit in early 2009 so we had to find another guy. That guy came to be Jonas Blom.I wasn´t that inspired into writing music for this album. I only wrote “Inside the head of God” but we knew that Jonas was a great songwriter and he had a lot of ideas going so we kinda tried out some songs which we felt were perfect for One man army. Actually he wrote so many song that we had to put the breaks on him cause we had like 13-14 songs in the end and we put the best 9 on the album. But there were talks in the beginning how we wanted the album to sound so we chose the songs very carefully to get all 9 to really fit together. We wanted to go away from the typical 3-4 minute songs and step outside the boundaries to create something special. That was the main idea anyway, and I think we succeeded.
Less Death melodies can be heard on “The Dark Epic”. Therefore the Thrash Metal Component was increased again. Planned, or randomly happened?
Yeah, that was pretty much planned. We wanted more basic aggression and no “happy” pop melodies just to sell more albums. But of course there are some melodic parts but not in the same vein as on some of the old songs. We´re letting the riffs do the talking along with me screaming like a madman;-)
And what can you tell us about the Recording Sessions in general?
It was a really smooth recording. We were there for 4 weeks and I don´t think we´ve ever been this prepared like we were now. We just nailed the songs one by one and I recorded the vocals pretty much in first takes. We had a lot of discussions concerning the production. I wasn´t too happy with the sound on Grim Tales cause it´s actually too good, haha. Way too clean and too much fixing here and there. We were too picky, but now we aimed for a more raw and aggressive feeling with a vibe that you´re listening to it live. Turn up the volume and you´ll understand what I mean. And my voice really fits the new songs very well. I´m screaming more like I did back in the day with The Crown.
Which influence had Jonas Kjellgren (Producer – d.Verf.) on „The Dark Epic“, and why did you choose him?
We had a similar view on things and he created a really good atmosphere on the album. The reason for using him again is basically cause he makes you feel really good while recording your parts. He is a really nice friend, awesome at his job and the whole vibe is really relaxed which is really important when you´re recording an album. If you feel the pressure to perform 110%, then you will probably only perform 80% but if you don´t have any pressure, then you will probably perform 120% if you understand what I mean and that´s basically how we have felt during these sessions with Mr. Kjellgren. Very relaxed.
What are your musical influences, and which music do you listen to at the moment when you are at home?
Our influences has pretty much been the same from the start. Metallica, Slayer, Morbid Angel, Death to name a few. When I´m home I´m not listening to music that much but when I do there´s a lot of Kiss and Metallica and some Elvis Presley now and then.
Is there a favourite song of yours from the album? If so: Which one and why? If not: Which one gets the most attention in Live concerts?
My favourite song is “Sandman apocalypse” cause it has everything that this album stands for. It´s epic and it includes a lot of different musical parts which makes it very interesting in the long run. This is also the only song we have played live so far. We did a show in my hometown like a month before we headed into the studio so we tried out this actual song and the audience seemed to dig it a lot.
Last question about your new Album: Tell us about the real cool coverart. And: In which way does it reflect the Album title from your point of view?
The coverart is done by Bjoen from Killustrations. An awesome guy that has done great merchandise for us earlier. He was totally into the idea to do something like this already 2-3 years ago but then we had different visions but now we kinda wanted to break free from General Grim so I contacted him about doing something different and special for us. Not like the old coverarts. It shows the Grim Reaper out in the fields and you can´t get more death metal than that, haha. The dark epic... in my eyes is all about death surrounding us, being everywhere and you don´t know when it will strike. Life and death is the two most real things you will be a part of in your lifetime. That´s why this cover is so perfect to the title.
But before I switch to more common Topics about ONE MAN ARMY AND THE UNDEAD QUARTET. There is a question about the Line-Up: Who is actually in the Band, and who played the Guitars on “The Dark Epic” ? The InfoSheet says, Mikael Lagerblad is still your Guitarist, but to my knowledge he left the Band in 2009 and was replaced by Jonas Blom.
Yeah, a lot of people is asking the same question. It has clearly been a mistake on the info sheet. Jonas is Mikaels replacement.
When you started with ONE MAN ARMY AND THE UNDEAD QUARTET, what was your aim? And how far are you on your way to achieve it?
My aim was to be happy with what I was doing and if I earned some money, then that would have been great. Now today I´m still happy but still I see no money, haha. No, but seriously. I wanted to start a death metal band cause I missed being in one after The Crown split up in 2004. And I´m very proud that I managed to do so by my own hands and as long as I have fun playing in this band I will continue doing it so my aim is still to knock out people with my music.
How important is it for you to play live on stage?
To play live is what keeps us going. To record good albums and then play the new songs live. That´s a magic feeling for me.
Please tell us something about further Live activities.
We will hopefully get some liveshows in the summer and then maybe a tour in the fall. I can´t wait to come out and do some serious damage, hehe.
´Is there a question left that you would like to answer? And what is the answer?
Well, I think you pretty much covered it all with these excellent questions. Thank you.
We are looking forward to seeing you in Germany. Best wishes to you all. Any finishing words?
And we are looking forward to come back to Germany. Hopefully soon. Thank you very much and be sure to check out our Onemanarmyofficial facebook page for the latest news.