Soilwork - You will see a new band on stage tonight
I have seen Soilwork twice before and twice Metalrage wasn't able to arange an interview. This time we did and it took place on a chair next to frontman Bjorn"Speed" Strid. Here is the result of my conversation.
Hey man, how is life?
Hello, things are great and I am doing well.
What is the tour like so far?
Good, you never know what to expect but I have got to say that it has turned out very well every night with the people and the vibe has been really good.
Can you describe the musical change regarding your first record and your latest?
Well, to me there has always been some kind of basic Soilwork sound throughout the albums. We have always had some kind of trademark which we formed into a new and refreshing shape. Of course there is a pretty big difference if you compare the first one to the new album but I still think we remained Soilwork throughout our entire career.
Stabbing The Drama was better received than Figure Number Five by a lot of critics and fans; do you have an idea why that is?
I think that was because we lost a little bit of the intensity we had on the records we released before Figure Number Five. And that is what we brought back on the new album. The people like our mix between melodies and heavy music which we reintroduced on Stabbing The Drama.
Do you think a new drummer has something to do with these changes?
That might be the case; we brought some new fresh blood into the band and he has a little bit of a different style than Henry had. It is more of an extreme metal drumming and it brings a new groove along. Besides that he added more double kicks to the music.
You played Ozzfest this year, what have you experienced there?
That was a very weird experience in a way. This because you wake up every morning doing the same thing. A huge parking with tents and a huge group of people. That was the most important thing for us, we wanted to play in front of big audiences in The States. And there is no better way to do this than playing on Ozzfest. And we have had good times and some bad times. Definitely worth it.
And a lot of Swedish bands were playing there, that must create a strange atmosphere?
I was happy with the fact there were other Swedish bands playing with us. One advantage was that we didn’t have to speak English all day long.
Did all these bands attracted a different audience to this edition of Ozzfest?
The way I experienced it was that there were a lot of different people there. And that is great because the tour was focussed on mainly ‘Nu Metal’, or whatever you want to call it, in the past and now they combined various styles and created a better mix. And because a lot of European metal elements are used in American metal the people are looking where that came from and that made us more popular over there.
The last time I saw you guys in the Netherlands it was in the 013 on May 4th which is a day to remember the people who deceased in WOII. Do you remember this day and did you get any of this?
Yes, I remember the entire audience to be quiet for a couple of minutes. We knew what that day was in the Netherlands and we can only respect the fact that people remember those years. And it wasn’t strange to play that day because time does not stop on a day like that, they play soccer on that day and life goes on.
So it was Ozzfest and a lot of festivals this year including Graspop; you guys achieved a lot lately. What can we expect from you guys in the future? (DVD, Music or something else)
We are trying to keep touring for as long as we can. We have not toured enough in the past for each album and we are catching up with a lot of touring nowadays. There is a lot more to be done around the world. We are not really focussing on Europe with that fact, we are going to tour around the world and try to cover as much as possible.
You guys play a lot of shows in Germany but there is only one or two shows a year in the Netherlands, what is the reason?
That indeed is strange because we kind of started out in the Netherlands and Belgium. We were playing here a lot and not only in bigger but also the smaller venues. In the beginning of our career we did a lot of this ‘weekend gigs’. And I really do not know the reason why this has changed. It is not a band thing, it is more of a management or a label thing. They only see figures and money.
So you are saying they aren’t supportive to the band but only see figures?
No, not exactly. We can do what we love and play around the world. But it is always great to give the people what they deserve and these countries deserve more!
Downloading is a big issue these days and we can hear that on your promo. The press usually is deadly to artists using this protection, what is your idea behind downloading music? And why this protection?
Well, I don’t really mind people downloading music because I feel that metal fans are really true to the metal music. They usually use this to discover new music and bands. And if they like this music they are going to buy the album. Why we decided to have a voice over the promo of our album was because with our previous releases they were always available on the internet three months before the official release date and by adding these voices we were trying to make it less attractive to put it on the internet. I don’t like the fact that our album is available online before the release date.
Isn’t it more effective to give the press a burned CD with a watermark on it? This way you can always track down the spoiler. Besides that you can send the final product to them for their work when the final product is available on the market.
That might be the solution. But this one was just an act of impuls. We had to decide quickly and we did it.
And the strange thing is the press normally does not accept something like this but on your promo it wasn’t such a problem.
Yeah, that is the secret of making a great record.
On your website there still is no drummer in the members area, what is the situation so far?
Well, our studio drummer is becoming more and more of a permanent member of the group. We see him as a member of our band. But at meetings we want to know what is happening with his own band (Scarve) and he clearly says he want to play in that band as well. It is a big dilemma for him. We just have to see, he is going to play with us for as long as he can, then he has to make some kind of decision. He doesn’t want to quit Soilwork; neither does he want to quit Scarve. It is a big issue.
In older interviews you manage a second single coming off Stabbing The Drama, this one has been released but over here we haven’t seen a video or what so ever. What about that?
Well, I do not know what the music channels or radio stations are like here but we have had quite some airplay in Sweden and America for a metal band.
So you have been touring non-stop, what next? DVD?
Yeah, we have plans for a DVD. Film some of the upcoming shows next year and add some backstage footage. We haven’t got solid plans but we are trying to find ways to make it a original and refreshing DVD in stead of a standard DVD every single metal band is releasing nowadays. One thing is certain, we want to pack it with material so it is worth buying and not just another DVD.
Is there anything special we can expect on stage tonight?
Do you want to get blown up by dynamite or something like that haha? No, there is a really great vibe between the members and we found the perfect way to put this in our show and transfer this vibe to our audience. You are going to see a completely different band on stage tonight!
On Graspop you played the main stage at 1PM, what do you prefer?
You can just give me indoors with the entire package and the lights. Festivals are great to expand your network of people but you miss the link with the audience.
Hopefully we can play a lot more in the Netherlands in the future!
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