Cult Of Luna - You must love SylvesterI reviewed Cult Of Luna’s new album ‘Somewhere Along The Highway’ and noticed that they would be touring Europe just before its release. So I felt it would be no more than decent to conduct an interview with one of the guys, guitarist Erik Olofsson to be exact.
So how’s the tour been so far?
Amazing, we’ve only done like three shows so far, but it’s been above expectations actually. Everything’s top-notch!
This isn’t your first headlining tour here isn’t it?
No we did a part headline tour with Bleeding Through last year. Half of the tour we were with Bleeding Through and the other half we headlined. And before that we did a headlining tour in the UK also. But it’s very nice to be able to be headliner, you can focus more on your set and what you really want to do and just take your time for it.
Especially with your music.
How are the responses in general for Somewhere Along The Highway?
I can only speak for what I’ve read in reviews, but it’s all really good. All of our records have had really good reviews from metal magazines like Kerrang and Rocksound. It’s all like 9 out of 10 and people saying oh I didn’t think they could do better than the Salvation record but they did oh my god! Stuff like that. So that’s great, and personally I think it’s our best album too.
What’s the thought behind the album title?
I can’t really speak about that because Johannes does all the lyrics, but the main thought about the album was to create some sort of countryside grandmother feeling, a warm feeling. Like a Swedish tradition barn thing, because that’s where we recorded it. In like a barn, or like a… village shed or something. I wouldn’t want to use the word shed because it’s also used for people who want to throw a party, or have their wedding reception, things like that. It has really good acoustics for recording drums. So we went out there and recorded like 24 hours a day for like a week.
You recorded 24 hours a day for a week?
Yeah, kind of. Not really but we were there the entire time. So the recording process was not that similar to the other albums, where we did this perfectionist-like studio thing. This time we played more parts together and kept more raw recordings.
So the title has nothing to do with driving along the highway while listening to this album, because it’s quite suitable for that.
No no, maybe. I guess we came up with I when we were touring in the US. You know that David Lynch movie that has the barn on the cover; it was a bit inspired by that.
Ok, how come members keep coming and going in this band? And it keeps getting bigger and bigger!
Hehe, yeah we always find something new, it’s not that bad actually. We changed bass player like once, and we’ve changed drummer once also. But the thing is our drummer does the recording with us, and he is a professional musician for a lot of other bands too so he doesn’t have time to tour with us. So Magnus, who has been doing different stuff before in the band, like guitars and he also produces the albums, he plays the drums now on tour. So it’s one big family but it’s the same people all the time, they just move around a bit to different instruments. And when we’ve started touring for the Salvation album Fredrik who now plays third guitar came along to do some percussion. And for this record he did some recording with us also. So there are a lot of small thing changing. Which I think is good for the development of the music.
The new material keeps getting more quiet and less intense in a heavy way. Is this a path that you will continue to follow?
Yeah the next record will be a pure metal album! Hahaha! I think the newest record is harder than the Salvation record. I think the Salvation record is more quiet or more… it has something to do with the production I guess. We produced it rougher this time, so in a way it sounds harder. I don’t know, probably we’ll be a little softer I guess, but then again we might make like a doom song in the middle of it all. I don’t think we’ll do another album like The Beyond, I can’t imagine that. We haven’t started writing anything yet, so it’s hard to tell.
So what can we expect in the future from Cult of Luna then?
I think there will be some issue or EP or whatever, we don’t know what it’s gonna be yet. Hopefully we can do some kind of EP soon, I don’t know yet.
Weren’t you supposed to have some kind of EP for this tour only by the way?
Yeah it got delayed! We’ve got nothing yet. That’s the thing with Earache you know, they can’t really deliver on time. But it’s not Earache themselves, it the distributor. It’s coming out on a label called 101.
But when you write your material, how does it take place? You rehearse it or it happens on tour, what’s the deal?
Usually a couple of months before we go into the studio we start rehearsing and put it together. The songs are basically written by me and Johannes, out other guitarist. We write it and then the others kind of fill in.
How would you best describe your experiment in music?
If you’re going to describe it to your parents or maybe a relative or someone at school who doesn’t have a clue, I tell them I play music and we sometimes go on tour. And they say oh really? What’s your band called blablabla. And when they ask me what does it sound like, what kind of music is it? And I always say it sounds kind of like Black Sabbath.
That’s just something people can relate to. I mean your dad knows what Black Sabbath sounds like. So it sounds like that, only sometimes it gets a little slow, and there are these really long songs, so that’s how I usually describe it. But it’s so hard to brand it.
But we’re trying to get away from the metal magazines and try to approach the more indierock genre, that’s where we wish to be eventually.
Ok, sounds logical to me. Last question then. In movies, who do you prefer, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone?
How about Terminator 2?
Terminator 2 is the most evil movie ever.
I think it’s amazing, I remember watching it, I was like 10 or 12 years old, it touched me. It was fucking scary dude. But then again I love Sylvester plus I was recently watching the Rambo movies with my girlfriend…
With your girlfriend? How romantic!
Yeah yeah hehehe. We watched Rambo 2 the night before I went on tour. Lets do something, lets rent a Rambo movie or something. You must love that, you must love Sylvester.
(of course at this point the discussion starts to get ridiculous, Erik tells us that he and Magnus were recently having a discussion in the bus over which movie was more evil, Terminator one or two, he votes for number two and so do we. Futuristic movies from the 80ies have always been a great inspiration to Cult of Luna actually. Johannes loves that stuff, movies like Blade Runner and so. Somehow we get to the subject of Back to the Future, so I decide to end it)
So do you have anything of any relevance to add to this interview then?
No, not of any relevance, but I love 2001: A Space Odyssey. I think that’s the best kind of futuristic vision on the future from the sixties.
How about Star Wars?
Of course it’s cool, but when the first ones came out, my parents wouldn’t let me go and see them because it was too scary. So I don’t really have a strong relationship with that. But it’s still cool.
How about Lord of the Rings then?
I hate it. I fucking hate it, it’s the worst thing ever. That Frodo bastard.
Hahaha, thank you for that! That was it then! See you later!
Yeah keep in touch!
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