– Hello and first of all, thanks for taking the time. How is everything going right now with NIGHTINGALE? What are you currently up to?
We are currently enjoying the first reviews from the album. We are also just about to start preparing some additional promo «tools» to breathe new life in the release a few more times!
– After producing several albums and being involved with some other projects, this is your first album with NIGHTINGALE in 7 years so, how are you feeling about it?
The feeling is awesome! I have never been so satisfied with an album before..so it is great, great feeling!
– How could you say has the band evolved throughout these last years?
I feel that we’ve all grown as players and my hiatus from songwriting have really paid off, because I feel that the material for the new album is right up there with my favorite Nightingale tracks from the past. Just like I dreamt it would be, if we ever made one more album!
– This new opus is entitled «Retribution», and I think is a new chapter in the band’s history, meaning we can’t compare it to your previous releases. Is less ambient than your previous release. Was this how you envisioned the album?
The title is connected to the cover art. The retribution of mother nature for all the shit we, the human kind, have put her through. I envisioned the album as a mixture of all other Nightingale albums put in a blender, and I think it turned out really close to my vision!
– It’s also quite progressive, maybe your most prog release to date. Was this how you wanted the album to sound like or did just happen?
Well, not really all that prog, is it?? I mean, there are some syncopations that is a bit fusion-like but to me, not really progressive as in «hard to play» and «strange» I think we will never really do stuff that is as progressive as let’s say Dream Theater. I am more into lighter prog like Marillion around 85-92 so there’s always a vibe from that in our music. But we all hear stuff different, but I cannot say that I feel that Retribution have a progrock vibe…more of a pomprock A.O.R. kind of feel!
– And has the songwriting process changed at all for this release?
It’s usually 50/50% split between me and my brother, but this time around I wrote 90% of the music and he 10% – Erik and me wrote 40% each of the lyrics and Tom 20%
– Talking about such, how does the songwriting process tend to be like in NIGHTINGALE?
For this one, I wrote and demoed a ll the songs alone and once I felt they were about ready I brought them to the rehearsal room and «felt them» and most songs survived this process untouched, where some other got a few bigger arrangement changes. That is not always how its been done, but I think it is a good process, since these days you cannot really play the songs live before recordings, but rehearsing them is a s close as you get! It is a good way to check that you haven’t over produced it!
– The album’s title I think is quite evocative, and can mean different things depending on how’s interpreting it but, what does it mean for NIGHTINGALE and in the context of this album?
It’s linked to the lyrics for «Chasing the Storm Away» about how we fuck up the earth around us, and leave it in a bad shape for our children and their children. That
is the only meaning it has for me. It is inspired by a painting my wife have had since we met, that painting is called «Retribution» and when I was struggling for a good title, I saw that painting every day and looked closer and saw that it was named Retribution and it just felt good to say, and had a nice ring to it 🙂
– For the cover you have worked with the seasoned Travis Smith. Would you mind to tell us how did you work on it and what did you want it to represent?
I had a few different ideas. The first idea can be found on the back cover of the CD, with a giant wave sweeping all over the earth, seen from space. But sometimes the visions I have doesn’t translate 100% to the screen, and after trying thing back and forth with our A&R guy also in the «team» as a creative, outside view we came up with one of the best album covers of my career!! It represents the end of the world. The moment mother nature is pissed off for the final time, and send the tidal wave of doom upon mankind. Format earth:
– All this about «Retribution» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
My favorite album 🙂
– Talking about yourself, you are both a well-kwnon musician and also producer but, what do you feel more comfortable with? Behind the desk or playing/writing/singing?
Well, if we talk about studio playing/singing, all alone at my studio, then it is definitely a joy, right up there wit mixing and mastering. But I am not that comfortable as a live performer or even as a session-guest when it comes to playing and singing. I mean, I do it from time to time, but I worry to much about everything from forgetting the songs to the electricity being cut off to my gear breaking down… to make it really enjoyable.
– As producer, is it easy nowadays to find originality in Metal bands?
There’s a few unique constellations popping up every now and then. But in my world it was always about writing the best song. I really don’t care if another band sound 100% like another band, as long as they write just as good or even better songs than the «original» I am all in 🙂
– Anyway you have produced several newer acts so, what are the ones that have surprised you the most? Which ones could you suggest?
Sorry, but there’s too many to start mentioning a few. If I name-drop a few, all others will think, why he didn’t mention us, do he think we suck? And never return to Unisound 🙂 I love all my clients and it doesn’t matter if they are seasoned veterans or 18 year old beginners. Mixing and Mastering is a service profession. I do as I am told. Producing however, is a completely different work, and I would never do it.
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
Cooking dinner for me and my wife 🙂 And look to our dog so she’s getting back on her feel a.s.a.p. after her surgery. Then make some interviews and tomorrow I will go on with the mixing of the Project hate album!
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thanx to you and all readers! Hope you all enjoy Retribution and also check out the Witherscape EP that comes out early December. And if you really dig my stuff and wanna show it to the world, please come visit www.swanomerch.com and order a t-shirt or some other cool stuff we have lined up!!