– Hi guys, first congratulations on thew new album. How are you? I hope everything goes very well with the reception of the album.
Hello there, everything’s good here, thank you! The album has been received very well. It makes us very happy!
-We had to wait six years for this album, the previous one was ‘Across the Line’, from 2017. What’s the reason for that?
Time travels fast! But we shall not forget our 7” single ’Demons Eye’ released in 2019. Initial plan was set earlier but the pandemic hit everyone hard and life came in between I guess!
-I think that ‘Fatal Encounter’ is more straight forward than ‘Across the Line’, still having power choruses and catchy songs. How was the songwriting process?
Fredrik: Sure we got some straight shooters on this album but I would personally say that this album offers even more diversity than previously in terms of both song structures and lyrical themes.
Fatal Encounter is a definitely a continuation of the sound established on Across The Line.
Another difference in songwriting between the albums is that this time songs could be written with my voice in mind for this album. When I joined the band back in 2017, most of the songs for Across the line were already written, so it was more of an adjustment to fit in for my part.
-Since Fredrik Werner joined the band, the direction of AIR RAID’s sound is more melodic than the two first albums. In my opinion it’s quite original, since not a lot of bands play ‘80s melodic Heavy Metal. Has Fredrik had any influence on this? Or did you have the idea of making a more melodic style before he joined you?
Andreas: It happened naturally as both me and Fredrik have a big love for music that is rooted in Blues and Soul. We connect very well from day one, and that shines through in the songs! This sound was actually my original vision for the band, but it was not easy to find a singer that had that powerful voice with a bluesy undertone. I’m very glad to have reached this point!
-The cover caught my attention. Is It a tribute to SKAGARACK’s cover for ‘Hungry for a Game’? What’s the significance of the cover artwork?
Andreas: I just checked out the cover you referred to and can understand what you mean, with the flying guitar. I actually never seen the Skagarack cover before though haha, but I liked the songs! For me, the “Fatal Encounter” artwork shows the constant battle between our heart and brain. And on a lighter scale, it’s just a badass guitar that shoots down a spaceship haha.
-I also like the production of the album, it sounds like a great reproduction of the ‘80s sound but done nowadays. Have you always used analogue equipment, or have you also used digital technology?
Fredrik: We live in a time where almost anything can be achieved with modern tools. You can go surgical on audio getting every beat and note exactly right. If you venture down that route, you’ll loose more than you gain. I once saw a video on YouTube where they quantized John Bonhams drums. It lost all personality!
So we try to use technology to our advantage while still keeping an old school approach to recording. We make sure to get the takes in long sequences so there’s a natural flow. Then of course you have the luxury of never running out of tape, haha.
-I’ve liked the cover of ‘Pegasus Fantasy’, off the Saint Seiya opening. Why this cover? How did it come to be?
Andreas: I have always been interested in Japan, the culture, history, values etc. I also self study some Japanese for fun. I stumbled upon this great song “Pegasus Fantasy” some years ago and decided that it would be cool to make a cover. We have played in Tokyo two times before and we loved every second of it, so it’s a tribute to our dedicated Japanese fans!
-On this album you have a new bass player (Jan Ekberg) and a new drummer (William Seidl). Tell me about them. What happened with the members that left the band?
Andreas: We reached a point where I felt it was time for a change. I knew Jan for some years before he joined Air Raid. He is an incredible bass player and I wanted him in the band to increase the technical level. It also opens up for more flexible songwriting. William was recommended to me by Fredrik and I loved his playing from the first moment during rehearsals. He is a very stable and professional drummer. Exactly how it should be!
-Last time I watched you was in Barcelona with VICIOUS RUMORS in 2019, and I liked it a lot, better than the first time (in 2013 I think) since the audience was poor back then. Will we see AIR RAID in Spain again?
Fredrik: I remember that show! First one of the tour I think. Razzmatazz was a great venue with a little cat walk for me to step out on, haha.
You sure will be able to catch us live again. However, there are no plans made for the near future, but we’ll be back live soon enough. Count on it!
-And that’s all, thank you for your time and I hope everything goes well. If you’d like to add anything else, it’s your moment.
We would like to give a shout-out to all Spanish fans of Air Raid. You are really awesome and we hope to see you on the road again in future! Skål!