WOLFBRIGADE (EN)

– Hello and first, of all, thank you so much for ansewring to our questions. How has everything been lately into the WOLFBRIGADE’s camp just after having released your first album in 5 years?
Hello! All good. Just got back home after a weekend in Czech Republic and Poland. Now a summer break and then some more shows and festivals.  We’re happy to finally got the record out. 5 year is a bit to long! Now we can focus on the future. Hopefully not 5 year until next release.

 

– After you released «Comalive» you took a break, then came back with «Damned», and now 5 years later «Run with the Hunted» sees the light of day so, what has WOLFBRIGADE been up to during these last years? For how long have you been compiling the material we can find on the new album?
Well me (Erik) and Jocke started to write songs pretty much right after we recorded damned. Then after a year we throw them all away and started all over again. This time we felt we were on to something. We did demos and some of the songs ended up on the record. But for many years the band was basically inactive due to the fact that our old drummer was playing in some other bands, among other things. It was a frustrating time for the rest of us. Lucky we found our new drummer Tommy and we could focus on rehearsing some of the demo songs and writing new stuff. But we were in a hurry, Studio was booked 6 month later!

 
– Starting to dig into it and talking about its evocative title, what does  exactly refer to?
The title pretty much sums up the theme of the record och for our band. Many of our songs are about alienation and an innate desire for freedom. It also ties into the wolf theme that we’ve always had. For us the wolf represents nature at its wildest. The wolf is misunderstood in many ways. People hunt and kill it because they think it’s dangerous. So its pure existence is a great methaphor for the conflict between man and nature

 
– Overall I think this album is probably more melodic than the previous, still equally aggressive. Did you have a clear idea about how did you want this record to sound like?
Well after the audition and when we know Tommy was the man for the job, the direction of the sound was for easy.  His brutal drumming brought a whole new intensity to us again and made the choice of music direction for this record clear.  A straightforward in your face record! And the fact we only had a few month until recording made that choice easier haha

 
– And is it easy to get a good equilibrium between melody and aggressiveness?
No that part is always the most difficult. I think we made it good on this record. Once again I must give credit to Tommys drumming. That makes it a tiny bit easier to combine aggression and melodies anyway.

 
– On this album you mix your usual social lyrics with some sci-fi and terror, but these feel more like metaphors, are they?
Yeah, we often use metaphors in our lyrics. What comes out in the lyrics is just what’s on our mind at the moment or what fits the song. On this record Johan wrote almost all lyrics.

 
– Anyway, what have inspired some of the lyrics? I guess life in general, but I mean more specifical things, as certain social or political events, literature, etc. As it seems to be some literature inspired lyrics here too.


Kallocain for an example is a very well-known novel by the Swedish author Karin Boye.  It’s a dark dystopy about a world where everyone is expendable and where everything is heavily controlled by the state. There are also some other references to old dystopian literature, like George Orwell. Mostly we write lyrics from a personal point of view about everything and nothing. For us the vocals are also an instrument so the lyrics have to adjust to the songs to fit in.

 

– For instance I think «Kallocain» is the best exemple for the aforementioned, which is by the way probably one of the catchiest songs on the album. What could you tell us about this song? Is quite long, did you have to write it in a different way? It also seems to perfectly capture its theme with the overall sound.
We found the demo tapes to the ”Lycanthro Punk” album and discovered a song that didn’t make it onto the album. I don’t think we had any lyrics or something. We rearranged it a bit, Johan wrote the lyric and we used a intro that we recorded long time ago but never used.

 
– One of the biggest differences I found between this album and your latest ones is the production. Would you mind to shed on light on how did you work on it and who took such duties?
Both damned and run with the hunted are recorded live in studio Fredman.  Damned was a darker and more heavy record. We decided to try another sound on this to benefit the more intense and faster songs. We also recorded in sunlight studios with Tomas skogsberg. And than back to studio Fredman to mix the whole record. As always we don’t want to make the same record twice.

 

– And on your opinion, what could you say differences «Run with the Hunted» from «Damned»?
Since we don’t tour much anymore,  the records have become more important to us. We try to explore new and old ideas and sounds to keep it interesting, No HM2 pedals this time for an example. We wanted to try a different guitar and bass sound. A more live feeling. On damned we also had more time to write the songs, so this time we focused on aggression and intensity and just let it go!

 

– In fact «Damned» got a really good feedback from both fans and press, so expectations on this new opus were high. Do you ever mind about your fans expectations or somehow feel pressure in regards to be at par with previous releases? Maybe so many years of experience put you past that and make you do things just for yourself or more from a gut feeling?
We never do anything to please or adjust our music to Prevailing music climate.  When we start writing a new record we always listen to the previous as a reference.  And then decide in what direction we want to take the next one. We try not to repeat ourself and it’s fun to explore new elements,  even though our style of music has its limitations. But for this record, we made a conscious decision to not renew ourselves, just make a hell of a record in high speed! When we’re satisfied we just hope the fans and press like it to.

 

– So all this about «Run with the Hunted» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
2 words is enough. Lycanthro punk!

 
– Back when you started Crust had more something to do with rebellion, but nowdays is an easy access music style that isn’t closed to just a certain kind of audience. I think that you are signed to a label like Southern Lord proves it. Is this widspread of the genre something positive for a band like WOLFBRIGADE?
Yeah, we always aim for something new to maintain our creativity.  After the Comalive lp we felt we needed something new to keep the band together, and to have the inspiration to make new songs! We needed to make some real changes. We signed to Southern Lord and decided to put some real effort into making a more thorough album. Something we felt we had not done since the early days.Southern Lord gave us the budget to create the sound we were after. And on «damned «and «run with the hunted» we started to make demos again. Something we have not done since the 90 ties.

 
– But it still deals with social and political issues. In this regard the world is changing fast, for the worst unfortunately, so having that connection with WOLFBRIGADE as a band, how do you think have both the world and WOLFBRIGADE evolved since the 90’s?
Everything and everyone evolves. The world for the worst and wolfbrigade for the better.

 
– You started under the name of WOLFPACK, and changed it if I’m not mistaken for both a political as well as a creative related matter. Why did you decide you wanted to keep going using a differnet name? WOLFPACK is the same band as WOLFBRIGADE, but do you consider them to be the same entity?
Yes it’s the same band. We just changed half the name.

 
– You have been into the Punk scene for over two decades now. Is there any secret recipe to outlast some of your contemporaries?
We have learned to slow down. You don’t have to put out a new record and tour and then do it over again. We did that and it almost took all the fun away in the end.  I see the damned record as a kind of new start for us. Since we don’t tour so much more, due to adult life commitments, family and work, the records have become more important to us. We really enjoy meet up and just hang out, discuss song arrangements or rehearse. And of course it helps that me, Jocke and Micke have known each other since we were kids.

 

– In fact nowadays over 20 years is quite a lot. Do you have any both worst and best moments with/for the band thus far?
Haha all the worst is something we laugh at now. Lots of spinal tap moments. But really bad organised gigs with all what that includes is a real band killer,

 

– Can you recall where did the whole «lycanthro» thing come from? It has basically turned into a new music style.
I think it has characterized the band to come from a small town(Mariestad). Above all, We dared to be creative and blend death metal, heavy metal, melodies and D-beat , it was completely taboo in 1995. There was no scene in Mariestad and no regulations of how a D-beat band should sound. We created a sound of our own. No other band at that time sounded like us.  I got the idea when we needed a name for our second record. Lycanthro punk

– Most of you guys in the band  have side projects. Are there any news with any of those? Is it easy having day jobs to handle these activities?
None in the band has side projects any more. All of us want to pay 100% focus on wolfbrigade.  As I mentioned in a previously question we don’t have time or the will to focus on more than one band.

 

– And finally, what are now your near-future plans?
Try out some song ideas. We had some stuff that did not end up on the last record cause it did not fit in. And some new ideas.  We’ll see what happens. It will not be a run with the hunted part 2 haha

 
– 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 for the questions.
Cheers!!!
Erik

Tania Giménez
tania@queensofsteel.com

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